Expressing passion and experiences onto his art works, Richard Winkler has always been searching for the beauty and harmony where nature and humans meet.
Keen on drawing and painting since childhood, the Swedish-born artist took his grandfather as his absolute idol. “I never forget the time I spent with my grandfather painting and drawing. He was the first one who gave me first lessons. A great painter, indeed, but my grandfather never had the opportunity to make his passion into a profession.”
Born on June 26, 1969 in Norrköping, Sweden, Richard later moved to Stockholm to attend the Nyckelviken School of Arts and the Beckmans School of Design, where he studied visual arts and fine art and graphic design, respectively.
Most of Richard’s earlier paintings portrayed more on the lines and curves of the human body. His artistic inspiration about human body was influenced by his past medical history. “I had to do a number of surgeries at a young age owing to my bone disease,” Richard recalls. “I learnt that the body and soul are separated from each other. If your body is suffer, your soul then must stand strong.”
After having a number of splendid exhibitions in Norrköping and Stockholm during 1992 – 1997, Richard found Bali as his place of destiny.
The figures on his works have gradually changed ever since. His art figures have become more human-like with hands and faces. With stronger light and colors, the theme has more elements of nature and harmony.
The natural vibrancy of Bali, culture and the tropical weather are what made Richard feel very excited to live on the exotic island of Bali. “The island’s nature has been a great inspiration for my works. I rented a little house upon moving to the mountain village of Ubud, Bali in 1997. Two years later I had my first exhibition here, in Ganesha Gallery, Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay.”
Richard married Regine, his pen pal since high school. The both got married upon their moving to the island. After having blessed with two daughters, Dinda, 6, and Nadia, 4, Richard and Regine then decided to move to Sanur beach area in 2006.
“My daughters are the inspiration and motivation for my work. Together with my wife, we love to travel together to explore new places,” he remarks.
Richard has also started doing sculpture since last year. Sculpture is something he wanted to do for many years, as a matter of fact. His paintings have already been sculptural in a way. So, it takes a natural development for him to spread his wings into another form of art work.
“I have for long time been wanted to see how my figures would turn out in three dimensional world. I have set up a sculpting studio. I work with plaster of paris to mold my sculptures. Then I do bronze casting with a limited edition of five sculptures,” Richard explains adding that his first sculptures in bronze are set for an exhibition in Jakarta in late August this year.
Sculpting is an idea that has been growing inside him for years. Indisputably, Richard is one of those artists who like new challenge for finding new means of expression despite his own unique view on art.
What does art mean to you?
To me, art is a way, or a medium, to explore myself. In the beginning, I did not understand what was coming out of me. But I could feel my precious feeling when expressing something freely through drawing and painting. It was like you grab those loose pictures or thoughts inside you and put them on table. Such a vague idea of visualizing something, but it is a self exploration to understand more of who you are. Truly,art has the power to reflect yourself and to get to know yourself better.
When I look at other artist’s work, it is important to me that it evokes some kind of feeling that gets hold of my soul. The beauty of art lies on its naturally candid reflection. Art is all about truth and honesty, especially toward yourself.
An artist is someone who has the urge to create and express him or herself inside out. Regardless of his or her social status or condition, an artist should be able to give a piece of his or her own soul. Creating, for an artist, is like breathing. You must breathe or your life is over otherwise.
What is your long-term goal in terms of being an artist?
Always be true to myself. This means following my heart, mind and intuition to keep exploring myself through my art. And by the end of my life, it is my hope that I will have given the world a little piece of my soul and love.