From the cook to the artist
The secret of the metal figures in Niederndorf
As a non-local I have been wondering for al long time why there are so many beautiful and big metal sculptures in Niederndorf.
The artist has well chosen his figures: If it’s Saint George, Patron of Niederndorf, fighting the dragon on horseback and attracting attention on the roundabout near the highway exit or Saint Florian, protector against fire placed next to the fire brigade at the southern village entry. Opposite the savings bank there is a mighty bull statue. Stock exchange operators might think to know the donor: the bull is the traditional symbol of rising stock prices!
Sitting on a golden ball you encounter a cheerfully and funny looking frog at the access to the public swimming pool. It might rain and storm as much as it can but when I pass and see the gorgeous frog, I cheer up immediately. This artwork is based on the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “The Frog Prince”.
Who is behind this person of taste and culture creating those wonderful objects with such a great sense of sensitivity?
His name is Isidor Winkler, a retired head cook from Niederndorf. During his career he created new dishes, since his retirement he has been creating unique sculptures.
He was introduced into the world of art by opera singers of the Cologne Opera. After having completed his cookery training in Kufstein, he went to Cologne and worked in the opera restaurant. Whenever there were seats available, the cooks were entitled to attend the opera free of charge. That’s how he met with the opera singers who also took him to galleries and museums.
His job as a cook took him to the best hotels worldwide thus allowing him to get to know the most important museums. During this time he especially liked the Performing Arts.
After years of travelling Isidor returned to Kufstein. Once retired, he has devoted his time to his hobbies. In the course of a painting class at the Trier Academy of Art Isidor discovered a repair shop for “figural welding”. This was the moment when he discovered this kind of art. He was so fascinated that he started realizing his ideas by creating sculptures made of metal, steel sheet and scrap metal.
I had the pleasure to meet Isidor personally: a wonderful, widely read, deeply religious person giving locals, non-locals and visitors enormous pleasure with his objects, thus paying a worthy tribute to a great artist.