Quotes & Notes

Burrn! Interview 2007


Burrn: Who are the artists you are influenced by?
Ule W. Ritgen: There are many… Of course, the great masters of the past like Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Velazquez.. to name but a few.But I also love Monet, Renoir or Turner, who in fact is one of my all time favourites. I could name the wonderful woodcarvings of Hokusai as well as the inspiring space scenarios of George Lucas… it´s simply too many to mention and I keep finding new inspiring works of art every day…

Burrn: What is the imagination when you work your picutures?
Ule: Normally, I have a clear idea in my imagination – ´clear ´ doesn´t necessarily mean a ´visual´ image, it can also be an ´emotional´or ´athmosperic´ scenery, the subject might be ´spiritual´ or even´philosophical´, sometimes extremely simple or quite complex…The whole process of working on a picture is, to transport this ´inner´ image into the three-dimensional sphere, that we call the ´real´ world – in order to make it visible for others as well.

Burrn: Your philosophy about the picture.
Ule: There´s no set philosophy …But I find myself mostly inclined with spiritual ideas or subjects…I love the idea of making spiritual matters, which sometimes are very hard to come by – or appear to be pretty abstract, or even worse – theoretical or unreal -I love to make them experiencable as feelings or athmospheres, which live on in our inner world as encouragements or inspirations or – at best – as an impulse, to become creative as well…

Burrn: When did you start to work for the art?
Ule: Even as a child I was very interested in painting and drawing. I sometimes spent hours on end with drawing all kinds of sceneries of my imagination – later I as a child I loved to study different perspectives and the various ways to use them..But it took me until 1995 before I took up my old passion again – that´s when I started to paint with oil on canvas..

Burrn: How many copies you finished the art?
Ule: I have finished may 70 to 100 prints on canvas, but if you´d count all the different versions or generations of one motive until I decide for a single one, there´s cetainly more than a thousand.My head is full of images all the time…Regarding oil paintings, its about 30 or so. the reason is simple: it takes so much longer to finish them, since I work in layers and I sometimes have to wait a long time for one layer to dry, before I can work on the next one..

Burrn: What is the message behind the paintings?
Ule: There is always a message, but it is not set. Some pictures are entirely feeling based, others might have a kind of ´philosophical content. Some are based on a concept, others might be ´just´ playful or even a little ironic… All my compositions are sceneries taken from my imagination, which is Very much alive and pretty ´big´, so I like them to have a lot of depth and Ultimately a kind of suggestive mode of infinity.

General Concept: I like to paint spiritual pictures, because I feel, that I am – we are – reality is – essentially spiritual, not material. Matter, for me, is only a very rough manifestation of spirit, so everything material, that I`m painting is portrayed as an expression of its more ´real´ – more ´true´ spiritual essence, which contains its deeper meaning. That´s simply the way, the world is revealing itself to me – a floating, everchanging stream of ´light´ energy, taking all kinds of shapes imaginable – and losing them again – constantly… I see it as God´s creation at work…