from the 20th of august until the 39th of august at PLATOON KUNSTHALLE you can have a closer look at the works of the german artist John Franzen.


"Each line one breath" titles a limited edition of 50 freehand drawings, which focuses on an artistic and graphic interpretation of evolution through the use of simple drawn lines. the edition starts from the premise that the initiation of any drawing, its fundamental prerequisite - a line - coincides with the most basic and transcendental state of life, the perception of breathing.

in extent, the artist abstains from any kind of redundant artistic strategies such as figuration or the social, political, economic or cultural meaning within the work. by only focusing on a scientific framework and context, Franzen aspires to reach that very bottom of essentiality she's looking for.

starting with a straight line, he draws each following sequence by copying the character of the previous:  "I concentrate on breathing and focus on drawing the successor. again and once more. again and again.

in the process of drawing, my lines evolve into a kind of logarithmic pattern and layering, steered merely by aberrances and anomalies of human failure in contrast to the precision of a machine."


the resulting artworks are reminiscent of a wave-motion-pattern transporting energy through space-time, such as any electromagnetic wave, or the pattern of a DNA-replication. lines and layers are like a primordial code or anatomic pattern assembling, arranging and composing the manifestation of energy and matter.

lines are everywhere to find. In waves of sound and light, in water and dunes, growth rings and lines of trees, skin and stratum, tree formations in the forest, the falling rain, the grass luffing in the wind.

"the consecutive synthesis of lines bedded next to each other depicts an allegory to the stratification of constant transmission and fusion of matter. any kind of an existence to me is the materialized conclusion of these very basic forces. in my work, I look for the origin. the archetypes of the creation itself. in order to reach the initial moment of creating , I reduce myself, my technique, and the motif to primordial conditions.

breath, lines, strokes... the motif of my artwork is the basic pattern and principle of a self-sustaining and universe. the central theme is the role of humans, my roll in it and to blend our primary states of perception consciously with the initial pattern of a self-replicating universe.


"the subject is not WHAT I create, but more THAT I create." says John Franzen, "in the best case... and for this reason I draw ... it's as if the universe vibrates on my skin and wakes up a powerful emotion inside my gut and heart. it's like I'm listening to the inaudible sound of the energy in the universe which flows around and through me .


this triggers a feeling of conjunction with incomparable originality. I disappear completely as a person or thing and I merge completely this bare energy to merge with the whole being. when I draw, I draw the void. not the line. I focus on the nothingness around the line. it is a sort of meditation. my mind is clear. my focus is on the mere moment.

there is only this one moment. every time the same moment. everything else is still. never thoughts are louder and feelings profounder than in this moment.
my mind transcends into bare presence. personality becomes formless and nameless.

with each breath the emptiness is filled more and more. with every line I get closer to my real origin…"



John Franzen (1981) was born in Aachen, Germany. both parents were nurses. his parental home defined, that integrity, nature and caring for other people is an important principle. early he began to withdraw back into himself, and his world of thoughts. several removals and relocations, the unstable relationship of his parents and the lack of social integration of his earliest childhood were responsible for that.


after his parent’s divorce, he grew up, close to nature, in Eupen / Belgium. where he felt at home for the first time. always been in imaginary worlds, particularly trough drawings, thought-constructs and -analysis. he became fanatic with the investigation of the inherent determination of essence in the origin of things.


John Franzen began to design a unconventional and own vision of the coherence of nature, man and the great plan. he attended the Academy of Fine Arts  in Maastricht, Netherlands 2002-2007, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. working in various disciplines and materials, he focuses on the theme and production of complex frames of concepts with the focus of the inherent primordiality.


John Franzen concentrates on various topics rather than to work only on one. after his father died, the focus of his work extended to the subjects “Death and Life”, “nothingness” and especially “immortal principles”.

John Franzen believes in the need for diversity and interaction with others, aiming for aesthetic perfection with meaning. he lives and works in Maastricht, Netherlands and as an artist and conceptor.

find John Franzen on Tumblr and have a look at his creations at the Saatchi Gallery.


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