• David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul
  • David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles - Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

Intervista di  di Irene Angenica

Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch è la prima personale di David Ostrowski in Spagna, in mostra dal 14 luglio al 1 di ottobre presso la Blueproject Foundation di Barcellona.

Le opere esposte sono estratte da diverse serie precedentemente prodotte dall’artista messe in relazione tra loro e con lo spazio della fondazione, una sala lunga, che funge da ingresso e da passaggio per giungere a una seconda sala espositiva. Ostrowski ha sfruttato lo spazio longitudinalmente attraverso l’uso di una pedana sulla quale ha poggiato stampe fotografiche, posters e cataloghi di precedenti esposizioni sulla quale “cadono”, appesi attraverso dei ganci sul soffitto, i suoi dipinti in tela. Gli elementi esposti si intrecciano tra loro, alcune opere coprono parzialmente la visione di altre e le tele sospese sono disposte su diverse direzioni e altezze ostruendo la visione totale e ottimale delle singole opere costringendo cosí il fruitore a concentrarsi su una visione d’insieme.

Irene Angenica: Let’s start with the title. The titles of your exhibitions follow a well-defined style, they are often short and unfriendly exclamations. They always suggest something negative, bad or casual like Just do it, How to do the things left, Yes or let’s say no, I want to die forever … with Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch, what are you referring to?

David Ostrowski: The titles are intuitive allusions and trains of thought that often reflect my emotional status. My titles are also quite positive, after all it goes up into the basement and not down. The word “No” has positive connotations for me; it is honest and does not try to woo with false promises like advertising does. But I do like to give weaker paintings strong titles to distract from them.

I.A.: I have noticed that you often exhibit your paintings by putting them in relation to the surrounding space, giving it a strong installation connotation. You seem to want to get out of the two-dimensionality of the canvas and turn your paintings into something environmental, am I wrong?

D.O.: My work seems to be able to handle being suspended from the ceiling, for example. I decide which paintings should be hung how once I get on site. Tackling architecture is a challenge, especially if the architect wanted the building to be a monument to himself.

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles  -  Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view – Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles – Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

I.A.: Your “outline paintings” like F (A thing is thing in a whole which it’s not) are really interesting in a conceptual way. How this idea of remarking the limits of the canvas came to you and what is your intention when you do that?

D.O.: What interests me about the “outline paintings” is basically whether or not you fall into a hole when you’re looking at them or not, and if so, whether you fall into a black painted surface more than you would in a white canvas. The “outline paintings” are like mirrors held up in front of me, trying telling me: “Work with what’s there.” I try to use the scarcest means I can to the greatest possible effect.

I.A.: Let’s talk about the theme of error, of making mistakes, a topic that, as we have already mentioned, often appears in your series. Your way of working is always so precise, careful about the details, that I can’t find space for the idea of randomness or error in your work. Can we define it more like a statement of aesthetics, rather than a modus operandi?

D.O.:The challenge is being able to loosen up and surprise myself. The mistake serves only as a means to an end. A painting is always a proposal or statement. Whether something comes of it aesthetically or not is in the eye of the beholder. But I like beautiful paintings in general.

I.A.: When you consider a painting a real failure?

D.O.:Whenever you as an artist decide that the accident that appeared on canvas is a valid work.

I.A.: Do you make lot of reference to the street culture in your works such as pictures of “bad graffitis” or your practice of spraying on canvas. It is a way to bring the outside world into your studio or it is a way to show a context that is familiar to you?

D.O.: I am interested in spraying on the streets that didn’t work out. Graffiti that was a complete flop. These faulty forms that did not reach their goal. So I document this found photo material and sometimes reference these kinds of photos in publications.

I.A.: You have said more than once that your work is heavily influenced by the music world. What kind of music are we talking about, and who are the musicians who have most influenced your work?

D.O.: I see my work as musical and right now I’m interested in a certain sound aesthetic and rhythm: uncompromising techno. Scandinavian [techno DJ] Anthony Linell aka Abdulla Rashim hits the nail on the head in that regard. We’ve already collaborated on a project in Leipzig and have also planned a project in Stockholm for this winter. I’m interested in the attempt bang these two worlds together.

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles  -  Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view – Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles – Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles  -  Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view – Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles – Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view - Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles  -  Photo Hans-Georg Gaul

David Ostrowski – Bei mir geht es in den Keller hoch – Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona – Installation view – Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlino/London/Los Angeles – Photo Hans-Georg Gaul