Visualizing a human being as a totality encompassing an innermost self, distinctive talents and
social competence is a formidable artistic endeavor.
The artist Simone Ari, born in 1977 in Munich, has set herself the goal of meeting this challenge
by creating a truthful image based on a photograph yet transcending photorealism,
or on sittings with a live model.
Her inspiration comes from the 19th century old masters, who put their trust in their sense
of vision while seeming to turn their images into windows.
Life and the associated emotions preoccupy Simone Ari as she works. She often interprets several
themes in a single picture, treating them together or separately.
Her work focuses on emotions, whether in an individual portrait, or showing people in diverse
situations, or in a confrontation or concurrence of moods. Her oeuvre is characterized by a
realistic painting style, often revealing an expressionist influence.
This can even lead to dissolution in some cases, regardless of whether her depictions
are razor-sharp or a foggy haze. Inspired by what this Munich artist "sees" in people and
thus associates with them, she produces pictures which, as she explains, fuse this perspective
with her own ideas about society, life and death, giving rise to creative compositions.
Her work emphasizes light and shadows. She accentuates novel aspects of the effect of natural
light and above all makes specific use of the reflection of the spectral colors. Her recent black
and white pictures are distinguished by subtle gradations of grey values, turning this color into
a primary design element. Strong contrasts as well as barely visible outlines are characteristics
of her work.
For her oil portraits she makes use of a resin and glazing technique involving numerous coatings
of varnish, sometimes 20 to 30 layers, which allows delicate variations in skin color and
texture to fully emerge.
She makes conscious use of this technique, applied since the Renaissance, but also new to the
extent that she creates a contemporary work using a traditional technique to depict people of
today and their modern emotions. The viewer is thus enabled to identify with eternally variable
but decisive moods. When using pastels she takes special care to insure that the naturalness which
this medium evokes merges with the spontaneity of the person who is the subject of the picture.
Through her way of seeing, Simone Ari brings to light in the subjects she paints insights into
people's innermost self, their soul.