GERMANY: AUTARK – Graffiti Artist, Painter, Collagist & Sculptor from Berlin – Nature Awareness & Social Empathy

Today we introduce you to another brilliant person from the German capital Berlin. A passionate artist sparkling with innovation, at the same time an empathic, compassionate and critical activist. The creator AUTARK produces fascinating works in his art, as well he is a special energetic person and exudes warmth, sincerity and love. You notice this immediately when you meet him. This is exactly how he implements his works of art. With a lot of dedication and with a message. We spoke to AUTARK about his creative world in an extensive interview.

AUTARK started out with graffiti, but that’s not entirely true either. He had already painted before on paper with pencils since he was a child. The act of painting itself continued, whatever surface. Countless murals and cool artworks have been conjured up on Berlin’s walls over the years. And meanwhile he is again more active on the canvases with brushes, also in the sculpture area with statues or even more recently in the digital world with NFTs, the so-called modern stamps, the Non Fungible Tokens. Besides the urban art, all these other fascinating things were first presented to the public at his exhibition “Liberation” and later on at Pop Kudamm. AUTARK has always developed, unfolded and still continues to discover many facets of art. But no matter what he creates, the focus is always on the connection with nature and with humanity in  its inner self, at the same time he shows a beautifully-hurting criticism of the prevailing loss of this mentioned connection.

We talked to AUTARK and recorded an interesting interview for you. The result is this article here peppered with many beautiful images by photographer Holger Peter and by Autark himself. The audio is in German, but below you will find the written version of the conversation translated into English. We spoke about the art of AUTARK, his concept, his developments as an artist and his interesting ideas. But we also address social issues. We talk about topics that are not talked about that often and we try to give impulses, to give new ideas and we want to encourage you to think for yourself. Above all, we want to motivate you not to give up. Life is weird and not easy, but if you approach the whole thing in a more colorful and loving way, then it can be more pleasant and more beautiful. For the articles and photos especially about the recent exhibitions check out the Liberation page or the Pop Kudamm page.

Today we have another interesting interview for you. It’s about creativity, graffiti and urban art. I am talking to the artist AUTARK from Frankfurt to Berlin.

A beautiful welcome, it is my great honor and pleasure! I am happy about our conversation about my little world of “Autark” painting, where I can explain you some background stories, ideas and also explain where what comes from and you get a little insight into who “Autark” is. My name is Alex, among other names, I am now 38 years old and have been active in public painting for 3 years. I am also consciously involved in painting to show myself publicly. I had previously had a long hiatus or just painted for myself. But art has always been part of my life and now I consciously show it to the outside world. I always develop new techniques and see where the journey will take me.

You just said into your “little world”. In the meantime it has become quite a large world. I checked the Vagabundler website again earlier and you’re featured in 10 major spots with some great work. These are usually fairly large murals. So whether now, for example, at Mauerpark, Alte Feuerwache, Jungfernheide or Rosenthaler Weg. Then we still have isolated works of art spread out over the city. What has been added more recently, however, were the exhibitions. You organized the Liberation exhibition, then it went straight to Pop Kudamm. And through these events I also discovered what else you do. You also make sculptures and interesting paintings on canvas.

Exactly. Or I also built two small model cities, as you actually know them from model railway construction. So when you build your railway worlds. In fact, a lot of it is based on the Corona period. I don’t want to deepen the topic of Corona now, but I actually used Corona for myself and said, I’ll use the time and try it out. That’s why this “small world”, i.e. a lot happens in my small globe. I like to dance through the world and then I discover the person who sings or who plays the drums or someone who tells poems. And that’s the philosophy I mean when I say my little world, so to speak. So that I create my little world on this planet and not only try to create it for myself, but also to give people a flattered reality in the art world. That I just let the others participate and maybe let them dive in and also let them sympathize.

Immersion is also a good word. I had just started with the street art and graffiti works and there are also some works that you can really immerse yourself in. You made really beautiful large murals, which are always very detailed and full of a lot of interesting content. You’re not the kind of graffiti writer who’s after the letters. So you paint a lot more scenery and characters. Would you describe yourself as a writer?

