How would you describe your creative style?
I think it is very important for my work, to have this contrast between my persons ( I like call them so because they should not be statues, but souled, existing people) and the space around them. The figures has the role to invite the audience to follow them in their own world. The empty walls, clean horizons or wide spaces should be the room for our thoughts. I don’t want to tell stories. The emptiness in my rooms is like a playground for your minds.
What’s your inspiration?
I think there is so much what we communicate with our body, our posture, our individual motions. People tell us a lot about their emotional status through their figures. This is what inspires me. I love using waiting, looking or reflecting people because they tell no stories, they give us a perception of the soul. When they are watching an empty wall or a horizon without landscapes, we, like an audience, can imagine ourselves in the scene. It can be a very intimate moment.
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
My home area where I live has an 400 year old tradition of wood carving. I grow up surrounded by wood sculptors, and surely this impress this living material in my life. The wood was the material of my formation, with whom I grew up professionally. But it is much later that I decided to continue to work with it. I learned to love the smell, the warm surface, the natural look. But these are sentimental considerations. The choice of lime wood as a support to my art is in part a pragmatic choice and in part an artistic choice.
Wood has the features that I need to make these sculptures. Use lime wood is an artistic choice. With its bright color and very homogeneous and unobtrusive grain has the aesthetics that is currently suitable for my works. So there is no romanticism for me, when I create my works in wood. My focus is on the scene, on the expression. Something has to emerge, a indefinable feeling or emotion in my work. The material has to be in second line.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
The figures has the role to invite the audience to follow them in their own world. I don’t want to tell stories. The emptiness in my rooms is like a playground for your minds.
The realism in my works has one goal: the observer should forget the artist interpretation ( there is always an interpretation, nothing is really realistic or really perfect). He should overtake the questions about myself and enter in a dialogue with the shown people and feel free to interpret, or better to have a identification with the presented world. We all don’t know who these persons are, but we are to believe that they really exist. My works can be like a mirror. But this mirror don’t reflect your soul, he can absorb your thoughts, you can put in your individual emotions.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
The body language is perhaps the most honest kind of communication. We have more focus on controlling our facial expressions than our body movements. It is also interesting to follow the influence who has the media about body posture and behavior. Especially the young people are showing very well what kind of “main culture” they are following.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Be honest to yourself, be serious in your work, but never expect that your audience have to think like you. You are free to do what you want, but you have all the responsibility, by yourself.
What’s your process like?
I make many pictures from people wherever I am, and of course, in my studio using models. Using those photos, I create a bidimensional project. I find the proportions in the space, the dimensions of the people and the relation between them. It is the most important part. Inspiration and art are happening in this moment. After this clear bidimensional project on paper, I start carving the figures and building the spaces in wood. This is the part who needs work, work, and work.
Visit Peter Demetz’s website here.