Author Archives: Silvia Zandomenenghi

Artist spotlight: Matthias Geisler

“I consider myself an observer with alchemical tendencies”

Matthias Geisler has long been watching the versatility of the digital world with fascination. He works with the interaction between graphics and digital media. He wants to discover the archetypal surface that hides behind an image and make it visible. He selects and extracts the digital images that captivate him and transforms the incomprehensible as an abstract entity into intricate images or re-creates it as poetic impressions and figures.

Through the process of analyzing, modifying and deforming, the results are complex drawings in which subjective visions of reality are revealed. His daily experiences are condensed into the final outcome. He says, “The surfaces of the digital world raise in me the question of how order and chaos are determined.”

Sometimes he simulates the typical loop of digital space to repeatedly draw images with seemingly imperceptible differences. As in the serie called Krater: these are graphite drawings of images taken by NASA and ESA space probes. They are patterns with the different layers of repetition, structure and quality in which he examines the complexity of the space. Currently a source of inspiration are the pictures of the space by the German photographer Thomas Ruff in which he also reinterprets the digital images.

In addition to the spatial dimension, Matthias is fascinated by caves. Both are silent places that invite reflection on the meaning of existence. He draws his caves as mystical places. Starting from a figurative idea, he then follows their rhythm until he breaks away from reality. They are deliberate reminiscences of digital, electronically generated images. In the series of drawings Pause the cave reveals itself in the geometric and symmetric surfaces.

This work of research and transformation is associated with literal reflections. Each year he fills one notebook with interesting combinations of reasoned texts and drawings or quick sketches. Sometimes they are poetic compositions, ironic comics or long poems.

Matthias’s education started with the study of naturalistic design. He then he left it to find his own personal language closer to his interior world. When he draws, he starts with decorative lines or fluid forms. From abstract, figures and stories emerge.

He has a similar approach when creating his videos. From digital textures that form psychedelic and otherworldly environments, he tells stories of men who discover imaginary places and create human relationships. It is as if one of his drawings of an imaginative parallel world have come to life in his most recent short film.

Matthias says, “The digital is a non-place, a space without any dimension. Distance and time play no role, just like in the inner world, introspection or better said, the world of inner occupation. Man is still free in thought.”

The constant oscillation between understanding, searching as studying and creating is an expression of intent to discover mythical and mystical aspects of reality.

Written by Silvia Zandomeneghi


HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
performances by:
Darien Crossley
Adam Tuch
Tom Austin


open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9


Artist Spotlight: Darien Crossley

Drawing is like therapy for Darien Crossley. She expresses herself through pen and ink. With her meticulous technique she patiently draws dense lines. She gives shape to outlandish figures with abstract features. They are mainly feminine, and Darien focuses on their distorted features: sometimes they are not fully formed, they lack bodyparts or have too many. Bodyparts separate or unite. Bodies that stretch and expand.

“I focus on the emotions I feel, on the physical presence in my body and I try to express them”.

Drawing is a meditative practice. The viewer can feel this introspective aspect, equally identifying themselves with the illustration and making them their own. Everyone has a dark side, and as Darien says, “I hope the spectators can benefit from my drawings and understand that they are not alone”.

Her drawings have the simplicity and lightness of cartoons, but mysterious at the same time. The darkness appears in her dreams. Sometimes her subconscious is expressed in the most absurd ways, and this is another source of inspiration for her stories. Initially she was keeping an illustrated dream journal. Later she experimented with other media.

After using watercolors she returned to black and white for her latest work called ‘Good Spirits’.Darien is fascinated by the idea of the presence of ancient spirits around us. Good spirits that make our existence on earth magical and more interesting. She is of the opinion that although we do not know how to interact with spirtis, they must be respected.

To find a better understanding of Darien’s work we might need to look at the contemporary Japanese performance Butoh. Darien explains, “Living in Asheville, a little town in North Carolina which is a quite conservative state, I learned that there are very few Butoh instructors in America. And one was teaching in a studio two doors over from were I was working!”

Thanks to the coincidence, Darien’s art work closely connects with the Japanese culture. The restlessness, the strangeness, the focus on the naked bodies can all be found in this mixture of dance, theatre and improvisation. Like Butoh her art work can be defined in many ways: physical, spiritual, cathartic, liberating.

Currently at Pilotenkuche, Darien is working on a sort of personal diary, similar to comics. In one of her drawings deals with the feeling of being outside of a social group and suddently sinking into a thousand layers. There is always the balance between comic and darkness, almost oscillating between the two sides of the being. How will it be interpreted by observers? Which side of theor existence will it emphasise?

