Garden of Eden
RICHARD WINKLER TALKS WITH DAMAN ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND HIS ARTWORK, HIS INFLUENCES AND MORE
Swedish painter and sculptor Richard Winkler is a long-time participant of the Art Jakarta fair. Naturally, he will also be participating in this year’s event and present his “Garden of Eden.”
DAMAN: What is the idea behind your artwork for this year’s Art Jakarta?
Richard Winkler: My creativity is all based on a daily “flow.” I don’t really work with conceptual ideas or plan out too much about what I am going to create. My aim is to be spontaneous and follow whatever my subconscious will present to me. This year’s works are a bit more detailed and I have used a lot of warm colors. But I have tried to keep the color intensity down a bit. Some works are more monochromatic staying within a color tone.
DA: Your artwork illustrates a distorted human body, juxtaposed with a background of nature. Can you tell us more about how these ideas arise, and how they work together?
RW: Ever since I was young, I was always fascinated by plants, flowers and nature. I spent a lot of time playing in a wild and beautiful garden close to my childhood home. It was beautiful, fascinating and sometimes a little bit scary, too. It was kind of a Garden of Eden to me and my friends. At the same time, during my childhood, I had to do several surgeries and spent quite some time with doctors and in hospitals due to a bone problem I was suffering from. I did many surgeries with bone corrections. It was sometimes a painful time. But it all made me very aware of the human body and soul, and created a fascination relationship between the two.
DA: Who would you say is your biggest influence?
RW: I have to say that my biggest and earliest inspiration and influence was my grandfather. He was a great artist and loved to sit down with me to draw together.
DA: Is there a message, or a feeling, that you hope observers will get?
RW: I want to remind people to see and appreciate the beauty of life and everything around us. The journey of life itself can sometimes be hard and difficult, unfair and painful. My works should be a window to dream away in our thoughts and feelings. Many of us dream about the Garden of Eden, a paradise, or some other place somewhere else than where we actually are at the moment in our lives. I believe this place is somewhere in our mind rather than in an actual physical place. When people see my works, I want them to forget about their own life for a moment. Stop, watch, feel and dream about it for a little while.
DA: What is the hardest part on developing your artwork?
RW: Once you have found your own voice and language for your expression, your work finds its own natural “flow.” Your work becomes an extension of yourself, your voice, song and melody. I believe the work develops with your own character and life, slowly and a little bit everyday, just like ourselves.
DA: In your own words, what does art mean to you?
RW: For me, to create art is necessary to live. It’s like air for my lungs. Since I was a young boy I always had to create something with my hands. If not, I would feel unfulfilled and unhappy, almost empty. And when I see art, it has to touch me and grab me emotionally. It has to seduce me. I love shapes, forms and colors. Anything visual that attracts me. And I find it everywhere in objects, nature, trees, plants and the human body.
Left to right Colors of the Fruitful Land, Oil on Canvas; Vermillion Morning, Oil on Canvas; Richard Winkler