Nel Gallery presents | Observatory by John-Michael Metelerkamp

Nel Gallery presents | Observatory by John-Michael Metelerkamp

John-Michael Metelerkamp speaks about his process and painting.

Most of life has felt inexpressible. But since I started my painting journey in 2013 the details of my
experiences have taken on a playful tone. Painting is a liberating experience. There are no rules. There is only airtime to be filled in with the energy of painting.

Recently I have embraced the intangible nature of my creative process. I choose not to understand why I make the work I do. I am afraid if I pull on the strings of my creative process they might unravel and a demon cat will have my life as a plaything. 0r worse, someone will tell me I need to clean it up.

I love painting people. But the idea of the person is not as important as why and how the painting will work within the confines of a frame. I think I use the figures as an excuse to make a visually pleasing image. That is not to say narrative is lost in my process. Because I think this is also important. But here it becomes tricky; how far do you go to tell a story with paint. Well, the question for me is what to leave out. The less visual notes the better. I intentionally will not use verbose references or social keys to place a person in a certain time, place or atmosphere. I would like my figurative works to be lost in time. The atmosphere of the work, in the way I paint.

Where am I now? Where was I? Was I there? What is this place? Who belongs here? Who are they? The questions I have fuel my painting experience. I allow myself to play with snapshots of my world, put them down and let them live. Be it a figurative, abstract, landscape or floral work, I am always talking of a life within.

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