SynopsisPriming, designing, discarding and always trying to establish a certain distance. This is how the dramaturgic concept of this portrait could be described. Consequently, the first shots show Neo Rauch, the Leipzig-based star of the international art world, in his workshop. His success is predicated on the enigmatic and cryptic quality of his large-format paintings.
In muted colours he designs arrangements of melancholy figures gliding across time, space and history. Palimpsests filled with references and quotes that lead back as far as Renaissance painting. Filmmaker Nicola Graef makes no attempt at exegesis – Neo Rauch remains as remote as his creations. Instead she lets others talk: collectors of his million dollar paintings which have made it to the hyper-designed dining rooms of New York art lovers and the bedrooms of Italian villas. Does Neo Rauch, the exotic specimen with East German roots who keeps tackling the Teutonic and authoritarian, paint only what’s expected of him today? In his thoughtful way, he invariably comes up with surprising answers.
A ponderer, without doubt, to whom the film offers a stage he refuses to enter. He knows the stereotypes and classifications that he sees as dressing. The film’s strength derives precisely from these opposing movements. (DOK Leipzig, C. Klauß)