A Palette of Emotions on Canvas
In the artistic realm of Halle an der Saale, Manuel Wagner, a fine artist and painter, has crafted a haven for his creative expressions. Settled in a studio tucked away in a city courtyard, Wagner finds solace and inspiration amidst the tranquility of this small city, inviting reflection and a connection to nature.
Wagner embarked on his artistic journey early in life, with the nurturing embrace of creative subjects as a child. His initial creations solidified the path he wished to tread – that of an artist. His studio practice reflects the skill and experience he has in his medium. Working daily between chance and determination, he takes several canvases at a time to the next level.
For Wagner, inspiration is an adventure, a journey both in the physical and emotional sense. In Wagner’s artistic world, color is not just a visual element; it’s the genesis of creation. The canvases showcased in this interview are a testament to Wagner’s eclectic approach, incorporating oil paint, acrylics, and spray paint. Wagner’s preference for Mystic Black from the Montana Cans spray paint palette reflects his mastery in creating quick shadows, while liquid acrylics add a flowing finesse to his work.
Interview with Manuel Wagner
allspraypainted: How did your career start? Is there a moment when you knew that creative work was your preferred way of working?
Manuel Wagner: Basically, I set out to become an artist back in elementary school. Even back then, creative subjects were the space where I could draw new strength. Then I received a lot of praise for my first drawings and paintings, and so the one concrete wish, the one career goal, if you like, became more firmly established.
allspraypainted: Where do you find most of your inspiration?
Manuel Wagner: I find most of my inspiration when I travel, in places I’ve never been before and experience my environment and myself in a completely new way. At best, I then come into contact with the local people and live their lives for a while, trying to allow new thoughts, which never works completely, because I inevitably take my mind and the conflicts I carry with me everywhere I go. Driving a car is a little journey every time and so the state I get into, all alone with myself, with this certain kind of concentration, inspires me.
allspraypainted: What role does color play in your work?
Manuel Wagner: Color plays a very important role in my work because everything starts with color. I take a pot of diluted paint and pour it onto the canvas. The colors then flow into each other or repel each other. Layers and depth are created. I then react to this dvelopment. Deciding on the “right” color or the interplay of colors is more important to me than the question of light and shadow and perspective. It all arises in the process.
allspraypainted: How did your interest in painting come about?
Manuel Wagner: As I said, I became interested in painting very early on. I remember that my grandparents had two prints by Van Gogh hanging in their house. The way he used color and brushstrokes did something to me.
allspraypainted: The paintings shown in the interview are made with oil paint, acryl paint and spray paint. How do you go about designing processes, and which part is your favorite?
Manuel Wagner: The first steps in creating the canvases are the most exciting for me, as everything is still open and I give a lot of room to chance. I usually start with oil paint and then add acrylic and spray paint at some point in the next steps. Mixing the techniques is important to me because it’s the only way I can achieve certain surface textures and depth effect, i.e. to create precisely this visual language in the end.
allspraypainted: Which color or effect in the Montana Cans Product Line do you like best?
allspraypainted: How balanced is the proportion between digital and analog work in your work? Do you sketch drafts?
Manuel Wagner: The proportion between digital and analog work is very unbalanced in my process. The digital comes far too short, as I mainly work analog. Sometimes it happens that I make a digital sketch while working digital sketch while working, but in fact my photos are also analog.
allspraypainted: What are your plans for 2024?
Manuel Wagner: For 2024, I hope to have a lot of time in the studio and to be able to do a residency abroad again.
In a world that increasingly blends digital and analog realms, Wagner’s process remains firmly rooted in the analog. Combining factors like pouring paint as a first step paired with precise brush strokes to finish off a work of art makes his process as well as the outcomes unique and full of depth.
As we peer into the future with Manuel Wagner, he envisions a 2024 filled with ample studio time and inspirations from more travels. In the fluid strokes of his artistic journey, Wagner continues to weave a canvas of emotions, inviting us to immerse ourselves in the rich tapestry of his creations. We are excited to follow Manuel’s next steps in his artistic journey.