My relationship towards art has developed over time into a search for family, religion, and higher purpose in my craft. I always knew from a young age I wanted to make art but didn’t know anything beyond my own individual passion for it. Beyond the simple joy of putting color to the page, I didn’t question my motivations for creating.
Through a series of serendipitous discoveries I began to realize there was a historical connection to art making in my family. In my Grandfather Reichenbach’s house hung beautiful acrylic and oil paintings of various kinds, all concerned with the natural world. Surreal sunsets, mountain peaks, and radiant forests adorned the walls. I had always appreciated these paintings, but never really investigated who created them or when. My grandfather, an airplane and automotive mechanic during World War II, could prove to be an intimidating figure at times, especially to childish questions about art. One evening when talking with my Great Grandmother she revealed the truth,.. to my surprise, my Great Grandfather was the beautiful painter! He had never really done more with them outside of hanging them on his own walls.
Years later after my grandfather passed away another fascinating discovery opened my world up a little more. My grandfather prior to becoming a World War II mechanic was studying to become a comic artist, something I never knew and was rarely talked about. Three binders of his “lost comics” were found while selling his former home, and here I found more evidence linking my own artistic passions to my past.
Now curious I began looking farther back in time, where I found a great great relative in Baron Carl Ludwig Von Reichenbach. Born in 1788 in Germany, Von Reichenbach was a renown chemist, naturalist, and philosopher who was just as fascinated with the natural world as my Great Grandfather. One of the most interesting things about Von Reichenbach’s life that I uncovered was his fascination with “Odic Force” later in his life. The Odin Force, an unproven field of energy which combines electricity, magnetism, and heat, is a vital life-force that permeates all living things. Coined by Von Reichenbach, Odic Force is an omniscient energy of the natural world present as an electromagnetic field.
Even before I uncovered the research done by my great past relative I was unknowingly painting subject matter reminiscent to his research. Violent storms, fire, and bolts of lightning represent the unseen force of nature and physics present in my work, and unconsciously represent the unseen connections to the people that have been creating, thinking, and pondering our existence long before this moment. By choosing a career as an artist I see a creative renaissance, a return to the ideas and dreams that existed in my family even before I was here,.. passions that found a way to be expressed through philosophical chemistry in 1800, through landscape painting in 1900, and through comic art in the 1940’s.
I feel a divine drama unfold when the various forces of color and light engage and embrace one another on the page. Energy drives my hand to form ethereal shapes and abstract arcs of color and light. My goal is to convey that divine awe and rapidly approaching dread that both humbles the viewer and awakens the soul in the face of a mysterious and omnipotent presence that connects us all.
You can view Prints, Paintings, and Comics of Erik Reichenbach at his online Square Shop at https://squareup.com/market/erik-reichenbach-comics-llc