In a time where contemporary art doesn’t see much painting it is always refreshing to find that in universities people still have time to produce good old oil on canvas! Roman Mayer just finished studying at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Nürnberg. His art is dark and light, chaotic and clam at the same time. Contrasts play a big role in his world of scary creatures and candid figures, between fairy tale and morale!
Where are you from?
My original hometown is Berching in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate), a tourists dream-like village with etirely preserved old town with city walls. My parents have been send there as teachers. We’ve always been in this, as teachers and their children are, oposition-role. Therefore, I was qute happy when I got the chance to change to a bording-school in Rostock when I whas 14. The city was ugly and dirty, in a cool way. Later I went back to Bavaria, studying in Regensburg, as a typical student town it has maaany many bars compared to its size. Now I’m living in Nuernberg.
I’ve always been a drawing-maniac as a child, but it stopped when I started to smoke pot with 16 or so ( jep, the worst drug: you get so lazy) and went to goa-fetivals and so. In the beginning of my studies I did art history, nothing practical. Then I began to miss drawing so much, I changed my second field of study to Educational Art, which mainly ment practical courses. Unlike the academies, you didn’t have to handle with exhibiting in public, but later we have been four to six students who exhibited together in self-made-up open-spaces, later also in a gallery where I’m still a resident artist now. It was all self-developed, so also very much fun, and the audience is always enthusiastic.
Later I went to study at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Nürnberg, which is more academic and one is required to do all that I described above. The syllabus was, in my opinion, no fun, wannabe-indiidualistic and not my case at all… sorry its getting mixed with the next question.
What’s your message?
At the Academy professors tell you that everything you do has to be reasonable. Boa, I hate it! In society, economy tells you China and India are booming, so we have to improve and, again, all actions have to be reasonable. Same with the eco-trend: whatch what you eat, how much energy you use etc., so we have to improve there, too. It’ not different in the art world! I’ll stick to Kant, in his critique of judgement (the third critique). You may not mess art with morals or reason. Arts are instruments to feel our individality, and if you mess it up with f. e. morals, where at least there is just one right answer, you have no chance to act as you like. If you see a photo of a starving black child it’s hard to say “I don’t like it, it has no contrast”. So you missed a chance to learn something about you and your taste. I just try to paint something interesting and good looking. The themes derive from my interest in baroque painting, expressionistic art, comics and mangas. The idea of the high contrasts is that you don’t recognise too much at the first glance, so it keeps on being interesting and you have to look closer.
Is art your main occupation or do you also have a job?
I just broke off my art studies at the Academy, but I got a job as a teacher in an adult education centre (Evening classes), if it all works out I’ll get the same job also in another education centre. Then other jobs here and there. I sell some pictures, occasionally, or I sometimes paint portraits on commission but its not enough.
The artist invited us to his exhibition which is opening today in Frankfurt am Main… Visit Brücke 66 if you happen to be around > Roman Mayer, Monster-Mär at Brücke 66, Brückenstraße 66, 60594 Frankfurt am Main (14. June – 8. July).
By Cosima Bucarelli