Picture Stories | Genesis of the Paintings

contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar

10/06/2019

25/06/2019

10/05/2019

17/01/2019

10/08/2018

20/11/2018

03/07/2017

23/07/2014

23/05/2013

06/02/2013

04/01/2011

13.12.2010

01.02.2010




Still Life with Watermelon

2018/19, Oil on Canvas on Panel, 0.90 x 0.88 m


contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar

'Look, I've brought you something from the Turkish greengrocer in the Mecklenburg Street! A real heavyweight.' My wife came from shopping to the studio. 'Is this something for a still life?'

Well, I would have to cut it up, stage it and replace the many still lifes with melons from the history of painting. The picture should play in the today.

So, I set up a small stage in the studio, waited for the evening light and sliced the slightly elongated watermelon.

Somehow that looked brutal.

The slicing of a watermelon awakens strange associations. The pulp gives something organic. Setting a melon as a metaphor for a brutal injury tempted me.

Please nothing sweetish. Although I really appreciate the thirst-quenching sweetness of these melons. The hidden vitamin A is good for the eyes. I like that as a painter.

It should also provide beautiful skin. I'm afraid this melon will be late for me.

May your antioxidant protect me from cancer, so that I can continue painting for a few more decades.

‣ The genesis of the painting

© MWJ, Wismar, 10/06/2019





Portrait Goetz Barner

Oil on Canvas on Panel, 1.30 x 0.95 m, 2014/19


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Domenica Niehoff, Germany's most prominent prostitute, had died at the age of 63 years. On 12th February 2009, this was a news item in the Tagesschau program.

A few days later I saw a ‣ funeral processionDomenica Niehoff, Trauerzug, Herbertstrasse from my studio window in Hamburg. The cortege turned to her memory in the Herbertstrasse, in which she was once commercially active.

Photographer Guenter Zint, of whom there are impressive Domenica photographs, carried a painted portrait of her. Many celebrities lined up. In the procession, I noticed a gentleman dressed in white. I had never seen him before. On the following day, a photo of him appeared in the newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt on the subject of a funeral procession. 'You like him, or!' smirked my wife.

It took years until I saw him again.

Summer 2014. Unmistakable, there he sits, the dandy in white. What a bird of paradise. Like us, he had a late breakfast at lunchtime in front of the Café Liebling in St. Pauli. I did not dare to speak to him, but I watched him for a long time. In the evening I discovered a film about him on the media library of the North German Broadcasting NDR. Then I found his phone number on the net, called him, and we arranged to have dinner at the Cuneo of Franca, whom I had just portrayed. It was an interesting evening. I told him that painting is a great excuse to meet interesting or strange people. 'Not correct!' he replied. 'It's a reason!' I liked that.

The following day, when I wanted to do my photo sketches, it was raining in Hamburg. So, we went with our photo equipment to Heidi, our favorite hairdresser at the old cattle slaughterhouse, and built there in the salon the headlights. Heidi thought that was amusing and Goetz had a lot of patience with me.

Sometimes, as a painter, you brood over a portrait for a long time. In this case, it took more than ten years from the idea to the completion. Should anyone ask themselves what makes Goetz professional - Goetz Barner is jewelry designer in St. Pauli.

‣ Detail Bildnis Goetz Barner, Detail

‣ The genesis of the painting

In the last days of completion, I heard music from the ‣ phonograph in the studio. Among others, I have listened to the following song. Phonograph, Studio-Phonograph

Decca Records / Cahn, Chaplin · 1938

Joseph! Joseph! · Ambrose and his Orchestra · Vocal Chorus Evelyn Dall

Recording from the Studio-Phonograph © Ambrose and his Orchestra

© MWJ, Wismar, 25/06/2019





Still Life with Dandelion

Oil on Canvas on Panel, 0.48 x 0.53 m, 2018/19


contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar

Since two years we own a garden. At the beginning it was a real threat. A sort of monster around the house. Today, it is a real pleasure. Never I would have thinking that this high-maintenance piece of earth would influence my painting.

Dandelions are somewhat fascinating. Blossom and decay are standing directly side by side. Full of hope, its fading refers to the next spring. In my childhood the floating seeds, which cover amazing long distances, invited me to dream.

But dandelions are also obstinate – they do not fear asphalt or concrete. In my childhood I often drew them.

Also bees love this strange plant. And what all it is able to do: The stem juice can remove warts and also ease the pain after insect bites. The tea of its roots is delicious.

For the ones it is weed which has to be removed. Chemical substances or digging out deep roots. But there are others who are thinking of the ‣ Great Piece of Turf of Albrecht Duerer. And I am thinking of a tasty salad. In its leaves vitamin C and provitamin A are hiding.

Last but not least: On its stem it is possible to play music. Well, it is more a kind of trumpet noise.

