Born in Marialinden in Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis.
Influenced by his parents (mother: musician, father: painter, teacher)

"Sterzenbach is a painter who creates self-willed dream figures (men, animals, sculptures, rock formations, etc.). Strange and bewitched creatures come into existence, which defy description. Theese magical, surrealistic images have a suggestive effect on the spectator. Sterzenbach about his practice: "I don´t know theese creatures, before I see them appearing on the paper or canvas. I am myself often surprised about my own creations. When I start a new picture I don´t know what will happen - there is so much - what happens". It is quite an own world the artist has created in the last twenty years. He speaks about "Interior Views" in contrast to the "Exterior Views" - realistic urban views, landscapes, portraits, still life, etc. of his surroundings. If you want to enter in this dreamland you have to look over the artist´s shoulder. He has developed different techniques allowing him to prepare the ground in such a manner that he can "see" the figures easier who he then slowly approaches. Either he uses a bundle of ball pen, turning them between his hands so that they let structures on the paper in which he later on "sees" his figures or, he uses the old technique of frottage by rubbing with a black-lead pencil (graphite) on a paper layed over different wooden or metallic articles found, or parts of a machine. Then he puts the different fantastic figures together, in the beginning without any imagination of what is to come into existence later on. This graphic art interesting in itself is then conserved by fixative, and finally completed in water color or pastell. Other techniques like decalcomany, imprimitation on canvas, etc. are also the ground where interesting structures appear which are assembled by the artist to fantasy figures. Little faces and forms, which Sterzenbach inserts in the coarse structures, increase the dreamlike surrealistic appearance of the pictures. Sterzenbach´s works are made in series, meaning many pictures are in process simultaneously. The floor of his studio is full of pictures in process. The advantage to this proceedure is that he can work continuously without waiting for the process to dry. He slowly approaches the figures which he "sees" in every picture in a different way. Whith every stroke or color a figure emerges, finally comprehensible to the imagination. Then the artist begins carefully to enforce, to tone down or to change the shapes forms. It is still a process of something, which is controlled consciously or subconsciously. A concrete imagination would disturbe the process of developement. This way something independent is coming into existence. The titles are mostly short and suggestive like "birdmen", "Unpenetrable", "Agitated", "Oppression", etc. Theese titles often reflect or project a sensation, the spectator may experience by regarding the pictures. Spectators of theese pictures can react quite in a different way: either they feel captured or oppressed. Others are affected by the mysticism of the pictures. In any case comprehension and understanding should not be put in the foreground. It is the artist`s own world, where the spectator uses his own imagination to interpret what he sees."


Bird-Man at the beach - Oil/Canvas (125x100)






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Heinz Sterzenbach