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Hanjo Schmidt
About this artwork
King Lear
acrylics on canvas
h.180cm w.150cm d.0cm
Feb 2003

Hanjo's Description: From the series "At Arm's Length".
Well, this is one of my older paintings as asked for. It's about the picture we have from ourself and that often does not match reality properly

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2006-10-13 21:42

Well Hanjo, I think it's a very interesting work. Certainly your most recent work is much stronger and more masterful and you seem to be on the top of your game however I do like this one too, archectonics and all. You had posted another one that I liked even more but when I came back to comment on it, it was gone.
One Question, in both works there is that shift. Do you recall what your reason for it was? Just additional interest or the figure on ground felt too static or what? Just interested. Oh yeah one more thing, forgetting about all formal aspects for a second may I say that I much prefer your choice of models now- a-days.

2006-10-13 22:22

Well, the shifts ... after my time in New York I was fed up with inventing figures. I thought why invent silly things when nature has such strong objects in store. And I was fed up with theories and concepts and ideologies as well (It was the time the Afganistan war started and the articles in the New York Post made me throw up). So I went back to Germany looking for something very down to earth and looking at things much more precisely and with a humble attitude. That’s why I started with models. In the beginning I did not really know what to do with them. The only thing I knew was: No reclining nudes! So finally I started to explore with me as a model what one can do with such a body. But taking yourself as a model has at least one big problem: You cannot see yourself without the help of a mirror or a camera. So I took my camera in my hand and photographed me from the distance of an arm’s length. That’s why I needed at least two photos to get the whole thing. And putting the parts together showed this funny shifts which I thought I would eliminate while painting. But after a while I thought why eliminate? That’s exactly the way we see ourself: in parts. The picture we have from us is kind of a puzzle. What we think we are looking like, what others see, what the mirror tells us and so on. It’s never objective but broken and makeshift. So I left the shift and showed it in the painting.
Well, to cut a long story short, after that experience I knew what to do with a model and so I looked for one. And you are right, Katja for example is a gift from heaven so to say.

2008-01-08 18:57

Hanjo, I've learned a lot from your explanation. Thank you.


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