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A CONVERSATION WITH SABRINA POHL

THE FINE PRINT: Your work is divided between portraits, drawings and paintings. Could you describe to me, in your own words, your artwork?

SABRINA POHL: It’s true, I use many different forms in order to find purpose. I can only express myself properly if I leave myself free to work in different directions. Mainly, I’m concerned with configurations, and graphic elements. The excitement begins here; whether I consider an image good or bad, I keep working on it. If the feeling fails to appear, whichever it is, I also stop. I always need to have strong emotions behind my images, they are always part of my personality, that is how my artwork is built.

TFP: You also do very abstract graphic art. How does this part of your work differ from the rest?

SN: I love to create portraits because it’s a beautiful way to make people happy. It’s fun to work with others and to give rise to something magnificent, together. When I have the chance to help somebody, I do it. As opposed to this, my graphic art doesn’t build on an item. It comes from the subconscious. The approach is different. In my portraits, I’m the painter, the creator. In other words: I painted the portrait. In my graphic paintings, I’m no more than the hand by which something is visualized. Put another way: I am the painting.

TFP: You were born in Stuttgart, Germany. How would you say German culture and heritage influence your artwork?

SN: Spontaneously, I would say there was hardly any influence. However, I believe that boundaries were made for the purpose to find a way to dissolve them over and over again.

TFP: What do you try to emphasise when drawing someone? Are there particular features you like to be predominant?

SN: When I’m drawing portraits, the facial expression of my opponent decides on the features that will be emphasised or oppressed, and that is the beauty of it. I’m not the one who decides, the person being painted is.

TFP: We are all influenced by others one way or another. Who are the artists who currently inspire you?

SN: Stories inspire me most of all. I love how images can develop simply by the use of words and sentences. Currently, my most read author is Marica Bodrozic.

TFP: I’ve read that you can’t stay in the same place too long. Where is the most inspiring place you’ve lived in? Where are you moving next?

SN: I loved living in Kitzbühel in the middle of the mountains. It was winter at the time, and I will never forget the vivid starlit sky. Still, Rome was the place who inspired me the most with its colours; and it’s also where I met the nicest people. Next month I’m moving to Vienna for the long term. I’m really looking forward to it!

TFP: Where do you see your artwork going in the future?

SN: I hope to continue making progress with my work. I enjoy learning new things, and finding better ways to make a statement. But maybe searching has been created in order to never be found. Even if my artwork seems unknowable at times, I hope to inspire others with it.  

Text by ESTELLE GERVAIS