Interview: Bernd Koblischeck
Luca Curci talks with Bernd Koblischeck during the opening of Venice International Art Fair 2020 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“I was born in Speyer, Germany in 1957 and studied Art and History of Art at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, which gave me the opportunity to study under Professor Eberhard Schlotter in Altea, Spain. Reality is always the starting point of my works, partly first-hand experience of reality, partly reality transmitted through the media. Multiple subjects are possible – portraits, crowds of people, landscapes as well as other interesting graphic objects. My “Energy” paintings you display in your exhibition for example were inspired by travels to Southeast Asia. Exhibitions showing exclusively my works, such as ones in the Osthofen Memorial, Germany (catalogue) or in the German Cultural Institute in Timisoara (Romania) were highlights. Further obvious acceptance of my graphic work is evidenced by my participation in many international biennials and triennials – Cracow, Ljubljana, Majdanek, Kanagawa, Uzice, Seoul…, and highlighted by international awards in Frechen (Germany), Cairo (Egypt), Sapporo (Japan) and Bitola (R.Macedonia)”.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Bernd Koblischeck – Each work of art is created by a human being who interprets all sorts of information in his/her own subjective way, sometimes far from any conventional interpretation. One’s own ego is imaginable as a subject of art, in the same way as comments of a social or political nature, at best implying a vision.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
BK – At the moment I am working on a series of medium-sized etchings entitled “Rain Forest”, produced by applying a drill on zinc. This subject is a result of my journeys to Southeast Asia, in particular to Sumatra and Borneo.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
BK – On one hand, my subjects originate from my own experience of reality, as in the case of the works on display, which have been inspired by the overwhelmingly graphic structures of the Asian metropolis, on the other hand, they originate from the omnipresent media, without which the modern world would be unthinkable. The reality beyond personal experience as transmitted by television, the daily press, the Internet etc., a reality that is touching and interesting, has become another object of artistic consideration for me.
LC – What is your creative process like?
BK – I am a great “collector” of impressions, captured in the form of photos or other media. The artistic transformation of these impressions often takes place months or years later only. Thus what is essential becomes more and more obvious in the course of time and turns into the subject of the eventual work of art.
LC – Did your style change over the years?
BK – I normally deal with various subjects in series, thus their artistic transformation has always varied. Experimental work is indispensable to me. In painting, I have often used material like glue, sand on pasted – on canvas, which then was cut open and ripped off again. Today I have given up using such material in pictures. The acrylic paint of my latest pictures has been applied to the canvas without any priming coat. In printmaking, my predominant field of activity, I have given up using any form of etching. My method is reduced to drypoint and drill on zinc. The collage – like alienation effect in my previous works, meant to make certain subjects appear timeless, without any geographic limitation is not to be found in my present works anymore. My pictures today are pictures without any “interference”.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of pre-existing works?
BK – The artwork of mine which you have chosen to display has not been created for the festival. The pictures have already been exhibited at the art fair “Kunst direkt” in Mainz, Germany.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
BK – The theme “Borders” is really omnipresent, I think. The opening and closing of borders and its effect, which we witness every day, just like the problem of mental boundaries are experiences no one can avoid. In my view a truly up-to-date theme, also as far as art is concerned.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID platform?
BK – To my mind, the choice of Venice as the site of the exhibition, a site rich in tradition, constitutes an absolute highlight. Contemporary art is taking place in the immediate vicinity of excellent masterpieces of occidental culture.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
BK – No doubt, on account of their experience and connections, the ITSLIQUID GROUP is offering artists new opportunities of displaying their works.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
BK – You have got the necessary experience, which I can rely on.