Interview with the Master Surrealist Michael Hutter on His Art
Marijn Kruijff
7 min

Interview with the Master Surrealist Michael Hutter on His Art

7 min

One of our favorite discoveries this year is the erotically charged surrealism of Michael Hutter (1963). That is why I was delighted he accepted our request for an interview. Among other things, Hutter discusses his work, favorite contemporary artists, censorship and also, which artwork makes him want to puke.


1) What can you tell us about the black and white photographs? How did they come about?

Michael Hutter: That was when I discovered the powerful tool Photoshop. I started with my old family photos. Weird as they are and a German family is full of secrets, I decided to make them a bit more twisted and weird. Then I started the same procedure with antic nude photos and ended photographing the models myself. Since I know about Photoshop I don’t believe in the evidential value and truth of photos anymore.

Fig.2. ‘Keeper of the Paradise – Eden

Michael Hutter art

Fig.3. Detail from the ‘Triumph of the Flesh

Michael Hutter art

Fig.4. One panel of a triptych entitled ‘Eden‘ (2020)

2) In our earlier article on your work I saw some similarities between your art and the films of Gaspar Noé. Are you familiar with his work?

MH: Short and boring: I’m not.

3) Are you a movie fan? If so, what is your favorite movie?

MH: I’m not really a movie fan, and I have difficulties to choose between Cremaster 5 and Stalker.

4) Is painting easier for you as you get older?

MH: No it is not. The more my abilities increase the more my demands increase as well. Still every painting is a new challenge and a new adventure…

5) Is the end result of your work already in your head or do new ideas arise while working on it?

MH: I  need to have a detailed picture inside my head before I can start to paint it in the outside world. I’m only copying my imagination and the clearer my imagination is the better becomes the painting.

Fig.5. ‘Die Hexenwippe” (“The Witches Seesaw”)


6) Some of our past Tweets on Twitter that included images of your work were marked by them as sensitive content (only visible to 18+).  Have you ever had issues with censorship regarding your art? What do you think about this kind of sensitivity on art?

MH: Oh, of course i have. FB and Instagram are very important for me. I’m free to show my work to the world without the support of a gallerist. But there are lots of prudes on this platforms and from time to time I get problems here. Usually I do self-censoring and hide sexual organs under blue squares. I think that art should be absolutely free to show and express everything (!) the artist wants. Art is dangerous and starts where it hurts. But I also understand that you can’t show all art on any platform.

7) In previous interviews you told something about your influences (such as Hieronymous Bosch and Peter Paul Rubens) but is there a contemporary artist that you admire in particular?

MH: Matthew Barney, the Chapman Brothers and, it is not easy to admit this, but since I saw the film “Treasures from the Wreak of the Unbelievable” I started to like Damien Hirst. Although his butterfly mandalas still makes me want to puke. And since years I’m a big fan of Toshio Saeki.


Fig.7. In the Labyrinth of false Prophecies: “The Harpyie’s Secret” (September 2020)


Fig.8. In the Labyrinth of false Prophecies: “The Trap” (September 2020)

Michael Hutter arr

Fig.9. ‘In the Labyrinth of false Prophecies: “The Meteors come down…”, ‘ (September 2020)

8) Have you always been able to make a living from your art?

MH: Not always, but now I am.

9) Can you tell us a little bit about your painting ‘The Taming of the Leviathan‘ (Fig.10)’? Are the waves inspired by Hokusai?

MH: I don’t want my art to look realistic, but artificial and overstylised. When I painted the waves I wanted them to look like they were built for a theater stage. Yes, the waves are probably inspired by Hokusai.

the taming of the leviathan

Fig.10. Ink and watercolor version ‘Taming of the Leviathan‘ (2015)

Michael Hutter Art

Fig.11. ‘Alien Nurse‘ (2006)


Michael Hutter art

Fig.13. Print ‘Pterdactyl‘ (2000)


10) Were you familiar with Japanese shunga art before you visited our site? Does the art form appeal to you? If so, what appeals to you? 

MH: Yes, I was familiar with shunga art. And what appeals to me is of course the eroticism, because I love erotic art since I went into puberty, combined with the weird- and strangeness of the illustrations. Also this works are mostly of high beauty and executed finest craftsmanship.

11) What are you currently working on?

MH: “In the Labyrinth of false Prophecies“, a series of triptychs. The aim is to have a large number of centerpieces and sides wings that can be switched randomly to show the absurdity of meaning and truth.

Fig.15. Digital photography on paper ‘Inkubus I‘ (the little demon is Michael Hutter at a younger age!)


Fig.16. ‘Terrible Discovery‘ (2011)


Approach to the Market micheal hutter

Fig.18. ‘Approach to the Market‘ (17 Oct 2020)’

Michael Hutter photograph


Michael Hutter tarot

Fig.20. Tarot card for the ‘Labyrinth of False Prophecies, The Dead Maiden ‘(2021)

michael hutter tarot card boy about to be eaten

Fig.21. Tarot card for the ‘Labyrinth of False Prophecies, Boy About to be Eaten‘ (2021)

Thanks Michael for your fast and insightful answers!

Click here for an earlier article on Michael Hutter’s art….!!

Or here to visit the artist’s own site…!!.

At short notice we’ll include another interview with an exciting artist…so stay tuned! Do you like these kind of interviews? Leave your reaction in the comment box below….!!