Willi Kissmer was born on December 24, 1951 in Duisberg, Germany. He decided at an early age to become an artist, concentrating on music at first. He played guitar in a rock band, recorded three albums and gave lessons to help support himself. In 1971 he entered the Folkwang Art School, where he studied graphic arts for five years under Herman Schardt, the founder and director of the school.
He credits the school and its director for allowing him to develop his own style of creation and choice of subject matter.
Willi has his studio and residence in an old industrial tower in Duisberg. Although he has travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia and the United States, his subject matter is always drawn from close by.
He prefers to present simple objects and locations and is most interested in relating the qualities of light and its effect upon objects as well as the folds and creases of fabrics.
"Everything comes out of my personal living environment. That is a result of my laziness. I look around enough to find something worth representing."
Throughout his career as a visual artist, Willi has maintained his love of music. He continues to play in a rock band and instruct younger players.
Willi Kissmer's art has been described as sensual, provocative, mysterious and erotic. Through the manipulation of light and shadow, he is able to convey a sense of touch, as well as sight.