When I created the Silk Peace Art Road (SPAR) Installation for the 2019 Venice Biennale, I ventured into painting and combining painting with photography.
In early 2020, I added the ten photo-and-painting China Combines as an addition to the SPAR installation and with a view to its then-planned tour to China and back to Europe via some of the Belt And Road Initiative, BRI, capital cities over 2-3 years.
I’m certainly not the first photographer to explore painting. And lots of painters and other artists have explored photography – think Rauschenberg, Hockney, Richter – and incorporated it into their works.
Naturally, there are differences and distinctions: What is a photography and what is a painting? But I think those borders should be perceived more as streams that mix than as walls.
So, below please find some of my paintings – works in which the photographer has not used photography (at least not his own) but only paint and brushes, fingers, spatula, cloth, knives, sponges or whatever.
Most are painted on plywood or metals or something else. While I sometimes print on canvas, I’ve never painted anything on canvas…
To see the details enlarged, click on your mobile or hover your cursor over each image.
For the exhibition “No Style Is Also A Style” in autumn 2022, I did a couple of new paintings:
I’ve always liked Richard Hamilton’s (1922-2011) very diverse, experimenting, integrative/eclectic – and often socially commenting art. Most people would probably associate “pop art” with US artists such as Lichtenstein, Warhol, Rosenquist, Indiana, Wesselman, etc. I’m no art historian, but it seems to me that “pop” art grew out – at least as much and perhaps earlier – of a specific cultural epoch associated with British beat and pop with names like The Beatles, The Stones and artists like Hamilton, Blake, Paolozzi, Jones, etc. – and in which the artists and musicians sometimes worked together.
Whatever the truth about this (if there is one), pop art is definitely not only an American invention. And Richard Hamilton is, in my view, one of the greatest and most innovative ever.
In a way, the message speaks for itself. I grew up with art-collecting parents who, by the way, bought prints by some of these pop artists way before anybody could see that they would become modern classics. More importantly, they simply bought what they liked; whether the works could be sold later with a profit was not a consideration.
Today, art is a commodity and an investment made by an “industry” in the global marketplace; works are sold at absurd prices that the artists never see a fraction of – sold by middlemen gallerists, consultants, art advisers, decorators, auction houses and fairs. And they are bought by Wall Street-types of people who haven’t got a clue about art. With Oscar Wilde in memory: people who know the value of nothing but the price of everything.
Yes, there are exceptions, but this is the general trend over the last 40-50 years. I’ve witnessed it and I detest it. Thus this little protest painting, by the way somewhat inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s black oil and newsprint paintings from 1951, the year I was born.
Shiny surfaces attract me. They interact with the surrounding, including the viewer, in a very exciting manner. I’ve always experimented with printing on metal and in 2020 began doing some smaller pieces on copper and other metals. Copper is particularly beautiful, I believe, and it interacts more than other metals with the surroundings.
Here are a couple:
I have lots of small copper plates; there will be more. And now some more paintings, back to 2020:
These paintings – and others, too – are available in the Paintings Shop. There, you can enlarge them, get more information and buy one.
This portfolio was created in September 2020 and updated in August 2023.