With the Berlin painter Scharein, life and art merge into an art of living. Let us begin with life. Travel, photography, cooking, and discussions with collectors and friends are the nexus of his zest for life and art of living. A closely related part of this are fascinatingly composed evening gatherings. On such evenings, the painter can be found in the kitchen of his spacious apartment, both home and workplace, creating elaborate 6-course studio meals, admitting life and pleasure in the midst of his imagery of “floating” fields of color.
Born in Lower Saxony, Scharein studied art education in Hamburg and Berlin from 1969 to 1979. In 1988, he gave up his profession as a teacher and has been working as a free-lance painter ever since. He has progressed step by step from figurative painting to his present form of color field painting.
Scharein is a delicate man, yet the heavy gold rings on his hands appear quite light. The 62-year-old composes his paintings with great energy, guided by an inner order. He seeks to fathom the distinct qualities of the colors and express them to an optimal degree. When viewing one of Scharein’s paintings, the eye wanders through landscapes of color. Concrete picture content retreats behind abstraction. Scharein says of the relationship between the viewer and his pictures: “The viewer must respond to my paintings with all his experience, his sensuality and spirituality—or they remain closed to him.”
Scharein works with intensive colors. Not in broad strokes of the brush but rather dot for dot. The fine structure of his paintings proves him to be a lover of detail. With unending effort, he applies up to 17 (!) different dabs of color on one (!) square centimeter, which work together to create a great pulsing field. Viewed from a distance, it is easy to think the pictures were spray painted. And yet the colors rise up three-dimensionally so that you could imagine yourself diving into them. Up close, a self-contained world of color opens up.
Scharein has brought his life into harmony with his work. A fascinating change underlies his method of work. “A whole new experience is meant to be created in my paintings. For that reason, every detail must be just right.” To do this, he paints at least ten to twelve hours a day. A brush in his right hand, a mixing glass in his left, and color-smeared spectacles for close up work on his nose. It takes from 200 to 300 hours of work to finish a middle-sized solid Polyurethane panel. Providing the right atmosphere are daylight tube lighting and the arias of the legendary opera singer Maria Callas, whom Scharein deeply admires.
Scharein’s work is represented in numerous public collections, such as the Hacke Museum, Kunstmuseum Heidenheim, Museum Hoppe-Ritter, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Daimler-Chrysler collection and the IBM collection, as well as in many private collections (for example, the Piepenbrock collection).
If this has piqued your interest, then do attend the open house day at Scharein’s studio on September 24, 2011, and see his works in person). With a little luck, Scharein will allow a glance, between all his colors, into his dream room. That is where he keeps all the objects and impressions that are of significance to him. Hanging on the walls are large format color photos from his many travels, opposite the bed are singing bowls from Katmandu, crystals from Madagascar, food containers from Burma, wooden works of art, stones, and shells. You wouldn’t want to be the one to have to dust here—but it is a place to dream of travels and dots.