Willi Kissmer was born in Duisburg, Germany in 1951. Multi-talented as a teenager, Kissmer was undecided whether to dedicate himself to the visual arts or music. He studied at the Folkwangscule, University of Essen and later taught printmaking at the University of Duisberg. As for his music, Kissmer is now an accomplished guitarist and has recorded three albums to date.|
Although Kissmer's art is relatively new to North America, the artist is no stranger to the America's, Europe the Soviet Union or Asia all of which he has traveled through extensively. Described as a young contemporary master, Kissmer's art has been shown in galleries and museums from California to Leningrad.
The artist employs combinations of etching, aquatint, drypoint and mezzotint techniques on his copperplates. A range of warm tones and the talent to bring an electrifying edge to his subject, in part, links Kissmer's art to a long tradition of realism in northern European painting. For this, Kissmer has built a solid reputation and an avid following in Europe and a rapidly expanding interest in North America.
The foundation of Kissmer's art is in his passion for the still life. These elements can include combinations of the female figure, everyday objects and residential architecture. A disquieting sense of heightened observation, limited palette, and refined simplicity create moving works that are not conventionally pretty but compelling, confrontational.
Kissmer's expressive and exaggerated interpretation of detail is a trait that permeates the body of his art that has been described as sensual, provocative, technical and mysterious. The subjects interchange of folds, texture and light have the effect of transforming a commonplace subject into something extraordinary. The result for the observer is not just a visual experience, but also a uniquely personal journey