»I feel like I know people in the portraits well, even though I‘ve never met them before - they look as if they‘re there!«
Hardly anyone has made BIGFACE‘s intention as accurate as southern musician JJ Gray when we met at the live club Colos-Saal. Rarely have I been so happy about a comment and felt so affirmed in my work.
The idea for BIGFACE was born at the beginning of 2006, when I portrayed one of my longest companion, martial artist, musician and character, Karl-Heinz »Charley« Herwig. This resulted in a picture that surprised him, his family, friends and me in its particular depth. At that time I was still working with a different setup. Light and technology were continuously refined over the years that followed, and I learned more and more about the art of meeting people.
The actual launch of BIGFACE then happened in 2007 with the portrait of the exceptional guitarist Steve Lukather, founder of the band TOTO. Since then I have been able to win about 800 people for my project.
I have been working in the field of art, design and photography for about thirty years. As the founder and co-owner of an advertising agency, my day-to-day business is to make our consumerism shine with a high gloss. In this illusory world, especially beautiful and immaculate people dominate the scenery: apparently perfect, uniform, smoothly retouched – interchangeable, superficial and unreal!
With BIGFACE I search for the opposite: truthfulness and inner values. I want to capture what makes us humans. The reality with all irregularities, bumps, wrinkles and lovable mistakes. The deep beauty that rests behind the surface and that everyone carries inside. Faces in which we find ourselves again: unique, imperfect, vulnerable and strong at the same time.
In my search I meet people of different nationalities. I meet music legends, actors, cabaret artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, shift workers, prominent personalities and the people next door. Each of these encounters is unique and always something special.
BIGFACE moments are often short, but intense. In my »ight tent« the outside world remains outside. For a few moments there is only this encounter, my counterpart and me. This is the place where I find what I‘m looking for: the face behind the face, this one portrait that seems so strangely familiar to us. Why? Because we recognize in it a piece of ourselves.
In every portrait there is passion, attention to detail and a lot of work. The large-format, monochrome exhibits are created in a mixed technique of photography, artistic image processing and fine-art lithography. I shoot with high-end technology and a special light set. Although the carefully selected portrait already has great charisma and brilliance, it is only the foundation of my work in this phase.
Shaped by the »spirit« of encounter, the finest details, nuances and tonal values, which were previously hidden in the motive, are now worked out in several hundred work steps. Step by step, until it shows - the face behind the face.
The finished exhibit measures 100 x 140 cm, because only in large formats does the full expression unfold. The fine art lithograph »Digigraphie®« made of monochrome resin inks meets the highest quality standards of the most important international art museums.
The frames are produced exclusively for BIGFACE and the Digigraphies® are produced in-house.
My portraits can be found in books, magazines, on album covers ... they hang in the private studios of LA rockers, in large companies and in private living rooms. They belong to the fixed inventory of the Colos-Saal, »Germany‘s best live club«, and can be seen in traveling exhibitions.
In addition to my heart project in the live club Colos-Saal, I naturally accept commissioned work from companies and private individuals. I am happy to answer your questions by phone or in person and look forward to meeting you.
My special thanks go to: Jutta and Claus Berninger and the team of the Colos-Saal for the valuable contact initiations to the artists, the provisioning of the photo studio and for the exhibition of my work in the best live club in Germany. Uschi Zöller, my love and partner, who was a part of BIGFACE from the beginning and pushes me again and again. With her special ways, Uschi enchants the musicians in the mask and prepares them for the shoot with me. With her, the artists can relax for a short moment from the harsh everyday life, while with skilful hands she puts every little hair in position. Jürgen Votava, who encouraged me especially at the beginning and made two wonderful videos about my work. Harry, Angelika, and Michelle Kimmich for the great platform in »Jedermann«, dance school Alisch for the commissioned project »Faces & Souls« with permanent installation in their (falls es deren C. ist) casino, Axel Teuscher of Hofgarten cabaret, Burkhard Fleckenstein of the cultural office Aschaffenburg, Jochen Geis and Michael Stahl of Spectrum, Linde Material Handling GmbH, Heinrich Halbe, Roger Willemsen, Charley for the sensational first skull, Pascal Kravetz, Oliver Hartmann, Gundy Keller, Martin Hofmann, Klaus Salwender, all concert and tour managers supporting my project, all artists, Musicians, actors for giving me their precious time and appreciation, and all the people I photograph, who support me and whom I have not mentioned here.