Ralf Metzenmacher
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[18. April - 28. May 2013] Viva Retro - Against All Insanity

Retro Art Exhibition 18. April - 28. Mai 2013

Grand Opening 18. April 2013, 7:00 p.m.

Lectures: 8. May 2013, 5:00 p.m. "Retro Art" 23. May 2013, 5:00 p.m. "Creativity"

Verlagsgebäude Fränkischer Tag der Mediengruppe Oberfranken, Gutenbergstr. 1, 96050 Bamberg/Germany

The interview: Mr. Metzmacher, a beautiful good morning. You describe yourself as cosmopolitan. What exactly do you mean?

Under cosmopolitan, I understand an autonomous person acting on his or her own values ​​and beliefs, while also considered the different worlds of thought from other regions. For autonomy it also means that one has no doubt and no fear. Otherwise it does not work.

Can you please give some examples ...

Gladly. I myself have learnt different jobs and I worked together with people from all different cultures. My colleagues and staff came from China, Taiwan, Pakistan, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Scandinavia, Austria, Switzerland, England, Wales, Scotland, the USA, Germany and Frankonia.

Today I still have good contacts with friends from my school days and also to people around the world. Through these people I got to know and appreciate other worlds of thought. Other cultures, other values. That was very rewarding and eye-opening. My personal perspective has been expanded with the time and I learned quite a lot. This knowledge I was able to integrate nicely in my own world.

For example?

Well, first of all, of course I speak several languages ​​(English, Spanish, and some French) and I well understand Dutch and Danish. I just traveled a lot and had to communicate with the local people. I have constantly tried to learn a few words in Chinese or Urdur (Pakistan) to be respectful and courteous to the people around me.

I have written several books, invented the fastest soccer ball of the Bundesliga, I introduced retro into world of sports and know the feeling, to be totally poor or really rich. You could make a profound conversation with me about art as well as on design, contemporary music and sports. So, I could be in your newspapers arts section as well as on the economic side, or the sport. If you want, we can also like to talk about it. I can give you examples where the management of various companies has failed completely, and I could immediately restructure and change this to a more successful enterprise. I eventually try not to limit my thinking, but try always to learn something in addition.

Why don't you do any consulting?

Frankly, I do not care anymore. I have built up Puma together with my colleagues to become a real world company and proved what I can. I don't do that again. I prefer to help those who have less opportunities to explore other horizons. Today, my aim is insights and mediation. I don't have my money used in order to increase my fortune, but to gain knowledge and insights.

But this is complete against everything that normal people do.

That may be right, but I distinguish today between meaningful and meaningless. How much "more of more" do we need? I feel this whole powerful external view irritating. Fashion and beauty are only for simpletons. Of course I know very well that I'm completely swimming against the current idea of living, but that is the nature of autonomy. You're only responsible for your own conscience.

Isn't this in great contrast to your residence Bamberg/Germany?

Quite the contrary. At first glance, you might get the impression of a province, but the truth is, Bamberg the perfect place for romance and cosmopolitanism. A look at history is worth at this point and if you like you can even spend a few days in my studio. I also differ between the city and the people. Many here think sometimes provincial, but with those, I haven't to do anything anyway. My friends have either a big heart or a great spirit. Often both.

I have invented the retro art in Bamberg in 2004, which combines the idea of ​​the still life painting of the Baroque with Pop Art. And, if you want, I continue to write the story of still life. My design art-collections are the modern form of the series from Andy Warhol and I would refer to the Pop Art, but create new, today, important perspectives and insights of a modern society. Also in Bamberg, I have created the first "Sound-Art-Picture" (in collaboration with a German Rockband) that translates my message of the painting into rock music. I have designed my own clothes, my own bike and my car. My studio keeps the spirit of freedom. So in short: Bamberg is the perfect place for me to invent groundbreaking things and creations.

And what are doing full time right now? Painting, designing, philosophizing?

I am just publishing a book together with Professor Stephan Kaussen (a political scientist, journalist and a brother in mind) beside my painting here. The title 'Thoughts From a Different Perspective - Painting and Essays about the status of our times," There I have summarized my research findings from the past 8 years and deliver important alternative concepts to today's "copy and paste" generation. Think for yourself instead of parroting, if you want. I think that's important. Education consists of knowledge and understanding - and our education policy promotes fatally solely the knowledge. This is a one-way street. And to solve the problems of today's modern societies, the category wisdom is particularly necessary. This sounds very traditional, but is exactly what is required. This is, when Retro comes into play. The important and correct ideas of ​​the past may not just be ignored, but seriously, they combination with the modern challenges and opportunities draw the right conclusions.

Isn't that rather avant-garde?

If you - in all modesty - describe great thinkers and humanists, such as Humboldt, Gandhi, Mandela, or even nowadays Udo Lindenberg as avant-garde in this sense, then I am probably a bit somehow. In modern times many lack the courage to take risks, autonomous aware of being different from the mainstream. What first of all, sometimes might mean unpopular. In art, especially I miss these impulses and maybe I can build one or the other lighthouse. That would be fun, so as a scarecrow against the parroting and simplicity. My idol is actually Udo Lindenberg, who says: "Some think after, others think before!" At this "pre-thinking team," I am hopefully a part of ...

Thank you very much for the interview.


Ralf Metzenmacher | Am Leinritt 9a 96049 Bamberg | Tel: +49 (0) 951 95 70 174 | eMail: info@ralf-metzenmacher.com | Impressum