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Castillo del Mundo
Curator.. master mind, Rolf Schulz born in Thorn (West Prussia) other wise known in 1942 as Kopernikus (after the astronomer Copernicus who was also born there) which is now Poland.
His mother was a famous opera singer and was often admired by Hitler, who was smitten with opera singers often kissed her hand after a performance. His father was a civil engineer.
Rolf enjoyed playing the trumpet, however got flack from his father saying he would never make any money at it. He would lock the trumpet away from Rolf and Rolf’s mother would protest saying let him be a artist. Rolf settled on doing both. Rolf stated that he was famous in Europe.. I forgot to ask why, for his architecture or his music and art.
In 1990 Rolf came to The Dominican Republic from Hamburg Germany. I am not quite clear why, but he had gotten 4 million marks from the Germans.. Cash.. Lots of it. On coming to the DR, Rolf started his dream of creating a “Pre-modern Atlantis Castillo (Castle) with classic sculptures” explaining that his sculptures had faces and moods.. Rolf calls himself Mundo (world) King of his Muse de Arte. Much of his work look like Gaudi the Spanish architect..
Rolf toured my girlfriend (who lives just down the lane ) and I around this fantastic maze of catwalks, balconies and concrete form, he happily explained that he would work in tandem with Dominican and Haitian artists. He would work out the basic geometric forms and concepts getting other artists to fill in some of the blanks. He also works on amazing pieces alone. He is most recently working on a futuristic “Rocket” painting using the wonderful Caribbean colors of cerulean blue to ripe mango shades. He stretches his own canvas, under bodies with thick acrylic from the tube and then works oils over the top. Taking us through a heavy wooden door, unlocking as we go, we went into where I would guess would be his residence in the castle. In the center of the small room lined with large colourful paintings was a beautiful mahogany table. A few large well used tubes of oils and some turpentine in a wine bottle sat on top. The sweet scent of turpentine filled the room. As we talked I noticed that many of the paintings were signed by Rolf himself, and other names like, Skully and Cesar, the other collaborative artists. He is very enthused about this recent work, explaining that there is second hand power and original power, his rockets had pods, or chambers which explode with atomic energy shooting the craft forward. His thoughts on plutonium is that it is much to powerful so uranium must be used to create momentum in this rocket… fantastically bizarre but oh so real to Rolf. He showed us his meagre sleeping quarters, a small room with the most magnificent huge painting on the wall opposite to the bed. He says he wakes up to it every morning. This painting of a pink and purple skyline with white shacks in the foreground evoked such feelings.. Of joy because of it’s beauty and almost tears of awe. He bought a much smaller version of this painting at a gallery and had the artist recreate the wall sized replica.
Stating that it is a crazy world, Rolf excitedly beckoned us to follow him to yet another locked room where we saw the most magnificent, enormous paintings of palms and surf with bright Celeron blue UFO’s hovering in the sky. I asked him if he saw these UFO’s , and he said yes they come down from the Puerto Plata way . In the conversation he explained that they were silver grey and to paint them that way they would look terribly ugly, so he paints them blue. The UFO’s he has seen in Germany are different than the ones he has spotted here. He says they round and have silver plates on the bottom. He fashioned some of his UFO’s from a you tube video simply called UFO Haiti. There is much scepticism about this video.. looked good to me!!
He chatted about someone from Lougheed aircraft coming to see him and we lost a bit of congruity in his story telling.. not sure what he was saying or where he was going with it, but I was enthralled all the same. Different aircraft are depicted in his paintings and he spouted of how his aircraft were much more sophisticated than the stealth aircraft shown in one large painting.
He lives alone in this monstrosity of carved wood, phallic symbols, snakes and rock busts. Haitian art has so much to say, so detailed. He has never been married and seems to boast about the fact he has no conflict with women, they can come and stay as long as they wish he says. He has no problem getting Dominican women.
Rolf spoke of the Teutonic Knights in his home town of Thorn that had apparently built castes there that still stand today.. If you are a history buff then check out more on knowledge rush.
Very interesting stuff!!
Perhaps these castles are what sparked his driven desire to work on Castillo del Mundo. He has now run out of money. I asked him if he intends on continuing to work on the castle and he retorted that if he had a couple of million he would like to resume work on it.. I responded with “IF” I had it I would help him see it through! He takes donations for his tours and says he uses the money for cigarettes and beers. It would be easy to spend hours with this gentle man. The few people leaving as we arrived went on and on about how special he was..
Rolf took us on a cat walk that I could barely squeeze through to another part of the structure and to yet another bedroom sporting a huge log bed stripped of all its bedding. The rooms are not empty, each room has a huge painting with slightly different UFO paintings. He said he has 8 in total. Apparently he used to rent the rooms out to the artists working there.
Climbing to the top floor I am even yet more amazed at the carvings, indescribable…here, a picture tells a thousand words! Words like JUNK carved in large logs of wood.. Names, places, whole paragraphs carved in wood.. Crazy skulls with snakes and bones.. Radical, morbid Gede (the voodoo spirit) inspired carvings.
On the very top floor in yet another bedroom was a carved bed.. Like none I had ever seen! All of this incredible art is tucked in this mausoleum like structure of wrought iron and concrete, standing high atop the hill in Camino Llibre, Sosua , Dominican Republic.
He has unexplainable paintings of devils and bomber airplanes, the Twin Towers of New York.. Kiss like singers.. I guess the subject matter of the artists that don the walls of this castle. Rolf is a dying breed.
I think of the masters and their crazy quirks, Van Gogh loosing his ear.... Dali his strange look on the world.. Picasso’s look at the human form.. This man truly has a mission in life and has sacrificed to create this unappreciated amazing castle! I feel so happy to have met and chatted with this man. He is still rich in my mind.
Sadly his kingdom is in shabby disrepair, the pool is a puddle of sea green algae, piles of unfinished concrete work, so sad that some of the tours they take all the fresh faced tourists on doesn’t go to the top of the hill, what they are missing! The Dominicans should embrace the art and uniqueness of this man and his vision and share with the world. I hope if you ever get to this part of the Dominican you take the time to go and visit Castillo del Mundo and chat with Rolf. You will have a memory you will not forget!!!
ROLF IS NOW ON TWITTER!!
Please watch this beautiful Video...