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.

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