„To bring out the uniqueness of every single person is what art is all about.” This is the idealistic view advanced by professor Georg Meistermann whose leading role in international art history of glass painting is beyond dispute. He is the most important figure in 20th century glass painting.
His third-generation grandchild Simone Bingemer was born to the well-known artist family in Cologne. Already as a child, her life was determined by the urge to express herself with pencils and colours. Thanks to her exceptional talent, she was accepted at the Cologne Art Academy at the age of 16, as the youngest of all students. After finishing her studies in 1975, she worked Europe-wide as an advertisement illustrator for international agencies.
Her ability to ”not only make portraits” but ”paintings” has earned her a lot of respect among customers nationally as well as internationally. Besides many nominations and awards she has won first place in a world-wide pastel artist contest in 2001.
Simone Bingemer lives and works in Cologne.
Art awards for portraiture
In contrast to countries as The United States, Australia, Great Britain and France where painted portraits are still very popular, there is no noteworthy tradition in Germany after WWII and, of course - sadly - no competitions.
Entering an international competition is not without a lot of bureaucratic and organizational effort. That is why I was even more delighted when my efforts gained recognition, awards or even first places every single time I took part in one. This to me is a sign, that the genre of portrait painting still - and time and time again - enjoys great popularity and that a well-painted portrait can be far more than a simple reproduction of what the eye can see.
Born in Cologne, Germany, third generation in a family of renowned artists, Simone Bingemer has specialized in portrait art since 1993. The desire to express herself creatively, to work with pencils and colors defined her early childhood. Equipped with this extraordinary talent she was therefore, aged 16, the youngest pupil to enroll at the Art Academy of Cologne.
After graduating in 1975 she worked as an illustrator Europe-wide for various international agencies. In 1995 Simone Bingemer focused her profession entirely on portrait painting, a wish long-cherished. Her psychological intuition, her unique trove of ideas, coupled with the professional dexterity of her craft, are manifested in her pictures that express a special, large vividness.
"Resemblance lies in the eye of the viewer. There is no such thing - an exact similarity between image and model. Portraits are therefore always interpretations."
The initial stage of finding her inspiration for the picture is intensely crucial. Plenty of photographs are taken, from a selection of which a sketch is then made that is finally transferred in enlarged form on to her paper. During photo shooting personal dialogues render for a short while an atmosphere of privacy and closeness, the direct contact to the model and his/her environment that is integral for the conception of the idea and subsequent making of the portrait.
Such is how portraits ensue in which the character of a person is accentuated with a few requisites and subtle coloring, and yet with which the viewer is confronted with a secret. Her ability to create "not just portraits" but also "pictures" have won her much recognition amongst clients both at home and abroad. Amongst numerous nominations and prizes she was awarded in 2001 1st Prize in the portrait category of an international pastels competition.
Simone Bingemer lives with her three children in Cologne, where she also has her studio. 07/2003