Jannik Hösel on How He Taught Himself to Paint and His Take on the Role of Symbols in Storytelling | The Cave of Apelles

Jannik Hösel is a German classical painter currently studying with Odd Nerdrum.
Growing up in an environment that offered no possibilities to be formally trained in the craft, he chose to go down the autodidactic road, and sits down in the Cave to share his knowledge on self-learning, which ranges from suggested exercises and how to think as you study — to basic awareness of painting materials.
Hösel is also concerned with the psychological faithfulness of motifs. He warns against becoming too “symbolic” or “deep”, and how you can attain the middle road of storytelling.

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Chapter markers:
00:30 Introduction
01:03 A need for timelessness
04:34 What touches you?
06:15 Do self-portraits!
08:46 Jannik Hösel’s Judas painting
14:28 Becoming self-taught
22:55 Understanding your talent and desires
26:15 Intermediate thinking
30:22 The role of composition
37:19 Relating to contemporary art?
46:05 Discipline and work ethic
48:34 Learning from icon paintings
51:11 Insufficient vs good symbolism
56:08 Past, present, future!
57:48 Ultimate depiction of melancholy?
1:02:24 The painting has to say “Ah…!”
1:04:21 Details and multiple figures
1:05:42 Paint from life, paintings and imagination
1:07:30 Best advice: do not be lazy!

This episode featured Jannik Hösel & Jan-Ove Tuv and was filmed and edited by Bork Nerdrum.
The centerpiece was The Death of Judas Iscariot by Jannik Hösel.



Fergus Ryan
Matthias Proy
Børge Moe
Eivind Josten

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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"