By Petra Dieners
The light, the colour and the lifestyle of the Mediterranean are unique and have inspired many artists since the late 19th century. For Stefan Szczesny the Mediterranean Sea and in particular St. Tropez are the most important reference points of his rich creative live. Apart from his paintings I am most fascinated of his steel sculputures which can be seen around St. Tropez. Each single hour the play of light and shadow is different. Some days ago I have met Stefan Szczesny in his gallery and had the opportunity to talk with him about his life and his art.
Pierce Brosnan had bought a painting from Stefan Szczesny in the Carribean some years ago. When he saw the large size of the simelar picture in St. Tropez he was very excited.
Was it always your dream to be an artist?
Yes! I was born into a family with broad literate interests and wanted to become a writer first. From the writer I switched to a musician and I have very good skills in that regard. I played in a band as a drummer for a long time. Over the music I developed my passion for art when I was 16. For Paul Klee music was very important, too.
Are you born in Germany?
I was born in Munich and my surname sounds Polish. However, my mother is from Rhineland and my father considered himself as an East Prussian. I do not speak a single word Polish. I lived 22 years in Cologne and in many other places in the world such as Paris, Rom, Sevilla and a substantial time of my live in New York. This experience contributed much more to my development as an artist than my time at the university.
How did you come to St. Tropez?
My parents had a house on the island of Elba. So I developed a relationship to the South at a very ealry stage in life. In my eyes it took too long until I finally moved here. I stay here since 17 years and I did never regret it. I cannot imagine to live in a big grey city in the North.
You lived in a city such as New York. Do you never feel “wanderlust” in small St. Tropez?
I always travel in winter and try to schedule my exhibitions during this time. But St. Tropez is a town where you never have any provincial feeling. The feeeling is comparable with the life in New York, but more concentrated. Living in Upper East Side is like living here. I do not know a place which is more international than St. Tropez! Maybe it is even more international here as in New York. You can find many interesting people here who are trendsetters and opinion leaders in economy, culture and sport. This is realy unique and that is why I never have the feeling to be in Rosenheim or so.
What inspires you ?
My inspiration is caused by the cosmopolitan and shimmering life here. But I am still close to music and I want to make art which is inspired by the music of Sting or Santana, music which makes you happy. I would never go home to listen to a funeral march. Nobody does. But in fine arts many people think art should function as an instrument of socially critical. For me art has the function to improve my life, to open perspectives and to make happy.
What are you favourite places in St. Tropez?
My favourite place is where I live. That is my main favourite place. Another favourite place is the Les Salins restaurant which is close to my studio and of course the Club 55, many beaches around St. Tropez and the nature. The pure nature without any people. The nice thing is that the peninsula of St. Tropez is very natural. The Senequier is always my favorite meeting point in St. Tropez.