Michael Raedecker: interview

Michael Raedecker initially studied fashion and uses thread to delineate subjects including landscapes, still lives and portraits. His atmospheric canvases open up a dialogue between surface detail and depth, everyday life and darker psychology. His new paintings are of flowers, houses and ruins. He works in Shoreditch.

  • Michael Raedecker: interview


  • Nice gaff, what are the neighbours like?

    Fashion designer Giles Deacon has a studio here and photographer Juergen Teller has an office, but the only other artist is Glenn Brown, so it’s quite a change from Delfina studios where I used to work. I like the quiet.

    Nine to five or open all hours?

    It depends. I guess I get here around 11am and usually I leave around nine or ten in the evening. I’m putting in long days with the show coming up.

    Care to reveal your sources?

    The imagery can come from anywhere and I keep loads of source material in the studio and at home. The flower paintings are inspired by Dutch flower painting, obviously, but also magazines like Better Homes & Gardens. One of the ‘ruin’ paintings is based on a painting by Winston Churchill who copied it from a John Singer Sargent.

    What’s in a name?

    I’d feel lazy if the paintings weren’t titled. And I couldn’t do a painting of a table and call it ‘table’. I think titles can help to push the paintings in a certain direction. You see flowers that are supposed to be very beautiful but then the painting's called ‘Pornography’ or ‘Propaganda’. I’m thinking of calling one of the flower paintings ‘Syphilis’ – but maybe that’s going a bit too far.

    What’s on the stereo?

    I have quite eclectic taste. My first idol was Elvis and I still listen to him all the time. I’m also into music that I grew up with like hip hop and minimal house.

    London forever?

    I was born and raised in Amsterdam and I thought it was the centre of the universe. When I started at Goldsmiths in 1996 I thought I would be here for a year but quite soon realised that I should stay. London really suits me. I had a studio in New York a couple of years ago and had a great time but the art scene there feels much more corporate.

    What else is new?

    A double portrait of Hitler, showing in the ‘Effigies’ exhibition at Modern Art. It was quite shocking to do but I like to question why certain images are acceptable but others we want to erase.Michael Raedecker is showing at Hauser & Wirth from Sept 21-Oct 27.

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