I’ve been interviewed by NFT Granny.
You can read the whole interview here!
I’ve been interviewed by NFT Granny.
You can read the whole interview here!
(2017 photography series)
While people tend to oversee things outside their usual field of view, I often try looking up and down to spot interesting compositions. I’m also especially on the hunt for interesting textures.
In part two of my photography series called Heaven and Earth we can see a piece of heaven as seen from the entrance hall of the Martin Gropius building in Berlin as well as an old truck tyre lying in the riverbed of the river Rhine near my hometown Bonn.
Sometimes our point of view is restricted by conflicting opinions. We make use of our egos to define ourselves. But essentially we are just living out one facet of the infinite views of the big picture.
… embodies the idea that there is always a correspondence between the laws of phenomena of the various „planes“ of being and life. As above, so below; as below, so above.
You may (or may not) see the following photography pair in this spirit:
The alleged message, which occurs during the middle section of the song („If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now…“) when played backward, was purported to contain the Satanic references „Here’s to my sweet Satan“ and „I sing because I live with Satan.“
But what about Highway to Hell?
The song refers to the Hebrew name of God, „Yahweh“, when played backwards: „As above, so below; as below, so above.“
The next pair of photographies reminded me of the myth of Icarus.
Often depicted in art, Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus‘ father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings or the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun, when the wax in his wings melted and he fell into the sea.
Left: Installation at a church in Kassel during the last documenta art-exhibition (2012).
Right: A sign at a junction box in Mallorca, Spain (shot 2016).
Here is a painting showing Icarus and his father Daedalus for comparison:
Neither flying too high, nor too low is an art, which is difficultly to master. Obviously it’s essential to find the fine line in between.
It means that in the dark, physical appearance is unimportant.
But how can you decide then, whether the wood is glowing or burning? You’d need your other senses, like the sense of smell.
You might be easily tricked to believe what your eyes see and you often won’t be able to decide if it’s the tree of life or the hellfire you’re facing.
When in doubt, try listening to your gut instincts and your heart.
First constructed between 1896 and 1898 the so called „Old Rhinebridge“, had been the worlds largest arch bridge of it’s time. Two month before the end of world war II (in march 1945) the bridge had been blown up by the the armed forces of the Third Reich to make it more difficult for the allied troops to conquer the territories lying east of the river.
After the war was over, the bridge had been rebuild on their old piers (in 1949) and had been called „New Rhinebridge“ then. At 2nd of december 1963, just 10 days after the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, it had been renamed to „Kennedy-Bridge“.
Left: „Kennedy-bridge“ crossing the river Rhine in Bonn.
Right: „Gus Fring“ after having his face blown off by Walt’s bomb at TV-series „Breaking Bad“.
Gustavo „Gus“ Fring is a fictional character in „Breaking Bad“ and „Better Call Saul“, played by actor Giancarlo Esposito, who is named after the former german soccer International Torsten Frings. His death scene in „Breaking Bad“ has blown away the fans of the series, who compared his face to that of Harvey Dent „Two-Face“ as seen in the film „The Dark Knight“.
Moments before dying, Gus manages to calmly adjust his tie even after having half his face blown off. Esposito saw it as an important gesture of „when a person goes to what they’ve always done“, in order „to be complete in his leaving this world.“
I’m really undecided how to bridge this two images, but for me it looks like Gus stays right under the Kennedy-bridge and while the heaven above the bridge really looks peaceful to me, the hell is just around the corner.
John of Nepomuk is…
… a patron against calumnies and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods and drowning.
is the only saint besides Maria that is shown with a halo of stars. This is how he looks from the front.
His halo of stars somehow reminded me of the razor ribbon fence, that is supposed to protect human beings from eachother these days.
It’s actually the first time, that I used a public-domain image in a part of my photography series.
As you can see, neither the heaven nor the earth is really visible through those man-made patterns. This leads to the insight, that we are often trying to hide from the real elements and therefore separate from nature.
Left: A piece of heaven as seen through the polyacrylic windowpane of our terrace door.
Right: Flagged floor at the ground garage of our former residence.
