"Roland Kaiser was born in 1962 in Pulheim, Cologne- area, Germany. Later during his early youth he had to spend a considerate amount of time hospitalised, it was during this period that Roland found art as an outlet for his personal expression via drawing and painting and continued to developed it further.
In 1979 Kaiser moved to Cologne - the ‘big’ city -.
In 1990 Roland's artistic journey led to him inventing the Recycling-Art-Concept, which basically is founded on the principle to use only used and found material for creating art and developing it to a better self - looking and feeling brand new.
Exhibitions in the 90's in Cologne followed, as did his first Internet- exhibition “Back to Basics“ at the beginning of the year 1997.
The idea was and still is to create sustainable Art and at the same time saving resources due to the responsibility modern man has with regards to material and nature; long before this was discovered by the public.
Dr. Ernst Franz, former deputy art- director of the Rheinisch- Westfälisches Kunstmuseum in Münster, wrote 1996 in March about Roland's artworks and stated that they had „…a smooth and silent form of energy when colours clash…“"
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
As a little boy I was fascinated by colours and shapes, the possibility to create something with my own mind and hands. Then came a crucial event in a hospital in my early youth, I felt so lonely, sad and lost there and then I also felt the urge to draw. It was like a soft but very strong voice was guiding me to do so. So I followed it and did that rainy July- day- view from out of my hospital- room- window in 1971. I was so astonished that I just did it, because for the first time in my life, I wanted to show my feelings on paper and well- educated as I was - thought even that this would be a bit inappropriate, but finished the drawing nevertheless. I continued painting and drawing, and at the age of fourteen I wanted to become an artist.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Hard to tell, maybe ..."Abstract- open- minded- concrete- free- style- christian- Recyling Art" ?! *Lol
What pushed you in that direction?
The need to express myself, my experiences with material, my life, my experiences, circumstances and even hardships, other humans and God did so.
How can you see your work evolving in the future?
Going back to where I began the SC_ART- series (for example) and evolving that further. After some decades you may not be able to do the "old- stuff", because you have developed and maybe you are even more "popular". I pay close attention to the "threat" of too smooth and too "seamless" works. I am not a maschine. I must see the work in each piece, even in the prints. So I not only invented the SC_ART (Scar- Art named after my wounds from all the surgeries which I have gone through (which I didn't immediately recognized when doing the first pieces)), but now I am working on and in the area of "SCARs&Stripes" a subset of SC_ART with focus on the Americas. Four pieces are really fresh and almost complete:
- SCARs&Stripes No.1: INDePENDENCE - SCARs&Stripes No.2: BUiLDING_USup - SCARs&Stripes No.3: CiTIES - SCARs&Stripes No.4: GRoWTH
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
Empathy, prayer, inspiration, the need to create something on my own and sending the message to the hearts of the viewers.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
Of course, a lot of persons did, the old masters, modern artists, when people told me: "you will never make it", 'you can do this stuff "by the way"'; my mother, because she showed me how to paint plates in the garden with water when I was a few years old. The sun would come and dry them, and I had to do it all over again. My very open- minded former art- teacher telling me at fifteen: "All you draw looks like a comic. Crazy!" or when I copied famous art- pieces he said: "Create something of your own!"; friends, buyers, collectors and of course family- members also. A lot of them sorted out their materials and gave it to me. Last not least: my wife inspiring me. One day, when I wanted to stop and leave it all behind, she said: "Why don't you hang some pictures of yours in our rooms, then we have original art at home?!". And then I saw, what I had created and it gave me inspiration and trust again to go on. All the famous and not so famous artists also, I studied them and their works and got even known to some of them at exhibitions, fairs, shows and in their studios.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
As I am working on basis of my 1990- invented Recycling- Art- Concept that depends on what I have "in store" or what I have found and what is brought to me via friends or family- members or even fellow artists: a piece of carton, some old colors, pens, a piece of wood, ...
