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Gerhard Richter was born pretty much in the worst place and  time ever: Dresden, 1932.

You can imagine how being raised just as Hitler rose to power messed with little Gerhard’s mind. By the time he was 17, he said that, “[his] fundamental aversion to all beliefs and ideologies was fully developed.” It is no mystery how this mindset came about, as his father was a Nazi. And I don’t mean that as an exaggeration for his father being a strict parent. He was an actual Nazi. (TG Richter was too young to join the Hitler Youth himself.) And then on top of that Richter’s father and two of his uncles died in World War II. He even had a mentally ill aunt, who starved to death in an insane asylum due to the Nazi’s eugenics program. So what do you do after life sends a personal shitstorm to crush your innocence? You paint. And paint is what Gerhard Richter did. 

Richter, who was highly impressed by the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock, had his own niche in the art world. He was a blurer. He would paint layers and layers of paint only to squeegee over them creating different color smudges. He said of his work, “I blur things to make everything equally important and unimportant. I blur things so that they do not look artistic or craftsman-like but technological, smooth and perfect.” He blurred his paintings and along with it he smudged the definition of what art can be.

Even after all the shit he had been through, Richter didn’t lose sight of the important things. He stated, “I believe in painting and I believe in eating too. What can we do? We have to eat, we have to paint, we have to live. Of course, there are different ways to survive. But [this] is my best option.” A man after our own heart, Richter dealt with his past one meal and one painting at a time, just like everyone else. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter (German: [ˈʁɪçtɐ]; born 9 February 1932) is a German visual artist. Richter has produced abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and glass pieces. He is widely regarded as one of the most important contemporary German artists and several of his works have set record prices at auction.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Gerhard Richter