(Germany ◊ 1964)
Based in Portugal since 1998, Matthias Contzen is a multimedia artist employing marble, sound and light as material.
Matthias Contzen’s art constitutes a material translation of the alignment between the cosmos, its energy fields, and humanity.
Contzen attended the Sculpture course at the European Academy of Fine Arts in Trier in 1987, and in 1991, the artist completed the Design course at the Arts and Crafts Guild of the Sarrebruck School of Fine Arts. Matthias has won several prizes, amongst which was the highest sculpture Prize of Portugal – “Prémio City Desk” in 2002. His work is represented in several continents, in both private and public collections. In 2009, Contzen founded The Sculpture Factory, a multipurpose centre that serves as workshop and art gallery located in Sintra, of which he is artistic director.
Matthias Contzen’s art constitutes a material translation of the alignment between the cosmos, its energy fields, and humanity. Interested in cymatic patterns for a decade, Contzen’s practice focuses on translating visual representations of sound waves, which pass through his physical body, into solid matter. The result is a vast array of subtle variations: borne out of meditative states, each work translates a different energy wave, which he converts into a conceptual note. His practice reshapes spiritual experiences into tridimensional formats.
Contzen does not have a specific working method. Instead, his practice is an extension of his lifestyle, one which is characterised by consistent routines of yoga, meditation, shamanic rituals and mantra chanting. These rituals, he suggests, are conducive to a greater alignment between the sensory body and the broader energy fields that he inhabits. He frequently reaches spaces outside his physical dimension, feels energy explosions (that he relates to the Big Bang), and then translates them into marble.
Matthias Contzen work could be understood as a metaphor of the creation of the universe, inviting the viewer to observe his sculptures in a personal way by connecting it to its mysteries to which we are guests.