PROLOGUE | PERSONAL
Where do we talk together, where do we meet you? We are in my Atelier, standing by the window. We can hear birds and smell the oils and turpentine in the studio’s air, you will also see bizarre things, like bugs, bones and rocks that are probably in a painting or will soon make an appearance. Maybe we are sitting at your favorite place? Just by the window. Ever since I can remember windows invite me to enter in a contemplative state. Where do you come from, where were you born when? I’m from Argentina, specifically San Isidro, it’s a suburban area in Buenos Aires. I was born in the city of Buenos Aires on September 10th 1982.
Marina Apud Schneider, Portrait, courtesy the artist
How and where do you currently live and work? Currently I am living and painting in the Valenciana community of Spain, but I have high intentions hopes to soon move to the lower Nordic latitudes areas. Which stations and people have shaped you? At one point I tried studying fine arts but I only lasted a few months. I didn’t feel academics were beneficial to me. As I see it, art should occur from within, not the other way around. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, someone else could greatly benefit from the opposite. Sharing my workplace with other artists has definitely enriched my craft, but the thing that shaped me the most is contemplation, seeing light melt onto all things. And engaging in a deep pilgrimage within myself. Which writers do you currently find exciting and which books are on your bookshelf? The books in my library are about religion, spirituality and transpersonal psychology. Some of the authors and titles I have on my bookshelf are: Franz Jalics, Eckhart Tolle, Tao Te Ching, Paramahansa Yogananda, The gospels, D. T. Susuki about Zen, Enrique Martínez Lozano, Thich Nhat Hanh, etc. Which books have influenced or shaped you? I wouldn’t say influenced or shaped, I don’t think that is what happens when you resonate with something you read. I don’t think that something external has to come in and change or fix us. I would say that they are texts that revive you, enlighten you, reconnect us with ourselves, with what was already there. To me those books were the mystical ones, the wise and spiritual masters that I mentioned before. What are you currently reading and where do you keep the book? The books that I am currently reading are on my bedside table and they are “I am THAT” by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, “Metaphors of non-dualism” by Enrique Martínez and “Silence” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Marina Apud Schneider in her studio, courtesy the artist
What music do you listen to and when? I usually listen to music while painting. My music taste is very diverse. I listen to electronic music like Boris Brejcha, metal, for example Rammstein, Icelandic musicians like Ólafur Arnalds, Björk, the ukrainians Dakhabrakha, the Iranian Mehdi Aminian, the Estonian Arvo Pärt, the German Max Richter, and so on. I think what predominates is classical music; Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, especially Johan Sebastian Bach, his chorale never stops overwhelming me. I love music and I am always discovering new treasures. If you would cook something for us, what would it be? I really like to knead. I would probably make you a wonderful bread roll with some brown sugar and cinnamon.
Marina Apud Schneider in front of one of her artworks at Galerie mutare, Berlin
What do you like to eat most? I like sweet things the most; cakes, cookies, desserts, buns, spiced things… I was lucky to grow up with a mother with a great palette and taste so I love good quality food, both in the raw ingredients and in the production. What do you think about breakfast? Breakfast was never something important to me; on the contrary, if I eat in the morning I usually don’t feel well afterwards. The only thing I have in the morning is mate (a tea-like infusion from Argentina) and later in the morning I’ll have some fruit. What kind of sport or counterbalance to your work do you practice Since I spend many hours sitting or standing while I paint, I try to walk while I’m not painting. I walk a lot, generally at a fast pace. I also enjoy stretching my body, improvising yoga positions or others that might intuitively occur to relax my muscles and articulations. Do you have special passions for which you are burning, and if so, which ones? I really enjoy cooking and singing; music is something that is calling to me desperately. I also like to learn languages and write.
View into the studio
What personality trait defines you? I don’t think I fit into any stereotype. I think I’m a bit of a hermit. I always noticed that I perceive things very differently from others. I am a silent observer of humans and nature, a great admirer of life. Do you have a concern that you would like to share with us or a certain question, which you would like to give an answer to? I do have a question but not the answer: why do we insist in “living” life numb, immersed in frivolities, consuming trash (visual, auditory, mental…) that is intoxicating and keeps us half dead, asleep, and we don’t take the courage in engaging in deep contact with who we really are, the only point from which you can truly fully live life?
