PAINTER, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR
September 23rd 2022 – January 8th 2023 Participation in the exhibition GROW at the Belvedere Museum with the painting ALMA MATER.
Currently I am working on a Gesamtkunstwerk consisting of painting, sculpture, music and culinary. The project is called ZUR GOLDEN KUNST – A BRIEF ART HISTORY OF CUISINE and is presented by Andreas Stern Fine Arts and developed together with Andreas Stern. For this project 53 new paintings (mainly still life and landscape painting) and 3 sculptures were created, in which I transformed works from the entire history of art into sensual dishes. Five award-winning chefs are putting together menus with dishes from my paintings for art dinners held as part of the exhibition. You eat with your eyes and you look with your tongue. The painting ALMA MATER from this series of paintings is currently on display at the Belvedere Museum (Unteres Belvedere) in Vienna.
I have English-Styrian roots and Viennese blossoms. I live and work in Brigittenau, in Vienna. During my painting studies at the University of Applied Arts I scored goals for the Brigittenau Hockey Club.
Besides painting, I love music very much. I always listen to music when I paint. I have been performing music live, writing and also producing music for a long time. As a teenager I played Mozart and Bach on the clarinet and at the same time discovered the love for hip hop with “Fuck Tha Police” by N.W.A.. To be precise, this love already ignited as a child with “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash, but I didn’t understand it then. Later as an adult I improvised jazz on alto, tenor and baritone saxophone and trumpet and discovered the creative freedom in my head. For me, jazz paved the way for hip hop, which I wrote and produced. In hip hop production, it’s common to take a sample from a song, often from the 60s/70s, and then put a beat over it. This creates a new piece of music to rap over. A sample is usually only a few seconds long. It can be a theme from an old R&B song or from a well-known hit. I found it insanely cool when A Tribe Called Quest, in their hip hop track “Can I Kick It”, took a sample with the famous bass and guitar line from “Take A Walk On The Wild Side” by Lou Reed and put a sexy beat over it. The track blew me away. Today, I still think to myself, “How awesome is that?”
And that’s how I work as a painter. My painted samples are background areas or individual subjects by Jean-Michel Basquiat, but also by other painters like Helen Frankenthaler, which I change. I put a beat over it – my handwriting and new approaches – and a new painting emerges from it. The same joy I have when I discover a cool sample in a hip hop song, I have when I paint my pictures with the pictorial samples that inspire me to new interpretations and stories. There is immediately a flow of associations that build on each other and thus an energetic dynamic from which a big picture grows in a short but very intense period of time. Sometimes after I have finished a painting and I feel as if I have done extremely exhausting sport, I wonder myself where this power and also the ideas come from. It feels like there is a place from where these thoughts flow into me. It’s a reassuring feeling when I think of this place, it’s like a home, like a place from which everything originates.
Even when I address terrible abuses, social injustices, the madness of the world and the ugliness of our society in my pictures, it is important to me that a certain the ugliness of our society in my pictures, it is important to me that a certain light-heartedness light-heartedness, humour and above all hope prevail in my pictures. With bright colours and partly familiar subjects from childhood, I try to pick up people with my pictures, to people with my pictures, to take away their fear and to give them hope. Perhaps they are then no longer no longer alone with their worries.
My biggest gratitude goes to my wife, Loreena. Without you, dear Loreena, the most beautiful pictures I have painted so far in my life would never have come into being. My children have also made a valuable contribution to my artistic development. My thanks also go to you, Paul and Marie.