As a prelude to my mixed media course last weekend we visited Museum Overtaci to see Louis Marcussen aka Overtaci’s wild works of art – created through a life-long stay in a mental hospital Riisskov at Aarhus.
Originally Overtaci was trained as a painter and sign writer. He went to Argentina and lived as a day laborer – but returned to Denmark after 3 years, had a total breakdown and was hospitalized. He stayed at the asylum for 56 years – until his death in 1985. Overtaci was a person of many interests: music, languages, music, buddhism, yoga and foreign cultures. He believed in reincarnation and remembered clearly many of his earlier life – as Egyptian and Chinese – and both as male and female. His works have a very special and very own and odd character. Tall, erect and slender animal and human figures. Sometimes even in “high heels”. Faces with big eyes (a little Frida Kahlo-esque?)… Some figures and landscapes are painted as plain images – but many are cut out / shaped like figures / dolls an put in a theatrical scenery/setting. In addition we saw a large collection of “smoking-phantoms”, a kind of cigarette holders (that according to Overtacis repealed smoke effects). Finally, a collection of his notebooks, dictionaries, grammars, etc which he has decorated / painted. A highly personal, stunning and disturbing universe.
The rest of the weekend was inspired by/based on impressions from this visit + terms of ‘alter ego’ – dark sides – other aspects of self - the unconscious. The subject is far from explored. On the contrary, I have only feel even more inclined to work on this ALTER EGO stuff.