// Bernd is from Graz, Austria, and in his photography he aims to show his city in a different light from the usual “classic sights” Graz is known for. He wants to show its diversity, and for this feature he shared pictures of an industrial building, which impresses with huge murals on its outer walls.
One of the things that sparked Bernd´s interest in photography as a teenager was something his old geography teacher told him. He said that people who take photographs see much more, and go through life with a far more attentive attitude than people who don´t have a camera. This fits with a quote by the US documentary photographer Dorothea Lange: “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera”. Bernd wants his images to look like a minimalist frame, excluding all the noise. He prefers a simple, clear picture language. His current focus is on landscape photography and what he calls “urban still-life”.
“Few people go to art exhibitions nowadays, the art comes to them!”
What draws you to the arts?
“As Picasso said, art washes the everyday dust from your soul”
What impressed you most about these murals?
“The creation of this art must have happened with enormous effort, and the murals are very impressive. I also like the contrast to the cold industrial building.”
On the one hand, Bernd finds it important to depict some typical things of Graz in new perspectives, still reflecting the character of the city, but also to show pictures from forays through side-alleys, streets or squares that may not be immediately associated with Graz. One of the less touristy places in Graz is the Taggerwerk, a former mill and feed factory in Puchstrasse. Its large facades have been redesigned by renowned international street artists.
During the Livin’ Streets Festival Graz 2014 twelve international and local artists worked with the help of photo templates, sketches, projectors or grids to paint or spray their artworks onto the previously gray walls. The extremely high building towers must have been a challenge. Eight large walls with dimensions of sometimes several hundred square metres per wall have given Graz a new place in the international street art scene. The idea was to turn boring grey walls in the city into a type of giant outdoor gallery. You can watch a short video of the artist Jaz at work at Taggerwerk in 2014 made by PICKS magazine.
The Taggerwerk is now an event location for clubbing and concerts, and it also includes a sports center.
By the way, our title, in case you are not so familiar with street art jargon, is an attempt at a pun, referring, on the one hand, to the building´s name “Taggerwerk”, but on the other also to the term “tag”. A tag is the most basic form of graffiti, a stylized personal signature containing the artist´s moniker. What you have on the Taggerwerk, of course, goes well beyond this basic graffiti. From its beginnings in the 1960s, contemporary street art has evolved into a very diverse art form with many different styles. Today, with mainstream acceptance, some of the best known street artists also work on large-scale commissioned projects.
If you are interested to learn more about the evolution of this ephemeral art form, there is an interesting summary article about the history of street art in The Art Story blog.
Images may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see the original version.
|Top L: Nicolás Romero Escalada |
|Top C: Nychos @nychos||Top R: David Leitner|
|Centre L: unidentified||Centre C: Costwo @costwo & Searoc @mr.searok||Centre R: Evoca1 @evoca1|
|Bottom L: Evoca1 @evoca1||Bottom C: Frau Isa @frauisa||Bottom R: JAZ (Franco Fasoli) @francofasolijaz|
Cover image artists: L: Nils Westergard @nilsrva, R: Bernd/Müsli
We thank Wolfgang Breyscha @famiglia_vienna, IGersAustria “Street Art Ambassador”, for his help with identification of the artworks. Wolfgang has done a lot of work to promote the street art scene in Austria.
ALL PHOTOS © BERND GROSSECK
You could also visit Bernd´s Instagram page.