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Mixed Media

“You were taught by some hugely influential artists at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, such as Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky and Christopher Williams. What did you learn from them?
I learnt different things from each of them. Thomas Ruff taught me to focus completely on one work and to pursue it until it is perfect, although I am not saying I have ever managed to achieve that. He also helped me to see that you have to be just as courageous to finish and then begin something new. I didn’t communicate very much with Christopher Williams, but Andreas Gursky particularly encouraged me to open up and to discuss my work. He also pushed me to try other artistic techniques, outside of photography.

In addition to your former lecturers and mentors, which other photographers have had an impact on your practice?
To be honest, I don’t identify with photographers so much any more. For the past few years, I have felt most inspired by painters. Vija Celmins’ Wüste, Meer und Sterne (2011) at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne was one of the most beautiful shows that I have ever seen. The perfection and reduction in her drawings astonished me and it has made a lasting impression. I have also been affected by Agnes Martin. I love the rhythm in her pieces and the consistency that is apparent in the way she works. Finally, I’d also have to add Gerhard Richter to the list. His small-format painted photographs and his black and white paintings have always made a singular impression on me.”

Full interview here.