Auf der Wunde hält die Farbe nicht
Something has changed, I think, as I consider the pictures in this exhibition. I have been looking at Armin Boehm’s pictures for a long time now, and so have also watched the changes in his painting style and in his chosen content. Frequently, I have also observed the process by which a particular picture emerges and know what inspired it in the first place. I have a different access to Armin as a painter, because he is my brother.
For the current exhibition, I would like to try to share my thoughts on him and on these latest works. Whenever I think of my brother, I see him on the phone, always exchanging news and ideas with people who are important to him. It is rare to find him without earbuds in his ears or a mobile phone in his hand. He is phoning, reading newspapers and books, listening to music or to news programmes and podcasts, or he is keeping up-to-date with the social media channels. He wants to be wide awake and on the very pulse of the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. He has no understanding for people who say, “That’s the way I am” or “That’s just how things are”. To his mind, change and onward development are the stuff of life. If he gets enthusiastic about something, then he doesn’t let go of it: he gets carried away and immerses himself totally in it – be it a sport, psychology, city gossip or personal topics that move him. Precisely because his curiosity is so voracious the flood of information at times almost overwhelms him. I know that he is often unable to get to sleep but that in this state between sleep and wakefulness he often comes up with new ideas. To a certain degree it’s no different with all of us. The welter of information confronting us sets our minds working flat out. Finding peace of mind becomes ever more difficult – a luxury almost. We are forever having to sift out what is important and trying to forget the rest. My brother does this too, but his sieve is the canvas.
Over the past few years, this increasing density and compression have been reflected in his pictures. They imploded, as it were. Just as the world around us during the past decade. Chaos somehow. At times, I felt almost frazzled out and had no idea what to look at first. Scenes that also frightened one. Stress mode. A loss of bearings. Politics, life changing at breakneck speed, the globalized world, the ever-present media. The damning of individuality and simultaneously the demand that one should, please, be individual so as to stand out from the crowd. But spiritual issues also and many highly personal topics came across to me – though in a similarly inundating, swamping way.
The pictures in the current exhibition now reveal far more pastel colours, calm scenes, clearly fewer people and less hubbub and hurly-burly. Admittedly, well-known elements from previous years repeatedly crop up in collage – this time, however, with intensive, softer colours.
Yet something is different. It is as if the content had changed its overall state. Somehow, calm has set in. I can perceive the old themes also, but the point of view has changed. It seems as if my brother no longer immerses his mind so deeply in the rushing river of time / information / buzz but considers the content from a greater distance. I imagine him now sitting on the bank, still dangling his feet in this unruly torrent but at times closing his eyes to see what appears in his mind. And somehow this does me good too. I can feel this sense of calm and space for myself.