Excited is an understatement for the anticipation that is building for Low Bros ‘Wasted Youth’. The duo has been spinning their creative wheels since landing stateside and thankfully we were able to nab an interview.
SH: What was the inspiration behind “Wasted Youth”?
LB: It‘s a reflection upon the fact that what we love since our childhood is nowadays the basis for what we make for a living. It seemed that we were wasting our youth with graffiti and other activities, but this led us where we are now. With this show we want to recap all our influences from our childhood to our adulthood.
SH: Tell us what you feel is your brother’s artistic strength and how he helps you be a better artist (a reply from each would be great here).
LB: As Low Bros we are two sides of one coin, we don‘t want to be seen as individuals.
SH: Being from Hamburg, what was your first influences of American culture whether it be television, skating, movies, or music?
LB: The first of the many American influences was certainly watching cartoons like Ninja Turtles, He- Man and Marshall Bravestarr. Only a little bit later we started to read comics in the original American editions of Calvin and Hobbes and Spawn with drawings from Todd McFarlane and Ashley Wood.
SH: Your work is very geometric, do you use geometry to create your pieces and, if so, would you like to give your Geometry teacher a shout out.
LB: Funnily, our style has nothing to do with geometry classes. Our approach is more intuitive than mathematical. Therefore, we sometimes make mistakes. But we find these mistakes rather charming, they form the soul of the work. We‘re aware of using wrong perspectives and like to play with them. So we get an own aesthetic. Something you wouldn‘t get if you‘d just build it in 3D
SH: What is your collaborative process like with gallery pieces versus murals?
LB: First, we plan everything together and do the sketches together. While painting a gallery piece, we take turns with the canvases because there is only little space for the two of us to paint at the same time. With murals it‘s easier because there is enough space for painting at the same time. The sketches we draw are rather raw at the beginning and give the main idea. But many details come out during the process of painting in which we work more intuitively.
SH: In an interview you guys stated how you enjoy listening to Audio Books while painting, what is a recent recommendation? All time favorite you go back to if nothing else is fitting the bill?
LB: There are some all time favs but we can recommend them only to German speaking people. These are novels by Sven Regener, a German author and musician who embodies like only few others a Northern German attitude and sense of humour. As another all time favorite we‘d also suggest “Papillon” from Henri Charrière.
SH: Since you’re a collaborative team, how do you resolve conflicts or come together on a piece when the other person is resistant or doesn’t like the direction.
LB: Luckily, we are most of the time on the same wavelength and don‘t have too many discussions. If there is a detail in which we don‘t agree, we go the way of the more enthusiastic one.
SH: What artists are you totally stoked by right now?
LB: Spontaneously, the following spring to our minds: James Turrell, Alicija Kwade, Revok, Axel Void and Clemens Behr.
SH: As a street artists we’re sure there was a time murals were done without permits or challenging locations, tell us a story!
LB: There is this small town near Hamburg called Itzehoe. Years ago, we used to go there nearly every weekend with our Hamburg-based graffiti crew TPL to paint on an abandoned concrete factory. Our crew managed to get the highest wall in the whole area. Every time we were there we repainted the wall. It became a private joke that each time we had to add a detail on the wall to set the bar higher than the time before. We didn‘t have a lift and only ordinary ladders that we sometimes even tied together to reach the top. So this became a real challenge. One of our crew members was able to rope down to add some special details.
SH: Tell us about your recent collaboration with El-P and Killer Mike and how that came about. Any future plans to work together?
LB: El-P and Killer Mike aka Run the Jewels had commissioned a worldwide graffiti project called Tag The Jewels to promote their free album Run the Jewels Pt 2. The Fatcap Agency in France coordinated the project and asked us if we‘d like to contribute. El-P and Killer Mike are legends and personal heroes to us so we didn’t hesitate to say yes. We hope we get the chance to paint Killer Mike‘s barbershop when we get back to Atlanta as we‘d love to work for them.
SH: Any big projects coming up you want to share with us here?
LB: When this interview is online, hopefully our new website is already released. It took us ages to get it done because we were involved in so many different projects during the last months. (www.lowbros.de) We are also looking very much forward to painting a mural with Jeff Soto in Long Beach for POW! WOW! Festival and being part of the group show at the Long Beach Museum of Art. In September we’ll show new works at StolenSpace Gallery in London in connection with the ‘LAX /LHR’ show. This trip to Los Angeles and Long Beach is packed with activities that are being filmed by friends for a documentary movie. We hope we can show the results in public screenings by the end of the year.
SH: Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, but only the first 3 episodes. Let‘s see what the new one will be like.
‘Wasted Youth’ opens June 20th with an opening reception from 6-9pm.
For additional information please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.