ARTIST CLOSEUP-Contemporary Art Magazine
Silke von Clarmann
Silke von Clarmann grew up in a strong entrepreneurial household. Through the passion of sailing, von Clarmann met the famous Chiemsee artist Paul Paulus at an early age. Thanks to Paul, she discovered in her own life the enthusiasm for painting and unconventional approaches that were previously unknown to her.
Silke v. Clarmann first studied art history and then combined her knowledge with a degree in business administration. At an early age, she was already aware that it takes more than art history and its understanding to successfully implement a career.
This innovative combination of both study aspects led to a particularly important topic in v. Clarmann’s art, namely the topic of people. She works on this topic in a special form of portraiture. This results in large-format, color-intensive faces that illustrate the importance of tolerance and peace.
In 2018, von Clarmann moved to her new, larger studio in order to steer her career to greater heights. This was followed by numerous solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Austria and Italy.
What is your background and how did you start your journey in the art world?
“I grew up in an entrepreneurial household in Munich/Germany. Through the passion of sailing, I met the famous Chiemsee-Artist Paul Paulus as a child. Through him I discovered an enthusiasm for painting, and for me it was then clear that I would later pursue a creative career.”
What does your work aim to say? Does it comment on any current social or political issues?
“We live in a fast-paced time full of distraction, digitization and globalization. Countless people often focus their gaze only on their mobile phones and feel rushed and dictated by the constant up-to-date being.
For me, the focus is always on my counterpart. The concentration on his facial expressions and gestures allows me to mindfully build a relationship with the person. Our performance orientation needs a deceleration. We all need to regain the necessary calm to be open to getting to know other people, customs and cultures.
With my art, I work precisely on this return to the necessary mutual appreciation. This strengthens us all in the capacity for tolerance and peace.”
Which current art world trends are you following?
“I notice that there is comparatively little room in Germany’s museums for contemporary art from Africa. It is therefore all the more pleasing that a global exchange in art is currently taking place and that collections are being supplemented by African contemporary works of art. I also interpret this as a sign of more openness and tolerance.”
Do you plan your work in advance, or is it improvisation?
“Actually, something of both. At first there is improvised chaos, the colors run and the brushes playfully fly over the canva.
Then I structure the chaos on the canvas. Now I place a face on the background, change, calm, supplement, destroy and paint over. All this arises in the current painting process and I don’t know how the final result will turn out.”
What process, materials, techniques, etc., do you use to create your artwork?
“My artworks actually consist of two pictures, an abstract basic image, on which I then put my motif.
My paintings grow in this process in many individual steps from the first abstract stroke to the last highlight. Various painting and drawing materials such as charcoal, chalk, acrylic and oil paint, markers and sprays are combined as desired. I then refine, change, destroy and repaint individual layers, it’s a dynamic process.”
What does your art mean to you?
“My approach gives me the courage to let go, to break out of a façade and to show my true feelings. Long live the chaos! It can’t be ‚perfect‘ either.”
Perfection is neither natural nor desirable. And the more I become acquainted with this thought, the more relaxed I become.
What is your favorite artwork and why?
“For me, the greatest work of art is the human face. All facets of any emotion can be read in faces, we just have to get into it. And take the time for our counterpart.”
Have you had any noteworthy exhibitions you’d like to share?
“I participated in the KUNSTMEILE ’21 in the following locations: Trostberg/Germany, Kitzbühl/ Austria, Udine/Italy and Munich/Germany.” You can see more about these exhibitions here.