Photo by Dennis Divinagracia
Kim Kluge graduated with honors at University of Fine Arts in Braunschweig in 1999. Ever since she has been working as a freelance artist. She explores as an ongoing process a special technique of hand plucking colored felt to create color fields.
Kim, what drives you? The transformational processes in our Western democracies drive me to work artistically. To decipher the driving forces of this incessant, socio-political renewal, the artist brings to life its essence. Reflecting on her own creative energies, she astutely observes the dynamics of the modern meritocracy. In her art interacting color fields symbolize the permanent change of perspective that generates social progress.
The essential in portraiture
With color fields made of felt, the artist develops an innovative concept in the art of portraiture. The chosen material acts as a warming second skin, as an imaginary protection of the portrayed from social coldness. Individual character traits are associated with bright colors. The chosen color schemes generate the essential idiosyncrasies of each sitter. This new approach lies in the synesthetic combinatorics of color interactions that the artist associates with specific people. In this way, the image of an individual personality emerges.
The inexhaustible symbolism of color
In the history of mankind, the longing for color is inexhaustible. Throughout the ages, people have mixed colors to decorate themselves or for camouflage. New hues and color theories are being developed right up to the present day. Color theories by Goethe, Itten, Albers, Munsell and many more continue to inspire us. In terms of cultural history, the phenomenon of color remains fascinating. Pure pigments such as lapis lazuli for ultramarine blue, are still very expensive. Particularly bright colors embody attractiveness, wealth and divinity. Earth colors tend to represent modesty or even poverty.
Color as code
Kim Kluge conceptually uses color in the context of its universal meaning and legibility to code a personality: With sky blue, we associate the vastness of the sky. Green represents abundant vegetation. Significant are growth and hope. Red indicates an exuberant amount of energy. Culturally, we divide all areas of our lives into positive and negative – are used to evaluation and judgment. But the color itself knows no evaluation. Red is simply red. Yellow is yellow. Blue is blue. I like these colors or I do not like them.
Counterpoint to models of evaluation
Sensitivity and observation mutually increase in the portraits to a most pleasurable enjoyment of the interactive color fields. The colors become alive by way of interaction. They communicate with the viewer and open up imaginary creative spaces. In this way, the artist emphasizes in a very relaxed way the contrast of her works to the banal evaluation models of a digital society of permanent excitement. Colors are colors. They know no evaluation. No too old or too young, no too big or too small, no too good or too bad…A change of perspective on color allows us a change of perspective on our models of evaluation. In the fine threads of the felt, depending on the (plucking) direction, a delicate light movement unfolds additionally. It could be seen as an allegory for the dazzling capacity for development or even the creative unpredictability of the human soul.
Abstraction means a change of perspective
Abstraction means recognizing the superfluous, consciously ignoring it in order to open one’s eyes to the essential nature of the world. Kim Kluge’s reflections on art and its significance for the present reveal her socio-politically alert mind. On the one hand, she conveys a light-hearted experience and a joyful approach to the world as in colors. On the other hand, her work expresses a deep skepticism towards the increasing inhumane monotony of a society dominated by evaluation models. Through the creative process of reduction and condensation, the artist comes closer to her goal of opening up a space for positive and humane social perspectives.