Willi Kissmer was born in Duisburg, Nordrhein Westfalia, Germany, in 1951. From an early age he was drawn to the Arts. Music was very important to him and in the sixties he successfully played lead guitar in a rock band that released three albums.
Then in 1971 he decided to concentrate on the visual arts and enrolled at the Folkwangschule, Essen, where for five years he studied etching, lithography, printmaking and Fine Art.
He still works in Duisburg, living in a gothic revival tower overlooking the Rhine with his wife and model, Beate, and their two Tibetan terriers.