A very beautiful young woman, Michaela Danowska, born in 1979 in Sofia, Bulgaria, went to study art at the famous Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf in 1998. One of her lecturers was Jorg Immendorf (1945 – 2007), one of the leading post-war German artists. They fell in love, and got married in July 2004. By this time they must have known that he had Lou Gerhig’s disease. They had one child, born in 2001. Her name, Oda Jaune, was given to her by Jorg, Oda being the old German name for “dear”, and Jaune, Immendorf’s favourite colour, yellow. That is basically her background.
I have included a picture of a painting by Immendorf, one of the artists we got to know while studying at UNISA, and loved. His themes were always political, sort of shakespearean, and set in a theatre-like fascist arena, with the eagle omni-present. In this painting, eagle-like folk run en masse towards the future, while a few still clamoring to the past are trampled, bleeding, underfoot. Immendorf uses themes that are often humorous, always poignant and scathing.
I included this piece of Immendorf, because i think she was strongly influenced not by his subject material, but his lack of inhibition, free use of imaginary, mythological subject matter. and lively painterly technique. She obviously loves to render flesh in a Rubenesque way.
According to the preface in her exhibition catalog (which i had to buy), there is “a lack, a frustration, a keen sense of incompleteness at the heart of her painting. Man-as-torso, man-as-finger, woman as belly with head and paws of a teddy bear, two-headed babies …..” Nobody mentions it, but i clearly see her missing Immendorf, alluding to his loss of control, and slowly disintegrating life.
There is a lovely video of the opening to this exhibition on http://www.dailymotion.com then look for oda jaune