I love making pieces of art from cutlery using LED lights to give them some life. The spoon and fork, the cutlery that accompanies us every day in our life. Nothing special—they are hardly noticed, if at all. We only pay more attention to them when they are dirty or missing from the table. A spoon is a simple object, standardized, interchangeable. It is the perfect metaphor for people today, a symbol I took up for the first time in 2015 and that has been artistically reappearing in my works for five years now. The cutlery is lined up by the hundreds, alienated in its function as a useful object, without disguising its interchangeability and simplicity.
After the first series, I kept on this concept by producing LED-illuminated works in recent years, but I never abandoned the concept of the little spoon that takes its place in the collective. The circle is the perfect geometric shape; it stands for unity, symmetry, ideal coherence, a round thing. It symbolizes the collective, the cohesion, the strength, but also the seclusion, the rigidity, and the boundary towards everything that lies outside the radius.
Every single spoon or fork circle contains a lot of metaphors, hidden messages, and possibilities for interpretation. I leave enough space for the viewer’s perceptions, experiences, and their view of the world, which flow into the interpretation. The circle of life is static, and life is dynamic. The circles of life are both.
The classic cutlery pictures without a light effect: lots of metaphors and symbolism. Collective with 2 faces
A four-part spoon image is made up of a total of 864 spoons. The golden circles are reminiscent of an icon picture; the surface is beautiful, raised, and shines in thousands of shades of gold. Just as these circular formations can shine in the most beautiful light, they can, however, bring a different face to light in the same way in the wrong light: loud, aggressive, threatening. The same collective of spoons in two completely different forms—you only change one factor, and the overall appearance turns into the opposite.
The painting was staged with burning spray cans in a photoshoot in October 2015. The same picture can be perceived once positively and once negatively. Often, a spark is enough to trigger a fire in the area.
Material: acrylic, filler, gold and copper spray, copper patina, 860 spoons on canvas. 200 x 200, four parts.
Collective with 2 faces – detail
Performance art: Flag in the wind
Flag in the wind as a synonym of social and political developments.
Opinions change like the direction of the wind they come from; if you face the wind, you either close your eyes or turn with it. It‘s not your point of view that counts, but the comfort of being carried away and drifting.
A flag in the wind is thus another metaphor—a combination of two negatively tainted metaphors that I love to visualize. I try to combine both aspects in the form of a total work of art—not in the way of invented (half) truths in social media, but at selected locations. Loud, unmistakable, and yet still freely interpretable, I underscore the symbolic works with smoke torches or burning spray cans. The total work of art is immersed in its unique light, casts shadows, conceals some things, reinforces contours, or colors the entire picture in a dominant color.
A statement that everyone should see, and everyone who tries to understand it will possibly recognize the interplay of the chosen location, the choice of color of the smoke torches, and the painting.
Eight hundred sixty spoons are lined up in a row and result in a sum of concentric circles, a simple pattern to organize and structure a collective. The main thing is that the spoons keep still. Another pattern covers this collective; it gives it the note of the well-known and valued, you feel you belong, as a unit, as part of something big and worth preserving. Old patterns that work.
Material: acrylic, filler, gold and copper spray, copper patina, 860 spoons on canvas.
Old patterns – detail
A series of assemblies with a blue copper patina. The surface may be the same, but the coloring gives each work a completely different look.
Material: acrylic, synthetic resin, gold paint and powder, copper paint, blue copper patina, chrome spray, spoons on canvas.
70 copper – detail
These are a series of assemblages with rust coating. The surface may be the same, but the coloring gives each work a completely different look.
Material: acrylic, synthetic resin, iron powder, rust, gold paint and powder, chrome spray, spoons on canvas.
Format: 72 x 72 cm including floater frame.
70 rust – detail
Two concentric circles made of highly polished Berndorf stainless steel, placed on a square mirror. Perfection in shape and figure in a flawless, harmonious arrangement. Inclusion. A fork doesn‘t dance out of line, but out of line and shows its central prong. The system is perfect at first glance; the flaws only become apparent at second glance.
Material: Berndorf cutlery (cake and dining forks) on a mirror.
Imperfection – detail
Quo Vadis Europe?
Europe at the crossroads—while some reflect on the values and ideals that the idea of the European Union stands for, others drift further and further into an antiquated understanding of Europe, values, and interests. The brown rust coats the surface and the stars. Through the circle of forks, which are supposed to symbolize the unity of the Union, an unmistakable crack is formed. Quo Vadis Europe?
Material: acrylic, putty, cardboard, iron powder, rust, paint and gloss spray, gold paint and gold spray, neon paint, forks on canvas.
Tu infelix Austria
The circle of forks uses the colors of the Austrian flag, though instead of the white color stripe, a wide crack runs through the painting. The upper and lower parts move further and further away from each other. While the upper forks are still closed and correctly arranged, the lower forks are already brown, rusted, and deformed. If you are already moving away from the values and ideals that this flag stands for, you can take the opportunity to order three beers.
