Thomas Girbl Born in 1970 in Salzburg; received his first artistic training at the Technical College for Creative Arts and Crafts in Ferlach (Engraving Department), then worked as an engraver in Graz and Cologne; passed the master craftsman examination for engravers in Innsbruck in 1993 and took private studies with Prof. Alesa Vaic in Prague (graphic reproduction); in 1994 master class with Prof. Günther Meck in Millstatt and Mannheim (free and nude painting); stayed in Australia for study purposes in 1997/98 and created his own new painting technique based on his observation of bushfires; since 1998 work as a freelance artist in Faak am See (Carinthia) (further development of his painting technique: burning pictures)
Thomas Girbl, invisible becomes visible with fire. Stigmas: Girbl’s pictures burnt in the course of their origin. You can see it in them clearly. There was precisely as much fires as necessary to make its effect visible, to burn down the material sacrificed to it and to illustrate it thereby. And it was precisely as much control, dressage of the fire, as necessary not to lose everything – a balancing act teetering on the brick to destruction, an artistic calculation of the risk, an initiated fight between material and element, a skillful play with de- and construction. Admittedly, chance was also in the play, steered, but nevertheless, effectively. During his extensive travels Thomas Girbl was particularly impressed by the bush fires in Australia as well as the symbolic colours used in ritual arts in India. Both impressions have considerably influenced his work. And all his works are deeply influenced by the powerful traces of fire that symbolise the female aspect. The fire, the art and the knowledge: An artist like Thomas Girbl, whom the fire makes not the object of his representation, but rather the medium of the creation act, wants to introduce us with his works immediately to our existential, to the heart of our liveliness. If he modifies our environment by scorching, burning down, crusting of paper and colours, he transforms the smouldering devine spark in us all into visible and touchable forms. Phoenix in the Valley of Roses: Girbls artwork, which dissociates itself from the representationalism, seems to cling to a Far Eastern spirit, the concentration asserts itself in diminished, horizontal or vertical lines, here and there there are circles or areas of a circle and other signs with symbolic significance, whose legibility discloses only by exploring exotic language areas. Basically they deal with the elements, the relations of people to their environment and the nature.
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