Tops of Victoria
30 x 36 x 1 in.
My artistic mission is transformation. Evolving from merely figurative paintings in the past to abstracts and the combination of the two, my current artwork is mostly driven by the exploration and implementation of found objects collected from different parts of the USA, Nigeria, Germany, Italy and the UK. At times I add photographs taken on my discovery journeys, transforming all materials into a new context. In my earlier works, I have been drawn to the depiction of people, from the individual to the couple or group, ceremonial dances, weddings and celebrations. In my art I have found a place to address issues and themes of cultural diversity. Creating a body of work on Yoruba Nigerian deities in 2004, and including their actual attributes onto canvas, lead me to further explore bringing reality into the fictional world rather than portraying reality through painting.
The circle of nature is broken. That’s reality. I recycle. With my paintings I combine objects with canvas, opposing colors of nature versus found, non-natural objects thrown into our environment. Trashed objects are footprints of what people leave behind. We live in a society where consumption and mass production are influencing our minds and landscapes. We are conditioned to expect unlimited accessibility, availability and fulfilment of materialistic “needs”. In my art, previously mass-produced objects become unique items, shaped by time and usage. Trash transforms into Zen with a message. Materials tell stories and are taken out of reality. I aim to see, recycle and rebalance, testing boundaries of materials, surfaces and painting.
© Mascha Oehlmann