From Freiburg, Germany
Based in Düsseldorf, Leipzig (Germany) and Amsterdam (Netherlands)
We talked with wondrous Jochen Mühlenbrink about his art journey, ways to experience it, nature of the inspiration, some tips for young artists, and many more
Jochen Mühlenbrink, WP, 2021, oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?
J: I have always drawn and painted. Paintings, sculptures, and books filled my grandparents' house to the ceiling. That enchanted me as a child. My grandfather was a great friend of many artists. His admiration for artists certainly rubbed off on me. At least much more strongly than his well-meaning but vehement warning against an unsecured existence as a freelance artist.
A: What inspires you the most?
J: I don’t look for inspiration, the attraction and fascination for a subject happen more at the sidelines of life, in the periphery of my field of vision. Inspiration can show itself in everything and at the same time not be so important. I am intrigued by the ambiguity of reality, by the tension between perception and expectation, and vice versa. In fact, I want to show the unlimited possibilities of painting, but also the limits of our seeing.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
J: My rhythm is that I don't have a fixed one. Sometimes I start with the sunrise, the other time I have the best flow at night, sometimes I work secluded in the studio and then again while being on the road. In the painting techniques, I mix between synthetic or organic materials. My idea moves constantly from painting to painting within a working group. In the end, I like to combine and connect my various series to the past and following. I always look back, to see the future.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
J: I would like to encourage young artists not to be afraid to try themselves out and not to pay so much attention to the rushing and hectic art world, but to find their own speed, rely on their instincts, and trust in their own decisions. For art lovers, it doesn't need necessarily this one special moment, artwork, or artsy event, just an inner yes, to begin with.
Jochen Mühlenbrink. Photo credit: J.R.
A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?
J: Fragile, strong, unruly.
A: The best angle to look at art is from ..?
J: Upside down. From an adequate distance and as close as possible.
A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is:..?
J: Make a compliment.
A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art).
J: “Reality is not a privileged phenomenon that would underlie all others; it is the scaffolding of the relationships to which every phenomenon conforms.“
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception.