Friends: 80-year-old illustrator and children’s book author, Helm Heine. – the culture

Helmy Heine’s life has taken him around the world. Today he lives in New Zealand, where “the Coronavirus has reached barely a few failed people at Auckland Airport so far,” he wrote by email. He also sent his short autobiography: “I tortured my way in school for 13 years. 12 years in Africa were tough times, both professionally and financially. I have been robbed eight times. Nevertheless, it was an important time in my personal transformation from business economist to independent artist. “.

His first major success was when he was awarded the Premio Grafico Prize for his illustrated philosophical book “Elefanteneinmaleins” at the International Children’s Book Fair in Bologna in 1977, a small black and white tale in which the elephant had something about the demise of life learning. Helme Heine has just returned from South Africa, where he lived as a cabaret artist and theater maker with his brother EW Heine for twelve years. His new career began when Gertrude Middelhof discovered it in Germany: “The first version of my book, Freunde, was the only one of my children’s books that my publisher at that time refused with the phrase:“ You can do better ”. The completely new second version has been transformed into a classic version. Thank you “.

Also on TV appeared Franz von Hahn, Johnny Mauser, and the fat Waldemar

He paints his light-colored animals and human figures with restless creativity, and the photo stories with Franz von Hahn, Johnny Mauser and the chubby Waldemar are especially known. The three specifications later found many viewers in film and television, just like Peter Maffee’s musical “Tabaluga”, whose music and lyrics Heine collaborated on. Children’s book critic Konrad Heidecamp wrote of him: “Two pictures are truly a fairytale, three pictures turn into a worldview.” For example, in the story of his creation of “The Sabbath in Heaven,” the world appears as a wonderful place for Adam and Eve as happy children.

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After 10 years, Helmy Heine left Germany again and has lived in New Zealand ever since, after a brief stopover in Ireland. In addition to his comic books, he often works on the texts of his wife, Gisela von Radwitz, as a sculptor, textile designer, and cartoonist. Political developments have raised his grave concern in recent years. He does not mention this much in his picture books, although in Germany he was close to the artists of the New Frankfurt School. “Trumpism, African thinkers, evangelists, religious extremism, increasing political hatred, language policing, exclusion of those who think differently, lack of political debate, inability or willingness to listen,” he said, but: “The surprising realization of how important the cultural scene is A pleasure. “

On April 4th, his 80th birthday, he wants to write a letter to his friends all over the world, just like every Sunday. The most important sentence will be: “Live today in the present.”

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