Mati Klarwein ainda

Mati Klarwein was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1932. Two years later, following Hitler's coming into power, he fled with his parents to Palestine, now Israel.

- I grew up in three different cultures, the Jewish, Islamic and the Christian. These circumstances and my family's stern resistance against being part of any kind of orthodoxy has made me the outsider I am today and always has been, Mati says and pours himself another cup of tea.
- That is also why I took the name Abdul. If everybody in the Middle-East would call themselves Abdul, it would ensure a reconciliation that would end the antagonism and the wars in that part of the world. At least that's what I thought at the time.
Anyone who spends a few days with Mati will soon discover that this is a typical statement. His gentle ways and general open-mindedness stems from his multi-cultural background and his experiences during the psychedelic era. (...)

In the fifties Mati Klarwein moved to Paris, a city then seething with existentialist ideas and jazz music.
- My ambition was to go to Hollywood and become a movie director, but instead I went to Paris and studied painting for Fernand Léger. I realise Fernand's greatness, but he was never any direct source of inspiration to me. His main contribution to my artistic development was introducing me to the art of Salvador Dalí. The movie Un Chien Andalou virtually took my breath away.
- I was also profoundly influenced by both the Italian renaissance painters and the Flemish masters


In New York in 1964 Mati - by then Abdul Mati - caused a commotion after having exhibited his blasphemic painting Crucifixion. The motif of the painting being a myriad of people caught in a garden of earthly delights, where no sexual, racial or gender barriers are bearing any significance. Something that threw parts of the society in such a rage that Mati at one point even was attacked by a man violently chopping away with a huge axe.



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