Apr 16, 2006
Art Focus: Andrea Offermann
Art Focus is a feature on Vinyl Pulse where we introduce an artist
along with a chosen example of their work. We hope to revive this
feature with an entry every other Sunday. At the recent Unicorn Show at Gallery Nucleus, I came across two paintings by Andrea Offermann, which I believed deserved a wider audience.
I grew up in Germany and originally started studying medicine
there. In 2002, I came to the US to study art. I graduated a year ago
from Art Center College of Design and worked as a freelance artist. I
love old printmaking techniques, especially etching, and have a strange
obsession with drawing fish.
I think my medical background really shows in all the work i do. There is always an interest in history and science. When Nucleus asked me to do artwork for a show themed "Unicorns" I was intrigued, because there is so much history connected to the beliefs and stories concerning that animal. I remembered that the horn of the unicorn actually comes from a whale, and that it's a tooth growing out of its mouth. I researched the animal and found it to be very awkward-looking, a great contrast to the elegance of the common image of unicorns, and I loved that. Through my research I also stumbled across several historical events in Germany, and decided to base my paintings on them:
"1711" is based on a historical report that in the year 1711 a narwhale swam all the way up the Elbe into the city of Hamburg. I combined this historical event with an old belief that if a maiden touches a unicorn, she will find true love. In the painting a large crowd has gathered at the pier near the marketplace in Hamburg, where the narwhale has been tied. All the young girls try to get into the water to touch the whale, so they can find true love.
"Bargain" deals with another historical event. In the 16th century the count of Beyreuth accepted two long twisted horns as payoffs for large depths which emperor Karl V. owed him. The horns were believed to be unicorn horns and thought to be priceless. In the image, a group of nuns accompanied by soldiers are crossing a forest. They are guarding two carts with the unicorn horns on them. At the time transporting goods was very risky because of robbers and feuds between different counties.
To learn more about Andrea Offerman visit www.andreaoffermann.com
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