Untitled (Reflection on creation and space)
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- Unframed- Available- 250,00 €
- Framed- Available- 360,00 €
48-HOUR EDITION DROP I Stefan Heyer
26-28 JULY 2023
6-6 PM CEST
Stefan Heyer is a German contemporary artist working in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. His gestural abstract paintings are an exploration of histories, both personal and shared, and are inspired by pop culture, esoteric and philosophical issues of our postmodern digital age, alienation, nature, and history in general. His journey to a career in the arts was not born of privilege but of passion.
Experiencing the DIY attitude of the 1980s and 1990s, it was this aesthetic underground rather than academic training that developed Stefan Heyer’s style and consciousness of art. After a career in street fashion as an art and creative director, he went full-time as an artist in 2008.
His work can be found in private collections around the world. Heyer is represented by galleries in the USA (Gallery MAR, Utah, and Simchowitz/Creative Partners in Los Angeles), Grainger Gallery (Australia), DB Contemporary Art (Düsseldorf, Germany), Kunsthaus Artes (Hannover/Berlin, Germany), and JPB-ART Gallery (Saint Tropez, France).ABOUT THE WORK
"This painting was the key piece of my work on raw canvas from 2019–2021, a highly transformational period for my artistic practise and also personally: I moved from Hamburg to Spain. As a visualisation of an inner landscape fed by impressions and scents from past travels, the work is also a kind of cosmic mind map, a personal spiritual journey through the Pleroma, a boundless, impersonal space at the root ground of the human soul that encompasses its conscious and unconscious lives. According to Carl Gustav Jung, the soul is the intrapsychic definition of this fullness.
Photo-transferred images of mid-century modern architecture, my alter ego Le Mat/The Fool of the Original Tarot de Marseille, a portrait of musician Frank Ocean, old photos of shamanic rituals I found on the Web, and an image of Ghana's capital Accra Agbogbloshie, home to one of Africa's largest e-waste dumps, as a metaphor of what went wrong on our planet and what we have to solve and overcome as a civilization, are interwoven with my mixed media of oil brush strokes, handwritten words, oil pastel, and pencil lines and marks." – Stefan HeyerHAND-FINISH
Each edition is signed and numbered by the artist himself.
ABOUT THE FRAME
The frame is natural ayous wood with acrylic glass that has 84% UV protection. Framed dimensions are 83 x 63 cm; 27.8 x 19.9 in.
ABOUT THE 48-HOUR EDITION DROP
The 48-HOUR EDITION DROP is a concept which allows artists to sell an unlimited amount of physical editions within the limited time frame of 48 hours on EXPANDED.ART. Each 48-HOUR EDITION DROP edition will be available for 48 hours only, then never again.
ABOUT THE EDITION NUMBER
The editions are numbered randomly, i.e. the edition number is not chronologically assigned to the time of order receipt. All 48-HOUR EDITION DROP prints are made to order. Each artwork will be produced and personalized specifically for each client, the artwork therefore is not eligible for return.
"I want to pull a universal string. All my work is a hymn to creation and space. A hymn to personal transformation. Reflections on the human condition I am part of. To dig deeper than just reflecting some superficial beauty. Cosmic vibrations. Vibes. Matching and synchronising higher and different frequencies. Reaching out for an essence and a more positive energetic and fluid shifting dreamworld, as opposed to our machine age and the pure materialistic paradigm." – Stefan Heyer
Abstract Art and Collages
STEFAN HEYER: "PAINTING IS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE ITSELF"
EXPANDED.ART: Stefan Heyer, do you remember your first experience of being creative?
Stefan Heyer: Growing up in the 1980s and early to mid-1990s, I discovered art through record sleeves in the old-school analogue way. To listen to the velvet underground with the sleeve in your hand meant you discovered Andy Warhol and the factory. The first time I fell in love with Gerhard Richter was because of that Sonic Youth Sleeve with the candle. Being a small-town boy surrounded by mainstream culture, I was drawn very early on to alternative and avant-garde things. More and more, I started to have this urge to create something. This is something you cannot force, but it evolves naturally. I played in bands, started to paint, and created collages. For years, I created feverishly, but only for myself, not showing my art to anybody.
EXPANDED.ART: You worked as a graphic designer and creative director before devoting your life to art full time. What sparked that decision?
SH: Instead of moving to Berlin in the early 1990s to study art (I was too shy and insecure, and my conservative parents were not helping), I discovered the mouse and the Mac and got into graphic design. For a while, I worked for an underground music and street fashion shop, creating their visual identity and doing all the graphic design. It was a really fun time with good dynamics and nice people. It kind of felt like turning my hobby into a business.
