Reflections – Interview with Stefan Faas
Starting on the 3rd of September, PontArte welcomes German-based artists Lena Krashevka & Stefan Faas in a joint exhibition, that will last until the 15th of October. To share more about the artists and their works with you, Diandra has conducted interviews with Krashevka and Faas, which are both available on the respective artist’s page.
Faas remembers seeing an exhibition by German artist, Joseph Beuys (a signifcant figure in the art scene of the 20th century), at the Kunsthalle Tübingen. This exhibition presented mostly early drawings by Beuys. Faas mentioned fondly that he acquired an exhibition catalogue while visiting, through which he still leafs through with enthusiasm. Beuys’ works, which feature clear lines and expression, have been one of the main sources of inspiration from another artist that played and still play a role in influencing Faas’ art.
Question: How do you feel about having your own shows now?
Faas considers the experience of showing his works in an exhibition to be like a great adventure. This is because his sculptures of corten and mirror steel exist to be seen. “My works live in the eyes of the beholder, who realize the work a second time with their experiences and interpretations. The conversations and encounters result in an energy that flows back into my work.”
Question: What is your background as an artist? How do you work mediums & techniques?
Faas’ work as a sculptor is based on a fundamental craftsmanship basis. Through manual training as an art blacksmith and metalworker at a master craftsman’s level and through knowledge in the field of metallurgy, Faas can meet his level of technical perfection. Intuition, a feeling for the steel, recognizing and feelings the limits of the materials and sensing ‘the soul of the steel’ are essential elements in his craft. Forcing a form onto a material would mean the destruction of the work of art. “Despite my knowledge and all my experience, steel keeps showing me the limits of what is feasible.”
Question: Where do you find your inspiration?
Faas’ main subject matter is people. “I find my inspiration simply by observing people with their different behaviour patterns.” He can also be inspired by literature and ancient myths. “In Ovid’s myth or Metamorphoses, all the basic constants of human feelings and human behaviour are described.” Art, sculptors of the past and non-European cultures “all of this flow into my horizon of experience and ultimately into my work.”
Question: Could you talk about the works that will be on display at PontArte?
From Faas’ oeuvre, visitors will be able to enjoy the heads from the Testi series of works. This series “is about the question of what it is to be human – probably the ability to reflect on oneself.” The other series of sculptures include the steles and couple figures. “The couple works symbolize interpersonal relationships through the relationship between the individual lines and shapes.” Faas integrates human behaviour patterns and tensions into “the edges and planes of the sculpture.”
Faas uses themes that have not changed in millennia, despite the advancements in in technology and information. “Since I am concerned with the general human condition, my sculptures are also named with the names of people from antiquity: Love, Hate, Death, Sorrow, Joy just to name a few. That is the basis of my work, I try to give a universal expression to these basic constants of feelings and human behaviour in my almost abstract pictorial language.”
Question: Is this the first time your works are exhibited in Maastricht/The Netherlands? How do you feel about that?
It is the first time that Faas’ sculptures are exhibited in Maastricht! He feels a lot of positive energy and is happy regarding the possibility to exhibit at PontArte. Faas is also looking forward to Maastricht, which he considers to be “a vibrant city full of culture and creativity” that will definitely inspire him.
Question: What does the title of the exhibition Reflections mean to you?
In Faas’ sculptures of highly polished mirror steel, the reflection stands out. In the reflection, the viewer and the environment become part of the artwork. “In a figurative sense, it is the ability for mental distance and self-reflection. Here are the points of contact between Lena’s pictures and my sculptures. We both address feelings and the constellations of an individual in relation to society.”
Question: Do you have any expectations for this exhibition?
Faas looks forward to the exhibition with great anticipation. “It is always exciting to talk to people who are interested in art and to experience the enthusiasm for my work.”
Reflections will be on display at PontArte in the period 03.09. – 15.10.2022. The opening reception in the presence of the artists will take place at 17:00 on 03.09.