Art is the expression of one’s feelings and also of the subconscious. It can assume different shapes and colours but the most important thing is that there is “no single truth or a one and only reality”. This is what the artist wants to communicate through his artworks: everything can be transformed.
HOW WAS YOUR PASSION FOR ART BORN? WHAT HAS INSPIRED YOU OVER THE YEARS?
I grew up with vinyl record cover artwork that influenced me heavily (e.g. Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth, Black Flag…) and most probably are still the subconscious reason all my works have a rectangular form. In general, I see collages not as an own discipline, but rather as paintings, just with different materials; like the sampling technique in music, transformation builds the core, existing material is used to create something completely different or at least a significant spin.
I get the inspiration for my works from all kinds of visual formats: be it art, movies,
advertisements, record and magazine cover, etc. In most of the cases I already have a
quite clear idea about the transformational direction before making the first cut.
Nevertheless, the actually resulting "look and feel" is always work in progress, a certain deviation from the original plan is an indispensable part of the program.
But of course there are also - consciously or unconsciously - influences from the field of classical art: referring to my "vinyl education" for sure Winston Smith, Mike Kelly, Raymond Pettibon and Gottfried Helnwein have to be mentioned. Accompanied by famous renaissance painters, such as Jan Van Eyck or Rogier van der Weyden; studying them shows you, that almost every relevant element of achieving an overwhelming composition has been brought to perfection already more than five centuries ago. And of course Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Cindy Sherman, Mike Kelly, Gehard Demetz…
TELL US ABOUT THE “RADICAL CONSTRUCTIONISM” THEORY, WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?
This fundamental theory inspired me from my early beginnings of making art until today. It says, that reality is per se no given, binding and normed space, but an individual construction made by the human brain(s). Hence, there are billions of particular drafts of “reality” and the “real world”. And like fingerprints, you’ll not find two similar ones. On one side this is mankind’s huge strength, fostering creativity, progress & reflection; on the other side, it makes communication - between individuals as well as between systems or states - so difficult. So my transformations show in a very pointed way, how differently things can be seen. And that there are no single truth or the one and only reality.
TO CREATE YOUR ARTWORKS YOU ONLY USE “REAL” MATERIALS. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN AN ANALOG WAY? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE LATEST TECHNIQUES USED BY CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS?
I’m exclusively using elements from vintage magazines, their style and colours are superior to all modern stuff. And I’m solely using manual techniques and tools - cutter, ruler, glue - for transforming the pieces. The techniques themselves are just necessary mean to the end of producing a specific compositional effect. But in turn, the quality and persuasiveness of your works depends heavily on your ability to almost perfectly mastering the process of cutting and pasting. So balancing the technical and compositional dimension is in my eyes the best possible way, is the biggest challenge on the way to a - at least partially - satisfying piece of work.
This dual challenge is something that I’d personally miss in digital art. Without any doubts, modern technique creates - or better: supports to create - great artworks, sometimes you can’t even tell whether it’s analog or digital. I am pursuing the opposite direction, so to speak: While artificial intelligence is becoming more and more sophisticated and increasingly penetrating creative and perspective emotional areas, I am trying to imitate the technical perfection of digital creations with purely physical possibilities. The analog empire strikes back...
IN YOUR OPINION HOW MODERN SOCIETY, WITH ALL ITS CONTROVERSY, HAS SHAPED OR CHANGED THE WAY IN WHICH ART IS PERCEIVED?
Two major currents can be observed. First, the emergence of social platforms - such as Instagram - has ostensibly made “art” more democratic. Ultimately, almost anyone can now share their work worldwide without a gallery or agent; this intermediary - and usually very exclusive - membrane has become increasingly permeable. However, this is accompanied by the danger that art will increasingly become a quick consumer product.
Ultimately, it is less and less about qualitative substance and more about gaining
“followers” & “likes”, which represent a new kind of currency - or at least appreciation. Developing your own style, which is usually the result of years of work, is difficult under these conditions, especially for young artists; especially knowing that the public will devote a split second to their work at most before swiping to the next post. All in all, on closer inspection the alleged a driver for democratising art seems to create some collateral damages - in this case art that is focused on mainstream, being consumed like fast food.
Second, a certain depoliticisation of art can be observed. Less as a singular phenomenon than as a sign of the times, people are shying more and more away from coming up with their honest opinion and own beliefs - in order to be compliant with the extensive manual of “political correctness” and hence, to avoid a ruinous shit storm. I do sense a certain degree of proactive self-censorship here: also artists spend more time on how their works might possibly be received - not in terms of craftsmanship, but in terms of its overall message - from the public than ever before. This not only limits individual creativity; this also tends to change the character of art as a whole, which should never be an uncritical accomplice, but rather a thorn in the flesh.
WHAT DOES DARE MEAN TO YOU IN ART?
The answer follows seamlessly from what was said before: It is the ability to consistently develop your own creative signature - without compromising your ambition, beliefs, potential... So exactly the opposite of today’s winning formula “focus on mainstream, produce fast food, avoid shit-storms”.
Only inner conviction enables you to invest that amount of determination and hard work that is necessary to really deliver good works. Self-discipline plays a major role in the creative process: Getting kissed by the muse happens rather rarely - especially, when you’re distracted or not fully concentrated.
Not by chance, a lot of great artists and also writers treat the “creative” process like a job in the office with defined working hours: you really have to work with the material for some time and consistently push yourself to find a better idea or a more satisfying approach on how to realise it. The ability to deeply immerse yourself into the process of making art is the best chance to meet the muse.
YOUR ANONYMITY IS A FUNDAMENTAL POINT OF YOUR ART BUT ORIGINALITY OF YOUR ARTWORKS CAN DRAW ATTENTION. HOW DO YOU SEPARATE YOUR ART, YOUR CREATIONS FROM YOU WHO ARE THE CREATOR OF THEM? IS IT AS A KIND OF “COMPROMISE”?
Ultimately, the decision to work under a pseudonym is an expression of my conviction that the work itself should be the focus. The artist's biography may actually be interesting in part, but all too often it degenerates into a media-effective sales story and thus draws attention to secondary issues. Drawing a clear line here helps me to separate “art” and “marketing” as best as possible. And this interview is a perfect example - it doesn't mean being completely speechless or invisible. I just stay in the background and let my pictures take the showroom…
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