‣ The genesis of the painting

© MWJ, Wismar, 10/05/2019





Portrait Franca Cuneo

Oil on Canvas on Panel, 1.05 x 0.77m, 2013/14


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Believing I was missing something, my wife and I moved from Wismar to Hamburg in 2009 for six years. Now we lived on St. Pauli, 37 meters from the Herbertstrasse. In the middle of the epicenter of German prostitution, in a loft apartment above the Hotel Hanseport corner Erichstrasse.

Despite the exorbitant bustle, it lives there like in a village. The St. Paulian has plenty of time during the day. The shops start at most in the evening and end after an eccentric night in the tiring morning. Stag parties dilute the party hype. Social cohesion is still high amongst the locals. Mentally you are compatible. Anyone who lives or works here is one of them, is part of a fast-wrecking machine. The number of the fallen is increasing. Rarely have I had the opportunity to look so deeply into our human abysses. There is easy access to residents and guests. Does such a rich, colorful painter life feel like that? Occasionally I have this feeling. That's how it was when I portrayed the 87-year-old innkeeper ‣ Erna Thomsen contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar in Hamburg.

My wife is a port planning professional, she is a hydraulic engineer. That suits the place. We like to work and often ww work late into the night. Did you eat something? No. It is already 24 o'clock! Let's go to the Cuneo, I also like red wine. We go two streets to Franca.

Francas Cuneo is around the corner. In 1905 her grandfather Francesco Antonio Cuneo started to establish the first restaurant with Italian cuisine in Germany. At this time there were signs at houses in Hamburg saying 'Dogs and Italians stay outside!' In the early years, the restaurant was a distillation and wine shop, experiencing difficult and great times. It always remained in family ownership.
Franca leads it today in its fourth generation. The lively atmosphere in the Ristorante never arouses the dying curiosity in our eyes.

Often we sit here late after work, at night after going to the theater, meeting friends. We are happy to visit Franca. It gives us the enchanting feeling of belonging to a big family. She looks her guests in the eye and does not lose the sense of a director. One that intuitively pulls the right strings to tempt your theater stage with love. She maintains the spirit of yesteryear without bending. At the beginning she hears Paolo Contes 'Genova per noi'. The lyrics often bring tears to my eyes and I think he wrote this piece just for her. Of course he did not, but it fits 1: 1 to her and to this place. ‣ Here you can read the lyric in the Italian original.

I was immediately enthusiastic about Franca. I love strong women. And so, with tasty pasta with spinach and red wine, the desire to portray it was born.
A timid question on my part. Franca agreed. This resulted in an intense portrait, a sensually quiet.

Thank you Franca!

‣ The genesis of the painting

© MWJ, Wismar, 17/01/2019




The Bremen Rooster

Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas on Panel, 1.58 x 1.06 m, 2016/18


contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar In 2013, I moved from Hamburg to Bremen. At that time, the fairy tale of the Bremen Town Musicians came into my mind. Their life-affirming slogan 'Something better than death you'll find everywhere!' is great.

But donkey, dog, cat and rooster never reached Bremen. The agedly A-capella-band annexed a house of robbers in the middle of the woods outside the gates of the city. Since then, they are living rent-free in the wealthy suburbs, are successful musicians at Bremen stages, use Bremen in their band name and pay no taxes in the city-state. Nevertheless, the Hanseatic Bremen likes to adorn itself with the four tax refugees of the squatter scene.

The formerly disputed bronze sculpture of the Bremen Town Musicians, made by Gerhard Marcks in the year 1953, proudly stands beside the Bremen city hall in landmark-rivalry to the Roland of Bremen. Every Asian visitor has touched her excitedly at least once.

Bremen is the smallest federal state of Germany and, already since years, Bremen is highly indebted. On this issue, I wanted to paint something. But how? Empty coffers in front of the city hall would have been trivial. I have a totally disturbed relationship to money, thus no money in the picture! And never regional or day-to-day politics.

In German, there exists the idiom 'to lose feathers', describing the situation of suffering a loss, being damaged, suffering disadvantages. Having this symbol in mind, I was looking for something related to the topic 'indebtedness of Bremen'. By chance, I stumbled upon a drawing of the great British animal painter George Stubbs. A very strange drawing, 40.6 x 56.5 cm in dimension, created in the late baroque. As if Stubbs had drawn it especially for my subject. ‣ Here, the drawing is to be seen.

Suddenly, there he was, the rooster of the Bremen Town Musicians, who lost symbolically his feathers due to the huge debt burden of the town. He hurries, almost floating, on a stony path. His attitude does not give any hint on his internal condition. He did not become fat because of frustration, but remains sporty and athletic. Proud and indebted. A naked Hanseatic citizen without plumage.

I am grateful to my colleague George Stubbs, who created the preliminary drawing to my panel already around 1800. Respect. Without this, my story of indebtedness would never exist. ‣ The genesis of the painting

© MWJ, Wismar, 10/08/2018




Family Portrait

Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas on Panel, 1.85 x 1.93 m


contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar In December 2014, we have been in Venice and stayed on the Giudecca, the former worker's island opposite Piazza San Marco. Here, it is possible to find remains of a Venetian normal course of life. And from time to time the municipal gallery Tre Oci presents great photographic exhibitions.

