Author Archives: María Valcarcel Maceira

Artist spotlight: José Sarmiento

Affection, tension and violence are the dramatic narratives in which José Sarmiento’s paintings capture the viewer. Just as in his work, so do in his life, extremes converge and coexist: in the works of this positive and calm but ambitious person every hint of tranquility disappears.

Being a painter was not an aware decision. Our Colombian artist is drawn to painting and its communication abilities: a communication cut-off from the verbal.

“You don’t think with words, but through painting. It is another way of thinking, deepest; based on the materials and the body”.

According to Sarmiento, there is a space between what you expect to do, and how you redirect it into action, over which you have no control. “Between these two phases there is a huge space, that of direction and loss”. In this way, there is a meeting of the conscious with the unconscious.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Between passion and calmness, the constant in José is creativity. Being a confluence of diverse facets and states himself, his artistic work is the result of the infinite artistic concerns that nourish his vision. Within his painting he brings an insightful and intelligent perspective, suggestive connections between literature and cinema, and a contagious enthusiasm that leads him to declare “how chévere art is”. His painting is a clash of all disciplines he loves: he thinks of his projects as a narrative. He takes a moment of an event and expresses it in the purest Baroque style.

There is a strong presence of homosexuality. His works show two bodies longing for devouring oneself affectionately. It exposes the blurred boundaries of the body during sex, showing the animal part of the male body. In its outline there is room for biographical and fantastic. The fantasy of homosexuality, due its historical existence as something forbidden and hidden, José sees as something magical.

The rise to imagination is given. Before and after is the receptor’s choice. To get to this point, he recollects images firstly. He chooses the materials that best fit and starts working on it, with pastel colors and transparency paper being his favorites. His artistic process is based on contemplation, thinking, and subsequent execution. Even so, he is inspired by rapid processes; José does not give opportunity to boredom.

In Cain, Abel, one of his exhibitions, he was showing a confrontation of opposites: works of different resources in perfect connection. In it, he set up a discourse based on differences. Something like the artist’s own metaphor.

One of his greatest inspirations is the German choreographer Pina Bausch, one of the pioneers of dance theater. The idea of ​​repetition and liberation of the movement seduced José. But above all, the philosophy that Bausch safeguards: the constancy that leads to ease. That hypothetical spontaneity of the dance, in the words of Sarmiento, is due to the continuous repetition and its poetic truth.

He was dazzled by Germany’s pictorial history, both expressionism and contemporary painting. From Leipzig and Pilotenkueche he hopes to learn from everybody in the residency and to be nourished by the external artistic process. From himself José expects to generate empathy with the public and transmit his inner message through that particular communication: painting.

Written by María Valcárcel

Come and see Jose’s works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany

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En José Sarmiento conversan y conviven los extremos: la persona, positiva y tranquila pero ambiciosa, quiebra en una quieta armonía la obra, donde todo atisbo de tranquilidad desaparece. La narración drámatica en su pintura capta al espectador a través del afecto, la tensión y la violencia.  

Ser pintor no fue una decisión consciente; simplemente empezó a hacerlo y se convirtió en su medio predilecto de expresión. Nuestro artista colombiano se siente atraído por la pintura y sus capacidades comunicativas: una comunicación alejada de lo verbal. “No piensas con las palabras, piensas a través de la pintura, es otra forma de pensamiento más profunda; a partir de los materiales y del cuerpo”. Según Sarmiento, hay un espacio entre lo que esperas hacer (las expectativas), y en cómo las rediriges al movimiento, sobre el que no tienes control. “Entre estas dos fases hay un espacio enorme, el de dirección y pérdida”. De esta forma, hay un encuentro de lo consciente con lo inconsciente.

