Monday, March 30, 2020


#12 of my "Earth" series.

The barefooted woman has been living in my studio for quite some time. I love her, the way how she's smiling with such content, and then the head scarf which indicates various possible origins.

I cut her out a few years ago when I had intended to place her into a huge gardening scenery along with other people where I thought they would water rows and rows of root vegetables. But that very piece actually became something completely different at the end: an ocean with lots of fish competing with each other to get those tiny drops of water coming from a little red watering can tied to the sky ("Whatever It Takes," 2018).

Anyways, this woman had to stay in my drawer for a while. Now she's come out, she's here, taking care of business as "Mother."

Mixed media: clippings from a storybook and a Space collector's album, yellowed edges from book pages, ink, on the hardcover back of a LIFE World Library book, 8" x 11"

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Six Feet Apart

#11 of my "Earth" series.

For this one, I have used  an old copy of Goodnight Moon. I love this book, I didn't know it as a child because I grew up in Germany. But my children did, and it was one of their favorite bedtime stories. The words and storyline are simple and yet they deliver the message of peace in the most perfect way.

You may remember the framed picture of the three little bears that was hanging in the bunny's bedroom. Here I placed them six feet apart for obvious reasons. The mouse seems confused.

"Six Feet Apart"
Storybook clippings, scraps from fly leaves and softcovers, ink, on the hardcover back of a LIFE World Library book, 8" x 11"

Friday, March 20, 2020

With Balloon

#10 of the 30-in-30 challenge that I wasn't able to complete in the month of February but which am continuing now that I am having so much time on my hands, for obvious sad reasons.

So this is "With Balloon."

I finished it yesterday. In a way, it is inspired by Banksy's Girl With Balloon. Only that this one is a grown woman, and she is holding on to her balloon, even though she seems quite apathetic about it.

The woman is cut from a sewing book, from a chapter about taking a woman's measurements.

I used balloons from many different children's books. Usually you find them in contexts with circus clowns or birthday parties or a day in the park. A symbol of fun and for childhood. There is something magical about balloons that makes children want to have one. Please Mom, can I have one? They would pick the one they love best, a difficult choice, and then they would hold the string, looking up at the balloon with joy and pride, smiling and probably dreaming about soaring up there, too. This fragile thing will suddenly end up as a wrinkly little thing, if you let it pop, and it will fly away if you don't hold it tightly. It's something to care for and something you have control over.

Later, when you realize that you are not in control over anything, balloons may appear in your dreams, telling you about your own ambitions and about opportunities that you have taken or lost. You can do anything, people like to say in this country. Well yes, that would be very nice. Banksy's Girl With Balloon, which actually is a girl without balloon, is probably as close to the balloon as she will ever be after the wind caught it.

"With Balloon"
Clippings from various children's books and a sewing manual, sewing thread, ink, on the hardcover back of a LIFE World Library book, 8" x 11"

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Blue Note

#9 of the 30-in-30 challenge.

I think it is a wonderful coincidence that the world maps on the backs of the LIFE books that I am using for this series have exactly five latitude lines - just like a musical staff. I like the idea of the earth hanging out in there, being a song consisting of only one note, a colossal note, a ponderous note.

At the same time, this note is not massive at all. Because it's a blue note.

As a child I wanted to learn to play the violin, or piano maybe, some instrument that wasn't a recorder or glockenspiel. I didn't get real music lessons back then, and I never took the time to learn it later on.

But I have become a music lover anyways. I appreciate many different music genres. I have developed a love for jazz and blues in particular, and, I believe, some decent understanding of it. 

So this is my love letter to the blue notes and to the artists who know how to play them.

"Blue Note"
Clippings from a storybook, vintage sheet music, and an adult coloringbook, sewing thread, on the hadcover back of a LIFE World Library book.

Friday, February 14, 2020

After the Ball

#8 of the 30-in-30  challenge

Whats the elf doing there, said my daughter this morning. No, it's a prince, said my son. He doesn't look like a prince, said my daughter. He doesn't have to, said my son. Oh now I get it, said my daughter. I get it too, said my son. It's it's it's -

Yes, that's right. It's political.

After the ball, the prince finds a glass thing that was left behind on the staircase. Who does it belong to? Good question. The prince looks puzzled and not in touch with the situation.

I used images from a book about mansions in "Early America" (top) and about president's homes (bottom). The elegant room is the East Room in the White House which has been used for balls and other festive events, so I've learned. The room looks lifeless, of course, with no dancers dancing, and the still piano makes the quiet even quieter.

By the way, most colors of the hardcovers that I am using for this series are quite bold; many shades of red and darker blue. Sometimes the world map is printed in black instead of white, and sometimes the lines are very thin, which makes it more challenging to incorporate the graphic into the image. This one was perfect for the glass globe.

"After the Ball"
Book clippings, ink, on the hardcover back of a LIFE World Library book.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Rock Me

#7 of the 30-in-30 challenge.

This rocking chair - what a find! I love the 50s design so much. And yet this piece of furniture certainly does not speak comfort and love. This piece of furniture neither invites an old lady to knit a pair of socks, nor does it serve an overtired mother to fall asleep while nursing her newborn baby. 

I like how the troubled Earth is sitting quietly in the chair. I don't like the fact that the Earth who is in severe need of love and comfort is not able to rock herself to peace.

Interestingly, from far the image looks like a pregnant chick. Let's think about that for a while.

"Rock Me"
Clipping from an antique guide, ink, on hardcover back of a LIFE World Library book.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Find Me

#6 of the 30-in-30 challenge.

"Find Me" may be an open invitation by the reader to join him in his retreat and to discover what he is discovering. Maybe he's asking you to see and understand his mind and his soul. Or maybe it is the globe that is talking to you, inviting you to explore the world and define its meaning and purpose that it has for you.

Whatever you are seeing in this image, it sure is a comfortable place up there.

"Find Me"
Clippings from storybooks, ink, on the hardcover back of a LIFE World Library book