I once had the chance to film people skydiving for an inhouse documentary of Smirnoff ICE. It’s such an enormous difference that you can see in the faces between the moment right before jumping off the plane and right after landing on earth.
Left: Some nice river-art someone sprayed on a milestone.
Right: Felix Baumgartner right after his stratosphere jump as seen on my TV.
With the help of the endogenous adrenaline production, people are able to face extreme and sometimes even life-threatening situations. After they’ve survived these moments of fear unscathed, most of the people are even getting addicted to this feeling and just want to jump right again.
Thoughts are meant to be free, free as birds.
Society is trying to pigeon-hole you, but as long as you question the reality of absolute beliefs and rules, you can be free.
To get the whole picture you need to think in both ways and don’t just rely on your senses. The opposite is often exactly as true as the obvious.
This part of the series relates to a famous quote by Jiddu Krishnamurti:
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. […] Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path.
It’s essential to follow your heart to form your individual truth and to constantly update your believes.
A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others.
This is the codeword of an US-military strategy, that has been developed during the war in Vietnam. If the army was unable to conquer an area violently, they used this technique to negotiate with the people – to win their hearts and minds.
Regardless of the church, most of the world religions scare the people about some kind of hell, that non-believers have to face and also promise some kind of heaven or paradise for people that obey the religious leaders.
After many people started to quit church these days, people a forced into a new ersatz religion. In this religion smartphones and designer brands are the new implements of winning our hearts and minds.
Should we take the advice of the „holy“ scriptures quite literally or not?
“Forget the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas, the Granth Sahib, and all the scriptures in the world. None of them will show you the Great Eternal Truth. None of them will show you the Kingdom of God, for the real Kingdom of the Ultimate Truth is inside your mind. […] Without the Mind, there is no God. Without you, there is no God.”
When navigation systems became quite popular, we had several cases in Germany, where people drove their cars into the river, because a buggy navigation system told them to do so. People tend to rather follow a guide (even when he is wrong), than judge for themselves.
The busstop sign is not the place, where the bus can stop. The real busstop is somewhere in the sphere. Just as all scriptures can only give hints and point to a deeper truth. But they don’t literally are the truth.
“. . . I feel we don’t really need scriptures. The entire life is an open book, a scripture. Read it. Learn while digging a pit or chopping some wood or cooking some food. If you can’t learn from your daily activities, how are you going to understand the scriptures? (233)”
But often things are only considered as art, when their creator is known and when a sign is attached telling people: „This is art.“ Artist like Marcel Duchamp actually took everyday objects, signed them and placed them in a gallery. This way the artwork was created just by calling it art and by placing it into an art environment.
The artwork by Ernst Günter Hansing, who was a disciple of Fernand Léger, was created in celebration of the 2000 year existence of the city Bonn.
In spite of compositional austerity, the dynamics of the present, including that of the city of Bonn, can be conveyed with these forms, which are acting like an bundle of energy, as intended by the artist.
The plastic of Hansing had been made out of steel with a base of concrete. It was meant to stay there at least another 2000 years, I guess. While the bridge „artwork“ in the sandpit was build out of sticks in the sand. I’m pretty sure, the artist, that created it, neither would have called it art, nor would have dreamt about someone would feature it in a photography series about art. But things never turn out the way you expect.
„In February 1998, the top-vortex of the plastic, that had been called „shashlik“ by the people, broke down and had to be re-welded.”
In the end the observer decides, wether something is art or not.
When judging about others, we often forget that our knowledge is mostly based on our framework as well as on personal experiences. We should keep in mind, that in a world of dualities slipping into somebody else’s shoes is essential. Only this way we will be able to see the whole picture and to transcend to the unified field of love and peace.
if you read this article, you’ve probably bought one of my artworks containing hidden content. Here is a short tutorial of how to extract the content.
> unzip artwork.zip(It even works, if you type > unzip artwork.gif on Mac)
Feel free to get in touch, if you need further help.
I’ve been interviewed about my artistic journey by Alpacawhal.
Although I usually don’t think too much about the meaning, when I create an artwork, I will do my best to share a few thoughts about the different puzzle-pieces of my AsyncArt work „Mind Puzzle“ and what they mean to me. Hope you enjoy!
