Ralf Arzt was born in Stockholm 1963. Arzt has exhibited extensively in Europe and is represented by a number of galleries worldwide. Beauty, although a prominent theme present in all his work, it is the sense of the mystical and faintly melancholic that is more subtly evoked. His aim is to paint in a realistic style, but not more than is necessary. He peels off and simplifies in order to “find his way” in searching for a painterly realism with the expression and charm of a painting. Pushing a picture to just beyond photo-realism for him is crucial.
'For me art is a thing of beauty, but even if the women I paint are very beautiful, I cannot profess to putting beauty at the forefront. It is all about capturing the soul, charisma and mysticism in a given moment of a fleeting situation and being able to relate this emotion to others. The constant seeking for my own mode of expression is what drives me most when I create.
My art is greatly inspired by modern photo art. Expression-wise I am in the borderland between painting and photography. In my painting I aim to create a feeling of modern photo art, thus combining the best of both worlds. The photo’s ability to capture the soul and charisma of a fleeting moment; the painting with its surface, finish and exclusive feel that the photo could never hope to reproduce.
To achieve this I have adapted my techniques more towards photographic expression than painted art. This allows me to erase the borders between the photographic and painted art modes of expression. I use a technically advanced and time-consuming layer by layer technique, building up my painting in many thin layers with no traces of brushwork. I use techniques like schumring and glaze painting, which gives the impression of photo art but with a painted finish. The layer by layer painting gives the colours depth and lustre. My aim is to create contemporary, figurative painting that belongs in the here and now.'