Bettina Elisabeth Semmer, born on February 15, 1955 in Düsseldorf, lives in Berlin
Since March 2022, she works with a pig commonly called Prussian Blue, Parisian, Berlin or Milori Blue. It is the first chemically created pigment, found by serendipity between a chemist of color and an alchemist in 1704 in Berlin: the alchemist Dippel was convinced that he could transform silver into gold; one day, using the animal blood ash of chochenille for his colleague Diesbach’s scarlet red,
He accidentally ended up in blue. Pigment soon became popular in art and industry, namely uniforms, replacing the expensive Ultramarine (Lapislazuli) and the unstable (fading) azurite mineral or cobalt-colored glass glazing.
A chemical diversion of it, however, later turned into both a deadly substance, Zyklon B. Since 1990, it has been transformed into a medicine against poisoning with thallium and radioactive caesium, which is what it discovered when the war in Ukraine began.
Immdediatly, She began to mix as egg tempera and smear on her body for printing monotypes on canvas. Then she painted large formats mixing them with oil and turps, discovering the depth and scope of this beautiful color.
As a painter, she is interested in the color itself - dark pigment, intense, sometimes with a velvety surface, sometimes bright in golden tones and sometimes translucent like the sky - but also in various historical shades.