# HIV HEROES

VANGARDIST

124

F: There’s one more very important

thought in this: As soon as I add a colour,

and even if it’s only red lipstick, I

automatically dictate a basic emotion

to whoever’s looking at the picture. If

I depict a gangbang scene in black or

red, I instantly give it a touch of wickedness,

of something forbidden. If it’s

all in white, the image retains its virginal

innocence.

V: The topics you work with are quite

varied, and you’ve also created set

designs and commissioned work for

magazines and big fashion companies

like Hermès—where your art is

quickly gaining publicity at the moment.

But that’s not always been the

case, right? What led to your breakthrough

as an artist?

F: There was a time when I’d pretty

much hit rock-bottom. After ten years

in the business, I had to close down

my multimedia agency, and after a

20-year relationship and 15 years of

marriage I got divorced and, as a result,

broke off contact with a lot of socalled

friends. So I was sitting around

my 30-square-metre bachelor pad with

letters from the debt collection agency

piling up, drunk and basically awaiting

eviction. At that low point in my life,

one day I was sitting on the loo taking

a dump, wallowing in self-pity and telling

myself: “God, you’ve managed to

royally fuck up your life, dammit!” And

when I looked down on the ground I

saw, on a sheet of kitchen paper towels

lying around, the face of a woman.

I instantly went to my desk and started

cutting, and after 30 attempts I finally

managed to get one done the way

I’d imagined it. And from that point

things continued looking up, up, up. I

was soon commissioned to do jobs for

a variety of magazines, was suddenly

also selling a lot of my work directly to

private customers, and my pictures for

Peek & Cloppenburg were shown in

Vienna, Berlin and Stuttgart.

V: In November 2012, you had your

first solo exhibition under the interesting

title "Deep Throat". The audience

was presented with a lot of bare

skin, sensual titillation, full penetration,

group sex, big tits, gay cowboys,

and so on—mainly subjects taken

from 70s porn

films. What

inspired you

to deal with

pornography

as a topic?

F: My parents,

intellectual

hippies and

typical products of the 70s, had a very

free, permissive lifestyle. Every year,

we’d go to nude beaches, so as a child

I was constantly surrounded by nudity

and sexuality. My dad would also constantly

take pictures of my naked mum

and next to the morning paper, there’d

"Every year, we’d go to nude

beaches, so as a child I was

constantly surrounded

by nudity and sexuality.

My dad would also

constantly take pictures

be porn mags on the kitchen table; all

this was very normal to me. But when I

hit puberty, I suddenly started to have

a problem with it. All this didn’t fit in

with the coolness propagated in the

80s when, even in the hottest summer

months, people were walking around

in black polo-neck jumpers. Back then,

I wasn’t interested in porn either and

found it extremely boring when my

friends went to the video shop for

porn. I couldn’t understand how anyone

could be so obsessed with sex and

nudity, but now I’ve started to look into

the subject again.

Porn is one of the

oldest art forms,

as people have

always felt the

need to depict

female fertility

in some way or

show men with

erect penises. The film Deep Throat

from 1972 marks the breakthrough

point when porn became mainstream,

and that’s why the aesthetics of my

work make reference to that time.

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