serie b – rebels

In the past two years I painted 16 portraits of women, they have the same format and are created in the same manner. The portraits show women, who have lived in the 18. Century. Their existence are documented through ship lists, injurance policies, police and court files, newspaper articles.

At one time in their life they became rebels. They were pirates, commandors or coordinators of rebellions or leaders of maroon communities.

(I like to mention here that despite careful research, mistakes might occur.)

→   listen to their biographies


serie b

Cats drink milk

opening reception, Christian Frings, Cologne, 2017

Cotton, cloth, flour, sugar. Women are carrying water or are washing clothes, probably made of cotton already – the plant, with the beautiful white and fleecy fruits. A ship is traveling to the sky. What do we see? Can we see history? Are we able to picture it? And how can the history of foreign people, of times long ago be our history and our picture?

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in the studio

Art becomes alive through perception and dialog. Art historian Thomas Hammacher and I started to talk about my paintings. You will find the results of our talks on this site.
Do you have questions or comments? Please, don´t hesitate to participate, use the web form which you find under contact.

in the studio 1, 2006

In his manifesto „Art Concret“ 1930, Theo van Doesburg makes a distinction between the term „concrete“ and „abstract“ painting. He states pictures, which have no depict function, so to say a picture which has no other significance than ‚itself‘ are concrete.“ „Abstract“ pictures are pictures which refer to something outside of themselves, which have a referential or semantical basis outside of the picture. Regarding these two experimental apportionments, what do you think is the position of your paintings?

Well, both, because technically anything that covers the canvas, which is white or sometimes yellow is essentially created like „concret painting“. At that moment material is the only thing that matters, it is the number of thin layers of paint. The changes in between are important. But when the painting is done, it speaks a different language, there is always something on that „concret“ basis. There is always a stamp or a signature, a little graphic, something that remains in a certain event – a leftover.

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in the studio 2, 2007

Today I would like to come back to a few topics we discussed before. One topic is the technique. You’ve chosen a painting technique, which is old fashioned and largely gone. It is the classic imprimatur method of painting. In the previous conversation you had told us how you found this technique; I would like to join back into that conversation: When you’ve chosen this technique is it also a commitment to a tradition? And if yes, how would you describe this tradition and your position in it. And further on, how does this tradition connect with your self-concept as a painter?

Commitment to a tradition? I don’t know that is strong, I’ve never seen it this way. First it was an approach to oil painting, which was taught at the academy and opened possibilities, which I embraced. It wasn’t my way of painting using color in a thickly impasto style ever. The thin layers with a compact under-painting opened up a new way to paint. Well, first it was a practical decision. Nevertheless I can say that traditions in general play a role for me. Not to preserve old patterns and values, but to understand the present. I am interested in history, not only art-history. So it might help not to be scared by “tradition”. But I wouldn’t call it a conscious commitment. To answer your last question, I would need to understand my self-image as a painter. I always thought there would be a situation, where I could be a fisher in the morning, a hunter in the afternoon and a critic at night. I bet there would be also space to be an artist.

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