About Hannah Barlag
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My work is inspired by the real things that surround us in our hi-tech society, where we often lose sight of the beauty and value of everyday things. I paint cityscapes, portraits of people, flowers and many other ordinary subjects, but I do not paint them as they are. I paint them as stories, as scenes with actors, decorations and lights. I paint them with a vision: to make them unique and scarce.
I use Realism as my technique, but I also experiment with different angles and lighting effects, glows and shadows, to create a contrast between the natural and the artificial, the organic and the synthetic, the living and the dead. I use soft brushstrokes and vibrant colors to capture the fragility and complexity of life.
My work is influenced by the Realist movement that emerged in France in the 1850s, after the 1848 Revolution. The Realists rejected Romanticism, which had dominated French literature and art since the late 18th century. They challenged the exotic subjects and exaggerated emotions and drama of the Romantic movement. Instead, they aimed to depict real and typical contemporary people and situations with truth and accuracy, without avoiding unpleasant or sordid aspects of life. They portrayed people of all classes in situations that occurred in ordinary life, and often reflected the changes brought by the Industrial and Commercial Revolutions.
My work is also a reflection of my own emotions and relations, as I avoid the artificiality and sentimentality that often distort reality. I try to be honest and authentic in my expression, without being heroic or trivial. I try to show you what is real, but also what is sublime.