Whilst traversing the seemingly endless internet, a peculiar collage of a hovering house caught our eye. Tracing the uncredited work back to the artist’s well-curated website, we found Matthias Jung, a middle-aged artist from the tiny town of Asperg, Germany. Crafting surreal homes out of collaged-photos he takes in his home town, Matthias both defies psychics and tugs at the heart strings with his charming homes. We reached out to him to find out who the artist was behind these compelling designs…
1. Who are you?
Hi, I‘m Matthias. I‘m a 44 year old artist from Asperg in southern Germany.
2. Describe your medium & process for your photos...
I love to compose new worlds. To combine very different elements (e.g. a tea warmer with medieval facades) in order to create something new, makes me happy. I’m struggling for coherence. Art is a long and intense process with much frustration and joy. Typically, there is a stage when the collage looks shabby and un-inspired. I have to bear that… I then search for the “missing link” in my personal photo archive.
Sometimes a strange idea converts the collage in something very different – for example the rotten buoy that I used for “Ye old Motorhome of Uncle Jim”. I‘m not interested in creating perfect Photoshop-worlds. What is important to me is revealing inner-visions... I only start a picture once I have the idea of a composition. For me, it’s about the preciousness and vulnerability of the human being, who looks out from his “cultural island” onto a cold and indifferent cosmos. Most of the individual images in my collages have been photographed by me, the subjects having partly evolved during photographic trips through East Germany.
3. How did you find your passion? Who/what influences your work?
At the age of 16 years or so I created my first collages with scissors and glue. These early works amazingly resembles the “houses” series which I present here. The concept of surreal architecture seems to be deep-seated in my brain... I remember creating the landscape of my model railway when I was a young child. I was so obsessed that I couldn’t sleep the whole night! I feel the same obsession now when the details of a different reality occurs on my screen. It’s both fascinating and puzzling. I don’t know any concrete artist who has influenced my work… the style of my collages was there from the beginning. It seems to be a part of my personality. The ideas for the collages basically comes from walks in my home area. I stray around and see forms and constructions that inspires me.
4. What excites you about your work? What do you struggle with?
I think that we are all making collages. Our selective perception extracts elements of the incomprehensible variety of sensations and memories. We tinker our world. I try to simulate this process consciously, and explain the fascination. I’m most proud of my work when the observer feels a little bit at home in the surreal world that I exhibit. It would be great if he experiences a kind of recognition of his own mental landscape. My collages are mostly melancholic… but I hope it’s a melancholy of longing and not of depression.
5. What are your goals? Where do you see yourself going?
I would like to illustrate books. For example a book with my own or other surreal short stories. There is a vision to create portrayals – an interpretation of a personality in a collage. I’m also working on a new theatre programme – that’s more a hobby but also important. But whatever I create as an artist – it has to be something surreal. It would be nice to have time and space for new photo trips. And I’m searching for galleries around the world to present my deeper goal in making art is maybe to reveal something that is generally human. Like Tolstoi said: “Art is a microscope which the artist exists with the secrets of his soul, and shows to people those secrets which are common”.