No, I’m actually completely away from graffiti now. I have to say, I originally got off of it. The can suggested graffiti to me and I was also in that area for a long time. But today I wouldn’t even call myself a street artist. That’s why I have the stage name “Autark”. Because titles are always too stamped for me. I would say that I’m slowly going into the classic. So into classical painting with certain elements, with certain expressions or statements, which are often only recognizable at second glance. In other words, works that you have to work with and let them take effect. So I would almost say that I’m actually more into classical painting at the moment.

So you are definitely very versatile. The exhibition and the works that you showed there made it clear once again how many art forms you make. But I also think that these exhibitions bring everything together. In addition, it also shows a development and the story of you. Especially in the Liberation exhibition, the works also show how you have overcome difficult times in your life with the help of art and that art has always given you strength.

Yes totally. That’s why my diversity is there with such a sudden bang. So like now with the exhibition Liberation. As already mentioned, I once had a small hole. That’s why I included the subject of depression in the exhibition. It was also important for me today, as an artist, to work on a topic that a lot of people support, especially young people today. But it’s just not really talked about. Everyone has the problem, but the other problem is worse or your own problem. Or that’s the direction we’re headed. And I think that if we’re also talking about social media like Instagram, then it’s very important that the artists who use it talk more about why it’s like that. Because I don’t find anything wrong with people having a past. That’s why it was so nice for me with the exhibition to show how diverse everything is that I carry with me and to be able to let it out. So that I can give the whole thing a place and show what comes out of it when you really show yourself. And it doesn’t matter how it is now. If it comes from the heart, then for a long or short time you will get the feedback you want. And that is nice. It’s nice to be seen and noticed.

I also thought it was really great or significant with a room at your exhibition. Holger Peter sent nice photos, but I think you have to have been there. The room was just dark and you had a lot of works that you then illuminated or that shone themselves. That also showed nicely how you see a light even in a dark phase and that’s just the art. And then art pulls you out and while you’re making art, you just get out of the misery again. At least that’s how I understood the room.

After the exhibition I thought a lot about what I was presenting myself. It was a nice reflection for me to see what I had processed there. And actually this dark room is, well, that also symbolizes my night life a bit. I worked in gastronomy for a long time and at some point there was a turning point where it wasn’t nice anymore. That’s when painting and art went down a bit. During that time, I had to deal with therapies and addictive behavior that are commonplace in gastronomy. And this dark room with the light, there are also many small elements built in, such as nature or a small house. It was kind of an enlightenment. So I have the dark room, so to speak, the night life, which I illuminated for me in the exhibition and left a part behind me. Just like some of the graphite drawings that also deal with the subject of depression. Also the statues. I really have the feeling that with the exhibition Liberation, with the liberation, I was able to close something with it. Well, I can’t and don’t want to forget it either, but now I’ve freed myself and can even paint much more freely now.

We also had a funny joke during a phone call the other day. Autark had posted something in his Instastory a while ago. I had to laugh a lot. He had written in it: “I was just thinking, if everyone is autark (=self-sufficient), am I still “Autark”?

Yes, exactly, haha. And plan B was then just, then I’m just “Commerz” (=commercial). Little fun. So as long as “Autark” still feels good, I would like to continue to be “Autark”. But what is very important and what also fits this nicely, so the name “Autark” really doesn’t refer to the fact that I’m an egoist or a loner who says I just want to do my thing. In fact, quite the opposite is the case. I long for collaborations with artists who also want to be creative and want to live. The Autark really refers to art and saying, I want to dance to hip hop one time, then I want to dance salsa or merenge another time, then maybe classical dance another time. It’s all beautiful and that’s part of it for me. Sometimes I go one step further provocatively, because in the social media world many things are very one-sided and straightforward for me. That’s why it’s often exciting for me to work with them. Especially when it comes to statues, the keyword NFT, what is that anyway and what is there? If you deal with it a bit, then you see that it’s all a certain plan or that it’s also connected and that it’s not a jumble, but simply life.

