Wolfgang Beltracchi with his wife Helene Beltracchi in their studio at home in front of painting for the show Der Jahrhundertfälscher

"Der Jahrhundertfälscher"

30 November — 21 December, 2014
Galerie Christine Brügger, Bern, Switzerland

"What is art for someone like me?" Journalists keep asking this question over and over. Isn't it the case that the concept of art now exists only as a flimsy imitation of a modern misunderstanding? It has become a packaging concept, washed out by the art business. It no longer withstands the test for corruption. The uniqueness imposed on contemporary artists by the market is irrelevant, and this duty is of no concern to creativity. Art in itself is repetitive; it has always quoted itself, so nothing about it can truly be new. It is as old as the world; the only thing that is new and unique is the moment of its creation.

I prefer to talk about paintings. I have been painting all my life, like any other child. Growing up in a family where painting was an everyday norm, this form of creation has accompanied me throughout my life. Breathing, painting, living - that is my existence. Every painting I work on is my past, my present, and my link to the future. Similarly, my painting is a connection to all the paintings already created in the past, those currently being created, and those expected in the future. All existing paintings are interconnected. They emerge from existing works, refer to each other, constantly reinterpret and inspire each other anew. Time does not exist for paintings; they retain their power in a continuous present. They were created for those who see them, and they should be observed and, ideally, evoke something in the observer. So please, take a look. I would like to invite you to form your own picture.

—Wolfgang Beltracchi

Selected exhibited artworks
from the "Der Jahrhundertfälscher" exhibition