Artsy Person – Nicolas Confais – Faith Will Bring You Art

Pedigree is not what interests me.  I’ve been very clear about this over the years but creativity, well made art, a strong artistic voice and a good story will always catch my attention.

Yesterday, I finally made it over to the back room gallery of Anne Uhrlandt to discuss her art project and I found the story of Nicolas Confais so interesting that I decided to write about him.

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artwork by Nicolas Confais

Nicolas is a religious man who decided to stop focusing exclusively on religion and head to the art academy.  The decision meant that he would leave his life of silence at the monastery and attend the Art Academy in Munich to pursue a career as an artist.

After completing his studies, this 30 something spiritual man turned spiritual man/artist decided to focus on two different paths with his art practice.  One path is the creation of artwork using bones and the other is a collaborative art practice with his friend Jakob Weiß.

In the small gallery in Schwabing, you can see examples of both of these art practices.

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Munich Artists knows that artists disregard some of their best work because it is work created in the creative process—Artwork that is tossed to the side as the artist focuses on their larger art pieces created in different mediums and scale.

Anne Uhrlandt noticed Nicolas’s sketches and gave them prominence in the storyline of his current solo exhibition.  On one wall, you can see a few of his drawings including a drawing done on brown paper.

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displaying paper that has a memory- a challenge for the gallerist Anne Uhrlandt

With the above art piece, the artist laid out the design for the bone sculpture displayed below.  The drawing on brown paper shows its purpose in the tiny tears fixed by the artist with tape.  It is a piece with energy and purpose and, it is the one piece in this small exhibition that is currently sold.

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The result of all the planning and drawing is a sculpture made of pig bones and an epoxy resin.

As you know, you can’t buy bones at the local art store and we don’t live in a dessert like Georgia O’Keefe where pigs have gone to die en masse. To create his art, Nicolas must take bones collected from slaughter houses and remove all organic matter. (stinky)

Once the bones have been cleaned and prepared, Nicolas adds the epoxy resin which makes the pieces of bone look like porcelain.

The final outcome is an art piece that is smooth and glassy with a feeling of fragility.  The discarded remnants of our consumer society have been transformed into organic shapes that don’t hide the bone but are in line with traditional art practices where bones are used for art.

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Tibetan engraved skull
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Bone Monstrance from the Ossuary In Sedlec, Czech Republic

 

Collaborating with Another Artist

 

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Not Afraid of  ’17 – collaboration between Nicholas Confais and Jakob Weiß

Hello collaboration. We are very happy to find you in Nicholas’s art practice.  If you are a reader of Munich Artists, you will know that one of the foundations of our project is collaboration—the more the merrier.

We understand that some artists are lone wolves and we know that creating an art career can make artists hyper-focused on their own bellybuttons but, Nicholas has decided to take time out of his busy life and meet up with Jakob to create artwork on a regularly scheduled basis.

The two artists have been working on a series of collaborative art pieces that focus on a theme that they choose before starting the work meetup.  Their collaborations have been going on for awhile (the two went to the art academy together) but, even though Nicholas no longer lives in Munich, the two artists get together and create, create, create!

You know how much I love that. It is the reason I have the window installations, it is the reason Munich Artists exists.   I really believe that all creatives have the ability to work with another artist and create amazing things.

I also know this process of collaboration requires trust, respect and the ability to see the bigger picture.  with this team’s collaborations, you can feel all of these things and also see a sense of humour.

I don’t think their collaborations have a name yet but Anne Uhrlandt mentioned that the two guys will finish their next collaboration at the back room gallery.

If you want to check out the exhibition, you can read about Anne and her gallery.

 

 

A Back Room Gallery – Kunsthandel Anne Uhrlandt – An Artsy Place

Walking through the open front door, I meandered past a jeweler busy at work and found myself in a cozy gray room filled with artwork by Nicolas Confais.

The room is filled without being stuffy and it was pleasant to sit down on a low bank and have a chat with Anne about her project and her aspirations for the future.

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It is All About Loving Art

Anne Uhrlandt started her gallery project in 2014 because she missed dealing directly with art.  Taking the plunge, she asked seven artists if they would allow her to represent them and they all said yes.

The seven artists represented by her gallery have very different art practices and range from a recent art school graduate to a well-established modernist. ” I think it is important that my gallery is able to provide a collector with a variety of art to choose from instead of just one art genre.”

 

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artwork by Nicolas Confais (Made from Pig Bones)

 

Munich Artists doesn’t know much about what is “Normal” for a German gallery so we asked Anne if this was normal.  “Absolutely not.  The traditional way for galleries in Germany is to focus on a specific type of artwork so that they can become known for that area of art.  Carrying a group of artists whose work is diverse is my way.”

For Anne Uhrlandt’s Kunsthandel, the focus of the gallery is threefold: Find the perfect art pieces for collectors; Support artists with her business/art trade knowledge; Curate interesting exhibitions.

This mix is being developed at her Schwabing Space, exhibitions in public spaces around Munich and at a recent showing at the CologneFineArtFair (COFA).

 

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Collaborative artwork between Nicolas Confais and Jakob Weiß

 

Although Anne enjoys taking artists to art fairs, she decided this year to focus on solo shows for the artists and build up her gallery’s vitamin C (Connections to collectors).

According to Anne, it takes ten years to build up a gallery and she has every intention to keep working on her project until everything clicks and she can afford a bigger space. (The Munich Artists dream!)

With a background working as an art sleuth* for The Art Loss Register,  Anne became very familiar with art fairs and art galleries in Germanic speaking countries. What she didn’t expect was that she would have to change people’s perception of her when she decided to stop being an art sleuth and become an art gallerist.   With a little bit of effort, the change happened and established art galleries welcomed her with hand kisses and open arms.

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Anne has a very close relationship with her artists and likes building strong relationships with the artists associated with her gallery.    Anne’s focus is not just on selling artwork but on making sure that the artwork is shown in the best way and that everyone is happy with the arrangement.

Her first solo exhibition in her small gallery space drew a whopping 80 people which she said was amazing. “People were too close to be distant.” Munich artists thinks this is an excellent side effect of a small space and is to be encouraged.  Get closer creatives! Lets not be so distant.

 

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Gallery Exhibition at Kunsthandel Anne Uhrlandt

If you would like to visit this tiny gallery, it is open whenever the jewelry shop is open. If you want to meet with Anne, you can find her at the gallery at the following times: Wed 17.30-19.00 & Sat 13.00-15.00 & by appointment.

  • I made up the title Art Sleuth. Her job was to hunt down forgeries and make sure everything sold at an art fair was legitimate in every way… so you can see Anne’s situation when she moved over to the Gallery side of the equation.