Marina Apud Schneider
INTERVIEW | ARTIST + POSITION
To begin, please tell us about your artistic vita in a few sentences.
I always characterized myself for having a large internal universe and I never really tried much in expressing it, exteriorizing it, showing it. Which is why my artistic vitta is limited to some sporadic expositions in Argentina, and only some contest entries. I think only since the coronavirus I started to feel the strong impulse to showcase my craft.
Briefly explain your current project or the upcoming exhibition.
At this moment I am showcasing some of my works from the last 3 years in the Mutare Galerie in Berlin. Depending on what gestates there, I will see what is born.
What are you currently most concerned about; what is on your mind?
The thing that takes my mind up the most is ironically stopping the unhinged mental chatter of my mind to make space for the contemplating state, a state which I consider conductive for the creative process.
How did you come to art? Why art?
At the age of 11 I began to be more intensely interested in art. I think my first favorite painter was Caravaggio; I was fascinated by looking at his paintings in an art book. I mainly remember his painting “the death of the Virgin” in which you see a huge red cloth hanging from above. I loved it and tried to copy it with acrylics on paper and that red cloth was one of the first things that most inspired me to paint. Other images that always dazzled me were the silent light of Rembrandt, the mystical still lifes of Zurbaran, the extreme baroque chiaroscuro of José de Ribera, the furs of Velazquez, the strange flowers emerging from the blackness painted by the Dutch artist Rachel Ruysch and many others who shared that same light and darkness, in that same time and place in the world. All of them were great awakeners of my desire to paint. At 12 I asked my parents to send me to Marcelo De Angelis´s workshop, a great painter. We Immediately hit it off without the need of exchanging many words. I think that art unconsciously heals and arranges the mind. It is a direct connection with the mystery of life.
Marina Apud Schneider, 50 x 60 cm, 2019, 4000 EUR
What makes you currently happy – in this moment?
What makes me happy right now is knowing, even though it sometimes doesn’t show, that the layers that cover me, those layers that recover the being, slowly start to fall off and the life that I/we truly are, starts manifesting.
What is currently scaring you?
I don’t think I can say that something scares me. There are things that I wouldn’t want to fall into or that I try not to keep falling in, like becoming numb (both spiritually and mentally), not daring, not trusting, perpetuating my unconscious, not believing that life is to fully live and not a tortuous effort after another.
Do you believe that art has a social responsibility? And what do you think it can do?
I think it would be very good for people to have art more present in society. That our day to day be impregnated by art in all its forms. For it to get more attention in school, streets, everywhere. I consider that aesthetics enhances the soul, it is a toner for humanity; who doesn’t become amazed at the sculpture in the park, the work of a cabinetmaker at a door, the violin strings vibrating on a subway, a painting in a waiting room…? They are small wholesome instants of direct connection with oneself. A connection that I consider highly healing for people, and hence, society.
Marina Apud Schneider, 90 x 70 cm, 2021, 6000 EUR
What makes your art special? What is it about – what are the central themes of your work?
Mi art is a return to the value of the essential, to simplicity. A door that opens for me, through the contemplation of the realistic image, without preconceptions or adjectives, to enter that dimension that is, in my opinion, the truly Real one.
Read the answer of Marina Apud Schneider about her work further in THE DEED | DAS WERK .
How do you protect yourself from too much inspiration these days?
On the contrary, I actually think we lack inspiration today, perhaps you mean information and influence. That abounds, perhaps in excess. I believe that inspiration comes from the inside out, from the being, which is the creative source. Nowadays I consider that inspiration is scarce because we are continually bombarded with information and influences, both of which come from the outside in and are noise that does not allow us to get in touch with our genuine creative force that springs from inner silence, which is, at less as I see it, indispensable in the creative process. As an antidote to all that numbs inspiration, I consider very useful for me, the rationing of the use of electronic devices, avoiding watching the news, doing without radios and televisions, consuming quality things in every aspect, from the movie I choose to watch, the talks that I decide to have, the thoughts that I allow and perpetuate in my mind, being in contact with nature, carrying out contemplative practices, etc. In short, choose healthy habits instead of toxic influences that block the flow of creativity, inspiration.
