My Heroes I”. What actually is it that makes a hero?

The German iteration of Wikipedia defines a hero as follows:

A hero, or heroine (Old High German: helido) is a person who has performed an act of heroism, that is, a special and extraordinary deed.

This can refer to a real or fictitious person, to historical figures, or figures from myths, legends, or works of fiction. His or her heroic capabilities may be of a physical nature (strength, speed, endurance etc.) or of a mental/intellectual nature (courage, self-sacrifice, a refusal to abandon one’s principles, virtue, or a willingness to help one’s fellow man).

However, each one of us has their own heroes. Alongside the friends and wonderful people with whom I have crossed paths throughout my life, my personal heroes include the artists and their works, without which my life would be so much poorer.

Since my earliest childhood, I have been particularly strongly influenced by number special works, which have become one of the two main constants running through my life, the second being love and respect for my life partner, even if he can’t be there with me. However, I should also mention my love for nature, for the beautiful things in life, and for my dogs.

My uncompromising, burning passion for art that is neither superficial, pretentious, hypocritical, opportunistic, intentionally shocking, nor quite simply meaningless, stupid, or ugly, is what drives me forward, bringing joy and prompting me on a daily basis. This is what beauty can – or rather must – be!

Of course, for various reasons, I can only offer up a very personal perspective on the topic, which accounts for the word “My” in the exhibition’s title. The Roman numeral “I” in the title refers to the fact that there will be a sequel, as I am still a long way from covering my full list of heroes. Each of the individual works that I have compiled over the last 7 months would earn a place in my own personal collection – this was the criterion applied when selecting them. Without exception, these images and sculptures all move me, move something within me, bringing joy, solace, inspiration… For me, life without this burning passion would be inconceivable.

I have always been an avid supporter of graphic print and all other paper-based techniques as, in my view, these are the most direct and spontaneous means by which to convey the talent and emotions of the creative being. As such, among others, you will find here numerous works by the modern masters of these techniques, most of which will be known to all.

What’s more, by sheer chance I came upon a large number of woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai, which I plan to exhibit as an alternating exhibit. I am incredibly excited about this – to the point of being giddy. These are small works from early editions, which I am able to offer at very reasonable prices:

The bridge between past and present is formed by a group of artists who became known as the “Junge Wilde“ (“Young Savages”); Rainer Fetting, Salome, Helmut Middendorf, Bernd Zimmer, Luciano Castelli, along with other artists from the area surrounding the “Galerie am Moritzplatz” and their major supporter Karl Horst Hödicke. And to include some artists not from Berlin: Siegfried Anzinger and Martin Disler.

Here, a number of works on paper are available, the majority of which are from the strong period during the early days of the movement, which in my opinion represented the only truly innovative work of note taking place within the European painting scene at the time. I was very strongly influenced by important, early works by these painters in my childhood home. And maintaining a strong focus on these artists, not least through my intensive ongoing pursuit of the painters of the ”Brücke” over the past 22 years, is something I consider to be a personal duty.

Another special place among my list of personal heroes is occupied by my friends and father figures Raymond Waydelich and Jürgen Brodwolf, who both treated me with kindness as a small child, to whom I have always remained faithful, and who remained faithful towards me like no others – not least during the very difficult last 12 months.

Also on display in the garden are a collection of truly special stone sculptures by artist couple Livia and Michael Kubach-Kropp, who I would like to sincerely thank for their support. They didn’t hesitate for one moment in offering up their strongest available works to me, demonstrating incredible generosity. A selection of stone sculptures by Kubach-Wilmsen also comes from the same source.

My dear and faithful friend, and owner of “Die Galerie” in Frankfurt am Main, Peter Femfert, not only provided me with a number of strong images by artists already mentioned above, but also commissioned works by Amy Ernst; the granddaughter of Max Ernst and Horst Janssen.

It was only through his support that I was able to acquire the large sculptures by artists Dietrich Klinge and Herbert Mehler that will stand in the garden. I would also like to sincerely thank Mrs Mohr for her assistance. And without the consent of artists Dietrich Klinge and Herbert Mehler, these works would not be here now.

The garden will see a continually changing selection of works from the most diverse of sculptors; something I am very much looking forward to, as this would not have been feasible in the gallery on Wettsteinstrasse.

Last but by no means least, I come to the life-affirming early works of Claire Ochsner, which enliven the garden and the artist’s studio, and attract crowds of interested visitors to the Riehen venue, but also to the second exhibition venue in Frenkendorf, where Claire sets to work on a daily basis, producing new works alongside her team.

Claire Ochsner has been working as a sculptor for more than 40 years, experiencing great success. However, because Claire achieved this success as a self-marketer, without any help from galleries, the market has punished her relentlessly, with many choosing to ostracise her and refusing to take her seriously .

Jealousy on the part of her contemporaries was also inevitable on account of her considerable financial success. Over the past three years, Claire and Peter have slowly and carefully allowed their collaboration with me to grow, as if tending to a delicate plant. I hope that one day this sapling might develop into a large and mighty tree, the branches of which will bow under the weight of its fruit. I would be delighted to be taken along for the ride…

With complete impartiality, I ask that you all take a little time to grapple with Claire Ochsner’s works when you next pay a visit to Riehen. The work below is a symbolic representation of the Phoenix, which serves as the ideal metaphor for my experience over the past 12 months. The exhibited works by Claire Ochsner can be purchased via the gallery.

Exhibit information: “Verzauberte Windspiele” (Enchanted Wind Chimes) 12.06. – 19.11.2023 in Riehen, Website:

All of the works I will be offering for sale are flawless, both in terms of their condition and provenance. This is how I have always done things, and I will continue to pay particular attention to this aspect in future. As such, all pieces come with a full warranty.

Complete transparency, professionalism, and reliability have always been the cornerstones of my work, as have my boundless love for art and uncompromising respect for the artists, their patrons, and collectors.

So, I’m “still here, going strong again”, and am bound for new shores! Should you care to join me on this journey, I would be truly delighted at the opportunity to engage in conversation and moments of shared contemplation – as has always been the case.

Sufficient parking spaces are available in the Parkhaus Zentrum (Beyeler), just 70 metres away from the gallery and artist’s studio.

I would very much like the inaugural exhibition to run smoothly and without congestion, which is why it will be held over the course of three days, from 3 to 5 November 2023, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. I have thus allowed sufficient time for each of you dear people who are considering paying us a visit. The gallery may not be the largest of venues, but it is a true gem set within a beautiful garden, with old trees and spaces ideal for displaying sculptures – all set around a small pond directly in front of the “summer house” that has welcomed me and my images with such outstanding hospitality. Now, together with the artists, my friends, and yourself, I hope to begin an exciting new chapter.