Though KARL WESCHKE is one of the key German painters of our times, as implied by the presence of eight of his pictures in the Tate Gallery and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, he is little known in the country of his birth.
Myth of a Life
Documentary by ANDREA THILO and THOMAS GRUBE
GER, 52 min., HD, stereo
KARL WESCHKE, PETRONILLA SILVER-WESCHKE, JEREMY LEWISON
His relationship to Germany could be described as love-hate. In Gera in Thüringen, he spent his lonely childhood in filth and poverty as the son of a woman trying to make ends meet as a whore.
As a young man he ardently wished to fight for Germany but was taken as a prisoner to Britain, where brushes and paints helped him to break free from the ideals of National Socialism.
Nevertheless his earlier experiences kept on spooking and paining him and played a key role in his creative work. His pictures, so he said, always encompassed darkness. He wished to show the darkness in people’s souls, not to arouse sympathy for his having been victimised but just to show the world as he saw it.
KARL WESCHKE began painting very early, during his miserable childhood in Gera, then his gift became his mission. “A painter is just a painter, like an animal is an animal,” he said. Painting is a form of expression and a way to cope with the darker side of life.
His early years were brightened by dreaming of Egypt. This dream remained with him for decades till he finally went to Egypt and came to terms with his life’s contradictions at the age of 75. Only then did he find inner peace, as the wheel of his life - the life of a German painter in Cornwall – came full circle.
KARL WESCHKE died on the 20th of February 2005 in the land of his choice, Cornwall.
A film by ANDREA THILO and THOMAS GRUBE
Camera: RENÉ DAME, Sound: MICHAEL LAUBE, Montage: SARAH SCHILDE, Filmmusic: KARIM SEBASTIAN ELIAS, Commssioning Editor: THOMAS SCHREIBER, Production Manager: MALIN BÜTTNER, Producers: ANDREA THILO, THOMAS GRUBE, UWE DIERKS
A BOOMTOWN MEDIA production
commissioned by NDR/ ARTE
World sales by
BOOMTOWNMEDIA INTERNATIONAL (w/o TV)
NORDDEUTSCHER RUNDFUNK (TV)