Born on 15 May 1966 in Cologne
Studies of Fine Arts at Free International University Hamburg (painting and drawing) from 1991 to 1996
I have been painting since my childhood. Coming from a family of artists has its advantages and disadvantages. My grandfather Peter Hecker was a well-known church painter, and there were other artists in my father's family line. Even though I do not share my grandfather's strong Christian beliefs reflected in his work, I have always felt very moved by his art work, especially his drawings.
My own work has moved from representational to abstract painting and back again, and sometimes I like to blur the lines between the two entirely. Landscapes have always had the strongest impact on me. I have developed a deep sense of longing for reflecting on landscapes, especially when they emanate a genuine beauty. I find this particularly easy in relation to Scottish landscapes, which in my opinion are difficult to top in terms of their beauty. However, I also look for this in my own environment where other aesthetically important aspects come into play, such as power lines.
When painting specific landscapes I quite like it if those landscapes are actually reflected recognizably in the picture. That means that the secret a viewer may discover when contemplating the image is not the question of what the picture actually shows. Also, a series of associations can occur faster this way. Nevertheless, I enjoy it when a viewer does not simply glance at a picture but contemplates it for longer. This way the landscape may resonate with the viewer in a special way. During this process, the viewer may also observe the difference between looking at a painting and a photograph, which in itself can lead to further questions.
However, none of this is important in relation to more abstract landscapes which can only be reflected through means of painting alone.
My strong interest in painting landscapes is also connected to my appetite and melancholic longing for the fleeting nature of life. It is also rooted in the inability to capture the moment (including my own experiences) and nevertheless to try again and again. In this context to let go means to welcome change and to get closer to the original impulse as often as possible. Of course I do not really think about any of this during painting. Only in the beginning and during breaks when I look at the picture and plan the way ahead my thoughts begin to influence the creative process again.
At the end of the day I enjoy the luxury of being able to immerse myself fully in the sensation, to experience the shades of colour, the smells and the texture of the paints as simply wonderful; the same goes for the music I sometimes choose for working.
Besides, I also train my ability to focus on sensations during whisky tastings. (Please do not worry here as the whisky is only used sparingly and with the utmost caution...). During these tastings I find the process of smelling and tasting often so interesting that I completely dive into the world that lies beneath the surface of a nosing glass. When I drink a Scotch from a distillery I have already visited I immediately recall wonderful memories while enjoying the sensation of tasting the whisky. For a number of years now I have tried consciously to memorise my impressions of particular whiskys in order to be able to revisit these in an abstract way whenever I like. This is not an easy task, but a wonderful one all the same!