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.
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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