DIE VENEZIA CONNECTION (after "French Connection", the infamous US smuggling ring of the 1960s / 1970s) shows several young men in suits wearing Venetian masks. The image looks like a section of a group of innumerable people. Whether it was Robert Longo's "Men In The Cities" series or Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut", which inspired me to create this painting, I can not say, it would remain with an explanation attempt. In fact, this motif is the very beginning of my work, it is a "key-image".
The impulse to this came out of a whim, it was definitely an intuitive act, which then proved to be a correct and coherent approach. The masks are part of the carnival in Venice. They are, therefore, used primarily for entertainment, and they have an exhilarating effect. But every mask has its own individual meaning, which sometimes can not be so pleasing.
The origins of the Venetian carnival date back to the Saturnals of antiquity and thus to the customs and festivities of the fasting period. It goes back to the 12th century. It was annually celebrated the victory of Venice over Aquileia in the year 1162.
The countless interpretative approaches possible from this composition were my declared goal. The recipient looks at the group that is looking at him. If I imagine this scenario in reality, I get a feeling of mixed feelings. I think of psychological contagion, of collective dynamics, of herding behavior, I think of group formation, sects, "The Experiment Black Box" by Mario Giordano. I wonder: Will I be part of this group or will I not be asked at all, but have I already taken my decision? This game with the symbolism, whether for aesthetic or substantive reasons, united together, for me, all in all, is a seductive symbiosis.
Sometimes I run through the streets and look at the decoration of shop windows. Somehow I had to remember that I took more time for it as a child and that I formally "run it off". However this fact is accompanied by the circumstance, that many shop windows are simply boring or I already know this form of design.
In my work "Venice Vibrations" (after the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations") I translate this feeling to my main characters. The difficulty was to design a scenario that visualizes this translation. The work shows the back view of a man looking into a shop window and a man who obviously leaves the facility. A Venetian mask called "Solaris" is depicted in the shop window. The shop window space is brightly illuminated, I play with it, whether the mask is illuminated or it is the mask that illuminates everything and captivates the viewer.
I play with the supernatural, the mystic. I think of occultism, altars and, of course, Solaris, the sun. The sun is the central star in the sky. All life depends on it on the earth. This great importance has always been known to people. Many earlier cultures revered it as deities. The daily reappearance of the sun, was partly anticipated anxiously and conjured up by means of cult or magical rituals. The sun is the natural clock of the people. The succession of the seasons led to the development of the calendar, which was vital for all crops, especially after the invention of agriculture. The sun is thus the symbol of the rhythm of life and thus also the symbol of progress and development.
"Solaris" is also a science fiction novel by Polish author Stanisław Lem from the year 1961. In addition, the computer operating system of ORACLE was named after. In my work, however, Solaris is only a part, because the viewer is supposed to be aware, to be asked: What is behind these walls, behind the shop window? Is this a business? One Base? A platform? And yet, the picture creates the mood, not satisfying that mystery, that curiosity, rather not wanting to know what it is about, it could be a threat.
GOING BACK TO VENICE
In my researches of the old masters, the different artifacts, and the study of biographies, I always stumble over things that inspire me. The painting "Going Back To Venice" (after "The Notorious BIG`s - Going Back To Cali") was made after I read the story "Wanderer About The Sea Of Fog" by Casper David Fiedrich. Helmut R. Leppien wrote "Nobody before him put such a large back figure in the landscape and exactly in the center of the composition." This fact impressed me and I also wondered what trivial-compositional elements of the artist created something new at that time.
The wanderer in this famous back view is looking at nature or the landscape. And since I associate the view into the distance with the view of the horizon and the sea, it should be the proverbially most picturesque place I could imagine for this work. So I painted the most cheesy moon in the sky, which I could imagine. The moon is known as a symbol of light, night, unconsciousness, change, water, time, soul, contact-need, sacrifice, imagination, fertility, romance, instinct and much more.
Since never before I had a woman involved in my pictures, I immediately thought of wanting to paint a couple. The woman should turn her back on the recipient, like the "Wanderer About The Sea Of Fog". The man, on the other hand, turned to the viewer as if he was seeking contact. The man and the woman stand at the bow of a modern yacht that could symbolize the Noah's Ark named after the biblical book of Genesis, for it was already in the Bible, Genesis 1:27, "God created man in his image, in the image of God He created him; As a man and a woman, he created them."
