Mickael Marman combines patterned fabrics with a spontaneous technique in the style of drip paintings. Colorful wax prints, popular in Western Africa, are placed as borders or diagonal components in relation and contrast to the lush, pastoral painterly elements. With them, Marman establishes a thematic connection to cultural identity and (post-)colonialism: The textiles that were produced as batik prints by the Dutch East India Company and others in Europe became popular in Western Africa in the nineteenth century and to this day symbolize status and wealth. In his works, Marman uses these textiles to reference both European market power – European colonial nations knew how to profit from their textile trade with Asia and Africa – and exoticism. To look at the fabrics today as typically African is to romanticize matters, since they were actually produced in Europe and then shipped overseas. Marman’s abstract works further reference artists from the American-European avant-garde and the influence of ethnic art on them. Mickael Marman studied at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg under Jutta Koether and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main under Michael Krebber and Josef Strau.
About Mickael Marman
Norwegian, b. 1983, Oslo, based in Frankfurt, Germany