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Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

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Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by erik23 on Sun Feb 23 2014, 16:24

Michel Lenz, in his studio in Babelsberg , near Berlin. / PATRICIA SEVILLA
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Michael Lenz is a painter who is not afraid of the big challenges , a feature in his career that has earned him respect and admiration in the famous Babelsberg Studios , where the artist usually paints 47 sets for the films that are made in the dream factory located just 30 kilometers from Berlin .

But Lenz had a moment of doubt when David Scheuemann , a German producer , offered him an unpublished work commissioned by the famous George Clooney , who was preparing his latest film , The Monuments Men.

" Are you able to make a copy , as perfect as possible painted by Van Eyck , which crowns the altar of the Cathedral of Ghent ? Altarpiece " wanted to know the producer. Positive response he heard envoy ushered Clooney an adventure that lasted six months and the painter became a central character in the film: a skilled forger legal dozens of great works of art of world painting .

"I had to make copies of paintings by Picasso , Monet , Rembrandt, Cezanne , but make a copy of the Van Eyck altarpiece was a challenge and it took me two months to finish it ," said the painter El Pais . " To back use a special technique. We print images altarpiece panels of wood and then painted with oil FIGS . To give you a look of old , I used a needle to make cracks in the paint , "he adds .

The Monuments Men , which premiered in Spain on Friday, recreates the true feat of a group of art experts , who are ordered to recover some five million works stolen by the Nazis during the last war.

In 1940 , Hitler's troops invaded Belgium , but shortly before the soldiers arrived at Ghent, the famous altarpiece was dismantled to send to the Vatican. The mission failed on the French border , since Italy had declared ally of Hitler, and the truck carrying valuable wood paneling change route and went to a castle in the French town of Pau, where he was finally discovered by the Nazis. The altarpiece was subsequently sent to Bavaria and was hidden at 1,500 meters deep in the salt mine Altausse where the famous monuments men found them , along with 7000 other artworks.

Clooney 's film shows scenes every five minutes where the works of art that the Nazis stole from museums , churches and private homes , the vast majority of Jewish families , and were shipped on trucks and trains are unknown destination . But those responsible for the production of the film faced a troubling question : How could they show on the tape, the works of art that any museum would be willing to send Babelsberg ? How to film disassembly famous altarpiece and its subsequent discovery in a salt mine ? To solve the problem turned to Michael Lenz.

The tape does not show the valuable originals but reproductions. "For the first time in my career I had to become a forger ," says Lenz. And though he worked for six months, never spoke to George Clooney, "I was in the running, but Clooney was reluctant to talk to the workers . He was jealous of their work or ideas come to the media , "said the painter.

Lenz , currently working on an old ship from a factory in a suburb of East Berlin decorating a reproduction of a dome of a castle that will be showcased in Potsdam , is proud of the work done, but does not hide a certain bitterness with the directors of Babelsberg and the company producing the film. I was invited to the premiere of the film at the Berlinale.

The painter, who has never wanted to have her own studio and also work full time for the passion to create their own tables , does not know what fate had its work tape Clooney, but heard a rumor that his copy of the famous altarpiece was packed and sent to Los Angeles. " My paintings belong to them," he says , resigned . A destination that also lived when he worked for the Roman Polanski film The Writer, the director shot in Babelsberg .

Lenz said that , despite his success, or want to keep painting sets new counterfeits : " I have no time to paint my own pictures ."


Last edited by Katiedot on Mon Feb 24 2014, 04:18; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : updated thread title)

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Katiedot on Mon Feb 24 2014, 04:21

And here's the link to the story: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Wow, he sounds a little sour, doesn't he? Why would he accuse George of being jealous? Or is that a bad translation? Did he mean George was concerned that that the reproduction artworks would be written about in the press?

I like the idea that George now has the reproduction artworks in his house. Wonder where the altar piece is going to go?  Very Happy 

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Mazy on Mon Feb 24 2014, 04:40

I agree about George having the artwork that is such a nice reminder of the production of MM.Maybe he was upset that he never seen George or the fact that he creates these woeks of art and then not see them again.

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Katiedot on Mon Feb 24 2014, 05:03

That's the price of being an artist, I guess. You sell your works and they now belong to someone else.

I wonder if George did really keep the reproductions? Or maybe they'll be auctioned for charity?

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Mazy on Mon Feb 24 2014, 06:22

Katiedot wrote:That's the price of being an artist, I guess.  You sell your works and they now belong to someone else.  

I wonder if George did really keep the reproductions?  Or maybe they'll be auctioned for charity?

You are most likely right George is the consummate fund raiser. Don't think he needs to own materialistic things necessarily. He will see it as a good idea to raise yet more money for his causes. xxx


Last edited by Mazy on Mon Feb 24 2014, 21:52; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Nicky80 on Mon Feb 24 2014, 06:55

"Lenz said that , despite his success, or want to keep painting sets new counterfeits : " I have no time to paint my own pictures ."


Interesting, I think if you are a creative artist that's exactly what you wan to do....

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Mazy on Mon Feb 24 2014, 07:43

Nicky80 wrote:"Lenz said that , despite his success, or want to keep painting sets new counterfeits : " I have no time to paint my own pictures ."


Interesting, I think if you are a creative artist that's exactly what you wan to do....

It might be a financial reason You need to be earning. If he is creating his own art he is not earning a living sadly. xxx

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by it's me on Mon Feb 24 2014, 10:53

you need a really big house

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Lighterside on Mon Feb 24 2014, 12:15

Michel Lenz wrote:And though he worked for six months, never spoke to George Clooney, "I was in the running, but Clooney was reluctant to talk to the workers . He was jealous of their work or ideas come to the media , "said the painter.

I think what the artist is trying to say, is that the artwork was being "jealously guarded" from the media, so they didn't see what was being worked on while they were still filming the movie.

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Nicky80 on Mon Feb 24 2014, 12:20

Ok now you are saying that it makes sense  Thumbs up!

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by silly girl on Mon Feb 24 2014, 12:40

Thanks Lighter that does make sense. I had posted a comment then the it disappeared....weird....anyway I was thinking he just used the wrong word....

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Lighterside on Mon Feb 24 2014, 12:43

Thumbs up! 

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Katiedot on Mon Feb 24 2014, 21:53

Thanks Lighter, that makes much more sense!

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

Post by Mazy on Mon Feb 24 2014, 21:57

Thanks Lighterside that makes sense, it's not always easy when it;s a translation. I just started trying Bing instead of Google. I get maybe a word or two better. I will keep checking it out.

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Re: Artist who reproduced paintings for Monuments Men "never spoke to George Clooney"

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