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
Sometimes when creating a new piece I get an sudden impulse how to name it, if it stands the whole creation process, I have the name. Very often the name comes to my mind by looking at the new piece over and over again and even praying about it. For all things there is a time, you know ... ?!
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
Studying the materials in my archive over and over, bring them in a different order as they where the day before, laying them on the floors of my studio, praying, getting a vivid picture on my mind. So I literally take all this, organize it, view that stuff, think about it over and over again, then I pray, and suddenly I get an idea what to do. Then I go checking the materials if they are matching to the idea/ inspiration, if yes: I start to work, if not: I start the process all over again.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is it more a case of when the moment is right you work?
It is a mixture: my rituals consist of getting in contact with my collected materials, best at a fixed time each day, as art needs a lot of discipline, the pondering and the prayer of course, the organizing and watching at the stuff to work with, then the idea can get to me more easily how and when to start off with the new piece(es). When you love what you do, you must be surrounded by the things/ themes and get in contact with it all the time.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
I try to focus on one, but if it works out well, more ideas may come as well, and then it is really going to get interesting ... ;)
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
Being open for all kind of influences, keeping the good ones, keep on trying, create, never trash any piece, keep them, studying your and others work, training patience, listening what others have to say, be open for letting the work go in another direction as you may have planned it - I call this step the "Creative Jump" - be THE institution for your own works: the creator, the viewer, the critic. Never give up, be thankful for the people around you being so patient with you. Reinvent yourself regularily, have the grit and the heart to do so. Keep on praying. That's all really hard work, the only alternative is to stop working, and that is never an option for a true artist - even when it gets close to this point sometimes.
Which of your artworks are you most proud?
All of them are my babies, so that is hard to tell... the invention of the Recycling Art Concept, especially the SC_ART- and DiSK_ART- Series are really Quantum Leaps for me. The spirituality and the power the works send out when they are in a room makes me ponder a lot and fill me up with gratitude thinking "Was that really me?" ;)
Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?
There are quite some, especially when they manage to get color- areas in a form and a structure which is fascinating me. That way I don't loose the capability to be astonished and ponder. Those artists and their works really touch my heart.
If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?
Yeah, In my own past back in the 90's, and I am really happy that this is what I am doing right now with my new subset- series "SCARs&Stripes" of my Recycling Art Concept.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
Staying in contact with other humans and God; otherwise artistic- life would be only a one- man- show and a monologue. That is not what it is all about but touching others hearts with my art- works, that's it
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
Art is not an object, it is creation. What do you wanna create/ achieve, especially, when you usually learn to drop your own ideas and get the sense of art you are actually taught being at the art- school/ college or university?
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
Yes I have/ had such pieces; some of them need(ed) 25 or even more years to get completed, in fact a Compact- Cassette- Object took 41 years and was completed last year. And yes: some of them I find hard "to let go". It is a daily loving fight for the right balance between letting go and just see and even more FEEL it when and how it is to be completed and not to be overdone. Without inspiration and also putting a lot of thought into it, that would be impossible for me to do.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expressing your creative nature?
I also think that should be the case. Besides the intimidate process which is shown to the viewer/ public with the finished art- piece, (and think about that: it shows what the artist does consist of !), as an artist I have also an obligation to show the viewer not only something about myself but as well pointing to a direction how things should be (seen), sending them a vision and touching their heart.
What are you working on at the moment? (see No. 3. and No. 14. and ->)
We all have heard about the current crisis especially in the Americas ... I want to do my part to support building them up again over there.
Have you ever been part of an artistic group / movement? How did your work benefit from that experience?
Yes, I was. It was a challenge to have the loving struggle inside the group, to get better "results" for all. I learned to take myself not too serious without losing the serious aspects of my art- works;)
When is your next exhibition? Is it a solo or group exhibition? Could you tell us a little about the exhibition, when and where it is?
I think we are all experiencing, that exhibitions in Corona- times seem to take their own time and space ... ;)
View Roland's full collection - Online Gallery of Roland Kaiser