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Turbo Urban goes Pines 2021

Preview at the Red House (K35)   with Robert "Opty" Roschwig

Streetart I Kiefernstraße I Graffiti I Turbo Urban I Samara Blue Urbex Art I Streetart Düsseldorf

In cooperation with the 40° Urban Art under the aegis of the artist and curator Robert "Opty" Roschwig, artists of urban art come together here with reference to Düsseldorf for an extraordinary event. Where else can you find so many extraordinary street art and graffiti works of art as well as figurative representations and photos in a small space in peaceful co-existence? Thanks to far-reaching and friendly relationships in the scene, big and small, well-known artists and those who want to become one follow the call of Turbo Urban to the Red House and thus give the 40th birthday celebration on Kiefernstraße a very special highlight. Also against the background that this is the first exhibition after 2019 in chaotic times.

Thank you to "Opty", who spontaneously agreed to an interview and was able to give me interesting insights into the scene as such and into the exhibition in particular.

Question: How did it come about that this exhibition could take place in the Red House?

Opty: I have been involved with Kiefernstrasse for about 15 years and feel very connected to it. The last active/personal Turbo Urban Art exhibition was in 2019. From April 20th, 2020 we were forced to move to the virtual space, so to speak "directly from the couch". We were all the more pleased to take up the rather spontaneous opportunity to celebrate the 40th birthday of the Kiefernstrasse.

Annotation: So far I have only encountered street art and graffiti art on house walls, train stations, trains etc. Just as art in urban space. New to this topic I had not yet visited an exhibition. But as the saying goes: "The first time is something special." That was definitely what this exhibition was for me, albeit as a preview.

Question: What do you mean by spontaneous possibility?

Opty:Well, I usually prepare such an exhibition with a lead time of 2-3 months. Here it was just 2-3 weeks. But hey, we got that too. It's a great feeling to finally be able to be live at the pulse of what's happening again.

Annotation: In my opinion, putting together a complete exhibition in such a short time and with the usual quality is a sign of great professionalism. When asked about this, Opty nods with a relaxed grin, everything is easy, it works :-). Everyone vaccinated, Corona safety concept is in place, so we can start.

Question: How did you end up in the Red House?

Opty:The Red House hasn't been used in about 10 years, it was sort of the street's junk room. With the Turbo Urban Gallery, the approx. 100m² are finally being revived. The community of residents will then continue to consider how the Red House can continue to be lived.

Annotation: Judging from a conversation among local residents, it's probably not supposed to be a pub anymore.Let's be surprised. 

Question: Do you have a permanent team and how do the artists come to you?

Opty: Of course, the team changes over the years. At the moment Sven and BigB are there and do everything they can to present everything in the best possible way in time for the opening. For years I have been in good, if possible friendly, contact with many street art and graffiti artists, not only from Düsseldorf. He is, so to speak, the interface for all artists and the team. This year there are "magical" 40 artists. 40th birthday on Kiefernstraße, 40° Urban Art Festival and last but not least, the postcode of Düsseldorf starts with a 40...! 

Annotation: Okay, I wouldn't have come up with the idea of the zip code   ;-). Also the fact that here at Opty artists sometimes hang peacefully next to each other, who in real life don't are necessarily friends speaks for the competence of the curator Robert Roschwig, not only in artistic terms. Big artists hang next to small ones, well-known sprayers next to those who might want to become one one day. Some artists are repeat offenders and accompany the Turbo Urbans over a long period of time, but new faces are always there and are easily accepted into the creative community.

Question: According to what principle do you hang the pictures?

Opty:I/we would like to convey 100% added value to the visitor, ie that as many styles as possible are covered, that there is something for every visitor, young and old, knowledgeable or just curious. There are things that are sprayed, painted and glued, but also photos and sculptures.

The "Petersburg hanging". Also called salon hanging, this type of picture hanging goes back to the St. Petersburg Hermitage. People felt the need to paint and display more and more pictures, for example of family members. Space was cramped and one picture was hung on top of the other .Sometimes the walls were filled up to the ceiling.The viewer should be impressed by the amount of pictures.

Despite everything, this type of hanging is subject to a well thought-out principle. I look at all the works of art that are made available in advance and let them have an effect on me. Each artist gets a place of about A2. The compilation then opens up according to topics, gut feeling and intuition. Topics are put together appropriately. In the course of the exhibition it can happen again and again that I wear something that creates new connections. So it doesn't get boring for returning visitors either. You can always come back and discover something new. 

The exhibition must live!

Annotation: I was well aware that you can hang many pictures on a wall. But with the explanation for this particular hanging, I got a different perspective on this. There are not just pictures of different urban artists hanging on the walls, they are also put together with deliberation. There is Rumi's cyclist, who seems to be tired and leans on her bike and looks directly at the picture hanging to her right, at the Fürstenplatz.  So the pictures "live" in one, so to speak Symbiosis that is sometimes altered a little by Opty. The exhibition is alive!

Question: Are there any special features that are important to you in your exhibition?

Opty:At each exhibition there is a guest wall. Here the participating artists can immortalize themselves creatively during the construction phase, if they like. There is no compulsion and no specifications. At a past exhibition, for example, only gray and black tones were sprayed/painted. Here I have provided some colors and asked the artists to bring colors at their own discretion.

Oh yes, the goose :-), that's our mascot.

annotation: Yes, the exhibition is alive, absolutely. Even if I only notice some of the pictures at home when editing them on the PC. But that's often the case for me and I think it's okay.

I would also like to mention the memorial wall, which, as BigB explained to me, should not be missing from any exhibition. Entitled "Rest in Peace", a work by Benni Peacemaker commemorates the companions who have left the common path for good.

Question: In a few words, what makes access to graffiti & Co. so  interesting for the kids?

Opty:Compared to other hobbies, access to graffiti is actually quite easy. Even if you don't have a lot of money, you can always find a spray can or an Edding somewhere. The interest in spray art cuts across all social classes.

The kids are also important to us. We are planning to create a total work of art in landscape format with the children's club and to integrate it into the exhibition.

Annotation: In the Kids Club (K21), workshops are held again and again, in which various artists introduce the kids to dealing with colors and art.  The beaming faces of the kids speak a clear language.

Question: Die Kiefern celebrates its 40th birthday in 2021. You're younger than the pines at 34. How does it feel for you to be able to exhibit here now?

Opty:I've been on Kiefernstrasse for around 15 years. I feel a deep, wonderful, sometimes creepy connection with the street, the people and life here on this extraordinary street.

Annotation: As a non-Düsseldorfer and still a newcomer to the subject of street art/graffiti, I consider the Kiefernstraße with its houses that have "grown/painted" over a long period of time to be a fixed point in artistic life, not only in Düsseldorf. At least for me it is the starting point for my photo documentation around the themes of urban art. My first pictures were taken here on site ;-)

When I'm out and about with my camera, I'm always happy when I find people who want to be photographed. That makes  a topic or a report really complete for me. But not everyone who comes in front of my camera allows their picture to be taken, which of course I accept. The deeper reason, on the other hand, I was not really aware of until today. That for many urban artists it is not the recognition of his face that is worth striving for, but that of his tags, his writing, his works. You live the anonymity, comparable to thatBansky Effect. I walk through the city and see pictures that I know whose signature they bear. Alone he could stand next to me and I wouldn't recognize him. Too bad for me but thanks to Opty for the explanation and for the book tip. The book is impressive.

SamaraBlue - MyWayOfArt/

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