PARALLEL WORLDS

STEPHAN ACH

Stephan Ach (Essen, Germany, 1958) was surrounded by the artistic world at a very young age. Stephan Ach discovered in photography his real talent and a form of artistic expression. He graduated from the School of Art and Photography of Munich in 1982 and he has worked actively in the fashion world between New York, Munich, Paris, Barcelona and Miami. In 2000, he also enrolled the New York Film Academy to explore the cinematographic world. He has recently exposed in Miluno Showroom (Mexico City, Mexico, 2011), in Miami Art Week and Wynwood Art Walk (Miami, USA, 2012), in the Art Palm Beach Fair (Palm Beach, USA, 2013), in Zona MACO (Mexico City, Mexico, 2013 and 2014) and in ARCO (Madrid, Spain, 2014).

Philosophers, mathematicians, scientists and men of letters have rationalized the world in order to understand it. And so we have explanations about the visual world. But what is there behind the world we see? Stephan Ach shows us in this exhibition at the Galería Miguel Marcos the existence of parallel worlds. If we pay attention, we can see them behind every exposed photograph.

In words of the artist, these parallel worlds behind the visual world lie in the path towards the magic of life. That is, at the same time, a journey towards our own self. When you are one with your truthful self, with the rest of the world and with the Devine in you, then a magical moment occurs. As we strip down the first layer of the visual reality, we obtain “the beautiful sensation of the magic behind life”.

Provided that this process of finding magic is contemplative and personal, the showing of Stephen Ach tends to an apparent calm. From this tranquility, unadulterated, the spectator can appreciate what emerges from behind the photograph, the magic.

His work also searches for moments of unbalance and disorientation. In his pictures, a small percentage can be easily recognized. But most part of the image is blurry and hazy. Therefore, the artist perplexes us and encourages us to find a meaning to the imprecise. Without realizing, we find ourselves in the midst of a creative process. According to Stephan Ach, our pathway trough life is divided in “boxes” (school, university, matrimony, profession…). We jump from one to another with haste because we feel insecure “outside the box”. But his photography takes pleasure precisely in this “outside” moment to seek the unpredictable and see new ways.

With these premises, we submerge ourselves in tranquil and vague works, which try to show us these parallel worlds –magical, “outside the box”– that exist behind the visual world.

The series World within, blurry and vibrant images, represent “our existence as a unity of the in and the out, floating in a world of liquid”. Although the figure seems to be transforming, the photographs instill balance. This is the paradox of Stephan Ach’s work: images that could provoke confusion because of their lack of precision invoke, instead, the magical moment we talked about at the beginning: the moment of communion with ourselves, with the environment and with the Divine.

Visible calm recreate dense and intriguing forests. We only have to observe, not intervene nor accelerate our impressions. Thus, we will reach these parallel worlds the artist refers to. It is the same for the Untitled. We should let us be seduced by the impression the photograph projects; enjoying the image, the colors, the game between what is discernible and what is insinuated. Consequently, we reconcile with the unknown and we activate a state of mind that looks for meaning where it seems to lack.

Joropo has a halo of pleasure that refers to the magic of fascination. The first picture makes reference to a dance of Colombia and Venezuela with African and Hispanic-Arabic influences. The dancers’ dresses, that could well be tropical flowers, connect us with liberty, enjoyment, liberation and trance. After all, dancing is a way of non-verbal expression and as a result contains implicitly our ideas and emotions.

All in all, Stephan Ach’s showing invites us to enjoy his pictures and also to have in mind these parallel worlds where the magic of connecting with one’s true self supplies life with a new beauty. Each moment is unique. Our glance is centered in the now as an intense and peaceful way of living, accepting the uncertainty as an opportunity to live a creative process to find new meanings. In short, Stephan Ach not only affords an aesthetic proposal, but gives us a fresh look to understand the world. Art deals with the human and the Divine and, therefore, each artist’s new glance revives the eternal dialogue between what we see and the background of what we see.