We are in Germany, in the small town of Lohrheim, north of Frankfurt, to visit a truly unique place: an art gallery in an old factory filled with strange, dark, grotesque creatures, created with material found at old flea markets by the owner and artist of it all: Matthias Korb, who describes the world he created as “A huge work out of rust, earth and accumulated objects. A philosophic investigation of death.
A masterpiece of beauty, fear and decay”. A psychic landscape of an outsider, whose message echoes out of every single one of the ten thousand things of his work.
Hi Mathias shall we open the doors of your gallery?
We are here at INITIUM ET FINIS. This is an old farmhouse filled with my artwork and various items that I have collected throughout my life. The INITIUM is my studio where my works are created and it is also a museum.
Creepy, handcrafted, woodoo objects are the first things that strike you. Are you the artist or do you collaborate with someone?
I am the sole artist of these works. I have been working at INITIUM ET FINIS almost every day since 2008. It is a “Gesamtkunstwerk” (total work of art). Thousands of works of art and found objects fill the rooms, barns and attics of this ancient house. You can find collages, sculptures, dolls, painted pictures, handwritten books, the wondrous and bizarre.
What is your background related to? directing, art, set design…
I am a self-taught artist. I taught myself everything. I only started making art when I was 35. Before, I didn’t even know that I was an artist.
Can you describe some of the objects you exhibit?
This figure is an old mannequin that I transformed into an apocalyptic figure. Using a top hat, a gas mask and old, torn fabrics, a creature is born that is both beautiful and terrible.
Where do your inspirations come from?
I am fascinated of all kinds of art. I read a lot and listen to a lot of music. I like light- and room-installations, unusual object art, as well as graphics, painting and conceptual art.
Some of the objects you create are made from recycled material. What do you mainly use and how are your works created?
The basis of my art is collecting objects. I find most things at flea markets and antique markets. I’m interested in old, run-down things, shabby, brittle, worn out, that already have their own history. But I also collect natural materials that I find while hiking through the forest. I then build my works of art from all these found objects.
Do you do exhibitions?
At the beginning of my career I exhibited a lot externally. Very often in churches. For about ten years now, the INITIUM has been the only place where my art can be seen. It is a kind of permanent exhibition.
Who are your collectors?
My collectors are very crazy people who have unusual tastes. They mostly live in apartments and houses that are full of art and curiosities. They are the most diverse people and they come from all areas of society.
To close this chat, can we give our readers directions on how to come and visit the gallery?
You can visit the INITIUM. You must make an appointment in advance and there is a ticket to visit the gallery with a tour and then visitors can explore the work on their own and take photos.