Tag Archives: Painting

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


Hungry Dungeon Friends Curatorial Tour

First and foremost, we’d like to thank everyone who packed the house for our Hungry Dungeon Friends vernissage at Kunstkraftwerk. The evening was one that still has people thinking nearly a week after. For those who missed it, the show is on until Sunday 1 September.

This Saturday at 3PM, our curator in residence, Colette Patterson will be giving a tour. Come find out what is behind the high quality works created by our International artists. We will also be gifted with a performance by Tom Austin.

Meanwhile, here are some images from the install and the vernissage shot by Stanley Louis, one of this round’s interns.

Hungry exchanges are often communicated through the affective fields of our bodies. The body-organism is linked to the world through a network of primal signifiers. An underworld of currents, there are some conversations that can only take place on the borders, on the edge of ourselves, of our contact with the other. The exhibition tries to circulate these borders, these textures, these interiorities, that are viscous, unformed, multiple and many times. We morph between states of consciousness, mapping unknown desires. This exhibition is the interim show of the Pilotenkeuche residents, and explores the possibility to traverse these spaces, inviting a tactile sensibility, and begs to ask what happens in a dungeon with friends? 

text by curator Colette Patterson


Hungry Dungeon Friends

Saturday 24 August
Curatorial Tour by Colette Patterson
performance by 
Tom Alexander Austin

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


PK RD40 

International residents

Adam Tuch (sound, digital art, installation/US)
Agathe Barre (film/FR) 
Antonia Wetzel (performance, painting/DE)
Ariel Taylor (painting/US)
Clément Bedel (painting/FR) 
Christopher Sperandio (comics/US) 
Darien Crossley (performance, painting/US)
Helene Planquelle (painting, drawing/FR)
Isaac Magner (sound design, video/UK) 
Michella Perera (sculpture/UK)
Tom Alexander Austin (performance/UK)
Vernon O´Meally (painting/US)
Zara June Williams (painting/AU)
Zheng Wenxin (painting/CH)

Local Participants
Matthias Geisler (painting, printmaking/DE) 
Simon Schäfer (sculpture, film, sound, installation, digital/DE)

Curator
Colette Patterson (UK)

Assistants
Fiona Irene Graf (DE/UK) 
Huai-ya Lin (TW) 
Silvia Zandomeneghi (IT)
milkafterfish (instagram)
Stanley Louis (HA/FR) 
iam_stanlouis (instagram)– 

Artist Spotlight: Antonia Wetzel

Antonia Wetzel is a storyteller. The floor of her Pilotenkueche studio is covered with huge sheets of paper, and each of them bears a narrative. Some of them are written statements with bold, black letters covering a whole page, while the others are mainly large scale comics. Although they are all separate and conclusive in themselves, as a whole they build a cohesive braiding of sentiments and stories. 

‘Comics are a way for me to bring the most important information of a whole storyline into just one painting’, Antonia says. Constantly adding new paintings to the paper stacks, she has created an ever expanding sketchbook on concrete floor. The existing parts being perpetually and haphazardly juxtaposed with more recent material, and thus constantly gain new meaning.

‘Sexuality plays a huge role in each of my works –  and obviously shame’, Antonia explains. This involvement with sexuality and shame is almost abidingly present throughout her practice: Often based on Antonia’s own experience, her works exhibit situations associated with the emergence of shame and the feeling of being exposed in a sexual context. The chosen role as the exhibitionist is a liberating one, offering the protagonists the opportunity to escape vulnerability and to retrieve their dignity through regaining a position of power. 

There is an aggression in the act of the unmasking, a brutality in the bluntness of her words, yet there is wit. One of the paintings on the floor depicts the artist as an old woman in a chair, holding a young man in her lap. Both of them are naked. It is Antonia’s cynical answer to the sexist lifestyle promoted in many of Charles Bukowski’s pieces. The artist’s humorous approach makes the said appear even more incisive, simultaneously it acts as a medicine soothing the wounds of both beholder and originator.


For the Pilotenkueche exhibition at Kunstkraftwerk, Antonia embraces a new medium: performance. Her interactive piece, ‘Fuck an Artist’. urges the spectator to actively engage with the theme through writing their fantasies on postcards inscribed with the question ‘What do you want to do to me?’. These will then be put in a glass box, exposed to everyone. The content of the notes will eventually be reflected upon in a performance by the artist herself, who will be present during the entire process. Deliberately objectivising herself whilst maintaining ascendancy through the exposure of her subject, she generates an ambiguous mechanism, a power dynamic run by mutual dependence. 