This quote by French avant-garde Dada artist Francis Picabia has always been very important to me. Especially as I grew up in a Christian sect, where everything was extremely regulated and the world was divided into right and wrong, good and evil, chosen and damned.
From the description of the Puzzle layer you can see, that there is a face (probably a self-portrait) in a transparent box.
A head in a transparent box from which a plant with beautiful flowers grows. Next to it a foot that breaks out of the rigid structure. Where does it go?
It needed some art, namely the literature works by Hermann Hesse to plant a seed of doubt in my head. Something, that slowly started to grow and similar to a grassroots revolution gave me confidence to start to think outside the box of my cage of belief.
When I drew the original sketch of the Mind Puzzle, I had already left my parent’s home and the world of faith of my childhood and youth for two years and was hungry to discover the world. I was eager to find and follow my own path and a few beautiful thoughts should blossom in the process.
Please visit the AsyncArt website, if you’re interested in owning this layer.
Like every layer, it has the ability to change hue and display outlines only (as a reference to the original drawing).
It definitely makes sense to me, that the second part of the MindPuzzle deals with my relation to the opposite sex, which has been quite complicated during my youth.
While it was forbidden for religious reasons to have a relationship with girls (no sex before marriage), my instincts told me something completely different. So it was no wonder that sexual attraction became one of the main drives to detach myself from the world view of my parents.
So it happened that on the one hand I had a platonic love-hate relationship with a school friend for many years, but on the other hand I threw myself with full force into a relationship with a nymphomaniac, who was eventually to become my first wife at the age of 21.
I see myself as the figure in the middle of the two girls. Both are living in their own context. While the left one looks much more detailed and complicated, the setting has something of a holidays-beach scene. There are some sun-rays in a checkboxed heaven. To the very left there are two long legs walking in my direction. Bright yellow arrows are pointing in my direction, but are distracted by a beach ball and finally bounce off my shoulder.
The girl on the right side is supported by a male figure, which sends out a water-skiing lizard pulled by a speed-boat. Although I had no idea, what that means when I made the drawing, it’s interesting to know, what the lizard stands for:
In the Indian cultures, the lizard is regarded as light-bringer and messenger of father sun. It watches over the power of dreams and promises happiness and blessings.
In China lizards have a similar positive meaning as dragons. Thus the lizard teaches how to bring security, happiness, blessing and warmth into life permanently.
So I guess, it was the promise of luck and happiness, that my future self was trying to channel to me. The woman on the right offered everything, I was always looking for. So there was no time to loose.
I’m super happy, that the Puzzle2 layer has already been acquired by another great artist, who gave me a lot of positive feedback, after I had published the „Mind Puzzle“.
The frog is a symbol of change and transformation, as his life-cycle starts in the water and goes through many different states until he’s finally grown up and able to jump around on land. You may notice, that the frog in my layer also transforms into some sort of friendly monster with teeth in the lower part of his face.
In the German tale „The Frog King“ an ugly old frog turned into a king’s son. It teaches us, that the appearance of someone can deceive us about the true inner values of a person.
The cat is known for being a great hunter, using not only force but also a fine sense of timing at the moment of attack. It seems to follow its prey and can wait patiently and position itself until it catches it.
Figuratively speaking, this means that problems are handled with patience, self-confidence and a good sense of the timing of the actions.
This is similar to the proverbial phrase: „When life gives you lemons, make lemonade“ – Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life; making lemonade is turning them into something positive or desirable. The crossed house puzzle is a simple challenge to draw a house without going over any of the lines twice.
„By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. Often, a knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings.“
I see myself being the knight in this puzzle-piece. I lean very relaxed on the shield with the frog symbol. I’ve already gone through various transformations in my life and I don’t care, what people think about me.
The cat gives me ability to stay calm, observe and then act when the time is right.
Even if I face difficulties , I use my crativity and cleverness to solve the puzzle and build my very own construct.
During the time of the creation of the original drawing, I had already put my studies (computer science and art) on hold and started my alternative service to care for severely disabled people.
