Portrait Christian Redl

Oil on Canvas on Panel, 185 x 193 cm, 2020

Of heavy red wine and painted dream worlds

Christian Redl Portrait , Manfred W. Juergens, Painter Paintings, Artist Art, Wismar Christian Redl Portrait , Manfred W. Juergens, Painter Paintings, Artist Art, Wismar

It's strange how long it occasionally takes until an experience or an idea becomes a portrait. For many years I have been listening to his music while painting, watching his play on the theater stage and in films, and am always fascinated.

After the Threepenny Opera was played at the Hamburg St. Pauli Theater in 2005, we sat with actors in the ‚Brothel‘. There, in the restaurant, I met Christian Redl for the first time. What a guy! We talked long and intensely about life and women, failure and abysses, ailing and musical in us, youth and François Villon. Christian promised me to be portrayed. Heavy red wine flowed freely.

Hamburg: A few weeks later, to my delight, I met him completely by surprise at St. Georg. Oh how nice, Christian, then we can talk about the portrait. His answer in a deep voice: I don't know that we know each other! Months later at the Greek restaurant Vasili in the Davidstrasse again absolutely interesting thoughts and the renewed acceptance. A few days later at a chance meeting on the street: I don't know what you are talking about! I was so fed up with these actors.

The years passed. In 2016, after my friend Katharina opened an exhibition, we celebrated her birthday until the light of day at Castle Clemenswerth in the Emsland. She introduced me to a charming, saving bride. She has been Christian Redl's wife for a few years. I leaned back quietly, waved my hand with a smile and then told my Redl story. You: If he only knew! He likes your painting and even has postcards from you. Days later my wife came into the studio and played me an audio message on her cell phone: 'Well, I'm the Redl. I'm strangely embarrassed. If you are still interested, I would be available'.

It didn't take long and he appeared to me in a dream one night. Was it a walking stick? No, he was standing by the sea with a hat and an umbrella. A black shard of glass had just fallen from the sky close to him. His abysses were reflected in it. Since I knew from him that he had once barely missed severe alcoholism, I saw the devil strolling along with relish and gleefully leaving his tracks in the sand. A horse's foot, a human foot …

On the eve of the photo sketches for the portrait, my wife and I like to go out to eat with those to be portrayed. Christian told about his favorite picture 'The Monk by the Sea' by the Greifswald colleague Caspar David Friedrich. Yes, that fits the role of the lone wolf. The following day, the photo sketches were made on the banks of the river Elbe in Hamburg-Rissen.

In the dream the Elbe became a billowing sea. While designing the picture, Murnaus Nosferatu appeared to me in the shard of the mirror. Max Schreck, you know my city, I'll paint you! Much of the film was shot in Wisborg, that is, in Wismar, in 1921. That fits!

On Venice's Giudecca, Ulrich Tukur saw my first draft on the iPad and immediately complained about the shoes in the picture. 'You don't really want to paint him in these health shoes'. A few glasses of red wine later: 'Mmm, well, because, uh, take off his shoes and take him barefoot!' Joyful agreement on my part: 'Exactly, great, that is more vulnerable, more sensitive. I like that! Christian has to model again, at least his feet.'

With life-size pictures, a man can brood for nine months. My newborn baby was 72 years old on the day he was born. To a long life! I am glad that now, after 15 years, I finally got this portrait.

As soon as Corona has dried up, there will be the second Hamburg one-picture exhibition with this picture panel. My first on the Elbe was the one with the ❯ Portrait of Erna ThomsenErna Thomsen Portrait , Manfred W. Juergens, Painter Paintings, Artist Art, Wismar in her pub called Silbersack on St. Pauli. But this is another story.

Realistische Malerei heute, Manfred W. Jürgens Wismar

of the painting

The genesis
of the painting