Hans Peter Perner: A fascination with nature

Architerior talked to Austrian artist Hans Peter Perner about key moments in his artistic work, the physical and metaphysical questions he asks with his art and discussed his desire to awaken a fascination with nature for the beholder of his works.

Hans Peter, how did you find your way into art?

Even as a child I watched my father paint. He painted illusion paintings for indoor walls and on facades. Painting and color has always been an issue and had an attraction. When I was in my early 20s, it was clear to me that I wanted to become an artist.

Was education in art a part of your journey to become an artist?

Yes, but also from other areas. I consider my restoration work, a bona fide category in the field of visual arts, and to be a valuable and instructive source of learning. The intense examination of the material color and of the diversity of surfaces, in sculptural works as well as in panels, continues to sensitize me as an artist and bring me closer to my own focus in artistic creation: working with oil paints.

What techniques do you use?

For me, it was the desire for transitions, the converging of colors and shapes that led me to oil paints. The fact that this is a natural material also contributed, as did the long drying time which allows the unhurried continuation of some previously commenced work at various levels and different color layers. In this way, I’m able to continue shaping and working on these transitions, just as I see them in my imagination.

How would you define your art style?

Painting with generous gestures based on natural cycles.

Has your style or technique changed over time?

Yes, at the beginning I worked with watercolor paints, but I noticed that I was missing a little substance and I found a deeper medium in oil paints.

When other people view your work, what are their reactions and thoughts?

Most of the time they feel a primal force of nature, but everyone takes art individually, which I think is a good thing.

Is there something in particular that you wish to convey to the viewer through your work?

Natural cycles are a recurrent theme in my works; not the cycles per se, but rather how they are related to humankind’s perception of them in the here and now. I depict major physical and metaphysical questions in my paintings: How does air come into being? Who or what is responsible for the generation of oxygen? How do trees grow? Where does the water cycle begin and end? My oil paintings strive to make our planet’s operating system tangible once more. This desire to help us comprehend the meaning of a natural cycle is intended to retrieve us from our new reality in virtual space and bring us back down to earth. My paintings ask these important questions through their visual aesthetics, and their goal is to provoke in us a fascination with nature. Nature is not just beauty, it is a force that is powerful, fair and indomitable.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a solo show for July this year, but the title isn’t ready yet.

How do you define “good” art?

Good art can trigger a feeling in people that they only feel when looking at this art.

What are the best things about being an artist?

That you can plan your everyday life yourself.

What are the worst things about being an artist?

That you have to plan your everyday life yourself. ( laughs )

Are there any special moments in your art career that you’d like to share – moments that perhaps brought you forward, gave you clarity or changed you?

Exhibitions and vernissages are always key moments for me. How the viewers reflect and what impressions my art leaves behind is exciting and always instructive for me.

If you could go back to the beginning of your art career, what advise would you give yourself?

Take your time, keep working, everything will be fine.

Discover more art by Hans Peter Perner: atelierperner.at