How much in your works is planned beforehand – how much is created intuitively?
I believe that the intuitive predominates in my work: the motives I choose, how I place them, where, with what lighting… all of this arises without rational explanation. I have the feeling that everything arises intuitively; that the intuitive is the direct connection with the Source, source from which all creation springs.
What are your (next) goals?
I´ll intend to showcase more of my work in galleries and collaborate with the revaluation of realistic painting and continue delving into my own aesthetics.
Marina Apud Schneider, Fuchsschädel, 116 x 97 cm
What is your opinion about faith? Do you have principles of faith or is there a motto?
Well, this is a subject on which I would expand a great deal and on which we have to be very careful because the words in each language and even in each person have a different connotation, so there is a lot of room for misinterpretation. But very briefly I am going to say that I love religions, they arouse a lot of interest in me. I do not consider that they are necessarily essential for the fullness of the spirit in a person, but it seems to me that they are like codes with symbolism that one can decode and understand their message throughout life. But at the same time, unfortunately these codes can be misunderstood and religions can be taken as beliefs that differentiate us and separate us from others, who belong to another belief different from ours. So that religion/belief, which was supposed to be the path to the spirit, the point at which we are one with everyone, turns out that it ends up separating us, differentiating and even confronting us with the other, therefore the opposite happens and not his true purpose: unconditionality, union, love.
Which project would you still like to realize, if lack of time, courage or financial resources would not play a role?
Something that I would like to do soon is to have my home/Atelier in a forest, a place immersed in nature, where I can dedicate myself deeply to contemplation, silence and therefore immerse myself more in painting and the development of my work from deeper layers of the being.
What do you consider to be attributes of good art?
I believe that we are entering a period of art in which the technical mastery of ancient realism will be balanced with the unconscious spontaneous impulse of abstraction of recent times. The revaluation and union of these two extremes is, in my opinion, genius in art.
Marina Apud Schneider, 100 x 81 cm
Is one born as an artist? Or is studying art compulsory in your view?
I believe that one is born with an impulse to carry out a certain activity and surely it is easier for him to carry it out than for other people. But you don’t have to stop there. I think you have to develop it, perfect it with practice, academically or not, that depends on each person. In my case, learning was always mostly on my own. What I understand is very important, one must develop as a person, immersing oneself in the depths of oneself, coming into contact with the spirit, getting in touch with life. One could spend a lifetime practicing, studying, etc. but if there was no parallel internal growth and maturity, the work will reflect what we are: it will be a superficial, frivolous, lukewarm, immature, empty work…
To whom do you show a new work first?
To my life partner, my husband.
What does the first hour of your day look like?
During the first half hour I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, prepare my children’s lunch for school and prepare my mate. The next half hour I sit outside to drink mate and contemplate the mountains, to perceive the dreamlike images that remain from the night, to capture/decode some other symbolism that sprouts at the beginning of the day.
Exhibition view Galerie mutare, Berlin in March/April 2022
In times of the internet of things, are galleries still necessary? If so, why and what for?
I think galleries are very necessary. On the Internet we can get to know the work of many artists and that is great, but I think that being physically in front of a work and perhaps also the one who executed it has enormous value. I think that galleries should receive great support from governments, that would be another way to promote art.
Social media – in your view a blessing or a curse?
I think social media are a very good tool. They serve, for example, as a showcase, to show what we do and to find out what other artists do. But I think it is important to remember that it is just that: one more tool to spread our work and not give it so much time and importance. Today this is my vision of social media, perhaps at some other point in my life I will simply do without them.
EPILOGUE | CURRENT
The exhibition of paintings by Marina Apud Schneider, together with objects by the sculptor Hinrich Kröger, is on view from 5 March to 23 April 2022 at Galerie mutare, Giesebrechtstraße 12, 10629 Berlin-Charlottenburg.
The written interview is an important medium to introduce artists, to spread their messages and to get in touch with art lovers. The interviews are not edited or shortened by our editorial team and are always reproduced in original sound. Therefore, we do not translate the interview into English or German unless the interviewee submits a translation.
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