Based in Passau, Germany, artist toNI Altenstrasser believes that every composition has a story. As a musician uses improvisation as a means for expression, Altenstrasser applies the same intuition and repetition to his mixed media art. Working on both paper and canvas, with oils, acrylics, pen, and chalk pastels, he creates enigmatic, abstract exposures—granting free access to the viewer while leaving the recognition of the subject up to the eyes of the beholders. “An image should meet the demand to trigger associations in the viewer. Pictures are patient,” he says.
In his work, Altenstrasser explores themes of hurriedness, crowds and the fact that man is never alone but always in the company of his own thoughts, akin to the artist’s own experience with loneliness in a large city. Richly textured, and lithe with movement, his figurative, layered imagery captures the dynamism of process. As Altenstrasser works on pieces in shifts, each step gets its own spotlight. Using gestural marks to render animal forms and figures, he makes visible the unseen layers of the human condition.