There, we found the photobook 'NeoRealismo - la nuova immagine in Italia 1932-1960'. It was a time of great black and white photography. On the cover of the volume there was a photograph by Tranquillo Casiraghi - Gente della Torretta. ‣ To the photography.

Never before I saw this photo. It took my breath. Strange, I still do not understand it. This photograph deeply touched me and said to me: 'You will paint Katharina and Ulrich in a similar composition.' We bought two books, one for Katharina. She is photographer, lives only some steps away from the Tre Oci at the same Fondamente. I love her photographic oeuvre.

My idea for the picture was accepted. In such moments, I am really happy. Also Barbara, my muse and wife agreed. Probable, I will work on the panel for nine months. Until the birth of the painting I will offer everything it is asking for. Lust, love, self-doubts, passion, agility, forlornness, hope, and confidence.

Katharina's husband is a busy actor, musician and writer. It was difficult to find a date for a sitting. Six months later we arranged a meeting in a hotel in Hamburg. But there was a problem: the chosen outfit was not there. At the stopover in Brussels the airport was set out of operation by a bomb alarm and the suitcases have been still in Belgium. So, we decided to fix a new date, a relaxed meeting on the Giudecca in the next spring. In the meantime, Katharina found an appropriate wall as a setting. I just love it when the portrayed persons cooperate. Then, the painting becomes a joint production.

Fortunately, after years of grief for the death of their dog Toto, they just got a little puppy. Under the piano stool the eight weeks old Eurasier she dog Peppina was lying. She had the same hair colour like me. It was obvious: She is a part of the painting. I will paint a family portrait with three independent personalities!

On the Sunday afternoon, we took a coffee house chair named 'Kafka' and strolled through the Giudecca to the chosen crumbled wall. Sunny light spots flickered through a tree. Remains of a deep red wall paint gave the impression of dripped blood. Residents admired the little Peppina with the look of grandmothers seeing their grandchild for the first time.

After a few hours, I had got the photographic sketches I dreamt of for my live-size family portrait. What a pleasure. In the evening, we went for dinner having interesting talks full of easiness and heavy red wine. ‣ To the genesis of the painting

‣ Katharina John and Peppina in the Studio-Gallery Juergens in Wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar

© MWJ, Wismar, 20.11.2018





Bosse in the Woods

Oil and Egg Tempera on Canvas on Panel, 0.85 x 0.90 m, 2015/17


contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar Once, I was almost four years old, I found, while playing in the woods, a weathered light-coloured skull covered by autumn leaves. In the evening, I proudly carried my freshly cleaned treasure home showing it to my father, who said: This was an old sow, a wild sow. What?, I yelled out. Yes, he noted, in the past it was a living wild sow.

As we lived at the edge of a forest, I had seen quite often wild sows from afar. My grandfather had told me that wild boars have large sideward teeth intended to impale children. So, I really was frightened of them. They always seemed to me angry, also malcontent, they always nuzzle in the earth for something eatable and are able to run pretty fast. Even decades later, they chased me through the dark forest in a nightmare.

But this shall be the rest of a wild sow? I felt great sadness. More should not remain when animals die? Oh, there are some more bones, my father said. You didn't found them all. My hushed question was: And we, we humans, what will remain from us? Erm, who really knows that?, was his answer. It was time for supper and I felt silent for the rest of the day.

This was my first encounter with death. Many others should follow. But I never forgot this first intensive feeling and wanted to tell this experience in a painting someday. So, long time I was looking for a wondering boy in the age of four. I did not wanted to paint myself.

Some years ago, my wife brought back home a skull from a wild sow from a walk with mother's-in-law dog. As no anthill was nearby, I boiled off the skull. It stank badly.

The boy in my painting I met years later. He is a son of my wife's colleague. When he was sitting for the painting in my studio with the skull in his hands, I was telling him my story and that the skull was in the shelf in my nursery for years. Somehow, his hair stood on end and I saw a mixture of astonishment and horror.

When Bosse saw the emergence of the painting, he said: You are painting me, but I didn't sat, never I sat in that forest with such a big tree. I was sitting in your studio!

Yes, that is painting. Everything is possible and in some way every painting is also a self-portrait. ‣ The genesis of the painting | ‣ Bosse in the studio in Wismar. contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar

© MWJ, Wismar, 03/07/2017




Pietà

Lasur- und Mischtechnik auf Leinwand auf Holz, 0,80 x 2,00 m, 2014


Pieta, contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar Pieta, contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar

Die Auseinandersetzung mit Kommen und Gehen, Liebe, Verlust, Trauer, Leid und Tod ergreift irgendwann jeden Menschen. Gewollt oder ungewollt. Sie ist Bestandteil unseres Seins und trägt sicher unsere unumgängliche irdische Vergänglichkeit als Ursache in sich. Dass sich Gläubige diesem Thema spirituell annehmen ist nachvollziehbar. Seit es den Menschen gibt, setzt er diese Prozesse, Werte und Inhalte gestalterisch um. Otto Dix sagt 'Die alten Themen sind die Besten'.

