MATTHIAS BRANDES EXPLAINS WHY HE IS PAINTING WEIGHTLESS HOUSES FOR OVER 20 YEARS
Interview by Marco Agostinelli

Archaic image, the house is the leitmotif of the work of Matthias Brandes, a painter who reworks ideas of Balthus, Magritte and magic realism. But in this interview Matthias speaks not only about art, but also about MOSE (the mobile dam under construction for the venetian lagoon)  and the huge cruise ships ..

Dear Matthias, I still remember with astonishment the visit to your studio. I experienced the feeling of entering a workshop of yesteryear, where a painter, with a capital P., is working. The alchemy of colors and smells seemed to take me back in time. In this artistic world where perhaps too often the technology makes incursions without the sense of art, you remain strongly painter, is that a deliberate choice or a necessity?

I’m remaining a painter because a painting has a particular presence in space-time. It’s perception requires and allows a long time, need for countless looks and various viewing angles. Today we see especially fast images …  the time imposing my art is anachronistic for choice. But I also started making short videos for fun. And I’m not totally extraneous to technology, actually, to process my paintings, I also use digital media such as smartphones, digital camera, sometimes even Photoshop.

In many of your pictures floating in houses that seem to slip out of the hands or from thoughts ... Can you explain what do they mean?

I'm interested in the contradictions: my houses seem  being made of a hard material, stony, heavy. Instead they can also levitate, fly or go like birds in the nest. Inside of my paintings this possibility seems to be probable, or rather, I want to make it appear probable. The painting is a parallel world that leaves freedom to thoughts and imagination. Looking closer, however, their motion in the air creates a relationship with other objects, houses or ships often located on tables. What today is stopped yesterday perhaps may was moving or flying, or will do so tomorrow. Every state of affairs is temporary, precarious.


Can you tell us about your upcoming projects and exhibitions?

I'm moving towards Asia. As things stand it seems there are opening new horizons for me in that huge reality species in China. But I remain faithful to my Italian followers who made me grow. I'm also recovering after years of absence, new initiatives in my home country, Germany.

Marco Agostinelli 09/11/2014 MAAP MAGAZINE