Objects constructed in Bryce. Image finished in Photoshop by using different layers and filters.
Born in Homburg-Saar, Germany. Diploma in architecture and product design. Professional photographer for various Austrian newspapers and magazines. In 1997 I started playing around with Photoshop and 3D programs.
As the winner of
your category in the 2003 International Art Contest, being selected by
such a diverse group of artists from all around the world, how do you
last year it was a real surprise, this year it was almost a shock ! :-)
Please describe your
current works and any plans for forthcoming exhibits.
The last few months I
was occupied by learning some new tools (software) as for example Terragen.
Terragen for me is a wonderful program to create fictive landscapes,
beginning with a white sheet, so to say beginning with nothing. This is a
very thrilling procedure and when I have got the result I am going on to
create further fictive scenarios by putting different sculptures into this
landscape. The sculptures are photographs I took on cemeteries for example
and when they have got their final position within my landscape it is as
if they have become alive. I just made a first series called "Digital
Romanticism" which can be seen on my website.
Another program I started to work with is ZBrush, a great 3D modelling
tool, which isn't based on pixels anymore but on pixels. This means that
each dot one draws on the sheet is transformed in 3 dimensions
immediately. If you draw a line and you rotate it you will see a 3D tube.
The results are not yet published on my site but they will be within the
next months, I just want to go further with this program first.
In April 2004 i will participate in a exhibition about "Phantastik - Views
into other worlds". The leading topic are the views in different,
parallel, alternative, utopian and hybrid worlds. There will be shown
pictures of my series "Cities" as a screen show.
If any, in what ways
have you seen changes in attitudes towards "art"?
A good part of the
artists I know who used classical artistic media now use computers. To be
more precise, artists start to use computers as soon as they learn how to
use them no matter how old they are. Some start with graphical software
when they are 60 or 70 and what may look strange, is that younger artists
seem to be far more reluctant than older ones.
Of course some of
the artists I speak about come back later to more classical techniques, or
just invent new mixed techniques, but I have never seen the case of an
artist who would completely come back to where he was before he started
using a computer.
On the side of the
Public, the evolution is much slower. Some people who used to look for the
"value" on the side of "good craftsmanship" or on the side of a certain
quality of artistic sweat tend to get lost, because they no longer see
where "the work" now is.
As regards people who
still cherish a certain romantic understanding of Art, they tend to
unconditionally reject Digital Art. Also a number of people who are too
deeply accustomed to the "traditional social packaging" of Art - gallery
and art critics system - and among them, above all the people who are
addict with the idea of the Unique Work of Art (Original required !) tend
to look towards Digital Art with a solid amount of contempt. For such
people, we are virtual... as artists :-)
But I should probably
add too that Digital Art on the Internet allows reaching new categories of
audience, who never visit galleries and very rarely go to museums. I still
remember the enthusiastic reactions to my work, coming from kids that
normally spend their time playing games on the network in Internet Cafes
and who suddenly jumped towards their keyboards to find out where they
could get the software I use.
Do you think that
the fine artist will survive as technology replaces our skills?
Computers make the
traditional technical aspects of Art appear for what they are, that is,
not really fundamental any longer, since a machine, a well engineered
piece of software can deal with them to a large extent. Would someone like
Dali turn back to attempts of painting like the "old masters" today ? I
doubt it. Dali who always showed his concern about new media and
techniques, would more probably eagerly focus on intensive experiments
based on new possibilities. Some friends told me that Matta had started
playing with computers just before he died.
Another point is
related to a remark by Duchamp who once said that the most important
ability of the artist is to make choices. I can feel the truth of this
sentence in almost every second of my work, because it is a kind of dialog
in which the computer proposes options in some way, and I have to make the
Anyway, there are
technical aspects related with digital art as well, but they are somewhat
different from the traditional ones. However, I do not consider that I am
far enough to draw lessons yet on this precise point.
On the whole, I would
tend to say that originally, Art was based on technique on one hand and on
inspiration (roughly speaking "surrealism") - on the other hand. Since
some of the technical details can now be nicely handled by the software,
the mental (surrealist) part now appears as the beating heart of the
Why did you enter
this contest and what decided your selection for entry?
As I do not enter to
win but to make my work available for as many people as possible, after
winning the contest in 2002 I said to myself : why not enter again for the
new contest ? And therefore I entered again in 2003. But I did not ever
imagine nor dreamed of winning the first prize a second time. It seemed to
I selected the image
"Planet X" because it is a very typical result of digital artwork
combining several programs and techniques in one image. In fact it is a
collage of 3 or 4 objects created in Bryce 5 and the experimentation with
different surfaces whereas the final collage is made in Photoshop.
Is there anything
about being an artist that you do not like?
I do not like people
hiding the way they work and keeping their artistic recipes secrets.
I do not like all these copyright signs everywhere, supposed to protect
intellectual property of works of art that will most probably never make a
copper coin anyway and showing so plainly that their authors greed is
deeper than their work.
Would you sell your
most favourite artwork, or keep it?
Well, since the
Original is the Copy as regards Digital Art, I can actually sell and keep
my art ! :-)
How important was education and training to you?
studied architecture but before I fell upon the computer I was
actually an autodidact photographer and I came to become familiar with
the machine using the same self learning way. I never visited any
computer lessons and I am working by trial and error. This is the most
interesting way for me to learn and to make some progress because it
makes me free of any assumptions about the original intents of the
tool creators and often leads me to new approaches or solutions that
were never thought of.
This approach means living my own creativity at its highest extent.
Is there anything
in your art career that you would have changed?
should have bought a faster computer earlier than I did. It would have
been a great saving of time to me.
If you were invited
overseas to exhibit, where would you like that to be?
I already had several
exhibitions in the USA, but until now i could not afford to go there
personally when the opening took place due to lack of time and money. The
reason why this hurts me is that I simply would like to meet my overseas
friends personally one day.
And all the nowadays restrictions because of security reasons don't make
it easier to go there either. In November I participated in a surrealist
exhibition in Ohio, some of my American friends joined the opening but I
had to send my pictures there by snail mail. Beside this they were shown
in form of a screen show which is an exhibition method that I appreciate a
How can the
Internet be made better for working artists?
As I could see from experimental collaborative works with friends, there
is still a need to enhance the interactive features of the www.
Of course, there are lots of experiments and proposals going on in this
direction on the web, but they are usually too complicated (to use) and
yet far too simplistic (as regards the results)
Another point where I expect some progress are the web exhibitions
themselves. I find really strange that after so many artistic and
technical revolutions, we still basically stick to the traditional ways :
showing digital art works "painted" on virtual canvas and hanging on
virtual walls. One century ago, people with almost no technical means at
all had far more innovative ideas.
First Prize in this contest for Digital Art 2 years in a row...
2002 and 2003.