٠ Andreas Nitschke and the urge to play ٠

nitschke02© Andreas Nitschke, from Black Beauties

9© Andreas Nitschke, from Pro Kopf

It was Andreas himself who directed me to his work and I’m glad he did so. I’m always happy to help promote work I enjoy seeing and which manages to add something to the problems I’m dealing with at the moment.

Andreas’ work is definitely contemporary, for all the imagery used in his collages is easily recognizable. The stereotypes and the conventions often depicted in his work are also straight forward. I find that refreshing. Though the process at use is not original, in the sense of its uniqueness, his work does have some qualities that fit my study on the possibility of ‘authentic traces’ in works of art.

Andreas_Nitschke_5-450x681© Andreas Nitschke, from Verkappte

nitschke07© Andreas Nitschke, from Konvertiert

Besides the most common definition of what ‘art’ is – namely that art is what the professional elite authenticates as being art -, my position is that art is a kind of manifestation or symbolic expression that appeals to the senses, that expands our perceptions and potentates our imagination. Andreas’ imagery does that for me. Obviously some collages are more successful than others and not all of them work for me, but… There’s a great liberty in making ‘the urge to play’ one of your biggest drives, for ‘play’ is an aimless activity and, for that, it helps the subject to freely express oneself.

When I speak of the ‘urge to play’ I’m actually thinking of Hans Prinzhorn‘s (Artistry of the Mentally Ill, 1922) proposal of the main elements in the configuration of works by the mentally ill. Andreas’ work ticks several of the criteria and, as far as I’m concern, that only says good things about the origins of his drive to create and the man he becomes thru his expressive manifestations. Prinzhorn speaks of the ‘urge to play’, the ‘ornament urge’, the ‘ordering tendency’, the ‘tendency to imitate’ and the ‘need for symbols’, among others.

I would add that his work is also raw and compelling. Moray Mair, from MutantSpace, describes it as a punk style that’s rooted in the fashion of our day. A cut and paste process that gives his pictures a primal quality, a rawness that gets straight to the point.

In an interview by David Dean, from ‘So Magazine’, Andreas himself speaks of a childish quality to his work: My intention is very philanthropic: I steal from magazine pictures  – without blinkers – all these body parts and reuse them for my hand-made work to show how we can be as humans: full of contradictions, sometimes controversial, sometimes nasty but always vulnerable. I hope some of my work has a bit of a toxic effect although they are so small and childish.

Though I don’t find it grotesque, I do think that some of the montages are repulsive and subversive, for they challenge our conventional perception of ‘how things look like’. In Andreas’ words Nothing is sacred! Second-hand-photographs from contemporary magazines or pulp-fanzines, fast food for the eyes… I use everything. It’s the out-of-the-box-thinking of the punk culture that is very close to my work, too.

nitschke08© Andreas Nitschke, from Pro Koft

nitschke01© Andreas Nitschke, from Koexistenz

More of Andreas‘ work can be seen @ andreasnitschke.com

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