Paintings

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:

“The Father of Pop – Homage To Richard Hamilton” – 2022
Acrylic paint collage with bits and pieces of art magazines in which one can see “father,” “pop” and an image of one of his paintings as well as a small portrait of Hamilton. 40 x 40 cm on polished steel mirrror. Signed on the verso. Hover over the image to see its details.

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.

“Art Was Not Meant To Be An Investment” – 2022
Acrylic paint collage with pages from Sotheby catalogues crumbled in gel and glued; words written with a thick lead pencil. Varnished several times and therefore very glossy, deep black. 80 x 60 cm on plywood. Signed. Hover over the image to see its details.

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:

“Squeegee On Copper” – 2020
Acrylic painting applied with a squeegee on a scratched copper plate, 28 x 28 cm. Signed.

“Brush Strokes On Copper” – 2021
Acrylic painting on a scratched copper plate, 28 x 28 cm

I have lots of small copper plates; there will be more. And now some more paintings, back to 2020:

“Noise On Turquoise” – 2022
Acrylic painting on plywood with crayons, pencil and sponge. 60 x 60 cm. Signed on the verso.
“Untitled Non-Composition” – 2021
Acrylic painting on plywood. 60 x 60 cm. Signed on the verso.
“The Couple” – 2020
Acrylic painting on plywood. 60 x 60 cm. Signed on the verso.
“Global Graphite Gray # 1” – 2020
Acrylic painting on plywood. Graphite gray is an acrylic colour used as a coating over other colours
and providing a slightly shiny surface (see detail below). 60 x 60 cm. Signed on the front and the verso.
“Proud Bird” – 2020
Acrylic painting on raw plywood. 60 x 80 cm. Signed on the verso.
“Two Curves” – 2020
Acrylic on plywood. 60 x 60 cm. Signed on the front and verso.
“Moving Inside The Box” – 2020
Acrylic on plywood. 60 x 60 cm. Signed on the front and verso.
“Silver Blues” – 2020
Acrylic painting on plywood. 60 x 80 cm. Signed on the front and verso.
“Return To Sender” – 2020
Acrylic painting on plywood. 60 x 80 cm. Signed on the verso.

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.

Would love to read your views, ideas or suggestions here

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