The issue of the individual and the collective identification emerges remarkably in the works of Freya Wissing. In a world of globalization and equalization that dissolves “egos”, tribes and nations, the question of personal identity and of its belongings to a group is an urgent task. The work of Freya, like a sweet dagger, allows to create a crack in the main ideological trends.
In the pre-historic inscriptions and drawings, animals (bulls, horses, bison, deer and others) were already depicted with unbelievable vigor and realism. Human representations were scarce and when they existed it didn’t depict a particular human being. With the beginning of the great historic civilizations, Sumerian and Egyptian, there was the emergence of the first portraits. With time these representations tend to become more and more faithful to the traits and characteristics of their models. In most cases these were the Pharaohs, Kings, Chiefs, Scribes and Priests…progressively this evolution of the portrait becomes a constant obsession, as if an eternal existence of the people represented was possible. In the contemporary art world, Warhol, Baselitz, Lucien Freud, Bacon, Balthus and others will develop in their own ways this fundamental necessity of the human being.
But an individual does not exist just for or by himself, he places and justifies himself through relations, belonging to a culture, a clan, a nation, a continent.
Freya intervenes in the personal image by associating with the totem system. In which an animal or plant or object (in her case, an insect) determines the belonging to a precise group. As the heraldic which identifies through coat of arms the know-how of a family or a community. In fact the persistence of the world of the animal image seems to emphasize the rooting of the human enigma in which emerges the things buried in the deeps of our sub conscience.
Because of the contemporary nature of her paintings, Freya purposely “plonks” the insect down on her subjects, in a manner that is not right to it’s perspective size or shadow.
The work of Freya reminds of Bosch and his disturbing visions. Like him she obtains a material light and fluid, a fineness of shades, a range of tones and pale and dark harmonies. No doubt we can see a reference to the American Hyper realistic School and end of the 20th parallel worlds that can at any moment affect our conscience and plunge us into the strong streams of the unknown.
Freya Wissing is exhibiting works which demonstrates a firmness in what she wants to say and she has the technical abilities to do so. There is no doubt that her knowledge of the great painters and the numerous museums she visited gave her this little touch that only a wide culture and personal experience can bring.
Written by International Artist and Critic, Osmar Fonseca.