The eXTra finGer

...''He was counting on his fingers.One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven.Eleven?Had he been born with an extra finger?''...

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...& visit my web sites: Claudio Parentela's Official Site ''Claudio Parentela:Contemporary Art with a Freakish Taste!'' Lights&Shadows Disturbing Black Inks


Monday, July 17, 2006

Interview with Heiko Müller

1)First of all,..can you present yourself..?1)I have always been drawn to crossover art; it's just too much fun exploring the borderlines of things. My most recent experiments include a combination of media technology with religious icon art and an exploration of merging points between renaissance painting and comic culture. Currently I'm thrilled by the kind of spiritual terror you find expressed in the paintings of the old Flemish masters, and I'm trying to find out what happens when you apply that mood to the serene and harmless world of rural folk art. On top of that I am also rediscovering drawing at the moment.I am based in Hamburg, Germany, but my stuff has also been shown in such diverse places as Estonia, New York, Paris, Saint Petersburg, Sacramento and San Diego. When not busy with art or media work, I can usually be found painting pictures with my 5-year-old-son.

2) Do you think of yourself as an artist,or what?
2)Of course I do. Don't you?

3) Does your environment influence your art, either in style/format or interference?
3)Absolutely. Of course it's hard to tell in this age of internet and information overkill how to define your own environment exactly, but in any case my own culture plays a large part. To answer your question about format I only have a narrow basement studio so I'm limited to small scale work. That is fine with me though.

4) What are some of your influences and inspirations?
4)I draw a lot of inspiration from religious and historical icons (whose artists are mostly not known by name) and rural folk art. I also appreciate some of the Flemish masters and am also an admirer of Mexican culture. Contemporary artists on top of my list are Manuel Ocampo, Jeff Soto, Mark Ryden, Gary Baseman, Beattie & Davidson, Fred Stonehouse, Charles Glaubitz, my colleagues the Art Dorks ( and many more. I also love Daniel Clowes' and Charles Burns' graphic novels and Greg Fiering's comic strips.

5) What's your favourite mediums(pen,charcoal,paint,canvas,etc...)to work in/on?
5)At the moment I mostly use colored pencil on paper or oil on wood. I try to stick to the highest quality materials. I can't always afford it but it's certainly more fun.

6) How long does it normally take you to complete a piece of your artwork?
6)I need about 1,5 to 2,5 hours for a drawing. A painting consumes considerably more time. The draft alone, which I optimise on the computer, often takes more than 40 hours, and then it's between 40 and 80 hours for the realisation.

7) What else are you interested in besides visual arts?
7)I read a lot, have a passion for Hip Hop and I'm interested in sports - particularly boxing and long distance running.

8) Got any new projects planned?
8)At the moment I'm organising the first big Lowbrow exhibition in Hamburg. 37 of my favourite artists have already confirmed their participation. The exhibition will open in December at the Feinkunst Krüger gallery - the title is "Don't Wake Daddy".

9) How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
9)Not suitable for decorating medical practices.

10) What other talent would most like to have?
10)Writing, singing, playing the piano and long distance running.

11) What are your most beloved items?
11)Family photos.

12) Favourite books?
12)I love the works of Haruki Murakami and J.R.R. Tolkien, also García Márquez' Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude belong to my favourite novels. Other books I care about are Lem's Solaris, Ondaatje's The English Patient, Bowles' The Sheltering Sky, Krakauer's Into Thin Air, Sasha Sokolov's A School for Fools and Preußler's Krabat.

13) Do you remember the first draw you made?
13)No, but I remember that I loved to draw Robin Hood when in kindergarten. He used to have a long and a short arm so that he could use his bow and arrows better.

14) What kind of music do you like and do you listen...And is the music importan for your art...?14)Hip Hop is a particularly favourite field, and I also like Jazz of the 50s and 60s. When listening to other genres I mostly single out particular artists - to name a few: Antipop Consortium, Atmosphere, Mr. Lif, Sage Francis, Pharoah Monch, Mr. Complex, Jay Dee, Jaylib, TY, Roots Manuva, Aesop Rock, John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, Andrew Hill, Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, Pharoah Sanders, PJ Harvey, Spookey Ruben, Kraftwerk, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Ashley Park, Madeleine Peyroux.To be honest I think music doesn't play a great part in my art. When I'm painting I'm usually listening to audio books.

15) Any advice do you have for artists?
15)Hey, Gary, you should participate in the Don't Wake Daddy show in December.

16) Your contacts...E-mail....Links...


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