1958 born in Rugby, England
-> Since 1975 I paint (since 1981 almost exclusively in oils)
-> Since 1979 I teach at universities and schools, as well as companies, so that I can remain independent
-> Since 1981 I exhibit my oil paintings
-> Since 2011 I teach at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich)
-> Since 2012 I attend nude-drawing classes / study under Jörg Besser, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich
Les Quatres Arts du Metier, Paris, France
Kulturverein Fürstenfeld, Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany
JOINT ARTIST CREDO: TOM HAWES & RICHARD BRAUN
Our motto could be that art begins beyond the visible. Our rejection of the object’s superficiality - or its mere surface - is central, as is our aim of getting people to think, reminding them that reality is multiple in order to encourage tolerance. We consider that what essentially makes us human is not our profession or possessions but, rather, feelings and thoughts. We want to try and look behind the mask.
WHAT IS OUR ART FOR?
We think art should help the observer to break free of the (limitations of the) figurative and guide people towards the transendental, via an act of interpretation that permits aesthetic
emotions (Reisinger). It is our hope thatthe people who see our art will feel, learn, gain something positive that helps them to think more humanely – an on-going process of change which Zeniuk
refers to as „emotional logic“.
This is why, alongside our own personal expression, our paintings incorporate elements of cubism, surrealism, expressionism and abstract art. In other words, our goal is not to imitate nature, but to reassemble its various components anew (Picasso), transforming them through 1. simplification, 2. cloisonism (fracturing perspective), 3. structuralism and 4. arbitrary colouring (fauvism). To create an artistic composition, it is not enough to merely portray a slice of nature. Nor are we interested in shocking, disgusting or frightening the observer, as some artists do. Rather, to attain our objectives, we rely more on the therapeutic effects of beautiful colours and forms.
Colour is primary in our painting. As Weber says, „colour can touch the soul“. A reduced range of colours employed can produce a more powerful effect. Arbitrarily chosen colours have psychological-symbolic value, even when the artist is unconscious of it. In our pictures it is clear that the „provocative“or „revolutionary“ colours, like red and orange, have a more central function than the „conservative“ colours, such as blue and green.
Our themes include „people in their environment“ (together with sub-themes internationalism and respect/equal-ranking for other cultures), „landscape and nature“, and „meaningful events“. To help us express these themes in our paintings we attempt to separate the aesthetic from the iconic. That is, instead of painting an object in order to honor it, or show our admiration, we use it to fulfil some artistic purpose, especially that of causing the observerto think. For example, Braun paints an unidentifiable object in a context whereone would not expect to find it (surrealism), or Hawes depicts his family as monsters around the dinner table, to try and shake the viewers out of their habitual thought patterns, so that they might have the chance to see the world through fresh eyes. While this may at first appear strange and alienating, of course reality itself (if indeed there is such a thing) is in the final analysis contradictory and subjective.
SOME EXAMPLES FROM OUR PAINTINGS
Young generation – seeks a renaissance in outlook, calling on young people to be open to the world and its wonders instead of focusing excessively on themselves and perhaps sinking into depression and alcoholism.
Musicians in front of Cologne cathedral – pleads for the acceptance of other cultures, suggesting that this is more important for our own well-being even than our national monuments (the cathedral does not feature at all in the painting). The future of mankind, it is proposed, does not depend on the pronouncements of a few high-profile heads of state, but on friendship and understanding among the various different peoples.
An inhabited landscape north of Munich. The Holledau. In the midst of hopgardens, fields and hills lies a village. The hops are nearly ready for harvesting. It is summertime. Harmony reigns – or at least it would if it weren’t for that strange object in the sky! It is unclear exactly what it is. A UFO? An omen? It is in bright earthy colours; the red at its centre and the sharp clear lines provoke a feeling of unease. Like an arrowhead, the object appears to be pointing at the village church. Is something not quite right in the community? Yes, that must be it!Where are the satellite dishes on the roofs? Where are the usual adverts and slogans? Where is „Lidl lohnt sich“? where is „Dein guter Stern auf allen Strassen“? The windowless factory building „Environment and Process“ seems to be missing too. There are no radio towers on the hills, no windmills, in the sky no pollution-humidity – the painter has forgotten the present! Praise or blame? The flying object is intended to make us think...