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The route to Retro-Art:
Ralf Metzenmacher - from PUMA designer to paintbrush artist


Everything is retro! Fashion and furniture, cars and coiffures, music, wristwatches, electronic and electrical goods – wherever we look we encounter the retro-image. Products, design ideas, fads and styles from times gone by are constantly being resurrected, revived, revamped and reissued. Remix, remake, remodel; those elements which have been essential to music and fashion for a long time are now beginning to permeate other areas of our culture. Whilst in feature articles critics (mis)interpret the Retro methodology as involving "no imagination" or being a "crude copy" of what has gone before, today’s product designers and creators from all sectors are using the old to fashion something new.

"Retro-aesthetics" even merits a relatively long paragraph of its own in DuMont’s "Begriffslexicon zur zeitgenössischen Kunst" (encyclopedia of contemporary art), published in 2002. "The 'retro' or 'retro-aesthetic’'concept got ahead as a result of the popular culture of the nineties rather than by anything that the art world produced. As a movement which has permeated film, fashion, music and functional design to the same degree, retro has become a specific term for a cultural existential orientation - the spirit and the outlook of the last decade in the 20th century." However the retro-wave of the 90s did not stick to convention and gradually ebb away as the millennium drew to a close. Instead it surged on unchecked through both commerce and society and is now more up to date than ever.



Ralf Metzenmacher

This is a clear indication that we are no longer talking about just a trend. It is more about a big social and sociological change: creating something new and not merely a copy.

The term "retro" has also been recorded in fine art. The artist Ralf Metzenmacher refers to his new painting technique as "Retro-Art". This technique is not about creating paintings which capture the aesthetics or the lifestyle of the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s. Far from it. "Retro-Art" is Metzenmacher's answer to the new spirit of the times. With his art he adopts these “retro” ideas and uses them to develop something new.
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