Vandalz book – Nils Muller

vandalzVandals is Nils Müller’s new book. Instead of simply photographing the finished works, Müller documents the process behind it.

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Here are a few words from him.

> When did you start getting actively involved in photography ?
At the age of 16 when I began doing graffiti.

> Was it difficult to select the photos for Vandals. Or is a good photo instantly identifiable ?
It was indeed difficult. I could have made 4 books.

> Graffiti on trains is often done at night or in dark places. Do you like taking photos without much light ?
Well, it depends on the action. Most of the time, you can’t use flash light while they’re painting…

> Do you post-process a lot your photos ?
No.

> We all have understood you are interested in atmospheric pictures (the places, the trains, the yards…) and “action” photos ( before, during and after the painting). You don’t publish them, but do you also take photos of the finished pieces ?
Of course, I do as it is a part of it, too. But these images aren’t interesting for my work as a photographer. I’m focussing on humanity and emotions instead.

> As a former graffiti writer, is it frustrating sometimes to take some risks with people in front of a train and not painting on it?
I found a special technique to get along. It always feels like painting as well. It’s all about the action…

> Which photographers do you admire most?
> Do you know & enjoy other photographers who focused on graffiti on trains like Alex Fakso or Ruedione ?
I respect those artists and of course, I know them. Fakso was one of the first graffiti photographers, I’ve seen so far. As such, he influenced me. I like some works of will Robson scott, too. Further, I like the epic photographs of Henry Cartier Bresson or Richard Avedon and of course, there were even more photographers count.
> You are right now in L.A. Can you share with us what you are doing in California ?
I was busy with another project called wertical.com. We meet some artists such as Mr Cartoon and Marc Ryden to interview them.

Vandals –  192 Pages – Format: 30 x 24 cm
ISBN: 978-3-939566-38-0 – 30€
http://www.publikat.de/212-0-Vandals.html?clang=0
http://www.nilsmuellerphotography.com/


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3 x 3 x 3 series, part 3: Pilot Pirx

As we are posting the news from the streets and Urban Art-scene of Hamburg for a while now we where wondering if we could ask some passsioned Urban Art-photographers if they would like to do a short interview with us, the serie “3x3x3”: 3 photographer,              3 questions, 3 favourite shots of streetart. And here we go! Enjoy.

Pilot Pirx

1) In our opinion you are one of the most ambitious Urban Art / Graffiti-Photographer in Hamburg: what ist your motivation?

You ask about the motivation? hm …I have always enjoyed photographing, I got much around in the city ‘. I’m 51 years old and I am pretty much familiar with the Schanzenviertel (note ZK: a scene-district of Hamburg) , St. Paul and Altona – even with the backyards. Altough I noticed and appreciated Urban Art – i.e. graffiti, pastes, template, tile, tags such as “Duckfames” (note ZK: a local Streetartist), duck or “Rebelzers” freaks (note ZK: a local Streetartist), it is not so long that I consider them as an object of my photography. Then I took a photo of a painted skull by “Anus1” on the bunker behind the Flora (note ZK: a squatted house in the Schanzenviertel), which was painted over at the end of the weekend. I found this to be annoying. Although it seems pretty normal – because Hamburg does not offer much legal options for graff-crews – I think such a skillful painted picture deserves more attention instead of being painted over so quick. and an artist like Anus needs more spots to express himself! In the following time I paid more attention to the art in the streets and took photos , beside classic graffiti more and more of street art. Unfortunately most things are destroyed quickly, buffed, stolen or fall victim to the weather. Because of my photos I get them to stay longer and more people can see it, at least in the network. Therefore archieving is a part of my motivation.
Another part of my motivation is a nod of acknowledgment to the artists who create art or make people smile , often encourage to start thinking or sometimes even in most cases annoying the authority. Artists do so with their words and imagery that do not come to my mind as I am not the “creative guy” … hat off to the artistic ideas and skills, styles and locations / placements! What remains for me is the opportunity to take pictures of their art and spread them.

hein-hoyer-strasse , bald zugebaut  artist unknown

2)  As a photographer you document (art)life in the streets: which recent tendencies do you recognize?

