An Interview with Francien Krieg.
Who and from were are you?
I am Francien Krieg i live in the Netherlands in a small village on the country side. I moved here few years ago after living 20 years in The hague.
How you got into this?
I come from a artistic familiy were aunts and other relatives were very much into making music or /and making art. My father was a professional musician and painted as a hobby. After some wrong study choices I found out my main interest was to paint and decided to go to art academy The hague were I followed monumental arts.After gratuated from art academy i went to the free academy were i picked up my love for painting. It was my second home and learned a lot from collegues and teachers. The monumental directional lways had its influence on my paintings which now i look back is not a bad thing at all.
What is your driving force?
I want to touch people, confuse people, make them angry or happy, make them think.I want to start discussions.Also i just love the daily struggle in my studio.
What kind of work you do and why?
In the beginning it was just out of fascination for my own body that i started to paint myself. What a bizar object it is, so close to your body but also at the same time you don't know so much of what is going on inside. The sudden death of a close friend made this feeling stronger. Then it started to grow into painting other bodies, mostly bodies that were not part of the ideal beauty image of western society, obese ladies, very boyish skinny ladies, drag queens, albinos, and then i started to be fascinated with older people. I love the older skin because it has so much stories to tell. My own fear of aging and death was reflected in this subject. So for almost 10 years it has been my main subject because for me the subject has so many layers which makes it interesting.
Alan Katz wrote a text recently about my work which i really like:
“It's paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn't appeal to anyone.” Andy Rooney
"Do not go gentle into that goodnight but rage, rage against the dying of the light." Dylan Thomas
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas
It is a common contradiction that everything improves with age. We like to believe that our elders are wiser through their years of experience. But at the same time we also fear aging, as it puts us closer to death. We also fear aging in those we love for the same reason. Like all living organisms, death is the end result of life. Perhaps we are uneasy when looking at older people because we fear the end of life in ourselves. But as Dylan Thomas notes, life will fight death to the end by raging against it. The human body is a degenerating biological machine. It has a general expiration date that makes itself known more intensely as we get older. We feel our bodies fail slowly. Where once we were comfortable seeing our bodies in the mirror, age can make us wonder who it is in the mirror we are looking at. It is a trick of nature that our minds can stay young forever, but our bodies fail. The rage , maybe, comes from a youthful mind trying to control an aging process that can't really be controlled. Dutch painter Francine Krieg paints older women who have moved out from the pressures of 'beauty' to a place where spirit becomes the means of physical attraction. Her women are struggling with aged bodies that severely limit quality of life. Krieg exaggerates the dilemma by choosing the most unflattering angles and points of view for her compositions. She pushes the female body to an aging extreme that challenges the viewer to stay interested. She is obsessed with the effects of skin in aging and how the lines and wrinkles are clues to how the individual life was lived. It is some what predictable that Krieg has suffered negative reactions to her work, as on the surface one might think she was portraying elderly women without respect. But Krieg is really commenting on 'beauty' in much the same way as Sam Peckinpah was commenting on violence. By throwing aging in our face like a violent western, we have to respond. The response is what Krieg is after. She feels her point is made by the extreme response. Having said that, her work is very interesting for it's focused attention. She might take us further than we want to go into observing the decline of the female body, but we feel the horror of it. That might not have been her intent, but it is the core success of the work. Yes, mans ideal view of young female beauty does get shattered with age, but something else takes place of more importance. ... The realization that once idealized beauty is gone, the innate inner beauty of spirit has the potential to create an outer beauty with a greater depth. Krieg's personal vision is consistent and committed. She is expressing herself through her art in ways that give her a unique point of view toward the human condition.
For more of Francien Kriegand Check this link of her Instagram account:- https://www.instagram.com/francienkrieg/ or her website http://francienkrieg.exto.org/ or th FB :- https://www.facebook.com/francienkrieg
All Images are copyright by: Francien Kriegand