The series of paintings called "Alte Kameraden" is inspired by photos taken of WWI and WWII veterans. It consists of depictions of war mangled faces (in a physical as well psychological sense), who just a few years back looked perfectly normal. It is a difficult and unpleasant subject, especially in these times when we are, more than ever, attached to our good looks and try to improve them.
The sight of faces like those in the paintings is shocking and repulsive, but it has to be realized that these where a common sight in post war times. Many people had been disfigured and it happened not so long ago.
Looking at these photographs I ask myself a question, what would happen if I had been thusly disfigured? How does a modern person feel, literally losing ones face? It is the part with which we identify the most. Does it really constitute our humanity?
I don’t strive for photographical likeliness in my paintings in order to give the deformities a suggestive and expressive look. My purpose is to intrigue the viewer not to create a feeling of disgust.
The passage of time plays a role in the paintings. It is not quite clear weather the injuries have happened in the past or are taking place at this moment. The wounds seem quite raw and alive, bringing to mind explosions, something that is happening here and now. I want to show that the people to whom this happened are reliving the moment even now. For them the moment is still alive. The wound will never heal.