Interview with Peter Skubic

Interview  /  Artists   BehindTheScenes
Published: 03.01.2007
Peter Skubic Peter Skubic
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:
Peter Skubic. Brooch: Untitled, 2015. Stainless-steel, silver. 7.5 x 5.4 cm. Photo by: Petra Zimmermann. Influenced by pill-container. I had to eat a lot of pills last year. . Peter Skubic
Brooch: Untitled, 2015
Stainless-steel, silver
7.5 x 5.4 cm
Photo by: Petra Zimmermann
Influenced by pill-container. I had to eat a lot of pills last year. 
© By the author. Read Copyright.

When I go to an exhibition I analyse the form, the organisation, the tensions, the proportions. I analyse everything, I see, and I always learn.
It is clear that you have created your formal language: is it a question of the work process or does there exist a visceral rejection towards other forms of language?
I think that I have created my own formal language in my works. The reason for my language is proportion, my own proportion; all my works are self-portraits, it is always the proportion of my body, and I cannot do it differently. Sometimes I would like to make it different but I come always again to my special language, in form and proportions. I make very straight pieces, not baroque, but otherwise I think that my pieces are baroque, not in curves but in straight forms. I am coming just from jewellery. I was a goldsmith and at that time all that soft, gold and high shining, I heated it and I made very straight pieces, hard, with corners; and the surfaces were not high shinning but after a while, now since five years, I came back to the high shinning on another way. Because I turned out that high shinning makes the pieces invisible. I like this and also what we see as a reflection of the surroundings. Sometimes you see colours, the colours are behind these high shinning plates, and sometimes other high shinning plates reflect the colour from the back and it looks like red colour. Sometimes you see the colour directly from the other side…

What differences do you find in the work process when you make sculpture, jewellery or drawing? which is the process of creation of your work?
I do not make graphics. I make sketches; these are sketches for my pieces, and I start always with sketches. The pieces in the papers are in different positions and I think about their dimensions and forms, the positions of the angles in this rectangle form. I started working with jewellery and one year later I started with bigger sculptures. This is a longer process, I needed time to realise it in my mind and then I needed time to solve the technical problems. I need a factory to cut the plates and all that. And for jewellery, I can cut everything my self but there is no difference in the process for me. There is no problem, only a question of dimensions, of scale. The process always starts with drawings but, anyway, after I finish the piece, is always a surprise for me because there is always a continuum, from one piece to the other.

In your exhibition "Spiegelverkehrt" there are different formal solutions, in some works, you use more explicit language. Are you working in another language?
This is the older one; I work with mirrors because they fascinate me. Mirrors are invisible, nobody has seen a mirror, and there is no possibility to see a mirror, you only see the reflection. In this exhibition, I also have other pieces with mirrors. On the surface of them, I have written words that have a connection with mirrors: what you see inside, and what you feel about mirrors. In one, you see yourself and you can read “ich liebe dich”(I love you); so you look and say - it’s me I love me-. Other is “weniger als nicht” (less than nothing), other is “du /ich” (you/me). This with the carpets is because once I found in a shop these carpets and mirrors fascinated me. I put then one right and the next one reverse and mirrors between. And the effect is that you think there is a glass and not a mirror, but this is not a fixed form.

What is local and universal in your artistic work?
I think I use a very global language, a universal language. Now my pieces have an Austrian surrounding but in Germany, they will have a German one. What I think is that if I have a subject, then I must find a form, a proportion. I must find the material and it has to be good, this is my priority. When I was also a teacher, I always said to my students “You can do all you like but it must be good”, but what is good? There are so many criteria which make a work better or worse. There must be a good subject; there must be continuity in your work; you cannot make one piece and say that’s a great art object. You must learn from yourself and the other artists; you must analyse. When I go to an exhibition I analyse the form, the organisation, the tensions, the proportions. I analyse everything, I see, and I always learn. My pieces, these mirror pieces, have a form but you cannot see the form. In every position you have another view, and this makes them very interesting because you have in one piece hundred of different pieces. Also in another place, or other time of the day, they will change. With my jewellery is the same, if you wear them at the opera with all the lights… it’s a crazy thing… But people are very shy and don’t like to be in the point of view. They only think about what is fashion People don’t like to be different from others, but I sell a lot of jewellery pieces, so there are people who know what they do, and have strong personalities, and that makes me happy.

The last work, book, or film, that has moved me was...
I look more to people. I remember a nice woman, I don’t mean a pretty woman but with a personality with talking eyes. This is for me much more interesting than reading a book. Books are always the same, and in movies from the beginning, I know what will happen. It’s always the same logic, but I’m always open.

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
For example, I walked inside a church, I saw a wonderful proportion and I had a special feeling, something like energy. It was a crypt from Gaudi, somewhere near Barcelona. It’s so strong and I always look to proportions, also in landscapes. There are some strange monoliths in Portugal, in the countryside, and you look at them and you say they cannot be in another place…

It is necessary to define What is art jewellery or simply creation and anything else?
I have been making jewellery for 35 years and I have always thought about that question. And what I found out is that jewellery must be on the body. It can be good, it can be worst, it can be the star the Jewish had to wear during the Nazi period in Germany or a piece for me: but must be on the body. But my way is now to find especially a personal sign of quality in jewellery, not only brilliants and commercial things. I like to use colours, but there are no big stones, and the high shinning plates are not diamonds: for me, are much more attractive than diamonds. Jewellery can be art, but it is always a question of quality and quality you cannot define it but you can feel it.