When did you start working as an artist?
I have always been artistically active in one form or another: Be it as a little boy who drew crazy comics "like a madman" and as a big fan of Rötger Feldmann aka Brösel, or as a teenager who was extremely fond of creative dancing and tried to reflect his identity in self-choreographed performances. The painterly muse kissed me only about six years ago. Since then I have tried to see myself as a total work of art. I don't want to limit myself artistically and combine different art forms with each other. The music I listen to while painting, for example, not only inspires me, it also flows into my paintings in an original and even constructive way.
Why did you start working as an artist?
A sports accident twelve years ago was the decisive reason. Now, in the course of this, I asked myself the question of "why". Why was I, of all people, spared? Why did I get this second chance? The darkness in which I walked at that time only made me realise the bright light that is reflected in my paintings today. When I first took up the brush to transfer my feelings onto the canvas, I knew with a certainty that I had never before perceived with such intensity that I had found the reason for my second chance. Art is the language of my heart. People who listen carefully can clearly hear the rushing, symphonic sounds that spring from my inner self. I have been searching for years for the right mouthpiece to be able to express the emotional ups and downs of my life. My art resonates in the heart of the viewer because it reflects my thoughts and feelings purely and absolutely unadorned.
Who and what inspires you?
I myself do not necessarily draw my inspiration from individuals with whom I have no direct interaction. However, I can be inspired by the work, the development or generally the history of certain people. Van Gogh and his magical creations are a good example. In the context of my exhibitions, it often happens that visitors and people interested in art approach me and compare my works with the "works of the past". Van Gogh's paintings are often one of them. The colouring, the contrasts, the dynamics - all attributes that can also be found in my art. Nevertheless, it is not Van Gogh's works of art that inspire me, but his personal story: that he found his purpose in life in art, that he was passionate about it, that he was misunderstood as an artist throughout his life and yet never gave up, and that he painted as if in a frenzy and that this frenzy still fascinates and touches millions of people today. That is a story that inspires me and with which I can identify at times.
Is there something or someone that influences you?
I am primarily guided by my feelings when I paint. And these, of course, are influenced by my heart or by external factors. In the past year, my wife has blessed me with a creative phase that is life-affirming, positive and bubbling over with love. This has resulted in works whose resonances have sprung from within me and echoed directly in the hearts of the viewers. She is the soulful muse in whose arms I can rest my creative head and let myself fall artistically. As an external source of inspiration, I could list, for example, my large solo exhibition in Bucharest. In the context of the exhibition, I dealt with the theme of flight, which has a very emotional connotation for me, and then created a series of four works whose political content is conveyed through a powerful technique that is not found in any of my previous paintings.
What materials do you work with and why?
The basis of my painting is formed by highly pigmented acrylic paints, which I work on painstakingly and with a lot of patience and heart and soul during the colour mixing process. The paint that is finally applied to the canvas consists of a very specific composition, which I cannot, however, go into in more detail without revealing too many secrets. I am a dynamic and passionate artist who is guided by my emotions when painting. Feelings are snapshots and moments can only be experienced, understood and captured in them. So if a situation occurs that touches me emotionally, I have to and want to transfer this feeling directly onto the canvas. Since I work with many layers of paint that are laid on top of each other and I can't always wait for one layer to dry, painting with acrylics has intuitively found its way into my artistic work.
Which techniques do you prefer?
At the moment I try to combine different media. Liquid colour, which is meant to reflect the living water of my inner self, and fiery flames (in the form of the Bunsen burner), which reflect the passion bubbling inside me, will also be found in my sculptures, which will be created in the coming weeks and months. Basically, it is through painting that I can pour the artistic symphonies of my life into colour and form. The messages that spring from my heart and that I want to share with the world are brought out through the emotionalising compositions. It feels organic and authentic to stand in the studio, meditate, listen within, touch the paint and let every emotion flow onto the canvas. That's me. And that's why I developed this dynamic, emotive, intuitive and invigorating technique myself. It is the intersection between my character, the artist Steffen Schwien, and the colourful works that are created through it.
Are there colours and shapes that you prefer?
There is no way I could give preference to a certain shape and especially a certain colour when painting. When I am emotionally touched by a person, an event or a theme, and I imagine this person or this theme symbolically on the canvas, my imagination automatically creates a colour spectrum, which is then directly implemented artistically in the studio. In this way, I assign an emotional meaning to each colour. And each form adapts to my respective state of mind. Whereas my art - at the present stage - can be characterised by its dynamic and powerful approach rather by sweeping, harmonious and flowing movements. One tends to find less congruent and symmetrical lines in my works.
Where do you work?
In my enchanting studio in Söhren - a small village nestled in the beautiful nature of Schleswig-Holstein. I have also recently opened my own gallery space there. This allows me to offer the art-interested North German public the opportunity to be inspired by my invigorating and emotionalising works and to engage with diverse positions and multifaceted art in the context of a calm and relaxed atmosphere. The adjoining studio is a total work of art per se: lyricism, wild walls, gallons of paint on the floor and art that radiates from every pore of the studio enchant me every time I enter these spaces that are very special to me.
Do you want to say something with your art?
"My energetic artworks vibrate with passion, transport deep emotions and have an invigorating effect on one's own person. The fine nuances, the expressive colouring and the flowing transitions can be understood as a mirror of my soul world. The viewer is invited to jump into the rapids of life, to explore the emotional ocean depths of one's own being and to perceive the world through my eyes. He feels touched by my artistic expression and is inspired by my positive philosophy of life, which is reflected in my paintings. My art celebrates the uniqueness of the moment and the multifaceted richness of life. It makes the recipient's heart beat faster and motivates him to fulfil his heart's longest wishes as the conductor of his own composition. In the process, one is immersed in a world in which everything seems possible."
What are your goals and what would you like to achieve in 5 years?
I burn for my art - it is the passion that, like the love of my fiancée or my family and friends, gives my life a depth, meaning and emotionality that I no longer want to do without. The passion that is transferred to my works and that the viewer can relate to shines brighter than any star in the firmament. That is why I usually achieve my goals. I am a visionary with high standards for myself. There are artistic matters of the heart - dreams that have accompanied me since the first brushstroke - that are now being turned into reality. An institutional solo exhibition planned for next year at the Ostholstein Museum in my beloved hometown of Eutin is one of them, for example. Furthermore, I would like to participate in renowned art fairs such as Art Basel or Art Miami. Having my works listed in large art collections with other greats such as van Gogh, who has always inspired me as an artist, is also another dream of mine.