Let's stare at walls,
Here's why I do what I do:
Untouched by formal art education and under the influence of the post-industrial setting that I call home I just have to make something that celebrates the other side of beautiful: the has-beens, the broken, the imperfect. I don't paint because I want to share something beautiful, I want to share something despite it not reminding us of something beautiful... but nevertheless meaningful.
I regard my paintings as small parts of walls. What makes you see the missing part is your imagination: if you only get the chance to look at a small segment of an entire wall you will have no other option but to imagine the rest.
That’s how it becomes personal. That’s what can make it meaningful to us.
Your perspective decides where your imagination takes you. That way my little piece of a wall becomes your personal experience. Your memory. Your history. The point of view from where only you stand. And no one else.
What you cannot see becomes just as important as what you can see because the gap can only be filled with real stuff from your own life.
All those walls around us are a reminder of where we are and what might have happened here. Who might have been here. Or been there with you. My paintings are meant to remind you of places you have been, in real life or in your mind.
All my works are made with acrylic paint on wooden panels. There are also various other materials involved such as wax crayons, graphite sticks, indian ink, spray paint and the good old ordinary pencil.
Creating and substracting layers is what happens in my process. Sounds a bit tedious but that’s what I love doing. There aren’t many brushes involved when adding a new layer, I rather use a variety of baking utensils or sand paper. Or anything else really. Anything that takes a little bit of control away from me and invites chance into the process. I feel that after all, chance is often closer to real life than a controlled process.
What I am usually left with is a surface that looks and feels somewhat worn and tired, a little bit past it’s expiry date. Meant as a starting point for your memories of places, of people.
Have a look around my website and if you have any questions or feedback I'll be delighted to hear from you! You can reach me at email@example.com or over on Instagram under my handle zarmann_art.
Take care, Stephan
In February 2023 the Initiative Zwischenraum offered the opportunity to exhibit in the local cult shop "Egon's Laden". Egon had been selling rarities of all sorts for 50 years and recently closed. Who could say not to the opportunity to participate in that beautiful space!