Philipp Groth is only 18 years old, and yet he is already exhibiting his art work to large and diverse audiences ranging from art enthusiasts to party-goers at Stattbad Wedding. His most recent finissage saw a huge party with DJs like DIXON performing. We interviewed Philipp Groth to learn more about the artist behind the mysterious and intriguing drawings, paintings and collage work! Read on to find out what his next project in Berlin will be…
BAPS: You grew up in Saarbrücken, what brought you to Berlin?
PG: After living in Berlin for almost a year now, I can say that I am totally fascinated by the spirit of this unique city. The clash of all those different lifestyles is probably the most inspiring thing that can happen to you as an artist. The amount of tiny details you can see just by walking through the boroughs is overwhelming. Furthermore my dad used to study in Berlin (at Freie Universität) as well. He always played an extraordinary role in my life and I’m trying to emulate him as well as I can.
BAPS: You recently exhibited your art work to a large audience at the art space and night club known as Stattbad Wedding – did you face any challenges in opening up to a bigger audience?
PG: It was a really big step to open my work for the public at Stattbad Wedding. You have to deal with the fact that strangers get access to your core as a human being, your history and your emotions, just by walking around and viewing. At first, this process is of course challenging for you as an artist, but also as a human. You have to deal with the possibility that people may neither accept nor like not just your work, but also your message and personality. After the exhibition I can say that this challenge was very important and also insightful not only for me personally, but also for my development as an artist.
BAPS: Despite the challenges, did you get fulfillment from this exhibition?
PG: It’s a great and fulfilling experience when people not only show interest in your work, but also like it and even want this part of you in their own four walls. It’s an honor for me that people place some of my works in their homes.
BAPS: Tell us about your art work, what is your preferred artistic method – collage, painting, or drawing?
PG: My preferred method is drawing. It’s somehow pure. You have to open your whole mind. Working with collage also offers the possibility of exploring all different facets of art. You get the ability to use and rearrange extraordinary materials, shapes and ideas. Connected to this idea, I started using pen and ink as well. Within the composition of these collages and paintings I tried to create a fusion of both elements, so you don’t even know which is one, which is the other.
BAPS: “Hide your face” was one of your latest series, where did you get this name from?
PG: The inspiration behind “Hide your face” concerns how people behave and act in social situations. For example: changes in their personality, hiding their “real face” behind a mask. That really seems interesting to me and it happens all the time and around every single person.
BAPS: A lot of your work is in collage form with fragmented pieces or sweeping abstract images, what inspires you to work in this way?
PG: The idea of using those images came from fragmentary memories. I own this photo album, a really old one, containing pictures of my childhood. One day I noticed that I didn’t remember the exact places and the time where and when those photos were taken, or I even didn’t recognize the portrayed persons. All I had was a special feeling when I looked at them. Consequently I tried to express this special feeling by arranging the background and just putting the given photography into its place. These paintings are pure memories of mine and very personal.
BAPS: How do you begin your mornings?
PG: Enjoying the morning sun flooding that secret hidden window I like most. Oh, and two cups of coffee would be nice. I like these mornings best.
BAPS: Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to tell us about?
PG: Besides my current series “Windows,” that picks out the variety of personalities through an external and “washed-out” point of view as a central theme, there is a really big one coming up. I am working on it right now. AlI I can reveal is that it will be a video project including new large format paintings, connected with a really aesthetic sport. By using those real life recordings and a phenomenal location, this work will summarize and evoke the feelings you get when looking at my paintings. Stay tuned!
Thanks for the interview, Philipp! Stay in touch and check out more of his work here.