The artist Matthias Hickel-Lopez’s first artistic impulses came through intensive experiences in his childhood. His studies at the Cologne Werkkunstschule (high school for fine arts, architecture and design) formed the basis for his further goals, as did an apprenticeship as a typesetter in a printing plant in Siegen. Free graphics using all artistic techniques and intensive nude studies provided the tools for the next years of his vocation. Three further semesters at the Salzburg Summer Academy further stimulated his artistic works.
A six-month study trip across South America offered the artist new insights into foreign people and cultures. He translated these different life rites into a new, expressive color palette, incorporating lightness and vibration.
In 1983 the artist was contracted by Tauberbischofsheim and Stuppach to make copies of Grünewald. This new artistic challenge required him to reproduce the special tempera technique of that time and to deal with the corresponding mentality and modes of representation. One year of technical and mental groundwork and five years of copying the originals challenged the artist to the full.
After 1995 people became the focus of his work, including portraits of well-known personalities and his depiction of women in their varying gestures and emotional expressions. Here he has decided in favor of a decidedly narrow, life-sized vertical format. The women on these canvases look like sculptures in the room. The background is by and large dispensed with, and the forms are cropped to emphasize the format, thus offering viewers the freedom to form their own vision.
Eroticism and sensuality have become increasingly important – dance movements, which are often fleshed out through the ephemeral, light presentation. Matthias Hickel depicts the beauty and harmony of the female body, paired with sensuous passion, predominantly in acrylics and oil.
The artist abstains from the direct representation of sexuality. He defines his work with the aid of metaphorical allusions, which represent eroticism as vibrating, compelling, always new, firing the imagination.
Matthias Hickel-Lopez’s portrayals of people are a homage to beauty, dance, the rhythm of movement, emotions as the expression of the soul – rhythm of live, dance of life.
After 26 years in the Markgräferland, Hickel-Lopez moved into his new studio in Wilhelmsfeld, near Heidelberg. Inspired by his trips to Istanbul and Tuscany in 2012, the artist is once again working on landscapes, which he composes in a new and different way. Based on the abundance of varying impressions, he paints differing single works on a panel and thus achieves a new overall vision and atmosphere.
His travel sketches are also gaining new meaning and importance. The artist is increasingly reaching back and re-working such sketches. Thus the study trips of the past are re-emerging into the present.