The Enigmatic World of Matthias Weischer’s Interior Paintings
An Unconventional Journey to Success
Who doesn’t love the classic story of an outsider, an unassuming competitor who wins the big game and reaches the summit? Not that all art is a competition, or that Matthias Weischer is an outsider, but the trajectory of his career is certainly unexpected. Starting as a young student painting living rooms in the early 21st century, he has since become one of the most recognized names in the world of figurative painting. Alongside his close group of friends from the academy, Weischer forms part of the esteemed New Leipzig School, a group of artists who have gained substantial admiration in the art world. With his humble, universal settings and focus on interior spaces, Weischer delves into the complexities of light, form, color, and texture, driven by an almost obsessive fascination with creating an illusion of space within the restrictive confines of a two-dimensional canvas. To truly understand his remarkable artistic journey, we had the privilege of visiting Weischer at his home studio in Leipzig’s iconic Spinnerei, where he openly shared his stories, thoughts, beliefs, and aspirations.
The Genesis of Weischer’s Interior Paintings
Weischer’s interest in creating these captivating spaces on canvas can be traced back nearly twenty years. It all began with a series of paintings inspired by the living rooms he encountered during his childhood, particularly those in the homes of his friends. Returning to these familiar settings and capturing their ambiance was an emotionally charged experience for the artist. The initial focus was on capturing a somewhat unpleasant and eerie atmosphere, evoking a sense of nostalgia. However, as time passed, Weischer’s approach to his subject matter evolved, resulting in a shift from capturing spookiness to embracing both good and bad memories associated with these spaces. The recent exhibition of his older works at the Drents Museum provided him with the opportunity to revisit and reconnect with the emotions and atmosphere he had originally sought to capture. It was a nostalgic journey that transported him back in time, reaffirming the significance and impact of his early works.
The Joy of Exploration: iPad Drawings
In addition to his traditional oil paintings, Weischer has also ventured into the realm of digital art through the use of iPad drawings. This new medium offers him a different approach and excites him for several reasons. One of the advantages is the ability to closely observe and draw from life, just as he would in front of a physical object or scene. The playfulness and efficiency of creating digital art on an iPad are particularly appealing to him. Unlike traditional painting, where the artist may waste materials or face limitations due to physical constraints, the iPad allows for a more fluid and economical process. Weischer acknowledges that while painting on canvas remains his ultimate passion, exploring this digital tool offers a unique perspective and enhances his artistic practice.
The Allure of Traditional Painting
Despite his experimentation with digital art, Weischer firmly believes in the enduring appeal of traditional painting. Returning to his studio after exploring the limitless possibilities of the iPad, he rediscovers the richness and unpredictability that accompany the traditional medium. The process of painting on canvas presents a unique adventure, where surprises and unexpected outcomes can arise. Unlike the digital realm, paintings possess a tangible presence, leaving marks on the canvas that convey a sense of magic and personal connection. Weischer finds gratification in upholding the tradition of oil painting, recognizing its historical significance and the timeless enjoyment it brings to both artists and viewers.
Inspirations from Past and Present
Weischer’s work is greatly influenced by various artistic traditions, as he is consciously aligned with those who preceded him in the art world. Early Renaissance and Gothic paintings, known for their clear architectural elements and unconventional perspectives, serve as a significant source of inspiration for him. He also draws inspiration from color field painting, Chinese and Japanese paintings, and woodcut prints. A distinctive aspect of Weischer’s paintings is his incorporation of quotations from these artistic traditions. These references are not intended to dominate the entire painting but rather serve as playful gestures, conveying his emotional connection to specific aspects of art history and the present. Such inclusion adds an additional layer of depth and meaning to his works, inviting viewers to engage in a visual dialogue that transcends time and place.
The Power of Perspective
Perspective plays a pivotal role in Weischer’s art, allowing him to create a unique sense of space and depth. Departing from the traditional central perspective, his paintings provide the viewer with a more expansive and immersive experience. Rather than confining the viewer to a fixed viewpoint, Weischer’s compositions invite exploration and movement within the pictorial space. This unconventional approach grants the artist greater freedom and flexibility in manipulating the relationship between objects and the space they inhabit. By deviating from the expected, Weischer expands the possibilities of his compositions, breathing life into his canvas with a wider spatial context.
An Evolving Artistic Process
Weischer’s creative journey is characterized by a constant desire for evolution and change. With each new series of works, he endeavors to explore new concepts and perspectives. A notable shift in his recent works is a departure from the thick and textured surfaces seen in his earlier pieces. Instead, he adopts a more deliberate approach, meticulously planning what elements to introduce before applying additional layers of paint. Similar to a builder constructing a house, Weischer begins by establishing the spatial foundation, crafting walls, floors, and ceilings. Only after considering the composition and placement of objects within the space does he proceed with