A Day in the Studio of the Artist Michael Becker
The painter Michael Becker was born in Oldenburg in 1951, completed an apprenticeship as a display designer, studied graphic design in Bremen and then worked as a graphic designer in advertising agencies.
In addition to commissioned work in the field of graphic design, image editing and illustration, his particular interest has always been art. As early as the 1990s, his works were exhibited in Bremen, Hude, Soltau, Berlin, Frankfurt, Constance, Luxembourg, Brussels, and various art fairs. Since 2004, he has been a freelance artist. Michael Becker's artistic oeuvre is characterised by a variety of techniques. He draws, paints, and works with wood, putty, as well as ceramics and has models cast in bronze. In his imaginative and surrealistic works, he combines human and natural elements with erotic allusions and hidden symbolism.
We visited Mr Michael Becker in Bremen and spent a day with him, discussing his journey into art and his inspiration.
Mr Michael Becker, how did you become interested in art?
I enjoyed drawing as a child and received a lot of recognition and support from my father. Then, in school, art and crafts were my favourite subjects. Later, I also enjoyed visiting museums and exhibitions. However, I didn't necessarily want to become an artist. I studied graphic design and then worked in an advertising agency for a long time. I enjoyed it because my speciality was layout and illustration.
When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?
Not until much later. Over the years, the job of a graphic designer became increasingly stressful. The demands were higher and more extensive. With digitisation, technical problems also arose. In addition, I always found relaxation in my own artistic activities. There was no deadline pressure, no compromises, and I was able to do what I liked.
What inspires you?
I grew up in a harmonious home with a large garden. I was interested in nature with its plants and flowers. Later, during my apprenticeship as a window dresser, I was surrounded by fashion, clothing, and beautiful mannequins. Even during my studies, I considered figure drawing extremely exciting. All of this likely influenced the content of my later artistic direction.
Which artist had the greatest influence on you and your work?
As a teenager, I particularly liked the Surrealists. During my studies, I came across works by Paul Wunderlich for the first time. I thought his works and the use of the spray gun were remarkably interesting. The works of Horst Janssen and Friedrich Meckseper also impress me.
Where do you prefer to paint?
I usually carry a piece of paper and a pencil everywhere I go with me in case I come up with something. In this way, I can make quick sketches anywhere. Sometimes I even work on these preliminary sketches on the computer, trying out colours, changing proportions, and playing with various variations until I achieve the desired result. Then I decide on the size of the painting and the technique I want to use. At home, I have appropriate rooms for painting.
What does a typical day in your life as an artist look like?
I don't think my life is particularly special. Since I no longer pursue a classical job, I like to sleep in. After breakfast, I usually run some errands. In the afternoon, I sometimes work on new paintings or hit my local gym. When the weather is nice, my wife and I enjoy cycling or taking short trips. My second passion is cooking, which I look forward to in the evenings.
Which material and techniques do you prefer to use?
I created my first artworks on paper. But they were more like drawings than paintings. Later on, I tried working on canvas and discovered this material most suitable for acrylic painting. I prefer to produce ballpoint pen drawings on paper or cardboard, and acrylic on canvas. As for my three-dimensional figures, I mostly create them using wood, clay, or modelling clay. Some of them serve as models for bronze casting.
What was your most memorable experience?
Once, I had a visitor at home who was so impressed by my artwork that he ended up buying several paintings and sculptures. I was also incredibly pleased when ars mundi included some of my artworks in their program, which eventually led to collaboration with artSOLITAIRE.
What advice would you give to young artists who are just beginning?
First of all, pursue a decent profession. Just kidding! I believe it's beneficial when you're a bit eccentric in your appearance, demeanour, and self-presentation. This includes being active on social media and art platforms. Above all, you need patience and perseverance. If you're confident about your work, you shouldn't give up quickly.
Have you discovered another artist on artSOLITAIRE whose work you admire?
What do you think you would be doing today if you hadn't become an artist?
Art has always been my hobby alongside my career as a graphic designer. I did not study art. If I hadn't decided to become a graphic artist, I might have still worked as a window dresser until retirement. Otherwise, I can't imagine doing anything else.
Do you have a favourite museum? If so, which one and why?
I have neither a favourite museum nor a favourite gallery. It always depends on what is currently being exhibited. Sometimes, I even like to travel to see specific exhibitions.
Do you have a current favourite piece of art among your own works?
I don't only have one favourite. I have many. Sometimes I don't even want to sell certain pieces.
Which exhibition or award are you particularly proud of? Or are you currently planning an exhibition?
I fondly look back on an exhibition I had in 2007 at the Huder Galerie Klostermühle, where I sold several artworks. I've also had some bad experiences with certain galleries. I like to participate in art fairs up to twice a year to network and gain experience. I once won an award for my booth at a fair in Osnabrück. Currently, I'm very satisfied with my success at ars mundi and artSOLITAIRE.
Mr Michael Becker, do you have any wishes for your future? What are your aspirations and goals?
I wish for humanity to manage coexistence on Earth and not seek extraterrestrial alternatives. As for myself, I hope that the ideas continue to come to me and that I can remain in good health to accomplish more.
Thank you for the interview!
Discover all the pictures by the artist Michael Becker on artSOLITAIRE.de.