Gar­den of Eden

RICHARD WIN­KLER TALKS WITH DAMAN ABOUT THE IN­SPI­RA­TION BE­HIND HIS ART­WORK, HIS IN­FLU­ENCES AND MORE

DA MAN - - Art -

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

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