Je unruhiger sich mein Umfeld gestaltest, je hektischer die Gesellschaft sich formt und wandelt, die Demokratie in ihre Krise gerät, desto grösser wird meine Sehnsucht nach Ruhe und Andacht. Im letzten Jahr sah ich in Porto das Bild ‣ Mártir Cristão von Joaquim Vitorino Ribeiro aus dem Jahr 1879.

Wir, die Besucher des Museums, standen leise und andachtsvoll vor der Bildtafel. Sie berührte. Unfassbare Andacht. Stille. Meine innere Stimme sagte mir später: Das ist die Idee für eine eigene Pietà. Irgendwann male ich ein eigenes Andachtsbild. Gleiches fühlte ich schon oft beim Anblick der Werke von Giovanni Bellini in Venedig.

Als dann Monate später bei einer Modellsitzung zum Thema Lucretia mein Modell, des Inhalts wegen der Ohnmacht nahe, sich aufs Sofa legte und das getrunkene Wasserglas absenkte, war die Idee geboren. Das Glas ist leer und wird gleich zu Boden fallen. Und da waren die aufstrebenden Linien wie bei Ribeiro. Die Haare flossen dahin wie gelebtes Leben. Das Tattoo schlich sich als Tod in die Wesenheit und entrückte die Figur auf seltsam schwebende Art dem Jetzt.

Die nächsten Monate gehörten dem Thema Pietà. Warum sollte ich das mittelalterliche Thema nicht transformieren mit einem Menschen von heute? Oft dachte ich, vielleicht ist es die zurückgelassene Maria selbst. Der Gedanke gefiel mir und ich verlieh, trotz der gewählten Kälte des Bildes, dem Inhalt etwas Entschwebendes. Sofa, Stiefel und Kostüm sind eine merkwürdige Mischung verschiedener Zeiten und Inhalte. Willkommene Gründe für Irritation.

Reaktionen auf die Tafel gab es bisher nur im Atelier. Auffällig ist die Stille, die das lebensgroße Bild auslöst. Auch bei Menschen die nicht aus unserem Kulturkreis stammen. Meinungen und Äusserungen zur Tafel: Lebt sie noch? · Ich sehe die Schönheit des Seins, den vergehenden Schmerz und die Erlösung. · Woran ist sie gestorben? Am Verlust? · Hat sie sich vergiftet? · Ist ihre Seele noch hier? · Da schwingt auch eine erotische Komponente mit. Seltsame Mischung. · Der Welt entrückte Andacht. · Sehr sanft entschwebend. · Welch eine Ruhe. · Vielleicht auf der Party liegen geblieben?
Es gab auch empörte Newsletter-Abbestellungen aus den Vereinigten Staaten. ‣ Zum Video über die Bildentstehung

© MWJ, Bremen, 23.07.2014




Fehlende Bodenhaftung

Lasur- und Mischtechnik auf Leinwand auf Holz, 1,00 x 0,73 m, 2012/13


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Wie alle Großväter sagte auch meiner mir einst Gelassenheit fürs Alter voraus. Gilt das ebenso für die Politik? Ja, beruhigte er mich als Jugendlicher. Walter Ulbrichts Politik zum Beispiel brachte ihn in meiner Kindheit zur Weißglut. Schon wenige Jahre später schmunzelte er: Diesen alten Ziegenbock kann man doch nicht ernst nehmen.

Trotz aufkommender Gelassenheit stellt sich bei mir keine Gleichgültigkeit gegenüber politischen Tendenzen ein. Sollte ich als Maler politische Entwicklungen reflektieren? Die Antwort in mir lautet immer wieder: Bitte keine Tagespolitik. Such dir Metaphern!

In der venezianischen Accademia sah ich vor zwanzig Jahren erstmals die 'Madonna degli Alberetti' von Giovanni Bellini. ‣ Hier ist sie zu sehen, die Madonna mit dem Jesuskind gemalt 1487. Großes Theater vor einem einfachen Vorhang. Eine fesselnde Inszenierung, eine simple und zugleich geniale Bildidee. Für meine Stilleben entlehne ich diese gelegentlich.

Aus einem mehrwöchigen Venedig-Urlaub zurückgekehrt, sah ich in einem Tonkrug unserer Küche Kartoffeln keimen. Es waren recht lange Keime. Die Kartoffeln hatten ihre letzte Energie in der Hoffnung auf Zukunft geopfert. Leider werden sie in Kürze ohne Erdung vergehen. Ihnen fehlt die Bodenhaftung. Aber zuvor zeigen sie sich in gelber, grüner und purpurner Schönheit. Ein verzweifelter Griff nach Licht dem Tod entgegen. Es bot sich mir eine ebenso fesselnde Inszenierung wie die der Madonna mit dem Kind.

