2015 | 140 x 100 cm | mixed technique on screen printing

The Spirit Of Munich

Today's post has nothing to do with art or literature, today it is all about my hometown and its citizens.
Traditionally citizens of Munich are known for their grumpiness, we don't wish each other 'a nice day', we complain about the weather and almost everything else constantly and it takes some time to befriend a Muenchener. But when worse comes to worst you can count on the heart being in the right place. The city's unofficial motto is 'To live and let live' and when the situation demands it Munich will show its true colors.

Over the last ten days Munich saw the arrival of over 40.000 refugees from various warzones. The why and how notwithstanding all of a sudden we were confronted with thousands of people arriving right in the city centre. Nobody seemed to have any sort of emergency plan and apart from a few local officials nobody seemed to care.

Calls for help were issued and Munich reponded massively. The citizens of Munich donated food, water, toys, clothes and other stuff at such volume that more than once the donations exceeded storage capacities. People signed up to do volunteer work on the spot just wanting to help.

The pictures included in this post show private citizens distributing supplies they paid for with their own money during their spare time, all through the day and late at night. The quality sucks but the pictures were taken in a clandestine fashion in order not to embarrass anyone.

After donating water and cookies twice, my wife and I have decided to sign up for a volunteering shift at Munich Central Station Saturday evening. There is nothing that prepares you for the sheer dimensions of an operation of that size.

On Saturday 13.000 people were welcomed and processed, old people, families with little children, teenagers travelling alone, the lot. Most of them tired, weary and disoriented, with as many of their posessions as they could carry. Handing out water, bananas and candy bars isn't really a lot but at least it is something.

Taking personal initiative and helping each other out have a long tradition in Munich and the events of the last few days have made me deeply proud of both my city and the people who live in it.

Why Graffiti Is Important

The upright citizens keep repeating how much of a nuisance graffiti is, how much material damage 'those vandals' are causing and how much of a better world an environment without graffiti would be. Granted, some graffiti is just the mindless smearing of a slogan or whatever on a wall. A lot of it however is finely crafted works of art that took a substantial amount of time to plan, sketch and execute, all the while trying not get caught and working in less than perfect circumstances (late at night, in darkness, in dangerous places like beside railroad tracks, underneath flyovers, etc.).

When I look at graffiti from a train or while walking or driving I am reminded that we live in a society that allows certain things, like it or not, and graffiti is one of the things a liberal society has to put up with. Period. If not the only way to effectively avoid graffiti is by creating an atmosphere of fear through drakonian measures enforced by high frequency police presence. That clean society would automatically become a fascist society, clean, maybe with clean trains running on time but with no freedom. If I get to a new place and see graffiti by the railroad tracks, on the motorway walls and in public spaces I feel like smiling because I know that that place is alive.

These days graffiti is not the outcry of the underpriviliged that it might have been in some places in the very beginning, today the public space is just a huge canvas waiting to be claimed and painted on by those possesing the skills and the guts, sometimes both, to do so.

I look at graffiti and I am always reminded of a natural forest, where the very minute you stop weeding out the undesirables, the underbrush takes over because that's the way the world works. Instead of trying to preserve an unnatural state of cleanliness we should try and roll with it by developing an appreciation for graffiti art. That appreciation would also be pretty likely to help improve the overall aestetic quality of works of graffiti.

I myself have never dabbled in grafitti, or streetart for that matter, because it just never was my scene. I have however derived great amounts of inspiration from it and it is fair to say that graffiti has had its part in shaping the way we look at the world today.

Graffiti is also historically important because it is one of the four pillars of hip hop, probably the only art form that truly emerged from the underground in the past decades.

No matter how hard 'they' try, graffiti proves that complete control is an illusion. I take comfort in that.

Some Kind Of Monster

2012 | 100 x 70 cm | acrylics, water colors, pen,
Molotov markers on screen printing board

Solo Show 'Stuck In The Middle' in Munich

Paintings and digital exhibition 24 APR - 31 MAI 2015

Digital exhibition starts daily tuesday thru sunday at 6pm (click here to watch trailer)

Private view 23 APR 2015 (please send an email to root(at) for an invitation)

Address35m(m)² Bar & Lounge inside the Mathaeser Cineplex 1. floor
Bayerstr. 3-5 / 80336 Munich
Tel: 089 - 54 32 17 87 / Fax: 089 - 54321785
Opening hours 35m(m)² Bar & Lounge
Monday closed, tuesday thru sunday: 5pm till open end

Apocalyptic City (A Farewell To Form)

2014 | 100 x 70 cm | acrylics, water colors, pen,
Molotov markers on screen printing board

Form Is Emptiness

Dyptich  | 2014 | 140 x 100 cm | Collage,
mixed technique on screen printing board

Minimalist Redesign: Goodbye To The Headline Logo

So there it is. After 17 years of having an online presence I have finally dropped the headline logo.

The headline logo can still be looked at here but it does not have a raison d'être on the site anymore. I have decided to discard all unnecessary baggage shooting for a leaner, more focused approach designwise.

No more frills, just the chops.

Dead Heroes

Teaser for upcoming show in Munich 2014, location and time to be announced.

The show will be part traditional exhibition and part digital exhibit. This video contains some works of the Dead Heroes cycle which will be used in the digital part of the show.

Each painting will be shown as a whole on a screen and details will be shown on half a dozen smaller screens simultaneously.

The details change every 60 seconds thus changing the atmosphere of the whole room.

Re-Release of Wie Ein Licht Im Dunkeln

Originally selfpublished earlier this year Wie Ein Licht Im Dunkeln was subsequently picked up by german publishing company Staackmann and re-released as a paperback. It will also be published as a hardcover in 2014.

