The Millerntor Gallery is a creative platform, inviting people to take part in a discourse concerning sustainable responsibility. The focus lies on the work of global artists, which generates stimuli for the visitors through an aesthetic experience. This discourse can be experienced through the universal languages of art, music and football, and the communal activities act in a meaningful and activating manner.
This unconventional gallery incorporates scientific and political components, and uses public panels and expert discussions in order to scientifically question the concept’s meaningful scope, and to make the discourse accessible to a broad public.
However, social responsibility is not only talked about, but also actively taken on. All of the event’s profits benefit Viva con Agua’s projects, which have the objective to relieve the global problem of insufficient water and sanitary supplies. The exhibition’s principle follows the participation and means that all participants, as well as visitors, are “supporters”, who form a social mouthpiece in order to call for access to drinking water for all.
Brothers Christoph and Florin Schmidt made a name for themselves as graffiti writers in their youth, and are now known as the artist duo Low Bros. The focus of their work lies on stylised animal figures with human attributes. Their animalistic heroes skate, wear sunglasses or caps and can be seen as the personification of the urban youth, with their distinctive sense for styles, poses and the relentless will to be cool. However, the reference to an allegedly childish nativeness is always maintained through the animal and natural motifs. The urban and the natural melt together in their cubistic panoramas, as well as the analog and digital, while influences from design and illustration emerge, too.
French photographer and artist JR frequently manages to use his art to overcome barriers and shift the public focus onto social topics. His INSIDE OUT project contributes to the democratisation of art, and offers an open network. People from all different cultures can participate in a simple manner, and give vent to their ideas. They become part of an entire creative and collective process. His project is an appeal for the people to commit themselves for others, fair and without fear, in order to unite the conflict-ridden world through art. “I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT.“ (JR at the TED – conference 2011).
Marco Schmid and Veronica Bürgi, a street art couple from Luzern, aka. QueenKong, have been painting, designing, spraying and photographing for years. They have left vast marks everywhere from New York to Brazil. Since three years, Vero and Marco have been letting their creativity explode for water projects, and are taking off together with Viva con Agua - with dedication for clean drinking water. They already collected several thousands of Swiss Francs for Viva con Agua Switzerland through their art. Next to T-shirt designs and auctioned canvases, QueenKong had the chance to take part in a project trip to MosamBIG in 2013, where they carried out workshops with the local kids.
Daan Botlek studied illustration at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, but spent most of his time working freely (usually by sketching and painting). This work was a part of exhibitions in places such as Berlin, Leipzig, Manchester, Paris, Madrid, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Kopenhagen, Bangkok, Warsaw, Amsterdam and, of course, Rotterdam.
Daan Botlek uses surrealism, riddles, mathematics, estrangement and humour in his work, in order to question reality. What do we chose to see? And what do we chose not to see? Why to we tend to cling on to the illusions that we create?
guerilla-art.mx understands itself as a trans-continental street art project by Yescka (Mexico) and the German filmmaker Jonathan Rutsch. Supported by the desire for interchange and the distribution of synergies between the arts, the collective organises exhibitions and project trips, as well as enriching countless international festivals. Yescka played a significant role in the socially critical movement during the conflict in Oaxaca (MX) in 2006. His motifs combine traditional techniques like woodcutting with urban graffiti, and build a bridge between cultural and western values, to artistically express the injustice and social conflicts. Rutsch staged video documentations during the journeys and collaborations, and created a cross-culturally compatible medium of communication, reaching beyond the borders of Mexico.
Minimalistic and complex. In the late 90s, Nelio developed a high-contrast universe between the figurative and abstract. He started to transform his interests in graphic design, illustration and architecture into his own work, and collected inspiration during his countless journeys and collaborations with other artists, all of which influenced his current work.
Spray paint along with collected objects such as wood, help him to appropriate public space by means of murals and installations. He uses clear, geometric forms, letters and even parts of the face. His powerful artworks allow for a playful imagination of the world.
Jim Avignon is a painter, illustrator and concept artist, and is currently considered one of the unusual characters in the German art scene. His pictures are a mash up of cartoon-like figurations, expressionist image compositions and dominant titles, always true to the principle - a maximum of expression using minimal lines. His work remains affordable and is meant for everyone. He has no contract, no agent, and does not sell his work online, he has no interest in pursuing a linear career. For him, art is communication, he is an adventurer who follows his curiosity. He can be found in dimly lit underground bars, where he likes to perform legendary lo-fi electro shows under his pseudonym “Neoangin”.
Ramba Zamba was founded in 2010, and is an alliance of cheerful seamen from Hamburg, Glasgow, London and Marseille. In all these cities, stadiums and harbours, Ramba Zamba stands for party quality and colourful, active pictures within a collective.