As part of the exhibition, Antonia will also hand out ‘Hurenpaesse’ to visitors. ‘Whore passports’ are issued to sex workers by the German government. They are a crass example of the stigmatisation sex workers have to face in a hypocritical system that protects the industry’s customers, but leaves the providers exposed. The passports will feature a real phone number which can be used to make an appointment with the artist. 

‘I can get away with calling it art, but a real sex worker does not have the same freedom. In this space of it being a performance and me being an artist I can sell sex if I want to, but a real sex worker will face a lot more difficulties and that is the point I want to make. Certain people get a lot of freedom because of the circles they are living in and in what context they are doing things, and then others live other stigmas and labels and don’t have the same freedom.’

There are many myths evolving around sex work, though the narratives have largely been woven by men. With contemporary society stagnating on a platform of ‘acceptable disparity’ whilst cherishing the illusion of gender equality, Antonia’s work is now as relevant as ever.

written by Fiona Irene Graf


See Antonia’s work in the upcoming exhibitions

HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

Performances: 
Isaac Magner and Agathe Barre
Antonia Wetzel
Tom Austin 
Simon Schäfer

Saturday 24 August
Performances: 
Isaac Magner and Agathe Barre
Antonia Wetzel
Tom Austin 

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: Jos Diegel

Jos Diegel is an artist of many facets. Interested in art as a catalyst for social change, he has immersed himself in different worlds with this very ethos as a binding thread. Through the years of his artistic practice since graduating from the University of Art and Design in Offenbach, where he focused on painting and film, he has honed in on his artistic and intellectual pursuits to create a rounded out practice all his own. At the core of his work stands a spirit of art and creation as an act of freedom and as a tool for resistance. He actualizes this philosophy through his own personal practice as well as several collaborative as well as educational efforts.

All of these efforts combine, although very different on the surface, to become a sort of signature style and workflow for Jos. His filming process is much like his approach to painting and community-oriented workshops – go with the flow and open as many boundaries as possible. By working with people from different disciplines Jos opens himself up to connecting perspectives and collaborating with a healthy dose of spontaneity and chance. As he succinctly and cheekily puts it – ‘I am not the best at anything, but I am the best at what I do’. In many way this is the self-empowering nature of Jos’ practice. Give people the tools and space for creating and they will create, ideally to the best of their ability.

By working in this mindset he takes his interest in film beyond filming shorts, documentaries and feature length narratives into a world of distortion and manipulation by playing with materials and process. In continuing his curiosity for film into more experimental realms Jos found himself playing with 35mm film by scratching and painting directly onto meters of film. This playful process turned into travelling for and organizing workshops in which participants engage in the same playful distortion. They find scenes, change them, recontextualize, add elements with paint and marker or scratch emulsion away with etching needles and other tools. The practice lends itself to play and experimentation and when spliced together and screened (ideally on a big screen in a theatre) it takes on a life of its own. Participants see their work linked to not only other participants but to major Hollywood production companies, old film strips found at flea markets or whatever random film strip is pulled from Jos’ bag of tricks on that particular day. In this way, the work becomes bigger than an individual person manipulating a few seconds of film. It becomes a group of people playfully subverting the normative ideals so often imposed on us by mainstream media and advertising. It becomes a new connection to past pop culture. It becomes a small yet powerful act of playful rebellion.

This idea is also carried through into Jos’ painting practice. While he paints and layers with color and texture in what he calls his solo practice, his current focus – and something we can look forward to in Pilotenkueche’s upcoming final exhibition – is overpainting on old landscape and portrait paintings found at flea markets. Although a completely different and equally vital part of Jos’ aesthetic, these two areas of interest and practice become inextricably linked. Not because they merely sprout from the same artist’s mind but because they share practical and theoretical elements while keeping a unique sense of process and style. They inform one another in a web of connection.

