Painter Rudi Kargus was born in 1952 in Worms, Germany. From 1971 to 1989 he was known to the world as a professional soccer player, among other teams at Hamburger SV. After his active sports career he turned to painting in 1996.
“I am often asked whether there are similarities between football and art. I answer there is none; the only thing in common is the intensity.” Kargus describes the two worlds that strongly influenced him both in their own way. “When I stand in front of a painting and somebody comes in and speaks to me, it may well be that I do not answer, or absently say something, because I am so engaged with what I am doing.”
During the interview with Age of Artists the painter describes his way into art and how he found his place in front of the canvas. In the beginning he worked mainly on various painting techniques. His appreciation for critique helped him to advance intensely while it was perceived unusual by his art teachers. For him this ability has never been something special: “It was no problem for me, because I was used to it from sport. It fascinated me to adopt and implement the feedback. I was a fighter.”
Rudi Kargus is no longer the same he was once on the playing field. “I would have never imagined what art does with me. Art has given me a completely different view of the world and changed me as a person.”
When Kargus works, it is mainly internal processes that drive him and not rational considerations: “The work itself, standing in front of the canvas, painting, being able to do what I want, I feel is the essential element of painting. When I stand at the easeI I have an idea and a motive of what I want to do, but while painting it fades into the background, because it’s more about my mental state, my position and what I make of that. In front of the canvas sometimes movements or mandates emerge that are really uncontrolled, and that I cannot explain either. Why do I feel the bright place there has to go? The attitude is ultimately more important than the motive and the craft itself.”
When one asks Rudi Kargus how he assesses his own way into art in retrospect, he tells a short story: “An art historian that gave an introduction to one of my exhibitions once shared his version of my life. What he said was that I was always an artist that had to make a detour through sport. Maybe he is right. ”
Read the full interview here. (In German only)
Picture source: Courtesy; The Artist