In der Politik geht es zunehmend weniger um Inhalte. Posten und Macht sind das Ziel, oft durchwachsen von gefährlicher Leere. Ein hilfloses Gerangel auf kalter Bühne in Richtung Kamera. Minister sind vielfach zu jung und unerfahren. Ihnen fehlen Geschichte, diplomatische Erfahrung und Gelassenheit. Und sie haben ein Zuviel an Glanz und einstudiertem Dauerlächeln. Ihnen fehlen ebenso wie meinen Kartoffen die Bodenhaftung. Und so vergehen sie recht schnell.

Da war die Metapher. Ein unförmiger roter Ziegelstein auf grünem Marmor wird zur Bühne für die letzte Reise. Bald kommen Asseln und Spinnen. Tod und Teufel wirken bereits im Hintergrund. Die Schönheit trügt. Es ist ein kurzes trauriges Aufbäumen, bevor der Vorhang fällt und der Grashüpfer weiter zieht. Wohl denen, die Erfahrung und Geschichte in sich tragen, denen die Bodenhaftung für die Zukunft gegeben ist. Diesen Menschen und Kartoffeln wünsche ich ein langes, erfülltes Leben voll farbenfroher Blüte und Schönheit. ‣ The genesis of the painting


© MWJ, Bremen, 23/07/2014





Helmut Schmidt in his 95th year

Oil on Canvas on Panel, 1.34 x 0.87 m, 2012/13


Realistische Malerei, Künstler heute, Realismus Kunst, Zeitgenössische Maler, Neue figurative Sachlichkeit, Porträtkunst realistisch, Porträtmalerei Porträtmaler, Bildnisse, Porträts, Stillleben, Bildende Kunst, Stilllebenmalerei, Stilllebenmaler, Manfred W. Jürgens Wismar Realistische Malerei, Künstler heute, Realismus Kunst, Zeitgenössische Maler, Neue figurative Sachlichkeit, Porträtkunst realistisch, Porträtmalerei Porträtmaler, Bildnisse, Porträts, Stillleben, Bildende Kunst, Stilllebenmalerei, Stilllebenmaler, Manfred W. Jürgens Wismar As a teenager, I would have demonstrated against his policy in 1983. But I grew up in the GDR and could not bounce up in Bonn against the NATO double-decision.

Later, when I was 25, I was drafted against my will for military service. I ended up at the transport police. When Helmut Schmidt took the train across the inner German border to Güstrow to Erich Honecker in 1981, I, like countless others, lay as sergeant to secure him on the railway line near Bad Kleinen. I never thought I would paint the smoking guy up there by the window of the dining car.

My Hamburg painter friend Karmers invited me to his exhibition opening in 2005 to the publishing house of the ZEIT. There, in a narrow corridor, I met Helmut Schmidt and thought: 'Strange, what a charismatic person'.

Over the years, I read his books. While I was painting, I heard his Mozart and Bach interpretations. Piano concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hamburg Philharmonic. He played this to his Chancellor times.

2012, coincidence it wanted that the ZEIT editor Urs Willmann with his Swiss charm gave me an appointment with Helmut Schmidt. I was warned. One had to be able to cope with his long pauses, not only to endure his silence, but to use them immediately for new ideas. Toady and crawler he did not like. He loved the contradiction in conversation, was wide awake and curious even in old age. I very much like to remember this musical person. He was also a great joker full of humor.

Before he sat me model, he had cleared his old-fashioned cigar box, which contained several boxes of cigarettes, from his desk. Schmidt with a cigarette was not my topic either. I wanted my pilot in his cockpit called Knowledge.

More than a year after creating the picture sketches, I presented him the finished panel in his ZEIT office. His words were: 'Paint, paint Mr. Juergens!'.

‣ The genesis of the painting

© MWJ, Hamburg, 06/02/2013

Johann Sebastian Bach · BWV 1061: II. Adagio ovvero Largo

Piano Helmut Schmidt · Christoph Eschenbach, Justus Frantz and the Hamburg Philharmonic

By courtesy of © Deutsche Grammophon







Bildnis Ruth Rupp

Lasur- und Mischtechnik auf Leinwand auf Holz, 1,02 x 1,00 m, 2011


contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar contemporary fine arts, new realism art, fine art, painting, realism artists, realism arts, paintings, figurative art, manfred w. juergens wismar Ruth Rupp sah ich 2004 erstmals auf der Bühne des St. Pauli Theaters in der Dreigroschenoper mit Ulrich Tukur als Mackie Messer. Sie sang, nach einer Idee von Katharina John, in der Rolle einer Alt-Hure die Schlussszene und erntete somit allein auf der Bühne stehend den gefährlichen Schlussapplaus des Stückes. Die Hälfte des Publikums heulte vor Rührung. Ich auch. Und ich schwor mir, wenn mir diese kleine Dame eines Tages über den Weg läuft, so werde ich sie ansprechen.

