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Being a painter is good. A painter is free and unbound and independent.
From: BEING A PAINTER IS WONDERFUL, 1976
And it was in a Catholic church in the 15th district that I saw a picture of the Madonna which let me wish to become a painter. This resolution was also influenced by the flowers which I picked in the Vienna Woods in order to press them between the pages of a book. We used to discuss about how to avoid that the colors should fade. That’s when I said to myself, if you paint them instead of pressing them, the colors will remain unchanged. Another impulse was my stamp collection; I wanted to be able to paint such pretty little pictures myself one day. In 1943, I consciously made my first drawings.
Doubtless the road I chose as an artist is causally connected with the situation in which I grew up. My youth as a double outsider – without a father and being half Jewish – has naturally contributed to my reflecting a lot and becoming aware. I became a lone wolf, a fighter for certain matters which seemed important to me. During my childhood I didn’t have the chance to feel part of a group and thus remained a solo combatant.
From: BETWEEN HITLER YOUTH AND THE STAR OF DAVID (excerpt), 1990
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