Pedigree is not what interests me.  I’ve been very clear about this over the years but creativity, well made art, a strong artistic voice and a good story will always catch my attention.

Yesterday, I finally made it over to the back room gallery of Anne Uhrlandt to discuss her art project and I found the story of Nicolas Confais so interesting that I decided to write about him.

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artwork by Nicolas Confais

Nicolas is a religious man who decided to stop focusing exclusively on religion and head to the art academy.  The decision meant that he would leave his life of silence at the monastery and attend the Art Academy in Munich to pursue a career as an artist.

After completing his studies, this 30 something spiritual man turned spiritual man/artist decided to focus on two different paths with his art practice.  One path is the creation of artwork using bones and the other is a collaborative art practice with his friend Jakob Weiß.

In the small gallery in Schwabing, you can see examples of both of these art practices.

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Munich Artists knows that artists disregard some of their best work because it is work created in the creative process—Artwork that is tossed to the side as the artist focuses on their larger art pieces created in different mediums and scale.

Anne Uhrlandt noticed Nicolas’s sketches and gave them prominence in the storyline of his current solo exhibition.  On one wall, you can see a few of his drawings including a drawing done on brown paper.

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displaying paper that has a memory- a challenge for the gallerist Anne Uhrlandt

With the above art piece, the artist laid out the design for the bone sculpture displayed below.  The drawing on brown paper shows its purpose in the tiny tears fixed by the artist with tape.  It is a piece with energy and purpose and, it is the one piece in this small exhibition that is currently sold.

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The result of all the planning and drawing is a sculpture made of pig bones and an epoxy resin.

As you know, you can’t buy bones at the local art store and we don’t live in a dessert like Georgia O’Keefe where pigs have gone to die en masse. To create his art, Nicolas must take bones collected from slaughter houses and remove all organic matter. (stinky)

Once the bones have been cleaned and prepared, Nicolas adds the epoxy resin which makes the pieces of bone look like porcelain.

The final outcome is an art piece that is smooth and glassy with a feeling of fragility.  The discarded remnants of our consumer society have been transformed into organic shapes that don’t hide the bone but are in line with traditional art practices where bones are used for art.

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Tibetan engraved skull
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Bone Monstrance from the Ossuary In Sedlec, Czech Republic

 

Collaborating with Another Artist

 

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Not Afraid of  ’17 – collaboration between Nicholas Confais and Jakob Weiß

Hello collaboration. We are very happy to find you in Nicholas’s art practice.  If you are a reader of Munich Artists, you will know that one of the foundations of our project is collaboration—the more the merrier.

We understand that some artists are lone wolves and we know that creating an art career can make artists hyper-focused on their own bellybuttons but, Nicholas has decided to take time out of his busy life and meet up with Jakob to create artwork on a regularly scheduled basis.

The two artists have been working on a series of collaborative art pieces that focus on a theme that they choose before starting the work meetup.  Their collaborations have been going on for awhile (the two went to the art academy together) but, even though Nicholas no longer lives in Munich, the two artists get together and create, create, create!

You know how much I love that. It is the reason I have the window installations, it is the reason Munich Artists exists.   I really believe that all creatives have the ability to work with another artist and create amazing things.

I also know this process of collaboration requires trust, respect and the ability to see the bigger picture.  with this team’s collaborations, you can feel all of these things and also see a sense of humour.

I don’t think their collaborations have a name yet but Anne Uhrlandt mentioned that the two guys will finish their next collaboration at the back room gallery.

If you want to check out the exhibition, you can read about Anne and her gallery.

 

 

Written by Emmy Horstkamp

Hi, my name is Emmy and I live in Munich, Germany. If you want to know about art me visit my art page www.emmyhorstkamp.com or visit me in Munich, Germany

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