The topic of trends …I`m not into it that long – this doesn`t make it  easy for me to see general drifts. I see personal developments of the artists, e.g. today’s rockets of “zipper the rocket” (note ZK: a local Streetartists) are becoming more detailed and partly worked out compared to their previous works. Today the pastings of the Berlin based s.a.m. crew which I see here sometimes, are also more complex than the older ones. But those are individual progressions virtually I see in all street artists.

Yeah, one more rather nasty new trend: the things, which are pasted in the streets, get stolen and are offered by the thieves on ebay. Buff and painting things over is annoying enough, but making money out of  stolen art … oh no, stop it…

hein-hoyer-strasse , pauli  artist robi the dog

3) If Urban Art / Streetart-lovers visit Hamburg: which specific ares would you recommend? 

Yep, there are quite some tips for interested people.
First of all the Gängeviertel (note ZK: a famous formerly squatted place) where is always something to discover. If you are looking for pastings, stickers, tiles, tags or similar the city quarters St. Pauli and Sternschanze, Altona and St. Georg are always places to go. Everybody who is there on the road with OPEN eyes, will find beautiful things. The Bunker-Park (note ZK: located in the Schanzenviertel), the hall-of-fame on the flood wall in Heimfeld and the big wall at the shanghai-avenue could be quite interesting for all you graffiti fans. Many other locations were torn down in the last years: the “Teppich-Kibek” in Holstenstr., the spice grinder in the Gaussstr., several buildings in the Marktstr. and not least the demolition of the “Frappant” on Bergstr.  The loss of these buildings took is accompanied with the loss of spaces studios and walls for artists,. And this demolitions continue: soon the Altona train station will probably be the next building to fall,  in the Marktstr. another  “object” got secured…

 universität-hinterhof  artist unknown  

More? Visit Pilot Pirx on flickr

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3 x 3 x 3 series, part 2: Bildpixel

As we are posting the news from the streets and Urban Art-scene of Hamburg for a while now we where wondering if we could ask some passsioned Urban Art-photographers if they would like to do a short interview with us, the serie “3x3x3”: 3 photographer, 3 questions, 3 favourite shots of streetart. And here we go! Enjoy.

Bildpixel

1) In our opinion you are one of the most ambitious Urban Art / Graffiti-Photographer in Hamburg: what ist your motivation?

I hope that through my support many works of Street Artists will gain a wider audience. Unfortunately many artworks suffer from environmental influences and street cleaning crews. Thats why I am trying to stop the time by my page on Flickr. Through my  online photo-archive all people – even those who do not live in Germany – have the possibility to discover the colorful Hamburg.

Push - Rekorder gesehen in der Schanze am 22.3.2013

2)  As a photographer you document (art)life in the streets: which recent tendencies do you recognize?

I notice that many works are not sprayed directly on site anymore. The tendency is that many artists have their works already prefabricated/prepared, so the art can be installed in a fast way. One effect ist that the work is more precise and better, because the artist has enough time to focus on the work of art and doesn’t have to be worried to be caught in the act of being creative already. Right now sculptural works made ​​of styrofoam or rigid foam and collections of stickers made by many artists as a big collaboration work are very trendy. Some guys may have already seen the colorful beads-pictures on walls, which make not  just children’s hearts beat faster.

Zonenkinder - gesehen in der Marktstraße 27.06.2012

3) If Urban Art / Streetart-lovers visit Hamburg: which specific ares would you recommend? 

Graffiti Lovers should check out the Gängeviertel (note ZK: a famous formerly squatted place) and the Schanzenviertel (note ZK: a scene-district of Hamburg). St.Pauli has to offer quite nice corners as well.
Just keep your eyes open, because so many treasures will only be found by you! Those who look carefully in all directions will be rewarded! 

Stickercombo Späm - gesehen in Ottensen am 15.09.2012

More? Visit Bildpixel on flickr

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3 x 3 x 3 series, part 1: URBAN ARTefakte Photographie

As we are posting the news from the streets and Urban Art-scene of Hamburg for a while now we where wondering if we could ask some passsioned Urban Art-photographers if they would like to do a short interview with us, the serie “3x3x3”: 3 photographer, 3 questions, 3 favourite shots of streetart. And here we go! Enjoy.