Material: acrylic, filler, silver and color spray, silver powder, iron powder, rust on canvas.
LED works: the interplay of contour, light, and color
My circles shine through the deliberate use of metals and metal colors, through firm contours and the play of light and shadow. Through the incidence of artificial light and daylight, the appearance and charisma of each work change. And yet, a gold picture will always shine in shades of gold and brown.
In 2017, I developed my creative concept and incorporated LED fairy lights into my works. Due to the pulsating, changing light, the painting loses its statics; it shines in all the colors of the light spectrum, the surface remains the same; the appearance changes. The spoon picture loses its rigid geometric shape and comes to life.
The works become the load-bearing element of a room. They detach themselves from the decorative components and give the surroundings their own, unmistakable note.
“Götterfunken”; “God’s spark”
The lower levels carry on three fork circles that visually merge the groove of the tines. The gold of the surface reflects the LED light effects a thousand times.
Material: acrylic, filler, chrome spray, gold paint, forks, carton, two integrated LED light chains on canvas.
“Götterfunken” – detail
Creative destruction—the unfinished, not yet hardened work has a tire imprint of a car, the spoons are broken, the structure of the tire runs through the entire work as a deep trace. The old construct has broken open, a new structure emerges and runs as a break through the whole piece. The LED lighting dramatizes the two surfaces unnaturally and beautifully at the same time.
Material: acrylic, synthetic resin, iron powder, rust, gold spray, gold paint and powder, spoons, 2 LED light chains, styrofoam, cardboard on canvas.
Deep impression – detail
The eye of god
Two concentric, interlocking spoon circles that simulate a human iris. The canvases stretched over it, wrapped in canvas, simulate the two eyelids. The eye begins to pulsate through LED light; it stares into the room, waking, observing, questioning.
Material: acrylic, filler, paint spray, copper oxide, copper paint, spray and powder, spoons, styrofoam, cardboard, two LED light chains on canvas.
The eye of god – detail
Fire LED works
The 2018 series again uses LED technology. The focus is not on the entire color palette of light, but on rendering the element of fire. The optical simulation of flickering flames gives the works an inner soul, the LEDs framed under the surface of the picture emit an optically warm light. The glow penetrates from the inside to the surface; the “flames” make the circles of cutlery pulsate, the static disappears, the room is immersed in a pleasant, flickering light. The pictures catch fire and come to life.
2019 and 2020 was the time to use new materials, new shapes, and modern designs. Let’s see how far the journey with forks and spoons will go in the coming years.
Two rings break up the rusty filigree surface of spoon circles; underneath it, the exact image emerges, unused, shiny, metallic, and reflective. Two deep cracks cut through the total work of art diagonally; the calm is lifted, the fire screams from the deep gap that gapes through the surface.
Material: acrylic, putty, paint spray, iron powder, rust, silver paint, spray and powder, spoons, styrofoam, a circuit with 4 LED light bulbs on canvas.
Deep cracks – detail
Line of fire
The main theme of the piece’s opening and a break of rigid patterns and layers is the upper level of the work, which results from concentric circles of spoons, coated with graphite and silver paint. The lower layer emerges through two humongous, parabolic cracks—not only the surface, but the entire frame is perforated. The secretly simmering fire appears optically, the rigid spoon circle loses its visual dominance; the large crack through the collective becomes the dominant optical element.
Material: acrylic, synthetic resin, graphite, color spray, silver paint and silver powder, spoons, styrofoam, a circuit with 2 LED light bulbs on canvas.
Line of fire – detail
Born in fire
There is a hidden, golden, shimmering level, hidden under a thick layer of rust. The surface is torn open by a horizontal and vertical cut through the picture; the pieces of fabric are pulled apart diagonally towards the corners. The spoon circles emerge through the open trapezoid, in the center one, the very first spoon. The fire breathes life into the work, the spoons that draw circles around the first spoon reflect the fire effect a hundred times and pulsate with life.
Material: acrylic, synthetic resin, spray paint, iron powder, rust, gold paint, spray and powder, spoons, styrofoam, a circuit with 2 LED lightbulbs on canvas.
Born in Fire – detail
Traunsee Altmünster, Salzkammergut, Upper Austria, July 2016
The heart of the mountain
Miesweg Traunstein, Salzkammergut, Upper Austria, January 2017
Viewing tower Wilhelminenberg, Vienna, August 2017
Learn from the past
Archeologic Park Carnuntum, Lower Austria August 2017
Archeologic Park Carnuntum, Lower Austria August 2017
As usual also this time with my personal fire brigade.
Scharnstein, Old Brewery, Salzkammergut, Upper Austria, October 2017
Traunstein, 1691 above sea level, Salzkammergut, Upper Austria, June 2018
Wind of political change
Otto-Wagner-Sanitarium´s Church, Vienna, April 2019https://63c5adacad97124dbc6a50f53c03abf3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
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Artist with home base in Vienna, Austria. Don´t take yourself and your work too serious – it makes your life the life of others much easier. Read more »