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christine schuhbeck

“i like to think, that my exhibition enter the void suggests an invitation or an opportunity to delve into an unknown or mysterious realm. it implies a journey into stillness or an undefined space, where one can explore and discover. it is an invitation to evoke a sense for curiosity, adventure and perhaps a hint of introspection, as it implies stepping beyond familiar boundaries, into an uncharted territory of the mind.“ - christine schuhbeck

christine schuhbeck is a photographer and artist whose work showcases a diverse range of media and techniques, reflecting her admiration for excellence in technique and attention to beauty and detail. schuhbeck draws inspiration from a variety of artists and her aesthetic philosophy is rooted in a profound appreciation for the sensual aspects of art, such as texture, colour, and composition.

alongside to her career in art, schuhbeck worked in commercial photography, where schuhbeck honed her skills in retouching and gained a deep understanding of composition, lighting, and arrangement. this experience cultivated her attention to detail and knowledge of colour, influencing her artistic practice and approach to framing and lighting. schuhbeck translates her meticulous nature into her creative process, where schuhbeck experiments with different media and techniques, always seeking to elevate the aesthetic and push the boundaries of her craft.

spazio would like to thank the support of suzana diamond-roever and her contribution to the curation, editorial and production of the exhibition.

tell us a little bit about your choice to work extensively with black and white. what is it about these colours that draws you in and makes you return to? how have your worked with them separately and combined?

black is safe and quiet. it is elegant and powerful. those are already attributes i value in life. of course, the common descriptions like mystic, deep, unknown etc. do speak to me just a much. but its my strong dedication to its various possible nuances and shades, that i am drawn to. its not so much white that i want to combine with black. i am seeking the creation of light, which appears next to black in order for its depth to appear. therefore i am very curious about mixing all sorts of blacks with different materials, to create those subtle layers. i often use white as the absence of color.  

i find white to be almost less forgiving than black -- it asks for a strong motive in order to work for me.

what techniques and media have you used in your various print series? which were the most rewarding to work with?

i have been using the technique of gravure printing a lot. i own a beautiful press constructed by walter barth, a dedicated printer and engineer i have learned a great deal from. for many of my works, i created a black background with the ancient mezzotint technique. it involves roughening an entire copper plate by hand with a tool called “rocker,” to create a so-called blur. the blur holds ink, resulting in an unique rich and velvety black when printed. i use that background for overpainting, collaging, embossing or omitting shapes, scraps or objects.

i also experimented with resin, fabric and paint. i saturated velvet fabric with a liquid resin mixture which then cured and hardened to a desired three-dimensional sculptural image. finally, i carefully covered the work with different layers of primer and a very deep and non-reflecting black ink, while making sure the texture of velvet was still visible.

the work is a “frozen” moment that naturally would feel soft and tender, for its point of time.

i feel very rewarded if i manage to archive a pure, true tone of color, an interesting surface or perfectly combined colours.

for me, the medium calls for the technique and vice-versa. i really love to experiment with every material i can get my hands on. a sometimes rather unorthodox approach is not uncommon. my studio is like a small hardware store.

while many of your works are black and white, you also delve into exploring color through your sketches. when did this start exactly and why? how is your process different at home when sketching, compared to the works you create at your studio? what is it about the format that has inspired you to experiment?

i began my sketches this year. since i have no background in painting or drawing, i am not trained in using oil, gouache, acrylic, aquarelle etc., combined or individually. i desired to learn and also to stop my mind from constantly controling my ideas, so it needed to be easy. i set up a small desk at home, bought a sketchbook, taped a frame for composition and got started. i really enjoy that it doesn’t matter if it is good, bad or awful, it is very liberating. next to exploring new materials, it is an approach to working with ease and freedom, without the pressure of perfection and purpose. i didn’t think i would show the works…..