_Text by Peter Handel

For Daniel Kiessler drawing is passion.

At first he starts his career as a talented young drawer of comics.
He works as a freelance illustrator for some international publishers
of comics. But soon he realizes that working on fantasy creatures can’t satisfy his artistic visions. After studying art, he becomes a free artist and lectures at an academy.

The central motif of his artistic work is the “the woman”, shown in many photo- realistic drawings. He chiefly draws young women in pin-up poses, besides that he also produces drawings which rather express the aesthetic views of an artist like Egon Schiele; they concentrate on the drawing of the head, the remaining figurative representations come to an end in soft lines. Further art- historical connections can be detected with artists like Mariano Vargas and Mel Ramos. While, however, Mariano Vargas’ work seems to harmonize with the image of women in men’s magazines and while Mel Ramos has his pin- up girls play with consumption fetishes- creating ironic distance by transporting them and himself with them into classic motifs of painting- Daniel Kiessler creates a cool and reserved atmosphere in his erotic drawings and by that distance and tension. Despite their seeming vicinity to the colourful, inviting world of men’s magazines, Kiessler’s drawings thus do not run into their clichés. His figures have found their own style. Girls in pin- up poses are transformed into art beings of a cool and reserved distance.

To shape this artistic counter- model, Daniel Kiessler decides on the reduction of means. He limits himself to a presentation in black and white and to the isolation of the physical existence.

He chooses highly white, plane drawing paper and black- lead pencils in different degrees of hardness as his material. This renders possible the sharpest contrasts, the softest transitions and the finest details; from that his own and unmistakeable drawing style results, a style he commands masterly.

Kiessler’s drawings are highly subtle and differentiated. The contrast between black and white is elementary and full of tension. Mediating between these extremes lie shades of grey in slightest grades. A further striking element of his drawings are finest structures in the hair, tattoos and textiles of his models. Here Daniel Kiessler commands the black-lead pencil with incredible precision and delicacy from the lightest of grey to the darkest of black. This multiplicity of structures is completed by highly delicate and fine lights in the hairdressing. By the correspondence with the sharp contrast of the drawings as well as the softness of their transitions and a far- reaching isolation of the models he creates an atmosphere of irritating beauty in the picture, erotic and still distanced.

For me, Daniel Kiessler’s erotic drawings in their strictness are new and exiting.

Peter Handel


Translation German/ English by Peter Beuser

_german version click here