BORN in South Africa 1948, Keith Joubert spent his childhood moving between mining communities on the highveld as his father was a mining surveyor.
The young boy attended eleven schools, many in tough environments which no doubt contributed to the foundation of a stand-up independent character. Joubert certainly never knew the meaning of a security blanket or a comfort zone.
After completing his education at the Johannesburg Art school and Johannesburg Technikon, Joubert worked in the advertising industry. This is where he developed a graphic style that characterised his entire artistic career.
While still a young man, Joubert responded to a call from the bushveld which over the course of time became so insistent that he left city life never to return. During a decade in the Timbavati and Klaserie, he developed his painting technique and his mature style evolved a pictorial commentary on the African wilderness that resulted in the artist becoming the most well known and celebrated wildlife artist on the African continent.
Joubert became a restless traveller visiting all the nooks and crannies of a continent that obsessed him. I don’t think during his mature years he ever spent more than ten days in one place before moving his hard working land-cruiser to another patch of fabulous wilderness.
Within an average month his retinas would take in the aridity of Northern Namibia, the fecundity of the Okavango and then it was on to Mozambique, East Africa or indeed the Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Huge areas of Africa were his back garden and it was all commented on with his brushes and paint.
Joubert’s art found its way into collections throughout the world and he had many exhibitions in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Paris and the US. He was also hugely influential amongst a generation of painters of wildlife who saw in his art a way out of the cloying representation of Africa’s animals that characterised the work of most of today’s painters of wildlife.
Above all Keith Joubert was an incandescent character who enlivened the lives of a horde of people that met him on his travels.
Bon Voyage Keith.