Hej Kulafamily, today i want to present you the work of Birgit Wolfram, contemporary artist, based in Berlin. Details, details and details. Glas, Reflection and Transformation everything you can feel in her Oil Paints art work.
City or Country side?
Wine or Beer?
Summer or Winter?
Hey Birgit, you are an contemporary artist from Germany, how did you start getting involved in art?
When finishing high school in a city near Cologne, I realized that making Art is what I want to presue in a serious manner, regardless everyone at the time would advice me to go for something „financially stabil“. I applied at German Art schools, knowing that it was competitive to the point that 90% get rejected. I then was rejected, and decided at age 22 to go to New York to try there. I received a scholarship and debuted with my first Solo Show in Brooklyn the following Year.
Image by Pat Foley
What fascinates you?
Of course always Nature and its perfection. No elements are missing, everything has its purpose and no elements are redundant. Other artists inspire me as well, just as certain designers and music.
How is the art scene in Germany compared to US?
Based on my personal experience I can only compare Berlin to New York. New York is larger and wealthier and therefore more vibrant, more competitive, busier. However at the same time, it pushes out emerging artists simply because it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Space is low, allot of artists studios have no windows, to let in daylight. Collectors have only very little wall space. New York is very inspiring due to its massive vibrance. However, in terms of logistics Berlin is a really good spot to produce art, especially for emerging artists.
How did you started to establish in the art scene, what would you now do different?
If I am being honest, at the very beginning of my career there might have been a few occasions on which I priced my work too low. I knew I did it, to ensure those sales would really happen as I needed to make money simply to eat and to keep the lights on.
What is the difference for you as a female artist?
Weirdly, I do feel a sense of greatfulness of having been born in a time where women are allowed to work creatively. I cannot imagine life 50 years ago or longer, it must have been very restricting. Sadly I does still happen often that I see galleries that exhibit mostly male artists, which obviously makes me not want to approach them . I recently had a studio visit from a female gallerist who decided to only exhibit female artist in order to create a balance on the art market.
What is coming into your mind about the word „Reflection“
Reflection to me is fundamentally what the process of art making is. Artists reflect. Reflection also is a visual element in my works I think.
How would you describe your art?
Elements of translucence and allot of detail… I very much believe in detail and a certain „strictness“, at least in my way of creating. The works ever since often tend to have a glass like character and elements of fragility. I currently paint Crystals as well as manipulated bits of interiors from a different time. I entitled that series „time capsules“ to verbally capture the sentimental quality I am looking for.
How would you describe your technique do you work with?
My medium is oil on canvas in close relation to the medium of photography. Sometimes during the process of composing I rely on sketches or bits of collaging, but 95% of the studio time is painting with Oil colors.
Are you working in day or night?
During daytime, because I need daylight to see my paint pallette and it´s different hues properly. Artificial light is not really an option, unless I am on a deadline or in winter. It feels uncomfortable though.
What are the major challenges as an artist?
Perseverance, even during times when things don´t make sense. I think especially in the creative field we all know that the things we want to achieve tend to come to us in different ways than we would have imagined at first.
When im watching your paintings, there is this special light, beauty but also seems on the other side fragil soft breakable side mixed with an immense power of aggressivity or strongness. Reflection. And touched with lightly and softness. Correct me if im wrong. I love it.
What do you want me to understand?
It´s not really fully narrative, but I try to bring Your mindset into a certain mood. For example in my Chrystal Paintings, I guess by transfering the inside of a crystal in large scale precisely on canvas, I want to make it´s light flooded interior accesible. Even though the object I use may always be the same in that series, each time it is placed in different light setting, the mood changes tremendously.
Your latest project, first one is already sold. Would you like to tell us a bit more about it.
After having dealt with a rather cryptic series my galleries liked allot at the time, some inner voice really tried to drag me back to what interested me more, which was bringing back figurative elements. I started the time capsule series, which is based on authentic interiors, meaning untouched room sceneries from a time that is passed. The series seemed to relate to works I had done during my time in art school, however this time in color and more refined.
Outside of the world of art, what are you passionate about?
I do see Art as my main passion. Obviously as I said earlier I do enjoy other peoples skills and they inspire me, and are nurturing. But speaking for myself it really comes down to art. To me Art is the only thing I can trust. Also it just feels so nice, I feel very free when I paint.
What is one piece of advice you always give to people who starts with art?
Just keep going. If there are people in Your family or in Your circle of friends that want to advice You to do something else: Just remind yourself they mean well. And maybe there is something inside of You that they can`t see yet because only You can see it. Never forget that. You will see the result in your work if you just patiently keep going.
What is happiness for you?
The absense of wondering about the future or past. Sunlight. Ideas. Creativity. My Partner. My friends. Being at the right place.
How do you spend your days off?
They are well used by simply going outside and socialize. Because studio time is immensly isolating. It is just me and music or audio books. So during days of I try to feed all the needs that are being neglected during studio time.
How do you define success?
When something which took a long time to make finally comes to fruition.
Contact Birgit Wolfram to see more or have a look into her work: