In this In-Sync episode I am excited to share my interview with Romana Brunnauer. I met Romana via Facebook about a year ago or more. Since then, I have enjoyed seeing her work from a distance. She currently lives in an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where she works in her studio. Enjoy the interview..
SG: Where did you go to school (college/university) and what degree did you receive?
- Social Pedagogy (degree: Diploma in Social Pedagogy, FHM Munich – University)
- Germanic Philology, Philosophy, Pedagogy (degree: Magister Artium, LMU Munich – University)
SG: What is the best advice you have ever received?
RB: Do not worry about that what others expect from you.
SG: What is your website?
SG: What are you working on?
RB: Currently, I am working on two projects. I complete an old one and start a new one. Both of these are influenced by social media.
First, I will say a few words about my “old” project, called “AMIG@ – ¿Qién eres?” (an English translation of this title could be “E-Friend, who are you?”). I worked on this project for two years and it dealt with people I encounter in Facebook and social forums. Every statement made online reveals something about the individual and I try to find out with whom I am talking. Mostly, the answer lies in what is not said and what is not shown. That’s where I find a real sense of the person behind the statement and their own particular energy. I pick up on this energy and translate it onto canvas. I create portraits, which tell a story.
This is also the base for my new project, but it has a new point of view. Pardon me, but I do not want to speak too much about this new project. It is like a young plant, which has to be protected. The only thing I can reveal is that the content revolves around the multiple dimensions of the terms “homesick / desire”.
SG: What inspires you right now?
RB: I was never inspired by things outside of me like nature, light or something else. My inspirations are very personal and perhaps a bit introvert. They come out of my emotional or mental reactions of that which happens around me. This can be an article in the newspaper, a TV report, a piece of music or a post in one of the social media platforms.
SG: What are the essentials you must have in your studio/creative space (tools, objects, photos, etc)?
RB: First of all: No telephone, no internet, no contacts … My studio is a holy place.
I would like to have this place empty with only a white virgin painting wall, a few brushes, the basic colors yellow, magenta, blue, white and black. But this is a dream. Normally my studio is overcrowded with thoughts written on the walls, old sketches, unfinished paintings, unused colors, old and brand new brushes etc. Every three month I clean it up but it does not really help. One week later, I find myself in the same creative “mess.” The good thing is that when I start to work, I forget all about this. I only recognize my actual work, the colors I want to use and the most important thing; the music coming out of my speakers. Music is very, essential for my working process.
SG: Do you find social media to be a distraction or an asset for you as an artist and how do you deal with it?
RB: Sometimes I spend too much time with social media. On the other hand it inspires me as well (see above). I live on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and social media for me is like a door to the world – in my private life and in my life as a professional artist.
I believe that social media is a great chance for artists to get an insight into that which is going on in the world of art beyond the local scene and beyond the big art market.
SG: What is your biggest challenge as a contemporary artist?
RB: To believe in myself and to follow my own path.
SG: How do you define a success?
RB: I do not care about success in a commercial sense. This is a question of the art market. My definition of success: When you are able to express yourself with a unique artistic language, you have reached the highest level as an artist – with the market or beyond of it.
SG: What’s next for you (use the answer to promote any upcoming exhibits, projects, travels, residencies, etc)?
RB: Coming winter I will do a solo show in the public exhibition hall of Haria / Lanzarote. This show will be the final show of my project “AMIG@ – ¿Qién eres?” (part 3). In spring 2016, I will do a solo show in the Gallery ARTENMALA / Lanzarote. There, I will present my new project “Homesick / Desire” (working title). Actually the dates are not fixed yet. I will publish the opening and more information on Facebook and other social media.
One sentence advice for an art student…
Trust your teachers and do all what they want you to do. When they say “Good work.” break all the rules you have learned and start your own way.
Marina Abramović e Ulay – MoMA 2010