But I also think that the name “Autark” also means that you want to break out of this pigeonhole thinking. On the one hand in relation to the judgment of others, but also for yourself. You are not hip hop or this or that. Maybe one night yes, but the next night you might want to hear something completely different.

Yes, exactly. And as I already said about the depressions, that’s why it’s also very important for the dear listeners, if one of you is there, I’ve dreamed of doing an exhibition all my life. I’ve always dreamed of it. But I’ve never dreamed of being at the Kudamm with an event because I didn’t even think about it. Or that I’ll come to a New York gallery or something. Of course they were wishes, but I didn’t even think about that at first. So to the readers and listeners: really go your own way and do your things! Now, of course, a few things have happened, but these three years, in which I lived intensively with art, there was so much beauty in it for me and it all strengthened me and was good for my character. And the things that got me down, they all became more and more bearable because I was doing my thing. That’s why I can only advise you: listen to your gut feeling and go about your business. No matter how wild or whimsical or crazy that is. Just do it! If a heart surgeon suddenly wants to become a gardener on Macchu Picchu and that is his dream, then he should pursue it.

You described that beautifully and at this point I also have to think about the connection with nature, which is also an important theme in your art. You have works of art, it’s not as strongly represented there, at least not as obviously and distinctly. But you have a lot of works of art there, i.e. canvases and also murals in urban areas, where they really depict nature and Mother Earth. So also as a social criticism with the message “Take more care of our earth” or “Be more connected to nature”.

Yes, exactly. If I don’t draw an animal now, but rather, for example, a cultural tribe from Africa with masks, then it’s still related to the fact that they live much more in harmony with animals and nature. They hunt to survive, but they don’t just kill an elephant for fun. We learned how to fly from the birds, so we learned a lot from them. We take divers and dress them in wet suits textured like shark skin to make them go faster. We learn from nature, but we also do so many bad things at the same time and we don’t see it. This humanity is missing or lost, it’s really hard for me to bear if I have to describe it like that. It’s not an affliction now, but it really pisses me off at how overbearing man is on the road. So are we really human or are we still animals? That’s sometimes the question I ask myself and I try to process that in my artworks. Sometimes striking or sometimes only recognizable from a different perspective and at second glance. I once painted an elephant whose trunk and tusks also show a fucker, i.e. a hand with a middle finger. The image between the hand and “why am I being shown a fuck you now?” blurs a bit. But it should show that you don’t forget that and don’t give a “fuck” about it, as the saying goes. This is a tough subject.

This painting in particular is just really awesome. You have previously painted similar artworks with an elephant and if you know those, then the new one seems a little more familiar. It is also based on other works and if you know your style, then you also know directly that the picture deals with criticism of how people deal with nature. You could actually take all the works with the theme of nature and almost make a series or your own exhibition out of them.

I’m a bit scared of series, because at some point they get too monotonous for me. But I have to say that everything was different before my exhibition. Now that I’m doing the exhibitions, things have changed. I just painted a picture here on my balcony and I worked with a mannequin doll and basically painted an African mask with an Egyptian hat. I can now say that there will probably be a series out of it. Because the doll already has a very aesthetic shape and is kept very clean and I can then decorate certain elements. Then I can imagine a series under it. But these are also all things that are currently developing and which will then lead to the next journey.

I think that’s what’s so interesting about you. So, as already described, at the beginning there were a lot of your works in the urban space and when the exhibitions had just started, the curtain fell, so to speak, for many observers. Now you can finally see all the cool things you do. So just everything you produce and create. That’s all coming out and art is your passion.

Yes, and I hope now because of the exhibition at Pop Kudamm, well, I don’t long for success as much as some others might say. So they want to be successful and all that. I’m actually longing for some success so that I can try out more and work more with certain materials or get certain equipment. It’s hard sometimes. I’m currently doing night school and catching up on my training as an art therapist. Later I want to work with children in the field of therapy. That’s why I have to think about whether my works should somehow be sellable. So not only can I think completely as a free-thinking artist, but I also have to take the business direction more into account. I can’t say I live on the beach and everything is beautiful. But I also have to take up the strategic side and tackle the marketing. That’s the area I’m starting to focus on now. So how I can carry and promote the “brand” Autark a little more to the outside world. The business basis is also part of that.