 URBAN ARTefakte Photographie

Introduction

I can not completely count myself as a “real” Hamburger thus I live more in Berlin. But: I continue to hope not to lose sight of Hamburg. Anyway, I feel like being there every day. And with all my heart! All People from Hamburg will probably be able to feel this as well pretty good :o) So far, I’ve spent there a very nice and intese 2-years-experience and I would like to answer the questions very much.

1) In our opinion you are one of the most ambitious Urban Art / Graffiti-Photographer in Hamburg: what ist your motivation?

Briefly: My motivation is the passion and pure love for street art. Thats it.
Longer answer: I do not take photos of everything and not even of every artist. I have to admit that I mostly photograph what I like, whether politically, socially critical or (for me) very emotionally engaging works with depth/insight. This was with me from the very beginning on, and I hope it is not going to change because every picture I take is a reference of mine and my next, my attitude, my feelings, thought, experiences etc. 2011 I got to know Hamburg for the first time, starting with the Gängeviertel and then the “Schanzenviertel” (note ZK: a scene-district of Hamburg), “Karoviertel” and “Altona”. These areas/quarters have become my personal hot spots.
At this point I want to thank once again especially my friend who sweetened my introduction to Hamburg, and was often very supportive in acquiring jobs, etc., and also sometimes promoted me. That’s part of my motivation also – always keep going, even when things turn bad. Photography and Streetart-Photography is a lot of work that needs precisely this kind of motivation to carry on. This is only possible if you have the passion to do so. It’s like being in love: you either love it or you let it be.
Until now I was able to experience Hamburg for two years in a intense way and I hope to tie in with the City again soon. By the summertime I’m definitely back there!
Unfortunately I never got connected to Graffiti even though I have already begun taking photos around the year 2006. Please forgive me :o)
Furthermore: my motivation is caused by the ephemeral character of art on the streets and a photo is all that remains visible after it disappeared – virtually on my blog. For all readers, lovers, art enthusiasts. Also, I like to sit like in retrospect at my photos to see the transformation of the artists in their works  – finding some kind of “personality” in their work.
Furthermore I like to come in contact with the people, to hear their stories. In this short time I have been able to establish as many contacts as I haven`t succeeded in Berlin in all the years before. And then it´s real fun. You don`t just take “snaps” for your hard disk – it also gives you a very good feeling!
I’m hardly to be met at exhibitions because Street Art – as the term suggests, is art to be on the street and I take pictures of art on the street. Sometimes there are exceptions, of course  e.g. I visited the RYC-exhibition (note ZK: at the Gängeviertel) in 2012.

REBELZER  [Liebe] _ Foto URBAN ARTefakte

2)  As a photographer you document (art)life in the streets: which recent tendencies do you recognize?

I guess I was probably “too little” on the road in Hamburg with my over 600 photos. But what is visible of course is that the street / urbanart / installations etc. deal with the current issues that are happening in the world. This is what I feel. Very good to check out in the “Schanzenviertel” always ;)
In order to identify trends, one must have been on the road in Hamburg for more than 2 years. I do not know if it is counter-productive, but when it comes e.g. to Berlin I can identify trends only now – after 3-4 years of photography.

Citymonster in Barmbek Süd - Foto _ URBAN ARTefakte

3) If Urban Art / Streetart-lovers visit Hamburg: which specific ares would you recommend? 

Of course I only can recommend what I myself have met in the first place. And the first thing I can recommend would be the Gängeviertel. Not to mention the Schanzenviertel and the Karoviertel. Of course there is Street Art all over the city, but then not so increased. So always keep eyes open :)
Even from Barmbek-South, Wilhelmsburg, on / in the harbor and in the Port City, Bergedorf I know about Street Art and Graffiti, or even have pictures … But on the whole – just check St. Pauli! As far as I know,  in 2013 the STAMP Festival will not take place, but this is among others also a good place to visit if you want to discover Street Art and also the artist themselves. But 2014 is also a year :)
Otherwise – for being on the road – a little tip from me, I always say: “Street Art is like looking for mushrooms – where there is one there are also several others to be found” ;) HERZ Any Peach & Holzweg _ Foto URBAN ARTefakte More? Visit URBAN ARTefakte Photographie –Blog

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