O-A: What is art to you?
Heikedine Günther: Art is a never-ending process and for artists like me an essential part of their way of living. Art is not just an occupation but also nourishment. It is as well a mirror in which you can see yourself and see the world.
O-A: What wouldn’t you do without art? What did you discover, achieve with it?
Heikedine Günther: While developing my art I discovered my leitmotif, which is the core and which will stay with me for all my life. The core is so diverse in its references and meanings. This is why I am able to paint so many different variations of the core. I experiment with shape, color and texture for my work to experience the core in all its forms between microcosm and macrocosm.
O-A: If a person, artist or not, influenced you, what kind of question would you ask him/her?
Heikedine Günther: From very early on in my life I was surrounded by art and I have always been interested in the aesthetics and philosophies behind these works that I came across. One big inspiration was Mark Rothko. If I could, I would love to ask him about his color techniques, which are very unique. Even though he applies up to twenty layers of color, there is still lightness in the work. There is breathing and flickering. Of course my other big art hero is Michelangelo. I wonder how he perceived duality – especially in connection with his work “God dividing Light from Darkness” in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
O-A: Who or what inspired you artistically; a person, artist, event, experience…
Heikedine Günther: Nature is my biggest influence and inspiration. My studio is in the Swiss mountains where I can immediately excess and incredible scenery, which is stunning in every time of year. The mountains also remind me of the duality of microcosm and macrocosm: From the smallest stone to the biggest mountain range. My art is always a way to find an abstracted version of the natural inspirations.
O-A: What is a vivid memory of a remark concerning your art that got stuck with you?
Heikedine Günther: I will always remember the moment when I showed my paintings in a small show and one visitor started crying because she felt such a deep emotional connection with the painting. Art can trigger so much that is present in our subconscious.
O-A: What was the most interesting statement you heard about your work?
Heikedine Günther: A famous American art collector once told me, that he is impressed with my artwork because it has so many deep layers that are connected to philosophy, art history and conceptual painting techniques. All of this elevated my paintings in his opinion to works of a unique quality.
O-A: How has your art changed over time? Why?
Heikedine Günther: I generally do a lot of research for my work and I am always looking for the core in different cultures, religions and artistic practices. My artistic output thereby changes depending on the current theme I am working on. This can be bronze age menhirs or Korean celadon ceramics. So of course the paintings that I develop depending on these inspirations differ in their characteristics. But they are always dedicated to the core itself.
O-A: What names do you give your artworks?
Heikedine Günther: The titles function as inventory numbers. All pieces are called “Core No.” and then the number from when I started the painting. So the finished paintings are not in a numeral order because some paintings take longer to finish than others. Some works additionally have names like “rock” or “divided world”. The monotypes get their name from the number of the painting they were taken off from and a letter depending on the layer they were taken from.
O-A: What do you usually talk about with your collectors?
Heikedine Günther: An important aspect to talk about, are the techniques I use when painting and thereby we talk about color, composition and structure of the work. Starting off with a gold primer I add several layers of color to reach the final result. Besides this very painting specific conversation we of course engage in inspiration for the core and the complex references that are build into the works.