Pierre Schmidt uses art as a means to relieve the weight of over analysis and express the belief in self determinism. That we should all have and exert our right to express ourselves. Freedom for all through art! Melt your face off with a peek into the world of Drømsjel.
Please introduce yourself, where are you from?
My name is Pierre Schmidt, A.K.A – Drømsjel. I’m 28 years old and live and work in Berlin.
What was the first greatly influential book you read and how did it change you? What ideas did it introduce to you or encourage within you?
I would say the first great inspirational book that I read was a Nietzsche Biography from Rüdiger Safranski that I read a few years ago. For me Nietzsche was always more of an artist than a philosopher. In this book Safranski gives us a really great view of his life and how he came to all of his ideas. I can’t really explain why or how but Nietzsche’s ideas became an influence on some of my own works.
Much of your source material looks like old magazine photos from the 50s, where do these images come from? And why have you chosen these, this pastel color palate, grainy images from a time so far behind our own in many ways as to be ideologically inaccessible to to many millennials and younger?
Yes I use vintage images that I have sourced from around the web. I like the classic vintage colour palettes and in combination with the pastel colours I use often gives a dreamy, surreal atmosphere for the works.
Where does the distortion come from? How does it come to you in each painting? What meaning do you assign to it in the act? In Frühling, when you were painting her ‘face’ how did you feel emotionally? How did you feel afterwards? What meaning do you think the viewer will bestow upon this distortions in their mind and how well do you think it will mirror what you thought? What you meant?
I can’t explain because it is more of a feeling and the mystery of a mask within the face. Every viewer can see his own interpretation within this work. Yes of course it is an emotional work but I can’t say if it is driven by a specific emotion of sadness or happiness. The melting or as you say distortion of the face is a process of freeing your mind.
Why flowers? You take these images and warp them, which one could say destroys the image, but with something socially perceived as beautiful, and representative of growth, nature, birth. How do these conflicting ideas play out in your mind? Where did each impulse come from? Are you a person prone to melancholia? Are you a happy person?
I love contrast, like playing with the pastel colours and a black universe but also with flowers and distortion. The flowers for me are always a symbol to show a growth, a process, that when you are shed reality your natural thoughts can expand to a more free imagination. Again I can’t really explain how this works, or how these ideas came to be, it is more a sense of improvisation until the feeling is right. I would not say that I am melancholy, however, I am an over thinker and freeing my mind to express my imagination makes me happy.
How has existentialism affected your work? How is your work a reflection of your perception of the world? Or where you find meaning and value? Do you ever think you will go crazy from thinking too many thoughts? Is it possible for a person to think themselves into insanity?
Of course I would say my works are a part of my inner self and sometimes I guess I think too much about existentialism and the meaning behind everything. Still to over analyse is a weight that everyone shares and to be able to free yourself from this and accept who we are gives much more freedom to enjoy our lives. This is what I strive for and what I only wish to convey in my works. The freedom for our own interpretations and knowledge that there is no right or wrong way to be. I know that some things can not be explained or interpreted in complete detail, so like my works I go to a specific point but choose to leave them there, never wanting to know the full meaning behind the surreal. Knowing when to stop as an artist is protection from overthinking and becoming crazy, I would say. Yet in creating my work this is also an outlet, a cathartic process where these thoughts can be imagined in their production.
Do you have a favorite flower?
Yes I do, Sunflowers.