Sechs Jahre später, im Hamburger St. Pauli Theater, hörte ich im Gehen eine lachende erwachsene Frauenstimme rufen: Verdammt, nun kippt mir wieder einer dieser Typen Rotwein in mein Dekolleté nur weil ich so klein bin. Mein Glas stoppte nur wenige Millimeter schräg vor ihr. Ich sah auf eine 144 cm große Frau. Wir saßen noch lange plaudernd im leeren Theater. Andere feierten an der Bar die Eröffnung der neuen Spielsaison, wir verabredeten uns. Ruths Worte: Wenn Du schon sechs Jahre hinter mir her bist, dann müssen wir das jetzt aber auch mal machen, das mit diesem Portrait.

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Nach einer Woche saß sie erstmals bei mir im Blankeneser Atelier. Ruth ist nun 85 Jahre alt. Nachdem sie acht Jahre lang ihre kranke Mutter gepflegt hatte, entdeckte sie mit siebenundsiebzig Jahren das Schauspiel. Zunächst die Bühne und gelegentlich auch Film.

Vor dem Krieg studierte sie Musik und Gesang. Im zweiten Weltkrieg stand sie als Mädchen in Hamburg an der Flak. Unvorstellbar. Später war sie Kindermädchen für Landkarten-Falk in Blankenese. Dessen Tochter Karin fand sie, nach 49 Jahren, durch mein gemaltes Portrait über Google wieder. Das ist doch Ruth, mein Kindermädchen von einst. Ein Telefonat: Kann es sein? Ja! Nun besuchen sie sich von Zeit zu Zeit und sind zum zweiten Mal befreundet.

Somit ist Malerei wohl doch nicht ganz so sinnlos.

‣ The genesis of the painting

© MWJ, Hamburg, 04.01.2012









Vom Glück des Nichtstuns · Der trendresistente Maler Manfred W. Jürgens


Ulrich Schnabel


Galerie der Müssiggänger/innen · Querdenker, Pausenkünstler und Abwesenheitsexperten | Blessing Verlag · Kurzer Auszug aus dem Buch musse


Ein-Bild-Ausstellungen, 1 Bild Ausstellungen, Manfred W. JürgensDas Gedränge ist gross vor der Kneipe Zum Silbersack auf St. Pauli. Um die Ecke stehen die ersten Huren, wenige Meter weiter ist die Reeperbahn, überall lärmende Nachtschwärmer, angetrunkene Jugendliche und verschämt schauende Touristen. Doch im Silbersack drängen sich die Menschen heute Abend nicht wegen der Mädchen, der Musik oder des Bieres, sondern weil Manfred W. Jürgens zur 1. Hamburger Ein-Bild-Ausstellung geladen hat.

Ganz hinten in der Ecke sitzt der Maler mit den roten Locken, schreibt seit Stunden Autogramme und strahlt übers ganze Gesicht. 'Unglaublich', ruft er durch das Stimmengewirr, 'so etwas habe ich noch in keiner Galerie erlebt, alle zwei Stunden ein neues Publikum.' Neben Jürgens hängt die Chefin an der Wand, die Wirtin Erna Thomsen, grossformatig in Öl und der echten Erna zum Verwechseln ähnlich. Denn Jürgens malt so akribisch und lebensecht wie weiland Albrecht Dürer oder Hans Holbein. "Sachlicher Realismus" nennt sich dieser Stil. Im hektischen Kunstbetrieb des 21. Jahrhunderts wirkt er etwas anachronistisch. Doch Jürgens ist das schnurz. 'Kürzlich meinte jemand, ich sei trendresistent', erzählt er lachend und wiederholt geniesserisch das Wort: 'Trendresistent – stimmt genau.'

Denn Jürgens malt nicht nur so detailgetreu wie die alten Meister, er nimmt sich auch ebenso viel Zeit. Mit unendlicher Geduld trägt er Schicht um Schicht der (selbst gemischten) Farben auf. Bis zu zwölf Stunden täglich sitzt er mit Pinsel und Malstock vor der Leinwand, Monate vergehen, bis ein Bild fertig ist. So zu malen sei eigentlich "eine Frechheit dem Leben gegenüber" sagt Jürgens mit fröhlicher Selbstironie. Doch seine Frau Barbara, eine Bauingenieurin, unterstützt ihn finanziell nach Kräften. Und so darf der Maler nur auf die eigene Stimme hören. 'Ich hoffe, nie in eine Situation zu kommen, um wegen des Marktes meinen Stil ändern zu müssen.' Auch mit seinem Konzept der Ein-Bild-Ausstellung fällt Jürgens aus dem Zeitgeist. Sein Gemälde der Kuh Soraia präsentierte er auf einer Alp in der Schweiz. Zur Enthüllung auf 1900 Metern kamen Kunstfreunde aus aller Welt, Alpbauern und das Modell selbst. Als Jürgens die Kuh mit ihrem lebensgrossen Portrait konfrontierte, trottete diese auf die Leinwand zu und gab ihrem eigenen Abbild einen herzhaften Kuss. Wer bei diesem berührenden Event dabei war, erzählt noch heute davon.

