A Day in the Studio of Jörg Herz

A Day in the Studio of Jörg Herz


After 20 successful years of working in the world of advertising, Jörg Herz sought something more. In doing so, he returned to his original passion - sculpture. He discovered the chainsaw as his tool and spruce wood as his medium.

Jörg Herz creates expressively sawn sculptures. The focus of his work is the human being in all the facets of life, both man and woman, sometimes quirky, sometimes idiosyncratic, but always with a disarming honesty.

We visited Jörg Herz's studio near Munich's East Railway Station and spent a day with him. We talked to him about his path to art, his source of inspiration and the highlight of his artistic career so far.


Jörg Herz Sculpture 'Conductor'
Jörg Herz Sculpture 'Conductor'


Jörg Herz, how did you become interested in art?

Art found me. As a dyslexic, I struggled with reading and writing during my childhood. In contrast, I realised very early on that drawing and painting came naturally to me and that I was really good at it. I had the opportunity to express myself and capture my thoughts. From then on, simply sitting down and drawing became my favourite activity.


When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?

Already before my studies, I held my first solo exhibition in the Schlosspark Pavilion in my hometown of Bad Säckingen, Germany.
The mayor attended the opening and purchased a work for the city museum. By the end of the evening, the entire exhibition was sold out. That success was the initial spark. The fact that my work was appreciated and purchased by others was a great affirmation of my artistic abilities and strengthened my desire to pursue a career as an artist.


What inspires you?

I draw my inspiration from the diversity of people on the streets and squares. The way people express their identity through their appearance and actions in everyday life is a fascinating subject for me. Capturing these real moments is what gives.


Rimini, Italy 1973
Rimini, Italy 1973


Which artist has had the greatest influence on you and your work?

The greatest influence on my work is the work itself or the way I work:
It is fascinating that I start with a clear direction based on my sketches but remain open to the element of chance and unpredictability introduced by my chosen tool - the chainsaw. This method not only adds an element of surprise and spontaneity to my work but also allows for the emergence of unexpected and innovative ideas. The fusion of my preconceived vision with the organic, unplanned aspects brought about by the chainsaw results in my distinctive style.


Where do you prefer to work?

I work outdoors in all kinds of weather. In summer and winter, in sunshine or in the dark when it snows with a headlamp. The process of work is at the centre of my art, and it is to be understood as an expression of radical acceptance of what is happening at the moment. This is what defines the authenticity and the sensual, direct handwriting of my sculptures.


What does a typical day in your life as an artist look like?

I start the day with a 30-minute meditation session in the morning to begin the day calmly and serenely. Then, I ride my Vespa for 30 minutes to the studio, where I have my first latte macchiato and a pretzel. I spend the mornings planning, organising, and reviewing the previous day's work. In the early afternoon, I go for a swim in the Isar River daily during summer and once a week in winter for a short ice bath. The afternoon is devoted entirely to working with the chainsaw and colouring the sculptures.


The artist at work
The artist at work


What material and techniques do you prefer to use?

I enjoy using spruce wood, where the grain and rough work marks remain visible. The characterful wood enhances the expression of my works. Tree rings, branches, irregularities - nothing is hidden, as the immediate is important to me: Showing what is. Not pretending to be what it is not. In the contrast of wood with flat colouring, my sculptures acquire a distinctive style.
My tool is the chainsaw. When I work with it, I am extremely focused and in the moment so much that it is like a mindfulness exercise. I am 100 % present in the here and now, and that is what I love about my approach and my tool.


Jörg Herz, what was your most memorable experience?

When I unveiled the "High Diver" - my first sculpture in a public space at an office building: After 10 months of preparation, creating the figure, structural calculations, architectural planning, and approval from the authorities. A contemporary image of a woman carved from wood with a chainsaw. A statement of courage and joie de vivre.


Installation of the high diver by Jörg Herz
Installation of the "high diver" by Jörg Herz


What advice would you give to young artists who are just beginning?

Do exactly what you enjoy and not what you think you could sell well.


Have you discovered another artist on artSOLITAIRE whose work you admire?

Fellow artist Sibylle Bross writes about her work, "Painting is life, and there are always surprises". This resonates closely with my approach and my theme of "people", which is probably why I like her work so much.


What do you think you would be doing today if you hadn't become an artist?

I have my coaching license as a judo instructor, and I have also worked as one. I almost became a pastry chef as I passionately enjoyed baking as a teenager and even did an internship in a bakery. I could also see myself as a tango instructor, as I have been passionately dancing tango for 15 years now. It brings me pure joy.


Do you have a favourite museum? If so, which one and why?

I have the privilege of passing by one of the great international exhibition houses, the "Haus der Kunst" in Munich, on my way to the studio every day. It showcases about eight exhibitions annually, and they always inspire me.


Working outdoors
Working outdoors


Do you have a current favourite piece of art among your own works?

Currently, I am most enthusiastic about the "Snorkeler", 155 cm tall, carved from a willow trunk. It was created in June 2023 at a sculpture symposium in Brienz (Switzerland).


Which exhibition or award are you particularly proud of? Or are you currently planning an exhibition?

I have been invited to participate in the 26th International Sculpture Symposium St. Blasien. 13 artists from around the world will show the unlimited possibilities hidden within a tree trunk. I am looking forward to that and to the exchange with colleagues.


Do you have any wishes for your future? What are your aspirations and goals?

To place one or more sculptures in public spaces that are life-sized or larger than life. Whether at the German Federal Horticultural Show or in the German Chancellery does not matter to me. The important thing is that they are seen by many and bring a smile to the viewers' faces, even if it is just in a traffic roundabout.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Discover now all the works of the artist Jörg Herz at artSOLITAIRE.