Believe it or not:What looks like kids drawing is a ‚result‘ of decades of art activities. Here some, perhaps familiar, keywords of what happens in such a long life span:
1950-1959 typical school art striving towards naturalism. In the later teenage selfexpression and experiences with modern art.
1960-1970 trying to find in various studies and institutes the own place in the world of art
1970-1980 breakthrough of political reflections: the arts in a cruel world
1980-90 what is the real job of your personal art: illustration, independant work or match of historic art and own art?
1990- way back to the genuine elements of art–but not l’art pour l’art. A way to personal and relaxed art.
It seems as if Picasso’s saying that he started as Raffael and endet as a child, happened to be paradigmatic for our generation, but I wonder whether younger artists share this view today.
Reading on facebook about the birthday of my „analogue “ friend Peter Prange, I remember a very exciting experience we both shared. During a walk in spring 2009 he told me about Garcia Mendez, a portuguese woman who became one of the most remarkable personalities of the jewish world in the 16th century. In a certain moment I asked him what he thought of illustrated books. He was horrified. Since I had published one of my better books „Vom Text zum Bild“ (Deutscher Studienverlag, 1996),to this subject, we went on discussing this issue for 1 km or so. Then I offered spontaneously to perform pictures without knowing the book already. After months it were about 40 drawings in pen and ink on handmade paper each 70×50 cm,exclusively dealing with Garcia Mendez. When the book was presented (P.P. „Die Gottessucherin“.Kroemer-Knaur, 2009)
the first time, we showed the drawings in the same room. A nice lady from the publishing house produced a so called live book. Peter wrote wonderful notes to every picture. You can still find it as „Die Gesichter der Garcia Mendez“ under www.droemer-knaur. de>livebook. More of the designs and the story of our „march“ you find in my book „Meine Bilder“. Ernst Wasmuth, 2009.
Eventually sunshine today! I decided to take pictures of two sculptures that you may have seen posted already before. Actually I wasn’t in my very best shape. After struggling with facebook and a legion of friends or so called friends I was troubled by the feeling of getting somehow rid of my identity. Though there were some attraktive ladies asking for friendship. Flattering isn’t it? But after a while I realized that their ideas of art were not exactly mine. But right now it happened. My sculptures appeared in the bright light of the sun on the display of my i phone so beautiful, that I immediately fell in love with them. Amused I had to think of the ancient sculptor Pygmalion who went crazy about the marble -lady he had just created. So that’s what old Ovid told us in his ‚ars amatoria‘. Ok, in my case it was not a female beauty and I needed even a camera to become aware of the beauty- but anyhow! Once in this romantic mood I had to think of another famous myth: When Narcyssus saw his image on the surface of a lake, he was lost in self-love. The same happend to me when I looked at the camera-display. And I felt really good. Narcissism seems to be an emotional base for an artist. Don’t you think so? But maybe you are less vain than I am…
Can you imagine how it feels when your familiar world turns upside down? That happened to me when I read a book about the Silicon Valley (Christoph Keese, Silicon Valley, München 2014) . I realised that my continuous efforts to bring art and reality together, were more or less a search for the grail. I had missed the crucial insight that art is reality. The impulse for this knowledge came from the word „exponentional“ . I had never heard before that exponenti0nal processing and changes are the base of the digital world. Instead of a linear change, information spreads in all dimensions. Understanding this more or less, I realized that my passion for rasters , grids and structures( see figures below, starting with a page from a study report ,1962) has to do with this model. That art generally is in a way exponentional. Every dot, every line reaches out to reality and shapes reality. What disturbs me is, that it took such a long time to understand this :You probably don’t know that the title of the first book I published was „Struktur und Politik. Grenzwerte der Kunstpädagogik.“ (Berlin 1975).
Study report 1962
Collage on black carton
WWatercolours and Collage
Shortly after finishing the Silicon Valley- book I experienced a second epiphany. My daughter gave me a small yellow book by the artist and author Austin Kleon, titled „Show your work!“ He encourages artists to blog and show there works and working processes as often as possible. For me was it the call to communicate my art experiences in a new way, not in books, papers and essays;but in a playful, light manner, far off from academic doctrins. More suitable to that what I practise as an artist and achieved occasionally as writer. So I started blogging with the help of my oldest grandson Ben. Thank you Ben!
Some of my former,more „playful“ writings:
- 50″Briefe aus der Ästhetischen Provinz“ , in:BDK-Mitteilungen 1988-2000
- „…und er ist nur ganz Mensch,wo er spielt.‘ Zu Schillers fröhlicher Regression in den ‚Avanturen des neuen Telemach.“ In : B.Wichelhaus (Hg), Kunsttheorie,Kunstpsyhologie, Kunsttherapie, Berlin 1993
- “ Ferdinand Hartmann, Hans Heinrich Meyer der Geheimrat Goethe und wir. Anmerkungen zu den Weimarer Preisaufgaben.“ In: Schiementz/ Beilharz(Hg). Ins Bild gesetzt. Weinheim 1995
- Das war Buri. Bilder aus einem vergessenen Leben; mit 21 Federzeichnungen, Tübingen: Heliopolis 1990
I was 21 and a Fine Arts student. During a trip to Spain I saw this wooden mortar (fig. 1-3) in an antique store at Toledo and was thunderstruck. Although I had very little money I could geht this magic piece of wood. I was touched by the perfect form, balance, function and Gebrauchsspuren . And until today it has this perfect beauty for me. It is so undemanding, its an object that already Don Quixote might have seen in an La Mancha- pub. Carved in one piece out of a cylindrical chunk of wood (stone oak ?) it reminds me of cycladic idols with their symmetrical bodies, small waist and delicately shaped arm. In the late sixties I started a series of sculptures with the characteristic handle. I never realized that before. Probably meeting this magic mortar it was like an echo of some interior shapes, an answer on unasked questions- my questions . I am convinced that everybody has experienced this kind of echo and fascination just looking at an innocent object.
Sanduhrartige Skulptur mit weiteren im Hintergrund
Greetings from Max Ernst
Looking is food for art. Without looking there is no art. And vice versa makes art looking much richer. So just look!
Over the years and through thousands of drawings I have experienced a special doodle- method. I start in the upper left corner and let hooks, curves and arrows flow. It is very calm around me. I hold back from control and watch things grow. Strange characters and monsters appear and are welcomed. When I become aware of what happens, I try to make it look like art, giving single lines and colors more importance. Back from todays short trip to nirwana , I felt relaxed like a part-time Buddha. For this sacrilege I was immediately punished by a probably buddhist tiger mosquito (see right lower corner).
What I want to show in this blog is not a retrospektive of my work, but the very clinch of art and everyday life. I am 77 and since 60 years I write blogs without ever having a block. Now I take the chance to go online. So just come and join my experiences