Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Martyrium, Martin Holzschuh

On Monday, we sat down for the first time to talk about Portraiture in painting.

As we are still living in the middle of the pandemic and one of the artists is from the UK, our meeting took place at ZOOM. And since it is very uncertain whether Felicity will come to Frankfurt in July, I suggested that instead of painting together, which was my original idea, we devote ourselves to the special topic of self-portraits. It gives us more flexibility and is just as enjoyable.

The artists addressed different views and personal preferences. Felicity Brown liked the idea. Monika Romstein thought of the effigy, the more sculptural representation of a person known as Bildnis in German. The effigy represents the person, so instead of painting oneself or someone else, she would find it interesting to paint something that represents the person, like a part of the body, the hair, clothes, etc.

Voodoo, Voodoo Doll, was mentioned, and Felicity spoke about shamanism. The shaman mediates between 'here and there' through ritual and dressed in ceremonial clothing and thus textile as 'personal' material came into focus. Felicity spoke of the 'shrine idea' we are trying to examine in our collaborative work. 'Shrine' expresses an idea of a portrait in which the portrayed is shown as valuable in all her humanity. Dressmaking plays a role here. I remembered Rembrandt, who loved to dress up to paint himself in disguise but forgot to mention it. Martin saw his painting, also in the context of portrait painting, more as something dynamically moving, emerging from memory, less observational.

The history of portrait painting came up, the death masks, mummy portraits, silhouettes and some talk about the skin; I mentioned Didi Huberman's book: Die Leibhaftige Malerei.

Martin writes:

My name is Martin Holzschuh

I was born 1972 in Frankfurt am Main

After several movements and failures I

began to study art at the städelschule in 2000.

At the beginning as a guest student I became

a full student of Michael Krebber and finished 2006.

I found a studio in the Atelierfrankfurt, where

I work till today continuing free painting. My last

exhibition was in the Ausstellungshalle Schulstr. 1A

in 2018 under the title to be and not to be. I showed

there this Porträt which belongs to a status of innocence.

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