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Jakob Demus

Only in infinity ca the eyes find peace

Jakob Demus was born in 1959 in Vienna. He studied sculpture under Avramidis and is one of the most important graphic artists in the world. The ‘diamond point’ is his brainchild and he alone knows how to master said special technique. His book published in 2005, The Complete Graphic Work, was awarded the Gold Letter by the Stiftung Buchkunst association for being the ‘most beautiful book in the world.’ Demus works intensively with artistic techniques from the Renaissance and Baroque. His works can be viewed across five continents in the most important museums and collections.

Demus’ works are surrounded by nature, placed in it, and imitate it. The world is made in the image of whatever happens to reign at the moment, and this applies to everything in the universe. Artists have a calling: to breathe life into this concept for everyone to see. Demus is an idealist. His life’s work is to capture timeless moments as they turn into a specific event.

Whoever meets nature with an open heart desires to be taken back to a state of infinity.

Wonder is his answer to what is true before the ephemeral world. And what about art? Art is the attempt to capture eternity in a moment and to show it to everyone. Demus creates pictures of finite moments which are also timeless.Beauty equals happiness and harmony. This single principle moves all beings and their countless iterations of existence. Painters try to capture this state of ‘being’ and depict it on the back of all the experience gathered thanks to their predecessors over the course of centuries and share it with everyone else. Here and now.

Demus has painted skies for more than forty years: that’s why he became a painter in the first place. Vast swathes of all-encompassing skies, stretching out over us, they’re our vital element. They play with light to give us myriad colours refracted through the sheen of rising water. Beauty only becomes our happiness if we communicate it. This is what painters do: depict fleeting moments of happiness. Freedom is happiness. The sky is always open to us. This is what Demus paints: the opening to infinity.

He adopted freedom offered by the shape of a circle and rejected the traditional and physical shape of a square. A circle which is a traditional tondo, a shape embodying potential infinity and completeness. Something Plato himself already knew. The circle is used in Jakob Demus’ later work to represent the concept of wholeness and infinity. Mathematically speaking: the flawlessness of construction, the infinitesimal in linearity. The return to one’s roots. Finding one self. Even gazing into space, looking through the circular shape of the telescope, is always an action representing openness. It represents the infinity of the universe, where mid-ways and whole points become complete. ‘Wholeness equals infinity,’ he writes. But only ‘in infinity can the eyes find peace.’ An idea that, maybe, transcends night and day.

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(geb. 1954 in Wien) studierte zunächst Kunstgeschichte, dann Philosophie an der Universität Wien und promovierte 1996 bei Prof. Kampits an der philosophischen Fakultät. Von der Philosophie her liegt sein Schwerpunkt bei der Kunst in Italien (vor allem bei den Etruskern) mittelalterlichen Wandfresken mit symbolischer Formensprache (wie etwa des “L’ albero della fecondità“ von Massa Marittima) und in Frankreich bei romanischen Sakralbauten bzw. der Interpretation von früher Höhlenmalerei, wie der von Lascaux. Das Spannungsverhältnis von Eros und Tod in seiner bildlichen Umsetzung ist ein spezieller disziplinübergreifender Interessensschwerpunkt des Autors.


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