MEDIA / ARTICLES
Body of Work – Richard Winkler
“If your body suffers, your soul must still stand strong. I learned to see the beauty in a strong and healthy body and felt admiration for that because I was lacking that body myself.”
“IN MY CHILDHOOD, I BECAME VERY aware of my body as I had to undergo many surgeries. This was because of a rare bone disease that was disturbing the growth of my bones. I suffered quite a lot of pain and many hospital visits, with doctors constantly checking on my body.”
Bali-based artist Richard Winkler is explaining the origins of his obsession with human body, which is so evident in his paintings and sculptures. Born on June 26, 1969 in Norrkoping, Sweden, Richard is celebrated for his brightly coloured, obese figures. They pop up in mysterious landscapes and amid detailed flora inspired by his life in Bali.
“I learned early that the body and the soul/spirit are separate from each other,” the former freelance illustrator goes on. “If your body suffers, your soul must still stand strong. I learned to see the beauty in a strong and healthy body and felt admiration for that because I was lacking that body myself.”
Richard studied fine art and graphic design at the prestigious Beckmans School of Design in Stockholm, but he would frequently join the life-model drawing classes instead of going the commercial art sessions he was supposed to attend. “The teachers were not happy about it, but that’s another story,” he laughs.
“I wanted to do my own work, without anyone giving me orders,” says Richard of his decision to give up illustrating in 1997 and move to Bali. He married Regine, an Indonesian, who had been his pen pal since secondary school. They lived in Ubud for nine years. After having two children they moved to Sanur, where they now reside close by the beach.
“I wanted to be free,” Richard goes on. “I felt that I had to choose one way of life and say goodbye to the other I could not stay in the middle anymore. I believed that you must do one thing, 100 percent. And you must do what you really want to do- follow your heart, nothing else. I chose to go for my dream, to become a full-time artist.”