URBAN NATION X Stohead
- July 24, 2020
New facade mural along the A111 motorway focuses on our current attitude to social values
The Berlin-based artist Stohead (Christoph Hässler) has designed a special ONE WALL within the scope of the URBAN NATION programme of the same name on a building at Delpzeile 14 in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district. The colourful mural is a lettering-based facade artwork, which adds a new aspect to the ONE WALL series. You can get a good view of the facade mural from the A111 motorway (coming from Hamburg or, within Berlin, Tegel). In future, it will be a landmark for drivers interested in street art as they travel through the city, a characteristic that integrates the work into the urban landscape in a particularly unusual way.
Stohead’s interpretation of letters and symbols in an artistic way is rooted in his past as a graffiti artist. The street style lettering culture focuses on the continuous reproduction of the writer’s own name and its inscription on urban spaces. This practice has resulted in the development of unique fonts and design languages.
Stohead uses lettering and letters as tools of artistic expression. This approach means that his access to the medium is abstract and technical: lettering and letters dissolve increasingly further in almost expressionist processes and are in part transformed into abstract art.
With this work, entitled “Worth”, the formerly Hamburg-based artist highlights our current attitude to social values.
“Due to recent events, society is once again focusing more intensively on worth and values. The cited title word is visually distorted and differently weighted through scaling, shifting and overlaying individual letters, as well as the use of various colour palettes. This ‘distortion’ of worth, i.e. the widely differing level of importance attached to values, is also apparent in our society. In style terms, this design is based on ROUND TIP lettering,” says the artist Stohead.
Interesting in this respect is his technique: on the basis of his interest in calligraphy, writing styles and lettering, he gradually works his way towards depicting his letters in an iconic style. For his new and so far largest work in Berlin, the artist used an incredibly wide spectrum of shades. The individual letters of the word “Worth” form a multifaceted, colourful image whose variety and design language recall artistic movements from the 1970s. References to the designer Verner Panton’s style or Victor Vasarely’s graphic designs are apparent.
“Stohead incorporates quotes from literature and textual messages in his images which his lettering in turn enriches with added contents. His artistic approaches remind me of great US role models such as the pop artist Robert Indiana, whose iconographic lettering sculptures of the words ‘LOVE’ and ‘HATE’ have become firmly established in our cultural memory. As an institution that focuses on street art, urban art and graffiti, we are of course particularly interested in an artistic technique which, stylistically as well as conceptually, focuses on the subject of tags and lettering,” says Jan Sauerwald, the director of the URBAN NATION museum.
Photo by Nika Kramer
Stohead is one of the best-known German street artists. He lives and works in Berlin. From 2000 to 2006, he participated in the joint studio project getting-up in Hamburg. In the late 1980s, classic graffiti inspired the artist’s subsequent interest in lettering and calligraphy. He has focused on graphic lettering and letters for decades and has become a specialist in this area. Stohead always combines his extremely artistic and incredibly elaborately produced facade murals with a message that first has to be deciphered. A classic graffiti artist at the start of his career, Stohead is now above all known for his large-scale and technically sophisticated works, which he has already shown at numerous exhibitions.
About ONE WALL
With Stohead’s One Wall, URBAN NATION has created a further work of art in the public space that is intended to be a commentary on developments in the local neighbourhood and hopes to inspire those who see it to think. The One Wall programme is curated by the director of the URBAN NATION museum, Jan Sauerwald.
The artist Stohead and Jan Sauerwald are available for interviews. If you are interested in interviewing either of them, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org