"The authentic painting of Sazarin conveys an original sense of art: his paintings are repositories of power....a very rare phenomenon. Here truthfulness can be felt. For she and he are one. From there, the artist shows us paths that everyone can only follow on their own."
- Art historian Dr Iris Simone Engelke
Big Bang and silence. Such stark contrasts fortunately leave little room for mediocrity. Opposites are clearly identified and not blurred in a half-hearted fashion. The Hamburg-based artist Michael Sazarin lives and works like this: powerful curves, bright colours, broken surfaces and shadowy figures characterise his works.
The artist Michael Sarasin shuns the academic approach to painting: most of his work is all about immediacy, spontaneity and direct impact. When Sazarin talks about art, he is interested not so much in theoretical concepts, but more in what the picture itself is trying to achieve. Animals, children, angels ..... these are far more important to him than his role as an "artist". Anyone who paints is not aware of the fact that the painting, as they are losing themselves in the picture. As far as Sazarin is concerned, "losing oneself" is the start of the real creative process. He likes to talk about fortunate failures, destructive construction or the falling fly. Only when the image escapes from the artist, and so becomes autonomous, can chance be controlled so that surfaces become magical. In Sazarin's view, one of the most beautiful qualities of a picture its insatiability – when you simply cannot take your eyes off it.
|1943||born in Gdansk|
|1945||moved to Hamburg|
|1962-69||lived in the USA|
|1969||studied literature and art history / painting|
|1981||member of the BBK Hamburg. Moved into a studio in the Haus für Kunst und Kunsthandwerk / Hamburg|
|2019||Pictures now available exclusively through Mittelmann Schmuck & Galerie in Überlingen|
Shanghai Art Fair, China // Art Beijing, China // Art Madrid, Spain // Galerie Puncto, Vienna // German embassy in the Vatican City // Grace Denker Gallery – Urknall und Stille, Hamburg // Artgeschoss Wolfenbüttel // Nordart - Kunstwerk Carlshütte // Galerie auf Zeit, Wismar // Museum ship "Cap San Diego", Hamburger port // Galerie Anne Moerchen, Hamburg // Berliner Liste 2008, Berlin (Galerie Anne Moerchen) // Galerie Anne Moerchen, Hamburg // Projekthaus Altona, Hamburg // Galerie Curare, Hamburg // St. Jacobi Kirche (Südschiff), Hamburg // Katholische Akademie, Hamburg // Changing exhibitions in own studio // Ernst-Deutsch-Theater, that the staging of "Montserrat" // Galerie Bollhagen, Worpswede // Galerie Metzner, Hamburg // Galerie L., Hamburg // Kunsthaus, Hamburg
Sazarin's works are currently being shown exclusively at Mittelmann Schmuck & Galerie in Überlingen.
There is no beauty in itself. Beauty arises only in the friction of contrasts, which are melted in the confrontation to form a composition. The studio as a place for smelting or forging – for Sazarin, it is chiefly a workshop where work is done. And in his opinion the real artist is characterised by diligence. As far as Sazarin is concerned, skill is a key component of ability, and luck plays its part in success, but hard work is the real foundation.
In his late work he has found a simplicity which at the same time allows an emancipated interplay of colours. The simplest thing, which has nothing in common with the naïve, is shown above all in the generosity of white surfaces and the all the more concentrated culmination of colour events. By "emancipated", Sazarin understands above all allowing any colour at all once it has found its direct placement. Work such as "No" or "Silent" display an almost Asian character, which has more in common with Chinese ink painting or Japanese Zen drawings than with European painting.
Just as the silence of his studio in Hamburg city centre is music to the artist's ears, so too the "white silence" music behind colour explosions such as "Wave I" or "Chinese Landscape".
The characteristic thread running through Sazarin's work is what he likes to call "unwillingness", because only in overcoming the "painter's ego" (analogous to Gottfried Benn's lyrical ego) does he manage to achieve artistic freedom. What originally happened as a creative accident was later "worked up" into an aesthetic concept. While Sazarin was finishing off a drawing in 1978, he accidentally upset his coffee pot over the picture, producing an image with totally new structures. "That's when I learned for the first time to really see: I was bowled over looking at the scenic structures which were both blurred and clear at the same time, and which I had no intention of making. The picture was not only improved, it was one of my early fortunate failures."