I think that’s what’s so interesting about you. So, as already described, at the beginning there were a lot of your works in the urban space and when the exhibitions had just started, the curtain fell, so to speak, for many observers. Now you can finally see all the cool things you do. So just everything you produce and create. That’s all coming out and art is your passion.

Yes, and I hope now because of the exhibition at Pop Kudamm, well, I don’t long for success as much as some others might say. So they want to be successful and all that. I’m actually longing for some success so that I can try out more and work more with certain materials or get certain equipment. It’s hard sometimes. I’m currently doing night school and catching up on my training as an art therapist. Later I want to work with children in the field of therapy. That’s why I have to think about whether my works should somehow be sellable. So not only can I think completely as a free-thinking artist, but I also have to take the business direction more into account. I can’t say I live on the beach and everything is beautiful. But I also have to take up the strategic side and tackle the marketing. That’s the area I’m starting to focus on now. So how I can carry and promote the “brand” Autark a little more to the outside world. The business basis is also part of that.

Left part with insect is from AUTARK, right part was made by S.G. RAUM

Explain to us briefly and for the people who don’t know what that is. So what are NFTs? And you also have another Instagram channel for augmented reality. That’s another very interesting new feature that not everyone has. Explain briefly how to use it.

Yes, the NFTs, I can easily explain that. This is the newfangled stamp collection, you could say. I have a specific work, for example the Geisha, I created it as a digital work and it comes in different colors. So these now in four colors, for example. You could then buy them with Etherium Coins from Mintable App and that’s like a stamp collection. This is a collection and you can also exchange individual NFTs. There is also an increase in value if the artist stays tuned. Besides, it is also a support for the artist. One can thereby acquire a small part of the artist’s art.

So it’s sort of like digital merchandising.

Exactly. And that with the Aurgumented Reality. This is also a very exciting thing for me. That’s where I find myself and that’s where I’m still looking for suitable programs and how to perfect all of this. It’s kind of like I made a work, so let’s take the work “Mirror” for example. This is an African lady who has an earring with a small child rocking in it and there is a mirror in the back. I then animated it digitally, so to speak, and then the child starts to rock and the lady in the main picture grows over with lianas. You can then see again how the face emerges from the whole plants. You do that with the Art TV app. You sort of scan the image and then the digital version of it comes out. The Instagram account with @autark_ar, which I have created in the meantime. If you go on there, you can see the images in a really big size, and if you download the app and then sort of scan the portfolio of the image, you could sort of see the animated version as well. Not all of them are currently available because I’m also in the experimental phase and there are certain accounts that you can use. But with some you have to pay and some have different functions. So I’m still in the discovery phase and trying it out. But it’s worth checking in every now and again, because I definitely don’t keep my legs still. I can say that.

In any case, it is super interesting to see all the new possibilities that open up over time with which you can make art. Especially now in the digital realm. But I think we should jump back in time at this point. We are already fully in the digital age, but how did you actually start? You tend to ask something like that at the beginning, now you have a question in the middle of the interview. How did it all start for you? How did you get into art in the first place?

That was actually quite classic with Mickey Mouse and comics like that. I drew a lot as a child and I can explain why I like this world so much because I used to play football as a child, but then I looked more at the clouds and what kind of shapes they form. I always thought to myself, oh, that looks nice what’s up there. And that looks like the Turtles or something. From a young age I actually kept drawing. When I was about 6 years old, I painted a work of art from my aunt’s. And then everyone somehow couldn’t figure out what I was copying as a small child. That was very realistic. It became clear that I had more of a knack for art than for football. Then there was school and then graffiti appeared. I’m very bad with years, so I can’t say exactly when or the exact years when I did what. Forgive me for that, but that’s not so important for me to know exactly.

It doesn’t matter what year it was exactly. But what were the other influences or factors that shaped you?

