Modern society places heavy emphasis on active memorialization of events. This ritual manifests itself in the regular photography of seemingly ordinary occurrences such as a family going to the beach or a large group all being in the same room. These events and many others like them seem unworthy of memorialization to most spectators, coloring their trigger happy photographer(s) as somewhat manic. However, this collective compulsion is not entirely without merit. As a fellow person who has been alive long enough to be able to read this post, you’ll agree with me when I say that life exists through a filter (and I’m not talking about our eclectic collection of moments on Instagram). In this sense, a filter alters the way we perceive the everyday events which are constantly unfolding around us. Based on our amount of investment, we might view these alleged everyday events as monumental. For instance, that family at the beach might be your family, changing the value of the moment from commonplace to meaningful, at least for you.
Enter Georg Dienz. A man who conquers the moments in his life which he deems worthy of conquering. What began as a career in interior design and graffiti lead to taking possession of photographs on canvas. What he has in common with you is that he too, photographs the scenes which resound within him. What you probably don’t share with Georg is that he subsequently paints these photographs. This enables him to inject these moments with the influence of his own style, coloring the experience for all to see. This is how Dienz takes possession of his world. Check out his website. An advanced proficiency in German is not required. The appreciation for an immaculately minimal aesthetic and a tendency towards the spectator’s preference of viewing parties who are engaged in their own business is.
It should immediately be clear that his paintings are entirely different creations than the photographs that they are based on. His paintings contain an otherworldly, washed out color palette. This is a result of recreating a photograph, loyal to how it previously appeared and then stripping away it’s colors, bit by bit, until it presents a radically different scheme without separate colors combining into one another. Contrary to how these tableaus would appear in real life, some objects within the painting are granted technicolor while others fade into obscurity in the background. It is through these palette choices that the audience knows what Dienz intends for them to focus on. It states that some objects are worth your attention while others are not, this is a distinction that all artists make.
The subject’s regard of their captor is also important to note. In much of his work, Dienz specializes in candid moments rife with vulnerability. The lucky ones are wholly unaware that their picture is being taken as they are frozen in compromise, forever caught with their guard around their ankles, so to speak. In others their awareness or more interestingly, their silent opposition to being photographed is nearly palpable. These unwilling subjects rebel with closed-mouth smiles and indignant gazes. This is how Dienz takes something that he loves and makes it his own. This practice need not only be applied to art but to types of creation as well.
Furthermore, what is the value of a painting? It is not merely the sum of it’s individual elements but the total of the ideas that are associated with it. Art is in the eye of the beholder (just because something is trite doesn’t mean that it isn’t true). This draws back to certain photographs containing significance for some while striking others as commonplace. In this case, significance is derived from the meaning of what is taking place within the artwork and the context that surrounds it.