Amidst the continuing sales of a number of artists at this year's Preview Berlin Art Fair, one stand out; an artist leading the pack in sales. Saturday morning cartoons or art, neither is a stranger to artist Ruben Schmitt. With a buyer's list to make most galleries drool, the artist heads above the rest actually stood a ways below.
Sharing a booth with and mother to Schmitt is Stephanie Jünemann: "There was a time when he only drew ships and boats; now it’s buildings." Of course she's great influence to her son but his choices are his own. He holds an appreciation for art that has "small details and lots of fine work," which is evident in his own; there are sketches of aerial views of Berlin (funny for a boy that’s never been on a plane), a series shown at Preview that includes the diverse architecture of Berlin. Arranged and drawn in a pattern more typical of Paris, Schmitt impressed us with his fine free-hand drawn lines, his attention to depth and perceptions using solitary color. "It’s fascinating for me: buildings, so many different sizes, [some] large and some strange. In many ways, architecture and art are very similar," delves the wise-beyond-his-years Schmitt.
While fair goers wander in and out to view the iconic pop work of Jünemann – and perhaps produce their own piece with her, as we learnt about here – Schmitt is hard at work. Pen never far away and no place for chocolate milk, he means business. While most work at Preview was priced higher than 1000€, Schmitt kept his work at a more wallet friendly range. Even while we had our interview, the young artist never stopped selling. Art historian Michaela Kamburowa bought a blue lined sketch for a cool 20€ – perhaps a bargain now, but in ten years time she could be sitting on a gold mine. His mother admits, "Every year his work increases one or two Euros in price — he’s very popular."
Asking If he will be an artist when he grows up is a slight no-brainer; Schmitt eagerly nods his head. "Art is fun – that’s why I Iike it." Perhaps if we all held a similar mentality as Schmitt, art could be a playground for us all.
Artist Ruben Schmitt [Price range of works 12 – 20 Euros]
Article by Tristan Boisvert