I never was a big talker. Small talk always makes me feel uncomfortable. And talking about my feelings, my fears, my dreams and desires, no, this is nothing I can easily talk about. It was always like that, already when I was a child. Was I too shy? Maybe. I always had that feeling of not belonging, of being different from the kids in the neighborhood, different from my brothers and sisters. When the kids were playing football outside, I was playing with little Indian figures made from rubber. I created my own world with my own heroes in it. That passion for the Native Americans, the Indians, I still have till today. I am fascinated by their ancient way of live a life, their culture and their religion.
As a child I felt isolated and misunderstood. Cause from my early days I`ve seen things with different eyes. I always wanted to know what is beneath the surface. The colors of nature fascinated me and I felt the power that emanated from this nature at that time. This beauty and this sound. Yes, it’s like I could hear the colors.
Then one day I heard that voice in my old stereo, a voice that went straight through my heart. Rob Halford’s voice. The voice of the Heavy Metal Band “Judas Priest”. I was 12 years old, already familiar with other rock bands, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and the like. Listening to Rob Halford, I became a rock fan. Leather, denim, loud guitars, Harleys, and that powerful voice. And although I couldn`t understand the lyrics, I was sure there was a deep meaning within. So I started to translate the texts, using an old dictionary. My English was so poor back then, I couldn`t even say „How are you? “ I never had English lessons, but I learned English by translating my favorite rock Songs.
It was almost impossible to get rock or metal magazines in
the GDR, where I lived at that time. But I found a way to decorate my walls with band posters – I just painted them myself. No one taught me how to do it. I never had an artistic education, let
alone an academic one. But with pencil and crayons I created my own Rock World. My first oil portrait I finished when I was 14 years old.
Later I created T-shirts for my friends. Mostly with Rock motifs. My teachers noticed my talent, and I got first orders for school projects. Portraits of Party members, and such stuff. I didn’t really like the motifs, but it was a good training, and I also won several Awards.
When the iron curtain fell in 1989, I could finally check out all my favorite bands. I went to countless concerts, but I will never forget the first one: Deep Purple, in 1991. The very next day I went to a music shop, bought a guitar and started teaching myself how to play … And now 25 years later, after releasing more than 20 CDs, and touring the world with my bands Crow’s Flight and Medusa’s Child, I am still a Rock fan!
What makes Rock so fascinating? First of all, it’s the enormous power. Full of emotions, full of soul, mystic, authentic and honest. Rock musicians write their own songs, play their own instruments, without overdubs or playbacks. It’s not fake, it is real!
"A symphony of sound and vision."
Photo by Shan He/2018
For me as an artist, writing songs, performing onstage or painting is a way to give back to the people, to give a piece of me to the people who influenced my life. Be it in a positive or negative way. It takes both to make you grow, as an artist, and as a Person.
My mission as a painter is to bring a life’s experience with Rock music on canvas.
The music, the lyrics, the spirit, the heart, and the soul. The power, the light, the fire, the darkness as well …
Since I was a child, I was always painting. In the beginning, I tried to capture what I saw – a landscape, a face, a building, whatever. I tried to master every detail. Never achieved it. Then I realized: it's not about creating a perfect copy. It's about getting the essence. For me, everything is connected to Rock music, nature, spirituality. It is inside my heart, inside my soul, and my works of art reflect my soul and my experience of life. Over the years, my style changed, my technique changed, but my passion never changed.
I don’t believe in gods, but I do believe in the kinship of all living things and the unity of all life and I don’t see myself as the top of the creation. I prefer the pure and unsophisticated things. Not invisible and hyped suggestions.
Being creative is a never ending search for something new, for something better, something unique. But the harder I try to think about it, the more likely my thoughts will destroy all ideas. I learned to trust my intuition, open my mind for inspirations. Spontaneous … is the magic word. My best ideas I have at the most unusual places. On the bike, in the subway, or just somewhere outside. It is a kind of art as well to catch these ideas and creative moments. Most of the time you don’t have a canvas or a guitar at hand. Then my phone must do, or that little red book I always carry with me.
One of my biggest fears is to lose my creativity one day or to repeat myself. That would be a nightmare.
I know that devoting a life to music and art can lead to frustration, exhaustion, self-destruction and some of my paintings are made in dark colors. But I don`t see it as something negative cause one thing I know for sure: there is brightness in every dark color. As much as I love the power, the loudness of Rock, and as much as I love to give away myself completely to my art, I also need to rest. To be an artist, be it a singer or painter, dancer or actor, consumes so much of your energy. You want to give your best, but getting there is a long way with many obstacles. To recharge my batteries, I need peace and quiet. So I learned that I have to balance this “yin” and “yang” inside me. And the best place for me to recover is the nature.
I’ll never get tired of admiring nature, the greatest artist, and the greatest teacher of all. For example the beauty of autumn leaves in the forests of Thuringia, my home. The melody of a river. The monumental sound of silence in the mountains. At an early age already I strongly felt that painting and music belong together, that you can also paint Lyrics or a melody. You can use a silent canvas to scream out loud and to hear the echoes from the past. Like whispering to the thunder. You might call it synesthesia. For me it's simply a symphony of sound and vision.