This unusual course of action was agreed upon in order to give the novel the authentic 'pulp fiction' hardboiled type feel.

Still german language only thus far, an english version is in the planning stages.

Link to Amazon

Louder Than A Bomb

Tryptich | 2013 | 120 x 60 cm
pencil, ballpen, ink and Molotow markers on paper

My first novel is out, Wie Ein Licht Im Dunkeln - Hardboiled Thriller

My first novel came out on February 11.

German language only thus far but still this is a major step for me since as with many things the first one is always likely to be the most difficult one.

Cover photo by the fabulous Renata Lepage
Used with kind permission.

Project Mayhem 2012

2012 | 50 x 40 cm
pen and ink on paper
We Do Not Forgive.
We Do Not Forget.
Expect Us.

Getting Older (explained by means of the first Iron Maiden album)

© Image copyright Derek Riggs.
Used with permission. More info:
As you get older you come to realise and start to more and more appreciate the complexity of life in all its facets. You start to understand that change is inevitable, necessary and welcome, and if it is only for breaking the inescapable monotony of day to day existence.

Between Prowler and Running Free there is also Remember Tomorrow which you used to fastforward in your younger days in order to not let the energy flow die down that takes you straight to Phantom Of The Opera und Transylvania.

Charlot the Harlot and Iron Maiden would not hit as hard had not the mellower Strange World prepared the stage.

It is the changes in mood and tempo that make the difference between an honest effort and a timeless classic.

Keep welcoming the change, don't let the bastards drag you down.

International Gallery Representation

Please direct gallery representation inquiries to root(at) Please make sure to include your gallery's address and telephone number. Thank you very much.

Burn, Bitch, Burn

2012 | 30 x 40
pen, ink, Molotow markers on paper 

I Feel Your Pain (And I Survive)

2011 | 100 x 70 cm
acrylics, water colors, pen, Molotov
markers on screen printing board

My First Show

Official program
Onyx Cafe & Gallery

 It was pretty obvious that I would not have a chance in hell to ever get an opportunity to exhibit in my hometown. Selftaught, artistically unschooled, no contacts, no connections, no chance whatsoever. Which is kind of interesting because my city had been at the forefront of classical modern art when the expressionists first came out.
  But then, come to think of it, they drove Marc and Kandinsky out of town back in the day and only started to fall in love with them long after they were both dead. There is no way I could compare myself with those guys but it does give you an idea of peoples' mentality here. Of most of them, anyway.

  So when the opportunity to move to Los Angeles presented itself, I jumped at it, figuring that if I could land some sort of exhibition - any sort of exhibition, really - that fact would be helpful in getting my stuff shown at home (sort of, look, he's still a nogooder but he exhibited overseas, so he must have something). It more or less actually worked out that way, so how's that for a plan?

  Less than three months into my West Coast expedition they held the L.A. Open Art Festival, anybody could participate, all you had to do was show up. I went to the Onyx Cafe and Gallery, filled out a form and they assigned a spot to me, parking lot, middle wall. Needless to say, I was electrified, my first show, wow.
  Since I didn't have enough money to buy proper frames I had to figure out a way to attach the paintings - all of them on paper - to the parking lot wall. I ended up going to the hardware store to buy long silver steel nails and a hammer so that I could nail the things straight to the wall. I still have some of those paintings, and they sport the holes to support my story. I would not let technical difficulties caused by lack of funding keep my first show from happening. Click here for pictures.

  It is quite a thing to show your work publicly for the first time, it feels a little like performing a striptease on Santa Monica Pier on a Sunday afternoon, all eyes on you, nowhere to hide, everything out in the open. But having other people stop and look at what you have done is priceless. That's what it's all about, man. It doesn't matter if they like it or not. It also doesn't matter if somebody buys something, although that's nice (admittedly), but it does not matter.

 The Open Art Festival itself was fun, I met some interesting people. To the left of my little section of the Onyx Cafe & Gallery's parking lot wall there were two other painters. The first was a guy who called himself Stephensky. He had huge canvases up, he had his own studio and the way he talked about himself and his art left little doubt about the fact that he was going to be the next big thing in the arts. I was impressed. I checked the net the other day, couldn't find him. Maybe he changed his name.

 Next to Stephensky was Robert Youngman, who was always accompanied by Erika, his wife - I think - and her son Travis. They were nice and easy going. Good people. Human beings. They had met at some alcohol detox facility and were dry when I met them, so lots of coffee, tea and cigarettes, no booze, which suited me just fine. We got on well instantly and met on various occasions afterwards, they even invited me over to their place a couple of times and we sat around and talked a lot and watched Wings Of Desire and documentaries about Braque and Matisse.

  I've been checking the net regulary ever since, couldn't find any of them. I fear that Robert has stopped painting altogether, which would be a crying shame because he used to make those very intricate, very intensive paintings which were inspired by native american culture and its symbols and deities. The head of each figure was usually depicted as a skull which probably did not help in making the paintings compatible with the taste of the average home decorator. But then it didn't look like they were made for commercial motives anyhow. How I wish I had one of those paintings.

  Along with the various art exhibitions they also had lots of other things going on at the festival, like poetry readings and performances. I remember two bums - I don't know if they were actual bums even though they sure looked the part - giving an impromptu concert right there sporting two acoustic guitars, the type you got at the supermarket for ten bucks.
  They played a set of ten songs and counted each song down, announcing them like 'OK, people, two down, so you only have another eight to sit through'. One was an acoustic version of the Dead Kennedys' Let's Lynch The Landlord. Very unpretentious, very original.
  They should have recorded them right on the spot for the Library of Congress, the way they used to do with the old Blues guys in the 1940s.