Markus Kostka was born on 1st June 1967 in Wiesbaden. In 1983, at the age of sixteen, he suffered a serious swimming accident in Italy and thereby became tetraplegic. While he was still staying at the clinic, he discovered his ability to paint with his mouth. The renowned watercolour painter Sybille Salzeder recognized his talent and instructed him in watercolour techniques for two years. Following his accident, the mouth painter nonetheless graduated from secondary school with his school-leaving diploma. Markus loves painting animal portraits of all kinds; as he once said himself, “It is precisely in animals that I find that mixture of motivation, feeling and joy which lends my portraits expression.” Markus Kostka has already been able to successfully present his works at numerous exhibitions.
Markus Kolp was born on 18 February 1966 in Augsburg. In November 1982 he was in a traffic accident which left him Tetraplegic (C4) and as a result of which his one leg had to be amputated. For therapeutic reasons, he was advised at school to use his mouth for painting. He took great interest in it and was his hobby during school life. He was quick in making progress. “When I focused on the coloured watercolour paints, it was for me like I was in a whole different world, a world in which I could leave all my physical and emotional problems behind,” he says. He became a Scholarship Member in 2004 and later an Associate Member in 2011. Markus’s favourite themes include flowers and landscapes which he paints using watercolour and acrylic techniques. He has held solo and group exhibitions.
Reinhard Melzer has lived with spasticity ever since birth, due to which his hands are almost completely disabled. Born on 8 September 1938 in Mark, he depends on a wheelchair to get around. At school, he learned to write using mouth and also practised mouth painting. He lived in nursing homes for many years. Painting became a hobby for him and an important part of life. “If I hadn’t had painting, I’d never have survived it all,” he says in an interview. In 1962, Reinhard Melzer was received into AMFPA and initially supported as a Scholarship Holder. In 1992, he was granted Full Membership. With the support of art teachers and professional artists, he further developed the painting skills which he had taught himself.
Antje Kratz was born on 25 September 1961 in Frankfurt am Main. She came into the world with no arms, side effect due to the drug Thalidomide. Very early on, she learned to use her feet like hands, and so she naturally reached for crayons as a child and began painting with her feet. Colours fascinated her even then. After obtaining her secondary school leaving diploma, Antje Kratz was able to turn her hobby into her job. As a student trainee, she received an eclectic artistic training under Hermann Haindl in the painting room of the Municipal Theatres of Frankfurt from 1978 to 1981, which she completed through an additional course of study in Hermann Haindl’s “Kunstlerhof” artists’ centre in Hofheim/Taunus.
Lars Höllerer was born on September 27, 1969, in Uberlingen. In 1991, three months after completing his military service, he suffered a serious motorbike accident and has been paralysed from the neck down ever since. At Tubingen Rehabilitation Clinic, he made his first attempts at painting by mouth and later continued his efforts at home. “At first the brush often landed on the floor”, he says today. Later on, painting became an important part of him. Lars Höllerer intensively devoted himself to further developing his skills as an artist and from 1997 he attended the Public Art Academy in Muhlhofen for a few years. In 1999, Lars Höllerer became a Scholarship Holder of AMFPA and in 2005 he was granted the status of Associate Member.
Born on 18 July 1961 in Potsdam, Thomas Kahlau suffered paraplegia as the result of a swimming accident in 1976, which left him completely paralysed. From 1978, he learned to perform many tasks with his mouth, including his first attempts at painting. Following this, he attended a painting and drawing course with a painter and art teacher for one year. He received a scholarship from the Association in 1986 and since then has worked intensively on his artistic development. He was accepted as an Associate Member of the VDMFK in 1992 and only three years later became a Full Member. In July 2013, he was elected Member of the Board on the occasion of the General Meeting in Vienna.