Norbert Gramer, Ph.D., focusses on paintings and drawings with an emphasis on endangered species.
Born in 1951, he started painting and drawing very early in life and now lives in Remagen, a small town located along the river Rhine in Germany. Like many members of AFC Norbert donates a part of any sale to a conservation or environmental organisation like Audubon Society, Greenpeace, BUND - Friends of Earth, WWF, The Wildlife Conservation Society, Panthera, that try to protect and to preserve the environment.
After completing an early creative and graphic training he studied old masters like René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Albrecht Dürer, Max Ernst and also modern artists and illustrators. Besides those art studies he received a diploma degree in Social Education at the College of Düsseldorf and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, New German Literature and Education at the University of Bonn.
His watercolors, drawings, and graphics are about different themes concerning the destruction of the environment and all paintings deal with the narrowing of the biosphere not only of endangered species, and show the consequences of overpopulation, the mindless prey on whales and their commercialisation in attraction parks, as well as the consumption of all natural landscapes in order to utilize and exploit their resources. His works are found in both government buildings like the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and in private collections in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.
Norbert paints or draws all the animals in a realistic manner and are derived from his own photographs taken in natural surroundings or game parks. They are not shown in their natural habitat but mostly juxtaposed against an abstract or devastated background, partly consumed by that background. The passe-partouts are integrated intentionally to demonstrate the terrible intensity of the ecological destruction that does not know any limits.
The oil paintings, also partly linked to the subjects of the watercolors, try to show the unreality and dissection of our reality. Though their technique and indicates links to René Magritte, Salvador Dali, and Max Ernst, they do not represent dreamlike internal psychical processes, but pick up religious, political, and social themes and so depart from their surrealistic models - they are rationally surrealistic.
"The way we all treat our environment is not only a political concern but a task for everybody. Art can contribute to a new awareness toward nature by abstracting everyday life, by provoking anger and causing compassion with all creatures. That will only ultimately be accomplished when we give up our compartmentation and think only in categories of benefit and profit and accept our roots with the natural environment and our responsibility."