The sea, on the other hand, is a symbol for all the unknown and the unfathomable, for the origin, not the individual, but of all life. In its eternal up and down, it is an archetypical symbol of the life with all its ups and downs, but also the symbol of the collective unconscious. As a painter, I am now able to determine the mood of the painting by the coloring alone. The sea should be quite calm, as the folk saying goes, then announces a pleasant and peaceful future. The sky, on the other hand, should be stormy, as a counterpart. The picture is very balanced, but it implies one of those intuitive impulses of non-grasping, non-real-ability.
AELITA (COSMIC DRIVE)
When I saw David Lynch's "Lost Highway" again, the sequence at the beginning inspired me a lot. I wanted to make something out of these endless images of the highway. Everyone knows the vibes, the atmosphere when you cross these endless streets by car at night. I suspected something was happening on this street, but I didn't know what or why. It was a kind of intuition. Maybe I saw too many movies, but I had something like an appearance in mind, I just couldn't grasp it.
I thought about; Why do people have appearances? Whether it's caused by religion or the specific human emotional state. How does it look? Accompanied by questions like; What makes the air or the small molecules visible to scientists? Is it possible to make an appearance visible?
So I dealt with mathematics (geometry and platonic bodies), physics (tension, magnetism, levitation), but also astronomy (planets, moons, asteroids). This resulted in a so-called "pentagonal dodecahedron", which envelops a typical Venetian mask, called "Virginis Purpurea". I collect these masks and sometimes it is part of a painting. I loved the name, it is as pure and innocent as a "picture of grace" of Maria, a symbol of good, forgiveness or hope, but also of life itself.
In antiquity, in the golden age of Greece, experiments were carried out that already dealt with the five Platonic solids. The realization of this is that our entire universe, all plants, every animal and every human being is built according to the rules of sacred geometry. The following division results for the Platonic bodies: while the "hexahedron" stands for the earth or the "icosahedron" for the element water, the "dodecahedron" stands for the etheric space that connects the cosmic with the earthly.
It became a kind of secret doctrine that only high-ranking scholars were allowed to work with this knowledge in Plato's time, whereby the knowledge of time is lost to the general public. Only today is it gradually being rediscovered.
I heard Mando Diao's new album AELITA when the picture was made. Aelita is also a 1924 Soviet silent film based on Alexei Tolstoy's novel of the same name, which had a pioneering influence on the development of science fiction. In this way the circle closes.
ORACLE (SPHINX GATE)
This idea was born from just one element; a room with three stones. Anything can happen in this room. Duplicating and flipping the stones was the next intuitive action. Now we have two poles. And two poles are always exciting. Two poles means black and white, positive and negative, good and bad. There is always tension between two poles. Now I needed something to break the tension. And I thought of Atréyu, the main character in "The Neverending Story".
On his way to the "Magic Mirror Gate", Atréyu had to pass the "Great Riddle Gate", consisting of two sphinxes, and the "Southern Oracle" to recognize himself.
"Friendly people find out that they are cruel. Brave people discover that they are cowards. Faced with their true selves, most people run away screaming."
So the story.
The stones are guarded by a crow and a raven. I also love elements that carry legends. These animals have been associated with occultism for centuries and still play a central role in magic. While the raven protects secrets and does not want to reveal it, the opposite is in the interests of the crow: it sees through and reveals secrets. In particular, the crow as a "power animal" supports you in discovering the truth, exposing liars and exploring your own dark side - without having to go into the world of the dead. The crow is also considered the guardian of the sacred laws. This list is endless.
"People who have lost hope are easy to control. And whoever has control has the power."
From "The Neverending Story"
As we know, the Holy Scripture is mentioning so-called "Fallen Angels" who resist or better oppose the divine order and endure in the abyss. This symbol fascinated me. But I was less interested in this dark demonic level. I rather wondered: what leads people to take a dark path? Which impulses might push them to do so? It is controversial as life itself: Even though the "Black Angel" is considered the most powerful demon of darkness, he once brought light to the earth.
What can lead somebody to act like that? "Betrayal, espionage, deception, loss or failure"? Whatever it might be, it can be inflicted on someone through no fault of their own, but it can also be done intentionally on purpose. The central figure in the picture symbolizes a kind of transformation or metamorphosis. Whether human being or not; what may have shone brightly before, is converted into darkness now.
But even though the "black angel" is considered the most powerful demon of darkness, he once brought light to the earth.