Yes, exactly. I then had a very good friend, which is often a motivator. Unfortunately I lost it when I was 18. He had decided not to live any longer. But it was with him that I got to know graffiti for the first time. He brought me a little closer to graffiti. So he started it and I thought it was totally awesome. So working with the can and also with the thrill of the night. But I have to say that it was really cool to paint with two people, but then it started with a crew and I didn’t like it that much anymore. I have to admit. Well, I was out and about a lot on my own when I was painting graffiti and also doing illegal stuff. And then at some point there was the training and the illegal thing was just too exhausting for me. I have to be honest. And then I didn’t have that passion for painting anymore. Because then I just wanted to paint for myself and get out of the world and create my things. For a long time I only painted for myself, because I never really had the art world on my radar and all the things that are out there. That actually passed me by a bit when I was young. Then came the job and then came a bit of a break. But when I had this break, I painted a lot at home. So really only for me and only my things, a bit abstract and then I also tried out characters and shades or with figures and proportions. Then I kept watching reports and videos, but at the time I didn’t really get much out of it. But I’ve always followed the topic and dealt with it.

Basically it was with you the whole time. So painting and art.

totally, totally. And it was also this thing, during the time of my depression, when I sometimes didn’t really know what my future could look like or when I didn’t know if I could manage my future at all. Art was always my glimmer of hope and my light on the horizon. It was really like the last little beat of the pulse, which is always there with a boom boom. And then I said, come on, there’s one more thing you want to experience in life. So let’s be very honest.

That’s why I meant that about the exhibition with the dark room and also felt it in a similar way to the way you just describe it. So these lights, they give you energy and there is also this art path behind it. So they shine like a pulse.

Exactly. And most importantly, you can turn the lights on and off. You can decide whether this should light up now, or whether the battery should be off. And yes, I don’t want that anymore. I still have darkness inside me, everyone has that, that’s very clear. But it has become easier and more pleasant because you have an output. So be it dance or other creativity. And that’s awesome. That’s why it’s for me, well, I’m trying more classical painting now like at the Liberation exhibition and I’m very happy about that. I really enjoyed the graffiti time and the spray can is a wonderful medium. I really like working with it because you can create beautiful structures with it and work in large shapes. That’s a beautiful thing. But you can also do a lot with a brush or a roller. But that’s why I’m also very grateful for the graffiti time and the spray can. Because it also showed when you do something, so I get my place on the street and show my skills and abilities, learn and practice my style and my lettering, then you also got a name. There was honesty there. It wasn’t about the money or any show, it was just about if you’re good at it, if you take it seriously and if you take the time. So if the passion is there. Then you get your success and the recognition, if you want to describe it that way.

And you also get the respect.

Yes, exactly. And painting is something purely self-centered. It’s very touchable if you paint freely with it. Especially in public. I also painted a school and made a big mural there. That was my first and I am very grateful for that. I would also like to go there and that is also my goal that I am also pursuing. So paint larger facades. I’m also a bit attracted to the size and living out the details and the surface. And I have to admit, of course also being seen. But also classical painting as an aspect. That it’s not just a painting, but something more profound.

This is also important to mention again. So just because the exhibitions with other art are taking place now and there will be more of them, doesn’t mean that you’re only going to do that now. Instead, works are now being shown at the exhibitions that you have also been making for a long time. But now is the time to show it. But you still love to paint on the street.

Yes, exactly. But I’m already looking forward to winter and I’m happy that I’m finally getting some real snow again. Then I can do my snow paintings again.

It’s definitely awesome what you did there. You sent me photos, but I hadn’t seen anything like that before. It’s really crazy. Autark was on a parking deck in winter and has, for example, shoveled a whale in the snow on a huge area. That was great. You have to come up with something like that first.

Yes, shoveled and swept. That’s a really nice story that I’d love to tell you. So I sat in my studio in my apartment, there I have a room in which I can work. I’m very happy about that too. And I was sitting there at my desk and the snow was lying on the parking deck of the Deutsche Oper. Oh, now you know where I live.