While Jos continues to expand his breadth of practice and interest in the function of society and the artist’s role in it, he will, undoubtedly, take us along for the ride. This inclusion of people from all walks of life and ages is a beautiful testament to how far his own work can reach and the people that it will speak to. We need only be present for a connection to emerge.

written by: Adrian Rötzscher

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Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

Artist Spotlight: Dominga Vergara

“Content is to be dissolved so completely into form that the work of art cannot be reduced to anything not itself.” — Clement Greenberg, Towards A Newer Laocoon,  1940

In his famous essay Towards A Newer Laocoon (1940), Clement Greenberg theorised that the arts have historically undergone periodic cycles of imitation. The dominant art of any given moment, he said, becomes the prototype for all over medias. Each art form then goes through a process of incorporating one or more of its elements into oneself. According to Greenberg, the visual arts imitated at first the narrative structures of literature and poetry, and then the lyricism of symphonies. Instead, he advocated for a ‘purity’ and ‘separation’ of the arts. Painting, he said, should embrace its formal and intrinsic qualities. If the specificity of painting lies simply in the application of paint on canvas, then there was only one conceivable solution; pure abstraction.

Greenberg’s thoughts stand no better relevance than today. From the 1960’s ‘Multi-media’ emerged as an entirely new art form in itself, incorporating the likes of video, theater, design and music.  The fallibility of the human hand long since been exposed by the advent of Photographic realism. With the continued development of new medias and immersive technologies, the visual arts have took on a whole new dimension. Perhaps reverting back to the ‘purity’ of abstraction is exactly what is needed.

Although the golden era of abstract art has long since surpassed, it’s made a big comeback in recent years. Chilean artist Dominga Vergara is one of the artists making that happen She creates large format paintings on canvas using acrylic and oil chalk, occasionally employing tools to chisel into the surface to create dimensional layering.  Her paintings bear no witness to objective reality, instead referencing primary elements of form, colour and line. Her work translates the inner world of her unconscious into complex abstract forms.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Beginning with only an idea of a colour palette in mind, she starts to construct a basic skeleton of lines. Shapes begin to emerge from the canvas through a series of spontaneous gestures. But while some brush strokes are rough and expressive, others necessitate purified geometry and mathematical precision. “Chaos and control exist in equilibrium”, she beautifully puts it. Layers are slowly built up until finally she reaches a compositional balance and she knows when to stop.

Dominga was born in Chile in 1984. She attained an art degree at the University Finis Terra and later became an art professor at the Universidad del Desarrollo. After moving to Berlin in 2015, she exhibited ‘Das Mikro Makro Leben’ at the Berlin Chilean embassy, and collaborated on the project ‘Go Girl’ during Berlin Fashion week 2017.  Soon after, she was invited to represent Chile as part of a collective of South-American artists at ArtNord; one of the most foremost contemporary art fairs in Europe. Like much of her work which forges a visual dialogue with her surroundings, she tells me that the paintings she produced in Berlin reflected the movement and dynamism of the city.

She’s currently in residence at Pilolentuche in Leipzig. For the group’s ongoing exhibition at Kunskraftwerk, Dominga created a wapping four meter long painting in her signature style. In the basement of the old industrial power plant, Dominga wanted to forge a dialogue between her work and the space. Wrapping one side of the work around a rusted metal cylinder, the other was suspended by transparent fish wire. The resulting effect seemed as though part of the painting was floating in mid air. For her next project, which will be exhibited at the group’s final show, Dominga wants to paint onto an old map acquired from a flea market earlier in the residency. She is also working on two large format canvases. We’re excited to see what she brings to the table.

Written by: Ellisha Walkden

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You can see Dominga’s work in the following Pilotenkueche International Art Program shows:

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

Artist Spotlight: Roman Bicek

“Change yourself.  You see the hypocrisy of trying to change another person.”  Roman prefers to draw attention to an issue, rather than make a statement that can be from an egotistical or self-centred position.  He works with humour and cynicism, not with a mission of political statement.  He likes to keep the viewer on edge, and draw attention to the materials of the object or image made.

By collecting images and text, he builds on layers of meaning.  There is a certain sense of immediacy in the way the work is put together, with his mark making reduced to the few strokes of the material he has chosen and with all the layers evident.  “I’m not gonna make more marks if I don’t think it necessary because my uncertainty would show if I don’t know what to do next”.  Every mark and image has purpose and is carefully considered or edited out, yet there is a sense of spontaneity and play with chance in the drawings and paintings Roman produces.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Punk and Alternative culture influenced his youth.  After years in Bratislava, his family moved to England where Roman spent his preteen years skateboarding and listening to the aggressive music of the 80s and 90s.  Having to take time learning English, he got into comics and illustrations.  Visual language started to gain importance, as his free expression through a new language was limited.  Both the influences and the need for expression kept a raw energy to what he put down.  He explains that with painting he wants to be true, to have it unrefined, and have the viewer sense and see the materials as they are.  

