The human body, its abstraction and its separate entities are expressed in the work of STEFAN GUNNESCH, who skillfully convinced the jury of the GoSeeAWARDS last year in the category ART PROJECTS (with 'ABSTRACT BEAUTY') as well as ILLUSTRATION with his collages. With ‘Hidden Identities’, The artist just presented his first solo show in London. In December, his works will be presented by Nadia Arnold Ltd. at PULSE Art Fair Miami. Plus, 'Stefan Gunnesch: Into the Vastness' was published this year, his first artist book. We present you photos of works and from the exhibition as well as the artist at work here on GoSee.
His main inspiration emerges from the vanitas genre, symbolic work from the early Dutch 17thcentury showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure and the certainty of death. Change, blossoming and withering are the starting point for his visual research. The collage technique demands that initially something has to be fragmented and destroyed before something new can emerge. In this sense, the method of cutting is directly related to the theme of vanitas. During creation, the subject decays and changes constantly; and something beautiful can become morbid or even ugly yet fascinating through its own aesthetic.
“With my works, I try to connect to the audience’s feelings and memories. On a personal level I want to tell a story via associations. I consider my collages to be beginnings of visual stories – something that may be continued in the viewer’s mind and can connect with their personal memories.” Stefan tells GoSee.
'Most of the time I work very intuitively with collages, letting flow into them what inspires me, what happens in and around me. Each new work starts with a visual starting point (for example a photograph) which I constantly modify and abstract by cutting out different parts. The next step is complementing it with collage elements, paint and drawing to create a multilayered surface. To create collages and paint them over becomes an egoistic acquisition of the picture’s motif. This process in my work has become a central part of the projects—besides the final collage.
In my work, I dissolve concepts of identity to create a new projection surface, a kind of white space for emotions and desires. To create a new (‘hidden’) identity, I play with abstraction and anonymization of faces and bodies. Somehow, it’s always about finding yourself in there, which also inspires thinking about and feeling into your own body and with that your own identity.”
Stefan Gunnesch studied Communication Design and works as a book designer and illustrator – with a great passion for typography and collage artworks. Since starting his own studio, Bildschriftlich, he works for publishing houses, cultural institutions and artists; From 2011–2017, he taught at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle. He held lectures and workshops among others at Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo (Norway). Under the name of Edition Bildschriftlich, he publishes his own artist’s books in limited editions. His books and illustrations are on display in international exhibitions and are acquired by renowned museums and collections. Since 2013, Stefan Gunnesch lives and works in Leipzig.
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