Leoš Wertheimer

Czech Republic, 1956

Leoš Wertheimer wanted to become a car mechanic. He worked, however, for the Czech Railways all his life and also as a fireworker. From his birth, he has lived with his parents. Because of his mental troubles, he was put to disability retirement very young. His unique passion has been the history and construction of locomotives. In 1997, stimulated by his psychologist, he began drawing. His colored pencil or pencil drawings on strips of wrapping paper represent various types of locomotives. Every drawing has a title: the name of the locomotive. He also notes technological details as well as the scale of the drawing. Curiously, he often marks the number of hours the drawing took him. Emblematic of the industrial world, the locomotives stand for travel, exploration and freedom. Wertheimer managed to perfectly capture their power of fascination by stripping them of their anecdotal qualities to show only their physical power. By accentuating the gear wheels, the articulations and their movement, he assimilates them to anatomical schemes.

Source: Cavin-Morris Gallery

© Courtesy christian berst art brut