Kai Teichert has been sculpting portraits since 1989. The method employed is ancient, the clay is not burnt but conserved with linseed oil, and once dried, painted in oil colours. This alludes to the overall subjects title - NOFRETETE (Nerfertiti), the bust of Nerfertiti that can be found in Neues Museum Berlin. This is one of the oldest examples surviving of this unique employment of colour on statuary to enhance the subjects inner light within the sculptural portrait.
During the course of sculpting, Teichert is in open dialogue with his subjects in a private or public space, lending the action a performative quality, and within this action, a conversation, a dialogue is formed between artist and sitter. This intimacy informs Teichert's complex, realist form with a depth of astute observation to be witnessed in the finished bust.
His portraits are the result of his contact and interest with many. His dialogues have reached as diverse a subjects as Nobel Prize winning scientist, Paul J. Crutzen for his research into the effects of the ozone on global warming, whose bust he modelled in Crutzen's office in Mainz, Germany.
Teichert spent time in an elderly citizens home in North Germany and did the bust of Lulu Koerner who was one hundred years old.
In Frankfurt/Main, Germany, he made in a studio, the portrait of Jean-Christophe Ammann, who was the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt.
Marie-Jeanne Stefani, a well-known personality in Roubaix, France was sculpted in the library of the Musée La Piscine Roubaix, France.
The bust of the Norwegian painter Kjell Pahr-Iversen was modelled in Pahr-Iversens studio in Stavanger, Norway.
The busts, his portraits in clay, are in many private collections throughout Germ any, France, Netherlands and Norway. The portraits can be found in public collections including the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin, the Berliner Dom (Cathedreal), Musée d´Art et d´Industie La Piscine Roubaix/France.
The bust of Czech President and writer Václav Havel, modelled in his office in Prague, was unveiled in Prague at the Czech National Theater on November 17 2011 a month before his death.
The history of art is long and difficult to change. For example the classical sculptures of Greece and Rome that always have been interpreted as white marble and cut-off noses and externalities. It is a tradition since the renaissance that the white bodies have been the core of inspiration. Artists have been drawing and modeling from these models. Science, though, has shown that these sculptures originally were painted and had eyes of glass. This is quite a different tradition than the classical sculptural expression.
This is the new tradition that Kai Teichert is connected to. Teichert choose an artist portrait in Stavanger; and not an easy choice: Kjell Pahr-Iversen, the artist with two faces. From the archaic elevated portrait of the classical tradition to the more realistic portrait of the popular tradition.
The more interesting of Teicherts portraits is the realistic aspect to it – because it is more realistic than we traditionally wish to see from a sculpture. The portrait is a true proof of the force of the realistic approach asopposed to the wax-cabinett based idolizing and the classical heroism.
Text: Peter S. Meyer, Director of Rogaland Kunstmuseum Stavanger, Norway, 2010.