Manhattan’s Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery curates the first solo exhibit in the states for German artist, Florian Thomas
Florian Thomas: “El Centro” 2014 acrylic on canvas 19.75 x 67″
See it NOW-March 29, 2014
Where: Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery, 37 West 57 Street, New York, NY 10019
Contact: 212.593.3757, www.bernarduccimeisel.com, Twitter: @Art57Street
Interview by Kimberly Cecchini/Paintings by Florian Thomas
Tonight at Dawn (TaD): What attracted you to art? How did your work evolve to fuse abstract expressionism and photorealistic painting?
Florian Thomas: I felt, that it (art) would be the best way for me, to say, what I have to say.
For a long time I used to paint both in coexistence. And for a long time I had the dream, the utopia, to dump the colour on the lying painting and by accident it looks like a part from the realistic world. And now I feel coming closer to this idea.
(TaD): Why did you start collecting vintage postcards and how did you come to infuse them into your paintings?
Florian Thomas: I have started with collecting them in the early nineties, because I was attracted by them in an obsessive way without knowing what to do with them. So in the mid nineties, when I started the realistic paintings I used to work with printed images from magazines, books, advertisements and soon I started using postcards – untouchable places of longing.
(TaD): Do you know the locations of some of the landscapes that you use?
Florian Thomas: Yes and no. Its always fun to visit a place, which I know from a painting I have done and to paint a place I have been. But it has not really an important influence.
(TaD): I read that the abstract brushstrokes you apply to the photorealistic pieces are a reflection of how vintage postcards tend to look with age. I think the way in which the paint breaks up the realistic compositions, the strokes create movement and a bit of chaos. Any additional thoughts on it? How much of it is intentional?
Florian Thomas: I start with the abstract part without purposeful thinking by pouring the color on the lying canvas (at this stage I seldom use a brush) . After numerous layers I start the second part: searching for an image to fit in. it is often a very complex process to bring those two together.
(TaD): Name a medium that intrigues you but you are unfamiliar with it; how and why would you like to manipulate it?
Florian Thomas: It would be great to make a movie. Possibly a road movie like a dream.
(TaD): Name a song/musician, meal, etc. that you feel would be the audio, gastronomical, etc. reflection of your work. Why?
Florian Thomas: I feel very familiar with the movies of Jaques Tati and to name one I love the music of Django Reinhardt.
(TaD): Is there anything particularly interesting that is going on in the Munich art scene right now?
Florian Thomas: For example we just have an impressive show of Matthew Barney’s new work.
(TaD): Share one thing about you that may be quirky or interesting.
Florian Thomas: In summertime I use to drive a Citroen ID19 with yellow head lamps from the year 1964.
Florian Thomas: “A Four Lane Bridge,” 2011
Florian Thomas: “Menton, dismal nach Osten blick… ” 2014 acrylic on canvas 29.5 x 71.25″