@dirkmarwig was the first profile featured by YD. As such, I was super excited when he agreed to answer questions. In fact, I wish I could have asked even more!
I present Questions with Dirk Marwig:
Looking through your website, it wouldn't be an understatement to say you are a prolific creator of things. Do you have a favorite material?
I try to use whatever is in my studio at the moment (I buy materials whenever I can. Mostly I buy things that I find "interesting" in some way (screws,string,cardboard, cable ties,plywood, coloured plexi-glass ,strange woods, cool paper... whatever...) which may have POTENTIAL (remember that I was $$ poor so I always had to think what could be done with whatever there was!) -However,I have one rule: "Be true to the material! -Use it so that the essence of the material "shines" through! Keep it SIMPLE, PURE and POWERFUL. Sometimes juxtaposition of materials is necessary to convey an idea but you have to [be] "material sensitive" otherwise it will be a big flop!
An example of juxtaposition is "Rearview No.2" Wood and Plexi-Glass.(see 1st pic) Rearview No.2 (Plexi-Glass and plywood mounted on maple wood with fishing line, 45cm x 30.5cm x 4.2cm, Dirk Marwig 2014)
An example of "Pure" material use is : Twister And "Senso Gramm"(foreground and in the back) all pure Plywood constructions
TWISTER, ALL IN THE MIND, SENSO GRAMM (Dirk Marwig at Nikolaus Fischer Gallery,Frankfurt, Germany 1996)
...And an example of "material sensitive" : Plywood combined with Plexi-glass and Cable Ties:
Margareta’s Birthday Bracelet and Ring (Plywood, Plexi-glass and Cable Tie “Jewelry”, Dirk Marwig 2014)
Following up on the above statement, how do you stay focused? When do you decide when a piece is done and decide to move on?
A work of art is done or finished, to my mind, when the essential statement is conveyed (without the use of special effects of course!) with a nice surprise!
"If I'm not surprised myself then how can anyone else be?"
The end result has to be the 'ultimate distillation' of the idea with a minimum of means(absolutely NO FRILLS!) When I achieve this I'm thrilled! -Another thing: If you can "see" the "labour" involved and that becomes the focus for the observer then "it" is not a work of art! Hard,tough words but true. Sometimes I FEEL that when I've finished for example a "drawing on paper", the PAPER itself has gained in "WEIGHT"- It FEELS somehow 'heavier', somehow more substantial than it did before "working on it" and not because of the thin layer of ink or paint! Think about that! Interesting!
Example of when a piece is finished (no frills):
Project Reveen (Plywood construction, 158cm x 36cm x 21.5cm, Dirk Marwig 2014)
Example of "Surprise finish" : The shadows blew me away!
The Soul of Constructivism (Plywood construction painted with oil and enamel, 87cm x 26cm x 10cm, Dirk Marwig 2014)
This object changes it’s appearance depending on the lighting or ‘illumination’. In a way it ‘lives’. It resonates.
Example of "more weight":
A TRAGIC STORY (Oil and archival ink on ‘Japan-paper’, 23.5cm x 32cm, Dirk Marwig 2007)
Most of your creations are large - sculptures, paintings, music. Why is that, and ever do anything tiny?
When I was in my 20's 30's or 40's my pieces were large and sometimes very large. I guess it was an "EGO' thing. When you're young you do foolish things! Also the galleries wanted(and still want!) bigger art for higher prices. Today my work is "contained"-i.e.: easy to manage, easy to put up, easy to present/show/photograph, easy to ship and transport, easy to store! I like to keep everything simple. But in my price list a smaller great piece is just as expensive as a large one! The collectors don't give a shit and I don't either!(contrary to the "gallery world" where SIZE MATTERS and the pricing is set according to sq. footage!) What an idiotic system! The greatest pieces of our culture(art wise)are SMALL (Da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa', Goya's 'Witches' and so on.....)
We live on an overpopulated planet (since 1970 to now the world population doubled, can you believe that?! wow) This means: More Artists (not necessarily better artists!-just more), more Art in general, more ART VENUES, more art Literature but....relatively less (serious) collectors that 'dish out' $$ and of course, smaller spaces to live in. Check out Hong Kong! What a joke: Millions of people crammed on top of each other in high rises (and still having more babies!) Considering all this why would I create these giant pieces again? It's not (for me) economical. I would use the word: pretentious!
Example of 2 paintings with very different sizes having the same price: $30,000
(Oil on canvas,50.7cm x 60.8cm,Dirk Marwig 2012
TRANSMIGRATION (Oil on wood panel,91.5cm x 122cm,Dirk Marwig 2013)