By Şükran Ceren Salalı, Value Art+Com Fellow, Istanbul
Apparently, the rich culture and environment of Mainz and the Rheinhessen area inspire many artists in town. After I arrived the city, I visited several museums and art galleries. One of them was Kunst Direkt 2014, an art exhibition that took place in Rheingoldhalle as a very nice building situated near the river Rhein. There, I had chance to meet the painter Dietmar Gross and to catch up the spirit in his artworks in detail.
Dietmar Gross was not born in Mainz but studied art in Johannes Gutenberg University. He is not only a talented and productive artist but also very-well active person in art community in Germany by being the chairman of Kunstverein Eisenturm Mainz e. V. KEM and the founder and head of Oppenheimer Sommerakademie. As well as this, he is a great supporter of a whole bunch of third party art activities.
It was amazing to experience the art of Dietmar Gross. In the very beginning, I thought that I was looking at several brilliant photographs. When I got closer, I saw the colours and the painting suddenly showed itself. In that moment, I was overcome with a kind of unusual but fascinating impression built on me. I have seen many surreal artworks from various artists, however; the way Gross paints and depicts human and animal bodies made me think that it is a kind of realism of surrealism which is very disruptive and charming.
Each painting seems to have various symbols and meanings to perceive and you cannot just look and pass it. Especially, as a part of his style, he always paints on a black background which is also makes him different than many other artists.
Two of my favorites from his selected collection, Hildegard von Bingen and Selbst und Skelett, are also like pieces of high value photographs which amazed me through the depiction and density of colours. In Hildegard von Bingen, one can see every single detail as if it is a photograph of a woman, and one can realize even the marks on her lips. Moreover, looking her eyes, a spiritual and holly impression comes over with a wonderful lineament. When it comes to Selbst und Skelett, is an example in which he depicted himself for a self-portrait with a skeleton with his surrealistic but realistic style.
As a disruptive but fascinating experience, I was glad to meet and to talk about art with such a talented and extraordinary painter, Dietmar Gross.