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Why artist portraits? | Heike Rudloff

Why artist portraits?

Art can be bright, flashy and unconventional. Sometimes it is incomprehensible, then again clean and minimal, or simply beautiful…Every work of art is different, exceptional and very unique – just like the individual who created it. 

Collectors, gallery owners, journalists, and jurors need information on the artists as individuals, hints and traces of their lives – but more often than not, they find only impersonal biographical notes and exhibition dates.

They are however looking for much more: they wish to understand the artist.

It is rarely possible to meet artists in person; to engage in conversation, to get to know them, to take the time to ask questions – this is hardly feasible, even for professional collectors and gallery owners. But this is exactly what is needed to obtain the kind of in-depth information that online business demands, and that internationally active galleries wish to provide.

A portrait allows us to see the artist up close and reveals the person behind the work of art; it sheds light on exceptional talents, conveys the person’s own particular life story and gives us insight into their way of thinking.

Portraits of artists bring together elements that are plainly visible and subtly palpable.  

A measured look into artists’ lives, their unique perspectives, stages of development and life situations – narrated by the artists themselves and documented by me as an author.

I begin with a basic interview. My approach is that of a journalist, or rather, a more opinion-oriented publicist, in the style of a biographical author. Step by step, I sketch the artist’s story – always in close consultation with the artist. The resulting portrait traces the life and path of the artist, as perceived by him- or herself. 

The focus of my artist portraits is the artist.

The resulting portrait traces the life and path of the artist, as perceived by him- or herself; the subject of an artist portrait is therefore the artist him- or herself.