Interview: Thomas Pramhas

thomas-pramhas_001Image courtesy of Thomas Pramhas

Interview: Thomas Pramhas

Luca Curci talks with Thomas Pramhas during Visions, the Garden of Liquid Identities in Venice.
Thomas Pramhas was born in Austria in 1966. He studied graphic design at the University of Atrtand Design in Linz, Austria. Then he completed an interdisciplinary art study “Experimental Design” with a diploma in 1996. He taught for 8 years as a marketing trainer and media management. At the age of 36, he led a team of copywriters and graphic artists in a well-known advertising agency as creative director. This helped him to find the best way to become an indipendent artist. During his studies he designed contemporary objects and installations. For example he designed a space in the OK (Cultural Quarter for Contemporary Art) with installations in a joint exhibition of international artists. He started to paint since the age of 21 years old in Geneva, Nice and Cannes and he grew his interest in the figurative art, taking as inspiration models :Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Edward Hopper, Michaël Borremans and Gottfried Helnwein. He exhibited in different locations and galleries all around Europe.

 

thomas-pramhas_002Image courtesy of Thomas Pramhas

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Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

Thomas Pramhas – My childhood shapes my entire artistic work. The experiences of intrigue, hypocrisy and seduction are the strongest motivation factors for my pictures. I love the life behind the facades. However, this can only be brought to life through pain. The art is a strong incentive to have the courage to enter this valley of secrecy.

 

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L.C. – How do you find creative inspiration?

T.P. – Inspiration has a lot to do with anger and powerlessness. It is sometimes tragic and sometimes amusing, which leads to the readiness of artistic activity. There are creative ideas, but these are not yet creative forms. Design is important to me, creativity can also make you a bit nervous. That’s why my life is an overall artistic event and not just the implementation of creative impulses.

 

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L.C. – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?

T.P. – The craft away from digital influences is important. Many of my artworks are distributed over the Internet. Unfortunately, this is necessary in our time. Therefore, it is difficult to break away from this virtual world and go real artistic ways only “offline”.

 

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L.C. – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?

T.P. – My main theme has always been seduction. The child is drawn into the abysses of adults. Love seduces because as a human being it is firmly anchored in our nature. This can take good but also very destructive forms. In social interaction, in search of the truth and the short life in which we are trapped. Much is just illusion, art can be very helpful here. Art is paradox, just like our whole life – that’s what I focus on in my work.

 

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L.C. – How is being an artist nowadays?

T.P. – I never wanted to be an artist as a child. I supposedly had talent, which bothered me because I did not have a good opinion of art. Just before I turned fifty, I “admitted” being an artist. And that, although it also embarrassed me. Now I am seriously working as an artist to liberate my soul. Although I did an art degree, it did not make me an artist. Only my insight is important.

 

L.C. – What’s the art tip you usually receive? Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?

T.P. – It is not always easy to deal with good criticism. The cliché is that artists are above criticism and all moral constraints. This is a nice approach to professional marketing to become a brand as an artist. I hope for openness and do not expect that I will always be understood with my work. Art is still a miraculous and healing mystery.

 

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L.C. – Do you agree with our vision of art and what you think about the theme of the festival?

T.P. – Visions are the essence of life, the impulse for scientists, the inspiration of philosophers and the prerequisite for artistic processes. Visions are also good at understanding the fluid of identities. Everything is in the process, in the flow, and it is about currents that serve the formation of identity. It is not spiritual, it is real and earthy. The theme is very relevant to our time of “lost” identities.

 

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L.C. – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?

T.P. – The painting “No Caravaggio” is not my usual way of painting. It is a quote after a historical painting by Caravaggio, this is about the contact with a living encounter. I act as Apostle Thomas to secure my own identity. The human presence is more of a figurative reality, but the truth lies behind the facade of our physical appearance. I do not know the truth, the one who perceives this in my painting is in a place where no physical presence is needed anymore to represent a real identity. Therefore, there could be also spiritual approach.

 

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L.C – What are you currently working on?

T.P. – I work on an object for public space, so no picture, but the implementation of my diploma thesis. The “Trojan Horse” as an entrance portal for the the rowing world championship 2019 in my hometown. Of course I have to paint anyway, only conceptual projects would be too boring in the long term.

 

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L.C. – Would you suggest cooperating with us? What do you think about our services?

T.P. – The LIQUID GROUP is an optimal network to connect interdisciplinary projects internationally. Architecture, video, installations, performing Arts and new media art come alive in this synergy. I am interested in further cooperation to use this worldwide “alliance” for my work as an artistic challenge in the context of other projects and on specific topics.

 

more. www.pramhas.at

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