The work of Paloma Varga Weisz (b. 1966, Mannheim, Germany) explores themes of memory, mortality, transformation, metamorphosis, the uncanny, and the tragicomic. Art historical and literary resonances pervade her work. Varga Weisz subsumes influences of German folklore, Christian iconography, and Modernist sculpture into a distinctive personal style, characterized both by playful Surrealism and emotional candor.
Although trained in woodcarving and known for her sculptural work, drawing occupies an equally important role in the artist’s practice. Using pencil, paper, and paint mixed with water, Varga Weis’s watercolors depict, like her sculptures, imaginary characters resembling surreal bodies from fairy tales. Their gender, action, and placement are usually left ambiguous, insinuating a dream-like setting where anything is possible but nothing certain. Untitled, 2007, depicts an anonymous figure with attributes of a fairy tale character or what could be a member of a circus. With its gaze fixed at an invisible point located beyond the drawing’s surface, the work, otherwise stripped of any ties to time and place, disrupts the borders between the image and its outer space, questioning thus the frequently ambiguous relation between truth and fiction, dream and reality.