For the first time in Austria, a group of 15 selected paintings by ROB ADALIERD will be shown and accessible in the city of Vienna. This private art showing will take place at Village Café & Restaurant, located in front of the mythical residential building Hundertwasser House inside the Hundertwasser Village.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your work?
I always like to separate the artist from the person. I’ve never had much interest in talking about myself, I’m more the kind of guy who prefers the tranquility that comes from having a certain distance. Surely, my least favourite topic is talking about myself.
I’ve dedicated half of my life to the world of art and creativity in multiple fields. I have that kind of multifaceted profile that has allowed me to develop creations in a vast number of media’s. In the past, I made a great career as a creative director with some executive positions of responsibility. Fortunately, this is ancient history as I chose to leave it all behind.
I have 12 years of work and personal development of my own artistic expression. For me, it was always something personal, I never thought about making it my livelihood. Let alone spent any time thinking about gaining laurels for, or promoting it.
If you ask me, leave behind my engineering background and my experience as a designer that has occupied me most of my life. What this requires is not intellect, it’s more visceral. Sometimes I think that to be a good artist you don’t need to be very intelligent, rather the opposite.
What does Adalierd mean, is it an artistic name a real name or a special term?
Adalierd refers to my painting persona. It’s my artistic name, my real middle name, and has sentimental value, as it’s also my family’s name. Recently, someone asked me a question about what made my paintings special when compared to other abstract painters. My response was, “Definitely that they are signed by me, and that only I will be able to remember what was going on in my life at the time when I was working on these peaces.”
Sure that in terms of art, my paintings represent something, but my job is just to bring what I invision and my process out of myself and let others explain its potential meanings.
Why do you paint over other art forms? Or, do you have a personal definition of what painting is?
Many years ago, I spent time developing, producing and studying to practically deconstruct and de-naturalize the photographic medium. Around 2012, I was finishing a project in an analog medium format film that I’m yet to release. In addition, I had already spent several years using digital photography to develop the best possible abstraction on photographic reality.
Around June of 2012, this digital abstraction was shown in a gallery called, “Local Project” in Long Island, New York. The exhibition was a collaboration with a great friend and talented film and creative director, Claus Cibils. We called the show, TIME-WRAP.
I prepared six pieces, which I called "acts” that were retro-illuminated by LEDs. Following this exhibition, I finally understood that my time in photography had come to an end and I immediately began to focus on my painting.
Is it possible to attach one of these images to this interview?
Yes, sure… how about a couple of images from my last project, why not!
Your painting seems like a continuation of your abstraction with your last 6 acts in photography. Is that the case?
When I first began focusing on painting again, it certainly was. I was not working for any kind of gallery or show. My work was always unique and continuous. I never thought of starting something completely new with painting. I simply realized that the medium of photography and the photographic technique fell short in continuing pursuit of my personal path of artistic exploration.
VL: Personal exploration? We’ll have to revisit that concept later.
Was there something special about your previous artistic development that you were interested in rescuing?
Yes and no. The nature of this type of photographic abstraction required a lot of studying and testing. Those images are a single shot, without retouching, montages or any alterations. Every action was made in just a space of 3 or 4 seconds with the resulting abstraction being pure and impossible to control.
The amazing complexity of this process with such a spectacularly unexpected result taught me the beauty of a real and pure abstraction.
The aspects that I believed were important to bring to my painting from my photography were the dark backgrounds, floating, density, distance, colour, and depth of field. I never made a list, I just started to paint again.
So, when did you start focusing on painting?
I have been painting on and off for the entirety of my adult life. For many reasons, it has become my favourite artistic medium.
For me, painting is incredibly magical, direct, immediate, sincere and unique. I understand that each artist, depending on their style, has their own experiences. In cases of using special fluids (laughs)… perhaps in the future we will be able to clone the artists from their DNA soaked into part of the painting. For me this represents how direct and personal the painting is. This style is not my preference, I just use paint. (laughs)
Painting is a practically infinite field of creation without any kind of barrier or limit. As we have already learned from the history of art; ancient, modern, contemporary and all of its infinite variations. Today, anything can be considered art and more, painting. Personally, I like the intensity that a painting can have hanging on a wall. Its size, position, content and theme that can literally absorb or project the energy contained in a whole space. I think painting is best when it's just painting.
Could you define your painting?
