My great pleasure and joy of having my paintings irrupt in our rooms and in our lives needs an additional element of three-dimensionality. Freed from their painted background and exposed to our reality, all these gods, genies, erotes, fauns, chinoise ladies and dancers intervene in our actions, and with their cheerful, festive message, politely but firmly they make us march, these light-bearers.
Raja Schwahn-Reichmann was born in Vienna in the district of Leopoldstadt, where she lives and works. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (graphic design, conservation and technology) where she learned many traditional techniques, like oil painting, wall painting, tempera, miniature, historical polychromy of sculptures, and gilding. She also delved into costume history, the conservation of archaeological and ethnological objects, but also the preservation of architecture and monuments. She graduated with a project focused on the topic of paper and parchment. For several years she taught historical art techniques, painting and drawing for conservators. Her special artistic interest lies in the history of Baroque interior designs, and the connection between painting and architecture. Raja’s painting is widely inspired by classical and Baroque iconography. This also means that she prefers to show the paintings not in an exhibition context but, for example, during a Dionysian feast, so that all visitors, each styled by the artist, become part of the Dionysium. In this way she creates a type of “time sculpture.” To direct the feast, she painted mostly life-sized figures as cut out silhouettes (inspired by Baroque Chantournés) which also held candles to enhance the festive atmosphere. Her work includes, for instance, the design of the “Au-Theater,” a stage for the visitor center at the National Park Donauauen; setting for the Baroque feast for the Festival Palace Schloß Hof on the occasion of its opening (Documentary „Prince Eugene’s Miracle Garden – The Reincarnation of the Baroque Garden of Schloß Hof,“ Interspot, 2005); overall design of the Life Ball 2014 with the theme of the “Garden of Earthly Delights.” Schwahn-Reichmann was also founder of “The Josefinian Committee for Enjoyment,” which fought for the preservation of historic gardens at the Augartenspitz, which are part of the Baroque-era Viennese Augarten.
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