Loeb Boathouse

The Loeb Boathouse is one of the most famous attractions in Central Park. It is located at the northeastern corner of the lake and is home to the Boathouse Restaurant. Here one can not only enjoy the great food, but can rent boats to enjoy the day from the water. This lively scenario appealed to me.

Four Seasons

A group of trees changing with the seasons

 I created my first drawing in the winter of 2013 - after unexpectedly heavy snowfall in March. Fascinated by the filigree, sparse structure of a group of trees on a trail at the Außenalster (an artificially created lake being part of the Alster, one of the two main rivers flowing through Hamburg) I decided to spontaneously capture my impression. After finishing the drawing I was curious to discover how that group of trees would transform throughout the seasons.

Light and Shadow

For the artistic expression in visual art the interplay between light and shadow has always been essential. In New York I could experience that interplay very intensely. In the early Evening I discovered this motive at the Highline (W 30th St/10th Ave). The shadowy iron construction of the Highline sets the frame for the buildings that absorb the orange hue of the evening sun. The sky hints at dusk, announcing the approaching night. It sets an almost romantic mood. The construction site creates a lively contrast to the stark geometry of the Highline, and together with the street creates a clear line between the foreground and the background. Furthermore it acts as a symbol for the the constant reinvention of this city.The motive of office buildings near broadway, too, lives through the strong contrast between light and shadow.

Queensboro Bridge

If you visit Roosevelt Island and walk from the Subway to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park you get your first look at the Queensboro Bridge, which with its powerful presence and idiosyncratic design spans the East River in order to connect to Manhattan.

For the trip from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan, I crossed the East River on the Roosevelt Island Tramway - a cable car. The view of the Queensboro Bridge from this elevated perspective created a whole new dimension for the planned artistic realization. I did a lot of photo notes during the trip. During the subsequent selection, I decided on this subject and started doing preliminary studies before I began painting in oil. 

The challenge arises through the different perspectives and levels formed by the view from above. The bridge, directly leading into the picture is central to the composition without dominating the frame. The movement in the lower part of the image -the expressway and the construction sites by the East River- loosens the static representation of Manhattan. From my artistic point of view I want to invite to pause for a moment and give undivided attention to the familiar and commonplace with the objective to encourage the viewer to conscious visual perception and discovery so as to get a personal understanding of the object. This is the intention that drives my pictures. 

 As the picture was formed and matured in many sessions I wanted to learn more about the history of the Queensboro Bridge. During my research I came across this article by James Barron from the New York Times: To Fans, Queensboro Bridge Is A Steel Swan, Not an “Ugly Duckling”. I confess that I too am a fan of this bridge and that it appears in a variety of my works. 

A quote from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald expresses it this way: “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”

Liberty Island

I began my New York cycle with this view of Lower Manhattan from Liberty Island. This painting is the key to my artistic understanding of this city. 

Through the park area on Liberty Island I was able to catch a special perspective of Lower Manhattan which enabled me to set the different layers of the painting in relation to one another. The shadowy foreground, the first layer, which is opened up by the sun spots, leads into the second layer: the sunny promenade occupied by people. The trees with their interplay of light and shadow in its leaves create the frame for the Hudson River, and Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center with its colorful glass facade, illuminated by the sun, the third layer. The view of the distant Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn forms the fourth layer.

NEW YORK - Portrait of a City

I can’t remember at what point I first felt the desire to paint New York. Nor do I remember what the triggering moment was -but since that event, I felt that urge very deeply. I started studying photo books. The grand pictures by Reinhard Wolf left an especially strong impression on me. 

But even though I spent a lot of time inspiring myself about New York, I wasn’t able to use those impressions in my work. My paintings live through the mood, the atmosphere of a given motive. Only then am I right there - am the water, the trees, the gardens, the city. The colors come to me naturally and I am captivated by a feeling that doesn’t let me rest until I have brought it to life.

I wanted to feel New York, experience it to find my individual access to portray this city. I had to find out whether that place I felt so strongly about might only exist as a figment of my imagination. In 2013 everything came together and me and my family spent 10 incredible, intense days in New York. We stayed at a friends apartment in Queens, which enabled us to live like a local, without the glare and distractions of hotels and all-inclusive vacations. From there began discovering the city, criss-crossing it on foot all day long. 

From the first moment I was captivated by the unique atmosphere of this vivid, lively, yet somehow grounded city. I found the artistic access that I had wished for right away. To portray New York from my perspective was no longer fiction. The first studies I made captured the view of Lower Manhattan from Liberty Island. I took a lot of pictures that served as a base for future paintings. 

 To me, the light in New York is very special. The contrast between light and shadow is particularly inspiring in this city. So is the architecture, the coloring of the buildings, the interplay between old and new, the dense vertical structures. And in between, even apart form Central Park, many small and large islands of green. The Bridges spanning the Hudson and the East River, which are so clear in their construction. The proximity to the atlantic was another incentive. The lively, colorful Coney Island and Rockaway Beach with its seemingly endless beach and its very distinctly american houses. 

Back home in Hamburg I began painting my cycle „New York - portrait of a city“. Every painting in this cycle is a homage to this wonderful city.

Using Format