"My pictures implement spontaneous gestures, impulses. I have always tried to translate emotional moods into pictures. I collect motifs by actively observing. My collection of figures is large, after all, I am already over 70 years old!"
German Artist, Michael Mutschler was born (1947) in Heilbronn (Baden-Württemberg). His father was the artist and educator Rudolph Mutschler, and his sister is the artist and architect Eva Petzold. Art and art history have always played the most important role in his life. Mutschler studied at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart.
Numerous stays in Greece and Italy as a youth informed his aesthetics, as well as a later three-month trip through Italy - on a ten Deutschmarks budget.
"As a (young) father of two and later four children, I found it sometimes exhausting but also enriching to come to terms with little means."
"We were struggling over the concept of art. Joseph Beuys helped me out of conservative concepts and one of his students, Holger Utta, taught me. I read a lot, Erich Fromm, C.G. Jung, Mitscherlich and had first encounters with Anthroposophy. I was with Prof. Schellenberger in the master class for Puppetry, where we developed experimental theatre, in an attempt to see man as part of art.
Our performance "Ich - Sklave - Über-ich - Sklave, Roboter - Sklave" moved a reporter of the Süddeutscher Rundfunk II (21.2.1971, 22.30) to this statement: "The following actions", says the reporter, skeptical about the title, "a mixture of pantomime, puppet play and effective visuals, fascinated so directly that at times one seemed to gaze spellbound at the stage of one's own consciousness".
His analysis: "The simple fact, still fresh today and more ingeniously disguised than ever, that we are all puppets at times and have to free ourselves from the tormenting state," aptly sums up the driving force behind my artistic work. Incidentally, the discussion has lost nothing of its relevance for me.
A longhaired art teacher wearing a corduroy suit, I came to grammar school, where the old spirit still reigned. The headmaster was speechless in the face of this performance. I took Joseph Beuys with me to this school - everyone is an artist. That's not directly aimed at brush and easel, no: every person is able to lead a situation to a better one by himself - if they have access to creativity and empathy in the here and now. From my point of view, this positive presence allows us to do justice to people, to act humanely. So, art and pedagogy merge. Hard to chew for some of those present in the teaching staff. I also understood my teaching activity as compensation for my own, often humiliated student soul."
Michael Mutschler now lives in Machern near Leipzig. After almost 40 years as an art teacher, he now enjoys the freedom of the pensioner and, nourished by his first successes, he feels so free to exhibit his works in public, much of which was created in the last five years.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist