Siegfried Santoni was born Siegfried Anton Niessl in Leoben (Austria) in 1955. A freelance artist, he lives and works in Austria. His abstract Wall painting “Maschine – Mensch” (“Machine – Human”) is a warning against both material and invisible walls. Santoni’s painting can no longer be seen in the East Side Gallery.

Siegfried Santoni painted the three-part work “Maschine – Mensch” (“Machine – Human”) on the Berlin Wall. The left part of the painting shows a “bloodstone” – an apparatus for squeezing the strength out of people. The artist has described the “propaganda machine” in the centre as unassailable, impenetrable, and aggressive. The figure on the right represents a scarecrow, symbolising the self-justifying mechanisms used by those in power. The artist added a textual warning against all walls, including those between people, to his painting. In 2009 he refused to restore his painting. The area is now painted grey-white.

Santoni studied at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz. He has produced experimental films and monumental sandstone sculptures. He works as a freelance artist in his studio in Styria, Austria. He is known as a “painter of light” for his elaborate, luminous acrylic paintings.

Additional information:

Artist's website

all artworks