Entre la pasión y la calma, la constante en José es la creatividad. Siendo él mismo la confluencia de diversas facetas y estados, su obra artística es el resultado de las infinitas inquietudes artísticas que nutren su visión. Con su pintura aporta una mirada perspicaz e inteligencia, sugestivas conexiones entre literatura, cine y pintura, y un contagioso entusiasmo que le lleva a declarar “lo chévere que es el arte”. Su pintura es el choque de todas las disciplinas que ama: piensa en sus proyectos como una narración, coge un momento, un encuentro y lo plasma al más puro estilo barroco. Hay una fuerte presencia de la sexualidad y la homosexualidad. Por lo general muestra dos cuerpos donde hay un anhelo por devorarse afectivamente. Muestra los límites difuminados del cuerpo durante el sexo, mostrando la parte animal del cuerpo masculino. En su trazo hay cabida para lo biográfico y lo fantástico. La fantasía de la homosexualidad,  por su histórica relación con lo prohibido, lo oculto, para él volcado en la magia.

Mientras los espectadores salivan por conocer el final de la historia, José toma un único extracto de su narración interna para dar pie a la imaginación. El antes y el después es a elección del consumidor. Para llegar a este punto, recolecta imágenes. A partir de ellas escoge los materiales que mejor se ajusten y empieza a trabajar sobre ello, siendo los colores pasteles y el papel de transparencia sus favoritos. Su proceso artístico se basa en la contemplación, en el pensamiento, y posterior ejecución.  Aún así, le inspiran los procesos rápidos; José no da oportunidad al aburrimiento.

Caín, Abel, fue una de sus 4 solo exhibition. Ésta fue la confrontación de los opuestos: obras de diferentes recursos en perfecta conexión. En ella, configuró un discurso a partir de la diferencia. Algo así como la propia metáfora del artista.

Una de sus mayores inspiraciones es la alemana Pina Bauch, una de las pioneras de la danza teatro. La idea de repetición y liberación del movimiento sedujo a José. Pero sobre todo, la filosofía que salvaguarda Bauch: la constancia que lleva a la soltura. Esa hipotética espontaneidad de la danza, en palabras de Sarmiento, se debe a la continua repetición y a su verdad poética.

De Alemania le encandiló su historia pictórica, tanto el expresionismo como los pintores contemporáneos. De Leipzig y de Pilotenkueche espera aprender de las personas que residen con él, tener otras perspectivas y nutrirse del proceso artístico externo. De sí mismo, busca generar empatía con el público y transmitir su mensaje interior a partir de esa comunicación tan particular: la pintura.

Written by María Valcárcel

Artist spotlight: Henrike Pilz

Henrike struggled not to be an artist. As a daughter of a woman painter, she was aware of the problems of being a woman artist. Studying history was a compromise, and it did not make her happy. Finally, this German made up her mind to become what her body asked for. Her artist career commenced with realistic painting, which she finds as a “pure imitation, a matter of practice, you don’t need to think”. As this became insufficient, she researched the historical movements and aesthetics to discover her own voice.

Painting in her life is an impulsive act and way to clear out her thoughts. When in act, she enters into a trance where thinking becomes easier. Henrike is inspired with the pictorial process itself where she thinks not only with her hands, but where her artwork is also intuitive.

Cy Trombly, Joseph Beuys, Silvia Baechli, Marcel Duchamp; the main sources of influence for Henrike Pilz are evident when looking at her work. She is attracted to art concepts and changing state of mind through art; primarily her own and hopefully awareness of the public. Not far away from working led by intuition, Pilz wants her vision to stay focused on the concept.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Ever since she was a child, her mind was full of ideas and questions. Finally, the grown up child took the path of the research, providing a way for the curiosity to be shared. One of her purpose is to make art for the society as a place for empathy.

When the idea comes, Henrike feels that something is sprouting within her. The only way of inspiration is having time for herself. In a Pollock-style, Pilz takes the ground as her canvas and blends the colors from different color cans which are her primary tools. Whilst she uses this instrument to display her interior world, the whole process is developed in a slow way of repetitive looking and painting. The main tool is the can, the second is the paint brush reserved for the details. The constant in this process is the frankness and clarity.

