"It Needs a Master to Easily Describe Complex Relationships"
EXHIBITION Yesterday the exhibition "Viva Retro" came to an end at the Bamberg FT-publishing house. From TONI FROMBERG
Mr. Metzmacher your paintings have been shown for the first time on a larger scale in Bamberg. What were the reactions?
In all modesty, very, very positive, I think. Something intense like this hasn't been shown in Bamberg/Germany for long time., It seems to me, really many people were deeply touched and impressed. I recognized this not only during the opening, but also in the following weeks. Quite a lot of people talked to me, asking for guidance and wanted to experience the findings of many paintings personally. I had visitors from the US, from many cities in Germany and from my neighborhood. Even Klaus Staeck congratulated me and the man from the newspaperstand was so excited that he has just given me the Saturday edition for free.
I would also like to thank again the media group "Oberfranken" for their great support. Their culture editor Mr. Görtler has really listened, took me seriously and made himself a picture of my work - and probably realized what potential there is. Chapeau! Him probably belongs the honor to have recognized the importance to the art world and he communicated it as one of the first accordingly.
The paintings show highly political and socially critical works. Were there protests?
Oh yes. Many of the contents and perspectives shown some viewers have probably not heard before for or even seen better said. There is nothing then clap with applause, but with skepticism. But that is the nature of something new, like Retro in art. It can not fall back on the familiar, that is not at least conceptually. Basically that's what I'm doing, a piece of history. Specifically: To the reflection on the subconscious actions of our society.
This is even though many people do not realize - and only through my paintings it actually came across. The question is for every era: How do people have acted and thought back then - or maybe just felt, without being able to express it? I supply an answer in pictures. This is partly the deeper quality of my art. Especially in still life. Which is in fact intrinsically that the painted objects inheres a meaning.
In your lecture "Rero Art" you talked about the paradoxes and chronic dualisms. What is actually meant?
"We're all the same. How much justice is possible? "
Equality and justice are words from the same world. All people
are the same (from the Declaration of Independence). I think this is 50% wrong, because the people and the scales are different and inherently unjust. This is a paradox, or rather a chronic dualism - and at the same time both counts!
Elias Canetti, in his novel "Crowds and Power", mentioned examples of various chronic dualisms as natural laws in my view. So conscious and subconscious is one of those typical dualisms. This world and the hereafter as well.
Isn't that too complicated?
Ludwig von Mises once said, "It takes a master to easily describe complex relationships." I can only agree. (laughs)
Why don't you paint realistic?
In order to present the paradox, you can't just create an image. If I want to represent the real situation, I need to do more. That's why I decided not to paint "real" or "realistic", but always to integrate the fantastic component in my pictures. This method helps me to make the ineffable visible.
Then your art has a function...
Yes, exactly. I paint to make it clear. I want to add to our inexorable knowledge and technology velocity space and time for reflection and thus for understanding. I would like to add to the globalized world a culture of reflection. The key doesn't appear to me to study painting, art, science, philosophy, politics or history alone, but in a mixture of this strands of thought from all of these disciplines. It's Universalism.
The problem is, that so many critics do not understand the term Retro, namely as the conscious use of something that was already there, combined with a mixture. This then creates the knowledge and the new, which was not there before.
How is the feeling of spaciousness created in your paintings?
The technique that I use is a self-invented one. One which emerged from the study of the works of Francisco de Zurbáran and Giorgio Morandi. This helps me to design and create three-dimensional objects. The emphasis on light/shadow and light/dark particular concern, because they form a special light, which you can call mystical or even magical. Who gets involved in the scrutiny of my pictures, notes that nothing, absolutely nothing is right. Neither the shadows nor the perspectives. (laughs)
"Retro Art" as the small, loud, shrill sister of Pop Art? What's new?
The translation of symbols into nowadays world. We don't need to represent the icons of advertising no longer, because advertising and this style became part of our everyday culture. New symbols that people can understand again, are necessary and possibly in three-dimensions.
I have the idea from Warhol not only simply copied, but transferred it to the essential parts of today and added: Decoding, which create the icons and the link with today's everyday world. Look at the modern world now: Our world developed back, the romantic era in modern. The youth culture is not against something anymore, they take on the style and use it for their own purposes. It is not a protest, but a self-representation. That is, if you will, the trivialization of our society and stands in contrast to the ideas of '68.
Shrill and pop colors are your trademark ...
That's nice that you mention that, but it is much more. Because the colors are the expression for the content!
Then I wish you continued success and thank you for the interview.