Mural im Rahmen der Ausstellung "Unterm Nebel", Urban Spree Galerie, Berlin

Hey Johannes, big up for your latest wall at Urban Spree Galerie, in Berlin. How come you painted there?

This wall is actually just one work of a whole series for my solo exhibition at Urban Spree Galerie – but for sure it´s the biggest one, even though for the inside part i painted, with 8,5 x 2,5cm, my so far biggest canvas, that has the appearance of a small mural itself. Apart from formal aspects of the paintings, the whole exhibition, reflects my thoughts on early, forgotten memories and the transformation of the first ones.. the impressions we have are not reliable, it was a lifetime ago and now we have vague feelings of atmospheres, colours and smells; everything else remains inside a dense fog that psychiatry calls the consciousness.  There are a few images that remain in our memory, from our early years we don’t remember them but they form us. Our behaviours, our personalities and our lives all rely on those things we think we have forgotten. And i think also my  process of painting is formed by these experiences.

johannesmundinger--freiraumgalerie-halle

 

So it sounds as your work is appearing out of a big fog?

Well, maybe that would be slightly too vague, on the other hand it´s not too far from how i act. A lot of my work is process based, even for the most of my big walls i had just rough sketches and developed the whole piece right in space. I often have a certain idea as a starting point, maybe a feeling, maybe a composition, and then see where the wall leads me. It´s important to react to the space, let you ‘guide’ by the surrounding and not just pin something somewhere.

jonas-mekas-mural--johannesmundinger-01
Talking about the surrounding, we’re surrounded by millions of billboards nowadays, what do you think about this thin line between art and ads?

To me it´s annoying having those ads everywhere and all the time, i would choose to live without it.
Maybe it makes muralism even stronger, when there is something between all this advertising overload that stands just for itself, whose purpose is only about the work as such and not about just another product.  On the other hand the borders get blurry and its easier hiding ads in “sheep´s clothing”. A small plus is maybe that people are getting used to a visual overload and maybe so it´s easier getting walls.

johannesmundinger-eliaserrerd--universitaet-bielefeldin collaboration with Elias Errerd at University of Bielefeld, Germany.

 
What role do you find galleries can play in helping an artist to emerge from the streets?

A good gallery supports the artist with just what he does. In general i enjoy if i see when an artist evolves, experiment, and not just repeats what he or she is known for, a good gallery supports such an evolution without    pushing into a certain direction.

johannesmundinger-prague-02

How has your work evolved over the years from when you were beginning, when you look back, how do you feel about your beginnings?

For sure my work has evolved, and is constantly growing, transforming and changing. I try not to stuck in a certain approach and aesthetics and I enjoy seeing different “directions” like conceptual art, classical painting or maybe just destroy lines in the streets. I can´t really tell where these “beginnings” are, the first drawings in Kindergarten, the classic graffiti or the first murals.. I think an important step was when i discovered there was more than painting or a purely aesthetic approach. And therefore it was – and still is – important talking to other artists and visiting exhibitions in various fields.

jail-facade-sophiahirsch-johannesmundinger-09in collaboration with Sophia Hirsch in Magdeburg.

What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?

This year brings some walls and shows across Europe. I´ll spend some time in a residency in Brussels, painting a wall and preparing an exhibition together with my studio neighbour Rylsee, the same will happen in Belgrade, in collaboration with Sophia Hirsch and beside there are some solo projects and lot´s of group shows.

Instagram: johannesmundinger