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Künstler Felipe Oyarzún

Felipe Oyarzún Eichholtz / 1970

Designstudium in Chile, im Anschluss Workshops in den Bereichen Stichkunst, Siebdruck und Steinbearbeitung an der Universidad Católica de Chile, später Postgraduiertenstudium der Malerei an der Escola Massana Barcelona. Seine Arbeit durchlief viele Etappen und experimentelle Phasen von ihren bildlichen Anfängen über den abstrakten Expressionismus, die informelle Malerei und die konkrete Kunst bis hin zu einer Verbildlichung der geometrischen Synthese, wobei Raum, Licht und Form als Achsen seiner kreativen Erforschung verstanden werden. Seit dem Jahr 2007 ist seine Arbeit innerhalb des „Proyecto Cosmogonía“ / „Projekt Kosmogonie“ eingebettet, das sich als ganzheitliche Sichtweise der Kunst, des Menschen und der Welt versteht. So bringt er es in zahlreichen Texten und Essays zum Ausdruck, die seine Werke und Ausstellungen kommentieren. Im Jahr 2010 belegt er den ersten Platz im Kunstwettbewerb „Artistas Siglo XXI“ der Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile anlässlich des zweihundertjährigen Bestehens der Republik Chile.
Die Arbeit Felipe Oyarzúns setzt sich vor allem aus Zeichnung und Malerei zusammen, er arbeitet jedoch auch mit Licht und Bewegung bei der Erschaffung von Artefakten und Maschinen.
Er hat seine Werke bereits in Mexiko, den USA, Argentinien, Spanien, Holland, Deutschland und Chile ausgestellt und an Kollektivausstellungen und Kunstmessen teilgenommen. 2014 hält er sich als artist in residence in Málaga auf, um ein Wandgemälde im Rahmen des Projektes Flow & Art am Instituto Malaca zu malen.
Im Jahr 2015 stellt er auf Einladung der Botschaft von Chile in Deutschland seine Werke auf der internationalen Kunstmesse Nord Art aus. Seitdem lebt und arbeitet er in Berlin.

Felipe Oyarzún reside actualmente en Berlín. Aplica en su obra la abstracción, y une sus pensamientos abstractos con el origen del ser humano y su relación con la materia y la fuerza.

Text auf Englisch:

He studied Graphic Design in the Universidad del Pacífico, attended some art workshops at the Universidad Católica de Chile, and then a postgraduate course in painting at the Escuela Massana in Barcelona.

He is the fourth son of a family of German descent. He grew in a familial environment with a rich cultural substrate. His father, an architect by profession, and a man fond of music, classical literature and nature, played a fundamental role by awakening early humanistic concerns.

Shortly after receiving his Design degree, Felipe felt the need to get closer to a more personal work. At this time, his painting was in a very early stage: he spontaneously worked with pencils, watercolors, and pastels. He taught himself to work on his first canvases, after many years in which he “only painted for fun, without any artistic pretension”. Then he discovered the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff, which would result in a powerful influence and an important source of knowledge and information. He participated in a small “fourth way” work group, and was completely absorbed in the study of several texts, among which we can highlight the “Fragments of an Unknown Teaching” by P. D. Ouspensky, which for many years would be his main guide and reference. These ideas and visions of man would turn out to be very revealing and familiar to him.

Felipe's work is revealed to be more than an aesthetic exercise; it is an existential feeling related to the fundamental phenomenon of life, of being-existing in the world, a way to explore human possibilities and natural laws through the pictorial exercise. In this way, painting is transformed into a measuring instrument as well as an instrument of manifestation of universal and natural principles and laws.

The white canvas is transformed into a representation space where it is not the mimesis of the physical world known by the senses that will be portrayed, but the fragments of a dimension hidden to the ordinary senses. This way of exploration of consciousness through painting led Felipe to investigate several models of psychology and philosophy, at the same time that he felt a growing interest in the development of quantum physics, and the propositions and discoveries of the last decades. He took a particular interest in the ideas of David Bohm. In the beginning his pictorial work did not follow a defined order or route, he experimented on the possibilities of an image using diverse techniques and materials. Being self-taught, he was able to work with great liberty, but at the same time these infinite possibilities made it complex to find a road through which to progress. After the jump into the void, the artist was left stranded in the desert, a stream of images crossing his mind, but he did not know which one to follow. At that moment a new inspiration and influence appeared through Carlos Castaneda, with the singular vision he portrays of the Mesoamerican world and of several traditions or lineages of “knowledge men”. He absorbed himself in the reading and study of these texts, which turned out to be a fundamental guide, specially in the beginning of his education as a painter.

Felipe experienced these texts as a true revelation. He decided to pack all of his canvases and go on an extended journey to Mexico, where he submerged himself in the world of the Mesoamerican people. He traveled to the desert in search of the Huicholes and had some experiences with Híkury (peyote) in the desert of San Luis de Potosí, close to the village Real de 14. He traveled through several towns and regions of Mexico setting up improvised workshops in homes and hotels, he set up an exhibition in Guanajuato, in the town of San Miguel de Allende, and a collective exhibition in Guadalajara. Upon his return to Chile, he moved to a farmhouse in San Juan de Pirque. He painted in the open air, made some music, and breathed in the silence of the mountains. Besides this, his experiments with Híkury in the desert of San Luis de Potosí revealed to him new aspects of that other dimension. The deep transformation in his perception confirmed the proposition of the ancient “knowledge men” of Mexico. They say that man lives in a small perceptual island, called Tonal, and that beyond it lies the Nahuatl, or the unknown, an infinite region of whose existence human beings are rarely aware, and which they can even more rarely enter. During this time he developed the series Arcanos y Arquetipos [Arcanes and Archetypes], creating his own techniques to work with acrylic. In successive layers he excavates the canvas, from which weaves, networks, and beings in motion and transformation emerge. This work went on for several years and finished in 2002 with an exhibition of 20 works in medium and large format in the Matthei gallery.

