The depiction of animals in my artworks touch on a cultural memory of mankind that is basically schizophrenic. On the one hand there is the animal as a lower species: bred, used, consumed, eaten, trained and killed, on the other side there stands an icon: friend, protector, savior, giver of consolation, symbol, dream image, alter ego.
What fascinates me about these seemingly irreconcilable extremes as an artist and philosopher is what humans reveal about themselves when dealing with animals, especially about how they relate to themselves and to the people around them. The animal as a victim of power, discipline, optimization and a from a psychological point of view erratic fear-love, is an artistically inexhaustible source for me, because in all its shapes, types of movement and anthropologically charged meanings I find image models that reflect human suffering - above all the suffer from ourselves - in a visual, that is, sensual language. The picture goes deeper than the word. The whole universe of domination, inequality, foreignness, physical and mental domestication and even exploitation finds its place in it.
At the same time - as I said, the matter is schizophrenic - depictions of the animal and the often mythologically steeped ideas about its nature represent beauty, strength and spirituality. Animal beings have become our spiritual companions, guides and protective symbols. We seek their closeness and affection.
This culturally rooted ambivalence of humans, which is reflected in their relationships with animals, I use in my works as mirror elements for the relationship between people and others, as well as my relationship to myself.
Painting above: Fliehendes Vieh - coal, shellac, oil on canvas, 150 x 110cm, 2021
Wounds are an inspiration in my artistic work. When a wound has been teared, it has to be cared for, healed, there is scab that falls off, and then again scabs that create new skin, which falls off again, etc. To work on my paintings is very similar: I build surfaces and strike in it wounds, form shapes and injure them with solvents or mechanical interventions. In this way, from the areas that have been applied and removed on the canvases situations gradually emerge, which for me are scarred landscapes. What is still there at the end has survived, what is not, has at least left traces when it disappeared.
Painting left: Grübeltier - shellac, coal shavings, beton on canvas, 30 x 30cm, 2020
Gender and sexual identity
The human body as the carrier of socio-cultural codes which serves to classify and evaluate every individual in society is both a source of inspiration and a principle to be overcome in my artistic work. The body is a socio-political object, a place of standardization and normalization. For women and people of so-called non-heteronormative sexual orientation in particular, the question of their own bodies as a necessary instrument for establishing identity has been and is problematic since mankind. For the media generation of the 21st century with its communication technologies based primarily on visuality and intimacy, this fact is of even greater importance.
Against this background, my works aim to simultaneously call up and counter the categories of modernity based on the biological-anatomical as well as the Gender body. The “protagonists” of my works shall oppose any classic model, refuse any canon of anatomical aesthetics and measurement. Instead, they develop their very own physiology, which seems to come from an extra-terrestrial world. In fact, it is a world that is very seriously linked to the life and experience of me myself. I dress the autobiographical components in a vagabonding, colorful imagination in order to condense supra-individual questions of contemporary life.
Where I extend the deconstruction of gender, body and identity categories by including animals, mythical creatures and chimeras, I tie in with ancient ideas of body and soul and their timeless metaphors. The hybrid creatures and companionships of different species that arise from this follow aesthetics beyond anthropocentric conventions and stir the question of their legitimation. What begins as a confrontation with distorted, overstretched, fragmented, sometimes absurd body shapes and poses leads behind the facade of the cultivated human and domesticated animal entity and in this way to the fundamental question of naturalness, beauty, yes, reality.