“Our home port is the Millerntor, and the shipyard is Brigitte’s bar. Since 2010, we have supported Viva con Agua and other social projects through music and dance, raffles and painting, to contribute to a more colourful and healthy world.
Billy is a British artist with a strong passion for colour, focussing on having fun while painting in her studio, as well as on the street. Billy’s work is inspired by everyday situations, by people, by the observations she made while living in unknown places, and travelled to exotic (and non-exotic) destinations - all of this is combined with fantasy and positive energy. The distinctive shapes, characters and symbols in Billy’s work aim to motivate people to laugh and be happy, through their colourful communication. Billy studied graphic design at the Nottingham Trent University in 2007. Her art adorns streets in Berlin, London, Manchester, Madrid, Holland and elsewhere.
“I was 14 when I held a can of spray paint in my hands for the first time, and I had great fun emptying it. I had nothing to do with art and painting before this day, and this remained unchanged in the following years in which I painted noise barriers and bridges. Five years later, after having experienced the consequences of my nightly actions on several occasions, I started a training course to become a scene painter, and encountered more and more different forms of painting.” Meanwhile, Frederic Sontag already had exhibitions in Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin and Augsburg, as well as several live painting events and orders, and solo exhibitions showing his series “Super Surveillances”, which deals with cameras and the surveillance of public space.
London-hased artist Roids (*1982) began painting in the late 1990s, and earned increased international respect in the past 10 years for his innovation and technical abilities. His constant development of the New York subway graffitis never stood still, just as little as he himself. After his first solo-exhibition in the summer of 2012, he is currently working as creative director and artist in his London-based studio, aiming to change and influence the people’s opinion of graffiti.
Sozyone comes from Brussels, but moved to live and work in Valencia in sunny Spain. Sozyone uses his own vocabulary, and is both subtle and slightly brutal. His art is characterised by his youth, which was accompanied by break dancing and graffiti. He works with acrylic and spray paint to give expression to his pictures.
Linus von Moos discovered his creativity as a child. As a little boy, he tried to draw his perfect superhero. A notepad and a pen were his constant companions. He developed his creativity and drew constantly - when and wherever he could. His love of breakdance brought Linus von Moos, also known as Rips 1, to graffiti. Rips1 is an illustrator, graphic designer, sprayer, flyer designer, decoration designer - just an adventurous and creative person, who expresses his versatility through his art.
1010 lives and works in Hamburg. His art deals with language, with symbols and signs, with the automatism of our perception, as well as the structures of our society. In his works on paper, he deliberately uses beautiful aesthetics in order to make critical topics more accessible to the observer. He skilfully lures the eye past the gently balanced colour shades, down to an illusive black abyss. 1010 is a conceptualist. His art explains itself. It is based on a thought-out system, which he developed further over the past years. He expresses this through his murals, paintings and work on paper.
Base 23 lives and works in Berlin. The sources of inspiration for his graffiti, his ink drawing and his cardboard installations vary. These include the 60s psychedelic art, pop art, underground comics from the 70s, Japanese robots and their packaging, his stay in HongKong, typography and Chinese dragons, traditional fabrics and innovative graffiti. The artist combines all of these to create his unique graphic style.
Base23 uses his love of detail for large wall productions as well as delicate works on paper or canvas. Vibrant colours give expression, intensity and dynamic to his work. His intention is to counteract the short-lived observation in our picture-flooded world, and to re-invite the viewer to linger and contemplate.
Elmar Lause lives and works in Hamburg. He is master of the collage, and the alienation of the familiar, in more than one way: Various elements of our reality overlap in his paintings, his collages, photo overpaintings and sculptures, the timeless and the current are combined to form fantastic, bizarre and absurd stagings. He alienates what is known by our visual memory, through his innovative compositions. Many of his works are actual collages made from different, collected materials and brought to canvas or put together as sculptures. He also uses this technique in his paintings, by taking pieces of varied image worlds such as comics, video games, art and graffiti, and uniting them to form new and bizarre creatures and worlds. Through the new combinations of already-known things, he creates a moment of recognition, but the known suddenly seems unfamiliar due to the unusual combinations. Hereby, he manipulates the accustomed and lets the viewer experience it from a new perspective.
Zipper - die Rakete
Zipper - die Rakete lives and works in Hamburg. “We need Space” is their motto. Zipper - die Rakete stands for more open spaces and the liberty to create these yourself. Characterised and inspired by pop culture and popular music, the artist duo has been creating their famous rockets for the past three years. The rocket stands for thirst for adventure, freedom, space and fun. Next to tri-coloured silkscreen prints, Styrodur is their material of choice. They handle this material, which is also used in architectural model making, with great love of detail: each part is meticulously formed and varnished. The rockets are then put back together like a puzzle, and installed in the public space. The rockets serve as a means of public communication, taking place on house walls.
mittenimwald creates pop-propagandistic stencil art worlds: detailed, hand-cut stencils, sprayed onto the carefully primed organic material wood or directly onto the wall - an ex-exploited advertiser takes revenge. Young, beautiful, subcultural ladies look at us with an empty expression. Rebels, pop icons, dictators and other immortals sit enthroned above messages such as “fuck art”, “enjoy capitalism”, “vandalism” and “wash your dirty money with my art”.
