Life: Description

Dieter Masuhr, born 1938. He studies painting with Hann Trier in Berlin and at the same time architecture; receives degree of Dipl.Ing. in 1965, concentrating on painting afterwards. Works with sculptor David Slivka in New York. - He travels to East Africa, learns Suaheli, administers a coffee plantation on the slopes of Kilimanjaro mountain, portrays the workers and makes them sign their portraits; up to this day he asks people to sign their portraits in his place. - Travels to Indonesia and learns Indonesian. At a Chinese art school in Singapore he is confronted for the first time with East Asian calligraphy which is to influence his work profoundly. - More travelling to Asia, Latin America, New Guinea.

In 1973, he makes drawings for a book of poetry of Nicolas Born, in collaboration with the poet. Later he illustrates many other books, always insisting on designing typography also. - In 1976 he is elected to the board of the Berlin Union of Artists. - In 1978 he travels to uprising Nicaragua. He wants to support the revolutionary cause with posters, but cannot find material for woodcutting. He then devellops the very simple, inexpensive and yet widely unknown graphic technique of film scraping, comparable to woodcutting. This technique enables the artist to delineate smooth, gliding cuts.

As painter he takes part in the war of the Nicaraguan people against the Somoza dictatorship in 1979, drawing portraits of the fighting guerrilleros which are later published in Germany, Nicaragua and Japan as "The Eyes of the Guerrilleros". - Later the German Foreign Office sends him for two years to teach at Managua Art School. He also works as Director of Book Design at the publishing house Nueva Nicaragua. - The Nicaraguan poet José Coronel Urtecho writes an elaborate essay on his way of portraying with the title "Being Painted by Dieter Masuhr, or Selfportrait with Painter" (not translated into English).

In 1984, he begins his long line of paintings on Love, on "the love in making love". - In 1987, the Latvian Artists Union invites him to Riga. - During the Serbian siege of the Bosnian province of Bihac he twice drives a truck with humanitarian aid to Bihac in order to be able to portray the beleagered Bosnians. He publishes a book on his experiences. - For the last six years, following a 19th century tradition, he invites guests to his studio every first Friday of the month, to discuss topics of art, philosphical, or political interest.
In 1998, he was elected as independent member of Falkensee city-council. Publishes regularly commentaries on municipal issues.