How do you approach in painting a medium that has neither colour nor form? Which is ephemeral and materially intangible? In her hypnotic visual worlds, the artist Alex Krull is able to give the element of water not only physicality, but even a face.
The native New Yorker, who started his artistic career as graffiti sprayer and now ranks amongst the best contemporary Pop Artists in the USA, primary employs urban subjects. In his complex multi layered artworks he refers and pays tribute to Big Apple, his hometown. On the basis of canvas, wood and rust, supplemented by stencils and tape art AVone creates in parts photorealistic and abstracting cityscapes, which appear romantic and yet demystified. The focus centres on the duality of destruction and reconstruction, beauty and decay, ignorance and über-ambition. This aspect is also found in his female portraits. In his artworks AVone reflects the American way of life as well as the delusion of (self-)optimisation, often by including recurring motifs. Consequently, he turns into a pictorially powerful critic of western zeitgeist and delusion of supremacy.
Benjamin Burkard paints enchanting hybrids of human beings, animals as well as flora and mechanical elements, which despite of the apparently fusion maintain their own material. In the midst of surrounding machines man remains man, he is the centre – technology as mere universe encircles him.
The style of Ewen Gur is clearly associated with comic drawing. Black lines and bold, clear colours hold the right mixture between figuration and abstract elements exactly the way that suits him. The massage is crystal clear: life should be best taken with humour and wit. The main focus of Gur’s art lies on diversity of human and urban existence with strong references to music, which plays a big role in his life. Consumption and abundance are being exaggerated to the point of absurdity. The comedic element in his art playfully transmits the tragic parts.
Soul state, frame of mind, or human sensitivities - these are the subjects Harald Klemm dedicates to his art.
* 5 October 1950 - † 26 December 2011
Barely any other artist has shaped "Popular Art" as much as James Rizzi. Whether Volkswagen New Beetle, stamps for Deutsche Post or a Lufthansa Boeing 757 - whatever James Rizzi designs becomes a popular artwork just as much as the three-dimensional objects (3D images) he creates.
The art of Kati Elm comes across with a lot of humor and charme. Her collages are a conglomeration of vintage magazines, haute couture, fairy tales and slogans – old fashion meets Zeitgeist. Focused and deliberately exaggerating she broaches global issues and common fears. As major in fashion design Elm looks behind the surface and gets through to the actual being. Colourful, shrill and bold – she repeatedly and tirelessly refers to everyday life issue whose sense she questions.
Her paste ups with nostalgic illustrations of children from the 1950s are well-known in the Rhineland area. Kurznachzehn already took interest in the urban art scene from an early age and beautifies streetscapes since 2011. The source of inspiration of her mainly black and white, elaborately multi-layered and manually cuted stencils lies in the sighting of her grandfather’s family album. For example her girl picking flower stencil which she sensitively pastes into urban surroundings, depicts her mother as a child and hence revives the past. Since her change of location to Californian San Diego, she is experimenting and extending her artistic repertoire. Contemporary and political topics are increasingly emerging beside her nostalgic motifs.
Kids and heroes of his childhood are most favoured motives of Hamburg-based Street Artist Marshal arts, which he puts in different contexts with affectionate, ironic or political and critical effect. By doing so he compresses complex interrelations to extremely trenchant picture stories. Interaction with urban surroundings is created deliberately and is the reason why positioning plays such a big part in his creative work. His alias Marshal arts refers to his personal connection to martial arts.
Meow’s career followed very traditional pattern: from Graffiti to Street artistry. Since 2011 he beautifies the vivid streets of Cologne. Prior to portraying cats as main subject, he created Street Art under different aliases with different themes. Besides associations such as straying in urban environment, the feline subject is very multifaceted: cats, with their nine lifes, are firmly anchored in superstition and symbol of Egyptian goddess Bastet. In his sprayed series of meditation cats meow focusses on this specific topic in a timeless manner. His catlike beings mostly have human bodies. Thus the artist raises his creatures to almost human-like beings.
Born and bred in North Germany, mittenimwald had worked as advertising designer before he became an artist. These days he takes up classical advertising mechanisms and combines punk and tattoo elements to a mixture of “sex sells” and revolutionism. His pictorial world is the artistic counterpole to the guerrilla marketing of consumer industry. Starting with his paste up campaign against poverty, famine and beef sausage, his choice of subjects includes tattooed urban beauties just as death headed Pop Art icons. He vehemently merges commercialism with anarchy, punk and public relations within his large-scale stencils. Mittenimwald represents an exciting and important position which gives impulses to think about. He repeatedly raises the question: who’s actually manipulating whom?
