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Holger Triltsch tells about Da Vinci, fruit flies and East Germany

1.     Please tell us something about your background and your art journey so far.

Born in 1966 in Berlin, I grew up in Falkensee, East Germany. Now I live in Werder/Havel which is close to Potsdam. In East Germany I was part of various artist groups like “Keine Art“ and “Salon Visionell”. We worked on several art book projects because of difficulties with exhibitions in state galleries at that time. After 1989 I managed to exhibit my work in a number of cities in Germany and Europe for instance in Potsdam, Halle, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Zurich, London, Madrid and Vienna. In 2020, additionally, I busied myself with illustrations and some art work for musicians. Because of corona restrictions, I took part in some virtual exhibitions in the last few years.

Recently my artworks are most frequently exhibited in the United Kingdom, but also in Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I have also been in art fairs in Venice and Zurich and in 2023 I have been honored with the Christine Dobler graphics prize in Munich.

 

 

2.     Can you tell us more about the theme in your art and your inspiration?

I have always been fascinated by Renaissance artists like Da Vinci, Dürer, Raffael and Botticelli as well as by currents of realistic art.

As a little boy I loved to draw while sitting in front of my grandfather ́s gigantic wooden desk. I drew everything around me for example stones, mussels, buttons, coins, plants, birds and clouds. This was my own way to discover the world. Now, five decades later, I still draw and paint with the same fascination observing the inexhaustible wealth of forms and colours in our world. Last week I was impressed by the shimmering light on an old leather sofa, yesterday I marvelled at the beauty of wrinkled skin around the eyes of a woman and today I was amused by the flock of crows fighting over a walnut. Thus every day I find new motifs for the next drawing or painting. Then, working on it, I combine different techniques from drawing and painting as well as themes from classical mythology and the Renaissance taking into account my own experiences and perspectives. Should I ever create an artwork the view of which leaves the observer remaining silent and with teary eyes I have achieved my aim.

 


 

3.     How does your art life impact other parts of your life?

On the one hand art is the best way for me to understand the world surrounding me. If I want to find out the difference between a beetle and a spider I have to observe and draw them. By drawing the wrinkled face of my 86-year-old mother I understand best what it means to live and get old. On the other hand, art is the only chance to cheat death. To create something unique which will last unchanged for a very long time is wonderful. What can be more exciting than standing in front of 15,000-year-old cave paintings of Lascaux people and getting some insights into their thoughts and feelings?

 

4.     Tell us about your best experience in the art world so far.

Since many years, I am a loyal fan of the 1. FC Union Berlin soccer club and in 2012 I created a cartoon character the fruit fly named Hieronymus Drosophilus. This fly commented on daily life, art and soccer. Later on I was asked by a disabled soccer fan to draw this fruit fly in a wheelchair and that drawing showing a fruit fly with very small wings sitting in a wheelchair with propeller blades becomes very popular among the disabled soccer fans of the 1.FC Union Berlin club. It is now on a big fence banner and it is taken along for the games to other soccer stadiums by the fans in wheelchairs. It fills me with great joy and deep gratitude that one of my artworks has such a meaning for other people.



5.     Share your worst experience in the art world.

Two years ago, I received dozen emails form a gallery in Far East. They informed me that one of my artworks is present in an online auction. The attached file showing my artwork “Medusa”. Again and again I tried to explain that I am not responsible and absolutely not interested in any online auction with virtual currencies until the sender fell silent.

So the internet is full of artworks and no one really can anymore say what they are used for and from whom.

 

6.     Is the artist life lonely? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

I do not know if artist life is lonely but my life is absolutely far from being lonely. Probably my life is not exactly typical for what is considered an artist’s life. Luckily, I have been married with the best wife of the world for over twenty years and our family grew over time.

Aside from it I am four days of the week at school to teach students. This job provides a lot of social interactions and nevertheless sufficient income and material comfort. I am very happy that I do not depend on selling my art, which makes me independent and free in my artistic creation.

Besides, I have always found art should rather connect people than make them lonely. During the last three decades there where so many people and artists I have the pleasure of getting to know. Even in 2020 and 2021 when Corona virus forced us to stay at home I have tried to held contact with acquaintances and friends with my art project #handmodellegesucht. Via social media I asked people for sending me photos of their two hands doing something, which resulted in over 20 drawings and a wide exchange of thoughts and ideas.

 

7.     What are you working on at the moment and are there any upcoming events you would like to talk about?

At the moment I am working on some postcards because I was asked to participate in „Art on a Postcard“ which is a Britain charity campaign on course to eliminating hepatitis C by 2025. Over the last ten years, Art on a Postcard has raised over £2 million to support the campaign. Building on this success over the previous years, the organization have also widened their goals and begun raising money for other charities alongside the Trust.

The next upcoming event is my solo show BRIMBORIUM in the Castle Museum Wolfshagen in Northern East Germany. The show will run from the end of July for 3 months and I am busy with preparing the catalogue and framing the artworks.

 

Any further information will be published on my website https://holger-triltsch.net/

and on instagram @hieronymusdrosophilus.

 

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