LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
DATE OF BIRTH
„Be kind to people. Everyone is fighting a fight.” (Ian MacLaren)
Since 2003 Janina Christine Brügel (born 1983 in Nuremberg) has been working continuously on her pictures of people; passionately driven by a specific theme (historical, socio-critical) or a text (lyrical, literary). In her paintings she intertwines the past with the present and poetry with the art of painting.
There are three self-contained series of works so far:
„Good Day“ is based on her own family history, making a statement against the unmanageable flood of pictures of this digital age and celebrates the “old” analog photography.
In „People at Night“ Janina Brügel interprets Rainer Maria Rilkes poem of the same name, transforming verse for verse, line for line into her language of painting and in doing so she sets Rilkes´ conception of humanity apart.
„Kaspar Hauser or the Lethargy of the Heart“, depicts portraits of the people who significantly shaped Kaspar Hausers´ life. These character studies emerged after meticulously studying texts (witness statements and letters from the people portrayed, scientific papers and Jakob Wassermann’s novel „Kaspar Hauser or the Lethargy of the Heart“).
Although the three series of paintings differ from each other in subject matter, they have one main thing in common: The focus is on people. Contrary to other living things, the human being is very difficult to predict: being both driven by instincts and at the same time rational, sensitive, with the ability to think abstractly and endowed with morals, we find ourselves in a quandary that we cannot free ourselves from. We think we design our own lives and are in control as long as all is well. Then fate comes along and crushes our fragile structures of existence until there is nothing left but pieces. This contradiction of human dependency on destiny is on the one hand a superficial freedom of choice/creative freedom and on the other hand it is unique and is what makes people so fascinating. Janina Brügels paintings show people in their complexity and multidimensional nature and make one aware of how elusive any perfunctory observation can be: colors as brilliant as the rainbow, gaudy patterns on the edge of tastelessness and decorative compositions initially imply innocent merriment and undisturbed gaiety. But in examining the scenes more closely, the colorful paint flakes off revealing naked human souls lying open and vulnerable at the feet of the observer. The people in the paintings are real, living and breathing, loving and suffering; some are happy or disappointed with life. Janina Brügel’s portraits are haunting and authentic and reveal a great empathy and psychological acumen.Both these qualities lead you to surmise that Janina Brügel is not only a painter but also a medical doctor: close relationships with and responsibility for people who find themselves in absolutely exceptional circumstances, people who feel they have lost any control of their lives and experience helplessness. These people have indeed heightened her insight and as they allowed her to see their innermost needs and spiritual abysses and deepened her spiritual connection with her fellow human beings. People and the art of painting, body and art, authenticity and superficiality, pictures and poetry, realism and expressionism, past and present, psychological acumen and intuition – in Janina Brügel´s paintings all these blend together in her work and form a strong unity – which celebrates expression, lavishes color and touches all the senses.
1983, born in Nuremberg.
2002 – 2003 Residency in Cambridge/GB and Barcelona/ ES.
Janina lives and works in Nuremberg.
2009, Degree in Human Medicine, Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen.
Guest student at the Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg.
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