The six people behind Berlin’s KLUB7 art collective have adopted chalk as their medium of choice. As part of collaborative jam sessions they invite children and adults to join forces in making graffiti an accepted form of public art. At the Pictoplasma festival they transformed an entire gas station with nothing but chalk. For the third part of our interview series, we asked K7’s Ingo Albrecht to explain their unique take on public art.
What is your definition of urban art?
To us, urban art involves bringing outdoor landscapes to life.
We really enjoy a less sophisticated approach to public spatial interventions. At the same time, we also work with straight-laced studying materials, spaces and architectural conditions to devise a precise visual vocabulary for interactions with diverse environments, followed by the artistic performance.
If you could wake up as your favorite character one day – which would it be?
Mickey Mouse! Because everybody loves Mickey.
What was your most interesting encounter/experience as part of creating art in public?
Due to our spontaneous approach, chalk remains one of our favorite implements for quick and easy street drawings in public space. People always come up and comment. Children often want to join in. And some people even feel disturbed and aggravated by it all. Others discuss the art with each other. We enjoy this immediate feedback, but simply carry on with our drawing without answering to the audience. We find it more interesting to simply give them some shapes or a word to talk about. And let’s not forget the sounds of the city. The people, the cars: It is all part of the overall inspiration. It feels like sitting on a corner and closing your eyes for half an hour – in a modern city, it seems almost crazy to stay in one place and listen for such a long time. But you come to understand the location a lot better than when you are just walking past.
How could art and character design change cities to become better places?
We think that a character is a very easy way to generate access and attention among people with a low interest in art. It is a chance to inspire, excite, and convey ideas or messages to them. In the end, it is a good way to bring people together – and this is vital in big, anonymous cities.
Where would you like to live right now and why?
Berlin! Because it is the perfect city to live our own ideas. There are a lot of opportunities for art projects here.
All photos by KLUB7
Interview: Claudio Rimmele