Everyone can hang a poster. But not everyone can take these down and turn them into art. Dirk Vorndamme, whose work consist of cuts in paper and watercolour, manages to breathe new life into an omnipresent medium of advertising. Since the middle of the 90, he has been using a unique material for his pictures: he transforms multilayered billboards into illustrative collages. By paring pop art and illustrative comics, he thereby deals with our environment, and aims to refer to the “nasty as well as critical side of art”. All the while, he is aware of the fact that art cannot always be beautiful and positive. He knows how to constructively utilise it. His visual world is populated by skeletons and bones, elements that have always fascinated him. Extinct dinosaurs were his theme for a long time, but his current scenarios revolve around the end of the human race.
ArtOne (*1971) is a Hamburg-based painter, who contributed to the emerging hip hop scene as a graffiti writer from age 15. The majority of his work was created in the time between 1988 and 1993, and was shown in numerous different exhibitions. His main profession today is as an internationally sought-after craftsman in the interior field. ArtOne returned to his roots in 2010, and now combines his professional know-how with his passion for graffiti.
In his pictures, Alexej Mimij aka. MIR combines different methods of presentation with techniques. His work consists of a combination of writings, pictures and pictograms, which form a complex picture puzzle for the viewer. All different sources of inspiration can be detected in his art works. He avails himself of motifs from art history, as well as the media and drawing world.
Loomit, one of our time’s most well-known graffiti artist, discovered his passion for the graffiti scene at the age of 14. What started as a hobby soon turned into an obsession! Mathias Köhler sprayed his first graffiti onto the water tower in Buchloe at age 15. That was 1983, and graffiti in Germany was still at an early stage. Two years later, he sprayed the first whole train in Germany along with 6 other sprayers, which went down in history as the “Geltendorfer Zug”. Next to excursions to delicate canvas works, the graffiti artist is known for his 3D letterings, which he was taught by no less a writing legend than Seen from New York. Today, Loomit works as a freelance artist in Munich, and has worked for several companies such as Opel and the football stadium in Salzburg. Loomit was awarded with the Swabian art prize for his work in 2010.
Los Piratoz have been active in the Hamburg street art scene for more than 10 years. Their claim to fame are their elaborate multilayer stencils. When walking through the city, a watchful eye will find one of their pieces in almost every street. The vast majority of their pictures are found in Hamburg, however, pirate treasures can also be seen in big cities around Europe, and also in Africa, Asia and North America. Their repertoire includes tiles, stickers, posters, cut-outs, installations and ad-busting. Next to pieces in several street-art related books in Germany and Europe, a book called “Los Piratoz - Yes, we ARRRR!” documents their work.
Viva con Agua’s founding artist from the day one and “still on the run since 1995”: Rebelzer is actively anchored in the street-art scene, and known for his black and white Freaks. These are usually in a good mood, and enjoying life. Equally, they pass on their good mood to the viewer. Whether they are small or large, Rebelzer likes to draw his Freaks in all kinds of sizes, and on almost every surface. Due to the simplicity and reduction to the minimum, the lines give the Freaks their strength of character and convey their message through their expression. Whether at the Millerntor Stadium in Hamburg, in Galeries or on house walls throughout Europe - Rebelzer remained faithful to his Freaks over the years, and thereby created a recognition factor which unmistakably stands for him.
“A painting begins with the actual painting, not with the idea” says Julia Benz about her work. Her pictures are sometimes concrete, often abstract. Her figures are neither moral nor functional message-carriers, but rather fun pictures. “When we travel nowadays, we are overwhelmed by fake realities. I find the simple moment exciting and deep. I put the mundane into the limelight, because it is wonderful”, she explains. Julia Benz studied painting at the Universität der Künste in Düsseldorf. She is currently working and studying at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.
Golden Green is known for his unique graffiti aesthetics. A universe of surreal characters, paired with a dash of futuristic cubism, fancy letters and a pinch of dadaist influences. In addition to his passion - the walls - he works on canvases, with printing and paper cuts. Golden Green is also a member of the infamous U.B. Ultraboyz collective.
Redaktion — A. Lafrentz
Redaktion — J. Fusenig
Redaktion — C. Bosse
Fotos — P. Dahmen
Fotos — G. Nicolaus
Fotos — P. Martin
Fotos — T. Lang
Fotos — Urbanshit / R. D. Klöckner