|I have started out drawing and painting
as a kid like so many do. At the age of 22 I had my first own
studio in an ex-farmhouse near Berne. There, at the time, I had
a tutor too, sort of. My neighbour, Werner Schwarz, a legendary dropout, who
earned his living by doing church windows he built of coloured
glass he was gathering while collecting empty bottles from the
garbage. He did quite well, even though he lived an ascetic life
on raw vegetable and fruit, which kept him eternally young and
energetic, but in the end, 1994, he died unspectacularly unknown.
After his death prices for his works rose tremendously... We
had it before, didn't we?
Struggling through the Eighties meant to me a lot of doing without. No sales, no money, no fame. Stoney broke in 1988 I applied for a job as a radio DJ at the National Broadcast DRS3 and built up a reputation as a pityless crooner on air day by day and, of course. My painting ambitions had soon to be hung on the famous nail. I quit the job in '94 and got back on the track to be a painter again. The real thing this time. And it worked out allright!
|Eventually I moved to Basel where I
was lucky to find my new studio near the main-station in a house
where famous Max Kämpf, the painter of poetic sites,
sad portraits and burlesque carneval-impressions has been living
and working until his death in 1982. Still the spirit of Max
Kämpf surrounds the house and sometimes feeds my imagination.
Nevertheless the painters that have really set my path were Ferdinand Hodler, Edward Hopper, Amadeo Modigliani and Balthus, whom I had the extraordinary chance to meet personally three years ago at his marvellous 40-room-farmhouse in Rossinière. (Balthus, 89 years of age at the time, hard of hearing but still going strong what his work was concerned, this last living legend of the living painters was sitting only two steps away from me in a wheel-chair like antique seat watching photographs of my work muttering some compliments while his charming wife Setsuko was serving green tea. This 15-minute-meeting came off because I sent the Monography-Book to his address asking him to sign it (which in the end he refused saying the only signing he would execute was on his paintings) but it was absolutely worth the 3-hours trip).
Anyway, the idea of keeping on painting in a manner of these great masters but put my subjects in a new suit of modern topic has been on my mind since I started out in 1982.
Only in 1997 I first got interested in
other ways of my art. Typography, etchings and photography started
drawing my interest towards an antique-looking expression of
the product. Therefore I began to research on old multiplication-techniques
of photography from the times of its origin, 1857. Thus I discovered
the photo-etching, a more or less easy way to reproduce modern
photography looking like a copperprint from the turn of the last
Today, after my last exhibition of paintings in january 2001, the eager ambition of combining paintings with the technique of photo-etching won't leave my mind. Experimenting around in my studio I wonder what the result will be... in November.