Karl Gietl was born in the Cape provence of South Africa in 1970. He grew up in the small mining town of Benoni on the East Rand and was schooled in Johannesburg during the chaotic 80's. His first solo exhibition of paintings was in 1994. In 1998 Karl Gietl won first prize in the national ABSA atelier awards which allowed him to live and work in the citè international des arts in Paris.
Between 1999 and 2001 Karl Gietl traveled, worked and exhibited in France, Holland, Germany and Belgium. He returned to South Africa in 2002 where he continued on an extensive travel spree of southern Africa and her neighboring countries. Exhibiting in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Maputo/Mozambique. Between 2005 and 2007 Gietl continued to exhibit locally and internationally.
His work has been described as painted documentaries. 'His canvases have a life of their own, a visual story teller and social commentator. Often humorous, Gietl's corrosive compositions speak about history, politics, morals, everyday life and most importantly, about himself.'