Since my childhood, there have been a handful of things in life that have served as increasingly conscious sources of inspiration in my painting. To formulate any image, I need to prepare by living, feeling, smelling, touching, suffering, seeing. An early bout of yearning to see distant places led me to travel. I wanted to cross countries instead of flying over them, taking in the atmospheres of markets or impressions of landscapes, submerging into varying moods, and documenting it all through photography. Moreover, I have brought back mementoes from all corners of the world to make what I call my “travel-dream-room”: singing bowls from Nepal and Cambodia, minerals and precious stones from Madagascar and Namibia, seashells from the Seychelles and Vietnam, all of which convey the specific colors and scents of these different countries.
Throughout these many journeys, I have kept detailed diaries, staying in touch with friends and acquaintances through letters. For me, these letters are a way of providing an account of my movements, not only for their recipients, but also for myself. Only the written word is capable of ordering thoughts and the living pictures of ideas. Writing has been and will continue to be a form for clarifying my positions and my path through life, involving people important to me, not only at a geographical distance, of course, but also at home.
This is why personal meetings are indispensable, especially if one eats and drinks together, trying to find dialogues and confrontations. I create the conditions by cooking food that is just as creative – though not as lasting – as my painting. To me, cooking means relaxing, trying out new things, and also expanding and improving my capabilities, inviting companies over for evenings of multi-course menus of my own design. For me, the most important thing is to enjoy a meal while getting to know my counterparts, surrounded by the world of pictures in my live-in studio. I like to show new pieces between courses, giving people an insight into my world(s).
Over recent years, this has become more and more important as a form of presenting my work to the outside world. Most of the time, this takes place in a relatively closed circle, which makes it all the more intensive and always gives me a chance to listen to my guests and to get to know their worlds a little better.
In this sense, my appetite for pleasure does not only mean travel, photography, writing, cooking, or painting, but also experiencing fellow human beings.