Behind the scenes at the viennacontemporary with graffiti artist Mario Sprühter
Did someone say ‘hangover brunch’? Everything you missed at the viennacontemporary and more.
Taking place last month, the viennacontemporary invites art lovers to enjoy a unique view into the vibrant contemporary art scene of Central and Eastern Europe. Someone who has a unique view, and a unique and usually ever-changing canvas, graffiti artist Mario Sprühter shared his creative talents with the brunch guests by reinventing the neubau glasses cases with his eye-catching aesthetic.
We chatted to this dynamic artist about everything from sustainability to finding inspiration in unexpected spaces.
What was your highlight from viennacontemporary?
While I was illustrating the eyeglass cases, I stopped drawing from time to time to see how people react to my illustrations. I was filled with joy knowing that some people went home that day with a smile on their face and with my art in their hands. Putting a smile on someone else’s face, that’s the best highlight I can think of.
How important is it for you to engage with other artists and other works of art?
I am at a point where I constantly try to learn, progress and push my art to the next level. To progress, it’s important to find a good balance between studying other artists and their works of art and studying yourself. I constantly try to find ways and opportunities to connect and learn from others as much as I can.
How do you stay creative in an industry that demands it?
Relaxation — that’s the key. “Stressed-induced creativity is not a long-term strategy.” In order for my mind to come up with new concepts and ideas, I need to have a calm and relaxed state of mind. As weird or cliché it might sound; sleep, exercising, going out and taking time off, play a big part in my life in order to stay creative. All of these simple and basic things help me gain peace of mind, stay balanced and cope with stress during waking hours. If my mind is relaxed, it will always come up with new concepts and ideas.
What inspires you?
I love skateboarding. That’s a huge source of inspiration for me. Skateboarding is a very independent form of artistic expression. You will find the most creative, unique, independent and open-minded people in the skate community. The skate culture is a vibrant, free and ever-evolving phenomenon. There are no rules, no coaches, just you and your board and this big skate community of like-minded individuals coming together to have fun. And we do have fun, trust me. ;-)
Another big source of inspiration for me is the hip-hop culture and it’s four elements: DJing, MCing, Breakdance and graffiti. I am so passionate about this culture because hip-hop is more than an art form. It’s a social movement that values art as a form of disrupting the norm and creating a dialogue that encourages societal change. From the clothes I choose to wear to the music I listen to and the drawings I make, everything is influenced by those passions and interests.
But if you take a closer look at all those interests of mine, you can notice that all of them have something in common and that is: people. People inspire me the most. A big part of the inspiration for my drawings comes from my daily social interactions. If I hear someone saying something random but I find it to be a good idea for a drawing, I quickly note it down in my phone or sketchbook. I have lots of random phrases that people said saved in my phone because I found them to be interesting and potential unique ideas for my future illustrations. So yeah, people are a big inspiration source for me.