POETRY & PASSION
CHRISTIAN BAHR, born in snow-covered December 1965 in Buxtehude (Lower Saxony in the northern area of Germany). German university-entrance diploma in the summer of 1985; afterwards course of studies and diploma. I live and work in the waterfront German city Hamburg nearby the rough North Sea. I am passionate about painting and drawing for more than 30 years, with worldwide sales and national and international exhibitions.
“Not everything is art. But art is everything, and everything can breathe art. Art is the true beauty of mankind.”
“I work in my studio nearby the rough North Sea and the big waterfront city Hamburg. I’m a seeker as a painter, in search of answers, and the single human takes center stage. I treat my painting seriously and with ambition, passion and discipline. I have a clear and strong painting philosophy. And I deal with philosophical, mythological as well as with historical subjects.”
“I find the source for my inspiration – often also the motifs – inside me. Spontaneity is the key, my dominant method. I act intuitively and in most cases without any anterior outlines. I don’t need creative distance, I don’t construct a new world, I just reduce the point of view to our environment. Surplus by abdication. It has to be brute, melancholic, dark and at the same time also bright, poetic, clear and full of hope. No maybe, no lukewarm. Every moment counts, is important and can cause a change of direction. I don’t sacrifice my lines for the idea, and I love the resulting painting risk, the radicalness of all the decisions that I have to make during the gestation. Exactly that’s my way of painting and drawing.”
“I was always a painter and draftsman, as long as I can remember, and across the years – more than less unconscious – affection became a serious artistic profession. But it wasn’t a linear way all the time. Painting is a beauty, soul and passion but sometimes it is also a fight. A fight with myself, an endless battle for colour and motif in the form of an internal dialogue. There are these days and nights when I struggle for a single stroke of the brush, when I challenge every colouring. But it is alright that there are troubles sometimes, because every artistic fight is worthwhile and shows that I am still alive and breathing as a painter and that I’m still developing myself in my creativity. I prefer a large canvas format that gives the creative freedom to express myself. The paintings are the core of my painting.”
“I have a creative vision. I’m convinced: who keeps silent about his art has nothing to say in his painting. But art needs a voice. I have a mind of my own as a painter, and I can (and will) take a firm stand for every of my paintings as well as for my painting in a body.”
“In my opinion painting needs an initial point, a central theme and leitmotif. I bring up the human search of reality as a conflict between inner and outer world. Only the subjective perception seems to be true and real. I dissect the truth behind a supposed reality that surrounds us and keeps up appearances. Only skin-deep impressions act as moral and social benchmarks and try to infiltrate and manipulate our feeling and thinking. I discuss the question: what defines us, your world and my world, and what is nothing but needless ballast?“
“Real life is the best teacher, every education is just an academic start and theory. But I don’t want to talk about the theory of art all the time. Instead of that I want to feel, to breathe art, emotions and intellect want to be impressed and touched.”
I am deeply grateful because my inspiration is an endless river. But of course I follow – unconsciously and knowingly – a painting tradition. And I have different reference points that involve the former centuries and deal with the Classical Modernity, the Art Nouveau, Expressionism and Impressionism and last but not least touch the Contemporary Art. I am influenced by painters like Rembrandt and Caravaggio, J. M. William Turner and his visionary abstraction of colours, by the unbelievable Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Egon Schiele and Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, also by Gustav Klimt and his interpretation of the Art Nouveau, the impressionist Claude Monet (especially his late work). To name contemporary painters as a source for inspiration: Neo Rauch because of his serious exposure with painting as a passion, Gerhard Richter (of course), the poetic draftsman Horst Janssen and last but not least the brute but great Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer. Impressions, influences, streams, not more not less. I can get involved with all these paintings and biographies, but nevertheless I take my own independent way as a painter.
More inspiration from inside and outside: nature (sea, mountains, stormy weather, greenland, the colors of autumn), music (Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Wagner, Max Richter, David Bowie, VNV Nation), literature (William Shakespeare, Friedrich Schiller, Wolfgang Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Mann, Lew Tolstoi, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, Paulo Coelho, Don Winslow), movie (Werner Herzog, Christoph Nolan, Alejandro Iñárritu, Ridley Scott, George Miller), theatre (again, of course: William Shakespeare, Berthold Brecht, Elfriede Jelinek, Fjodor Dostojewskij, Werner Schwab, Robert Wilson) and so much more.
By the way: I’m seriously interested to participate in more national and international art exhibitions (single exhibitions or group shows) and would be pleased about any attractive offer.
1/ NIGHT OVER THE SEA
NACHT ÜBER DEM MEER
2014. 100 x 80 x 2 cm. acrylic and oil on canvas
Maybe a moon is shining for you
Somewhere over the sea
Maybe your ships are sinking
Somewhere far from here
Whatever the days are burning
In the end –
There`s night over the sea.
2/ KRIEMHILD SEEKS REVENGE
KRIEMHILD SINNT AUF RACHE
2013. 100 x 80 x 2 cm. acrylic and oil on canvas
Kriemhild is a major character of The Song of the Nibelungs, an epic poem based on pre-Christian Germanic heroic motifs, historic events and persons of the 5th and 6th centuries. For more than 13 years she seeks revenge for the murder of her beloved husband Siegfried, the dragon slayer and hero, and for the theft of The Treasure of the Nibelungs. Her time comes at the castle of King Etzel of the Huns (Attila). She stages an ambuscade and behaves mercilessly. In a bloodbath of several days‘ duration she orders the brutal death of the offenders and beheads the gang leaders by her own hand. Kriemhild is German mythos, both in negative and positive tenor, and she left in the German history, also as Gudrun/Gutrune (Old Norse for Kriemhild) in Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring der Nibelungen“. The Song of the Nibelungs closes with the sentence: “At the end love bears always suffering.“