Wagner’s sceneries capture the mundane and ordinary in an inherently mysterious world. Based on observation and memory, his paintings are distillations of particular places and events. In the familiarity of the ordinary, the viewer is left with the absurdity of the world that induces a sense of connectedness among us all. Devoid of human presence, the artist paints images of the visible world with the intention of conveying his sense of physical location within it. Trying to depict the peculiar state of being-in-the-world, Yanik Wagner transforms his experience into a painted, two-dimensional analog of that state. The first-person perspective, a point-of-view, a position, an encounter with the world. The world reveals itself, we uncover the world.

A painted road acts as a metaphor for moving through space. A path. Time index point: zero. Lights as markers of meter and time. Falling forward into time, the present renewing.

A painting offers the opportunity to cast our mind into visual space. Even four lines converging in perspective can be enough to draw us in, past the picture plane.

(The ancient charge that illusionism is unethical is meaningless here: we know the difference between the 2nd and 3rd dimensions.)

But this visual presentation might also evoke a more complete experience of a particular event – not just visual, but spatial, haptic, and temporal. An event enfolded into a painting.

It is understood as the projection of memory – mediated by hand and mind, the process necessitates time elapsing.

All of which would act in support of our abiding wish to (re)integrate with the world, our Urge to Union. A painting might capture the peculiar state of being-in-the-world, a sense of physical location, and of movement. It could have the effect of inducing a sense of absorption into our environment.

(Yanik Wagner, 2020)