By Artists For Artists

Volkano: Innocence Lost

The Age of Innocence

Volkano, a German oil painter, uses deeply symbolic imagery to communicate the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood. His strange, earthy and almost pagan portraits narrate this difficult, raw and often painful journey, with themes of “innocence lost” laced throughout his cohesive works.

"The Dead Bird Ritual #35" by Volkano, oil on canvas, 2017

Drawing and painting since his childhood, the artist fondly recalls scratching some artwork into his parents’ new car with a stone at the age of two; it seems his calling to create has been significant from a young age. After finishing his Graphic Design studies, he began experimenting and working with oils. “Around 2010 my paintings got bigger in scale, I realised that the expression got better when working on large canvas.” His larger works made way for his representation by Galerie Wolfsen in Denmark and in several Art Fairs such as Scope Miami, Art Basel, LA Art Show, Art Copenhagen and North Art Fair.

"The Dead Bird Ritual #33" by Volkano, oil on canvas, 2017

Volkano developed his style and current focus by “bundling his emotions on a main subject that he always thought about; childhood and the idea of never wanting to grow, like Peter Pan.” Using symbolic imagery and visual suggestion, such as raw meat, Volkano makes a poignant comment on the harsh reality and trials of growing upadulthood is just as raw and bloody as a piece of meat”. Upon a similar method of expression came his “Dead Bird Ritual” series, featuring dead birds bound upon children’s heads. “It’s a mystic initiation ritual in my universe, the dead bird is a metaphor for a dead freedom as an adult.” Volkano mirrors the removal of comfort, free voice and warmth as we grow up, through his gothic pastel hues, disturbing fleshy reds and innocent and mournful juvenile faces.

"The Dead Bird Ritual #39" by Volkano, oil on canvas, 2018

“Art has a huge variety of emotions to offer. I personally identify myself as a melancholic type. So is my work. I like to search the deeper and darker side of our mind. I hope to awaken these emotions in people who see my work.”

"The Ritual of the Great White Swan #14" by Volkano, oil on canvas, 2018

Drawing inspiration from his huge archive of photographs, mostly of children of his friends, Volkano can work eight to twelve hours a day on his pieces. Searching the darkness of the mind and awakening the melancholic truths in people’s minds is Volkano’s intention. Working as an artist full-time, Volkano is able to dig deeper into his intense psyche and explore meaning and sense of growing up and getting older.

All images copyright of Volkano

You can view more work by Volkano on his Instagram and webite.

Article written by Kate Smith

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