Planet Waves | About Sandro Kopp


Photo: Michael Krump





Sandro Kopp

Excerpt from his 2000 artist's statement

To a certain extent I think I've always been the purple sheep in the flock.

There's something quite powerful about being an outsider: An outsider automatically seeks truth outside the ordinary and is forced to define himself or herself individually rather than collectively. All people of greatness have been societal outsiders: Siddartha, Gandhi, Jesus, Steven Hawking. . . They had no choice but to think and act in ways that weren't the norm and thereby changed the face of history.

I think that, despite the pain and struggle lacking a sense of belonging brings, every moment of alienation can be a gift. All we need do is take the opportunity it presents us with: The opportunity to expand our definition of self beyond what it has been so far, beyond what is socially acceptable and politically correct, beyond what we believe is possible.

As an artist, alienation becomes a necessity. Creativity lives on the border of sanity and awareness. Just like witches and shamans have to walk between the worlds to make visible the things that we all are aware of, but cannot grasp, it is every artists expression of her or his unique experience that makes art what it is.

In beautiful paradox it is this very vision of separateness that appeals to the masses. As an example, look at the mythological plot that every single Disney movie follows: The hero is always the outcast, the one that feels he or she doesn't belong. The incredible global phenomenon a sense of alienation is among human beings. For surely we all empathize with characters like Mowgli or Arielle.

I would go so far as to say that feeling alienated is an intrinsic part of human nature.

Believing this is a source of great consolation to me. Because if we all feel misunderstood, alienated and separate from the world, that puts us all in the same situation together! We are all together in our experience of being apart.

I think humans tend to delude themselves about how important they really are. . . I know I certainly do! But when we look at it objectively we realize : There are billions of us living here! And each one of us thinks they are so terribly important.

We all can aspire to new horizons and work till our back breaks every day of our life and ultimately we will have nothing to show for it, except for a small pebble to hold up against a mountain of solid rock.

But we still try so hard and we DO contribute... and that is the beauty of it! The mystery of not knowing anything for sure... and loving that mystery, loving making it all up as we go along, loving the power and passion in every breath, every spoken word, in every brushstroke.


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Thanks to Betty Dodson for connecting me to Sandro.

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