Interview: Thomas Eblen
Luca Curci talks with Thomas Eblen during the 3rd Edition of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Medina Art Gallery.
“I was born in 1962. After school, I did an apprenticeship as a toolmaker and then became a master mechanic. In 1990 I changed to the social sector, where I was the area manager of a metal workshop where mentally ill people were supported. This enabled me to acquire an extensive knowledge of human nature, which flows into my art. In 1990 I also began to work artistically. First literary, then musical and then painting. I also did design work. I designed a biro and many other things. It is only in the last few years that I dare to go public. I have had three exhibitions in the last two years, two virtual, and one solo exhibition real. The Corona crisis has made everything difficult, otherwise, I’m sure much more would have been possible. That’s why I expressly thank ITSLIQUID Group for giving me the opportunity to exhibit my work. My next goals are to develop a unified performance in which all my talents come to bear. Music, literature and painting. Let’s hope that the world situation doesn’t throw a spanner in the works.”
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Thomas Eblen– An infinite amazement. I never expected to develop such expressive power. It is very important, especially if you are self-taught, to trust yourself in what you are doing and, above all, to let it happen. And find a final form.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
TE – Since I am very versatile, there are different rituals. My music and painting and literature, it’s similar. I let it flow. The foundation is always improvisation, be it at the piano or at the canvas or in front of the paper. In other words, immediacy. This then links up with the construction. First, the idea, which is found without searching, then a form, a structure, which I lay over it. In photography, the gaze is everything. Either you recognise something or you don’t. The photographs I exhibited in Rome were not initially based on an idea, but on my gaze when I saw a flower that was gradually wilting. Then I had the idea of the “transience of beauty”. This became a whole series.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
TE – Yes. Me. My biography, my suffering, my desire, my knowledge. Transformed into different forms. That’s why it’s not easy for an artist to expose himself to the public because his art is very personal. For me, it was a very long process. It is like a miracle when I see everything that is expressed in me.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
TE – An infinite amazement. I never expected to develop such expressive power. It is very important, especially if you are self-taught, to trust yourself in what you are doing and, above all, to let it happen. And find a final form.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
TE – In our society, he plays a rather marginal role. They are often perceived as outsiders, which they have to be because of their disposition. He has hardly any influence and is more an object to be bought than a source of meaning. I see this very clearly, especially in contemporary art. Yet art has incredible creative potential. In my opinion, it should have a much stronger aesthetic impact on society, precisely because it sublimates the inner conflicts, sufferings and joys that are at work in people. But as I said, not morally and ethically justified, but aesthetically. I know that this is not a panacea, but it is one possibility among others.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
TE – Yes, these are photos of gradually wilting flowers. In this case, tulips. And that they form beautiful shapes and structures in the process. That’s why I call this series, which contains many more photos, “the beauty of the ephemeral”. The light also plays a big role. The photos were taken in the afternoon in bright sunlight and the forms then also form beautiful shadow images, as can be seen in one photo. In my opinion, the sun has become incredibly luminous. Where this comes from, I don’t know, but it is abundantly clear.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
TE – My motivation was first of all to exhibit internationally. The concept is quite general. Little concrete, so that a nice diversity could emerge. Perhaps more concrete themes would sometimes make more sense. For example, the theme of conflicts, the world of work, or love, and so on.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
TE – I think so. It could already be a sounding board for artists