December 12, 2016 - ANTE. recently came across the fresh and surprising works of Swiss artist OP Freuler, whose experimentations across mixed media exude subtle provocations.
Freuler exuberantly creates across a spectrum of both traditional art materials and experimental objects, including glass shards, stones and razorblades. His grasp of the play of light and texture through the surface of his engaging figurative works invites viewers to gently investigate each piece. Despite the incredible range of materials Freuler's subtle understanding of each medium results in overall compositions that are heightened, not hampered, by the juxtaposition of material and form.
ANTE. reached out to find out what speaks to Freuler when he's creating these powerful, emotive works. His portrait series in particular strikes the viewer as seamlessly embodying the subject's emotions and the incredible raw energy of industrial material, exuding a fearless and complex air rarely found together in contemporary art. These expressionist pieces speak to the bold gaze of the subject, each rendered in a carefully selected material. Freuler refers to his work as "experiments", noting that his "material arsenal is tremendous." This wide array of material studies grew out of a longing to faithfully portray his subjects, beginning with a closer look at his watercolor figurative series.
Freuler explains, "I recently noticed when I was looking at my figuative works, how contradictory they are. There are the works of idealized figures, starting with the watercolor portraits or the ballet dancers... this might be the desired archetypes. And there is the other side, the hunted and the victims." Freuler demands from his materials the right tone, texture and style to communicate the authentic nature of his subject. This creative use of materials unleashes the powerful impact these works have on the viewer. By engaging with the subtlety of watercolor as harbinger of desire as effortlessly as the sharp angles of razorblades to capture a haunted expressive quality in portraiture, Freuler is expanding the possibility for traditional and industrial materials in contemporary art.