When I first visited Norbert Stefan's studio in Berlin, a few years ago now, I couldn't shake the thought of entering an apocalyptic transit of differently formatted painting arrangements. The works presented to me, conveyed with astonishing precision visual traces of the most diverse phenomena of nature.
Mostly such a phenomenon, similar to a chemical reaction, is characterized by the transformation of one or usually several compounds as well as the release of energy.
Stefan's practice is based on the combination and interweaving of digital and analog processes which, profoundly, brings the history of painting, abstraction and digital movement together. Norbert continues to develop his color compositions until they reinforce themselves autonomously. Decisions are masterly evaded. Instead, Stefan asks questions about the given material. The unpredictable always remains in control. His preferred interest is to develop the medium of painting, which he has chosen. For some time, Stefan has been exploring printing techniques such as decalcomania, which is not so much aimed at depicting a motif, but rather functions independently as a motif. Painterly consequences such as depth of field, focus or blurring are given a unique effectiveness. Elements of a memory appear bit by bit, as if the original memory had been reduced to its basic units.
Stefan's current series of works exhibits typical forms of a digital visual language. It obscurely conveys the use of the mouse between him and the machine. Assuming that virtual reality is nothing more than a simulation of our nature as well as environment, it should be widely accepted that dreaming is a neural simulation of our reality and perception.
The painting itself becomes the image of a mind trying to understand itself.
An opportunity to understand direct and metaphorical imagery is to consider that dreams express a person's core concerns by drawing on memories that have similarities in emotional tone but differ in subject matter. Creative dreaming produces safety images that repress or suppress the original fear memory, helping to alleviate anxiety over time.
Repetitive accentuations give the impression of chance encounters on a dreamy map. There is a sudden need to discover an action or relationship before waking up by itself.
If we miss each other in the dream, we are left with a composition of silence.
Text/ Jan Fischer
Norbert Stefan (*1990 Cluj, Romania) lives and works in Berlin. He graduated in 2012 with a BA from UAD (Art and Design University) Cluj, Romania. Stefan is showing his second solo exhibition at Jean-Claude Maier.
Photographer / Ivan Murzin