A dark look at the modern world

Published: 16 December, 2012 07:22 IST | Moeena Halim |

German contemporary artist Michael Kunze wants his artwork to evoke a memory of something that never existed for the spectator

Michael Kunze attended art school, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, in the late 80s till the early 90s — the time when the interest in new media was just picking up. But the use of new media was completely forbidden to the budding artists.

Michael Kunze’s oil on canvas titled Echo Pool

“If one intensified his interest in this blind spot, despite this prohibition, everybody looked at him as if he were an uneducated person. Such a stupid monotheistic view causes suspicion and raises the spirit of opposition. So it got clearer that this would be my area of interest,” explains Kunze, talking about the style of painting he adopted early in life.

“But the task I have set myself is not only to critique. The task is to create a new, contextually embedded image, which brings to the spectator a visual memory of something that he never experienced. He recognises many things but doesn’t know why and how he can recognise them.”

The artist uses dark imagery and concrete landscapes to shows us a “hidden path of modernism”. He uses motifs and historical references that present an image of the world other than the mainstream modernity we are accustomed to. “It’s a sort of anti-modern modernity, a dark but red and large cloud, from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s tragedy studies to Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier’s Antichrist.”

Kunze, whose work is on display for the first time in India, has especially created eight large canvases. “The director Ashwin Thadani approached me in Berlin and invited me to exhibit my work.

India is a country that has so much heritage, culture and history that in my opinion any artist would be honoured to showcase their works here,” says Kunze, who visited India for the first time to open the exhibition. Signing off, he offers valuable advice to young artists. “Every artist must believe in his talent and should be dedicated, focused and innovative to achieve his ultimate goal.”

Until: February 12, 2013
At: Gallery ISA, 132, Great Western Building, 1st floor, SBS Road, opp Lion Gate, Fort 

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