I always created art besides my graphic design daytime job. At some point, about a decade ago, while working elsewhere, I decided to quit my job and turn my back on that life of marketing talks and redundant meetings. I devoted my time to art full time to be free to do what I am passionate about, and everything is my own responsibility. It's a daily fight, but a beautiful one.
EXPANDED.ART: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
SH: I need a certain energy level to be able to create art. And to be able to fire this kind of energy into my artistic practise, I draw inspiration from things that I love, like jogging or cycling, spending time in nature, listening to music, and reading philosophical books.
EXPANDED.ART: Do you have idols that influence your practise?
SH: The word idol sounds strange to me, but I’m inspired by people who are and were really doing outstanding stuff. I look up to artists who are fully devoted to their practise, are ahead of their time, and create with deep love for their work. Musicians like Karlheinz Stockhausen or Lee "Scratch" Perry, writers like Peter Handke, or female artists like Cecily Brown, Joan Mitchell, or Agnes Martin are among my influences.
EXPANDED.ART: Your paintings are abstract with a harmonious mix of colors. How did you develop your visual language?
SH: My process is a marriage between chaos and order, emotion and brain, automatism and exploring new territory, going with the flow, and allowing the unforeseen to move in. I am not a control freak.
The starting point is the selection of images of specific themes I am interested in from a certain period of time, whether historical or esoteric ones, pop culture, counterculture, astrophysics, and architecture. The catalyst can also be a lyric from a specific song or a line from a poem. These laser-printed images are transferred to the canvas, and on top of this grid, I start my discourse with the painting by reacting to the colors and shapes of those images. I was always attracted to collage techniques, but I never liked glued paper, so I started experimenting with analog transfers to get a smooth surface. From that point on, I have been working quickly with my oils, pastels, and pencils. Like in a rush, various sessions are quite short-timed, hoping to reach that beautiful kind of trance-like state when creating art.
I never stare at a painting for hours, debating whether it’s finished or not; it’s the first view that counts. One glance at the painting, and it’s clear to me whether I have to add just some marks or if I have to rework the whole thing. I always decide in that second, in that moment, always with the risk of failure, but as the saying goes: no risk, no fun. In this sense, painting is a perfect metaphor for life itself. My use of colors comes not from thinking about it; it's inside my soul and myself. I want to pull a universal string.
EXPANDED.ART: How have you, as an artist, evolved over the past years, also taking the rise of the Internet into consideration?
SH: Self-taught artists and career changers like me who got into the art world by chance would have never had a chance back in the day to establish themselves in the world of galleries. Luckily enough, this all changed with the Internet, which opened up so many possibilities. I started using Instagram from day one, which had a huge impact. Suddenly, a worldwide audience could view and collect my work. For me, it’s the mix between having traditional gallery shows and being able to show my work to a wide audience online.
EXPANDED.ART: You moved from Hamburg to Spain a couple of years ago. How does traveling and getting to know new places impact your artistic practice?
SH: I am an early bird, and I can work best with crisp daylight on a hot and sunny day. So in Hamburg, where it’s always rainy, I could only work 4 days per year (laughs). Seriously, changing places and perspectives is always inspiring and necessary to get into the groove. The most obvious thing is the fact that in Spain I am able to paint on really large canvases, whereas in Hamburg I was limited in that sense. There, I was quite isolated with my painting practice. Here in Spain, I share a beautiful space with my Catalan girlfriend (also an artist doing ceramics and paintings), enjoying the daily talks, the feedback, and the general southern action. On top of that, I am addicted to the sun, and I can bike to the beach, so that helps a lot with being productive. I also really love the colorful vibes here, even in the most profane architecture, and of course, the beautiful nature of the Costa Brava inspires me. But I also always need my German woods and greens, so going back and forth is the way for me.
EXPANDED.ART: To any artist just starting out, what advice would you give?
SH: I am an anarchic loner and late bloomer, and I needed around 50 years in this incarnation on earth to become the man that I am now. Everything is still a work in progress, so I don't know if my advice helps, but I would advise everyone to use their youth to fail, to explore, and to never stop changing. Don’t be too professional. Be a Bowie. Kill your idols and develop your own language. Don’t trust the whiz kids. Don’t go for the fast bucks. Don’t try to be a hip figurative artist just because it seems that everybody else is doing that. Teach yourself or go to university and try to get into the class of Daniel Richter (if he still has one).