Interview and Q&A with Max Frintrop
Q: Can you tell me about your background?
Q: What was the first artwork you made? What? How? Why?
All kids make some kind of art at some point or another, so it was nothing special – but I created my first oil painting when I was 12 years old. I was in a studio in Münster, visiting my aunt and uncle, who were studying there at the academy at the time.
Q: What is more important to you regarding your work? The Process? The visual outcome? The material? Or something else?
This all has to come together somehow in a natural way. I have, of course, a clear visual idea of how a painting should appear, but the production process also has to suit me so that I can be satisfied with the final result. Even though it’s not always the case that my paintings are created without any great effort, for me, an artwork should always appear unstrained and easy.
Q: Was there a particular moment when or event where you decided to become an artist?
Around the time when I created my first oil painting, I attended an exhibition of final year students and, while speaking to the professor there, used that (in-)famous statement: “I can do that, too!” Of course, he probably understood this as a commentary, but it was actually intended more as a self-assertive message. In the meanwhile, I became less interested in art – but creating something of my own was always one of my major goals in life. There were times when I thought that I could become a writer, despite my intense dyslexia. Then, following my graduation from secondary school, I took on a very hard task in the community service system by working in a home for children from all over the world suffering from war wounds. During the night shifts, I began drawing portraits of the children, and made a clear decision to become a painter. The year before I entered the academy, I was more or less preoccupied with drawing and painting everything I came across.
Q: Can you tell us more about the process and the choice of material and ideas surrounding your work?
My forms and composition, which I vary continuously, developed out of painting in space and then found their way back onto the canvas. These were ideas borrowed from Abstract Expressionism and forms derived from Constructivism, which I strove to somehow bring together. In doing this, however, the process – the actual work itself, so to speak – had to feel natural and right for me so that the painting could find a balance somewhere between precision and looseness. The material, however, is more or less irrelevant for me if the final painting looks good and is consistent. As a painter, however, I do in fact enjoy paints with a high pigment density, high-quality paintbrushes, etc. For my sculptural works, on the other hand, I tend to simply use wood, since it’s sturdy and easy to work with. I’m not especially interested in sculptural issues. I only want the structure to remain stable, that it looks good and that it helps to convey my attitude.
Q: What influences you?
To be honest, I’m influenced by everything! Who’s not? But Influence feels like a strange Idea to me. That much is clear. I just try to be focused when I paint.
Q: Can you tell me more about the size and scale of your works?
I prefer to paint larger formats, and usually do just that. I like to move around while I’m painting, and I like it when painting becomes a physical act.
Q: Can you let us in on some of the future projects, works?
Right now, I’m doing works for several exhibitions and art fairs, in which I’m participating. At the Art Cologne, for example, I’m doing a one-man show with Berthold Pott and, parallel to this, I’m also participating in several group shows throughout the city. This will be followed by the Art Brussels and the Nada New York. My work for these fairs is, however, already finished. I’m going to start making sculptures again sometime soon, but directly for and in the respective spaces – otherwise, I’m also already working on my next solo show in Copenhagen, which will take place at Andersen’s in the fall. Beyond all this, the most interesting thing that I’m working on right now – together with my gallery and the designer Lars Heller – is a comprehensive catalogue with works from the last three years or so, which should also be finished by the fall.
Link to artist page: Max Frintrop