"Funk is about what you don´t play", says Stephan Heggelke, taking a cue from the American saxophonist Marceo Parker to describe his artistic work – paintings that unfold their unique charm in the non-visible, while depicting highly decorative portraits of enchantingly beautiful women, Japanese geishas. Heggelke´s paintings evoke an enthusiastic attraction for Japan, which has so frequently influenced modern European art and still impacts contemporary art. The geishas adorned in colourful kimonos remain at once both promise and enticement. Their beauty and grace create a perfect illusion, which we can only complete within our fantasy, since they turn away from us into a world, which we have to explore for ourselves. In that way, they heighten our sense of the hidden, the mysterious, silence and stillness, a place, that dispels all murmurs of doubt in the certainty, that no certainty exists, not even for an instance. The form is visible, but the sublime and whatever stirs and moves us in these paintings, is something that we – as Kant might have said – have to discover for ourselves. In a word, unfettered freedom.
Stephan Heggelke, born in Hamburg in 1963, studied at the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (University for Applied Sciences) in Hamburg. He was awarded the Xaver-Fuhr prize in 1991. The Hamburg Galerie Commeter has represented him since 1996.