Interview: Holger Triltsch
Luca Curci talks with Holger Triltsch during the 15th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Palazzo Bembo.
Born in 1966 in Berlin, Holger Triltsch grew up in Falkensee, East Germany. Now he lives in Werder/Havel which is close to Potsdam. In East Germany he was part of various artist groups like “Keine Art“ and “Salon Visionell”. They worked on several art book projects because of difficulties with exhibitions in state galleries at that time. After 1989 he managed to exhibit his work in a number of cities in Germany and Europe for instance in Potsdam, Halle, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Zurich, London, Madrid and Vienna. In 2020, additionally, he busied himself with illustrations and some art work for musicians. Because of corona restrictions, he took part in some virtual exhibitions in the last few years. Trilsch has always been fascinated by Renaissance artists like Da Vinci, Dürer, Raffael and Botticelli as well as by currents of realistic art. Nevertheless, he is still searching for his own strong and emotional visual language in which to express himself.
“As a little boy I loved to draw while sitting in front of my grandfather ́s gigantic wooden desk. I drew everything around me for example stones, mussles, buttons, coins, plants, birds and clouds. This was my own way to discover the world. Now, five decades later, I still draw and paint with the same fascination observing the inexhaustible wealth of forms and colours in our world. Last week I was impressed by the shimmering light on an old leather sofa, yesterday I marvelled at the beauty of wrinkled skin around the eyes of a woman and today I was amused by the flock of crows fighting over a walnut. Thus every day I find new motifs for the next drawing or painting. Then, working on it, I combine different techniques from drawing and painting as well as themes from classical mythology and the Renaissance taking into account my own experiences and perspectives. Should I ever create an artwork the view of which leaves the observer remaining silent and with teary eyes I have achieved my aim.”
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Holger Triltsch – On the one hand art is the best way for me to understand the world surrounding me. If I want to find out the difference between a beetle and a spider I have to observe and draw them. By drawing the wrinkled face of my 86-year-old mother I understand best what it means to live and get old. On the other hand, art is the only chance to cheat death. To create something unique which will last unchanged for a very long time is wonderful. What can be more exciting than standing in front of 15,000-year-old cave paintings of Lascaux people and getting some insights into their thoughts and feelings?
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
HT – While working I am only focused on the next step. All brain work has been already done when I start drawing or painting. All my artwork has been created following a similar procedure. At first, I collect a lot of different pictures. I want to know exactly what the shadow of a nose looks like on a certain face or which colours are found on a slimy fish skin in the sun. After a few composition studies and an exact drawing I place layer upon layer of ink, shellac ink, pencil or acrylic paint by using resin varnish additionally. Most of my works consist of up to ten layers.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
HT – Of course there have been changes over the last 40 years, but all in all it was more an evolution than a lot of revolutions. When I was much younger, my work was more aggressive and provocative and I only used relatively similar techniques. I believed that powerful art could help to change society. The older I get, the more clearly I recognise that art is more about questions than protest and accusation. Gradually I also realized that nature and the surrounding world create something new and wonderful each and every day. Over the course of time, my work has become more complex, narrative and a bit mysterious. I like to combine different techniques from drawing and painting now as well as themes from classical mythology and the Renaissance taking into account my own experiences and perspectives.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
HT – That ́s what I do. Art is a form of self-presentation and a request for communication and with a drawing or painting I am able to reveal thoughts and opinions which I cannot express in words. Art helps me to sort out my thoughts on observations and feelings and share them with others.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
HT – Like a wanderer on a long journey who has achieved another goal. For a moment I am happy, just thinking I have created my best work ever. But whether a work is really a good one, will be found out over the next few months on closer examination with more distance to it. Should I ever create an artwork which leaves the observer remaining silent and with teary eyes, I have achieved my aim.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
HT – The artwork “Venice” is my intimate declaration of love for the city of Venice. In the past I went there several times because of its breathtaking beauty and mysterious atmosphere. But this beauty has many scars and wounds resulting from a long and exciting history and it is in danger of slowly sinking into the sea. The best way to escape these encircling thoughts was to create an allegorical picture about my favorite city, Venice.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
HT – “Venice” was not created for this exhibition explicitely. It is part of a set of allegoric works with female figures representing cities or countries which I started to work on in 2021.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
HT – ITSLIQUID GROUP is not only very active in a very wide range of art forms but all members of the team I have contacted in the past have always been very committed and friendly to me. So, I feel like I am in really good hands.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
HT – Absolutely. There are so many well organized opportunities like “Featured artist”, “Artist of the month” and other contests and events to get the chance to show art to a bigger audience.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
HT – Yes, I enjoyed it very much and I am very grateful for your support.