Andreas von Chrzanowski is one of the most innovative young artists making waves in contemporary German (and international) art. Not only are his pieces totally unique in subject matter and his technique one of the most extraordinary to be found (spray paint used in a manner so precise it’s scary), he prefaces each work by setting up an intense photo shoot. SlamxHype talks to him about these shoots and the next place you can see his work – Signal Gallery in London from February 18.
Your debut London solo is about to open. How are you feeling? You’ve worked in the UK before, but this is the first time the spotlight is only on you.
I’m not sure, but I think I’ll be ok…
Tell me about the new body of work you have created.
My new works are made on different surfaces. Most of them are canvas but there are also fragile wooden panels and cardboard works with stapler covered with duck tape, too. I mixed all three surfaces together to emphasize the character in detail.
This show features many animals (most of them not living), plus children and an aged man.
Can you talk a bit about the photo shoots you set up and the experiences you had this time around?
For this show, I made the photo shoots all by myself. It was really fun – sometimes easy, but at other times it was hard to arrange and organize things. The most complex photo shoot I did was for the piece with the old man. It was a step beyond for me. It was also not easy to get the armor, the rocking horse and the old man, but my friendship with a guy who works in a film studio helped me a lot.
For me, the most important thing about doing these photo shoots before properly beginning to painting is that they remind me both of past times when I was young and also refresh my perspective on my current life. Nearly everyone in (and around) my pictures is a part of my present or past life.
What’s the story behind the show title, Never odd or eveN, and the concept of your new body of work?
The title is a palindrome, which means you can read it from left to right and from right to left and you get the same two views from different sides (i.e. read the title backwards and it says the same thing). This is the effect you get if you look into a mirror.
The core of this show is my interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s fantastic story Alice Through The Looking Glass. I chose this theme because I like how such traditional characters are reflected in such different ways.
The show title is like the pieces: not easy to explain, never odd or even.
You paint incredible murals in addition to your fine art. Do you plan to paint any in London before or during the show?
Oh yes, I will paint five small walls in London during my preparation of the show. During this time I will live in a warehouse together with a huge artist community, which sounds like an adventure for me. I’m ready for it.
Never odd or eveN
February 18 – March 6 2010