Artists unavoidably mirror their era. Paradoxically, the more personal their journey, the more universal their message becomes. Such artists are sensitive to their environment, often speaking in a visible, yet wordless language. Their works reflect the hopes and fears of their era, often as direct statements, or as subtle metaphors.
Great art holds eternal messages for humankind; messages that uplift, awaken and throw light upon the darkness up ahead. To receptive viewers, such works yield timeless insights and a strange sense of peace; we are relieved. Here, someone understands and is able to give form to the often unimaginable.
“Reredos” Acrylic on wood and black resin
Such is art that strikes a resonant chord in the heart of observers, many of whom become avid collectors. These artists shift the compass needle of our spirit, allowing it to settle in a new direction.
Is this behind what we term investment art?
According to international art reviewer, Jake Biddington, “investment grade contemporary artwork is nearly always made by an artist who is educated in art and who has a professional resume.”
Is it possible that investment art arises from something far deeper than a degree in the arts? At best, investment art captures and formulates an aspect of reality, leading to a profound paradigm shift. Art that serves as a navigational beacon through turbulent times. This might be what makes us pause in wonder before such a work of art and inexplicably declare “This I must have!”
Lars J Fischedick is one such artist, taking us on a journey, often gut-wrenching, making us sit up and self-examine. In Zero Crossing, paths radiate in geometrically progressive lines, suggesting some order.
“Zero Crossing” Acrylic on wood and red resin
“Black Hole” Acrylic, phosphorous, perspex and fire on wood
Yet the centre is blood red, are we screaming into or out of these shifting perceptions?
Fischedick essentially cuts into large slabs of wood, using a wide variety of tools and materials including copper tubing, perspex and resins. He is a qualified architect who has turned his creative hand to art. Architecture visibly demonstrates the intimate relationship between technology and art, one discipline informing and grounding the other. His works allow him to speak far more eloquently than would any fine arts degree.
Fischedick has spent the last 25 years in the examination of three-dimensional spaces: This has been achieved through architecture, model building, sculpture, and art installations.
Born in Germany, he started his career in contemporary architecture, collaborating in various exhibitions including Christo and Jean-Claude’s Wrapped Reichstag Project for Berlin. He relocated to Cape Town in 2002 and in 2010 started pursuing an art career. By combining his knowledge of materials with perceptual shifts from aerial to geometrical perspectives, he continues to craft unique visual narratives.
Despite the illusion of a structured background, this work reveals his own dark side, the black hole of infinity into which we all can spiral. He invariably combines wood with other materials such as copper tubing, plastic, colourful resins and more. Using flames as an extra ‘brush’ in his palette, he chronicles his own stations of the cross.
It is virtually impossible to grasp his large, 3D wooden artworks through a 2D representation. Fischedick has held several exhibitions both locally and internationally and his collectors are growing.
“Black Holes” one illusory piece recently bought by a collector in the USA
What makes his work so arresting and memorable?
Not surprisingly, projective geometry features prominently in his work.These eye-catching and often illusory perspectives represent his driving force, a force that shakes viewers out of their often-unshakeable paradigms. Like all pioneers, his art reflects a deep desire to go beyond the old and to break new ground.
“I am exploring the space between optical illusion and reality – the moment when day meets the night when above meet below, and outer meets inner,” says Fischedick.
However, his heartfelt geometry suggests more than space and time and echoes the yearning, expansive spirit in all awakening souls. Many of his works are visual metaphors, delivered with flair through a variety of media such as carved wood, copper, Perspex, colourful resins, all created with his unique and recognisable signature.
Although articulate, Fischedick has no need to unpack his underlying metaphors; his art speaks for itself.
“My work is logical and playful, mathematical and infinite,” he declares.
Synesthesia is part of his uniqueness, and this he has mastered with panache. Synesthesia relates to a sensation that normally occurs in one sense, which then triggers another sense, thereby amplifying the observer’s experience.
This 1 x 1 metre work, called “My Favorite Things”, received great attention whilst on show at the FNB Joburg Art Fair.
“My Favorite Things” Multimedia on wood
By scanning the adjoining barcode (QR-Code) with your cell phone, you can tune into the smooth-flowing, laid-back jazz of John Coltrane, the same jazz piece under whose influence Fischedick created this work. Thus, the feedback loop closes, resulting in a highly meaningful piece of art, giving the viewer a sense of peace and closure. Try it.
With synesthesia, there is a magical merging of 2D, into 3D and then into 4D, the sound of music, moving lights, novel materials, and tantalising forms.
Creative lighting, attached to the wall above his works, allows the observer to swing a small spotlight across the work, creating dramatic shadows, further amplifying the visual metaphor. Once again, the artist takes the viewer to the edge of beyond. Such multi-dimensional art is impossible to ignore.
As Fischedick explains “I find it highly interesting where space starts and where it stops: what are the boundaries… the wall? A wall always separates one side from the other. But what is in between? Can I create pieces that penetrate a space by line compositions and reach the other side? I try to find out.”
If it were possible, Lars would even remove the walls upon which his work hangs; his art then mediating the division of space. Talking to Fischedick is itself an exploration of another reality.
How does cutting grooves into wood transform into art?
“That is the fundamental idea,” he explains. “A fine line which one cannot grasp just like that. One must find a new language to punch into and through. This is part of my exploration.”
And punch into and through he does.
Here is a recent work; a work of art between his art, fashioned with an axe, as if chronicling his journey through human consciousness which Lars experiences through transforming his medium.
“Antler Head” Axe and fire on wood
Lars has again broken through to infinity, wielding his axe as an artist wields a brush!
This breaks radically from his refined, elegant works of progressive geometry, but necessary as he hacks his way into new territory, metaphorically and visually transforming breakdowns into breakthroughs. If they have any hope of evolving, such artists have no option but to break through such boundaries. In so doing, they throw light into the impenetrable darkness ahead.
Beyond being an architect, Fischedick has evolved to innovator and artist, as much inspired by his materials and tools, as by his fertile imagination. Whether we like it or not, artists of this calibre take us on a journey through time and spaces, and their works, whilst profoundly personal, rekindle something deep within each one of us.
Therein lays his magic.