David Ostrowski is a contemporary artist based in Cologne who studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. His work has been exhibited globally. In an exhibition at Simon Lee Gallery in London, Ostrowski is showing brand new work.
Though his paintings seem simple they are the result of a series of actions – deleting, overwriting, layering to ‘achieve unforseen beauty’. Ostrowski is analysing the nature of painting itself – his work is about something, but apparently it’s about nothing.
We interviewed the artist in an attempt to find out more about his practice. We’re not sure we are any more enlightened…but perhaps that’s the point? Decide for yourself.
WERE YOU ALWAYS CREATIVE, EVEN AS A CHILD?
As a kid, I was actually much more creative than I am now. Today, I’m just a shadow of my former self – a shadow cast more than anything else by my big nose! When I was a kid, I could at least still make believe I was Dumbo – today, I know all too well that I’m a full-grown elephant.
AT WHAT POINT DID YOU REALISE YOU WANTED TO PURSUE ART AS YOUR CAREER?
In kindergarten, when I realised that I was never going to be particularly intelligent. I thought to myself: Even monkeys can paint, so maybe I should try my hand at it too.
HOW DID YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR CURRENT PRACTICE?
By listening to loads of music.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOUR WORK IS ABOUT PROCESS RATHER THAN THE END RESULT?
The works in my studio get their fair share of everything that I experience out there, both good and evil. Sometimes I enjoy arguing with my mother; but that’s because, in the end, I’m always right.
YOUR WORK SEEMS TO BE PREOCCUPIED WITH ERRORS AND THEIR EFFECT. WHAT FASCINATES YOU ABOUT MISTAKES?
For me, the whole world and life itself is a big mistake. But, of course, the world also has its beautiful parts and, sometimes, life can be pretty fun – sometimes!
YOUR PROCESS SEEMS TO BE QUITE DETAIL-ORIENTATED, WOULD YOU SAY YOU HAVE A TOUCH OF OCD?
OCD? I only know ODB, RIP!
THE PRESS RELEASE STATES THAT ‘THE MUSIC IN THE STUDIO IS THE ONLY EMOTION THAT GETS CAPTURED’. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
I have a great taste for music, which ranges from Garth Brooks to Herbert Grönemeyer. Michael Bublé and Taylor Swift are in there too, of course.
WE ENJOYED YOUR Q&A WITH HARMONY KORINE ON THE PRESS RELEASE. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP? WHY DID YOU FEEL IT WAS RELEVANT TO INCLUDE THIS EXCHANGE IN THE PRESS RELEASE?
Harmony is my protégé. He discovered my works and I owe him a lot. My art spoke to him long before we actually met – and then we became friends. This interview is a kind of manifesto of all this, as well as about all the stuff you can talk about when discussing my art. The interview puts how I am into a written form; and they’re questions that Harmony himself was unfortunately never asked.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE TAKE AWAY FROM THIS EXHIBITION?
‘Yes Or Let’s Say No’ is on at Simon Lee Gallery from 28th November – 31st January 2014.