Oskar Staudinger: »…the dark side of life can be a lot of fun!«
How to become an artist. An interview with an outstanding draftsman.
Oskar in his studio.-(c) KC Wagner
Q1. Tell me about yourself.
I’m German but apart from that i have no other serious health problems! I was born in Frankfurt (Oder), in the former eastern part of Germany, just before the beginning of the end of the GDR. Even as a small child, I was addicted to ink, pencils and oil colours. As I was born in 1989 into a family of opera singers, my parents decided to follow that tradition and put me into music school, but instead of learning to play an instrument, I began to draw my other classmates. I wasn’t a musician at all. After this short-lived experience in musical education, I began to learn from the great artists to, as Newton said, “see further than others by standing on the shoulders of giants”. After my apprenticeship years and studies at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, I established myself as an artist.
Q2. Describe your art with 13 words.
(Laughs.) I say the dark side of life can be a lot of fun!
Q3. What or who inspires you in your career?
Kathe Kollwitz and Edward Gorey. When I was a lad I have seen the old Japanese woodblock prints and I was so exited! Then I found the books by Edward Gorey hidden in a bookshop and they inspired me. Natori Shunsen, Kathe Kollwitz and Edward Gorey and on top of that, the Pre-Raphaelites – that was and is an inspiring mixture.
Q4. Where do you think your dark humour comes from?
Someone asked me recently: “Could you please do an illustration for our book but please leave the humour out!” That was the most German thing I was ever asked. Humour is seen as something unserious and dark humour is even more annoying for some people especially for Germans. I don’t know from wich inner source my dark humour comes from but I think dark humour laughing even if the situation seems hopeless. What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night? A widow! (Laughs)
»Humour is seen as something unserious and dark humour is much more annoying for some people especially for Germans.«
Q5. And what are you doing when you are not in your studio?
I’m looking for interesting jobs in London. At first i’m a citizen of humanity but England interested me since i was little. So i’m digging for inspiring things like crime scene cleaner or something.
Q6. What was your first job you ever did?
Nude model for a drawing class. I loved it.
Q7. If you weren’t an artist, what would you do?
(Laughs.) Nude model for drawing classes, or something in a morgue.
Q8. What music are you listening to in your studio?
Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner! The Carlos Kleiber version. Or drive away by Thomas Newman.
Q9. What person, dead or alive, would you like to meet?
The artist is talking to an admirer.-(C) KC Wagner