The Wanderer above the Mists (1817-18) | Caspar David Friedrich
The person stands before a daunting, mountainous landscape and deep valleys filled with mist. Although some claim that this man ‘conquers’ the landscape with his position over the misty gorges, he is still dwarfed by the immensity of the wilds before him. He is not called a hero or conqueror in the title, but a wanderer. The mountains are a solid and impenetrable fortress before him. Although he has reached a peak where he can view the landscape around him, there are still even greater elevations, mountains and wildernesses that are unknown to him at his position. The human is present and given importance, but the landscape within the piece is still there to evoke the sublime.
"When I visited Absolute last year I told Keith (Harper, artist) I wanted something that resembled what my older cousin had on his back before he passed, but with slight variations. While my cousin had the Earth inked into the roots of the tree in his piece, I wanted a brain interwoven at the base instead. I also changed the tree and sun design to maintain more personal significance. I told Keith I wanted a beech tree, a species indigenous to Germany’s Black Forest, because it pays homage to my first language, native roots and my grandma ("Oma"), who used to tell my sister and I stories about the Black Forest when we were kids before she also passed.
Keith did a kick ass job drawing up what I had in mind, and was super chill throughout the two visits it took to finish the piece. I told him up front how much cash I had to work with, and he didn’t skimp or overcharge despite adding a lot of extra color, size, and time. I would definitely recommend Absolute, and I want him do my half sleeve as soon as the funds are right!”