Ah, so now we know! So you live in the Deutsche Oper!

Haha, yes exactly. At the German Opera. I own the Deutsche Oper and I am the Phantom of the Opera! Haha. But on that day I was talking about, I was sitting there by the window and it was also the early days of Corona, when everything was still new. And I didn’t really know how to deal with it either. On the one hand, I found the empty streets totally calming and also beautiful. But I also knew that it would all be very difficult. Then I looked at this roof and all of a sudden I started to paint in my thoughts in the snow. But then I didn’t dare to go out and do it in real life. I hesitated and thought, you can’t do that and that’s funny and I don’t know exactly. But then I also thought about it, so I should step on the gas now in the Corona period. There are a lot of people who have said again and again that nothing can be done. That was true. But then I tried to persuade myself for half an hour, fought my way through and finally left. I just painted a picture like this in the snow. And then something wonderful happened. When I was almost done with the picture, my neighbors suddenly started to gossip. A few people then clapped out of the windows because they had observed me.

That’s really great, I’m even getting goosebumps for a moment. You did something nice for the people in the area, especially during the difficult phase with the lockdowns, without you even knowing or planning it.

Yes, exactly. I didn’t even know if that would work at all. So also from the size. Sometimes the pictures were 30 meters long. I once painted a Last Supper and it covered the entire parking deck. It was always totally insecure for me and I was very nervous as to whether it would work at all. Then I always thought, oh God, what am I even doing here. But that first day, when they applauded, that was really touching. I’m getting goosebumps again. That was really a beautiful moment. The other people saw something again where they were free again for a moment. They didn’t think about anything else for a moment and it distracted them from all the negative things. This is also a factor why I would never consciously decide for myself that I would only do one thing. Because from every thing new things arise. Whether it’s a mural on a school, the one with the snow paintings or the one with the exhibition and the sculptures. There will be an exciting event coming soon. I made sculptures out of my cans and there is an event taking place here in Berlin, maybe the statues will be there too and maybe a few larger ones too. So that’s not all wrapped up yet, but if it is, then there will be information about it. But all of this shows me so beautifully again and again that you have to keep your eyes open and not go through the world with blinders on. Because every fold, every corner can show or create something beautiful.

Yes, and especially when it comes to creativity or beautiful projects, it’s important to support and motivate one another. You always have to motivate yourself. Because you could have just stayed in the apartment. There was no one else who said, do it. You motivated yourself and then left. That’s why it’s important that people support each other, especially in the creative field. Then there are beautiful things.

Definitive. That’s also anchored in humanity and that’s how humans have multiplied and mixed. And that’s why we’re hardly purebred breeds anymore. We have multiplied and developed further because we all have cultures and find that exciting. We always feel attracted to beautiful things and also to different things. Humans are there to learn. Animals are always learning and evolving. Why shouldn’t humans be able to do that too?

It’s often fear. So the fear of the stranger. And I think that artists can do their part to dissolve this fear. Everyone can contribute their part with what you do yourself. You paint pictures and create sculptures, the Vagabundler collective tries to enlighten and inform on the platform here. Unfortunately, many problems arise from misunderstandings, skepticism and fear of what one does not know.

Yes, exactly. It’s also the case with you, that at some point you decided to start such a project and see it through. Now today the two of us have come together through this and the listeners and readers are getting the artwork and information. It’s all a development. Or the circle of life.

What we mentioned before, these social media channels like Instagram, where you are often put on a show, tend to overwhelm you. And that also leads to the fear of becoming self-sufficient (autark) or dealing with one’s own thoughts self-sufficiently, through this social media machine these fears often become even greater and one becomes even more anxious. You would have to become more self-sufficient by supporting and motivating each other. So by saying yes, do it, dare. Especially the things that you are afraid of at first are often the cool things and maybe the important things in hindsight.

Yes, exactly. And if we take up the post from before, for example, if everyone is “autark”, am I myself still “Autark”? So I’m totally fine with that, that would actually be nice. If everyone is now really self-sufficient, then the symbolism and the most important thing behind it is fulfilled. So that every person is himself.