Not enough painters ask themselves why they paint or why they choose the medium.  Roman has witnessed waves of painters in the scene come and go, and recognises painting as a problematic material that needs to be challenged by the artist.  The notion of painting as a dead art form has been in conversation for years and as much as Roman sees the limitations of what he is doing, there is a pure necessity to continue doing it.  It has come to the point that art making is therapeutic in many ways, and if he doesn’t do it he feels a great urge to do it.  

Whether he exhibits or not, he continues to choose to struggle and compete with himself and the medium.  Not everything he makes will be exhibited or shown to the public, but the motivation to continue creating comes from a personal need to continue doing it.  He constantly keeps multiple works he develops at the same time, which helps convey the thought with more content.  He dissects images he comes across and thinks of ways to put them together that changes the connotations which may not be very rational at first but builds up to create new meanings.  He consistently challenges his own views and tests them through this on-going process.

Interacting with people he wouldn’t normally get a chance to, and seeing their motivations and passions play out in the open format studio setting of Pilotenkueche has been a humbling experience for him. Being exposed to other artists with different backgrounds, ideologies and experiences in the residency has enriched the quality of his time here in Leipzig. After the residency, Roman will be again immersed in having to work and continue his projects with artist run spaces and collectives he is involved with.  Hence, knowing his time will be precious, he relishes in the time to focus on himself and his work for the remaining weeks here.  

written by mihyun maria kim

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Unfinished Hase

15 Feb – 23 Feb 2019
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: Ludmila Hrachovinova

“Everything results from something in the past, not coming from nowhere, but rather from something familiar and approachable…” Ludmila talks about the source of her inspiration as something that reminds her of something else past.  A scent, an object, a moment, a certain movement- all of these can trigger her curiosity that leads to a vocabulary of shapes, colours, lines and textures in her drawings and paintings.

The colour palette is always taken from the colours of the reality around her.  Ludmila selects her colours carefully through experimenting with mood boards and sketches before working on larger scale pieces.  She finds it satisfying when she works with the contrasts between vivid colour and that which is blurred.  The varied areas of focus in her work is chosen intuitively, and the aesthetics are a result of her emotions and something in the subconscious that is unintentionally triggered by something around her.

Micro-perspective, human bones, bending of nature, continuation like plants growing, transmission into something else, evolution of things, shapes, corners, tubes, joints, places that bend where two parts connect or come together, all refer back to the body.  She likes the tactile qualities of the materials she draws and paints with.  By pushing, smudging, rubbing, digging, mixing, she tests the limits of expression by the materials to their fullest.

When displaying her paintings and drawings she wants the viewer to have a moment of encounter.  Her paintings are of feelings, of personal experience, and she wants the audience to have a personal experience with her works. The discovery is encouraged by the way she places the works off the wall, either hanging from the ceiling or on a structure which allows the viewer to see it from various angles and from below on ‘mattresses’.  The mattresses are fabrics stitched together with embroidery sown by hand or machine that correlates the shapes and lines of her works as a mirroring of images.  She plays with the position of the works and of the viewer, and encourages interaction.

Pilotenkueche has motivated her to work faster than her normal speed, and for the first time she explores working with pastels, which were on view at the first show at Alte Handelschule.  For the final show, she will continue to work with pastels on paper, and expand to larger works in oil.  How she will display them and what memories we will tap into will only be discovered during the show.

written by mihyun maria kim

Feature image by Charles Park.

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Unfinished Hase

15 Feb – 23 Feb 2019
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: 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

PK says farewell to Martin Holz

Martin Holz was and remains a PK pilot. He came to create art, but fell in love with Pilotenkueche for its potential. During his five years as Director, it developed into much more than a residency. Today Pilotenkueche is a multi-faceted program that gives more than a space in a shared studio. It recognizes a growing trend of curation by offering emerging curators three month internships. While here, they do consultations with artists, write texts and, of course, curate the shows. It also gives interns a chance to be very hands-on in the day to day happenings, including graphic design for exhibitions and writing posts for the website.