It is a continuous investigation of herself and her body. Darien is also a tattoo artist and her figures are engraved on her skin as a clear symbol of identification. But there is another unexpected side to Darien. she also works as a songwriter. She plays different instruments and accompanies them with a delicate voice. Melancholy is likely to be read through the lyrics and the notes of her electronic folk music. She will be performing at the Grateful Park vernissage on 20 September.

written by Silvia Zandomeneghi

https://soundcloud.com/nightmarketofspirits/golden-hammer

HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
performances by:
Darien Crossley
Adam Tuch
Tom Austin


open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9

Artist spotlight: Clement Bedel

French artist Clement Bedel transports us into an oneiric space and time. He does it through the vivid realism of his enormous painted canvases. The environments, in which spectators feel immersed, oscillate between the real and the fantastic.

The world he represents is a sort of hybrid. These places invites us to reflect on the direction the earth is going: from the indifference to war refugees, to the carelessness towards the overconsumption, the environmental disasters and the consequent climate change.

Clement began his artistic career making videos and installations. Only in recent years, after moving to Serbia, he began to paint. His interest was born with the admiration for Max Ernst’s surrealism.

As in a dream in which we can’t run, his figures seem trapped in a melancholy context. He explained: “The occupants of these landscapes are, in their German romantic passivity, the recipient of the Weltschmertz, the word used to express the feeling of one carrying on himself the weight of the world”. The figures are often lonely; they are impersonal, faceless and could be identified with anyone.

The architecture he paints does not have a logical, structural sense. The environments are upside down and also work if we look at the painting in reverse. The water gushes from undefined sides and it is not clear where we are. There is not a central point of attention, but our gaze runs from one side to the other because of the peculiar perspective.

For the series of paintings he started visiting and taking pictures of abandoned factories. From this material he developed his imagination in compositions of various elements. Today he is excited about working in the space of Pilotenkueche, which was also a factory in the past.

His first painting was darker and gloomy, people were dying. While the last series called Shimmering through reality is more ironic and cynical, there are bright, strong colors and fluid movements, as in the painting with the multicolor swirl symbolize the amount of plastic in the ocean.

The abundance of nature is the personification of light in constant fight with destruction. The nature in his paintings is the metaphor of an anchor of survival. Will the human be able to take care of its precious resources?

Clement does not want to do something dramatic or depressing; this is not a dystopian view of the world. It is certainly the end of an era, but with nature constantly reborn. Nature remains alive as well as human constructions: he considered both strong elements.

This project of painting is constantly evolving and changing according to what he sees and the news he is reading. In his new series, started at Pilotenkueche, he paints the new symbolic element of the agave: it grows strong and resistant without the need for excessive water and invests all the energy in its flower, but after two months it dies. This flower is the metaphor of the point where humanity arrived today. We have grown very quickly, taking all nature’s energy, but we are running out of resources. We are destroying what gives us life.

written by Silvia Zandomeneghi


See Clement’s work in the upcoming exhibitions

HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9


Artist spotlight: Zheng Wenxin

Zheng Wenxin’s work is comparable to an archaeologist who rediscovers, documents and studies the moments shared by her friends on social media. The action of painting is useful for her to interpret and convey the feelings she has with the virtual space: too flat and vast. In fact, this ‘reality’ very often gives us a wrong and hasty perception, a lot of information is veiled or completely obscured.

She transfers the rapid flow of events on scroll with an abstract style as if to capture that moment. Her long carpet of colors is a concentration of emotions perhaps already forgotten by those who have made them public on the Chinese platform WeChat.

She has always focused on the psychology of the individual throughout the years of her artistic practice. What interests her today is the extraordinary speed with which technology in China is growing from year to year. The quantity of images available to us has made this instrument the new source of inspiration; as she says: “This is another kind of painting still life”. This is the contemporaneity that she is living and she is conscious that all this can change within a few years.

The artist chooses one single day, takes only the date and place of the post and paints everything she sees without preferences: most of the photos she encounters are selfies. And it is through this randomness that she realizes the labile distinction between what is private and public in the life of her friends. Sometimes the images she paints are very intimate scenes of the individual. On the artist’s part there is a suspension of judgment. She does not deliver a criticism but a desire to restore that tension between what we see and what we think we see.

Her brushstrokes do not want to faithfully represent all she sees; it is almost impossible for the viewers to reconstruct a direct connection with the photos or to trace the source because she only captures the sensations, the words, the perception of the colors. The figures in the paintings look like silhouettes. They are distorted. They are like masks.

It is a combination of fields of colors and geometric lines, almost cubist, that create a continuous flow. This is effective for returning the typical noise and fragments of social media. The two-dimensionality is also an aspect that she takes back from the mobile screen, and for this paradoxically she can be considered a realistic artist. The titles of her art work, which are coordinates of the place where the posts are published, can be cryptically a key to enter works.

The pictorial composition is a set of images apparently disconnected but must be grasped as a film of confused memories, like a dreamlike video of images.

With the Pilotenkueche project she has adopted – not only the scroll – but also a new experiment in materials: a series of small square alluminum plates portraying the rapid life stories.

The difficult challenge for Zheng Wenxin is to transmit these new social relationships with the ‘old’ artistic medium of painting.

written by Silvia Zandomeneghi


See Wenxin’s work in the upcoming exhibitions

HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9