The Eye of God
Born in Auckland, Amlehn moved to New York in the 90’s and established an art career that spans 28 years. He works in the mediums of text, music, photography, and film. He has collaborated with musicians from the bands ofDavid Bowie, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Philip Glass, and painter Gerhard Richter and filmmaker David Lynch who are providing cover art for his albums of music.
Paul has exhibited his art in many of the world’s top galleries, museums, and festivals, including the prestigious “Olympics of the art world,” the Venice Biennale, where he has shown his work three times, being the first and only New Zealander to do so.
Now Paul is exhibiting in Aotearoa for the first time at Potocki Paterson, with a series of works, titled: The Eye of God.
“I love Wellington,” Paul says, “it’s definitely one of my favorite cities in the world, and I am seriously considering moving here. There is a creative atmosphere, a thriving arts community, and the people here are so warm and friendly.”
The Eye of God works are large-scale prints on fine art paper, the images created by exposing photographic film to light, heat, chemicals, pressure, magnetism, and radiation. They were recently exhibited at the 57th Venice Biennale and also the prestigious Tate Liverpool museum.
“The images seem to strike a chord with people, they are intimately connected to nature, as well as the world of dreams, and the human psyche. Growing up inNew Zealand, has influenced all of my work, with the energy of the ocean on all sides and never far away, and the volcanic energies in the land. The works are to a large extent abstract, and yet figures and landscapes emerge, and people viewing the work alway see different things, they are very open to interpretation, and that is part of their beauty.”
In Paul’s life journey there were challenges to face: being adopted at birth, a father that struggled with alcohol addiction and violence, and the loss of his first child.
“Art was always a saving grace for me, an instrument of survival. Making a work of art changes you in the process of making it. Pain and suffering are transmogrified into beauty, as the art comes into being, and the artist is healed. Its a mysterious and mystical experience. This also can happen for anyone viewing the work. Encountering an art work that resonates with you, be it writing, music, painting, or film, can be a profoundly moving experience, one that changes you in a deep and lasting way, for the better.”
The Eye of God is the title of the exhibition, and Paul says it carries multiple meanings. “It came to me in the early hours of the morning, and it carries with it a certain mystery, and is thought-provoking, much like the works themselves. They have many layers of meaning, but, you can also experience them on a surface level as something pleasurable to look at, and that's perfectly valid too. The Eye of God could be the all-seeing omnipresent eye of a divine being, or it could be the eye of the artist as the work is realized, or it could be the eye of the audience member viewing the work.”
From international recognition and success to a homecoming to the land of his birth, Paul is excited to share his art with a Wellington audience for the first time.
“In the end, the recognition and career success is gratifying, but, the most important thing is love, love for your friends, your family, your work, your life. A lot of love went into this work, and I hope people feel that when they have their own encounter with the art in this show.”
You are warmly invited to:
Opening Night on Tuesday 6th of November, from 5.30pm.
The Eye of God will be exhibiting daily at Potocki Paterson from:
Wednesday 7th, until Sunday 11th of November, 11am to 6pm.
Phone: +(64) 0226943009