Karl Kipfmueller in his Brooklyn, NY studio. His paintings are featured at townhouse.bz Art.
From Karl About his Paintings
It was 1983 when I saw a Robert Mapplethorpe show at the Robert Miller Gallery* that had a profound influence on my work. I was in graduate school and up until that point my paintings were manipulated, cropped fashion images blown up and painted in a way that emphasized pattern and composition. The Mapplethorpe show made me re-think what art could be and while not abandoning my interests in composition or pattern, the emphasis of my painting and drawing from that time onward has been the male body.
My work is about the body as object. The work is not intended to be read as portraits even though those elements do often exist. I am not concerned about creating a narrative excuse through History, Religion or Mythology to provide a setting for the figure. It is figure as still life.
I am interested in the concept of beauty in art, both in the subject but also in the abstract qualities of the application of paint and the resulting surface. Mannerist portraiture, 19th and 20th Century Art, Fashion Photography and Figurative Sculpture are all areas that I follow and which make their way into my work.
*It is worth mentioning the Robert Miller Gallery since at that time no one in America would show Mapplethorpe’s work and his only published catalogs were in German, so in l983 it was a big deal to show him in a 5th Avenue gallery (it was before their move to 57th Street). This is a historical context that is easily forgotten 27 years later. Miller is a great gallery, they had the guts to champion someone no one would touch and whose entire reputation in the states at that point was based upon European shows and gossip. Not only did Miller show Mapplethorpe but also Louise Bourgoise and Bruce Weber which made it a place where I spent a lot of time.