REGINA NIEKE – Naked.
The human being is central. Naked. Not an individual personality, but personhood itself. Life (movement) and Death (standstill), Being and Time are the grand themes of Regina Nieke. The embryonic as a description of individual and social conditions, and of the longing for a liberating resurrection (Bill Viola), for the upright path in the here and now.
Regina Nieke's paintings tell of the human struggle to give meaning to one's life on the way to self-fulfilment – without a mask, naked. To be or not!
The creature, naked and helpless, is a symbol for the suffering that reality brings – a thin skin shows emotional depth, feelings about the world, the experience of being wounded. In painterly compression, Regina Nieke portrays the rape of the individual essence, brings to light the desire for passionate merger, for love – the act of love as the 'little death' (Georges Bataille, The Tears of Eros). Differentiated colourations are the atmospheric transmitters of a message.
Poetically and ecstatically, in voluminous streams of colour, Regina Nieke articulates the drive to survive, emotions, instinctive perception, and demands their evolutionary (self-)gratification. She reflects narcissistic woundings, and reclaims a guilt-free identity and the recognition of extraneously determined compulsions.
Her figures, focused in the centre of the canvas, are placeless. Enclosed colourspaces with no way out are confronted by horizontally divided backgrounds, divided skies, light–dark. Transitions of consciousness–unconsciousness, anima–animus, mind–spirit formulate the need for harmony.
The human body, whether turning its back to the viewer, its fragile spine exposed under a welter of paint, or floating in fairy-like transparency, immaterially portraying the existential cry for fulfilment, is the expression of an idea. Regina Nieke unites the achievements of abstract expressionism, colour-field painting and neo-expressionist figuration in her work. She refers to both Goya and Bacon while radically, subjectively and authentically asserting her own power of aesthetic expression. Her painting
visualises the urge to immediacy and – the naked truth.
In the seductively colourful beauty of her paintings lie the eternal human contradictions, conflicts and desires. It is well worth journeying into one's own inner world!
Joachim Becker, 2013