Peter Ruef is a painter who lives, together with his two wonderful cats, in an old, small farmhouse with an amazing view on the Hengstberg. We visited him and asked him what it was like to be an artist nowadays.

On 14
th December we drove to the Hengstberg to visit Peter Ruef. First, we didn’t find the his house because we didn’t know exactly where he lives – it is more or less “in the middle of nowhere”. However, after some searching we finally found his house and managed to start our interview:


From typographer to artist

Reporter: How did you become an artist?

Peter Ruef: After school I worked as a typographer, but after the nuclear accident in Tschernobyl I started thinking about the bad environmental situation in the world. To show the people the catastrophic situation, I started painting. This has always been one of my wishes and today this topic is more urgent than ever before. However, people don’t like it, if you show them the truth about the terrible environmental situation.

R: Have you always lived here?

P: No, I was born and raised in Tyrol, but I travelled a lot as a typographer, I have, for instance, been to France, Spain and Germany.

Inspiration & style

R: So you take most of your inspiration from the nature?

P: Yes, mostly from nature. I’m very close to nature that’s why I live here.

R: Which sort of art do you prefer?

P: I prefer abstract works with oil paint and stopper.

R: Do you have an idol?

P: No, I don’t because I think it is important to create your own style otherwise there would always be the same paintings.

Leisure time

R: Do you have any hobbies beside of art?

P: No, not really. Because I´m already .. years old, so I haven´t got any hobbies beside the art.

R: Do you have contact to other artists?

P: Yes, I have because I like to exchange my experiences with other artists. For example,  I had a lot of exhibitions in Tyrol lately.

R: Do you like to visit exhibitions from other artists?

P: Yes, I like it.

Achievements of a great artist

R: Which has been your biggest achievement until now?

P: I can’t say what my biggest achievement has been, but the first exhibition in Ybbs was great because I sold a lot of paintings. But – oh wait – I think my biggest achievement was right after the flood in Ybbs in 2002, when I had an exhibition in the Langengasse in Ybbs. Nearly 200 people supported me and at this point I recognised that the people stand by me, not only because I am a well-known painter, but also because I helped them when they needed my help. That was my personal highlight and made me very happy, because I was received so well in the society of Ybbs.

by Sophie Bruckner