Nothing is eternal
The original works in the new exhibition, which have not been shown to the public so far, summarize the visual transcript of the three ghost books published by Māris Rungulis, “A Walk in the City of the Dead” (2016), “Three Deaths on Martin” (2018) and “Blood Rain”. ”(2020). Brekte has created a special image system that can be fully perceived both in connection with the stories written by Rungulis and independently of them.
Kristiana Brektes «Blood Rain»2min
With the current life and the theme of the exhibition, the artist calls not to draw parallels.
“Time is what it is and you have to live in it. It seems to me that the most important thing is a healthy attitude towards fear. In my works, there is more humor and irony that helps in difficult moments,” Kristians Brekte admits in a conversation on Latvian Radio Rondo.
Describing the formation of his handwriting, Brekte notes the interest in the dark side, emphasizing that people need not to forget it: “I think that consciously I am not a structured part of him, but I am interested in that dark side, but it is because nowadays people are just forgot that it bony stands next to it. There’s some sort of routine going on. It’s all a small reminder that nothing is eternal. I think we need to remind people of that. ”
Although the exhibition “Rain of Blood” will be opened on October 31 – Halloween evening – Brekte calls to appreciate and nurture Latvian traditions, both the cemetery festival and the specifics of the lingerie time: “The second thing that interests me is lingerie time and Latvian identity.
I’m not saying anything bad about Halloween, but I feel the need to nurture the traditions of our ancestors.
And feed those spirits so that they don’t bring home bacilli next year, because if you get along well with them, then they won’t bother you next year. “
Ghost story books – a big responsibility
Brecht’s illustrations have been made in various techniques: graphic gravure printing in the cold needle technique, with which the artist has been working since 2014, and drawings with ink and pen. Brekte explains that the graphic gravure technique gives the works an additional dramatic effect: “The dry needle is one of the gravure techniques in which Francisco Goy has a series of graphics. Basically, under that impression, I also started working with the graphic technique in 2014, when I created the Survival Kit exhibition “Little Fear”. A few years later, I was approached to make Runguli’s first ghost book, A Walk in the City of the Dead, which seemed like a big responsibility to me, because I grew up with previous ghost books that I still remember made a big impression on me.
Then I also realized that I would make the illustrations in intaglio, because they get even scarier and you can sweep some places there pictorially.
I don’t do it in zinc plates, but in organic glass. There are smaller prints that are not possible in large circulation, because they remain of poor quality. But since I have no interest in making a large edition, I have drawn a maximum of one to four copies. ”
The third and most recent ghost book, which gave its name to the exhibition, the artistic solution of “Rain of Blood” differs from the previous ones, because the artist has created the drawings with mascara feathers. Brekte reveals that the exhibition will feature works in both techniques: “Then this next book will be different, there will be no intaglio printing, but in the exhibition you will be able to see both the first and second books, as well as the new ink works with feathers.” The series of these original graphic works has not been shown to the public so far.
Kristians Brekte has expanded his artistic work into various techniques, from painting to music for the K + M + B project with Modri Svilāns and Māris Butlers. Brekte describes his artistic search in different genres both as emotion-driven and as challenges: “I subordinate everything to how I feel in theater, painting, objects, and now for a year and a half we have been making music with Modri Svilāns and Māris Butlers. Somewhere there is already a little side of darkness, and I read Strauberg’s spells vocally, because I have been acquainted with them in recent years.
But for those techniques, I change them so that I don’t get bored myself, because I like working with them.
I couldn’t paint all the time – release with a brush, big strokes. It can break down coolly. But the same format of the book – you need patience and of course you have to put a little pressure on yourself to start working. Sharpen the needle file to start scraping. It’s been quite a long time, but I know the end result will be good, even great. ”
Inspiration – tattoos
The artist also says that another source of inspiration for the illustrations of the ghost story “Blood Rain” is the tattoo samples on display at the Riga Stradins University (RSU) Museum, which were collected from 1921 to 1942. In November 2018, they were exhibited in the exhibition “Leather” created by curator Ieva Lībiete. The tattoos belonged to people who had no relatives and whose bodies were taken to the Anatomy after death to be used in the student training process. Redrawing the tattoos, Kristians Brekte, in collaboration with Aleksandrs Breži, creates the edition of the RSU Museum of Anatomy, which is planned to be published with the opening of the museum.
However, the artist has been interested in the topic of tattooing even before the publication of the Museum of Anatomy. He explains: “I’ve been interested in tattooing before and sometimes I tattoo my friends. I had researched quite a bit before. There is Dansing Baldayev who has compiled Russian Criminal Tattoo, a four-book edition he has illustrated. During the Soviet era, he went to prisons and made cool friends with those “sons” and those criminal authorities. “
The artist also pointed out that looking at such tattoos not only shows unusual compositions and themes, but also raises various questions about their creation and technique: “The question arises, how did they do it? It’s definitely made with the “stick and poke” technique, with multiple needles soaked in mascara, whether it’s red cinnabar or “Berlin bruise”, which is actually a launderer, or gunpowder, or charcoal. There’s a whole science at the bottom on how to cook it in color.
Those things bind me. I won’t get anything if I haven’t done a little research.
When researching things or being interested, you can always find the things that interest you max interested and I find it easy to work right away. It seems to me that RSU will have a very good book. ”
The exhibition “Blood Rain” will take place in the gallery “Room” from October 31 to November 21. The curator of the exhibition is Auguste Petre.