DANNY GRETSCHER - Visual Artist
Standing in front of a Gretscher is to be enchanted. It comes replete with its own vocabulary, a constellation of symbols, characters and seeming allegories that describe a wholly original world that simultaneously reveals a refraction, often subtle sometimes stark, of our own. This language has layered, and found further intricacy over the past decade, but the core abstracted figures have remained totemic, with all the power the word infers. I see travellers, heroes, lovers and the occasional villain. I see gods - minor, apex, and more recently avian, all radiating, in dialogue with, Gretscher's ready, unique thesaurus. From one angle tantalisingly mysterious conversations, from the next, completely identifiable to the human story. Even the literal titles keep reflecting new interpretation as you turn them over in your mouth. For me his pieces bristle with the unfathomable magic of the Shakespearean canon: at once unparalleled and humanist. His color his organic delicacy, his mighty and meek symbols, all smack of an incredible story, of lasting drama.
Words By: Toby Schmitz
We couldn't agree more with the words of Toby Schmitz. When putting this article together, we had a debate within our staff on which paintings to showcase. Everyone had strong opinions on which where their favorite.
It's rare we come across a painter that gets that reaction. We are very excited to share the work of Danny Gretscher. Check out our interview with the artist from Germany and learn about his inspirations and what is looking to accomplish with his colorful and dreamlike work.
What’s your earliest memory of art?
I was born in East Germany and didn’t really have access to art when I was a child. Later when I was in my teenage years and my family did the first trip to south France, we spent a day in a small fishing village in Spain. We had dinner in a really beautiful small restaurant where I had square spaghetti. We told the owner how lovely that space is and he told us that Salvador Dali created this place. When I found out who he was, I was blown away by the paintings he created.
Tell us about your art?
You never start from zero, you always take bits and pieces from what’s already there, till you find to your own language. And everything in life happens for a reason.
I started doing graffiti when I was sixteen, at a time when all these people got big who later where part of "The Beautiful Losers" group show, which blew my mind. Later when I moved to Berlin I spent literally an hour in front of Cy Twombly‘s Tryptich "Idyllen" (I Am Thyrsis Of Etna Blessed With A Tunefull Voice) at Hamburger Bahnhof, the Museum for contemporary art. It’s such a big painting and it’s very reduced, but everything is perfectly balanced. I also assisted Urs Uri Huber in Zürich. He is an architect and artist and he introduced me to the book of Hopi, a native tribe in North America. I think at this moment I became more aware of the spiritual aspect of life.
Who are some artists that you admire?
You know when you are young there are many people you look up and you admire what they do or what they have. But right now I like who I am.
If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?
There quite a few artists I could imagine to collaborate with. But at the end I think I would chose Martin Kippenberger. I like his humor, what definitely reflects in his work he did. We probably would end up in bars having too many drinks and laughing about life and about our brilliant ideas.
What was the last thing you saw that really inspired you to create?
I was in Bali a few month ago. We went to Menjangang Island. There’s a reef where I snorkeled for the first time in my life. Being in that element and seeing all these fish in different shapes and bright colours really blew my mind.
If you had any superpower, what would it be?
Personally? I would love to fly in the sky like an eagle and be able to breath like a fish in the ocean. But first I definitely would heal Mother Earth and the people to see us live in Love, Peace and Harmony like we do in our dream.
Favorite place to see art in the world?
Well, what is art. One thing would be sitting on the top of a volcano and watch the sunrise.
What does your art say about you?
I wanna know that too.
What do you want to accomplish with your art?
Neo Rauch once said: "Every time I stay in front of a new canvas, I always think that’s going to be the one, the ultimate masterpiece. But every time I finish it I immediately see what I would do different."
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Images by: Danny Gretscher
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