Svenja Maaß’s Multilayered, Surreal Paintings

by Andy SmithPosted on

Germany native Svenja Maaß creates paintings and collages that are understood in waves, bringing heads to turn and speculate on each’s interworkings. Creatures seem to exist on differing planes than other components of the piece. Or as one gallery says, she describes her methodology “as a process which forces her and us to rethink again and again. Only slowly are things allowed to grow together.”

“In her pictures and collages, (she) knits together different elements that figure into complex wholes,” a statement says. “ Unlike humans, animals cannot be identified according to clothing, jewellery and other formalities; they don’t obey such codes, and for Svenja Maaß are more original, timeless figures. The precisely drawn, partly surreal motives form bits of stories with open endings. Svenja Maaß uses different backgrounds – canvases, metal or even transparent parchment – which allows the subject to almost float in the picture. The complex images go against the audience’s expectation and are not easy to decipher spontaneously.”

The effect of this approach can bring ghostly and at times, eerie results. The artist’s fascination with the animal world, along with interjections of pop elements, create worlds that are as mysterious as they are engrossing.

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