THE STORIES BEHIND THE PAINTINGS
I have always wanted to do something, somehow, somewhere, to make the world a little bit better. I am constantly concerned about people everywhere and have the admittedly somewhat naïve notion that everyone, no matter where in the world, should be happy. So my focus on humanity and diversity doesn't end on the canvas. As I paint people, I am concerned with giving something back. I want to look even closer than I do in painting, and get involved.
When I paint a person, the artwork is always linked to a story behind it. In some cases I know the model personally and then I also know their story or at least part of it. But often I don't know the model either and then the story is written by other parameters. Sometimes it even originates exclusively in my creative world of thoughts, which in turn, however, is shaped by my general wealth of experience, my acquired knowledge and often also by my emotions.
And sometimes the story is linked to someone else I know. Then my story world and their story world connect. That's what happened when I met Anjan Gosh, an Indian photographer based in Kolkata, and started painting portraits based on his photos. For him, as for me, art is a means to connect with other people and ultimately help people who need help.
In August 1991, I sat on an airplane for the first time. At the age of 21, alone, at that time still without cell phone and rolling suitcase and with the destination Delhi. For two months I traveled through the country as a young student and got to know beautiful landscapes, amazing people and an incredibly fascinating and diverse culture.
Although I actually wanted to go to Tanzania, I had chosen India at that time. Because I had a pen pal in Delhi and found it an unbeatable advantage that I would be picked up at the airport there and could first get accustomed slowly. The decision turned out to be a stroke of luck. I have experienced there incredibly much and until today India exerts a great fascination on me.
Through Anjan's photos I am artistically again on a journey through India and feel as connected to the people there as I did back then.
Here you can check the availability of the works from the India series:
COLLABORATION WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER ANJAN GOSH
Since 2020 I have been working with professional photographer Anjan Gosh from Kolkata. All my portraits of people from India are based on his reference photos. When selling these paintings, 10% of the proceeds go to people or projects in rural India or in the slums of big cities like Kolkata.