Wildlife Artist Wolfgang Weber was born March 11th, 1936 in Germany.
Apart from his free style work there are
illustrations for encyclopedias (e.g. Grzimek Encyclopedia of Animal Life,
a number of logos for international and national organisations (e.g. Frankfurt Zoological
Society, Charles Darwin Research Station Galapagos),
illustrations and paintings for zoos, e.g. Frankfurt Zoo and Museums,
watercolour calendars for more than 20 years,
Artwork as art director for the Outdoor Information Centre Serengeti, Tanzania.
Since his childhood he has been interested in nature, zoology and art, "but even
at that time my interest in animals was more to observe than to collect".
He studied art at the Artschool Mainz. In his holidays he volunteered in the Frankfurt
Zoo, was inspired by famous Prof. Bernhard Grzimek, gaining detailed knowledge in
anatomy. Through close contact with Prof. Wilhelm Schäfer, Senckenberg Museum and
Research Institute of Natural History Frankfurt, he learned much about the functional
morphology of the animal.
Whenever possible, he travelled with very little money to different places, for instance
to Scandinavia, sleeping on a deerskin, or working on a ship in the North Atlantic
to have the chance to see whales.
Photograph by Mary Plage
Although he has been in many wild places, East Africa was (and still is) his second
home where he also lived for several years.
He only paints situations and encounters experienced in the natural habitats of his
Wolfgang prefers to walk on foot, just with a sketchbook, rucksack and tent, sleeping
out at night, sometimes even sketching underwater while scuba diving, or hanging
from a rope in a deep bat's cave in Texas, in order to learn as much as possible
about the various animals and their environment.
The dramatic or dangerous encounters are not the most important ones for him, rather
the friendly ones, not disturbing the animals, but seeking interactions based on
knowledge, experience, and affection. The senses of the wild animals are in any case
more subtle, so acceptance from them is very satisfying and valuable.
Photograph by Mary Plage
His favourite style is watercolour, which brought him to the famous expressionist
Oskar Kokoschka to learn more about it, in his summer school in Salzburg. Apart from
sketching, this is the most suitable technique for illustrating motion and dynamics
in his art, perhaps inspired by his own sport activities like judo, riding, boxing,
diving, tennis, volleyball. For mental training he loves chess.
His style is free, not naturalistic (never painting from photos, rather from his
own sketches in the wild), synthesising impressions, simplifying and catching the
essence of a creature in its natural environment.
Wolfgang Weber wants to help by showing the beauty and diversity of life on this
planet, to conserve and save its endangered nature.