Interview with Immortality & Vulnerability artist Reiner Hansen
Tell us what's on your easel and describe it to us.
Right now I have a large painting on my easel that I'm doing finishing touches on. It's a reconstructed classical nude, the pose reminiscent of 'Nude Maya' by Goya, a reclining pose. Instead of the face, the woman has a large diamond. The body is a mix of different photographical references, different skin colors and textures. The paint work is a mix of tight realism and free abstraction. The color palette is fairly muted.
It sounds as if you are leaning towards a new direction in your work. Tell us about why you are changing your style.
When I started painting years ago I was experimenting with expressionism, the work was very loose, I was influenced by the School of London movement. Probably because I wasn't that practiced in rendering and using paint, and maybe because I am self taught, I grew very frustrated. This lead me to study the renaissance painters, both because I admired the work and I think also to try to prove to myself that I could achieve something that was difficult to do. As a result I spent years working happily in this style of highly detailed layer painting. All the while though, at the back of my mind, I've had a need to implement more inventive, playful aspects to the process. The goal is to utilize all the styles I've explored; tight and loose, descriptive and abstract, to combine them in a freer more visceral style of painting and to take more risks in the paintwork.
Do you think that this initial vulnerability in your abilities may lead to immortality?
Vulnerability, frustration and the feeling of failure can often to self improvement. In a funny way painting has taught me a lot about life in the way of learning patience and to love the process, not the result. When I was younger I'd have grandiose ideas about my work becoming immortal. Now my aspiration is to remove most ego related feelings about the work. Not to say I don't have any of that kind of vanity. But, the important thing is to have the means to be an artist today, which is hard enough, and be able to share what you do.
Are you making means as an artist?