German version - click on this flag

click here to get the German version

Since I may possibly be more able to paint than to write, you may read the following words with the kind permission of
Gerd Marstedt (Kultur-Online).

Erotic Art:
Born in prudishness
It is surely no coincidence that two of the most renowned artists andpainters of erotic, Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, grew up at the end of the last century in the prudish atmosphere of the Austrian captial, Vienna.

Out of this climate of repression sprang Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory as well, which placed sexuality at the center of human conflict.

Today, on the eve of the 21st century, erotic art remains the dirty stepchild of nearly all genres of the graphic arts bar the comic.

Eroticism
in the Internet
Are internet surfers unusually voyeuristic, sexually curious, erotomanic? "Porno" and "hardcore" are the terms most often searched for by internet users.

"Adult sites" are visited by thousands of persons each day, whereas art sites are fortunate to be visited by this many people in the course of an entire year.
And sexism in the internet is a constant topic of media debate.

To present erotic art under these circumstances is surely controversial, and can quicklywin applause from the wrong corners -- i.e. from those seeking sexual sensation rather than erotic fascination.

Women:
Neither whores nor saints
Erotic art is only one of Christine Dumbsky's genres of painting.
Perhaps this distinction is a false one,betraying more about our --still -- prudish culture, which labels all art in which nakedness appears as 'erotic', than about Christine's motives.

You will search in vain for portrayals of crude sex acts in her art work.
Indeed, Christine ascribes eroticism a subordinate role in her painting.
Visitors of our special exhibition will no doubt also get the impression that 'the female' and not 'emale erotic'forms the leitmotiv of her painting.

The women in her paintings are complex and contradictory: self-confident yet shy, anxious yet vivacious, self-sacrificing yet dominating, and passionate though detached. It is a rebuff to the cliché:

Women are neither whores nor saints, neither heroes nor homebodies.

Painting in timeless space
Christine is an autodidact. She uses a special acrylic-dispersion mix technique on wood, in which forms become plastic and spring out at you, transcending their two-dimensionality.

She often takes her inspiration from music. "I associate most of my paintings with a particular song.

I listen to this song repeatedly while working and find myself in a kind of timeless space or trance."

Music plays a formative role
Music also plays a big role in Christine's day job.

Unfulfilled by her work as an assistant to a tax consultant, she now works -- after a brief foray into show business as a hard-rock singer --in a music publishing house and is responsible forits song catalog, coordinatesco-writes between songwriters and artists, and negotiates with record companies.

Her paintings:
emotionally intriguing and a chronicle of our times
Maybe the rather prude and conservative upbringing in a small village in Southern Germany led Christine Dumsbsky, too, to develop an interest in painting -- and especially erotic painting.

"Painting is and was for me a means of expressing my feelings and perhaps also a rebellion against all convention."

In any case, the at once photo-realistic and symbolically rich character of her work not only fascinates the observer emotionally, it also provides a small chronicle of our times.

 


THE INTERVIEW
What led you to start painting, how long have you been painting?
I 've been painting as long as I can remember! This is my CALLING and it always was.
Painting is and always has been the means by which I express my feelings.

Sometimes it is also a means ofrebellion against convention -- a provocation even -- but not in a negative sense.

Rather, I seek to incite stimulating discussions, as well as encourage tolerance.

I get the ideas for my pictures from continuous feedback from other people as well as from my curiosity,which leads me to look beyond facades.
Do you have something like artistic role models and predilections?

Many, many ... how could it be otherwise? I am a deep admirer of Picasso, love Dali and especially Klimt, and am fascinated by Warhol, Giger, Sorajama and Vallejo.

Every school of Pop Art inspires me.
My relationship to abstract painting is ambivalent.

There are a number of works in this area that appeal to me, but usually due to a particular coloring and composition.

So long as it's not about "suspending forms and colors", I can happily take an interest in it.

Does art fill most of your leisure time as well?
Art and music are the most important things I do.
I go to exhibitions, galleries and museums every chance I get.

I couldn't imagine living without art -- really believe I would waste away.

I alsohear a great deal of music and paint every spare minute, enjoy talking to interesting people and have a lot of fun with my computer and with all the possibilities of the internet.
 

The Internet: what significance does it have for you personally?

I set up my web-site, of course, to bring my work to a wider audience.
The huge - and prevailingly positive - resonance pretty much overwhelmed me.

To get feedback from such diverse cultural environments and countries is a marvelous thing.

It is truly inspiring. When I surf in the internet, I visit above all art and music sites.

 

What is your opinion of the womens' movement?
  I myself know what it's like to be labeled prematurely. Strong women still inspire fear in men.

Personally, I feel that when teamwork is called for, the different character traits of the sexes cancomplement each other wonderfully, ifmore men would just open up and allow it to happen.

Men are often governed bytheir aggresiveness and sexuality.

Whereby I myself admire their audacityand self-confidence -- even if I often wonder if it's justified.
Each painting is accompanied by a song. What's this about?

Nobody can talk to me when I'm painting - I'm in another world, alone with myself.

Music has a big influence on my creative process. For most of my paintings there is a specific song which massively influenced the work from start to finish - though no workis every truly finished in my eyes.

I hear this song repeatedly while working and find myself in a kind of timeless space or trance.

 

Do emotions alone drive your painting?

Emotions rule me, without a doubt.
Nevertheless, I usually have a clear picture in advance of what the end product should be.

When painting, I am influenced by the widest variety of events that occur during the creative process.

The colors are always dependent on my mood. And whereas the basic tendency is clear to me beforehand, much changes in the process.
Naturally I want to address the oberver and capture his or her attention.

The women whom you represent in your paintings appear multi-faceted and contradictory. Do you mean to say that these many faces exist within each woman?

I am convinced that each woman is multi-faceted and often contradictory as well.
I do believe that I am in a position to make such a judgement.
Sometimes strong, and yet weak when she has to be; energetic, self-confident and indeed dominating as well.
Nevertheless vulnerable, anxious and shy. To admit a weakness constitutes for me a strength.
To do so, however, requires openness, something both men and woman are afraid of.
Yet if you don't open up to others, they won't open up to you -- it's a Catch-22.

"Erotic art" is only one of your genres of painting. Do you use it to try to break a taboo or provoke people?
The erotic aspect which the superficial observer reads into my work is for me secondary.

I have learned the hard way that although we live in the 20th century, many observers still have a problem with the portrayal of veritably naked truths.

That's something I don't always understand. In such situations I just assume that the observer didn't grasp the meaning of the work.
Do you see a clear dividing line between pornographic and non-pornographic art, in terms of sexual motifs?

Actually, I don't have any taboos in this area: erotic painting is plainand simply my main field of work.
The portrayal of the sheer, demystified sex act, however, wouldn't interest me enough and, in my opinion, has little to do with eroticism.
Still, I can contemplate painting just about anything that has to do with this subject matter.
Yet I would execute it in a more differentiated way, with a dose of magic, mysticism and tenderness.
In any case, the border between pornography and eroticism is a precarious tightrope walk.

© Gerd Marstedt/Christine Dumbsky

"Without passion there is no genius"

Back to Christine's WebparadiseE-Mail