"I am not white, but pinkish-greyish".
Who are you, Mr Richter? On the occasion of the cinema release of his film biography, the German painter Daniel Richter talks about natural and artificial identity, the megalomania of his colleague Georg Baselitz and the artistic qualities of the Nazi Emil Nolde.
Daniel Richter is known for trenchant interviews in which he comments on the art world and world events. Now filmmaker Pepe Danquart has made a film about the German artist in which painting takes centre stage. Richter conveys his development in detail and, in parts, somewhat long-windedly. At the beginning of the noughties, he began to paint realistic pictures with contemporary historical motifs.
Finally, he turned to abstraction. The latest cycle works on the motif of two war invalids on crutches, which the artist dissolves into forms and colours in the style of Abstract Expressionism. Between one visit to the studio and the next, Danquart inserts excursions into the art world - to vernissages and auctions, "where oil is turned into gold".
Collectors such as Harald Falckenberg from Hamburg and painter friend Jonathan Meese, whom Richter met at the Academy in Hamburg, also have their say. The art historian Eva Meyer-Hermann comments on the aesthetic transformations. A monograph edited by her is currently being published by Hatje Cantz Verlag.
Richter comes from Hamburg's squatter scene and initially painted record covers for punk bands before attending the University of Fine Arts. Since 2005 he has been the owner of the record label Buback, which has produced musicians such as Jan Delay. A professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Salzburg gallery Thaddaeus Ropac connect him with Austria. While setting up a retrospective at the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Richter took time for a phone call, during which there was also much laughter.