Interview: Philip Wittmann
Luca Curci talks with Philip Wittmann, during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES, the second appointment of BORDERS ART FAIR 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
“My work questions the impact that the association of ancient characters or signs have on our imagination. Based on the study of historical and cultural heritage, I have created a collection of signs which are inspired, among others, by ancient alphabets. For me, signs do represent some kind of a matchmaker between writing and abstraction. “Writing enables the reader to elicit precise mental images. On the other hand, signs are not dependent on verbal languages and therefore allow mental associations of a parallel order to that of verbal languages” said Céline Masson. Most of these signs have no relation to reality and are distinguished by a degree of abstraction. The final result is a composition of signs and colors that I freely associate in my “compositions”. A title is then given to the whole. The composition is then left to the imagination of the art lover who is invited to a recreational reading of the work, like a daydream, using his/her own references, his/her free conscious and unconscious thoughts.”
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Philip Wittmann – For me, the purpose of art is to stimulate the imagination. Whether it is the art I buy or I produce, I am always looking for ways to get me a state of daydreaming.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
PW – I am self-taught. I have never really followed a formal art education. However, I have taken multiple calligraphy classes. These calligraphy classes probably represent the foundation of my technique.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
PW – I have always been fond of primary art and archeological museums. The signs, the scriptures and other characters found on pieces of ceramics, vases, bas reliefs and others represent my main source of inspiration.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
PW – Even if I have been painting for the last 30 years, I only became a professional artist in 2020. Prior to that I was an amateur and I painted during weekends. The fact of being a professional artist is very different. We as professional artists evolve in a very competitive environment. There are so many talented artists around us nowadays. The key for me is to be able to put my work in front of the right eyes and to take the right action in order to prove to the art world that my approach is credible.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
PW – When I started painting 30 years ago my style was purely abstract. Then I switched to the illustration of words. In both cases I didn’t find that the foundation of my style was solid enough to make it evolve. Since 2008 I only used signs. I never looked back. For me signs do represent an intermediary between abstraction and writing. These signs offer so many creative opportunities.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
PW – I think it is important for us emerging artists to be recognized by a professional audience. The fact of being identified by a professional audience gives our work an extra layer of credibility.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
PW – The theme of the festival is Borders. As mentioned, signs are an intermediary between abstraction and writing. As I think signs stimulate our imagination, they do appeal to our conscious and unconscious references. My hope is that my work is strong enough in order to push the boundaries of our imagination.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
PW – As I said, the fact of being recognized by an international and credible organization is a big help for each artist participating in the fair.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
PW – It is always nice to be in the company of professionals.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
PW – I think it has a lot of potentials to grow and become a real reference in the art world.