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Art as a manifestation of freedom

On a Sunday in the spring of 1967, I was born in Solingen, Germany. There, in the winding alleys of my childhood and the vast fields of my youth, I discovered an unwavering love for drawing – a passion that would accompany me from then on. After leaving school behind, I learned the craft of a stucco worker from 1984 to 1987. A two-year civil service in a nursing home taught me patience and compassion. In 1989, as the world began to change and the walls came down, I decided to expand my skills.

Driven by the desire to learn the technical techniques of painting, I decided to further qualify as a theater painter at the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus; I finally got a permanent job here. This period allowed me to deepen my understanding and dedication to the visual arts and put it into practice. In 1990, I settled in Düsseldorf and expanded my knowledge as a guest student at the local Art Academy. The encounter with contemporary art was like a dialogue with old masters and new thinkers. The encouragement and motivation I received there reinforced my decision to pursue my artistic path as an autodidact from then on – free and unbound. Just three years later, in 1993, I presented my works in my first solo exhibition, which would be followed by numerous other exhibitions at home and abroad. In the spring of 2000, I made the decision to end my long-standing commitment to the Playhouse to devote myself entirely to my free artistic activity. To maintain my independence as an artist, I painted backdrops for national and international film and television productions on the side until 2014. This work allowed me to preserve my artistic freedom while simultaneously being part of another world of stories and illusions. In the vibrant tension between optimism and pessimism, my artistic vision unfolds, a kaleidoscope that blurs the boundaries between Pop Art and Surrealism. With pencil, brush, linocut knife, and digital tools, I explore the complex relationship of humans to their environment. My paintings, whether intimate portraits or expansive stagings, are held in vivid, compelling colors. My linocuts and animations, on the other hand, I mostly present in monochromatic simplicity, creating a clear contrast to the paintings.

My images tell a story that the viewer must complete for themselves. Each of my paintings begins with a vision in the mind, which sometimes only materializes after a long time. Then I sketch a first rough idea. For the elaboration, I use a variety of my own photographs or images from magazines, which serve as a template for the drawing on the canvas, which in turn only marks the beginning of my painting. The true essence of my art lies in freedom—a freedom deeply rooted in the nature of creativity. It is my greatest gift, an inviolable asset that gives me unparalleled satisfaction. Art for me is not just a livelihood, but the manifestation of freedom itself—a freedom that is expressed in its purest form through my works. Work In the depths of my artistic existence, I strive to uncover something that lies hidden or lost somewhere in the search between dream and reality. The canvas is for me a living space that captures the subtle transitions between these spheres. Here, I form new contexts of meaning from a careful selection and fusion of my audiovisual impressions. This gives rise to the collage-like character of my images. However, the finished picture does not always correspond to the original vision, as it evolves during the painting process – an echo of my original vision, yet altered by the brushstroke of the present. The image that ultimately reveals itself to the viewer is a fleeting notion, a shadow of a dream, or an impression that once appeared to me. For conveying a dream is almost impossible – as soon as one speaks of it, it slips away. Yet it is this unattainable ideal that drives me to create new painterly manifestos time and again. My snapshots are fragments of my inner quarry, where bodies, lines, and planes of imaginary dreamscapes are reflected. They are witnesses to an unfathomable variety of impressions that incessantly give birth to new life. And because the totality of these visions can never be fully captured, there remains an infinite field of artistic assertions to be explored. In each work, I invite the viewer to be part of this tireless search – a journey through the labyrinth of my thoughts, where the goal is not arrival, but discovery itself.

On the canvas of my 40-part series of works, a world unfolds that is built entirely from the building blocks of my imagination. A world in which faces are missing, because what

captivates me is the play with the hidden, the question of the hidden humanity behind the virtual facade. In this unreal biosphere, figures appear in protective suits as if they were visitors from another dimension. The boundary between fiction and reality is blurring, a leitmotif that runs through my 40-part series "Pose" like an invisible but omnipresent thread. My fascination is dancing with the imagery of consumer fetishism, a game in which I consciously blur the lines between protection and obsession. The figures in my works are depersonalized beings, reduced to objects that carry a universal message in their anonymity. They are like superheroes or villains who seem to jump straight out of the pages of a comic book and meet the viewer in a mixture of tragedy and comedy. Sometimes in contrast, sometimes in harmony with their surroundings, they are a reflection of our own ambivalence towards the world in which we live.

Covered by an expansive sky in a strong pink red, a field spreads out with a lush harvest

of red cabbage. Two creatures rise from this archaic fabric of the field. A precise white

border sets it apart from the rest of the scene like a luminous outline. At the center of this scene is a man in the formal attire of a businessman who is holding one of the creatures tightly in his arms. Their embrace, which may suggest both closeness and confrontation, traps the man's head in the creature's mouth. He is also surrounded by the same white border, which connects him and the creature in a visual unity. During this intimate embrace, which suggests an encounter with the incomprehensible, the creature releases a single, deep red drop - a sign of the nature of life, or perhaps the cost of the collision of two worlds. What is striking is that this drop breaks through the white contour, as if it were merging into the viewer's reality and thus building a bridge between the world depicted and ours. It is intended to encourage reflection on the nature of our connections and their impact on our deepest selves.

In a wasteland, amorphous pink battle tanks rise beneath a sky that pulsates with unusual green and bears witness to dramatic events. These monsters, as it were from another world, are the silent witnesses of my deepest convictions, firmly anchored in this scenery.

Six flawless white rabbits sit enthroned on their soft backs, like oracles, embodying the

eternal questions about the why of our deepest beliefs. In the foreground of the picture,

where the earth has long forgotten its fertility, a hybrid of human and rabbit breaks the

silence of the abandoned. This being, an avatar of curiosity and transformation, tears apart the cracked, rigid ground of reality. It leaves a question hanging in the air, heavier than theair itself: What is the true meaning behind the dogmas we so persistently establish?

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