Matthias Brandes was born in 1950 in Bochum, Germany. He was introduced to art at an early age because his father worked as a stage designer before becoming a caricaturist and his mother who was his assistant, became again his color assistant.
Art books were some of the first things he read and one of his earliest passions was the Late Gothic period in Germany.
The origins of his magical realism are rooted in the creative personality of his mother who painted the walls of his room with gigantic cockerels, horse-drawn carriages and cities packed with little multi-colored houses.
Brandes studied at the Hamburg Academy specializing in art history and pedagogy.
He qualified for teaching high school classes, but from the early Eighties preferred devoting himself completely to painting while he lived part time in Hamburg and Meolo, Venice.
His first solo show was in 1985 and was followed by his participation in the Biennial of the Baltic States as well as, numerous solo shows throughout Germany. His turning point was in the later part of 2000 when an Italian gallery bought every single painting he had. This opened the door to Brandes' success as an artist and thus began an intense exhibition activity.