Paintings Volume 2 | E-book
E-pub | 280 pages | Size: US Letter (8.5" x 11" / 216 x 279 mm)
This volume covers paintings made between about 2013-2020. You could say they represent a revived start for my artistic practice.
In 2013 I was in a poor physical and emotional state because of health issues and a divorce. But then I met my new partner who helped me through that. Due to this and a better-paying day job, I could resume renting my studio and eventually start producing work at an increasing pace.
I made two decisive shifts in my work process at the beginning of this period. First, I decided to replace colour as a means of expression and only use the filler’s natural colours, white and grey. It was not easy because colours are close to my heart. But I realized that deciding which colours to use for an image usually came last and was basically superfluous to what I wanted to communicate. The conceptual thoughts embedded in the method and motif and the meeting between the image, as language, and its physical manifestation were most important.
My second change was to stop using a photographic starting point and create my work directly from simple sketches or ideas. How I applied the filler in the panels and how I chose to shape it became decisive for the expression. Gradually, I also started working with participatory art, inviting others to shape my works.
In 2015, in the wake of the war in Syria, the number of refugees arriving in Europe increased sharply. The situation created fierce, xenophobic reactions, which made a strong impression on me. My partner and I travelled for a few weeks to the island of Lesbos in the Mediterranean, where many refugees arrived, to work as volunteers and donate supplies with our raised funds.
This experience greatly influenced my work, and my deepening political involvement became a more critical component of my creative activity. I also started writing more about the reflections my work gave me.
Due to the increased digital development, another significant practical change in the administration of my work occurred. Instead of using analogue slides as documentation, which were expensive to produce, I could instead start sending applications digitally. It meant there were no longer any physical limitations on how many institutions I could reach out to, which eventually resulted in an increased exhibition
I also started publishing my own website, which has become an important hub for my artistic practice. Selling art online became possible as well, and I got in touch with several international platforms where my works are now available.
I have continued producing work in series. Several ambitious projects were started in this period, and many of the series are still ongoing.
Gradually, I have also simplified my formats and, at the end of the period, I work almost exclusively in size 84x64 cm. It is a manageable size that relates naturally to the human body. I realized that larger formats quickly became fragile and difficult to transport and store. If I want larger works, I prefer to put several panels together. The resulting grid becomes part of the expression.
My titles are sometimes an intrinsic part of my art. Please feel free to read the notes I made on many of the works in this book, but bare in mind they are complimentary and not crucial for appreciating them. Texts describing my compilations and series can be found at the back of the book.