Marco Reichert was born in 1979 in West-Berlin and grew up there.

Ridge Did you study art before taking up full time as an artist? Where?

Marco Yes, I made my Diploma and my Master in Berlin. KHB, Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee.

Ridge Which artists do you consider most influential or just admire?

Marco I had different visual artists who influenced me in different periods, but the most important contemporary painters were and are: Gerhard Richter, Michel Majerus, Thomas Scheibitz, Albert Oehlen and Jeff Koons.

Ridge What motivates you to come into the studio each day?

Marco I realized after some years in university that it is so much more satisfying and productive to have a daily schedule. For me painting is a way of searching and looking for more and new questions than answers, more or less like science; visual science.

Ridge Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

Marco In terms of career I would like to be still able to keep on painting. But I don't really care about the location. My son will be as old as Tom Anholt is today in ten years…so it could be any big city like New York, London or Barcelona. May be I gonna stay in Berlin forever.

Ridge What is your favourite part of Berlin and why?

Marco I have been living in Schöneberg for almost ten years, a district that never pretended to be something other than it is. I love it there. That doesn't mean it's boring, it's authentic, it's still Berlin. There are some areas that changed a bit too much — if I would like to live in Stuttgart I would go there.

Ridge You talk about your current work being between photo realism and abstraction. How did you get there?

Marco That's a development which is still in progress. I have been painting photo-based and realistic works for years. It actually changed when I started the "jelly series" between 2009 and 2010, which was still a series of realistic and figurative paintings. The innovation for me was that the paintings became less narrative or better the narration became much more open. The new focus was the materiality and the surface, which made it possible to read them in both ways — as a realistic interpretation of something shiny, liquid but real or as an abstract composition. It was just a logical step for me to get rid of any figurative protagonist.

Ridge What further themes might you want to explore in this medium between abstraction and photo realism?

Marco That's what I meant by "science". I am looking for new ways to explore this border. I want my paintings to stand solid on the edge and in between these old fashioned expressions.

Ridge Would you have stayed in Berlin if it had not become such a huge cluster for artists?

Marco Yes, I am pretty sure. That was a personal decision because of my family. But I have to admit that the development of Berlin made me never doubt about staying.

Ridge If you could work anywhere else where would it be?

Marco I have no clue. I love NY and other metropolis but actually I am sure that Berlin is the perfect spot for being an artist right now.