At this time my world view exploded, I was incredibly creative and finally lived with my later first wife. I had a dormitory room, enough money and a meaningful occupation that left me enough time for myself.
Music was my first love and besides listening to it all the time and preparing to become a DJ, I was also going to clubs and danced my ass off on the dance-floor several times a week. It was a perfect way to express my emotions and transform the energy of the sound into movement.
Although the dancer in this puzzle-piece isn’t actually dancing, her dress and the nearby mandolin clearly tells me, that it is a dancer just before the music starts. Eventually she’s made a short break, but the bird in front of her, who’s grabbing her neck, wants to make her dance.
Above quote by German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, who was an internationally recognized icon of Modern Dance and founder of „Tanztheater Wuppertal“ company in a neighboring town of the place where I grew up, puts it in a nutshell.
I always wanted to learn to play an instrument, but my father was against it. I still was able to get myself a saxophone and a cheap guitar and played them in my very own (dadaistic) style. Most noticeable I have interpreted two poems by Dadaist Richard Huelsenbeck, which you can still find on soundcloud.
Not sure, if everybody sees it that way, but for me it could be a falcon. Like other birds, the falcon stands for the Higher Self and the connection with the spiritual world. The falcon’s alignment with solar energy brings fiery power to the equation. Falcon asks: What is your passion?
He makes you aware of your own potential, represents victory as well as overcoming (but not without having a strategy). He can also carry the message of mindfulness. If you get too close to a situation, step back and rise above it!
Do you see the deer behind the mandolin? It has the ability to move quickly and to trust his instincts to get out of the trickiest situations. It also means being highly sensitive and having a strong intuition.
It has mastered the art of approaching things with determination and gentleness.
There is a small fish between the dancer and the mandolin. It’s a symbol of fertility and in China the fish is a symbol for luck, wealth and good harvest.
Sometimes it also refers to the inspiring and nourishing function of the unconscious.
Well, so much into this. My love for music and dancing had helped me to keep moving, find my passion, meet people, that shared the love and to create art.
I even met my second wife on the dance-floor and we’ve been married for almost 10 years now. I later was able to work as a DJ for a short time, which was on my todo list for this life.
Hopefully you can relate to one or the other part of this puzzle-piece.
Although already sold, you can always place a bid. Check it out here!
A figure looking down. Its body is shaped like a shield and you can see the skeleton. Next to it another figure with a small face and a semi-transparent body.
The longer I look at this puzzle-piece, the more I have the impression that it could also show a tandem on which the two figures are sitting one behind the other.
The rider’s body is shaped like a shield and the fact that you can see the skeleton could mean that he has stripped to the bone to protect his fellow rider. The latter ducks in the rider’s slipstream and his body is about to almost dissolve.
Underneath a glowing halo of rays, which could also be a pupil or a wheel.
It could actually be the front tire of the tandem or a magic pill, while the eye of the fish might also be the back tire of the bicycle.
On the right side a kind of predatory fish with a large glowing eye.
More on this in the backstory.
During the Gulf War, my girlfriend had a horror trip after she had been involved in the peace movement for weeks (without sleeping much). Suddenly she saw demons everywhere and thought the world was coming to an end. As a result, we even took a short trip into my religious past, because my parents‘ religion was also convinced that the end of the world was near.
In the end we told ourselves that we wanted to stay together, no matter if the world would end or not. And this thought had given us so much support that we finally decided to get married. I was only 21 and my girlfriend was 19, but we had a very cool hippie-wedding with our best friends.
Riding the same bicycle means, that from now on we would follow the same path, even if it meant dealing with our fears and demons. The fish is also a Christian symbol and the fact that it is a predatory fish in the puzzle-piece reflects all the more the fears that were instilled in us by religious influences and world events. But we wanted to protect and help each other, no matter where the journey would take us.
You can place a bid on the puzzle piece at the AsyncArt website.
The wreck of a double-decker bus, surrounded by vines. On the lower half it is sprayed with graffiti and meanwhile even a creek has made its way through the discarded vehicle.
