Last weekend I had an exciting interview with the internationally renowned painter Herdin Radtke.
As arranged we met in a small Lebanese run Restaurant in a major city in Germany. Herdin hardly had time to eat his dinner as he had so much to tell. Everyone who knows Herdin is aware that he is not only an excellent artist but also a fascinating narrator. He has spent many years of his life touring several countries. Five years he spent as a neighbour to Salvador Dali in Spain becoming his friend and even restoring some of his paintings.
Herdin proves to his public that even today paintings have a message for everyone to understand without having to attend a three-day seminar first. Art does not have to be just decorative or elitist. Herdin wants his works to return to people the warmth and understanding that seems to have got lost in recent decades.
To him it is not just the absolute novelty, or something that has never been seen before, or the scandalous that counts. Herdin suggests that artists should again learn to master the basic skills handed down over generations from past cultural epochs.
Art and paintings in particular have been used as a means of communication at all times. In past centuries when many people we unable to read or write paintings were used to convey a message. The church used the arts to tell the stories of the bible. After all art is a universal language that does not have to be translated.
Royalty and the Nobility employed artists to decorate their palaces in the same way that the billionaires of our times spend millions on contemporary art to impress their visitors and demonstrate their wealth.
There are many ideas , thoughts, and often accusations which the artists of our time can deliver to us all. Art can also remind us of the beauty of nature presenting it in a light that goes beyond excellent photography.
Why should the understanding of modern art be reserved to the elite who describe a painting in well chosen words which most people and that includes intellectuals hardly understand. More often than not these works of art are seen more as a capital investment for its value to multiply over time.
Herdin would like traditional works of art to regain recognition before the teachers of the required skills will no longer be available. In the same way that Surrealist painters such as Dali would employ their skills to convey a message painters of today should be able to do likewise. The new art form may eventually be called Trans-Surrealism or maybe even Pomponism derived from the name of the small town in France where Herdin Radtke developed his ideas.