Michael Fischer-Art: bricklayer, painter, male nurse...

(lifePR) ( Berlin, )
Michael Fischer (nom de pinceau: Michael Fischer-Art) served an apprenticeship in East Germany as a bricklayer and painter, before working as a caretaker and male nurse in a psychiatric hospital. With the end of Communism, he caught up with his schooling and studied from 1992 to 1997 at the Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst under Professor Rolf Münzner. In only his first year, Fischer-Art won the coveted "Junge Künstler sehen ihre Stadt" ("Young artists look at their city") Prize (Horst Antes was among the jury members) jointly sponsored by the Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst. Neo Rauch was among those present at his diploma examination in the university's imposing Lichthof,. Michael Fischer-Art is married and has two children. In 2004, Fischer-Art was a member of the 12th Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly).

Fischer-Art calls his work "Free-market Realism" - a sly allusion to the "Socialist Realism" with which he grew up. His style is characterized by rich colours, large surfaces, simple structures and comic-book figures ("Muppets") that lend his work an unmistakable identity. In terms of content, Fischer-Art's work is a form of social criticism that addresses political and social issues, taking in current events such as the terrorist attacks of the 11th September 2001 and disasters such as the sinking of the Kursk as well as the craving for luxury and labels such as Louis Vuitton. At the same time, Fischer-Art feels strong ties to his home town of Leipzig, and major figures from its history, including 'The Princes', Bach and Goethe, pop up from time to time in his Leipzig murals.

Michael Fischer-Art has already created many works in the public sphere. In 1998, he adorned the new lecture hall building of the TU Dresden (Dresden University of Technology) with a 2,400 square metre mural. In 2000, he designed a 100 metre fountain for the city centre of Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, featuring sculptures six to eight metres high spewing water. Among his other Kunst am Bau (art within architecture) projects are the Fischer-Art house in Sebnitz (2001), the stairwell of the Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur in Leipzig (2001) and the Fischer-Art house in Leipzig (2004) in Karl-Liebknecht-Straße.

In the summer of 2006, he shrouded a number of residential buildings neglected by the Leipziger Wohnungsbaugesellschaft with fabric panels with colourful figures printed on them. A public opinion poll conducted by the Institut für Marktforschung (Institute for Market Research), Leipzig, indicated that 92% of the inhabitants of Leipzig were aware of the project and that 71 per cent of them felt that Fischer-Art's work enhanced the cityscape.

As an artist, Fischer-Art maintains good relations with representatives of the worlds of politics, commerce and show business. He did a portrait of Gerhard Schröder, then the German Chancellor, for the August 2005 cover the magazine CICERO. Among his other subjects have been the current Chancellor, Angela Merkel (whom he met in September 2004), the actor Larry Hagmann (October 2004) and the former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev (March 2005). In May 2006, another winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Desmond Tutu, visited the artist's atelier in Leipzig. The Minister-President of Saxony, Georg Milbradt, took up a paintbrush on one occasion to pose with Fischer-Art and Guido Westerwelle is also among the artist's advocates. Fischer-Art's publications include "Der Weg zum Farbschock und zurück - Erstes Buch Fischer-Art" (Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf 1995) [English title: "The Way to Colour Shock and Back"] and "Das Diplom und andere organisierte Verbrechen" (Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf 1997) ["The Diploma and Other Organised Crimes"].
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