The bus actually reminds me of a London style double-decker bus. When you are travelling in such a bus, you’re able to move back&forward, left&right and up&down inside the vehicle. When you move to the upper deck, you have a good overview of the streets and the world looks a bit different. You can meet several different people inside the bus, or you can listen to music or read a book. Despite that, the bus will keep moving to the given destination. You still have the chance to leave the bus at any station, change to another bus or move on walking.
But at the center of the „Mind Puzzle“ we have a broken bus, which has been taken out of service and is slowly disintegrating. It hasn’t got tires anymore and instead of moving around the city, the world has started to move around the bus.
There is a pike in the small stream that has made its way through the bus. The surrounding vines have the shape of a cat with her whiskers. The graffiti at the lower part of bus tell of long gone stories.
The bus is a symbol for the particular world view we are currently attached to. Like in a bubble we travel through the world with like-minded people and although we can slightly change our perspective within the world view, we still want to reach a certain goal together.
Underneath it is an old neon sign in the shape of a heart that has fallen apart. Next to it many old colorful light bulbs.
The broken heart and the lightbulbs remind me of old discarded neon signs or amusement park lights. When you stop moving and fighting to keep love fresh, it freezes and collapses. Everything becomes only a fading memory that is reclaimed and overgrown by the living nature.
My first wife had met a teacher of transcendental meditation inside such a bus and while we started meditating our world-view and our reference group changed heavily. While we moved in a new direction, some of our old friends joined us, while others preferred to continue sitting high in their previous bus instead of joining us on the new journey.
We later moved to a commune and lived there in an old farmhouse right by the river. On the property there were also many rotten old buses, but that’s another story.
The question, this puzzle piece deals with, is if we realize when our vehicle and our companions, that are part of our journey, have lost the drive and their passion and love have dried up. Do we then have the courage to make the right decisions?
I’ve had some of the most exciting times in my personal #cryptoart history during the last few months.
I’ve not only sold all available puzzle-pieces and the master of „Mind Puzzle“ (for a total of 7.5 Eth) , but I’ve also made a bunch of sales at Rarible.
It felt a bit like the time of harvesting after I’ve put so much time and energy in my art during the last year.
Much thanks to everybody, who encouraged and supported me by commenting, spotting, collecting and sharing!
You all helped me to make this my most successful #cryptoart work to date.
This is actually a reference to a roommate in my living community, who studied playing the double-bass at the local music college. He generally was a nice guy and I was always fascinated by his instrument. I remember, that we’ve even played a few sessions, after he had listened to my dadaistic sounds (that I’ve already mentioned in Puzzle4 // The Dancer).
I also remember, that he was not only running around the flat with a bare ass at times, but also already had a half-bald head (which almost looks like a third eye in the drawing).
Although he was generally supporting me and even noticed my creative vein, my life was a touch too chaotic during that time. So all the good vibes suddenly disappeared, when I had met my girlfriend, who was not only creative, young and sexy, but also had the habit to tell people, what to do and what not.
From the description:
His right ear goes over into the head of a woman standing next to the bass player. It looks like she’s wearing a mask that reminds me of „Pussy Riot“. She is also holding up a kind of flag, sewn together from many small pieces.
My new girlfriend was kind of radical and started to tell the double-bass player and my other roommate, that they should stop eating meat and go vegan and things like that. She also had some kind of a Bipolar disorder and the flag, she’s holding, is a reference to this kind of complicated personality.
Personally I was so busy with my own life and with my new love, that I probably had forgotten to care enough for my room and my roommates.
It finally all went down the drain, when my roommates suddenly decided to kick me out. I didn’t even had a new flat or something and was forced to park my few things in the cellar of some friends.
Another friend invited me to live in his dorm room during his summer-travels and from there I was able to start my alternative service (with my own space), that I’ve mentioned in Puzzle3 // The Knight of the Frog.
The current owner already received a bid of 1 Eth on the puzzle-piece (which is double the amount he picked it up for), but rejected.
I’m super eager to see, which journey all the puzzle pieces will take and where they will end up.
An endlessly interwoven structure reminiscent of a spider’s web. There is a head wearing a hat caught in the middle.
