Dietmar Busse is a German-born Artist/Photographer who lives and works in New York City. He first exhibited his photographic art at Ralph Pucci in 2000, creating portraits through nature. Here we Here we further explore the magic and mystery behind his combined world of shadows and paint strokes.
How long have you been making art? What seems to be a continuous source of inspiration?
I have been drawing ever since I can remember. Memories from my early childhood are a continuous source of inspiration for me.
What do you hope your art communicates, both to yourself and others?
I am not really sure how to answer this one. I don't make art hoping that it will do one thing or another. What I can tell you is that my work is a mirror. The practice of making art helps me gain a better understanding of myself, psychologically and spiritually. For me, making art has a healing quality. It would be nice if others who look at my work take away something that will enrich their own life.
Who is your favorite artist and why?
There are so many, but one person who comes to mind is Werner Herzog. He has made some of the most beautiful movies I have seen, and also some of the very worst; I admire his fearlessness.
If you were an instrument what would it be and what kind of music would it play?
I would be a blackbird in my father’s garden, announcing the arrival of spring.
If you were not making art, what other profession might you pursue?
I might be a monk, or a drifter.
Do you plan your photographs or does the process evolve naturally?
There are two parts to my photographic process:
The first part follows the classic tradition of black and white portrait photography. I plan where and who I photograph beforehand. I shoot film and document what I see when I look through the lens. Then I develop the film and make prints in my darkroom.
The second part of my work with photography is much more spontaneous. It allows me to go beyond what I have captured on film. I apply photographic chemicals, inks and dyes to draw and paint over my portraits. I never quite know where the process will lead me, but I follow my intuition— maybe like an explorer in a not-yet-discovered land. The print that underlies these drawings provides the structure and keeps the work rooted in photography. The drawings allow me to express that which lives in my imagination.
Has growing up in rural Germany influenced your work?
Absolutely. Deep inside me resides a little farm boy surrounded by animals and nature who have witnessed the beauty, magic and horrors of what it means to be alive. This is the place I go to when I create my work.
How has your show at the Fierman gallery been so far?
Simply put, I am especially happy with the amount of fellow artists who have come to see my work.
Where and when was your first public show?
My first time exhibiting work publicly was in 2000, with Ralph Pucci. We showed photographs of drawings I had made out of flower petals, stems and leaves. These drawings imagined new species of flowers, and fantastical petal creatures were assembled into their own little stories.
For more of Dietmar's wonderful work, you can visit his website here.
Interview, Ken Smart & Christy Rappold.