German Graffiti artists Gabor and Robert talk about art and society
They are creative and interesting. But it's their political incorrectness that appeals when they say with no qualms whatsoever, “Petty crimes are legitimate if they make the ‘other' visible.” Meet German graffiti artists Gabor Doleviczenyi and Robert Kaltenhäuser, who were recently in the city to conduct a two-day Graffiti workshop at the Goethe-Institut\Max Mueller Bhavan.
Gabor specialised in graphic design while Robert obtained a degree in philosophy, but what unites the duo is a passion for painting the town graffiti, so to speak. Although they consider gallery paintings beautiful, they believe that graffiti art sends out a stronger message. Robert explains, “Graffiti art comes to you, you don't have to go to art galleries to appreciate it. Paintings in art galleries isolate it from the outside world, but graffiti art is connected to everyday reality, which makes the latter more powerful .”
Robert isn't just a graffiti artist fond of painting public walls in vivid hues, he is also quite the philosopher at heart, and a radical one at that, “The Western liberal idea of an open society was good, but it's been perverted by the absolutism of Capitalism. Socialism, though a good alternative, turned out to be different in practice from what it is in theory, and now, as you can see, it's a failure. Art is the only medium through which we can offer alternatives to the current system,” After a considerable pause, he continues vehemently, “New ideas come from outside mainstream society. Conventional society can choose either to be stupid and intolerant or be more tolerant of ideas that seek to challenge the majority. Hence, it's important to evolve a society which respects alternative opinions.”
Robert and Gabor have travelled all over the world, mostly Europe, but it is Brazil they love for the graffiti, says Robert: “Some of my favourite graffiti artists are from there. Brazilian graffiti is unique because it's a fine blend of graffiti and local art.”
The duo formed a good impression of the city despite their short visit. “We got a glimpse of Bangalore as we've been here for barely a week, but we took some time out and visited Samuha and Number 1 Shanthi Road, there's some awesome art happening in these places.” The graffiti workshop was a delightful chaos, according to Gabor, “It was over in the blink of an eye, but it was fun. There were paint cans all over the place. We, however, managed to create harmony out of the chaos and the end result was satisfying.”
The duo ensured the artists in the workshop didn't emulate the New York style of Graffiti as they believe it was essential they own an exclusive style, Robert explains, “I don't like artists copying other's styles. How can culture progress if you don't innovate and create something new?”
“Break the wall and get another point of view,” Gabor and Robert conclude with characteristic style.
The graffiti paintings done at the workshop are currently on display at Max Mueller Bhavan.