Interview / Hyper realistic painter Philipp Weber

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Artist Philipp Weber tells the stories that move him, using a hyperrealist style. Realism, pop, composition and an attempt to find an inner truth determine the artist’s approach, which places women at the heart of his cyclical works. Like Mel Ramos, Philipp Weber depicts the artificiality and the clichés of the fashion and advertising world. His young women pose as if for a photo shoot for a glossy magazine, providing a blank canvas for men’s dreams, thus picking up on a traditional artistic theme. But Philipp Weber shows more than that: he brings his models to life, releasing them from the artificiality and rigidity of the master image, going under their skin, exposing irregularities in apparent perfection and revealing aspirations and great dreams. 

OFFICIAL SITE philippweber.com

 

INTERVIEW BY ANNA WYPYCH

Hello Philipp, this is a great honor for me to have this conversation with you. I respect you and your art a lot and am seeing you as a modern true master. This interview will be a little different than usual, because I am not a journalist, and am not representing any “big connections” or company. This is only inquisitive me. I see You as a true master of hyperrealism, with so high level of the workshop that a lot of people do not suspect are even possible. I think that at some point, it is no more about the skills, or workshop tricks, but about head and spirit. I mean something that athletes often say, you have to have a victory in your head, not in your muscles. That’s a kind of strongness I always seek in my art and about Your creativity - the essence of the true master - I wanted to speak with you.

 

I saw on your Instagram that you were on a trip with a group of fantastic hyperrealist painters in China. This journey was very inspiring I am sure. I am curious about your reaction to each other, in the sense of what inspired you, that you learned from them, but not only technically but also simply creatively.

Yes, the journey was very exciting.  We were traveling as a small group.  They were the fantastic painters Arantzazu Martinez, Alexander Timofeev, Martin Llamedo and Marco Grassi and the great Count Ibex team.   I already know some of the painters well through previous trips and visits.  There is always a lively exchange and moreover it is always very funny.   We experienced a lot of new things, from what we saw to what we ate.  This combination of different cultural and environmental stimulus, together with the opportunity to spend so much time with such fantastic people and painters, provides an opportunity for personal growth and the sparking of new ideas that is very rare.

On our trip to Asia we visited some of the best realistic artists working in China and Japan. We learned a lot about their technique, their creative process and their lives.  Most interesting to me was the visit to the Chinese painter Li GuJun.  He lives and works in Beijing in a huge modern studio. He was very hospitable and told us a lot about the Chinese art market.

 

 

 

Your paintings remain a part of prestigious Count Ibex Collection, contained the best hyperrealist paintings, and artists from all over the world. There is mysterious “The Count Ibex Masterpiece Project” are you part of this? If yes, could you share something about it? If no, what would be the most difficult for you, something most ambitious for you to paint as a life masterpiece? What Do You see as a most difficult to paint?

I am fortunate and proud to be a part of the Count Ibex Masterpiece Project.  For this project 2,000 realistic artists from all over the world were surveyed – with the Count Ibex team then meeting with over 400 of the artists. Twenty-four of the best were given the opportunity to paint their personal “masterpiece” – a work whose ambition is beyond the normal scope of what is possible given the commercial realities that artists face. For these paintings there was no time limit, no artistic restrictions and all financial resources needed to realize it were provided.  The only ‘restriction’, was that every artist was challenged to produce a work of the highest technical and artistic quality possible.

This is a dream for every artist.  I worked on my painting for about two years – something that without the support of the Count Ibex Collection would be simply impossible.  It will be together with the other masterpieces at the first exhibition of the collected masterpieces in an amazing space on Fifth Avenue in New York in mid-September 2019.

 

 

I know that you usually work very long on your paintings, and here I have a few questions. Do you have moments of doubt during such a long work? What if the project You chosen is not worthy of such a huge effort? What if You put such a great energy in it and what if it turns out to be a failure? My question is if You have such doubts and thoughts? The second question is, how do you deal with them or avoid them?

Before I start with a painting, the picture has already gone through many stages. The first concept sketches, the photoshoot, computer editing and lengthy selection of the correct final image.   After I start with a painting, there is for me no doubt.  This is not the same for every artist, but for me, preparation is the key to confidence.

 

What are you up to now? What inspires your creativity now? What excites you now? There were cycles with main subject paints, water, and nature, what will be next?

My inspiration comes from so many sources: movies, books, travel and other creative people.  The all-encompassing main theme of my pictures is always the same.  My focus is on the human-being and very human stories – this is why I am a figurative artist.  In the end, speaking with another person is how you get to know the real person.  Everyone, by nature of being human, responds more strongly to other people.  My pictures are about life and death, despair and hope, the photos for the series I am currently working on were shot in Iceland.  Nature and the element of water again play a role, as does tragedy and inner-strength.

 

Defeats often change us more and teach more than successes, will you share your greatest lesson?  What was the most difficult moment in your career and how did you deal with it?

The hardest time for me, was after finishing my studies at the UDK in Berlin. I worked hard every day but had no real success. Some of my fellow students had already made a career, though they had to invest less energy and time in their artworks. This was very frustrating for a long time. It was not easy every day for 8-14 hours to go to the studio. But somehow, I always felt like I was on the right path and the last few years have started to show that.

 

 

 

You share private things very rarely, we know very few about your life from social media. I have to ask about that, because this bothers me a lot, and I try to ask other artists about this every time when I have the opportunity. How do you combine family life, with work as the artist? Probably at some point, you have developed a system which works in your case. Will you share something about that?

I do not post photos and do not talk much about my private life as I want to protect my family life. But I can say this much.  I am married and the father of two amazing sons. 

Of course, it is often not easy to combine family life and being an artist, though years of training make it possible.  In everyday life, I do not take my artist’s life so seriously but rather see myself as a worker / craftsman who goes to work every day.  Usually I work much longer than the standard eight hour day, and often work weekends.  My wife luckily has a lot of understanding and she and the children visit me in the studio some days.

 

Private art studio is always unique, and every artist arranges it differently. Could You say something about the place and space You work? How does it look like?

I work in a large studio with high ceilings in every studio room. The building is located on a large area with a beautiful meadow and trees in front of it.  I have a great view into the distance.  I have two assistants working with me now, which makes the process less lonely.

 

 

How do you start the work? Do you have any habits for starting a day at your studio? What helps you focus when you start painting?

When I come to the studio in the morning, I often have coffee with my assistants and we talk about what we have to do. Then the work begins. Often I do the office work first and then start painting or drawing.  At about 1 o’clock we have lunch together and around 17 o’clock is coffee and cake time. When I paint, I mostly listen to music or audiobooks.

What would be 3 tips, what would you give to yourself if you could go back in time and say it to 30th you?

I can think of only one thing.

Do not stress yourself, everything will work out. I still have to tell myself this sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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