When Martin arrived as an artist, PK was located in HALLE 14 at Spinnerei and was host to around five international artists. Now it is housed in its own space in the up and coming art area of Leutsch. Each of the approximately 12 International artists has up to 36 square meters and all have inspiring views.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

The new space was just a shell when he got it, but he knew this was a place he could expand the project and make his vision come true. He worked tirelessly to have it ready for the 10th Pilotenkueche anniversary in spring of 2017. He did all the wiring, built walls, put in windows, a bathroom, a tea kitchen and an office area. He carefully designed the space so that some walls could be moved to give more flexibility when converting it from work space to exhibition space. Yes, the art was always the heart of it all.

The last five years have given Martin many wonderful memories of bonding and creating. Last November he was pleased to open Heat Lee’s show, AXIO, at the MdBK. While Heet was a resident at Pilotenkueche, the two recognized they shared the ability to see the darkness.

Martin intermingled performance and text, drawing comparisons to karate and being an artist. The fight between order and chaos requires offensive and defensive skills. In her paintings, Lee searches for the moments between chance and control. This was always a quest that Martin was happy to seek.

It was on purpose that Pilotenkueche remained an artist run program. The program supports artists in finding applicable individual funding. His goal was to create a safe space in which artists could engage and collaborate, but didn’t confine them to the program. In working together with Natalia Kalicki or Magdalena Cichon as coordinator, Martin tried to give as many opportunities to engage the local community as possible. This is why there are also two local artists each round. While they have their own studios in town, they accompany the residents on program days where a variety of high and low art activities take place and they participate in the exhibitions.

But now, unfortunately, Martin feels he has taken Pilotenkueche as far as he can. It is time to let his baby go in order for it to continue to grow. We want to publicly thank him for his countless hours of unselfish devotion and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Pilotenkueche will be announcing the new directors sometime in March. We look forward to seeing what that direction will bring. We welcome them and hope you will too.

Artist Spotlight: Ana Castillo

‘If I like the T-shirt I will just cut it!” – explains Ana, recklessly forgetting to add ‘out’ to the ‘cut’. Ana is our French-Spanish artist based in Paris. What is so interesting at first glance besides her working overalls, her accent and cool stance? When entering Ana’s studio, you immediately notice an obsession with image culture, particularly representation of youth, lifestyle, varieties of characters and attitudes from magazines and social media. Her sketchbook is filled with drawings of people of different backgrounds and, while drawn to representation of women in media, her characters are androgynous and masculine, singer and politicians, feminine and queer.

So, what does Ana do with these images? First, she becomes a collector. She cuts out pictures from magazines, her own photographs and from social media. She spreads them all over the table, then assembles them to create new images. As she transforms the collages, she interprets the surface and transforms their looks. Sometimes she places them in pictures of landscape, often ones that hearken back to her Spanish roots. Ana goes home to rest from the visual overload. She returns with fresh eyes to move them around again. Thus she never lets the “collection” stagnate. It is constantly altering to bring new relationships.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

The term collage was coined by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when it became a distinctive part of modern art. Ana takes collage into the current century by treating it as a crucial working process. She creates a new reality which she re-interprets into painting, illustration or animated videos and GIFs. Hard-working but intuitive, playful but serious, with collage we are reminded of metaphoric pun as intellectual act. Image as product of a mind is born from not comparing two realities but rather getting them closer together.

Ana’s studio is a place where images grow and multiply. The table covered with cut out pictures juxtaposes two paintings and an orange background on the wall she has been working on simultaneously, while various photographs are opened on her laptop. Working in Pilotenkueche for Ana is not stylistically much different from working at home or in a rented studio in the City of lights. Only this time, neither she nor her painting are confined. What is new is the sense of freedom she gets in terms of spaciousness. Naturally, this reflects in her work in progress. She is aiming for larger paintings. For the upcoming exhibitions, we can expect to see paintings approaching monumental sizes. However, she will stay faithful to the appearance of a collage by avoiding the traditional, right-angled shapes of canvas.

Leipzig is, so we hear, not lacking young stylish people with attitude. During winter they hide themselves in cool bars and underground clubs, leaving the streets empty. Some of us will definitely follow Ana in her exploration of the techno scene here, enjoying the environment and in search for Leipzig characters for her new inspiration.

Written by Samra Šabanović

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Come and see what Ana creates in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
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