NEXT EDITION: February 2nd to 19th 2017, Enquiries Welcome

Painters 2013

André Krigar

“Life is more direct here” André Krigar explains when asked why he chooses to travel over 6,000 kilometres to paint landscapes and people. “I know it is crazy,” he remarks, referring to the distance he is willing to go. “But it’s a sign of our time; anything is possible.” The opportunity to experience other ways of life and living is enticing, particularly for plein air artists like André. Yet, perhaps, more important, is the visual dialogue that ensues between painter and subject—the interpretation of the moment on canvas.  Sometimes, however, these interactions are uncomfortable, pushing artists beyond their comfort zones. For example, André asks, “There are so many problems here, why do we need a painting?” The artist may be referring to the poverty he’s witnessed, particularly in the villages of Matondoni and Maweni where the group travelled to do landscape painting. André’s thoughtful ruminations are a sign of ideological issues in question. “It is a sign of our times,” he says with resignation, “a time of paradox.”  For him, the paradox solicits new visual interpretations, an exciting prospect for any artist.

André is as much at home setting up his easel in Lamu’s busy town square and the bustling fruit and vegetable market as he is on a rooftop, a quiet back street or the seaside. “I am not after a wonderful landscape painting,” he comments, “but to show the activity of people here.” André’s sensitivity to the scene is palpable. Referring to his painting methods he explains, “it is all about colour and capturing the living moment”.

André Krigar was born in Berlin in 1952. He studied fine arts from 1972 to 1979 at Berlin University of Fine Arts. Figurative painting was unpopular at the time and André describes this period as a challenge to his painting sensibilities. “I had to find my own way,” the artist reflects, “and the experience made me stronger.” André supplemented his career as a high school teacher for 18 years teaching fine arts and ancient Greek before turning full time to painting. The artist has participated in the 2011 and 2013 Lamu Painters Festival.