A couple of weeks ago opened „13 Strokes“, Christoph Häßler aka Stohead‘s new solo show at BC Gallery in Berlin presenting a new and stunning body of work that will awaken every sense in you.
„13 Strokes“ consists of a series of works that reflect Stohead’s creative process and development in recent years. Having a background as a graffiti artist, his work combines astonishing calligraphic elements with expressionistic tendencies, that takes his abstract paintings to a new level by constantly reinventing himself. But for Stohead it is not about creating a new style, but rather combining preexistent ones keeping a right balance between them. Pretty much as our multicultural society does today.
With the title „13 Strokes“, the artist means to explain a certain minimalistic, restricted approach to his work focusing on each detail. One might ask oneself as to why a certain element such as the liquid smoke which is very detailed in colour, shape and depth and looks beautiful on its own is then partly covered with what seems to be a blunt yellow line or a round tip letter. The answer in this case is that the artist looks for more than just an aesthetic result to his paintings. Due to his experience in technique, composition and material Stohead is able to envision the exact size, position and colour of additional strokes in order to achieve the tension and depth he is looking for. It takes a lot of confidence in the physical execution of said strokes. It will sometimes take him days of contemplating and practicing a certain element in the composition of a work even if it is „just“ a yellow line before it is actually added.
13 Strokes runs through June 24 at te gallery located on Libauerstraße 14, 10245 Berlin. For more information visit www.bcgallery.de
Through his years evolving as an artist, Christoph Häßler has gone through several stages of development in styles. Starting, as so many of his kind with graffiti, he naturally became accustomed to lettering and calligraphy. Scripture is the bearer of information, writing makes it possible to ban thoughts and feelings into a form and it is here where Stohead found his bridge between writing in the streets and the art form we have come to know in the past years. As with any good artist, the key is to constantly evolve and reinvent oneself without losing ones identity as an artist. Stohead has managed to do this over several years and several different styles by never discarding or breaking off one for the other but rather more intuitively by going back and forth between them. Starting off by taking his distinct round tip tagging style from the streets to the canvas, Christoph has since taken his writing through various stages of what he calls „decomposition“ of the lettering. Using several different techniques and often self-made tools, his works range from clear and strict letter patterns to the complete decomposition, which is commonly known as the „Liquid Smoke“ works. Taking inspiration from both ends has caused several distinct styles to evolve and to be used by the artist on a regular basis alongside each other. Stohead’s earlier productions also include a notable phase of sculptural works and installations which he has picked up again recently. Also to mention are his numerous organizational involvements in urban art events such as Urban Discipline or Dock Art just to name a few. With his constant presence and output, Stohead has achieved a stable market for himself with regular solo and group exhibitions around the globe.
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.