GH: After the first decade of painting my antagonism and anger against traditional culture was boiled away, when I got interested in seeing some of these praised original paintings. I was curious what an effect this art would have on me, I was really neutral and open to experience anything, when I went to Florence to visit the Uffizi. It was a shock. The impact of the aesthetics of these works on me was enormous. I was deeply moved and affected by what I saw and I had to take breaks and leave the room from time to time, because I was emotionally totally overwhelmed. This experience changed my attitude toward cultural tradition. I started to study art history.
There are many artists that are very important for me personally, and close to my heart, artists that have changed my way of seeing things, of thinking, feeling and perceiving, like Goya, Rembrandt, Francis Bacon, Munch, Kandinsky, Malevich, Duchamp, Hopper, C.D. Friedrich, Picasso, Velazquez, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Pieter Bruegel, Grünewald, Jan van Eyck, Vermeer, Leonardo, Van Gogh, Norman Rockwell, Walt Disney, Carl Barks, Bosch, Ensor, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston to name a few in no particular sequence. Among contemporary artists I like Anselm Kiefer, Marc Tansey, Gerhard Richter, Neo Rauch, Arnulf Rainer, Günter Brus, Robert Crumb, Cindy Sherman, Brice Marden, Chuck Close.
But I don't think there are many direct stylistic or technical influences by any of these artists on my own work.