The artist is not working only in this medium. In 2016 a documentary movie “XXS – decompose, a strategy”, made by Henrike and her team, was released. It was about the DDR- System. The country, the socialism east Germany in times of the iron curtain. The movie was based on interviews with four people talking about their personal lives.

Contrary to the institutional idea of having idols instead of artists, the real success for Henrike is to develop herself through art, to be comfortable with herself and have a peaceful mind. Impressing and inspiring people with her abstract paintings would be yet another success.

Written by María Valcárcel

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Come and see Henrike’s works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Performances: from 20h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany

Artist spotlight: Eliana Jacobs

Passing behind the translucent curtains, we enter in Eliana’s studio. The curtains mimic what is taking shape behind them: this place condenses Eliana’s thoughts. In the words of Virgina Woolf in “A Room of One’s Own”, Eliana takes the room for her own fruitful place of creation. Subtlety, calmness and awareness; these are the constants in her vision. However, her peace is intermingled with one of the unknown passions. Secretly being a metalhead, she admits that there are ironic connections to her reflective and contemplative art.

Belonging to a Jewish family, she went to a course focused on traditional Jewish art where she discovered papercutting. This practice became part of her work due to its meditative and tactile qualities. Since then, she has used this technique as a manner of appreciation of the Jewish culture, her own history and as a tool for self-examination.

The grandchild of three Holocaust survivors and the great-grandchild of victims murdered by the Nazis, Eliana has decided to research the Holocaust for her artwork. She has grown up experiencing the inter-generational effects of this historical trauma.

The project that she is doing in Pilotenkueche is called Re-Emergence. It examines the re-growth of plants on the sites of former concentration camps. This project incorporates research about the histories, constructions, and locations of the camps, in addition to contemporary protocols for the preservation of the sites. With the research she will produce a series of papercut-collages inspired by her findings. Among the layers of meaning of this project, she asks the question:

How can we allow plants, forest, and natural landscape reclaim their territories whilst not letting them conceal the atrocities that occurred on that same land?

All photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Eliana is a very multi-faceted individual with a thirst for a complete experience. This lead her to, among other things, gymnastics. Not being a tough competitive person, she decided to give up on gymnastics lessons and find another love- the circus. She finds circus a perfect platform for artistic self-exploration and analysis of the movement and body. Her purpose in development is to incorporate the circus with the rest of her art practices.

Eliana’s path to art was somehow a parental influence. As a 2-year-old, her mother introduced her to art of Monet. Later she would listen to Bach with her father. As an art history graduate, accumulated knowledge and interest in Medieval art, Baroque, Impressionism would later influence her practice.

Whilst conversing with Beau Dick [a Kwakwaka’wakw (North-West Coast Indigenous) hereditary chief and artist] about relevance of language, and its relationship with culture, she was asked, “And you, do you speak your language?” This was the moment she realized that her inability to speak Yiddish distanced her from her own culture. Soon after, she began creating research-based art about her family and Jewish history.

Eliana defends art as a irrefutable educative instrument, where old knowledge is unlearned, and new intertwined. This artist devotes a lot of time in her day to thought. In her universe between the curtains, every little detail has its reason to be. Her method of working is based on repeated reflection and contemplation. Rather than giving answers, she poses questions to the viewer. These questions are not to be answered necessarily, but considered. Dialogue, contact, spreading tolerance and cultural diversity are some of her own personal answers, at least.

Currently, she is collaborating on a music project with Ben Osborn (Jewish, UK based in Berlin). With his electronic music background and her classically trained voice, they are reinterpreting traditional Yiddish songs into the contemporary. We are pleased to have them perform at the vernissage of Unfinished Hase, 15 February at Alte Handelsschule.

In Leipzig in general and in Pilotenkueche in particular, Eliana is eager to keep the research alive and open, with the aim to get closer to understanding present occurrences, and keep finding out who she is.

And you, would you also like to see through the curtain?

Written by María Valcárcel


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Come experience Eliana’s performance and other works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Performances: from 20h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany