"Strength, motivation and desire to carry on."
Harald Wolff is a painter born on May 29,1950, in the city of Berlin, Germany. He began his life in what, at the time, was an undivided Berlin,and later relocated to Cuxhaven by the Northern Sea coast for several years. Already at school, teachers became aware of his talent and enthusiasm for drawing and painting, therefore encouraging his interests in the arts. At the age of 15, Harald Wolff attended evening art classes, where he developed his first theoretical foundations. In order to further pursue his passion, he returned to a divided West Berlin, and enjoyed a professional education at the Art Academy, which is now known as the University of Arts, UDK. Once completing his studies, he had two work studios, one in the city of Florence in Italy and another in Haifa, Israel. In time, he would eventually settle in Paris.
Harald's particular style attraction was to the group of artists that went by the name “Cobra”, which included Asgar Jorn, Alechinsky, Corneille and several others. Wolff has had some important displays in Argentina, South Korea and France, he has also had two recurring ones in Paris and Berlin. His major exhibitions took place in Düsseldorf at the Janzen Galerie and in Metz, France, at the Galerie Cridart. In 2013, he also released a book, published by the German publisher Pagina.
Harald's paintings are both energetic and opinionated, with the bold uses of blues and reds. Many of his depictions can also be described as of a dreamy nature, portraying somewhat fleeting emotions, and demonstrating his expert ability to evoke so much sentiment with just hints of silhouettes, blurred figures and the occasional shadows. Wolff's implicative paintings manage to express the daring and mesmerizing level of finesse of someone who has experienced and examined the world through a wide array of lenses.
Q. What role does the artist play in society?
A. The role of the artist in society is diverse and very difficult to define. Reflection, observation, and the visual interpretation or depiction that corresponds to the current environment should be in the foreground for artists.
Q. What is your best childhood memory?
A. There are two special childhood memories, one was visiting the Berlin Zoo in 1958 and the other, being given a huge drawing block with a rich palette of pastel pens for my 9th birthday.
Q. What did you want to become as a child when you were grown up?
A. I wanted to become a firefighter.
Q. Do you remember the first art you did? What was it and how old were you?
A. I was about 10 years old when I created a piece with watercolors, the theme was a fishing boat out at sea.
Q. How and when were you seriously interested in art for the first time?
A. When I was about 15 years old, I was inspired by a book about the French impressionists.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. By drawing from nature, the conversion into painting led to the progressive reduction, and finally, to the repetition of forms which dissolve more and more into content-less entities. From there, regular work with ''readable elements'', that combine well with the experiences of a so-called ''abstraction''.
Q. How do you visualize the textures of your work?
A. The textures develop from a transparent and multiple application of paint and depending on compositional needs, with impasto brush marks.
Q. What does your art like to express?
A. I deal with topics such as dialogue, conversations, situations, actions and encounters, which are meant to draw the viewer's attention to contradictions or even similarities.
Q. What personality trait has most troubled you?
A. Spontaneity, direct reactions to incidents that require immediate contradiction or protest. This directness can be detrimental to me in some situations.
Q. What did you have to sacrifice for this career?
A. The security of a regular income.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your colleagues or someone else?
A. As for literature, I enjoy Paul Celan. When it comes to painting and drawing, I am inspired by Asgar Jorn, Robert Motherwell and Alfred Hrdlicka.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What are you doing to counter this?
A. The artistic life is lonely only in the studio, which I find to be a necessary element for concentration in one's work. Outside the studio, there is enough distraction, no trace of loneliness.
Q. What do you like most besides art?
A. Learning languages.
Q. What is your philosophy in terms of art?
A. To never give up.
Q. What does 'success' mean for you?
A. Quite mundane really, I'll share an excerpt of a quote by Orson Wells ... "When the check is in the bank".
Q. What are the biggest things you have learned in life so far?
A. Patience and to not give up. Restraint and modesty.
Q. What is the best advice you have received and by whom?
A. The advice of my professor of graphics (drawing), Wolfgang Ludwig, is always in my memory “The picture crackles the theory”.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. I advise the next generation of painters not to be deterred by the overwhelming innovations of computer science and technology. Learn how to use them, not the other way around.