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How I Became What I Am

How I Became What I Am


Extracts from the biographical material "Friends of the Art of Peter R. Keil":

I wasn’t always who I am today. Of course not. It was a long journey, and it still is; I will continue it until my last breath. Grasping the world from the viewpoint of an artist, and perceiving all realities with the indispensable will to artistically shape, is a maturation process in which many impressive encounters leave their traces.

At age 21, I turned my back on my home city, Berlin, and made my way to Mallorca. I painted fences and the walls of houses and drew caricatures of tourists, which I tried to sell in Palma and on the beach, with moderate success.

In the course of that, I met a gnarly man, 70 years old at the time, who radiated a natural competence and authority and who criticized and corrected my work with just a few razor-sharp words. He was right in everything he said. Why not? After all, this was the Spanish painter Joan Miró, and since he didn’t completely damn my work verbally and spoke with me as an equal, he reinforced my certainty that I was on the right path. (...)

In the early 1980s, I spent time regularly in Romy Haag’s now legendary club, the Chez Romy Haag in Berlin’s Schöneberg district. The time when David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and the Sex Pistols held court there was past, but some of these birds of paradise still kept showing up. For example Andy Warhol, the über-father of Pop Art and the dervish of the avant-garde. He, the shy, oversensitive, cultivated spirit, always spread a nervous mood that was, however, accompanied by a sizzling creativity. A thousand ideas seemed to swarm through Andy’s head every second, and he desperately tried to capture them. He was bad at sitting still; he overflowed with curiosity, and he constantly took notes or photographed with his Polaroid camera (although that was not allowed in Romy Haag’s club). (...)

In the 1990s, my path took me to an art dealer friend in the Art Deco district in Miami, Florida. While my friend and I selected pictures for the next exhibition, a genteel man entered the exhibition rooms and, full of curiosity, peered at my pictures. What I first noticed was his extravagant and yet extremely stylish clothing, which he displayed with a discreet dignity.

No wonder: this was Gianni Versace, the greatest fashion czar of his time. He asked me many questions and wanted to see more of my pictures, whereby he evinced a competent and many-sided understanding of art. Versace soon became one of my admirers and commissioned two pictures from me with his own concrete specifications. (...)

Other impressive personalities who crossed my life path and remain in loving memory were the famous fashion designer Franco Ferré, New York’s then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and the multiple winner of the Mister Universe competition and action-movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wanted to buy some of my pictures but for some reason never got around to it – in contrast to Luciano Pavarotti, the heavyweight star tenor, whom I got to know in the New York artists’ meeting place, Garage, and who spontaneously and enthusiastically bought two pictures, which are presumably still in his family’s possession. (...)

more news

certification process


Happy New Year from Peter!

The date for the next certification is established February 28 to March 01, 2015th
It takes place in the area of the "Keil Collection Heidelberg" in Heidelberg.

If you are interested, please get in touch here.


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Biographical work (Biografiearbeit)


Biographical work is memory work. I plunge into my memories and, in talks and with personal materials, relate what I’ve experienced. Photo albums support me in drawing up a balance of my life so far. A catalog book that looks back on my artistic path through life and follows me in the here and now is planned for 2015.




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first comprehensive catalog of works and certification process (Werkverzeichnis und Zertifizierung


Since 2013, the Keil Collection Heidelberg (Wilhelm Kampik and Stephan Teuber) has been endeavoring to produce a register of all my works. As a result, whole collections have been certified. This certification process laid the foundation for a first comprehensive catalog of works.

My goal, with the support of the Keil Collection, is to finally provide clarity and to identify as forgeries the many dubious paintings offered on the art market as “genuine Keils” and, if possible, to remove them lastingly from the art trade.

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back in my berlin studio

New things are constantly emerging in Berlin, and with me, too: my raw material is color, my art is painting!

Here are some glimpses of my studio in Berlin.


In Berlin entsteht ständig Neues, so auch bei mir: mein Rohstoff heißt Farbe, meine Kunst ist Malerei!

Hier einige Einblicke in mein Berliner Atelier.

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