Andreas Nitschke - Interview by Strip-Project
German based artist, studied art, several solo- and group-exhibitions for example in
Reykjavik, London, Amsterdam, Brussels and of course in Germany.
Featured and interviewed in more than 70 international art blogs or magazines so far.
What influences your work?
I can quote out of the movie "The Silence of Lambs", Hannibal Lecter says to Clarice: "We begin by coveting what we see every day". So am I.What I see every day in magazines, catalogues and books influences my work. This is of which I am obsessed. Photographs which show the today.I am not a historian, I can't handle with these backwards-looking approach.
Are there any collage artists inspiring you?
Not so much. Lots of so called "modern" collage work of today is similar and boring. I am very interested in modern art generally. I don't want to limit myself to this niche exitence of a collage maker however my collages often receive positive reviews. As an artist you have to take the blinkers off. You must look beyond one's own nose.Otherwise you inbreed. You must have an agenda. First and foremost I see myself as an artist, not primarily as a collage artist. But of course you have to know much about your métier if you enter a profession in art. To avoid duplicates this is reason enough. You have to occupy with other artists work and even with other collage artists otherwise you only copy their work and your work is exchangeable and becomes a simple replica, a poor copy, a rip-off and remake.I like the political and rigid approach in the work of John Heartfield (which is comparable to the caricaturists of the french Charlie Hebdo in their fight against blasphemy).Because a lot of my collages deal with faces I also rediscover masks,for example the masks of Damselfrau aka Magnhild Kennedy http://damselfrau.blogspot.de, of Shin Murayama (http://www.shinmurayama.com ) or Edson Chagas (http://www.parisphoto.com/agenda/edson-chagas ).The sculptural collages of Brandon Juhasz (http://brandonjuhasz.com/post/87219154716/deth-mask-2013-cardboard-photographs) fascinate me, too. They are very fresh.
What's your process like?
First of all I leaf trough magazines and photo-books to find usable photographs for my visual language and artistic concept. In the meantime I have also a big archive of cutouts: several hundreds of hands, faces,figures, backgrounds etc. I do my collages with scissors and paste the cutouts on paper or canvas. It depends on the quality of the paper. Then I try to synchronize the photographs with my idea for a new series or collage and my figurative imagery. The real gluing is like the wind… it runs quickly.
What aspect of your work is most important for you?
I want to create amorphous hybrid characters, figures and faces with traceable artistic means. I want to brutalize and radicalize found photographs. My collages - in the best sense - lose any kind of inhibitions. They should be awkward an inccorect. The opposite of current, conventional and common collages. Often there lies more poetry in horror than in fine art. Look at the paintings of Gottfried Helnwein,the subject is creepy but I go rather in an exhibition of him or of Jeff Koons than in an instructive, detached or educational exhibition where nobody understands the pretension. Art don't need to be inaccessible to be good or to be profound. Also trash can have substance! And it is more subersively.
What type of magazines and books do you draw from?
I rummage and go browsing in bookshops or kiosks. Sometimes in second-hand bookshops. The magazines and catalogues must have good photographs. Not too pretentious or artistic themselves. I want to pimp them. I prefer faces, skin, naked bodies. The paper is also essential.Can I paste it like I want to. Often the magazines are too glossy for me because I often use the same paste which I use for a wallpaper.
Do you see collage as having a radical or distruptive potential?
The disruptive quality lies from my point of view in the humility of making collages. They seem very innocent and little, almost childish but can develop a high potential. They come like a trojan horse and unfold a mighty and enduring impact because many beholders underrate their quality. Just because they are not so bombastic and perfect, because you are not hit by lightning, they enable an approach which is more delicate and sensitive.
What is your obsession?
I try to understand the evil… the ugly. I'm a sucker for abstruse images,I am mad about the ugly and want to come out of the left field with my collages, I want to deface and expose. In ugliness or apparent creepiness there lies a razor-thin tragedy… a tender poetry which I want to lay open with my collages.
What seduces you?
Vulgarity, nudity and sex can lead me into temptation. But there is a danger to cheap showmanship. I have to pay attention that my initial and poetic priorities don't drift off into this "adults-only-label". I don't want to be reduced only to these shock moments. That is not my aim.Therefore I avoid porn photographs up to now for my collages. They will lead me to the wrong way.
What do you love most in the world and do you love less?
I love most freedom, freedom of art and of course individual liberty.Modern art. I love children. They act without mental roadblocks. I hate violence, I hate every religion! But as an artist I have and I want to confront with these subjects. This is essential for my work. But it leaves marks… and because of this I try to approach my work with a sense of humor. Otherwise those evil and satanic spirits can destroy me, it is a play with fire.
If not yourself who would you like to be?
I have a twin brother… it would be extremely interesting to switch the roles really. Did he see me so similar like I see him…? Perhaps I am another person than the person I thougt to be.
With my dead cat.
All you need is…
Strip for you is?
To distill the essence.