Milena Kunz Bijno | Löwenburgstraße 37 | 53604 Bad Honnef / Rhöndorf | Tel 02224 - 73949 | EMail milenakunzbijno(at)yahoo.de
Political people are more often associated with political speeches than with statements on arts or appreciation of art. But this does not mean that political people do not enjoy art, or do not understand and appreciate various forms of artistic expression.
It is indeed a pity that because of our tight schedules and crowded agendas, most of us do not find the time, or enough time, to leave our mundane tasks to enjoy more and more the pleasures that beckon once we step into the realms of the arts. Maybe such an exercise, engaged in, on a more regular basis would make us more sensitive, more human, and more optimistic in our approach to life.
This is one of the reasons why I look up to people like Mrs. Kunz Bijno, why I am full of respect towards artists. They go through life like all of us do. They face most of the problems that most of us have to face. They also get their fair share of the pleasures of life that we also have. But they have an added benefit....they have the capacity to express their feelings, their misgivings, their disappointments, their satisfactions, their moods, in tangible forms....in music, painting, sculpture, writing, poetry,...transforming what would otherwise be a fleeting thought, a momentary emotion, or a delicate intimate sensation, into permanent material expressions.
What makes certain people so lucky?
What does it take to be an artist?
Mrs. KUNZ BIJNO besides admitting she is a born painter, also admits that she just expresses freely what she experiences as natural feelings. Sounds easy, but what is it that makes such expression so easy and so natural? Is it simply because one is born in an artistic milieu as Mrs. Kunz was? I do not think so.
Even if one is born with what we normally refer to as 'talent', whatever that means in genetic, physiological, and psychological terms, one will have to have that sensitivity and the necessary aptitude to cultivate this so called talent.
Mrs. Kunz Bijno admits having an immense thirst to see, discover, and understand the significance of life. She ponders about where we came from, and whither we are heading. We all do at one time or another, but only the artist distills these thoughts and transforms them into artistic expressions.
This thirst to see, discover, and understand what life is all about, is slaked by seeing a lot, and discovering a lot. Mrs. Kunz Bijno did just that. Besides studying in Turin, Bonn, London, and Colombia, she had the opportunity to imbibe from the cultures and the colours of the countries she visited in her peregrinations around the globe keeping partnership to her diplomat husband.
She found enough material to give her the opportunity to produce enough works of art to hold personal exhibitions of her works, practically on a regular basis for the last thirty years. Her native country, Italy, Germany, and even more so exotic India, and colourful Colombia, did not leave her lacking from the necessary stimulus to produce works of art. She admits, and this can also be seen in her works, being influenced and impressed by her contacts with oriental traditions, cultures and religions.
Hers was truly a HIYRAT, a voyage away from the homeland, in search of ANANDA..joy and beatitude, and SATYA ...truth, to enrich her ATMAN.. spirit.
MILENA's contacts with oriental cultures and religions influenced not only her philosophical questions and outlook about life, but also her artistic expression.
This shows in her art. She comes across as a poet and as a painter. In spite of her academic training, she finds better and freer expression in a style which has less form and more colour, a style where figures are sparse, and when found tend to be ephemeral, almost about to vanish from the picture once they have delivered the message they set out to deliver.
Art is indeed the most personal of expressions. Of all the means of communication amongst human beings artistic expression is the most individualistic, bearing the unique signature of the artist. It is almost inimaginable to think of any two artists from whichever part of the globe expressing themselves artistically in exactly the same artistic expression or producing the same work of art. Any language is common to thousands and millions of people. Body language being genetically related, and mostly dependent on the spontaneous reflexes arising from the more primitive parts of our brain, is even more universal. It is only an artist's work of art that is truly singular and personal.
Artistic expression is an expression of knowledge. It is in itself a statement. If I am allowed to express a personal opinion, I have always held that the most effective and perfect artistic expression is music. It transcends language, and the more bereft of words or titles, the freer it is to convey different messages to each individual who receives it. It does achieve at times a quasi spiritual effect, conveying emotions and eliciting mental and physical reactions, at times even beyond the control of the individual who is experiencing it.
Painting does not at times approach music in this context. Abstract art even more so, creates that less tied down to form, and depending more on its combination of colours to create that composition, that symphony if you like, that conveys the artist's message to as wide an audience as possible, while allowing for different levels of interpretation depending on how artistically cultured the viewer is.
Around us in this exhibition we have many examples of this type of artistic expression.
Mrs. Kunz Bijno has a lot to tell us. We have to read the message ourselves. We have to interpret and we have to react to her message. It is then, and only then, that the work of the artist will be fulfilled.
Dr. George Vella, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Malta
Inauguration's speech – Fine Art Museum – Valletta 1998
Having lived in many countries Milena Kunz Bijno has absorbed a wide variety of inspirations and influences which have added a good deal of interest to the show. Milena Kunz Bijno undoubtedly handles her colours with a good deal of confidence and with varied results. She uses oil almost with the fluidity of water colours.
Time of India – Bombay
Milena's art is a search
“Yes, art is a search indeed, generally speaking, but in Milena's case her search is so fervent, that she reaches the realm of the absolute.
In a characteristic amalgamation of Eastern and Western thinking, of mysticism and logos she grasps values which can be expressed only symbolically by artistic means.
Starting from traditional and conventional figurativeness, however, she sets her unmistakable, personal accents and passes on to an intensified study of nature – which grants tenderness and strength.
She expresses herself in forceful pictorial creativeness, in vibrant colours and deep and essential sybolism.”
Prof. Andreas Holguin, Bogota-Colombia
“Everywhere the artist found herself confronted with the human yearning for unity, self-cognizance and for answers to vital questions, dealing with a deep rooted truth transcending East- and West themes.
Therefore in her pictures Far Eastern symbolism is blended with a contemporary Western stylistic approach.
Many of her works are made more accessible to the viewer by her accompanying poems, partly derived from Buddhist or Hindu sources and partly her own.
She is also a poet.
Sometimes literature has inspired a painting, sometime it is the other way round.
Both disciplines coexist in her work and mutually stimulate each other, resulting in a kind of “Gesamtkunstwerk“.
Her work invites us to enter into a – for many observers – new intellectual, philosophical dimension and are deeply thought-provoking.“
Dagmar Klein – General Anzeige, Bonn
“Milena Kunz-Bijno understands art, specifically her art, as a process of consciousness of past and present, as represented in the wisdom on the wall of her studio, a wisdom seemingly simple, but hard to realise.
'I have seen Yesterday, I know Tomorrow.'
Everyone who understands art this way, will automatically realise the interwoven theads of history, will travel through time, will wake up and become more aware of the lessons which we can draw from the course of history.
Everyone who perceives art and human life in this way will also not be afraid of death. For this reason death is not the end of life, but a change.
For this person, of course, the earth, walking the earth, dealing with the earth remains important, but there is something beyond:
The universe, too, will open up for whoever is ready and able to look beyond the borders of our limited existence on earth.
Against the ever changing background of history, man for Milena Kunz-Bijno, remains the meeting point of earth and heaven.
Self-awareness and everlasting aspiration to transcendence is for the artist the aim of life. To go beyond the world of appearances into a higher truth is her wider spiritual horizons.
This is the result of an almost passionate search for religion, metaphysics, for the force of nature, for the absolute, for the image of man existing beyond space and time.
In her work she answers questions that have haunted human minds for centuries which are:
Who am I?
Whence do I come?
Where will I go?
Dr. Petra Rapp-Neumann, Bonn – Germany