Striking, bold and impressively different: the portraits of the Munich-based artist Peintre X deliberately dissociate from the aestheticizing canon and – with rough brushwork, sharp contours and extremely extensive orientation - emphasise on eye catchers. His faces are a construct of the imagination of humanity, testimony of self-reflection and self-alienation; but exactly this radical presentation gives access to the oeuvre of Peintre X. His paintings show a whole new kind of grace and beauty with their pastel-like effects, fascinating facial expressions and longing looks. Additionally there are figurative and typographic neon lights or distorted text lines with references to Marina Abramovic and Damien Hirst, by which Peintre X expresses his admiration and criticism of the art market at the same time. With this ambiguity and irony Peintre X acts in the spirit of Pop Art, even though he employs many elements of impressionism, expressionism and object art.
R.F.ART is a passionate exponent of classic art of painting and drawing, which form the basis for his witty and affectionately created pictorial worlds. In doing so he mixes and varies styles, materials and motives until there arises an eclectic, sometimes childlike and fabulous, sometimes cynical and bitter mash-up. The art of R.F.ART is widely lived by putting it on urban display in the streets of Cologne. He triggers our memory and equips his pictorial worlds with a stream of new worlds of music, comic and movie industry, which both made us smile and thoughtful.
His „moon girl“, pasted across numerous german capitals, is already known to the attentive street art observer. It is an unobtrusive and subtle paste up, which harmoniously adapts to its environment and yet stands out – in a quiet manner. The street artist seiLeise, which means “be silent” aka Tim Ossege started his graffiti career in his early teens. As skilled graphic designer he soon turned his back on the commercial advertising industry and started creating reverse graffiti in 2010 in his hometown Cologne. This sensitive concept, which is in perfect accordance with its urban surrounding, is also reflected in his stencil works. The characters in his visual world are staged unaccompanied and appear almost lost and lonely. The reduction of the image content to the essential enables personal identification – we are together lonely. Unobtrusively and intense enter his artworks enter into dialogue with the observer.
The streets of the cathedral city are her projection screen: since 2016 the Strassenmaid aka maid of the streets enriches urban surroundings of Cologne with her heartwarming aphorisms. Her photorealistic stencil portraits as paste up or sticker already are among the favourites of Cologne’s urban street art scene. The origin of the fictional character Strassenmaid is created from an impulse which sets against today’s emotional pessimism. She broaches the issue of essential values such as love, happiness and freedom, which are explicitly staged in a positive and encouraging manner. Street scape as well as daily life of passers-by are beautified by her paste ups and stickers. Her massage as quote is: “We would be nothing without love, values and friendship – let’s start to believe again and live accordingly.”
Banana sprayer, performance artist, classic studio painter: Thomas Baumgärtel ranks amongst the most versatile artists in Germany. And thanks to his sensational performances and artworks with straightforward messages to the most discussed artists in German feuilletons as well. From the beginning of his career Thomas Baumgärtel has taken a stand, shown attitude and fought for the freedom of art. His spray painted banana is world-famous since four decades and by now became an international seal of approval and quality for art galleries and museums. Within his ongoing cycle of “Metamophoses of the spray painted banana” the yellow fruit changes into constantly new forms and shapes.
The special character about the art of Cologne-based Street artist TUK is her great empathy by which she chooses locations for her lovable and sometimes socially critical paste ups. It is sensitive interaction of art and urban surrounding, which passers-by happen to experience. Only both, the right spot and the site-specific art complete overall impression. TUK likes being abroad and therefore, her catchy stencils are well-known worldwide. Her butterfly-girl is based on a real life encounter with a little girl from the Bastimentos island in Panama. The artistic realisation presents translated reflection of this peaceful Caribbean island with its typical biota. Thus, TUK brings us parts of that world into our world and thereby leaves not only an artistic imprint but also an enlivened image.
Born in Düsseldorf in 1984 and influenced by 80s French Poichoir movement, Van Ray already started spraying graffiti in the end of the 90s at an early age. By choosing this artistic form with its direct interaction, Van Ray expresses social criticism resulting in stencils, stickers, paste ups and sculptures in public spaces.
Xxxhibition ranks amongst the pioneers of German street art. He already started his artistic career in the 80s as graffiti sprayer. His urban art is highly in demand and gets sometimes even stolen.