The Art Of Katrin Alvarez

2011 // by Hans-Thomas Gosciniak

"The paintings of K.A.S. beyond any doubt,  express the art and workmanship of a great artist who masters various and strange materials, amalgamating them into new expressions of colours, surfaces, textures and shapes. At a first glace raising, then followed by admiration on a closer look her paintings suddenly startle, vex and challenge the viewer.  They convey a feeling of awe and fear, touching uncertain but palpable spots deep inside.  The trained mind might struggle  to  find a logical comprehension yet feels that the painting carries and induces a logic of its own.

Andre Breton maintains in his 1924 manifest that art is the expression of imagination revealed in dreams.  If we put aside his role in politics and Dadaism, he could have referred to  K.A.S.´s  art  stating  that “surrealism expresses a desire to deepen the foundations of the real, to bring about an even clearer and at the same ever more passionate consciousness of the world perceived by the sense”.

There is more in the art of K.A.S.  Voiding Automatic Drawing following the Stream of Consciousness we find veristic traits that produce in detail a world analogous to the realm of dreams.  Combine this veristic approach with Magic Realism, symbolistic elements and your own experience, dreams and fantasies,  you are about to enter a new dimension in a sur-reality.  This new  superior reality is created as a dreamlike impression by arranging real and fantastic images in a nonsensical style.  The attempt to understand these images with control will fail – the startling arrangement of beauty in contrast to sinister  defies any rational defense and leaves a spontaneous impact on your awareness.

When K.A.S. composes her imagery, she uses incongruous elements of reality painted with the greatest sense of detail, setting them into juxtaposition of the dream-like and the normal.  The symbolism she applies is free of Jung´s iconographic theories, thereby offering a truly private and personal and sometimes strange magic of her art.    This kind of art often is misunderstood as direct manifestations of the unconscious. In fact, it takes a very conscious mind to compose such a masterpiece that hits the observer leaving  no space for free association.  Here the viewer´s power of imagination allows an illusion of space-matter-time that does not represent reality. The painting´s  reality is an unmoving, two-dimensional layer of colors on a surface.  The sur-reality in the observer is something completely different: it becomes  a personal reality, combined from biographical imprints, attitudes, zeitgeist, emotional state, social surroundings and cultural shaping.

When asked to write an interpretation of KAS´s paintings feeling greatly honored and challenged I refused.  The different reality that is being created in the observer is a world very private and deeply intimate, of no concern to anyone else.

 The attempt to give the paintings a deeper meaning would  necessarily end in common phrases barely scratching the surface and would do these paintings injustice. However, being honest, describing the impact this art has on me means baring my thoughts, feelings, dreams, fears to the public, exhibiting my most private self.  I definitely refrain from doing so.    Imposing any hypothetical thought on anyone who gets attracted to those paintings would be an arrogant way of implementing  ways of feeling and thinking on people I do not know. It would not be wise to guide one´s emotions and reactions; the impact of those images should be direct, unfiltered or changed.  The sur-realism created has to remain private and personal,  only then is it  able to open the inner eye to ideas, dreams, memories or fears that everybody carries hidden deeply within themselves.

K.A.S paintings do not  try to explain, educate or teach, neither  do they carry a mission. They do however embed themselves deeply in anyone who gets attracted to them. They are like a stone cast into a lake. The ripples felt by the individual may expand the horizon of feelings and dreams, clearing memories from debris, thus opening a new way to find one's  deeper and inner self."

Hans-Thomas Gosciniak