Bethany artist Fritz Horstman sees the world a little differently than most. The line between nature and culture that sometimes blurs for most of us is crystal clear to him.
“My focus is finding the membrane between nature and culture,” says Horstman. He knows that’s an extremely broad claim, and he makes it broader by saying, “Everything we do is finding that line between nature and culture.”
“As a culture, we have all of these rituals and practices that basically revolve around defining what’s culture and what’s nature,” he says. “For example, we have meals together and that’s culturizing a natural process. We need food as part of our natural animal, but then we culturize it and it becomes this very different thing.”
His art is in video, photography, drawings, sculptures and even performances and lectures. Because he’s addressing a ubiquitous topic, (that seam between nature and culture), Horstman has a very diverse practice. The work he’s producing is a documentation of life in the forest of Bethany. He lives in a rural property and works for a the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany as an artist in residence and facilities manager.
“I’m always observing things and noticing how nature has all of these slight modifications that move through the seasons and I find ways to document those changes and where they register in that nature/culture relationship,” he says.
“I was a good drawer when I was very young and I was urged to explore that and I did,” he said. “I had a lot of notions that could best be expressed in poetic terms. I continued with the art and found that poetry could be best manifested in my art practice.”
“All of my work has a scientific approach,” he says. “You look at it and see something science-y is happening, but I do not explain it.”
Horstman has a show with Alexander Harding of Wallingford starting June 23 at A-Space in West Haven. He also has shows in Philadelphia in August and Paris in November.
Horstman’s first European show was in 2007.
“That was exciting," he says. "I felt like an actual celebrity!”