Through her masterly handling of colour, her photographic and computer skills and the use of a projector, German artist Eva Kunze has found her own individual way to manipulate art. In her complex paintings and photographic art she restates present-day art appreciation, current attitudes towards the media and the human being himself, but at the same time also questioning it. Many of her photographs and paintings seem to be inspired by the Renaissance, an era in which portraiture developed into the most important art form of the time. But her inspiration is generated from trends set in the current media world and fashion magazines. She uses analogously created images, either her own or from other sources, in original or printed form, and processes these further, digitally or with brush and paint.
These motifs are then subjected to numerous modifications, the artist reducing them and subsequently enshrouding them with impasto brush strokes.
In her work-in-progress Kunze experiments with a clear and spontaneously drawn line applied around an almost classical-looking piece of art.
Through this line the viewer is able to experience the boundary between the inner and outer worlds. Boundaries generate a binary system that defines what is inside them as their own, while everything outside is different and alien. The zone between the two worlds becomes a space formed by identity, an identity which has a double character.
Furthermore the monochrome, mostly dark background accentuates the figures and highlights their individuality. The visible in her finished artwork comprises a mélange of information generated by painted inputs, together with the diverse possibilities offered by digital techniques and new artistic forms of expression. Her artwork often demonstrates the return of the subject from the new to the former medium, simultaneously reflecting on what reminds us today of things
of the past. However, the artist still remains very focussed on the genre of painting. Through her art, Eva Kunze wants to address socially relevant issues. She reverts to subjects that deal with everyday life.
In thematic work complexes such as the series - VEILED - UNVEILED - or in her current series - IDENTITY - she explores how we experience the world itself. Kunze’s artistic approach always also centers itself around a constant reflection on the medium and state of the image, on perception and vision as well as the conditions under which both are structured.
Many of her, mainly female, protagonists wear a variety of masks, or mask-like creations. In this way they do not expose their whole face but keep it hidden, thus shrouding their true identity.
“Identity is an ‘act of social construction’: one’s individuality or that of any other person is captured in a net of prominence. The question of identity has a universal and a culturally-specific dimension. It always concerns the creation of a match between the subjective - inner - and the social - outer, meaning the creation of an individual social localization. The necessity to determine one’s own identity points towards the basic human need for recognition and belonging. It shall enable the subject, which is viewed from
an anthropological perspective as a deficient being, to self place itself, to deliver an individual purpose of meaning and shall give individual self determination, and for individual needs it shall open up socially
accepted means for gratification. Identity emulates a self-reflecting link between the inner and outer world. The double character of identity becomes precisely visible: On the one hand it should render visible the unique
individual, whereas on the other hand, it should also show the socially acceptable individual.
In this respect it always constitutes a compromise between ‘self-will’ and adaptation. The problem of ‘sameness in diversity’ also dominates
the current theories about identity.” (Keupp, H. & Höfer, R. (1997):
“Identitätsarbeit heute“, URL: www.spektrum.de/lexikon/psychologie/identitaet/6968
In the light of profound changes that have been evoked by the unleashing of digitalisation in almost all areas of life, Eva Kunze’s art is also subjected to a constant process of renewal. At present it is not the immediate reality that features in her large-sized portraits. Half real, half surreal, it is the wishes and secrets of human existence that are being portrayed as opposing identities.