I find it exciting when we get to meet a new artist and especially when this person is creating in a style very different to what we are used to appreciating.
German artist Thomas Riesner is one such person and he brings such a fresh, challening and unbridled perspective to images -in a style he calls abstract figuration which blurs the lines between abstract and figurative - an exciting concept to consider and appreciate.
So let's see what we can learn from some of the works being produced by Thomas Riesner who explains:
I was born in Leipzig in 1971 and I still live here today. Already in elementary school I often painted "abstract" instead of the given concrete drawing. I later retained this style or changed it to "abstract figuration". I painted a lot at home, always without professional guidance. I didn't have any specific role models. When I start a picture, I only have a certain idea, but often something completely different emerges. I would describe myself as an outsiderart artist. Thomas Riesner
Art works fall into so many categories and everyone has their own way of viewing and reacting to a creation. My reaction to Thomas' images is layered. At first the power of the images in their naked naivety attracts me most likely from my interest in naive art. The strength of the colours and dominance of line over shape appeals to me very much. Visually I find these images fascinating.
I find myself being lured into the composition - much to my surprise. I find myself wanting to go behind the figures as I feel there is much going on behind the scene that the artist isn't telling me. I'm being left to my own devices and interpretation to make my meaning from the image.
Is my response emotional? definitely. I'm curious to discover more beyond the visual impact. Do the images disturb me? Make me feel uncomfortable? Some do... but not in anyway that I want to turn away.
I like art that takes me out of my comfort zone and Thomas Riesner certainly does that with his creations. Another term for his style is Outsider Art which can be defined as:
art made by self-taught or supposedly naïve artists with typically little or no contact with the conventions of the art worlds. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.1
Outsider art has emerged as a successful art marketing category; an annual Outsider Art Fair has taken place in New York since 1993, and there are at least two regularly published journals dedicated to the subject. The term is sometimes misapplied as a catch-all marketing label for art created by people who are outside the mainstream "art world" or "art gallery system", regardless of their circumstances or the content of their work.1
Our world abounds with unconventional characters and those created by Thomas Riesner are looking for their niche and definitely not in a monochromatric world with no speed humps! Thomas doesn't shy away from confronting us with some more disturbing images to challenge our thoughts and perceptions.
A huge shoutout to Thomas Riesner for his courage in creating from the heart and soul. I do hope that Thomas will keep in touch with the AnArt4Life blog team and take us on his artistic journey as he explores his abstract figuration style.
© Thank you to Thomas Riesner who kindly gave permission for the images of his work to be shared on AnArt4Life.