In 1981 Jörg Abke came to the Algarve on holiday and made a vow: This was a place he would one day return to in order to work as an artist. He kept to his word and now lives and works in Almancil.
Born 1950 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, the artist resembles a mixture of Rasputin and a weather beaten sea captain. With his remarkably dry sense of humour, he is a veritable exception to the renowned prejudice surrounding humourless Germans.
Jörg discovered his love of art as a young boy, sketching anything that caught his eye. Learning window decoration and graphic design from scratch, he studied an amazing array of different art techniques directly from various artists and his affiliation with graphic design cannot be denied. He alternates with ease between art design work and his love of painting.
"One puts the bread on the table, the other is food for the soul," he says, explaining his double activity in a matter-of-fact tone.
Etchings, airbrush, water colour, acrylic, oil…Jörg swiftly changes between these mediums, applying a different technique on canvas, sun shades, fabric, wood, old doors – in fact anything in order to achieve a different texture and develop a new effect, depending on what he aims to express.
He gets his inspiration through detailed and unyielding observation of the world around him. Indeed, the amount of fragmented ideas, sketches, and doodles he has jotted down could supply him with enough material for the rest of his life.
Currently preoccupied with capturing the idiosyncrasies of golf, arguably the Algarve’s most popular leisure pastime, Jörg’s efforts have produced a fascinating portfolio of impressive paintings – capturing the sport in any one of its many facets while incorporating wonderfully mocking humour: the English gentleman with bowler hat playing golf in a sunflower field; the Italian golfer with a venetian gondola; or a three dimensional former golf shirt as ingredient of a collage.
His latest quirks of imagination consist of silkscreen prints combined with original sketches.