Interview: Maris Mellur
Luca Curci talks with Maris Mellur during VISIONS, third event of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023 held in Venice at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Maris Mellur is a self-taught artist from northern Germany. Inspired by Scandinavian aesthetics, by Nordic nature and Zen alike, her abstract works are all about reduction to the bare moment. Dedicating herself to figurative realism at a young age she found her creative home in abstract, intuitive painting many years later. While the spectrum of her techniques has produced a versatile series, her acrylic paintings bear the same characteristic signature of simplicity, tranquillity and subtlety. With the puristic dynamics and colour palette of her works, the painter wants to encourage viewers to concentrate on the essentials, reflect and convey a feeling of inner peace.
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Maris Mellur – I’ve never not been painting in my life. But I only started my artistic practice consciously a few years ago. Intuitively compensating what I felt and longed for I’ve had the sudden urge to paint abstract artworks. Encouraged by dear people who felt strongly about my paintings I just kept going. Of course, I paint for myself, but even more than that I paint for the people – to connect. Though painting hasn’t been my first artistic love – it’s been words – I’ve come to adore the unsaid in paintings, and the power of visual statements and nonverbal communication.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
MM – Ideally, I don’t think at all while painting. More often than not it’s the emotion first that fills the canvas, and only when looking at the finished painting do I remember the inspirational place or the feeling. So for me, painting is an utterly intuitive process, unconsciously building bridges between the now and memory – creating new moments of magic. A constant while creating though is music, always music. So my works rise from a sweet melancholy, carried through all kinds of atmospheric musical landscapes.
LC – How is your creative process?
MM – Sometimes a painting is finished in a couple of minutes – revealing a straightforward message. Others need time and layers, many layers to apply, and peel off. It’s frustrating and rewarding at the same time. This way my paintings inherit their stories and emotions. Those could be anyone’s stories and emotions. I follow my intuition, choosing colours and techniques along the process – sometimes watching myself consciously making “wrong” decisions, and enjoying making them, altering them, transforming them into the finished work that speaks to my soul.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MM – Being an artist these days might be the freest and most fruitful circumstance so far. Of course, with social media and internationally cooperating curators and galleries chances to be seen are much broader than decades ago. At the same time in our era of digitalisation, art is prone to become a product of mass production and transience. There is a fine line between the traditional craft of painting and decent progress. Overall, I experienced a wonderful community of artists and art lovers.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
MM – Art is definitely my medium of expression – my filter for the world and form of compensation. I’m inspired by the concepts of Zen and Nordic nature alike. So in my paintings, I aim to recreate the tranquility and ambience of nature around me as well as of a quiet mind. If I can encourage viewers to concentrate on the essentials, reflect, and by that convey a feeling of inner peace – then my job is done.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
MM – I loved the concept of bringing together different genres of art in one exhibition and uniting them in a venue full of history. I think you’re doing a wonderful job of connecting people to art and nurturing people’s desire for aesthetics and inspiration.
LC – What is the message linked to the artworks you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
MM – My presented artworks FLOATING IN YOUR DEPTH and WHEN TIME STOOD STILL are both visual expressions of how the calm of nature can make you feel. For some the abstracted landscape might prevail, for others it’s the atmosphere. In the end, everyone creates their own vision. – It’s the wide concept of VISIONS that convinced me of the exhibition.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
MM – I think ITSLIQUID GROUP creates wonderful spaces for art. From picking the themes for the exhibitions to the places and actual artists. Everything is very well planned and harmoniously brought together. I also liked the ongoing communication about further opportunities for collaboration. This way contemporary art is alive.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MM – Absolutely. ITSLIQUID GROUP has a very professional and passionate approach to presenting art and cooperating with artists. I enjoyed the whole process of working with you. Everyone I connected with was very kind and supportive.