The fusion of the organic and inorganic elements of modern living is the focus of Linocut pieces exhibited at Spazju Kreattiv’s Found ă Mentalism II exhibition, which is on-going until 29 July in Valletta. German artist Stephanie Marx’s stunning pieces fuse together things that seem opposite; the natural and the mechanical, into interesting new creatures.
“It is the combination of being alive and being functional that I am interested in,” Marx says, describing some of her most popular pieces. She explains that, Robonaut, one of her most popular works, (pictured) depicts a creature that looks part man, part machine and part scorpion. Other works include the blending of a horse with a travel camera, giraffes and taps, and a cow with a sewing machine into quirky hybrid creatures. The artist’s other pieces continue to enforce her focus on combining organic and inorganic subjects to create new things, which are not necessarily daunting or sad. Her pieces are part of a 40-piece exhibition featuring art that has been flown in from all over the world, and which has already drawn substantial crowds since it opened at start of
Asked how she hopes that her work is being received in Malta, Marx explains that, although she hadn’t chosen the pieces with the specific country in mind, she believes they could resonate with audiences wherever they were exhibited. “For me it is important to only do things my heart is beating for. My art gives me a fixed point in my own life. It is my view of the world. It is not my idea to change the world – and I scarcely think art can do that – but I like to bring a smile to people’s faces,” she says, explaining the role of her art in our times.
Marx, who is also the co-founder of the Hoch + Partner Gallery of woodcuts in Leipzig, Germany, started developing her linocuts and woodcuts as an apprentice in a special graphic class at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts. Her main media of work, woodcuts and linocuts, represent two different forms of artistic expression. On the one hand, there are large-format colour woodblock prints that show, above all, natural and industrial landscapes, free from anything figurative. The Linocuts on display in Malta, on the other hand, present more imaginative pieces, devoid of colour. The onus moves to a more subtle message and doesn’t rely on nature entirely to pass its message.
The pieces are now on show as part of the Spazju Kreattiv programme, in an exhibition created in collaboration with Germany-based contemporary art organisation, the OSTRALE Centre of Contemporary Art. Found ă Mentalism II presents video art, installations, ceramics, painting, photography and drawing, and highlights the conflicts and struggles around us, while shining a light on the possibility for a more positive future.
The ‘Found ă mentalism II’ exhibition will take place throughout Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier, until Sunday 29 July 2018.
Entrance is free.