28 July 2015

INTERVIEW: MARCO STANKE

Stanke-Kollektiv_2014_2
all works © Marco Stanke 

Is it a painting? Or an object? The works of Nuremberg based artist Marco Stanke aim at liberating painting from its traditional limitations and transferring it into space. But in order to be acknowledged as objects his Parts are cleaving too closely to the painterly, whereas their battered and extensive shapes make it hard to let them pass for paintings. Marco Stanke’s works were displayed at the Galerie Haas in Ingolstadt from April to June 2015, as part of the group exhibition YOUNG BLOOD. A few days ago he was awarded with the Kunstpreis der Nürnberger Nachrichten for his Kollektiv, shown in the associated exhibition at the Kunsthaus Nuremberg until the 6th of September. I spoke to Marco about his cross genre approach, which leads not only into the three-dimensional but also into the musical space. 

22 July 2015

INTERVIEW: LARS BJERRE

Lars Bjerre_The Robbery (Crown Jewels) 1, Oil, pigment, oil pastel & spray on printed canvas. 185x135x4 cm. Oak frame (188x138x4 cm). 2015© the artist
all works © Lars Bjerre "The Robbery", courtesy the artist and Hunter/Whitefield, London

Looking at the work of Danish artist Lars Bjerre, one will not only notice the versatility and beauty of his detailed depictions, but will also come to realise that there is a golden thread that has been running through his paintings and installations over the years: A history of storytelling. Also his most recent series "The Robbery", which is currently on display in London at the recently opened gallery Hunter/Whitfield, reminds of a cinematic story-board. Five large paintings show a selection of fictive planning scenes, a blue print of the Tower and aesthetically flashy details of the loot and its countless diamonds – the British Crown Jewels – evoking a narrative through the images. Inspired by crime films and the figure of the anti-heroe, the artist's paintings create scenes, with surfaces between neatly applied and extremely smudged gestures. 

Although Lars changes the themes with each new series that he begins, they always incorporate a mise en scène: motifs, such as hunting trophy pictures ("Hunter's Delight") or brawls inside parliament buildings ("Angry Men") are repeated, manipulated and contrived into the dramaturgy of an act. Stage elements, spatial arrangements and objects turn his exhibitions into theatrical installations. But how important is the plot to the artist himself? What is behind these stories? These were some of the questions I asked the Berlin-based artist before his opening in London. 

18 July 2015

UDK RUNDGANG 2015

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Punk concert  in the hallway of UDK
 all works courtesy and © the artist, all photos © artfridge

The greek "OXI" – NO! – vote was something of a revolutionary credo embracing this year's annual degree show opening at Universität der Künste Berlin. Live punk music blasted through the hallways that were crowded with confused visitors, who wondered "where is the art"? The art was locked down. A loyal gesture to some of their professors, all students had previously decided to raise attention to corrupt professor deals by keeping their doors shut and not letting any guests enter the studio spaces during the opening night. Despite their hope to be picked up during the Rundgang, most students unanimously agreed to the collective act. The protest emphasises the position of a majority of students, who argue that the academy's hierarchical administration structures and their sweetheart deals with famous artists and their friends would not benefit their educational system. The flip side, they say, is that many lesser known guest professors receive unfair and bad paid short-term contracts that wouldn't even cover their insurance costs during the holiday period.

14 July 2015

INTERVIEW: DANIEL JACKSON

drawaline-daniel-jackson-23 drawaline-daniel-jackson-7
all images copyright Daniel Jackson, courtesy PSM gallery and the artist

Born in 1972, Daniel Jackson grew up in Texas, where he enjoyed punk rock records, captured his surroundings with his camera and bought lifestyle magazines that sparked his curiosity in big cities and in the arts. In New York, where Daniel took a MFA in painting and lived for seven years, he began developing an aesthetic language dedicated to the discovery of seemingly unspectacular moments and gestures in everyday life. Terrified by the attacks of 9/11, a former girlfriend brought the artist to Germany, where he would eventually settle in Berlin.
Daniel pursues an experimental artistic practice using various media. He applies techniques from painting, printing, sculpting, photography, and video art. The Berlin based artist is influenced by social media aesthetics, elements of design and, in particular, by science fiction, while also confronting himself with existential themes, such as the fear of failure. I talked to the artist about his his inspiration, the discovery of patterns and boredom in Texas.

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

Whilst having grown up in Munich, Germany, Anna Zizlsperger has lived in Istanbul since 2011. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Istanbul-based art magazine exhibist – one of the few contemporary art magazines printed in english language in Turkey. Its theme-based content, its unique design and its integrated art guide have contributed to establishing the art magazine as the most popular one in city.

Having studied Islamic Art History and Modern and Contemporary Art, Anna especially focussed on critical writing and curating. She has worked at several institutions, such as Musée d’Orsay and Bonhams Auctioneers, assisting on projects at Haus der Kunst, while also working as an editor and writer, from Weltkunst to 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.