Denise Mungan (*1976) lives and works in her hometown of Mönchengladbach, Germany. Her visual work is influenced by life on the Lower Rhine with its flat landscapes and wide skies. She creates poetic abstract skyscapes that convey the transparency and feeling of a beautiful space, widness and atmosphere, with colorfields, marks and patterns.
In addition to her abstract landscapes, her abstract form paintings are reminiscent of flower petals, leaves, stones, and other natural forms. With these artworks she explores the interplay of colors and compositions, inspired by the pure beauty of nature and sometimes life itself.
How did you get into art?
As a child and younger adult I always did handicrafts, drew and painted, made music, did stage dance, wrote poem – I tried my hand at all creative levels. Many years later, as an adult, I rediscovered this love of experimentation and I can best live it out in making art. Since then painting hasn't let me go – it's a sweet obsession.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?
I paint nature inspired abstract landscapes and abstract forms in mixed media on canvas and paper.
What makes my work special is perhaps my perception that painting is a form of poetry written with brush and canvas – something very sensual. In this sense I regard my paintings as visual poems, a combination of imperfection, play and sensuality. I believe that this poetic power of painting can be felt by the viewer, also on an emotional level. In fact, I believe that art can help people to (re-)connect with their own emotions and sensitivity.
With this in mind, my goal in painting is both a haptic experience and at the same time aesthetics that make this process visible and represent me. Painting that has "grown" over many layers and where small traces of this evolution remain visible. And only through this unfolds its poetry for me and creates a visual language that can touch people emotionally.
How do you go about developing your work?
My paintings develop through a searching process, usually beginning with color, exploring concepts of layering. In contrast to rather smooth, color-accentuated areas, I often use different materials like sand, ashes, to emerge a multifacetted surface with different textures and patina, with the impression of something that has been, having-become, emerged out of itself over time. I always feel a deep fascination when a painting develops its own path organically and I am more like a companion on this way.
I always try to let my work develop further on its own and to combine it with new ideas.
Who or what influences you?
Inspiration is color as such, structures and textures. Skyscapes, Plants and Flowers. Being in nature. Emotion – reflection. Music. The artists who have had the greatest influence on me are Cy Twombly, Monet, Turner, Klimt and the German artist Hann Trier.
Make us curious. What is planned next?
I am participating in a group exhibition at The Stage Gallery, Bonn, in July and August. Then, in the next few months, I will be releasing my "Amethyst" series of abstract form paintings. For 2024 I am planning an exhibition in my hometown, Mönchengladbach. You are cordially invited to find more information about my new artworks and my exhibitions on my website and on Instagram.