Or herself. Or it. He, she, it, we. So how you want it.

Exactly. That’s it. And certainly not imposed from anything else. We can use that attitude in life but also in the professional world.

That’s exactly how you could describe it. So you mean self-sufficient in the sense of freedom of choice for each person. And if that were the case for everyone, then that would be cool.

Totaly. Then we are also a community. Because being self-sufficient in that sense doesn’t mean cut off from everything else. If you look at it closely, you can’t really be completely self-sufficient. Because you also need a plant to feed on or drops of water to drink.

It depends on what is self-sufficient or independent of what. And you mean authorities. So you are concerned with the certainty from the outside. It’s about self-determination. So that you can determine your own life and your thoughts. That you can do the things you feel like doing and that you can like what you like and eat what you like.

Yes. And then, more and more often, you actually meet the person you would like to meet, because you are also on his path. When I then see people who go on a survival trip for two months in the wilderness or people who go skiing. So if I always long for it, but then never do it, then I can’t experience it either. And the world needs that a lot more, because we’re losing sight of ourselves a bit. Also like with nature. On the one hand we always learn from nature, then we also work together with it and with people and then we destroy ourselves with the things that we have developed. That doesn’t really get us anywhere. Sometimes we just let so many things get out of our hands. That’s how I feel. So also for the listeners and the readers, I hope we have both been able to offer you a nice conversation with helpful information and maybe also be able to discuss some perspectives. And I think that sometimes even the little things bring forth beautiful things that only become big at some point later. Because we are us, that’s the way it is, we are the small people who basically make everything beautiful. All of that should be treated much more valuable and the good that everyone brings. Not everyone is a mathematician, not everyone is an artist, not everyone is a singer. But I find every thing beautiful and each has something special.

Because we were also talking about nature, I have a picture in my head of you planting a seed and something grows from it. Before that I had this picture with the tree, how your art and your ideas just grow in you. But that can also be applied to all of humanity. It’s all a process. And information is like seeds here. If someone listens or looks at your works, that can give an impulse again, so that someone else gets their own idea for something new. The small things are actually the most important, so the subculture is actually important and not what is presented at the top and is already finished. So also this show on Instagram, on the one hand it’s not real and on the other hand it’s just a finished thing anyway. But that’s not how it comes about, and that’s not how it begins. And so is not the development of life.

I also like to say that a blade of grass doesn’t grow any faster if you pull on it. If you go about it with force, it doesn’t go well either.

Another thing I would like to talk to you about is festivals. You were at a festival in Goch last year. So Goch meets street art, that was in July 2021. Almost a year ago.

That was actually my first festival that I applied to and wanted to attend. It’s also a bit about making the larger murals and you get to know other people. The artists give each other inspiration. I also wanted to go out more in public and show myself more and not just paint pictures at Mauerpark, which will then be gone again tomorrow or even on the same day. I then wanted to go to a festival where the city would consciously create space for artists. I thought that was really great and I was very happy that I was accepted and told that I could paint there. It was also a super cool city, I really have to say. At first we were greeted warmly and everyone was in a great mood and we got coffee brought by the neighbors. There I painted my tallest but also my narrowest mural. That was about seven meters and I also created a small world there. I also took some of the graffiti with me and also used letters to incorporate such elements and thus retain some gratitude. I then also wanted to adapt to the artists next to me and also to snuggle up a bit so that everything gives a well-rounded picture. The festival thing is definitely something I want to keep up with. But then Corona caused many events to be cancelled. But I definitely want to continue to pursue this with the festivals. I’m really up for it. You just have to look at how you manage everything with the arrivals. I’m also a bit tense now because of my new exhibition, which I’ve now shifted a bit. You’ve already heard something about it.

The Liberation exhibition was hardly over when you already had something new. We also spoke on the phone and you said that you already have a new key in your hand. The exhibition at Pop Kudamm was running until May 21st. It’s also an interesting exhibition space. Is the gallery now only temporary?

