2 July 2015

INTERVIEW: ANDERS DICKSON

Anders Dickson_featured on artfridge.de
work by Anders Dickson, courtesy the artist

Anders Dickson is a 1988 American-born artist who has been based in Germany for the past five years. Having previously studied Philosophy in The States, he is now a student of Monika Baer and Amy Silman at The Städelschule Frankfurt. While Dickson works in several mediums, his dreamlike subjects and unique use of colour make his pieces pervade a sense of the supernal. Inspired by elements of American culture; from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, to the Native American figure of the ‘Trickster’, the artist balances elements of mythology, philosophy and nature in order to confront the mystery of human identity in contemporary society. Dickson’s work is currently on view as part of a group show ‘Der zweite Blick’ at Galerie Scharmann & Laskowski in Cologne.

23 June 2015

INTERVIEW: TOBIAS BUCKEL

Tobias Buckel_Cache_2015_acrylics-glue-canvas_50x40cm
all works by Tobias Buckel, courtesy the artist and Peter von Kant gallery, London

The German artist Tobias Buckel uses the medium of paint to decipher its own codes: His works negotiate both the functions of space and of displays, often referring to the painted image as an instrument (and not only as an object) of representation. This is particularly interesting, since he studied communication design previous to his education in art in Nuremberg and at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. Tobias' trained eye for graphical and architectural aesthetics, sharp lines or perspectives have a large impact on his practice and the work's overall appearance. While three dimensional and geometric shapes, and flat cubes dominate the motifs, they appear in both abstract and representational forms. These are often washed down and thin layered, superimposed and eventually merged into each other like a jigsaw. I spoke to the Nuremberg-based artist, who has an exhibition opening this Friday the 26.06 at Peter von Kant gallery in London, about his inspiration and his idea of abstract qualities.

4 June 2015

INTERVIEW: ANNA ZIZLSPERGER

exhibist magazine
exhibist Magazine, and Anna Zizlsperger photo © Mine Kaplangı

Having grown up in Munich in Germany, Anna Zizlsperger, founder and editor-in-chief of the Istanbul-based art magazine exhibist, lives in Istanbul since 2011. 2012 exhibist is one of the few english-language magazines about contemporary art in Turkey, and is now – also because of its unique design and its great art guide – the most popular one in Istanbul. Anna studied Islamic Art History and Modern and Contemporary Art, having a special focus on critical writing and curating. While worked in the art scene, for example at Musée d’Orsay, Haus der Kunst, and Bonhams Auctioneers, she is an also an experienced editor and writer, having worked for Weltkunst, Giunti Editore and Phaidon Press. In our interview Anna Zizlsperger told me about her magazine, about the future of printed publishing and about her view on Istanbul's art scene. 

15 May 2015

INTERVIEW: JULIAN STALBOHM

© Julian Stalbohm_INT-PIC-FJD-2
Julian Stalbohm, FICTION JEST DEBACLE, 10.04-23.05.2015 at Ginerva Gambino, Cologne © Julian Stalbohm, courtesy Ginerva Gambino, Cologne

Two weeks ago, news about the second royal hit all the headlines in England and put an end to the country's buzzing speculations about its name, its hair colour or the length of Kate's stay in the hospital. These so-called "Novelty Bets" – referring to a gambling system that allows betting on practically everything imaginable in the near or far future – are the central tool in the current show of conceptual artist Julian Stalbohm: Placed and documented throughout the last year, he approaches the subject of speculation and chance by juxtaposing magnified prints of betting slips that reveal both a handwritten bet and the respective, often absurd, odds. While all slips are presented on a grid behind the obscured window of Ginerva Gambino gallery, the artist built a small stage inside the space and placed three dough-based figures on the ground. Both the dough objects and the betting slips share one characteristic: their outcome is unpredictable.

Julian's show "Fiction Jest Debacle" negotiates the social process of constructing of truth – it speaks of the wish to participate in the fate of life and of chances. I spoke with the 1980-born artist, who studied in Malmö and now lives both in Sweden and in Berlin, about gambling, numbers of sex hotlines, false promises, and the persistent wish to be in control of things – to be a stockholder of the future.

