Unlike Pop Artists that are essentially interested in mass-production images Richter's mid 60's concern is about scenes of every day life either taken from magazines or amateurs snapshots. This choice of subject-matter is, indeed, justified by Richter in an interview with Benjamin Buloch: " The motifs were never random; I had to make too much of an effort for that, just to be able to find photos I could use…I looked for photos that showed my actuality, that related to me. And I selected black and white photos because I noticed that they depicted that more forcefully than colour photos, more directly, with less artistry and therefore more believable. That's also the reason why I preferred those amateur family photos, those banal objects and snapshots."(In: R.Nasgaard and Danoff, 'Gerhard Richter: Painting', London New York 1988.)
'Kind auf einem Pferd', (Girl on a Horse), 1965, is a fine example of Richter's work of these years. It is a painted copy of a mere black and white family album photograph illustrating an every day scene of the bourgeois life. The original document is indeed to be found in Richter's 'Atlas', compiling all is inspirational photographic sources (see p10-11).
The characteristic blurry effect made through a process of overpainting along with the white canvas' borders surrounding the image give the feeling of an out of focus slide projection of the photograph that thus seemed doomed to disappear as soon as the light switch off. Somehow the fix and definitive character of the painted image is paradoxically counteracted by a sense of distanciation and transitory to it. By turning a photograph into a painting Richter diverts the image form its context and signification revealing a more instinctive abstract tendency to it.
This point is indeed to be clearly explained by the artist himself: "When I draw a person, an object I have to make myself aware of proportion, accuracy, abstraction or distortion and so forth. When I paint form a photograph conscious thinking is eliminated. I do not know what I am doing. My work is far closer to the Informal than to any kind of 'realism'. The photograph has an abstraction of its own, which is not easy to see through."(In: 'The Daily Practice of Painting', London 1995, p. 41.)
Although based on reality the image is discharged from its meaning and information content and carries with it an intemporal, objective and indefinable character.