Magic realism

(reading time 5 min)

'Something In Me Looks At The Sea, And At Everything Else Too'.

It was a few years ago that a young woman, an art history student, came home to me to look at some of my then-new work. She had already bought some small paintings of mine and she was actually something of a fan. I remember her very fondly.

It was then that I first heard the term 'Magical Realism' because that was how she classified my work. I have to admit that just a few days ago, while searching for the appropriate keywords for my website, I started looking into this art movement.

Here is a brief definition I found on Wikiart:

Magic realism represents the fusion of real reality (tangible, visible, rational) and magical reality (hallucinations, dreams). It is a "third reality", a synthesis of the realities we are familiar with. The transition to surrealism is fluid.

I think that's already a pretty good description of what you can find in my art, although I would replace 'hallucinations and dreams' with 'perceptions'.

Every now and then I think about what the core of my work is and what drives me or what I want to express with it.

Right now I would say, "I'm looking for images for what you can't see." and, "I want to remind you and make you feel that there is so much more that you already know about deep inside. That, you are embedded in and connected to every tiny particle of all existence."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

I would like to show you at my painting 'Something In Me Looks At The Sea, And At Everything Else Too', how magic realism and my 'why' have found together in this creation. To do this, I'll first take you into a little description or narrative. It's actually both, interpretation and fact. After that, I'll give you some background on details in the painting.

Sardinia in October 2022

David, Luk and I are walking upwards. There is a spicy and different smell all around us. I am quite intoxicated by it and also by the always new picture details, which the narrow winding path brings me steadily. The plants I do not know by name, spherical seed capsules, cones, flowers. I collect. Actually, we are not allowed to walk here - private property.

We reach the road that leads us further up. Our destination: the Bear Rock. The footpath is covered with terracotta-colored small slabs. Huge cacti proliferate next to white houses. Quite a bit of messy sprawling vegetation everywhere. I soak up the colors. Powdery everything looks somehow. Intense indeed, but in a delicate way. My eyes love these impressions and my mind stores images upon images that I keep in my heart. 



Unfortunately, it turns out, our destination is a well-developed tourist spot. There are tickets and a climb with railings. Already about halfway up the rock it starts to rain. Less and less people cross our path. At the top we find rain protection under the belly of the bear. In front of us below lays the gray-blue sea. Rocky mountains lie to the left in our field of vision.

I stand barefoot on the wet, smooth rock and I look. I look small like a human and yet big like a giantess. My sensations have suddenly expanded. For the first time in a long time, I feel somewhat at home. I gain an overview and the unnecessary trivia of habitual worries begins to become transparent. My feet, cold on the outside and warm on the inside. I love the feeling of my bare feet on the globe. I straighten up and take a long exhale. I know again. I had only forgotten.

'Something In Me Looks At The Sea, And At Everything Else Too', describes in an image the feeling of remembering. I could feel my whole being again in those minutes on the rock with the body as its anchor. Wide was this feeling, far beyond the limits of my physicality. I looked out of myself and at the same time down on myself and on everything else as well.

Real references mix in this painting with my subjective sensations. The figure in the artwork is me and yet it is not me. The colors, the hazy and luminous are brought home memories of the landscape. The pine trees, my favorite trees, with their branch division of light and shadow half, which did not exist in this place, are symbols of the feeling of being at home and rooted. Firmly connected deep into the earth is the female figure, while at the same time reaching up to the sky. Above, a curved line, like a bowl, supports the impression of exhaling and expanding. Calmness draws in. And among the trees there are horses, which I have not seen anywhere in Sardinia. Horses are also a symbol, but perhaps more about that in another story.

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