The Heroine’s Journey of Romy Musholt

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

Dancing Tango Argentine and painting belong together to me. It’s this connection that I love most about my work. Tango has enriched my life emotionally. After some years of taking endless workshops and private lessons and attenting numerous milongas in different cities, I felt a strong desire to express my experiences and feelings about tango in my artworks. I remember well my first milonga in Café Ada, Wuppertal, in 2008. I was so fascinated by the couples moving smoothly in a close embrace, the music and the intimate atmosphere.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

I have many kinds of happiness. I’m really happy when I’m walking in nature with my husband. I’m completely happy when meeting friends in a milonga, talking to each other and drinking a bit of wine. I’m totally happy when dancing tango. Sometimes painting in my art studio turns into a real flow where everything is connected and synchronicity is everywhere. That’s happiness in its purest form to me.

What is my greatest fear?

On a global scale President Trump’s policy of “Making America great again”. His striving for protectionism, his building of a wall to keep away refugees, his ignorance of global warming are really scary to me. I always think of Mahadma Gandhi’s saying: “This planet can provide for human need, but not for human greed.

On a personal, more private scale my greatest fear is the loss of a beloved person.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I tend to be very critical of myself, consequently I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

There are numerous artists who I admire, but who have already passed away. Above all, the American painter Edward Hopper, the “anti-photoshop” painter Lucian Freud and the German artist Otto Dix. All three of them are known for their outrageously realistic portraits, often deranging, and their topic of communication or rather non-communication with a deep psychological insight into their figures.

Among the living artists I most admire are the German painter Gerhard Richter, the South-African painter Marlene Dumas and the Austrian artist Xenia Hausner. Each of them has revolutionized the painting of portraits as a traditional artistic form of expression and focuses on a close interrelation of painting and photography.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Travelling around the world and getting to know different places and cultures. My most inspiring and impressive journeys so far have been to Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland and China. And there are still so many more interesting places left that I’d like to visit, above all Buenos Aires, the cradle of the tango.

On what occasion would I lie?

I prefer not to lie. The only circumstance where it might be necessary is if I believed truth was much more harmful than the lie.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Everything that’s necessary to get started with my painting process, the building and priming of the canvas, the drawing of the figures are rather time consuming.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Now and here. I have been painting tango portraits since 2014 and it seems I’m continuously growing in my art process due to greater practice and experimentation.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

My tendency not to take (m)any risks, my striving for material well-being and security.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

There were quite a number of highlights in 2018 as regards exhibitions and projects. The most emotionally appealing to me took place in Theatro Premier in Buenos Aires on December 12th, 2018, when some of my tango paintings were shown in a digital exhibition during the tango show, called ARTE QUE ABRAZA, Esencia. I’m very grateful to Marina Rasso, the director of this show.

Where would I most like to live?

I would most like to live by the sea in a warm and mild Mediterranean climate close to nature. Maybe the Canary Islands (Teneriffa or Gran Granaria) would be perfect to me, as they’re also a lovely place to dance tango.

What is my most treasured possession?

My husband and I bought a house some years ago. This house is simply perfect for our needs. We converted the attic into an art studio. Although it’s small, it is such a blessing to be able to walk a few stairs upstairs into my own private, creative space. A room solely of my own!

What is my most marked characteristic?

Perseverance, I never give up easily, I‘m a hard worker.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

The city of Cologne is not far from the little town, where I’m living and provides a number of exhilarating Art Institutes and museums, which I appreciate a lot and visit regularly, for instance the Museum Ludwig with a big collection of Contemporary Art. Cologne also provides the most inspirational milongas, with very skilled and talented tangueroas and tangueros, the nicest locations and the best DJs, for example Vida Mia, Tango 8, Milonga Classica, La Pista.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Café Ada in Wuppertal, a wonderful place to dance tango, meet friends and have something to eat before dancing. The food is delicious and so is the atmosphere.

What books influenced my life and how?

“Lost in Tango” by Klaus and Philipp Hympendahl, 2018. This outstanding book sums up the emotional power of tango in the form of expressive photographs taken of milongas in Buenos Aires and personal comments.

“Tango ist eine Diva, die manchmal weint” by Arnold Voss and Brigitte Kraemer, 2018, a declaration of love to this world’s famous dance.

“Tango Global“. Bd. 5 und Bd. 6 by Ralf Sartori, 2017/2018. In these two books tango is considered from a philosophical point of view, the tone being humorous and also a bit sarcastic sometimes. The front and back side of each cover show a tango painting by me. Inside, the essays are illustrated by various tango photographs taken by my husband Rainer Musholt.

Who are my favorite writers?

I prefer writers who create a dystopian world vision, for example Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, Kazuo Ishiguro and Dave Eggers. I strongly believe both literature and art can make a contribution to change this world to a better place.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Tango music, of course! I appreciate music of the Golden Age, especially the sweeping orchestrations of Carlos di Sarli or the slow orchestrations of Francisco Canaro. Maybe the romantic di Sarli song “Bahía Blanca” would fit best for this occasion. But I also like the marked rhythmic music of Juan D’Arienzo.

Modern tangos such as those by Astor Piazolla and the transitional later tangos of Osvaldo Pugliese, with their emphasis on tempo changes also belong to my favourites.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Pippi Longstocking because of her quote “I have never done this so I think I can!”

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

In terms of spiritual leaders my heroes are Jane Goodall, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

“El último Tango” by German Kral. This movie is an emotionally touching and visually impressive declaration of love to tango, its passion and life in general. Above all it is the love story of one of the most famous tango couples of the world, Maríá Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes.

What role plays art in my life and work?

My life is full of art. Being both an Art teacher at a German grammar school and a painter, art plays a major role in my life. Teaching and painting are two sides of a medal to me. I really love working with the younger children and the older students at my school and supporting them in their creative skills and capacities.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My husband Rainer. He has continuously been on this journey with me for the last years.He is a great photographer and also supports me by documenting my projects and exhibitions. Furthermore, he takes photos of milongas and professional tango dancers, which I use as an inspirational source of my artworks.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019?

I envision 2019 as another year filled with interesting projects and exhibitions. I have nothing planned in particular so far, see what comes my way. I would appreciate to work with Olaf Herzog from TANGO DANZA for an interview. I would also like to continue my work with Dr Stela Pospescu from KHP ateliers, Düsseldorf, for a solo exhibition. She was the initiator of ARS TANGO in 2018, an outstanding exhibition with more than 30 artists from different nations each expressing tango in their own way.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019?

I would love to meet Flaco Dany, one of “The last Milongueros”. Today, not many of these men remain. Flaco Dany has been dancing tango for more than 60 years, and has extensive teaching experience of tango salon & milonga in various countries in the last 20 years. He is an icon for milonga con traspie all over the world. I’d love to participate in his workshops. It would be a great honour to dance with him in a milonga and last but not least paint him.

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

I’m looking forward to working on my series “TANGO ES LA VIDA”, containing portraits of individual tangueras and tangueros, couples and more complex scenes of milongas.

Where can you see me or my work?

Follow me on my homepage or Facebook.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

If passion is the driving force of creativity, you might also say “Creative capacity never retires”. Pablo Picasso once said that “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. Children will take a chance and if they don’t know, they’ ll have a try. They’re not frightened of being wrong. By the time they get to be adults, they have lost that capacity, because we stigmatize mistakes. I believe in our system of education we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, or rather we get educated out of it. The point is, if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Hilcyth Hermida

Margit Bauer

Lana Svit

They are great female artists with a powerful creative capacity and a strong visionary impact.

How can you contact me?

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