The exhibition Interruption features work by two artists who both come from street art backgrounds but have developed a very unique style and technique.
Originally from Liverpool, Richard Ashcroft (b. 1971), also known as Ashwan, received a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where one of his professors was Pulitzer Prize winner Jerry Saltz and which is known for its successful alumni, including Jeff Koons and Georgia O’Keefe. The artist describes his work as a visual Tao of boom-bap sound. Ashwan creates objects: physical, solid and with a strong presence. He often uses discarded cardboard boxes and transforms them into large-scale mixed-media works that he encases in resin. His art harkens back to a time when the social breakdown of cities and the ever-widening social divide led to a veritable explosion of color. For his Writings, he uses text in a repetitive, rhythmic way that is not always easy to decipher, but that communicates the essential energy of a message. In this way, Ashwan’s art references, remixes and celebrates a bygone era with sincerity and nostalgia.
Like Ashwan, the artist Nico Sawatzki (*1984) from Regensburg comes from street art and also works today almost exclusively with spray paint. With his painting, he lets arise through multilayered construction with simultaneous deconstruction of paint layers, difficult, imaginary spatial constructions that create an enormous depth effect through compression and dissolution on different image levels. In his paintings Sawatzki picks up memories of moods, concise images from childhood but also from the near past. Thus, mostly landscapes are created that pick up on these moods. Tension fields with sometimes disturbingly staged shadow or light sources, monochrome coloring and not clearly defined structures should be complemented by the viewer’s own imagination and emotional world and thus be able to grow into a very personal, possible memory.