Mashada - Jochen Schmidt
Born in 1947 in Germany, Jochen has always had a love of painting and especially a desire to work with textures. After an early career in drafting and then retraining as a teacher, he travelled in the seventies through the Sahara and the vast plains of West Africa.
During several such journeys, the bright colours and dramatic lines of the African landscape made an indelible impression on the artist. Alongside teaching art in Kenya, he began working as a freelance artist. As if to honour a debt to the generous tropical nature, Jochen took to sign his works with the name Mashada, which means a spray of flowers in Kiswahili.
The nineties brought him to New Zealand where he formalized his training by completing a Diploma in Arts and has been practising fulltime since í93.
Jochen shows sensitivity to the New Zealand landscape in his works, but also applies his artistic sense to make them into a personal rendering. He highlights particular elements (such as his renowned blue skies), or alters lines or masses to increase the apparent scale of the scene.
Such manipulations result in taking reality that much further into an moderate surrealism with the effect of stimulating metaphors, such as evoking timelessness, loneliness, etc. However, contrary to classic surrealism, the sophisticated texture in Jochenís work plays a very active role. There, the reality is taken to its most literal, as it is often produced with actual sand from the landscape portrayed.
Water is prominent among landscape elements favoured by the artist. Be it a quiet immensity suggesting mystery or clarity or a stylised meander evocative of distance, time or journeys.
During his latest visits to Greece, Jochen Schmidt collected impressions of many well known places like the famous islands of Santorini, Milos and Zakynthos just to name a few. The result is a series of superrealistic paintings that combine his famous blue skies and simplyfied landscapes with the traditional Greek colours and shapes found only in Greece.
This series of paintings are Jochen Schmidt's step into the Greek market with his first two exhibitions in Athens in 2007.
For more information about the artist, please visit his website: www.mashada.imara.de