“I was sick and tired of school again. I wanted to draw and paint without my teachers’ incessant comments. My absenteeism was swelling like a spring flood. So Director Werner Andermatt [head of Lucerne’s school of design] called me into his office. That boded ill and I saw myself flunking out of the school. In my distress, I gathered together everything I thought was any good and, in hopes of clemency, stuck it in a portfolio.
On execution day I walked into Andermatt’s office. He motioned for me to take a seat facing him across his gigantic desk. My heart was pounding, my selfconfidence had hit rock-bottom, as had my posture— which Andermatt completely misinterpreted and snarled at me, ‘Show some respect and sit up straight in your hair, you lousy punk, you!” I fell into a state of shock. Then he wanted to why I’d absented myself from school. I told him I’d been painting for myself and wanted some peace and quiet. He grabbed my portfolio. And leafed through it, page by page, forwards and back again, took a deep breath and harrumphed, ‘That’s really very good what you’re doing there, outstanding, sensational. Keep up the good work! But now you come back to school.’ And with that, he let me go.” (excerpt)
This book is a moving tribute to Jörg Binz’s work, a selection from a great many paintings, especially portraits, and from his secret sketchbooks. It contains startling, bizarre, sublime works interspersed with literary and biographical texts that engage in an ongoing conversation with the paintings.