It is inspiring to see how many artist colleagues, great curators and other fellow campaigners working in the art field try to pursue initiatives and create new ideas and artworks despite all Corona odds. Please have a look at this online exhibition “Art against Corona” initiated and curated by Lily Fürstenow. Link below:
Figurative painting always shows itself to me in clearly defined boundaries, which become visible through the recognizable in the painting. In the absence of any figuration, I work in a kind of borderless color space. Working with the series Into Light I am fascinated by the light that fights its way through the different shades of brown in the shimmering of the various magenta nuances without being swallowed up by them. Metallic and iridescent pigments have always challenged and impressed me. They bring with them the momentum of movement, something that opposes the statics of a painting. Thus some of my works change their appearance through the movement of the viewer - surfaces change their color. This is something that cannot be conveyed in a photo, since it is equally static. These paintings therefore require a direct physical, sensual observation in front of the artwork to experience this phenomenon.
I am amazed by the chemical reactions that I can observe when the layers of color flow into each other. I try to immerse myself in this kind of laboratory and experimental work, in which the unexpected can always happen, even if it takes a lot of time due to trial and error. For me this is one of the biggest differences between figurative and color space painting. I try to create color spaces that make the immersion into light and darkness a sensual experience.
1.-6. Image details
7. Into Light 2824, 24 x 30 cm, mixed media on canvas
I am always surprised at the almost inexperienced naivety with which I processed and worked on various topics of the German past as a teenager. Sometimes I wonder if this was due to my Mexican roots, which made it difficult for me to relate personally and directly. As an adopted child, who came to Germany at the age of seven, I found the first experiences in Germany extremely disturbing, almost grotesque in their human distance and stiffness.
Despite an intensified history course and a Jewish best friend in high school, the German history of the Second World War, the scope of the Holocaust and the concentration camps came to me much later and on extremely strange detours into my deep consciousness and into a real personal confrontation.
The film adaptation of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” by Peter Jackson drew my attention to the aesthetics of the mass marches by the Nazis. The fascination and power, albeit a threatening one, that emanated from these presentations, impressed also me and started an intensive thematic occupation also in my painting. Typically, however, my approach to a question is always a personal one. What and how strong is the evil in myself? What is the proportional relationship between the power of evil and its destructiveness? How much of this can a society tolerate and allow to be granted? Is there any way to profit from the power of evil and bypass its destructiveness?
I discovered that the character of the Uruk Hai Lurtz, as shown by Peter Jackson, captivated me with his immediate physical vitality and unshakable fearlessness. I found his terrifying arrogance towards pain and death enviable. Not without wistfulness (and a certain sense of humor), however, I have been able to understand that such a destructive force in its malice always runs the risk of being beheaded in the final analysis.
In this context, further works of the “Appearances” have emerged with a certain wink, which show Lurtz in various alienations and personifications.
1. Uruk 1, 155 x 200 cm, mixed media on canvas
2. Uruk 2, 100 x 120 cm , mixed media on canvas
3. Uruk 3, 100 x 120 cm, mixed media on canvas
4. Uruk 4, 100 x 120 cm, mixed media on canvas
The preoccupation with the aesthetics of National Socialism also led me to a close examination of the films and photographs of contemporary journalistic witnesses who had experienced and recorded the liberations of the concentration camps. For me, it was a desperate search for an artistic response to my inability to understand and to bear what I saw.
Ultimately, I understood that in figurative painting I will never find a suitable language to express my speechlessness. Almost none of the works of this intense inner debate exist, some works remain in a state of failure. But experience has shown me that every failure bears the seeds to readjust my own priorities and thus is always very valuable.
The existential urgency that I always felt to be present for my child and with my child and to consciously experience every moment with her is due to a traumatic emptiness, even having grown up without a birth mother. The feeling that I was literaly thrown into this world in the truest sense of the german word “mutterseelenallein” has always been with me. The despair that I often felt that I could not devote myself to painting to the extent that I desired, increasingly gave way to the clarity that art and life are one. My daily being, my experience as a mother was and always is embedded in being and thinking as an artist. I think creativity is more than the number of its products. It encompasses thinking, life and all creative processes as a whole, regardless of their physically visible manifestations.
I intuitively search for topics in which aspects of myself express themselves and show me who I am or want to be or a theme finds me.
This became very clear to me with the example of the mother-child portraits. I began to devote myself to this topic even before I knew that I would have a child myself. I assign these pictures to the small group of works of the so-called “appearances”, because they appear and disappear like people in my life. This also resulted in paintings that I never finished - as if my reflection would evaporate as a result of the intensive examination of myself. When my daughter was born, the topic of motherhood became central - not only because I had now become a mother, but also because I became aware of the inner abysses that arose in me from the loss of my own mother.
1. 38 x 33 cm, mixed media on canvas
2. 240 x 200 cm, mixed media on canvas
3. 18 x 14 cm, mixed media on canvas panels
4. 100 x 80 cm, mixed media on canvas
5. 90 x 75 cm, mixed media on canvas
When I saw the Mexican Embassy building in Berlin for the first time, I was overwhelmed by its size and translucency. From the outside, kept quite simple, I was surprised by the sheer size of the room inside. The white walls shone and seemed infinite. I immediately felt the desire to see my work there in order to check and experience its effect in such a room. I was pleased when a collaboration with the Mexican sculptor Alejandro Saldaña resulted and we both made the plan to organize an exhibition in the Mexican Embassy. The good preparation together had paid off. I was impressed by the effect of the interplay of my paintings with Alejandro’s sculptures and the expanse of the premises and the lighting conditions. I thank Alejandro and the Mexican Embassy for the wonderful collaboration.
In retrospect, I am impressed that I was able to master moving out of the University of Arts (UdK) to my own studio, moving privately to a new apartment and organizing and running this exhibition in anticipation of the birth of my little daughter Xochi.