Then he began to work on the series “El mundo antes del significado” [The world before meaning]. Here is where the anthropomorphic shapes and figures begin to disappear in order to build a more abstract representational space. This series was developed in acrylic on crude linen, painting directly on the canvas. This work concluded in 2003 with an exhibition of 19 works in large format in the Galería Talento, Mexico DF. Then Felipe began to develop a new series, where he would cast aside the now usual drippings in order to start working on a new concept and new technical painting procedures. “At that time I was beginning to feel the need to make a qualitative jump and evolve towards new territories”. Because of this he abandoned the countryside and went to a urban space where he would start the series Estructuras de la Materia (Structures of Matter). For Felipe, this was a moment when many years of work and searching through informalist painting were concretized. In January 2007 he traveled to Barcelona to study with the sculptor Gabriel Sanz, in the Escuela Massana. By reformulating concepts and foundations, he conceived a new pictorial equation, the “Secuencia Cosmogonía” [Cosmogony Sequence], which from the beginning showed a radical qualitative step in his work. During the next 8 months Felipe Oyarzún set up a workshop in an old school in Amsterdam. He displayed a number of his works in the Schijnheilig gallery, directed by an active and provoking group of philosophy and arts students.

Shortly after his return to Chile, he got together with two friends who are sculptors in a house-workshop in La Reina where he continued to develop a geometric painting. By the end of 2008 he traveled to participate in an art meeting in Monemvasia, a small town off the South Peloponnese, in Greece. This trip went on for several months: he visited Crete and other islands of the Mediterranean Sea where he continued to take notes and draw.

In mid 2009, he prepared the exhibition “Cosmogonía” [Cosmogony] in the Patricia Ready gallery. It consisted of 17 large format pieces where he showed a work with some degrees of maturity, as well as of technical purity. It was clearly noticeable that a cycle had ended in his creative, pictorial, and personal processes.

In early 2010 he received the Artistas Siglo XXI award (XXI Century Artists), bicentennial version (first place for an established artist). A deserved award to an artist who over a decade of work has managed to keep his autonomy, developing a singular work, completely humanistic and full of sense, creativity, depth, and beauty.

Following the fundamental principles of the dot, the line, and the plane, the original weaves and networks had ordered themselves, and it became possible to fully reveal the idea of rhythm, time, and space. In some way these images precisely define the limits within which they develop and move: the configuration of elements within the work consist of a persistent recurrence of lines, which suggest events, occurrences and trajectories, as well as cosmological strata, dimensions, and creases of time. In some way the idea of that hidden “dimension” irradiates from these paintings, suggesting and making an active invitation to the observer to participate by deciphering the work.

In early 2011, Felipe spent more time devoted to music, composing and taping at home the compositions that had accompanied him in his painting sessions for 10 years—he is also a self-taught musician. His interest in music led him to gather a large collection of records, mainly jazz, which he compulsively collected for years. With his appetite for listening to other people’s music fulfilled, now he explores the sounds that can be born from his own hands. His compositions tend to project themselves in space, especially towards the side of light. As he tells us himself “I have explored enough of the abyss, and the depressive darkness in music, now I move towards brightness”. His passion for music is constant—he strums a guitar every day: “in that time, mind and thought are stopped, concentration focuses only on sensations, exploring spaces and textures”.

Besides this, the constant use of the digital format to make color tests has led him to take interest in certain movement effects produced in image superposition. After making a small prototype, he decided to construct several machines which mix image, light, and mechanical movement. These artifacts were part of a long-term self-funded project, which took him more than a year to develop, and which were exhibited in the StuArt gallery under the title “ETHER Continuum uni-verso”. “This is a work based on the idea of duality and the superposition of planes, where as a result of their interaction, several perceptions of movement are generated”.

This artist is quite restless; he lives in constant search, and although it is true that painting is the center of all of his work, a thirst for knowledge makes him explore new territories, embarking on physical and psychological journeys. Felipe conceives his work as an integration of disciplines, and therefore books have also played an important part in his development. He has been especially interested in hermetic and esoteric texts, as well as in the classics of literature and poetry. In this way a series of reflections crystallized, which would eventually lead him to write a manifesto, where he presents an alternative view of history and the human being; it is an heretic text of a certain poetic beauty, which emphasizes the great anomalies, oblivions, distortions, and falsifications in the culture of modern age, and how through diverse instruments of power human beings have been manipulated, driving them away from their knowledge of history and their own essence. This “MANIFESTO OF OBLIVION” reminds contemporary man that we are also part of a greater galactic and universal order, and that the human-animal has a spiritual essence that it is possible to develop.

Reymundo López Escárzaga/ Madrid, April 2013

Homepage Felipe Oyarzún Eichholtz

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