Growing dissatisfaction among German art students – Interview

academy aktkurs 05 - Growing dissatisfaction among German art students - Interview

After six semesters at a German art university, Marius L. abandoned his studies to enroll in a private art academy, but where does the dissatisfaction of German art students come from?

Marius, a gifted young artist, is now taking part in our flexible study program. He was ready to give us a short interview, in which he also told us why he had dropped off his previous art studies and decided to study at our art academy.

Hier the interview:

Please introduce yourself briefly.

My name is Marius Laurischkat, I’m 24 years old and currently a student at the Academy of Fine Art in Bad Homburg.

How did you find out about the Academy?

At that time, I was very dissatisfied with my studies. My girlfriend looked for alternatives for me on the Internet and found the Academy’s website, which is the only art school in Germany that teaches classical painting and drawing.

What did you study before?

I studied at the University of Osnabrück the courses Art / Art Education and Art History. I abandoned my studies after 6 semesters.

Why were you unhappy with your university course?

My goal was back then, as it is still nowadays, to work as a freelance artist. Unfortunately, the aforementioned course was strongly geared towards the training of future art teachers, as well as, artists who are not interested in the technical aspect of art and have no ability to survive as artists outside of the university. The program was also infused with the kind of postmodern elitism that makes art inaccessible to most people nowadays.

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You mentioned the technical aspect of art. What do you mean by that and why is it important in your opinion?

By that, I mean the technical understanding and the ability to be able to translate every idea that I have in my mind into a work of art. A painter should be able to paint and draw, a sculptor to model. Unfortunately, in the last hundred years, artists, who have acquired these skills, have been looked down upon. Yet these skills in art are just as important as in other areas.

Nobody would listen to a musician, who does not master his instrument. Nobody would cheer on a soccer player who stumbles permanently over the ball. Artists, however, are more celebrated and appreciated if they move away from the conventions of classical art. The reason for this is simple: “Experts” with influence decide which art is “good” and which one is “bad”. If these people would decide on the basis of comprehensible parameters (such as technical skills), everyone could see which artwork has potential, and these experts would be unnecessary. In order to safeguard both their influence and their income, they decide that other things are important.

In art, there has to be something special, ingenious or a hidden “message” to be found. Something nebulous that is hard to understand, something that no one else but this elite can appreciate. The artist must be as unique as possible: the origin of the cliché of the “crazy and complicated artist’s type”, which, in all its uniqueness, is only, once again, conform to normality. The consequence is that no one dares to question the decisions of this elite, for fear of being considered as “uncultured.” Yet, the craftsmanship is important to be able to convey a “message”. Although art is a visual medium, it is still seen as a language. In order to communicate in this language, I have to be able to speak fluently. Only when this is possible for me, I can try different accents and develop my own style.

What makes the lessons at the Academy of Fine Art Germany different?

No one can teach you how to have an artistic identity and develop your own style. Therefore, here you learn only what can be actually taught, that is, the technical understanding of painting and drawing. You learn to see proportions and to translate them on paper, to represent contrasts correctly, to create the illusion of three-dimensional shapes and also to deal with various tools such as graphite, charcoal and oil paints. In short: everything you need to not be limited in your artistic work because of the lack of skills.

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