Sazarin then began to gradually incorporate and control this random element in his work. As well as being his most important assistant, chance also supplied advice, impulse and vision. Some of the most important influences on Sazarin's aesthetic understanding comes from Japanese Zen philosophy and the Taoism of Lao-Tse. Sazarin sees thought and speech simply as an intellectual tool and support. The image is as free as the music and has already smothered the head before it gathers words. Sazarin has always been fascinated by the suddenness of the moment (the impression) that a picture can evoke in the viewer. Such suddenness (impact) paired with an impulsive force in the vernacular is characteristic of almost all his pictures. Sazarin's style of painting happens in the moment, without any before or after. In this creative moment, the canvas responds itself as it is shaken, sprayed, dispersed, painted, or glued... and in many other ways.
Sazarin's work includes paintings, drawings, etchings, rust and material works. Coming from figurative drawing, Sazarin freed himself over the years more and more "from the recognisable figurativeness" and became increasingly abstract. In many of his works, landscapes, bodies, and portraits are only hinted at, because the artist is not interested in directly reproducing something that has been recognised, but in "turning solutions into riddles". The preference to create spaces and symmetries from surfaces allows his pictures to be turned through 360 degrees. The picture is not compromised in any way through rotation. On the contrary: the viewer's gaze gains new perspectives, landscapes, etc., so that a picture can at best contain three more pictures. This "polyperspectivity" is one of the main features of Sazarin's art.
Sazarin's approach is based on the absence of any concept: he just paints away without thinking anything of it. During the process of painting, structures emerge that surprise him again and again. Thus the artist loses himself in colours, forms and surfaces that seem to arise by chance. The artist repeatedly stresses that he does not paint, but that the picture "paints itself". As a result, Sazarin does not attribute any sort of meaning to his pictures and says that ultimately each observer is reflected in his pictures: everyone sees something that is inside themselves.
I want to bring as little as possible into the picture from the outside.
I am interested in the spontaneous, the rapid impulse, I prefer to react to structures.
They serve as a point of reference, in which I intuitively, imaginatively paint myself into a foreign world that surprises even me. Where the gaze falls, loses itself, where there is no top nor bottom, no beginning nor end, everything seems variable, there the magic begins.
I am interested in the no-man's-land of unspent, insatiable images.
When it is nothing more and yet still represents something, nothing depicted from outside, but carries itself out of itself.
To create unspent pictorial events, to surprise, to be fundamentally infinite.
My new pictures are becoming more and more like me, they are increasingly more of less.
Less is more, as we all know, but here too, my consequence will not be that of a donkey. Otherwise straight, I still to the last freedom of myself.
Confusion of not knowing more.
There, the rhythm of the strokes of the pictures.
Precisely in the thrall of the unconscious things start to loosen up.
Released from logic to the predictable will
And it is flooded...
Boundlessly I slosh
from picture to - something that cannot be recreated.
This free momentum that feverishly flows over me in streams of lava
This is the sacred state... The hour of prayer.
A good picture knows nothing about the picture and yet, and precisely because it is a picture of nothing, it is similar to the artist - who empties himself, i.e. creates without any ego.
Because the artist who no longer wants anything, nor can he create the impossible, who gives similarity to nothing.
The secret of my ability, is failure, is love... that is the chance; the task - of the self – the painting – the wanting. In abandoning the ego. In its destruction of the falling into itself... to let oneself go, to let it happen.
The wanting has to come out (and not only in art ) in the moment when you no longer want it, ... you give up ... you have already died and are still alive; then you are free.
Free from yourself, this unspeakable wanting, because it is immediately clear and an understandable renunciation of self-will.
Since it is not an act of will, but only the right time, which exists through the feeling of the awareness of becoming an inner voice.
Greatness means: to bury oneself, but above all diligence and, again and again, this, ... carried to the grave
With self-determined seeing, there is the possibility of the observer, his inner image, to penetrate to himself.
It depends on subjective involvement, on intensity.
The rest is nebulous...
Very similar, but what will it be?
I'm not going to leave chance to its own devices
Something must always remain open, unspoken. the highest value lies in the intuition.
To paint riddles from solutions. I allow everything to happen, offer everything, confirm nothing.
The medium is the message.
Non-representational yet concrete pictures. My paintings don't look like something, they are something!
There are two types of pictures: those that are good and those that remain good.
There is no image (however bad) that cannot be overcome by overpainting.
I will punish you with even more pictures... with harsher scourges.