Rheinboldt, Frank

Frank Rheinboldt, Paris, France

When I started drawing and painting in 1972, I soon realised that my drawing would not exceed a mediocre level. Except! I leave the so called traditional drawing! I remembered my skills in "technical drawing", which I had learned in an unfinished apprenticeship as an electrician, so I tried to compensate for the lack of talent in freehand drawing (especially nudes) with technical aids, i.e. the female forms were supported with ruler, compass + set square. It was not the "bauhaus" that inspired me, as some people think, but "TECHNICAL DRAWING"!

Parallel to painting, I dedicate myself to photography. Landscapes, stills, architecture and above all, the female nude! For years, the wide-angle lens has served me as a chisel to abstract the nudes and give them the touch of sculpture. My friend Gerd Nickstadt and art director Willi Fleckhaus opened the doors to the artmetier for me.

The combination of painting and photography was then also decisive for my "photo collages", which began in 1986. Since my work is dominated by composition, the making of "photomontages" suited me very well. Here, too, I remembered my technical drawing arches. But instead of pencil and ruler, now ruler + cutter! Because here, too, the geometric element predominates, so: no snipping with scissors, but clear straight cuts. From then on, the "photo collages" inspired me to paint and vice versa. In short: "Photography + painting/drawings = the ideal combination and complement for me"! In 1990 I started to photograph autoportrait nudes, which I sometimes mixed with female portrait nudes. This is how double-sex beings, androgynous beings, came into being. Why I started to photograph myself naked at an already advanced, withered age is surely due to a belatedly recognised mini-photoexhibitionism!

Frank Rheinboldt, Paris, July 2004