The reality we take inside of us will define who we will become in the future.
My artwork is an inquiry into this process.
In 1987 I visited an exhibition, Gotthard Graubner, in Düsseldorf. His large Color-Space-Pillow-Images began my initiation. I got lost in them because they defied all my thoughts and all my needs to orient myself in this world. This left me for a short moment exposed to the core of myself, the being. In Indian philosophy, this is called enlightenment, which I was familiar with based on my nine years of practicing Transcendental Meditation up to that point.
I believe since then that those kinds of initiations determine how much I can express myself within art. In short, the Mind (thoughts) and the Ego (self-construct) become mere entities. That supports the process, instead of limiting or leading it.
The other axiom of my actions is the firm belief that any practice can be successful only if the tools and techniques are used effortlessly and perfectly. Anything that is not mastered to the fullest will be in the way of my art. Any attention required to running techniques or dealing with gear distracts from the process of pure creativity. My practice in art over the past four decades supports this requirement.
“A Walk In The Park” (Series)
Memories follow the definition of the term “abstract”. When we observe our environment, we take time to do so based on many points of interest. Fragments of reality are often merged to a single, kind of timeless, construct and tinted with the given mood of that moment.
"How do we memorize a walk in the park?" explores the creation of the inner reflection of the outer reality.
Each work stands for a different exploration (or in practical terms: a walk). It is based on my educational background in science, engineering, and art. The first two allow me to explore my findings and construct any necessary tools that I might use for my work. Based on this, procedures and techniques are never in the way––the opposite is the case. Being a trained artist (Master of Fine Arts) allows me to systematically analyze any part of the series. Each area of my development was crucial to producing this series.
Time: I take up to over one thousand exposures for a single work. Each layer of an individual work is stitched together from a sequence of shots. Several of those image layers are produced for each work, so time is even more involved than simply taking a snapshot. As with our memories, the target is to create each work like a complete memory––with no visible seams of time or gaps.
Mood: Time and place, besides other influences, will lead to a particular mood. A collection of over a hundred different filters and a collection of over forty lenses allows me to paint my images with optics instead of brushes. The lenses are based on optical constructions spanning an era of around 180 years.
Movement and motion (walk): The camera is either placed on one specific point or additionally from the opposite side, as well as revolving around or with varying distances. Methods based on Intentional Camera Shake, or techniques involving self-constructed optical parts (one of which received a patent-pending), extends the options needed to reproduce the desired mood and expression in each resulting layer.
Layers: Our memory can hold similar or even conflicting data. Besides this, it can include information from others in the form of images, conversations, etc. Each work is based on layers. Sometimes where one might place their focus is visibly cut through. Sometimes layers are merely blended with each other. This deep inquiry explores how we handle the reflection of reality, including the illusory or imaginary content of our mind, to close gaps––thus creating a fake of a complete memory.
Process: Shooting the single parts of each layer is mostly done with my self-built panoramic head, to allow for accurate blending. These single images are then sorted to be blended with their neighboring images (stitching). In an image application, these layers are handled like film in a darkroom. Double or partial exposure simulations are done with masks of photo-equivalent blending modes. In the case of the opposite shooting direction, a layer might be flipped to create alignment.
Results: Each image––that is comprised out of hundreds or even more than a thousand images––is typically a large format. This results in a high-resolution image that often exceeds six feet in one dimension with a standard print resolution.
My work needs exploration and it contains hints to understand its layers. This can be the light direction, shadows or quality of the image based on different lenses or filtration.
My intention is clearly to lead the viewer to realizations of their own memories, as well as a greater awareness of how to handle and evaluate memories.
In my practice of Transcendental Meditation (begun in Spring 1978), I have come to the point of being able to see the Ego or the Mind as elements rather than misinterpreting them as me. This, in return, allowed me early on in my paintings to access different areas of perception. With my photo-based work, I have been able to continue this inquiry which is presented in the "Walk In The Park” series.
I use trees in this series, as they are all unique, and it allows the audience to investigate the results of my work. In this way, it is like looking at someone's memories and ideas, only to get into a particular vibration about one's very own memory. I hope that this series will help the viewer to become more clear about themselves and who they will become in the future.
I hope it will allow for any recipient to gain a lot of realizations during this process, and from there, to be more themselves.