ISRAEL, 1998, oil on canvas, 14 in x 10 in (35,5 x 24,4 cm)
Photo: Tim Thayer
Another painting that I recently scanned from an older slide. The painting was one of the last ones made in Berlin, in 1998. A photograph in a newspaper captured the moment that a motor biker, just being frontally hit by a car, went flying through the air in in such an elegant way that one might suspect it may have been choreographed. It is what Henri Cartier-Bresson would call "the Decisive Moment".
Looking at the painting, I don't think you can see the biker (maybe there is a trace of him somewhere...) There is a sketch of a small car towards the bottom, otherwise it is various blues, browns with the painting knife horizontally applied to the canvas, suggesting a landscape.
For me the decisive moment was when I canceled the image and created something else, that was much less photograph and so much more painting.
According to the source, the biker was unharmed.
Hartmut Austen is a painter and educator living in the Boston area.