Notes About Life And Art:
I grew up in the middle of the ‘Röschtigraben’, an invisible boundary between German-speaking and French-speaking parts of Switzerland, as a silent, quite introverted boy that always new he’ll once become an artist!
Unfortunately my parents were equally convinced of the opposite, although I already achieved minor success in my teens, when my work was exhibited regularly and collected by a museum. So I went to a commercial high school instead.
After graduation, my teachers wanted me to study mathematics, my parents urged me to learn ‘something solid’ and I had still nothing else in mind than becoming an artist. To be honest, I wasn’t brave enough to get my own way and to oppose my parents. I always had a fable for logic and abstraction, but math? No way! Alternatively I was thinking about philosophy, but that wasn’t really solid either …
After study preparation in a Bernese art school I landed at the Art Center College of Design to study communication design. This was as close to art as I could get and very solid.
To be honest again: It was really great! It didn’t feel as a compromise at all. The campus was in an old château, overlooking lake Geneva and I really enjoyed the international, multicultural and beautiful surrounding.
But first of all I was thrilled by learning all those art and design skills! The years passed by very quickly and I was graduated with great honor, ready to leave.
I moved to Salzburg, Austria to work as an art director in an international advertising agency. The plan was to stay for one or maybe two years before moving on to the next challenge – but then, I met that guy, who later became my husband … and more than 20 years later I’m still here! The ‘annual plan’ was right though regarding my job in the ads agency. Only a few months and I knew, that working 9 to 5, in a team, doing advertising was not the right thing for me – no matter how ‘solid’ this job might be. I got self-employed.
The next 15 years I shuttled back and forth between graphic design and fine art, between making a living and creative freedom. I became a committee member of the association of visual artists Salzburg, won some prizes, joined exhibitions throughout Europe, had some loyal collectors and became a member of mensa international – I was on a solid way!
But more and more I felt stuck artistically (trapped by my own style and technique) and bored professionally. The prospect to continue like that for another 25 years wasn’t appealing. But what else? What should I do? Math?
An Alternative Vita
Life’s not going to change by itself, does it? In 2013, I withdrew from all memberships and stopped working as a freelance graphic designer – something I had been meaning to do for many years.
I also withdrew from my artistic career … and I changed my name. Sometimes it’s easier to take the bull by the horns and burn all bridges.
The following process of self discovery and reorientation was very inspiring and liberating, like pealing of unnecessary ballast, layer by layer.
Of course I didn’t become a completely different person. I’m still interested in the same themes, have my personal aesthetic preferences, etc. I just got clearer and most important: I got back to enjoy the actual act of creating.
Today my art focuses on symbols and Asian philosophies, such as Zen Buddhism, Taoism and Feng Shui. Stylistically influenced by Asia art, minimalism, abstract expressionism and graphic design – equally related to figurative and non-representational art.
I love mixing non-figurative and figurative styles, different scales and proportions – so you never know weather you’re looking through a microscope, a telescope or just a kaleidoscope. I’m not sure if there really is a difference any way.
I’m definitely not interested in the boundary line between abstract expressionism and figurative realism. For me these are two equal languages to create art, as well as analog painting and digital drawing are just two equal tools to create this art.
In the end, my process is a constant moving back and forth from analog to digital, from abstract to descriptive and from big details to small sceneries and back again. Hopefully to discover something true, unique and beautiful on this journey.
I’m a great believer in beauty! It is in the eye of the beholder, they say – but there’s an archetypal kind of beauty, everyone can relate to; as well as there is an inner, unalterable truth in each and every one of us. That’s the kind of beauty – one could call it purity – I’m looking for.
That’s also the point, where this journey gets philosophical and spiritual. I’m no member of any religious group or institution, My weltanschauung is deeply inspired by Asian Philosophies but I’m also influenced by the Western believes of my environment, especially by the Calvinism, I grew up with.
I don’t see this as a conflict, rather a profit, an enrichment and a chance. Rooted in many years of studying symbols I can see a lot of common believes shared by most religions. I call it the spiritual core.
Besides that, there are a lot of man made doctrines, that make no sense to me.
Born on a fictional border in a very small, but multicultural country, the concept of borders and separation never really made sense to me (in no meaning). I prefer the idea of union and integration (in any meaning).
Literally becoming whole is the only possible way in my opinion. This is equally true for art, spirituality and social issues. As long as we do not understand that there is nothing else than this we, speaking one humanity on one planet, we won’t make any significant progress.