4 May 2015

INTERVIEW: MICHELE DRASCEK

10_04_15 VE CampoSStefano_MicheleByRosa simone_settimo
Portrait of Michele Drascek, photo by Rosa Lux; Construction site, installing UTTER at Arsenale- la Biennale di Venezia, photo by JAŠA 

The subject of the upcoming exhibition at the Slovenian Pavillion for Venice Biennale is bombastic: Hope, and its creation through the power of cooperation is what the Slovenian performance artist JAŠA, the Italian curator Michele Drascek and a large group of other collaborators are aiming to achieve with their exhibition. Staged in a two floored architectural wooden construction, their joint project "UTTER. The violent necessity for the embodied presence of hope" is a durational performance that will proceed from the 9th of May until the 22nd of November 2015. Involving music, visual and performance-based elements, the choreography of the project will be repeated 28 times within a strict weekly plan – something that they call 'a structured act of discipline'. And although each participant produces a creative output, the project centres entirely on the communication with the public and the spectators. I spoke to Michele Drascek about the ambitious project, about his personal motivation and his hopes.

24 April 2015

INTERVIEW: MIA BOYSEN

Mia Boysen_Vorhang_III Mia Boysen_Vorhang_VIII All works are photographs © Mia Boysen; courtesy the artist and Mirko Mayer / m-projects, Cologne

Mia Boysen is a German photo-artist whose works elegantly address the physical and psychological allure of consumer culture. Currently based in Cologne the 1985-born artist was brought up in Johannesburg, South Africa where she studied at The Wits School of Arts. Following her Bachelor degree she moved back to Germany and in 2013 studied a Masters at the Academy of Media Arts Köln (KHM). Her new series of photographs ‘Plastic Manisfestations’ was previewed at Mirko Mayer/M-projects last month, and centres on close-up photographs of plastic curtains. Boysen spoke to me about the production mystery, about fetishism and about the reasons why curtains and displays are the major motifs in her work.

19 April 2015

INTERVIEW: NATHALIE HOYOS AND RAINALD SCHUMACHER

Art Cologne 2015 Art Cologne 2015
Rainald Schumacher and Nathalie Hoyos at booth Art Collection Telekom; © Deutsche Telekom AG; photos by Norbert Ittermann
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Two giant and viciously looking pigs float above a cityscape, opening their mouths and chewing on the architectural fundament of civil life. A hand cuts off a pig’s tail; the blood spreads into the sky. Painted inside the booth of Art Collection Telekom, the 1976-born Ukrainian artist Volodymyr Kuznetsov created the work during the installation phase for Art Cologne 2015. It refers to Koliyivshchyna, a bloody Ukrainian rebellion against Poland in 1768; and it asks what could be the next step after such immense brutality.

Assembled by the curators Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher, and directed by Antje Hundhausen, the five-year-old Art Collection Telekom emphasises the contemporary art scene in Eastern Europe. Originally initiated on the occasion of the Telekom’s recently established national companies for communication services in countries such as Romania and Poland, their bonds to Eastern Europe now imply a visual dialogue and exchange.

The collection neither focusses on decorative works for corporate headquarters, nor on big names. It  consists of art works that intend to create a cultural understanding, such as the works by 1986-born Kosovan artist Petrit Halilaj, who currently has a solo show at Kölnischer Kunstverein. One of the collection's major concerns is the support of young Eastern European artists, and especially those, whose works are controversially raising the awareness of social change. Nathalie and Rainald, who are both experienced in managing large collections, have been a part of the small team from the beginning on. I spoke with them about their curatorial work for the collection.

16 April 2015

ART COLOGNE 2015

Walter Dahn at booth Sprüth Magers, Berlin, London Walter Dahn at booth Sprüth Magers, Berlin, London Rose Eken ar booth The Hole, NY and V1 Gallery, Copenhagen Rose Eken at booth The Hole, NY and V1 Gallery, Copenhagen Michael Krebber at booth Galerie Nagel Draxler, Köln:Berlin Michael Krebber at booth Galerie Nagel Draxler, Köln, Berlin; all works © and courtesy the artists and galleries; photos © artfridge

In its 49th edition, the 209 predominantly German participating galleries of this year's art fair ART COLOGNE are divided in segments of emerging and established galleries for contemporary art and galleries for modern art. For the first time, these segments were separated on three floors. A new tactic, that helped bringing together the young and the established contemporary positions and their galleries: hosting the “New Contemporaries" section on the second floor, the “New Positions" and  “Collaborations" section is held in cooperation with NADA on the third floor, while modern and postwar art dealers are united on the ground floor.