Where Do Your Characters Come From?
Some of my characters are biographical while others arise purely from my imagination. For example, there is a painting in this exhibition titled Sol Lucet Omnibus (The Sun Shines for Everybody) which is inspired by the people who live in Neukölln on Hermannstraße, where my studio and apartment are and have been for 9 years. When I walk up and down the street every day, I see the same people. It’s a crazy mixture of hipsters, old people, homeless people. If you know these people, you’ll recognise a part of them in my characters.
How Do You Want People To Feel When They See Your Art?
I like to paint art which is beautiful at first glance, even when the ‘truth’ behind it is not beautiful at all. I like when it has enough meaning behind it, and what’s better is when people discover their own meaning behind it instead of asking me what it is. I think it’s better when they have their own interpretation.
“Berlin had this very special starting point after the fall of the wall. It became a blank surface, a new city. All these art and music scenes appeared, crazy punks came from all over Germany and around the world. It's so special, you can't compare it to any other city in the world. ”
You’ve Been In Berlin For 15 Years. With All Of The Development Taking Place, What Is Your View On Berlin As A Home For Artists?
In 2004 I moved from a small village where there was no graffiti art at all, so I fell in love with street art in Berlin. I started painting with spray cans and mixed my illustrations with spray can art. While my art on walls developed, I found people in the same game and together we founded this crew, THE WEIRD, and everything took off from there. While we were doing wall mural art, my illustrations got better, I got more jobs, and now I am doing commercial jobs as well.
Of course it’s easy to complain as we are seeing things change and prices rise, but I try to focus on the bright side. In comparison to other cities, like LA – where I was living for a month – Berlin is still cheap. Fifteen years ago, I got to experience the good years with cheap rent and costs low enough to start my business. Maybe I’ll start complaining next year when my studio contract ends [laughs]. But I still love Berlin. I’ve seen a lot of other cities in the world, but Berlin is still my favourite.