Current Age: 62
Current Residence: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Interests: art, photography
Favourite band or musician: Pink Floyd
Favourite genre of music: anything that rocks, but also classical
Favourite artist: Ernst Fuchs, Rudolf Hausner
Favourite poet or writer: Leonard Cohen
Favourite style or digital art: Surrealism, Fantastic Realism
Personal Quote: Signa Te Signa Temere Me Tangis Et Angis
Tools of the Trade: camera, photoshop, brushes and paint
But see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes! - it writhes! - with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And the angels sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.
Excerpt from the critique by J. Brooks Joyner, Editor Visual Arts, The Albertan, Saturday, May 29th, 1976
This quote by Edgar Allan Poe greatly reflects the works of and the philosophy of my revered friend and fellow surrealist artist Otto Rapp,
our featured Exceptional Surrealist in our fifth issue.
In my own experience, and judging from the amount of conversation and interchange of ideas with him,
Otto Rapp truly deserves his name, The Mystic...
In the following texts he introduced himself to the deviant art world, and he captured my attention and friendship with his ever unfathomable surreal/fantastic realist creations that
are reminiscent of his long time inspiration Ernst Fuchs, as well as that of the decalcomania works of Max Ernst, Oscar Dominguez, the paranoiaic works of Dali, and his own individual interpretation, the one termed Bogomil, his alterego and
personal interpretation of the inner universe...With out further ados I give and introduce to you the Great Mystic...
Born in 1944 in Felixdorf, Lower Austria, I lived and was educated in Vienna, where later I worked as a clerk in the Transport and Insurance Business. After completing service in the Austrian Air Force, I traveled throughout Europe, eventually settling in Stockholm, Sweden.
As a Painter I was initially self taught, studying in the various Galleries and Museums. In Vienna, I was often hanging out at the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, where I admired the work of the Wiener Schule des Phantastischen Realismus represented there by the Professors Ernst Fuchs, Rudolf Hausner and Arik Brauer.
In Stockholm, I found out that I was washing dishes in the very same Restaurant where years earlier another Viennese Artist, Fritz Hundertwasser, the Austrian Gaudi as he was later known as, had worked the same job. Encouraged by an art dealer in Gamla Stan, I began to paint more seriously. Busking on the streets of Gamla Stan with a Dutch artist, my very first painting was sold to a passer-by by my artist friend while I stood in the employment office line - this paid for a lavish meal for both of us that day.
Traveling around in 1968, I wound up in Western Canada where eventually I settled in Lethbridge, Alberta, the place I still call home today. It was in Canada where the majority of my mature work was produced (under the sponsorship of a small Lethbridge Gallery).
Working for the Canadian Pacific Railway, I quit in 1977 to attend the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at the University of Lethbridge, graduating (with great distinction) in 1982.
In Canada, I participated in many exhibitions, and held several Solo Shows, culminating in the pivotal 1994 showing at The Prairie Art Gallery in Grande Prairie, Alberta, which earned me the moniker The Mystic.
Throughout my years in Canada, I had been the subject of many reviews and newspaper articles as well as local television shows in Calgary and Lethbridge while being active as an artist, art instructor, curator, studio technician, art critic and juror
I had been asked what "Bogomil" means, so below is the 1983 exhibition essay I wrote to explain the origin of the title, which became the title of a cyclus of paintings, primarily in the decalcomania style.
Bogomil's Universe is an excursion into the realms of the "Inner Universe" - a parallel universe that exists in the mind, and glimpses thereof are presented here. I am increasingly reluctant to speak of my work as strictly and exclusively surrealistic. While Surrealism provided the initial spark, and some of the methods of Surrealism are employed, I do not suppress the influence of the rational and selective focus. Thus, particularly in later works, there is to be found a conscious juxtapositioning of the complementary forces of inspiration and reason.
I do not concern myself with the elimination of the rational, the exclusivity of the irrational and the absurd, but presentation of the conscious and subconscious world as an inseparable whole. I draw my inspirations from the layered labyrinthic underground which represents the "other side" of life, which is an "inner" imaginative-inspirational counterpart to the "outer" world, expressed with the help of logic-alogic associations, analogisations and symbolism.
The paintings in the cyclus "Bogomil's Universe" are derived by creating textural surfaces, the method of "Decalcomania" as pioneered by the Surrealists, letting color, consistency and flow of the paint determine initial shapes, which are then interpreted by adding onto, or deleting. In the later works, films of gossamer-thin acrylics are stripped from non-absorbent supports (such as glass or plastic) and affixed, in a collage-like fashion, to the painting.
An article about gnostic Bogomils of 10th Century Bulgaria inspired the title of the first painting in the cyclus: "Bogomil's Vegetable Garden".
For a time in history, the term "bogomilism" seemed to be associated, or synonymous with, outlandish and unorthodox beliefs. This, and the gnostic doctrine of dualism are the only touching points: at no time have I attempted to represent a literal, illustrative interpretion of the theme. Indeed, the detailed and lushly textured images presented would be anathema to the bogomil belief that matter is irredeemably evil.
My interest in Religion and Mythology is particularly expressed in my drawings. Technically, they are counterpoint to the Bogomil Cyclus paintings, relying almost entirely on the action of the sharpened pencil point on virginal paper, as opposed to textured surfaces as inspirational departure points in my paintings. In both instances however, the outcome is not pre-determined. The act of painting or drawing is a memorable trip into the uncharted realms of the "Inner Universe", the results of which are presented to you here after the fact.
For more Images click the link to his drawing gallery below:
For more Images click the link to his painting gallery below:
Go shower Otto with your Visits and Faves...The great Mystic Deserves one great celebration...