I think that many people would define my work as abstract. I usually don’t like to label what I’m doing because it doesn’t have sense to me. I’m aware that you have to use a term to be able to describe what you’re doing to someone. However, I’m not painting to explain what I’m painting. I use to spend half of my life explaining many things in my previous job. I prefer to see my paintings as just paintings without it being a necessity to define them. Further, how could an accurate description exist for something that’s abstract? I don’t believe one can.
It’s a very rare occasion that I’m even able to name a painting! Let alone try to describe one. I would rather spend my energy creating works of art.
What is a great painting to you? More over, what does a painting need to have to be considered a great painting from your point of view?.
That depends on the pictorial period that we are talking about. If it were possible to revive Caravaggio or Velázquez, then perhaps you could have a more honest answer. We live in a very ridiculous era in many ways. For instance, many painters of my era have become accustomed to the general acceptance of all of this great and ridiculous modern art. Where almost anything can be considered art. However, authenticity, having an impact and the amazing ability to remain in your memory is what a good painting should contain from my perspective. In addition, a great painting should have the ability to capture your attention and open some new door to the unknown. It should invite you to think, watch, enjoy, feel, smell or really anything that can take it further than just being something hanging on a wall.
Do you have something special to let us know about your process?
Yes, I'm sure that I have something. Though, I’m not sure whether it would be considered interesting. I’m the kind of painter who devotes endless hours to simply observe the painting. Sometimes I spend days just staring at a work in progress. Then I'm enveloped by some strange type of rush and overcome by it, I start painting as fast as I can. I think I have more ability to destroy paintings than to create them. Thanks to my wife, I still keep my collection of paintings. My work is seemingly a never ending process. There’s always new possibility’s when it comes to my paintings.
What is it that gives value to a painting? To collectors, or clients?
Each client or collector always has their personal way of seeing things. Their own sense of taste and interests. This is often dependant on many factors. Anyway, I can only say that an Adalierd is a painting created by me that bares my signature. Occupying spaces and stealing sensations are the only reasons for these paintings to exist. They are also something else to me. Something that can’t be valued. They are hours of my life and of the purest expression of my soul.
Do you have a favourite artist?
Yeah, sure. I have a few. It depends a lot on how I’m feeling in the moment. I’m a fan of Kooning. There are a couple of his paintings that I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on. I like to get lost in Wilfredo lam's painting.
Do you have a favourite painting of your own making?
Yes. Each painting has its own background. I like some of my paintings because they remind me of what was happening in my life when I was painting them. On the other hand, some of the paintings are the result of a lot of time, a lot of reflection and attempts that weren’t successful in terms of technique or the expression itself.
I consider some of these paintings as finished after so much experimentation makes them unique pieces to me. Images that may never be able to be painted again with any similar kind of technique.
For example, I enjoy my piece entitled, Floating Lines. This painting is the result of a very long process. Its simplicity and clarity make it a painting that has reached the most of itself that it can give. This piece is one of the most iconic that I have.
Upon this paintings completion, I never worked on something similar again. It was something that I decided to leave for later. I think it's a language and a feeling that, in and of itself, is enough to give a robust body to the work of an artist during a lifetime.
I plan to prepare a series of paintings that will further develop the idea behind Floating Lines. It’s a very minimalist, dynamic and vibrant series. It represents something very important in my work that could be better seen in the future when I scale the size of these paintings up considerably.
At the moment, my time is occupied by other development interests. Floating Lines will have to have an entire exhibition of its own. It will be an incredible sight to see if I manage to have the time to execute a whole group of paintings that fully develops its language.
I met and fell in love with a beautiful lady with an incredible heart, and it was a universal gift. Manuela lives in Vienna and I'm incredibly grateful and happy to have her in my life. I learned from her many things, as a human, as a person, and I received infinite support from her in every part of my life. She is an incredible human person, and soul. That's the only reason why I'm in Vienna, what other reason could exist better than this. I hope to have a lot of time to share every possible second with her.
ARTIST INTERVIEW: About the exhibition at Village. Wien
I selected a number of paintings that I believe fit the feeling of this space. Working inside a gallery is dramatically different from a public place. This selection of paintings has two objectives…
EXHIBITION: Review and Press
For the first time in Austria, a group of 15 selected paintings by ROB ADALIERD will be shown and accessible in the city of Vienna. This private art showing will …
EXHIBITION: PAINTING DIRECTORY
→ PRESS PDF
From: Friday, Apr 5 - until Jun 19
Village Café - Restaurant | MAP
VERNISSAGE ( OPENING )
Friday April 26. 6:30pm
Village Café - Restaurant
Kegelgasse 37-39. 1030. Vienna. Village Cafe Restaurant