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Interview with German Artist Anya Triestram

I came across Anya Triestram on the book-design/illustration blog 50 Watts. Her lithographs, drawings, paintings and mixed media art show reverence to the German-tradition, encompassing its "strange habits and morbid peculiarity." After the jump, explore "what's in a line" with the artist's meaningful compositions.

Image via Anya Triestram

Name Anya Triestram
Field Artist
Location Leipzig, Germany

1. What are your inspirations for your work? And who are some artists you admire?
I like to look at old anatomical representations and cook books to give me ideas. The artists who inspire me are Pieter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch: their strange and absurd figurativeness draw me into the pictures – you do not even need an art-historical idea to be attracted to them. This applies more to Bosch then to Bruegel. Werner Tübke: his colours and details in consistency. Auguste Herbin: a friend of mine recently called attention to his work. He works just with plain basic forms and colours.

2. How has where you’re from affected your work? For instance, the Art traditions, and interests of the people.
I come from a German region were traditions, religion and dialect are still part of everyday culture and village life. This ‘Heimat’ (homeland) gives me my cultural roots but also shows me its strange habits and morbid peculiarity.

As an artistic influence, I would name surreal means of portrayal – without me being a fan of surrealism as a historical period. My interests in art history are more in Expressionism and Contemporary Art and in 17th century still life.

Jagdhütte, Mittagessen, 12.30 Uhr. Pencil

3. Please share your favorite, or most significant, piece with us and tell us a bit about it.
One of my own works? That would be a piece out of the series “Jagdhütte, Mittagessen, 12.30 Uhr” (hunting hut, Lunch, 12.30 noon). It shows a little figure bending over. It is just the contour. That’s the real meaning of the work and what I got from various studies: you just need the outline (instead of the hole representation) to characterize. Astonishingly, the pure shape, the fine line of the drawing, the small size and – in contrast – the rough structure of the paper, all bring out the essence of the figure.

4. It’s amazing how a simple line can tell a complex story as can be experienced through your work. What’s in a line?
The line is, of course, important in drawing. I like to change the thickness to emphasize or reduce elements. Surprisingly, fine lines do not necessarily lower the emphasis.

A look at the work table

5. What paper and drawing tools do you use?
No special materials – everything that fits the purpose.

6. What tells you to add color or gradient, and is it harder to stop adding or continue adding to a piece?
A piece has its different stages, where adding is easy or difficult. The question of when to stop is though easily answered: you continue as long as this question exists while working. The good thing abot not stopping at the right point is that you can reverse your decision and work back to the stage you prefer.

7. Your “studies” of people and animals appear traditional in the sense the subject, for the most part, is representational in form, but then is interrupted through use of a different method of visualization. Is it important to you to have different tiers to your work – that is, a piece that divulges extra information and isn’t just enjoyed on surface level?
For me the combination of abstract techniques with representative forms is important to express and focus meanig. This is my method of composition. I need a certain amount of figurative elements in order to frame the mimetic elements of the picture.

8. You also paint, and …
… draw, print and make little objects … so I won’t get bored.

9. Any advice to our creative community members wanting to pursue their artistic dreams?
You should try to listen to yourself – what you want and what you like. Don’t put your focus on the taste of an audience or the art market. This art won’t work. Though being yourself doesn’t mean to ignore an honest opinion – be open to criticism – just see what feels right for yourself.

10. What can we expect to see in the near future?
I have been working on a piece for quite a while now. I developed a technique to place small linoleum cuts, that look like tiles to one big wall-filling installation. The combination of very small und big works is of great interest to me at the moment. There will be an exhibition from 24th of May to 05th July 2013 in the M2A Gallery in Dresden where you can see my latest works. I am really looking forward to this show, because I can do the curating myself. I will combine drawings, prints, painting, objects and the wall piece of course.

Thank you Anya!

Keep up-to-date with Anya’s works via her website.

written by soundfoodaround

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.