Christian Awe: “I wish we could speak in the language of colors”

November 21, 2015  15:00  |  Let’s talk

Christian Awe: “I wish we could speak in the language of colors”

Photo: Bernd Borchardt

“I live in a city which is contemporary art production capital of a world” – smiles Berlin based artist Christian Awe who was in a shortlist for Preis der Nationalgalerie and invites to his studio with a rooftop terrace and full of vibrant colors. If there exists a person who reflects all the colors of a pastel, he is the one that looks at the color at its deepest level while getting into the philosophy, esthetics, psychology and communication of an each tone. From a street graffiti guy to a traveler – explorer – artist, Christian has developed his own unique style, technique, adoptative content of paintings in order to bring the art into the next level and present it to the biggest audiences in the public places.

Tell me about your childhood. Were you artistic from the very first days?

I would describe myself as a very active child. I did a lot of sports and creativity was one of the most important personal features from the young days. Not in a way that I was painting or doing arts at that moment, but the games were continually created by myself or some special tools to play were built with own hands. If you wonder about the artistic creativity, it came with my teenage years. As the time was passing, the skills and interest was growing up as well. Creativity is not a stage that you reach and then press the bottom “stop” as you feel like you have already reached the destination. It is in opposite: the maturity of personality is closely related with the maturity in creativity and artistic spirit. What’s the result? You need time to understand how to use your inner capacities, make them as a mode to spread the messages and improve the society and environment. I think art is one of the most powerful ways to show how much you love the world and people.

Christian Awe: “I wish we could speak in the language of colors”

Photo: Bernd Borchardt

If you want to spread the love or find the solutions to the societal and environmental problems, you seek to reach huge audiences, is it right? Open the doors wide and moving from the museums and galleries to the open places. How the idea of bringing your art into public spaces has come to your mind?

The beginning would be more related with being “a street guy” and graffiti. I figured out how much power it has: risk, openness, diversity, complexity and dynamics. When I think about a percentage of visitors of the museums, I become a little bit upset as in this way the art does not reach as many people as it could. Believing in more democratic way of art brought me to the idea of moving to the public places. Professionally painting on the walls of the living buildings lets thousands drivers to see it every day and dive into my fantasy world which I share with others. Which museums has the same number of visitors in a month? This is the answer why bringing the art to the doorsteps of the people drives me further. Let it be open, free, attractive and sexy.

Christian Awe: “I wish we could speak in the language of colors”

Photos: Klemens Renner

Would it be fair to call you the artist with an intension to educate and teach rather than to spread the beauty and esthetics?

Would not argue, as my art is not necessarily connected with the representation of the beauty. It is more about dynamics, energy, colors, positive outlook and aspirations to make some changes. The main purpose of my work is to bring the art into the next level. For example, my paintings are very colorful, but each of it has a story and content behind the decorative outlook. The longer you look at them, the more you explore and get inside the story. Sometimes you reach the sky, sometimes some words or figures are hidden but later they appear. The possibility to suspend a moment and fully grab the attention of a viewer could be associated with my paintings as well. I am eager to show that creativity can be a tool to educate people and improve the further generations to look at this sphere with the different attitudes, insights and backgrounds.

From a street graffiti guy to a traveler – explorer – artist who spins around the world with the exhibitions and projects. Where the sparkle of inspiration is hidden? What is your muse?

Life by itself is a huge source of inspiration: people I meet, love affairs, music, travelling, interest in history, books and different kinds of art. If you seek for professional result, the development and improvement has to go in unison with the creation while not forgetting about the theoretical and practical knowledge, unique technique, style, content and diversity. When choosing a place for my paintings, I think symbolically and it inspires, changes the process and even the idea. There is a painting in Lichtenberg, a neighborhood in Berlin, where I have picked up a building in Liberation Street to show the opposites. The army of Soviet Union came through this street, but with the colors, which connote freedom, energy, creative potential, I show that Berlin has a huge creative potential and young artist as well as the thought that we are free if we feel freedom inside ourselves. To empower the idea and artistic expression it is necessary to connect the space, content and style.

Christian Awe: “I wish we could speak in the language of colors”

Photo: Bernd Borchardt, Linus Lintner

Flashy colors, surprising forms, eclecticism, vibrant energy and immense dynamics. Your paintings are full of positive vibrations and reflect bravery, courage and optimism. Is it a mirror of your personality?

I am super optimistic person, but nonetheless you would find some paintings that are in black or pastel colors. It does not mean I was upset or depressed at that point, it is all about the idea, content, story and the way of expression. During this period I am really into abstract painting which is on the edge to figurations, so it come a little bit into gestural as well. It is changing all the time: the techniques, the ways of spreading the messages, the subject matters. Sometimes people think that is just the splashes of the colors, but actually, there are 5 – 15 layers painted which create this sense and visual appeal. The belief we shall live to the fullest brings me further all the time in a way of experimenting, taking the risks and challenges. These personal features are definitely related with my art works and vibrant colors.

Translation of the interview published in SwO street  Nr. 18 (LT). (24-27p.)

Christian Awe: “I wish we could speak in the language of colors”

Photo: Bernd Borchardt



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