Wie anders wirkt Kunst dagegen in einer Galerie. Kürzlich sei er im Louvre in Paris gewesen, erzählt Jürgens und verzieht das Gesicht. "Schrecklich! Man steht in der berühmtesten Gemäldesammlung der Welt und die Leute nehmen sich überhaupt keine Zeit. Sie hetzen da durch, lassen sich schnell neben der Mona Lisa fotografieren und schauen sie sich nicht einmal an". Geradezu deprimierend sei das gewesen. Mit dieser Art von hektischem Kunstgenuss will er nichts zu tun haben.

Bei Jürgens´ Aktionen dagegen wird niemand mit Eindrücken überfrachtet. 'So viele entspannte Gesichter wie heute Abend habe ich noch nie vor einem Gemälde gesehen', sagt Jürgens und zeigt auf die fröhliche Menge im Silbersack. 'Die Leute nehmen sich Zeit zum Schauen, man redet mit einander, niemand ist im Stress, weil er meint, auch noch alle anderen Bilder sehen zu müssen.' Dass die 86-jährige Wirtin Erna Thomsen persönlich anwesend ist und man beim Bier mit dem Hamburger Original ins Gespraech über Kunst und Kneipengeschäft kommen kann, erhöht natuerlich den Charme des Abends. Denn Jürgens hat ein Auge für die unscheinbaren Helden des Alltags, und er malt stets nur Menschen, die ihm persoenlich etwas bedeuten. 'Fieslinge und Selbstüberschätzer' lasse er nicht auf seine Leinwand, sagt er, für die übrigen nimmt er sich jede Menge Zeit.

So geht es nie nur um Kunst bei seinen Ausstellungen, sondern immer auch um Begegnungen. Und weil Jürgens schon alle möglichen Typen gemalt hat – Grufties, Prostituierte, Schauspieler, Journalisten – und diese auch gerne immer wieder seinen Einladungen folgen, trifft man kaum irgendwo auf ein bunteres Publikum. Der Abend im Silbersack jedenfalls wird noch lang und hinterlässt bei vielen Gästen mehr Erinnerungen als so mancher Besuch in der Kunsthalle. Gut möglich, dass der trendresistente Maler damit einen neuen Trend setzt.


Mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Blessing Verlags | www.randomhouse.de






In advertising, the cow is usually purple


Manfred W. Juergens


Manfred W. Jürgens, Realistische Malerei, Neue Kunst, Zeitgenössische Sachlichkeit In advertising, the cow is usually purple, on our current title beige and brown like tenderly melting milk chocolate, also has a nice curl on the forehead. The cow is called Soraia and was portrayed by the painter and photographer Manfred W. Juergens on the Alp Wispile in Switzerland. How it came about, you will learn in the following story, written down by the artist himself.

At an exhibition opening of my Hamburg painter friend Karmers, I got to know the Swiss editor of the weekly paper DIE ZEIT Urs Willmann. Of course, we talked about cows and delicious Swiss high mountain cheese. And since we were both custodians in our past lives, one in the mountains and the other by the sea, we had something in common. So, we came to his surf tip: www.kuhleasing.ch. So far, I have spent my holidays on coasts, rivers and in the cultural metropolises of this world. An interest in mountains did not exist in me. But then, according to Willmann's tip in the net, I saw the leasing cow with the name of the princess. Only one letter was misspelled. Other countries other letters.

Self-confidently, the alpha animal from the website looked past me and my wife. Stately she was and also old. Very old. And my thought was, 'Just take care of yourself. Please do not let slaughter you. I will paint you!' For years my wife wished holidays in the mountains. Now she had me. I wanted to paint this proud cow. So, we drove to Switzerland to Gstaad.

That's where Roger Moore and Liz Taylor go on holiday, and Michael Jackson used to be there too. But my princess lived on top of Alp Wispile, a half-hour cable car away. Then the almost one-hour walk on the ridge through fog and haze. It rained. A lonely hut at the height of 1,835 meters emerged in the fog. Here should my vacation take place? My mood was between the cow dung on the ground.

That changed abruptly when we entered the alpine hut drenched and welcomed by the peasant family. Sometimes reality surpasses any idea. We fell through time and arrived in the year of construction of the hut – 1737. The 400 liter copper kettle on the fire is the vital heart and center of the hut and proudly bears the coinage 1881. He would like the Gaul Miraculix.

Nescafé, sliced cheese and first language tests. Between the North German Platt and the dialect of the Bernese Oberland are some worlds. After three days we understood the first word in the conversation of the family: Fffly

The sun was blowing the dull gray fog the first evening, and we suddenly stood above the clouds on one of the most beautiful roofs in the world. The next morning, we were asked, 'Excuse me, you want to stay a week? With pleasure, red wine is here, but on average the people spend the night in the straw, and then it goes on. They get bored quickly. Here, people only have themselves, nature and animals - that is too little for modern man.' Electricity is supplied for a few hours daily by the diesel generator for the milking machine and for charging the mobile phones. In the evening, there is only the kerosene lamp, the card game, the conversation and sleep.

