Requiem for the Victims of the London Bridge Attack 3 June 2017, 2017, 150cm x 240cm, Acrylic Medium + Pigment on Canvas, Collection of the Imperial War Museum, London. This work, commemorating the eight victims of the terror attack, was originally planned to be a larger project in conjunction with a close artist friend of mine who narrowly escaped the attack but who backed out when I had completed this first part.
Wave, 2014, Triptych 200cm x 600cm, Acrylic Medium + Pigment on Canvas
I am a London based painter, born in Germany where I grew up with the challenges of post-war life. I came to England on a scholarship in 1976 and have lived in London ever since. At the age of nine I decided that I wanted to be an artist and in 1971 I began to study painting at the Städelschule, Academy of Fine Art, Frankfurt which was at a time of anarchy in colleges following the student unrest of the late sixties. Against all trends I immediately knew that I wanted to find a new way of painting.
My work deals with the broad issues of human existence, it represents emotion and examines fundamental common denominators in a deeply personal way. My paintings document a lifelong journey of exploring the question of being human. Just recently my focus has also turned more specifically to thoughts surrounding women and their situation and their perceived value. When I conceive a painting I start by isolating moments of observation, I select instances that seem generally representative and then translate them into an image that resonates my very personal perceptions.
Initially for almost a decade I worked exclusively from imagination without using any kind of reference material. I have always been guided by my instincts rather than working to a formula. My principal goal from the start has been to achieve utmost intensity, aspiring to what I had experienced from artists like Van Eyck, Vermeer and Georges de La Tour. I started by practising the old master technique of layering egg tempera and oil paint, then gradually developed this principle to an extreme form over the years.
Everything I want to say with my work is expressed through the way I physically form a painting: I apply countless layers of various Acrylic mediums mixed with colour pigments to build up a mostly translucent body of paint which sits almost object-like on the canvas. The surface appearance across a painting can vary greatly and is usually very complex. Any individual surface treatment is a choice which assigns a level of importance and focus to a particular section of an image. Thickness can vary from watercolour-thin to 15mm thick, smooth or textured, at times aggressively rough,- all feature that are difficult to read from online images.
The human image is the subject and basis of all my work, it is the foundation that acts as a carrier of my visual language and provides a way-in for the viewer, a guide to reading the content. My paintings could ultimately be seen as abstract, using representation as one of many tools. I try to express emotion through colour, form and particularly through associations and sensations evoked by the material. There is also a distinct conceptual factor in the way I separate sections within a painting and award them their own identity.
I have no interest in being narrative or descriptive, instead I am interpretive of what I am depicting and allow others to form their own associations. Despite their large scale, I would like the viewer to experience my paintings from a close proximity, be enveloped by them and become absorbed by their intensity.
Awards and spent a few days and some late nights meeting rap, R&B and kuduro superstars from across Africa: names like Banky W, Fally Ipupa, Daddy Owen, Cabo Snoop and Radio & Weasel, from Angola to Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond, all huge stars in their own countries, selling truckloads of records despite rampant piracy and a rickety music industry. These guys are kind of the Jay Zs and Snoops of Africa, basically.
Fear - Trilogy 2019, 200cm x 600cm Acrylic Medium + Pigment on Canvas
See link above for a slideshow and explanation of this triptych