Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Acrylic Painting with a special Story - The Facade

Originally I dedicated the Reminiscences series exclusively to the motifs of the Olympic Student Village but this painting was a child of the original project and the idea was to grab other architectural motifs from buildings which were planned to be taken down. Was this idea too morbid?

The camera was my number one working tool in order to keep close contact to the real object that I was painting. I did not merely copy the photo, although I tried to stay as close as possible to the real thing but I also wanted to “inhale” something vivid into the painting, some narrative element.

My thoughts were moving around the subject, thinking about what could have happened in this building, my mind was making up stories and in the end the whole subject was filled with mysteries. Of course I knew the real story of this building and its former purpose and I was well aware of the non-fictitious drop dead plain facts:
It was an annoying object for the people living in this residential area and should have been demolished by the city a long time ago as it was promised. It was never high enough to really fulfill its original purpose of a water tower because it could not build up enough pressure for the water.

Built in 1931 it was working for only 7 years. For many years it was left empty, then used for some underprivileged families, which again created some tensions between the latter and the residents living in this area before, since 1996 it is empty again and left to decay and rotting. Then homeless people started to occupy this building which was even more an annoyance for the neighbouring residents. Finally only the city pigeons were left. The plaster started to fall off the wall, rain and frost caused cracks in the outer facade - the whole thing slowly became dangerous for the neighbourhood. There was a group of people trying to save the tower under preservation order but did not succeed in the end.

 (photo taken in Feb 2008)

Yet for me the tower had become an unusual painting motif no matter what the reality was. Therefore my fantasies and inspiration was going into completely different directions.
This finally helped to find the right colours, to put some light into the painting that was supposed to come from within not simply from a layer of paint which had been thrown on top of the canvas. Very difficult to describe in words what was happening in my head and with my emotion but maybe you can follow me a bit.
The new painting was coming along nicely although I did not anticipate that it would be so much work. But details needed their time. As I was busy with a lot of other tasks besides painting it slowed down the whole painting process quite dramatically in comparison with what I achieved in the past 2 months before but I loved painting these realistic details at that time. It gave me the opportunity to really spend some time with the painting process and time to think at the same moment about what might had happened in this building. This was the narrative element that I wanted to anchor in my paintings.

Btw - only after the painting was finished I realized to my suprise that the peeling paint on one side of the tower had taken the shape of a ghost. How creepy is that? When I checked the original photo I noticed that the "ghost" was already there - I did not invent it...

The painting techniques I used here also made me aware of my choice, the reason why I painted these motifs, images of old walls, peeling paint, rotten windows and doors. Every piece speaks of the transience of all things which is also the major thought of Buddhism.

It is amazing how sometimes these influences and thoughts creep into your life although the images themselves have changed. At the beginning of my art career I was deeply impressed by the images and body of thought of southeast Asian cultures because of my travels and many pieces of these images became part of my art. Then the outer images changed bit by bit with different interests and plans but now I realized that the influence went much deeper than ever perceived. This was an exciting idea and proved that much more things happen on the subconscious level than you can ever perceive. This makes the art journey so exciting.

Finally the painting was finished....

"The Facade"
26" x 18"
acrylic on cotton


1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...