"Neo Rauch‘s canvases are dense panopticons, the figures he paints trapped in their own story, frozen in time among other lost souls condemned to the same fate. The stories the paintings tell are just as easily interpreted as misinterpreted: twisting roads that lead to haunted houses or burning furnaces, oversized beetles performing for or preying on their human companions, and often a stern-looking woman chastising an exhausted man hiding behind a canvas or hunched over a table with his head in hands.
'They come from my mind, my soul and therefore must be of me, but they are also not me,' their creator says, when we meet at his studio on the top floor of an old cotton mill in Leipzig, Germany. The 58-year-old Leipzig native goes on to describe how the pieces flow out of him, at times summoned through excursions or trips, such as a visit to Crete, and other times bubbling up from his childhood or seemingly thin air.
'I approach the canvas like a white haze. I spend hours, days, weeks meditating into that fog until the images start to surface in front of my eyes,' he says."
Read the full interview in Prestige magazine.
Image: Neo Rauch in his studio, Leipzig, 2016. Photo by Uwe Walter