Inhabiting the impenetrable grey area between reality and surrealism lies the work of Sokar Uno. This German artist interprets all of the problems of life, his experiences and encounters and puts them onto the canvas. His paintings deal with the difference between loneliness and beauty. He shows this relationship by using human subjects to make it easier for the viewer to understand the point he is making. He recently showed off his work in a New York exhibit entitled “The Depths of Loneliness.” Sokar Uno has joined me to discuss his work an what it means.
So Sokar Uno, how did you come up with the idea for the “Depths of Loneliness?”
In principle, it can be said that all my works express the meaning of personal moods, knowledge, key experiences as a reflection of certain situations which everybody has faced at least once in life. The art series “depths of loneliness” is dedicated to the feeling of solitude which I became aware of for the first time living in big cities. In Berlin there was a huge melting pot of crowds, passing each other day by day, in view of a hectic stream of urban superficiality. But also the contrast between loneliness and being alone is playing an important role in “depths of loneliness”, based on different perspectives like almost everything in life.
What´s the difference between loneliness and being alone in your opinion?
I consider loneliness as urgent request to escape this circumstance as soon as possible, whether it is due to the loss of a loved one, for example because of separation or even death. The total obsession to melancholy up to depression and also total self-abandonment. A negative situation which can lead quickly to stagnation.
For me being alone means taking time, considering, refraining completely from external influences to feel yourself again. A positive capacity which is really important for me. Sometimes I need a trip into the unspoiled nature, far away from people, just silence nothing else to start again working creatively afterwards.
Was the search for silence and nature inspired by your hometown Gotha and how has you art developed over the years?
Growing up in Thuringia means experiencing a lot of landscape that´s for sure and, of course, it was a period in my life full of influences. As a school kid I learned my first lessons in typography. Back then, it all started with breakdance and hip hop. From my pocket money I bought so many spray cans until there was nothing left. Later on after the painting of lettering my personal passion to photorealism was born which I learnt from the Thuringian group Ma´claim. Thereafter, I started to study various design possibilities of using light, shadow, proportions but also the use of different materials. Soon afterwards I found my own style.
How would you describe your own style?
A mixture of gloomy elements in mystical shape. Grotesque bodies whose aesthetics hide in the dark, outside of the usual ideal of beauty. I´m producing my own ideal of beauty on purpose and in opposition to the perfect appearance which is suggested by the media. Beauty only serves as shell which true emotions and fragility can be found deeper inside.
Do poetry and art belong together and what is the future of the “Depths of Loneliness?”
Definitely, poetry is an art which stimulates fantasies and automatically offers an image in your head, also like the painting represents an expression of silent poetry. The topic of “depths of loneliness” will be further expanded. It´s so complex and knows no limits. Lonely or being alone, all a matter of opinion. Furthermore, there are projects the curator planned. A combination of various artists from different cities, to gain more attention, on the one hand, and to keep pushing each other, on the other hand. At the end there will be a bigger network with a prospect of following artistic events.
To conclude, what cities have inspired you the most and where do you see yourself in five years time?
In general I don´t want to tie myself down concerning living in a certain city. I prefer being free to not remain static. I don´t know where I will end up and that´s perfect. New York City was an impressive experience which euphoria is catching. An incredible city that never sleeps where people live by the credo: waking up instead of dreaming and making dreams come true instead of just pondering. But I don´t want to miss Berlin with its colourful diversity, its crazy chaos everywhere either. My return to nature will definitely last to get out of the fast growing pace of life and to clear my mind. Not to know what´s going to happen next, traveling, meeting people, processing adventures, that’s the biggest source of inspiration for me as an artist.