Brigitte Yoshiko Pruchnow is a German-Japanese painter living in Munich, Germany. She holds a diploma from the Munich Film Academy and a Masters degree in Japanology, Philosophy and History of Art of the University of Munich.
Her varied history includes the study of Japanese calligraphy in Japan, Chinese traditional ink painting and the traditional Japanese painting technique Nihonga.
She was active in the graphic novel scene of Munich in the 1990s with several publications in magazines as well as working as a writer and director for documentaries, short films and commercials.
Pruchnow has had both group and solo exhibitions in Germany and Tokyo, and has had work shown at art fairs in London, Paris, Tokyo and New York. Her works are found in collections all over Europe, Asia, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Kuwait.
Brigitte Yoshiko Pruchnow chooses ordinary moments as subjects for her paintings and drawings. At first sight they seem like photorealistic renderings of snapshots similar to those, which seem to stream endlessly through our life via social media.
Each scene possesses a cinematic quality in its cropping of subjects, capturing of fleeting moments, and the distinct way light streams through a wide aperture.
But through the prolonged process of painting she aims for the exact opposite, stretching the fleeting instant, making it special and outstanding.
She reaches this effect by emphasizing the things that onlookers are usually unaware of, like distortions, reflections and shadows.
In order to focus on certain structures and to sharpen the sense of perception, she sometimes sets her subject against a white surface or the materiality of raw unprimed linen. In her drawings and water colors Pruchnow tries to reduce the forms even more to the essentials of light and shadow.
In her series of back portraits of women and girls, she applied modeling paste on raw linen on which she then paints with acrylics. With this undefined yet very tactile background she creates a more quiet space, with soft light highlighting the depicted subjects.
Light makes the hair, which is put up carelessly, shine in its different hues. Light is also captured in the different materials of the garments of the persons, like knitted sweaters or sleek blouses.
The women or girls are turned away, but at the same time revealing a very vulnerable spot to the onlooker, their nape. Seemingly captured in a moment of loneliness and stillness, they still appear free and at inner peace, filling a void with their presence, conveying a sense of deep tranquility.