I could also say “Leading Beauty vs Fragile Intimacy” or “Timelessness vs Polarisation”?
When it comes to Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele - there is much more than a “versus”. But rather giving a review of an exhibition I’d like to share what it sparked in me.
The above picture I took whilst waiting for my tube a couple of days after I had visited that petite and delicate collection of Schiele and Klimt drawings at the Royal Academy. I immediately liked these two different adds next to each other because their probably unintended composition spoke to me. That was back in November last year when I had taken off a whole week from my marketing job to simply discover arty London and reconnect with artists, gallery people, exhibitions and my own creativity of course.
Openly said, not every exhibition gets me inspired to rush home as quickly as I can in order to start drawing like Schiele or Klimt. But this one did!
I wasn’t sure if I’d prefer one over the other and that’s uncovering my own “arty disaster” because in order to start drawing, I should know what I actually want to draw. I should know what style I want to pursue. Beautiful bodies in shimmering gold or nudes portrait in raw lines. In short, a Klimt or a Schiele style? Ahrrr, I love them both! I’m drawn to the gold, elegance and the aesthetic satisfaction that comes with it but I also like the rawness of less beautiful bodies and sensual acts of self-martyrdom.
This reveals a very typical side of me. I always like opposites and question myself, shouldn’t I concentrate on only one style to become better at it? Well, after years of reflection and continued questioning, I can now say: that is not me. It took me a couple of years to feel confident with it and say it out loud. But here I am!
Never ask me to chose between being only a business savvy person or an artist because I love, live and need both, the art and the business world. Ideation and realisation, beauty and ugly rawness, emotions and objectivity, creativity and analytics, dreaming and doing. This zusammenspiel fabricates the magic I so very much enjoy and benefit from in my life. And it’s providing the change I non-stop crave.
My dad introduced me to Schiele’s work a long while ago and I’ve seen original drawings on my first trip to Vienna ten years ago. Unforgettable! I admire Schiele’s courage to draw undressed, naked, entblößt and sexual … And Klimt? I have always known The Kiss and admired his use of colours and light. As I mentioned in the beginning, I could tell you so much more about their art, life and development.
What I appreciate the most with this exhibition is that the relationship between two Austrian artists has been put back into my consciousness. I am a busy Londoner, working full-time, creating and exploring art in the rest of my the time. This exhibition left me with one important question:
Where and how can I find what these two had?
It’s said that Klimt was the master and Schiele the protege. A mentor and mentee, a teacher and student relationship. And though (or better said because of that) today they’re both recognised art geniuses. Their relationship was based on mutual respect; both continued to support and guide each other through the art world. Nowadays, we are preaching how important coaching, mentoring and reverse mentoring is, inclusion, diversity etc. to help each other develop and grow. Klimt and the 28 years younger Schiele seemed to combined all of that a 100 years ago. Resulting in beautiful work.
The most important and lasting inspiration I’m taking from this RA’s collection is to go out there, create more opportunities to get support and also give support, consult and co-work with other artists and artpreneurs.
Sharing, growing a mutual passion and vision with someone is something absolutely great and we artists and art supporters should go out there and seek that more intentionally. It could be the start to create everlasting pieces and maybe also everlasting changes in this world.