“Penetration to make the unvisible visible”
Slow and equal move the hands over the raw and unfinished stone. By touching are explored the size the volume and the form. Milky soaplike dust puts himself in the pores of the skin, makes it smooth and sensible for the dialogue between the artist and the stone. The first contours are marked with a small modelling file and the process of becoming and transforming has begun.
This atmosphere I met, when I watched Frederik Egold working in his atelier in Limeshain. His dialogue with the stone is a taktile and haptic communication. It is some kind of hearing into and feeling into the mineral, which is transormed by the artists deed of creation.
Frederik Egold, sculptor and creator of artefacts was born 1977 in Hanau. He lives in Frankfurt Main and Limeshain. Because of his illness “juvenile NCL” (Batton disease or Spielmeyer- Vogt- Krankheit) he grew blind at the age if 10. Today he is multiple handicapped.
Since being a child- ath that time he still could see- he is engaged in creating plastic works made out of metal and iron scrap he found.
After finfihing school at the schoolof blind in Friedberg (1995) Egolds need for creating does not allow him to fall into common socialisation. He found admission in the Werkstattgalerie 37 of the Stiftung Blindenanstalt in Frankfurt Main, where he worked in his school free time as a guest student.
By instruction of his teacher, the painter and sculptor Dieter- Josef Bauer, Frederik Egold got familiar with the mineral Steatit.
Steatit being soft and warm ist typical for the artist Frederik Egold. He elicits from the stone the high sensitivity, which is inherent in Frederik himself.
Egolds aesthetic activity is stimulated by an intensive need for creative doing and the possibility for visual communication with his environment.
The way he works, the intellectual- aesthetic process of creation in special is not influenced by an academic art and their stilistic methods, but from the environment around him, which he experiences.
Frederik Egold is a pacifist, he hates war and violence. So are his creations a reflection of reality. They are no reflection in a sense of a mimic representation but in symbols in which the allegorical is paraphrased.
The names of his exhibits creations seem to be more like the ones of the “Romantik” of Caspar David Friedrich or William Turner, but they escape more out of a mythological world of pictures, in which dreams and reality, abstraction and object are molten by his creative deed into synthesis.
The visual reception of his sculptures is brought into a state of tension by groove patterns,createt coarse surfaces and highly polished surfaces.
His principles of creation are determined by a reduced language of form, where you can also find the principle of “Pars pro toto” and loanings of impressionism, cubism and surealism.
Usage of these fragments of different stilistic elements does not lead to an eclecticisms of creation but to very own authentic style, which characteristic is the “penetration of objects with space”. This is a style of creation found by the Russian sculptor Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964) developed as a contrast to the statues of the 19th century.
Penetration as a sublation of the plasticity of the essence of a sculpture has since that become the paradigm of sculpting and did not only influence sculptors like Auguste Rodin or henry Moore, but also painters like Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali.
In the sculptures of Frederik Egold are hollow spaces kept. They are no spaces between, but are a equivalent forms. For him there are no bounds of creation betweween epidermis and the “space around”.
The “space around” puts his energy on the sculpture, breaks their surface their continuum and changes the form. The sculpture opens himself for the viewer, it pulls the “space around” towards itself and takes it in. It is a penetration, which is a continous quantity in the creations of Frederik Egold.
Passages and openings are found again and again in form of eye- symbols in his sculptures.
The own blindness, that restricts the sensation and perception of the visible becomes a necessary catharsis.
In all of the work of Frederik Egold you will find eyes. They enter the stone, through it until they seem to percept some light and are flooded by the light.
This light that develops out of remembering and HAPTIc experience for the artist, is making the unvisible visible.
Frederik Egolds visionary speech of objects, his obsessive will to create and also his aesthetic activity, which is professionell in spite of his handicap, make him a true artist.
The artificial definition of his work is because of that quite clear. His art is nor “L’Art Brut” nor “Outsider Art” nor art of a handicapped. It is in real sense “L’art pour l’art”- art because of art.
The handicap of Frederik Egold should not be made to stigma for classification of his creations. It should only be the creations themselves, which have to be the determining factor for rating and judging , as it is said by Jean Dubuffet in his manifesto: „L´Art brut préféré aux Arts culturel“ (1949).
No scientist would declare the work of the physician Steven Hawkins being “Schience Brut” or “raw Science” or “Schience of handicapped” just because of communicating via intercom computer and travelling by wheel chair.
By accepting the difference between handicapped and non- handicapped humans in society and the therefore disintegrating discriminating stereotypes, a senseless and helpless debate of terms about aesthetic acitivity and the products of artists with handicap would be stopped.
Exhibitions like the one in the “Sparkasse Wetterau” do their part.They build bridges for culturell integration and a normalization of handicapped artists to whom is also belongs Frederik Egold.
Dr. rer. nat. Ralf Streum ©
Performance on the occasion of an opening of an exhibition