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“80 per cent of artists are dealing with mother issues.” In this personal interview the internationally praised German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann muses on the magnetic power of women, and shares how he has used art as both escape and therapy.
“Make a job out of it and all is lost.” Feldmann does not consider being an artist to be his job, because considering it as such would smother his enthusiasm. Art, he feels, has been discredited by the sky-high sales through auction houses, which is a transaction between investors and collectors – not artists. But art simply should not be put on a pedestal: “Art is an ordinary part of life like sports, food and sleep.”
Images of women attract Feldmann, who claims that the majority of artists are dealing with mother issues: “It’s always about women, about mothers, images of women.” As an example, he points out how public toilets for men are similar to ancient caves with their many drawings of vulvas.
The repetitive function of collecting pictures is therapeutic to Feldmann, and makes things clear and tangible for him. Many artists use their art as a form of therapy, “as a flight to another world someone from the old world can’t access.” As for Feldmann, who too had mother-issues and grew up during the war and the post-war years, this was also the case: “… the images opened a world to me that was very, very lovely.”
hardback with tipped in images on front and back cover.
facsimile of artists original artists book.
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Düsseldorf-based Hans-Peter Feldmann is a passionate collector of images and stories, an original thinker and one of the first conceptual artists. Since the sixties, he has been collecting, producing, and exhibiting photographs, combining the humor of American conceptual artists like John Baldessari and Richard Prince with the gravitas of Germans like Gerhard Richter. His relationship to the art world has been eccentric; in 1980, he destroyed most of his work and went into early retirement, only to pick up, a decade later, more or less exactly where he left off. Hans-Peter Feldmann was the recipient of the 2010 Hugo Boss Award, with an accompanying exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York. His work has recently been featured in exhibitions at Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Kempner Art Museum St. Louis, MOCAD, Detroit, Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2017. His work has been shown internationally for over 40 years. Feldmann lives and works in Düsseldorf.