About my Artistic Work Process
I do not make any (visual) sketches for my paintings and always perceived this circumstance as a striking difference to how other abstract artists proceed. However, all my works carry very explicit titles or are part of series and refer to specific experiences or situations.
At the beginning: a clear emotional image
In 2003 I started writing longer texts along with some of my series (such as "Sati" or "The Lotus Feet"). In 2005, with the series "Cinque Leoni" I finally understood that it was not visual but lingual-emotional sketches that were starting point for my painterly work. Three of the five Leoni-paintings came along quite easily, however I had difficulties with the other two. For days I was undecided and tried different approaches, all the while titles and the specific encounter they referred to were already determined.
At a certain point I just took my sketch book and wrote a long, diary-like private text for each painting. While writing I reflected upon the situation each painting referred to, analyzed it and tried to "abstract" it, i. e. understand the underlying scheme. As soon as I got hold of that scheme (or: matrix) of my personal experience I found it no longer difficult finishing the painting.
Maybe this way of developing a painting could be best compared to the work of an actor who prepares for a role: in doing so he must build his cast through combining his personal biography, his experiences and detailed observations of his environment until he eventually has a clear emotional idea of the character he will represent. Only then he will be able to play his part in a convincing way.
Another remark regarding observing my environment: sometimes I meet people whose feelings I can access. Eventually these feelings are un-organized, chaotic, un-controllable. I then permit that these feelings take over, I jump into this flood, drown within it, myself becoming its object - until I finally learn to dominate these feelings and understand their inner logic, the underlying archetype. Maybe I could describe this process as perceiving energy particles of other people's feelings, reproducing and multiplying them within me and finally modifying them within my own perception. In the end I will find new patterns and distillate a/my personal emotional image from them. Only at that final point I will be able to finish my painting.
At the end: precise abstraction
And then, when I again emerge from such an emotional flood, the only things I carry with me are some titles I found, some pages of paper and notes in my diary. Some time later I will have finished the paintings and polished the texts so that I can publish them, being clear and cool, a bit distanced, and above all: anonymizing all players.
In an interview (1) Gerhard Richter was asked for a statement regarding the fact that currently his work and his personal biography were being analyzed thoroughly. Richter's comment: "It is only to a very limited extent that biographic details can be helpful in understanding my work."