Hefti Hans was born 43 years ago on the alp. She, dairymaid Ruth, comes from the neighboring alp and never wanted to marry a farmer. Especially not one from the neighborhood. But they just met, work a lot, are happy and still in love. Colleague Margit helps the two of them on the alp, as well as twenty-year-old nephew Michael and, during school holidays, fourteen-year-old son Lorenz and nine-year-old son Oliver. The seventeen-year-old daughter Linda does an apprenticeship as a saleswoman in the valley and only gets on the mountain on her days off. Have I ever seen such happy faces?

The valley operation, the brothers Hans and Robert have taken over from the father. While Hans and Ruth run the dairy on Prealp and Alp in the summer months, their brother's family stays in the valley and takes care of the hay harvest. The families cannot live entirely on agriculture alone. Incidentally, the brothers still have to get involved in forestry and construction, but the fact that they can earn the lion's share to support both families with nineteen dairy cows and ten cattle is unthinkable by German standards.

After a week of cow bells, Swiss-German and panoramic views Hans brought us yet again from our blissful calm: 'You really cannot take the cheese with you, that's impossible, it has to mature, at least a year.' And so it became clear to us that such a cow-leasing is not possible with just one alpine summer. From 800 digital cow photos and numerous drawings, the mountain animal was created in the north over winter and spring on a wooden board in traditional technique and life-size.

While painting, I thought: Too bad that Soraia cannot see the painted picture, because I had no desire for a lavish large exhibition. But then came the idea of my first one-image exhibition. The ingredients: A Swiss mountain, an old stable, a cow named Soraia and a painter with panel painting.

I called in Switzerland: 'Hans, I painted your cow. She is beautiful. Soraia must see the painting! We would like to make an exhibition on your Alp. ' 1,000 posters and postcards were printed. The Swiss Tourism Association in Gstaad and Bern was so friendly and distributed the advertising painter delivery.

In the movie 'The Fabulous World of Amélie', Amélie's father receives photos of his traveling garden gnome. What a nice idea. So, we showed the painting different places and photographed it.

The most beautiful encounter on the way to the cow took place in the Nuremberg Albrecht Duerer House. Since I am a Duerer fan since I was five years old, I really wanted to show the cow his home. In order to keep the memory of him alive, real actresses are guiding through the house as Duerer's wife Agnes and telling about the painter's history and the mood of his time.

We were lucky, our Agnes was smart and charming, and when she came to our panel, she said, 'Oh, how nice. This picture should be seen by my husband. He would like her! ' But the painter lord was not at home, so I would have loved to talk to him about his rabbit.‣ Here you can see Soraia on the way to the Gstaad.

Finally back on the alp. It smells soothing to herbs, humble bumblebees, the sun shines on paradise. It is very quiet. The cows sleep during the day and eat at night. So they are less plagued by the flies.

How great it is to see these people again! After reading our press release, which we had distributed in Switzerland, Hans was unsure: 'What do we have to do there at such an exhibition?' 'Nothing. Maybe selling milk and cheese to the guests.' 'Then it's good.'

While drinking wine in the evening he muses: 'Tell me, Manfred, can it be that you are as free in your painting profession as I am here on the alp?' We had almost forgotten about our extensive advertising on the Alp. Likewise, we forgot that down there in the valley the world makes vacation and that in all hotel rooms for days our cow postcards were.

The day awakened. We had breakfast in the sun. The question of the morning: Who will drive in this heat half an hour cable car and then, depending on age and fitness, hiking thirty to sixty minutes to a single picture in front of a stable on this mountain?

But then they came. First French, then Swiss, American, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Dutch. For two days. From sunrise to sunset. Painter and model were present in a surprisingly international exhibition. Not only art and painting lovers came, but also wealthy cattle dealers and experienced ranchers who collect only cow pictures.

We could have sold the picture many times. But no, it also wants to hang in our apartment in the future. You do not sell a princess.

An art historian drew my attention to the 1981 oil painting of ‣ Mark Tansey 'The Innocent Eye Test' owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which casts ironic views on art and its critics. As a reminder, we recreated the Tansey oeuvre on the alp.

After a week of exciting and relaxing alpine holidays, hugs, tears and the promise to see each other again. And goodbye Hans' words: 'Oh yes, you know Manfred, no one will know you after your death as a painter, but my Soraia, she will become age-old and world famous.'


Manfred W. Juergens
Manfred W. Jürgens was born in Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg. He undertook first painting experiments in 1959, but then completed an apprenticeship as a sailor between 1973 and 1975. From 1986 to 1989 he studied communication design in Berlin and lives as a freelance painter and photographer in Hamburg
Title portrait: Painting by Manfred W. Juergens · Graphic design: Oliver Reblin
Courtesy | Berliner Journalisten · Magazine 2/2010