You are proliferous as an artist, you paint, draw graphics and comic strips, as well as write. How do visual and textual modes of expression interplay in your work?
For me art is about ideas, attitude, a way of thinking, whether I paint, draw or write. A text inspires an image, an image leads to a pun or one-liner. They complement each other or create tension, disharmony, just like married couples. The world I live in is full of culture: information and traces of humans are everywhere, making contradictory, funny, newsy, irritating or ugly impressions, but that’s just how it is, that’s our world. What intrigues me is how to use these didactic, informative elements as a raw material for art, and create pieces that satisfy both mind and soul.
Your choice of subjects and source of inspiration are similarly diverse. Tell us more about these.
Topics come to me randomly, through life, they provide me with new themes to delve into. I paint what I see, what I live in, what I come up against. The subjects give me opportunities to put forth my ideas, my vision. This creative process leads to a sort of encyclopedic thinking over time, where the images align into a certain unity, like a sports team or a daily paper. They feature business, culture, sex, celebrities and recipes. I believe my art is up-to-date while not being subservient to the ruling paradigm. I strive to achieve a balance between past and present, high and low just like pop music; it imbibes and transforms everything while still retaining its character and integrity.
Looking at your work we see playfulness, humour, banality, failures; a mixing of everyday life with pop culture elements in a way that recalls the fluxus movement. What inspired you to create this light-hearted, playful style?
Despite being mostly active in visual arts, I think my main inspiration comes from literature, pop music and our visual environment, all probably impacting my style. My personality and creative thinking are characterized by duality, a penchant for contradictions. I want to convey clarity, a certain cheerful simplicity in my images, at the same time leaving the signature of my generation; disturbing the sterile environment that surrounds us and make it raw, used and down-to earth. Like a whitewashed wall where you can make out the graffiti underneath, and somebody scribbled a woman’s name on it overnight, in pencil.
You regularly quote and paraphrase canonized artworks. How do you make your pick?
In terms of subjects, there’s nothing new under the sun. Love, work, celebration, a bowl of fruit on a table. I am fond of old things, I am interested in finding a new function for them, I guess you could call this an environmentalist approach. Reuse the old instead of creating new, making them more personal and accessible through small modifications. Canonized pieces tend to be somewhat generic: they belong to everyone and no one at the same time.
You live and work in Berlin. Why did you decide to move abroad, and why Berlin?
I did an MA last year in Stuttgart, it was convenient to stay in the country. My girlfriend moved to Berlin, so I joined her there to keep her company.
Tell us about your pieces available at ArtConscious.
Most of these were done during my stay in Stuttgart. I went there carrying a single suitcase, I had no personal objects just a couple of T-shirts and my portfolio with which I applied to the Uni. I was reworking, remixing, changing the 12 earlier pieces I’d had with me throughout the whole year.