Berlin based artist Christian Möller was born in the southwest industrial city in Ludwigshafen on the Rhine, Germany ‘and grew up in a time where the generation of my parents was busy with drowning the fright and aftermath the war with consumption and the conception of an ideal world’. He trained at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe with Horst Antes and has subsequently exhibited extensively throughout Germany, and also in Lisbon, Prague, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London. Christian’s paintings can be seen as visual manifestations of the deepest repressed emotions and darkest experiences which lie at the heart of the human psyche. Drawing inspiration from what he calls ‘the mental abyss of human existence’, Christian strives to make the invisible visible.
Christian Möller’s huge canvases serve as a startling reminder of our own diminitive position in relation to the universe. Loneliness, destruction, pain and chaos confront us with uncompromising force. Titles such as ‘And Once Again a Day Closer to the Grave’ and ‘New From the Land of Grudge and Why the Graves Are Always Filled With Optimists’ are perhaps a nod to Samuel Beckett’s extensential masterwork Waiting For Godot:
‘Astride the grave and a difficult birth.
Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave-digger puts on the forceps.
We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries.’
However unsettling, these large and malevolent canvases loom before us, attracting us rather than repelling. They exert an exotic attraction, luring us deep into the abyss. The act of looking has never been less passive. This work demands our engagement: we must move around, stepping backward and forward and left and right, as we navigate our way around the painting, but our effort is certainly rewarded. We are able to discern a richness and depth in the midst of the darkness.
Möller says: ‘I allow a form more freedom if I do not evaluate it with colours’, and we see that the engulfing blackness is puncuated with tantalising strokes of white and layer upon layer of grey tones: mysterious forms begin to emerge before us. The frenzied brushstrokes represent an interior stream-of-consciousness laid bare upon the canvas, which is transformed into a stage upon which the subconcious plays. Gradually, the manic strokes converge before our eyes to form a coherent and cathathic whole.’
To look is to embark with Christian Möller upon a journey from which we emerge slightly shaken, but with a greater knowledge of ourselves and of the human condition.
Text by Kerry Edwards