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INSIGHTS III

Five contemporary artists reveal their individual wit in an annual group show in Heidelberg

by Karen Day in Culture on 20 December 2012

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After another year of intense traveling for their respective crafts, artists and longtime friends Sandro Kopp, Stefan Strumbel, SMASH137, Andreas von Chrzanowki and Ruediger Glatz are meeting up in Heidelberg for their third annual group show, INSIGHTS. As the name implies, the site-specific installation is a chance for these talented individuals to reveal their own creative motivation in the areas of graffiti, street art, photography and classic painting, while collectively creating a cohesive exhibition that showcases where their mediums intersect.

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Working together under the moniker Krauts Project, the quintet is united by their shared interest in capturing the essence of a person or moment—where they diverge is in their own point of view and how they each distill these instances. Kopp uses large brushstrokes and harmonious layers of paint to bridge the connection between analog and digital in compelling portraits of people—most notably in his spate of Skype sittings—while Glatz masterfully wields the camera to expose intimate moments of truth in his fashion-focused series "The New Black." His flair for visual storytelling is second only to his nuanced vignetting technique which leads to tightly-composed, highly sophisticated black-and-white images.

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Basel-based graffiti artist SMASH137 is a lettering pioneer, and with no two works ever the same, his style often reflects his current state of mind. His meticulously formed typography and evolving color palette can be spotted in public areas around the globe as well as on the walls of major museums.

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Stefan Strumbel's work is chiefly concerned with exploring the "heimat," which is an old German word that roughly translates to mean the relationship between people and their surroundings. Strumbel reinterprets quintessential folk art objects like the cuckoo clock to question modern family ties. Better known by his graffiti handle, Case, Von Chrzanowski is a beast with the spray can. His highly detailed portraits are astoundingly realistic, earning him as much respect in the fine art world as on the streets, where he paints with the revered Ma’Claim crew.

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This progressive group stands out not only against the quaint backdrop of Heidelberg, but anywhere they land. Their combined talents and storied backgrounds offer real insight into the evolution of street art, and the genuine artistic talent that it manifests.

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Designed by Atelier Kontrast, INSIGHTS III is on view at Kunst/Halle Heidelberg through 28 December 2012.

Images by BHP

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