© Stefanie Kong
Born in 1937, I reluctantly went to school, became a mechanic, a seaman, a commercial employee, and a few years down the line I was a “self-made-man”. In 1980 I moved into a living community with conviction after selling my medium sized company which I had established some 15 years earlier. Shortly after, in a flash I found myself on the stage, singing “Dunkle Wolke der Angst” (dark cloud of fear), “Aquarium, Aquarium, was weiß denn der Fisch“ (Aquarium, aquarium, no need to ask the fish) or “Rausländer rein, Rheinländer raus” (this means “foreigners welcome, people from the Rhineland get out”). My audience was made up of yodelling punks and disturbed intellectuals; people from Berlin, Zurich, Mainz etc. Two years of this music hall life and I felt like God himself. I had a grandiose show at Documenta's supporting programme in Kassel in 82, my solo show “It's gonna crack soon” with the corresponding record “jupheidi at dawn”. The Documenta audience was at my feet. “That was rubbish” my sound engineer commented after the show. Defending myself, I claimed it was the wrong audience, but I knew he was right: while trying to please them I went easy on them, narcissism oozing from every pore. Realizing this, I had had enough, the stage was over and done with: “Farewell, beautiful women!”
During these two years had managed to produce a pile of drawings and pictures using plenty of gold paint and toothpaste. I made an array of sculptures from scrap which welded, carpented and screwed together.
My small audience of mostly friends and acquaintances reacted with elation and from then on nothing could stop me.
Excited, dived into the world of art – texts, stories and among them “ANITA” an operetta completely set to music, the creation and publishing of the revolutionary weekly “Geil & Froehlich” (Horny and Happy), animation, design, architecture, artworks for buildings, painting, launching the artist group “Klack Klack” - and was fascinated by the new wizard tool: the computer.
I was very busy and jumped back and forth between projects. But youthful charm and initial verve, lust for Dada, collaging, the whole stylized downfall faded to nothing, the pail was empty, the Punk was no more, being replaced with tutorial and routine. But this restless to and fro did not keep me from noticing that there was not only some progress with painting but also with other art forms, not to mention that was more sought after than ever as a chef.
In 1996 I went to live on a Spanish island, delving right into the light and bright colours.
The brush, the paint, the surface and ! - Developing my own style, finding methods, coarsening the medium, simplifying the object or even forgetting it, eliminating the narrative. Enough for a whole life!
Since then, 25 years have passed and cannot say that have learned anything new in terms of art, I do not even think that this would be possible. Maybe it is easier for me to decide what is truly mine and when I should act conventionally. Maybe can literally have a better foretaste of whether a tone harmonizes with the next and if a line is really necessary or would be better omitted. Of one thing am sure: I am identical to my errors - a good base to build upon!
I have been living in Berlin since 2004.