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Interview with Max Gärtner
With his graphically abstract representations of various creatures, the Spanish/German artist, Max Gärtner (1982), explores the tensions and interrelationships between reality and the metaphysical, between the natural and the ‘supernatural’. After completing his degree in Graphic Arts in Barcelona in 2008 Max Gärtner not only participated in various projects with his artist group Barri Groc, but also made a name for himself as an illustrator and character designer in the animation industry. Furthermore, he has participated in various solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe with his artworks. Since March 2012 se has been living and working in Berlin, where he has further established himself artistically, shifting into new dimensions – in the context of various worldwide exhibitions in galleries, museums and at art fairs.
Today we wanted to show you the interior of Gärtner, which we will have exhibited his new series Geister und Götter (Spirits and Gods) in our Gallery Store Espai Paris whose date is about to be specified. Do we start?
- How did you get into the artistic world? I have always drawn. Like everyone, I started very young and never stopped. I consider myself a cartoonist first and the pencil stroke is the basis of my work. I started working as an illustrator while I was studying and, over time, I realized that what filled me the most was to focus on my particular artistic expression and make exhibitions.
- What do you want to express through art? Through visual art you can express things that are very difficult or impossible to communicate through words. Art for me means an inner and outer search in which one tries to understand and grasp the concept of the existence of oneself and the world around them, beyond a rational perspective.
- Tell us about your Geister und Götter project for The Room Studio, what can we expect from this new series? This exhibition is the result of an era in which I have been working on several concepts at the same time: masks, wooden sculptures, paper cuts and even a film.
- What inspires you to make your creations? When I am having a good work routine it is easy to find inspiration everywhere. I feel inspired when I am balanced and have to work it. Lately, I am fascinated by masks of all kinds and of all ages and cultures. Not only for the visual appearance, but also for the fact of hiding an identity revealing, sometimes, another at the same time.
- How do you choose the materials for your works? How did you find the format that fuses wood with other noble materials? I really like ‘live’ materials that never stop changing, such as paper and wood. When sculpting my drawing on wood or cutting it on paper, what happens is that something that was two-dimensional becomes three-dimensional. I think that my works are neither a drawing or sculpture nor both at the same time.
- What has been the most important challenge or risk that you have assumed during your career? No doubt the movie Ghosts and Gods that I will present at the exhibition. Having been able to carry out a project of this magnitude is a dream come true that I had been dreaming for several years.
- Which artists do you admire most and which have been an important influence for you? Moebius and Schiele have been great influences. I love all kinds of archaic art.
- What was the first project you carried out? An exhibition in a gallery while going to school in Heidelberg, the city in southern Germany where I was born.
- Do you follow any specific technique to execute your works? What is the creative process? I always use pencil drawing. Then cut the paper by hand or stalk the wood.
- Is there any work that you would have liked to do and that you could not do? Now that I have seen that it has been possible to make the film, I would like to make another.
- Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting in the artistic world? It is important to remember the reason why one decided to choose this path from the beginning. It is good to want to be successful, but when a lot of attention is paid to outside approval, it may happen that the illusion for art is lost. It is essential to be true to oneself and to one’s own values, regardless of the opinion of others.
We would like to thank Max Gärtner for the great pleasure of allowing us to count on the Geister und Götter series in our Espai París and for the trust placed in The Room Studio. We are very happy to share with you all this great exhibition and we hope to have all of you as soon as we can. We wait for you!