Text by Connie Bo Boss, translated by Laura K. Wrang
About Gitte Valentiner – Branth
She remembers her grandad standing by his easel in his atelier, as well as herself as a child constantly drawing. She describes herself as an eternally creative person, always energetically at work, whether her focus has been on interior designing, drawers filled with pictures and cut outs or on one of her many jobs. Still it took a while before Gitte Valentiner – Branth realized that being a painter was what she was meant to be. Always fascinated by pictures, she realized that she experienced the world through pictures, but that she herself should be the creator of them, was a revelation. Since her revelation she has not wanted to busy herself with anything else.
During her time at the artist education at Bjørn Ignatius art school and the art school Spectrum Gitte realized that this was her calling – she was an artist. From that moment of realization there was no turning back. Paintings became her life and breath, and she could not live without it. 10 years have gone by and today she lives as an artist, who loves to create visual expression through her paintings. She thinks in pictures, has always had the need to see things before her, which have lead to the great satisfaction of being able to recreate her visual experiences into paintings. This process has become the only thing which now makes sense to her.
Gitte Valentiner – Branth might be taken by a pattern on the road, a pipe, a tower, a building, a tree, a bridge, industry, street environments… which have led to several inquiries as to whether she has had any training as an architect. Despite the fact that she does not have an architectural background, she has a unique sense of surfaces, space and angles as if she did. Her pictures will therefore often be a blend of just that – surfaces, architecture, space and interior. She can´t take her eyes off shapes, colour and contrast. It can only be delivered within a painting which will often be intensely dynamic and contain many perspectives in one and the same painting.
Her artistic offset does not primarily spring from an emotional or storytelling source, but it starts in a completely different place, from the concise visual experience of the world around her. Her creations reflect her personal fabrications of the surrounding world, in its inner tangible shape, resulting in a symbolic comprehension of the world around us, which also becomes an inner understanding of life´s fundamental foundation.
Gitte Valentiner- Branth´s artwork has been displayed at several censored exhibitions in Denmark and abroad, at art associations and art fares.
Text by Connie Bo Boss, translated by Laura K. Wrang
Gitte Valentiner- Branths Art
As an artist Gitte Valentiner-Branths has a great eye for shapes and colour. Compositions are her primary focus. How surfaces, shapes, colour, contrasts and patterns create a pictorial surface into a collective experience for all senses.
When first struck by the architecture of a building, a cool lamp, an industrial pipe, a wonderfully designed chair, a water-tower or an electrical mast –these elements will be emphasized in her composition, which then may or may not end up telling a story. Gitte Valentiner- Branth as an artist is not primarily preoccupied by emotions, story or personal issues. With her paintings she wishes to create pictures, which through their pure visual expression invite us to experience curiosity, spirit of adventure or reflection. Her wish is to reveal the pure visual experience within her compositions, which are both realistic and slightly odd, almost dreamlike. It is the configuration – the external visual stimulation, which attracts her attention and stimulates her process and it is with the work of spatial shapes her internal expression is the strongest and most clear – this happens both in her precise brushstrokes and transparent layers dripping down the canvas. All of these painting techniques are what enhances her creations with energy and variation.
When all that has been said, its important to emphasize that you also sense a vulnerability and a wish for wanting more out of life in her art work. It jumps out from the visual experiences exposed to the viewer. She dares to show her vulnerabilities, her dreams – and her longing.
It is this specific longing which is sometimes revealed in the titles of her art works. This is where it’s possible to sense how Gitte Valentiner-Branth wishes for more, wants to make it in this life, be in a different place, find her own spot… and this longing expresses something which she isn’t the only one who feels: To dream of going somewhere else, to feel that you are in the wrong place, to be stuck in the same spot unable to move, to live in an unsafe environment, to wander through lonely streets and just stare into lit streetlight. A longing so strong that it burns through your defenses and grabs a hold of your heart.
At this point, the strong survivor comes rushing into the art work and adds on top of all the longing, vulnerabilities and loss, a full mix of colours which then once again brings balance to the painting. Gitte Valentiner-Branth is nothing if not a lover of colours and an eternally optimistic painter, who sees colours as an essential part of herself. Colours are able to set the tone, the energy as well as the joys of life and they are therefore able to strongly influence her as a painter. The longing can therefore never become dark and at a standstill – it’s an ever turning motor – in the art work as well as in life.
What is it about space and buildings that is so interesting? They are not only visually skillfully composed, constructionist works that by themselves are fulfilling to look at, but if you wish then you are able to delve deep into another layer of interpretation. It brings with it questions such as; what is it these houses represent in a psychological, mythical sense? Freud and Jung, the founders of the psychoanalysis, would look at the houses as a symbol of the ID. Following this line of inquiery you will be able to see both the ID which lives on fragile posts standing within dark swamps, the imposing buildings with high ceilings and plenty of light as well as cramped living rooms, where you’re not even able to look out and ID’s who are unreachable in the shape of all black windows. With a focus on symbolism, themes and colour composition that don´t follow a complicated path, Gitte Valentiner-Branth is able to display her view on the ID in a clean, clear and simple way. She isn’t interested in leading us through a complicated interpretation, but she wants to make amazing paintings of her own perceptions of the world and allow us to find our own way to the ID we want.
She is an artist who wants to start something, get her audience to open up their eyes and think about what they see, begin a dialogue and foster communication. Most importantly, she paints because she can’t not paint and because any given picture has to become what it needs to be. This makes it a liberating experience for us as viewers. We’re not thrown by deep layers of meaning – we’re captivated visually, as the artist is, and we can be affected in whatever way or direction we wish while enjoying her special works which truly stand out. We can let ourselves be pushed and start exploring!