No, that is now planned for the next two to three years. So the whole location will be there for the next two to three years. That’s a lot of containers that have been stacked on top of each other and that’s right on the Kudamm. So at Kurfürstendamm 290 at the Kurfürstendamm underground station and diagonally across from the cult bar Kanzlereck. And there is a container that I was allowed to use from my dear colleague Cap10. This is a little guerrilla marketing genius. He’s also starting to show himself more in public now and also says he wants to stay in the arts. So a big thank you to him at this point. There I then exhibited the artworks of Liberation in a different form. I was there almost every day and you got an insight into the things I do. Because I don’t like standing still.

You’re also doing an apprenticeship and it’s also cool that you’re going through with it and going in the direction of art therapy. Because when you’re done, he can teach young people things again. So you become a teacher, a social worker and you pass on your interesting experiences and wisdom. And I think there is a lack of such people in our society. Especially people who really contribute to the system. Because people who are knitted like that, it’s really difficult at the moment to feel like participating in society. But especially in difficult times it is all the more important to take part anyway.

Yes, and I have that feeling too. I have also received various help and also through the therapies that I have mastered and through the own strength that I have mustered and invested. I also learned a lot from that. And the medium of art is a beautiful thing. So it’s fun to work with. I’ve also wanted to have a dog for a long time, but because of my education, school and art, I don’t just want a dog like that. I would like to train him as a therapy dog. I would like to add the art therapist to the whole thing and then do it. That is why the social aspect is and will always be a part of my art and I will always pursue it. I’ve passed my difficult times and I never want to go back. Coming from the commercial industry, I’ve only worked for money in nightlife. I’ve seen where it takes me and that’s why it’s really important to me. Well, I’m not a world start now, but who knows, maybe it will be like that at some point. But that’s not the point. I will always know where I come from.

Yes, well where your roots are. So you are “Autark”.

Exactly. And meanwhile I also feel very comfortable and am exactly for such things. Maybe that’s why I took everything a little more consciously and calmly. I took the time for the art and didn’t do all of this just because I wanted to end up in some museum. For me, art is simply more. She shall be my life. And just my life, in which others can also participate and others can live with.

Those are also some nice sentences to the listeners and readers. So do your thing and don’t give up! Don’t be intimidated or discouraged from outside. Now, because of the whole situation, there is even more darkness and negativity in you and you try to master it. But there are ways to get through the labyrinth. Everyone has their own way, but art can definitely help a lot. And people like you can help other people in an artistic way. So we are connected to each other and also like a kind of world family. The word is also a bit trite, but we have to support each other.

We are the few who make the world sing. If we only stir up hatred, then it will lead to nothing.

At first you said you didn’t dare to go up onto the roof at first, but then it was great in the end and everyone applauded. You made them happy without knowing it. These are sometimes small and banal things that you can do every day and that do something good for others. So: Keep going!

Definitely. Thank you very much for the nice conversation. It was my pleasure! Thanks to the listeners and readers and maybe see you soon. I definitely invite you on my journey. I don’t know exactly where it’s going yet, but that’s the wonderful thing about it. It remains exciting. You can always find out the latest information via the website and my channels. You can also contact me and I will get back to you. If you have any questions or would like advice, please write to me.

Urban Art from AUTARK on the Berlin Map

Alte Feuerwache
Haus der Statistik
Jungfernheide
Mauerpark
Rosenthaler Weg
Teufelsberg
Maulbeerallee 21
Snow Art @ Opera

Exhibitions with artworks from AUTARK

Pop Kudamm
Liberation
ErsterErster
Stadtpiraten

INFOTHEK

  Artist:  AUTARK

  Website:  https://www.autarkart.de

  Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/_autark

  Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AutarkArt

  NFTs @ Opensea:  https://opensea.io/AutarkArt

NFTs @ Mintable:  https://mintable.app/u/autark

Photographer: HOLGER PETER

Hashtags: #PeterEatAndArt #BerlinStreetArtPeter

Instagram PETER EAT AND ART: https://www.instagram.com/peter.eatandart

Profile Page: https://vagabundler.com/culturists/holger-peter

  Photo Credits:  Autark

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