Martin Erhard

Germany, 1907 - 1979

Little is known about Martin Erhard: in the 1970s he lived in Peissenberg, in the Upper Bavarian, where he worked in the local coal mine. He had neither wife nor children. Those who remember him recall him often wearing rubber all in all. It is said that he liked to draw on the tunnel walls and on the mining carts down in the coal shafts. What strikes one the most when faced with Martin Erhard’s work is the dichotomy between the world on the surface and the world that dwells down below : there is the cartographical landscape that stretches for over 50 DIN A2 sheets and which covers an area of around 75 square meters. And then there is the underground: a series of blueprints for rooms that Erhard devised in what could be conceived for below the ground. These architectural plans show rooms for the « exercise of sexuality of all kinds according to desire and sexual appetite », for « male perverts » and for « sadistic females », or for sports, exercises an art, as well as for the purpose of indulging in sinful pleasures. He also made a selection of self-observation documentation in an attempt to make sense of the duality of things.


© Courtesy christian berst art brut