I’m an early adaptor and so I was already dialing up mailboxes with my C64 and my Ascom acoustic coupler in the pre-internet days. Even when I started studying computer science in 1988, the internet was still in its infancy. It should take another 10 years and some massive marketing by AOL, until it was adopted by the masses.
But I knew from the very beginning, that it would be a revolution for humanity like the invention of cars, telephony and television had been before. But I had some friends, that were rather sceptical about the new technology. Their biggest fear was to loose real-life relationships while more and more people started to connect virtually.
On the left side you can see a long leg stretched out of the structure on which a small figure is standing.
While some people had the fear to get caught in the web (the hat stands for being conservative and looking out for squalls), others (like me) saw it as a huge leap for mankind to jump out of their limited world-view and connect with likeminded people around the world.
At the height of the foot you can see an „el“ that could stand for both El Niño (unusual ocean currents) and El Dorado (a mythical city of gold).
El Niño (Spanish for „the boy, the child“, here: „the Christ child“) is the name given to the occurrence of unusual, non-cyclical, altered ocean currents in the oceanographic-meteorological system (El Niño-Southern Oscillation, ENSO) of the equatorial Pacific. […] The name is derived from the time of occurrence, namely at Christmas time. It originates from Peruvian fishermen, who feel the effect economically due to the absence of shoals of fish.
El Dorado is also sometimes used as a metaphor to represent an ultimate prize or „Holy Grail“ that one might spend one’s life seeking. It could represent true love, heaven, happiness, or success.
The figure standing on the leg looks like a dancing girl for me, that raises her arms because she feels free and can start to express herself in every possible way.
It is facing another figure that looks as if it is being held by paper clips.
The other figure is held by paper clips, which stand for the old analog world. Still uncertain but amazed, she looks at the incredible new possibilities.
The puzzle piece has already found a collector, but you can always make the current owner an offer here.
It’s time to finish this series of background infos about my „Mind Puzzle“ while it has been resold on the secondary market for 5 Eth already (after the initial sale of 3 Eth). I was happy to get to know the new collector a bit and I’ve been absolutely blown away by his enthusiasm regarding my art. I would really like to thank him for his appreciation! But now lets finish this series!
The head from which the whole puzzle seems to have emerged. It looks like the whole structure is resting on it.
I really see this face, which is located at the bottom center of the artwork, as a self-portrait. The whole „Mind Puzzle“ seems to evolve from that.
Right next to it a dog or a cat with a long tail that turns around.
While the head usually stands for cognitive thinking, animals represent more like the natural aspect of subconsciousness and feelings. This might be a hint, that not everything in the „Mind Puzzle“ actually comes from the mind. It’s more holistic and also includes feelings and dreams, I can express while creating art.
To the right of the head there is a one-eyed figure with its arms spread out. The jacket is printed with crosses, which both symbolize the end and can be interpreted as a series of plus signs.
I interpret this figure as my future self, that spreads his arms to welcome me. The cross can be a symbol for death as well as sign of salvation. It usually expresses the meeting point of different elements or spirits (like heaven-earth). Also as a plus symbol it has the meaning of adding something to your life by all the experiences you make.
There is a small path coming from the face’s eye and leading to this figure. You can also see some sort of a hill and the basic structure of a house to the left and some kind of jungle to the right.
It runs into a kind of jungle, thus completing the circle of the puzzle that began with a plant.
I like the idea, that we’re all running in circles or spirals, that we go back to the place, where we’ve come from (just with a different consciousness). Also some people believe in the idea of a paradise, which is described as a peaceful garden, while others believe humanity evolved from apes once living in the jungle.
Above it a kind of eye is hovering that can stand for both surveillance and enlightenment.
The watching eye is usually a symbol for enlightenment. But in the context of the Illuminati it’s a symbol of conspiracy and only a few insiders, who are controlling the masses. For some people the idea of an all-seeing god seems also be more attractive, than the increasing surveillance in a world dominated by economic interests.
However there might be somebody, who’s watching – at least you’re able to watch yourself being mirrored in this ever changing „Mind Puzzle“.
It has been a great pleasure to share the details of my artwork in this little series. Thanks a lot for reading this far and for your interest in my art!
See you around,