Meet Peter Pink, the comic mastermind behind the Potato Protests, pink balloon crosses and piles of pink poo!
The Artparasites were lucky to meet this talented steet artist whose comical, satrirical and unique works are popping up around berlin! Frances Cragg met Pink, who is perhaps most notorious for his bands of politically active potatoes, to talk about vegetables, Banksy and s***!
BAPS What is your favourite vegetable?
PP For art it’s definitely the Potato because it’s the cheapest and they have funny forms which become characters. When you put sunglasses on them they become personas. Cucumbers are horrible because they have this skin that you can’t stick anything to – it’s a hassle!
BAPS What is behind the vegetable idea?
PP I’d say it’s an analogy to human life. The potato represents the human, whatever vegetable represents the human and that makes normal human situations funny or weird. It’s kind of a reference to German language too. In Germany Turkish people call Germans “Kartoffel” (Potato) and cucumber is “Gurke”, which means dork and in my pieces the cucumbers represent the police who used to wear green.
BAPS Where do you draw your inspiration from?
PP Well the potato thing sounds like a cliché, but I had a dream about a potato protest and I had seen a great film the night before at the Berlinale, it came out of the spirit of really enjoying a piece of art. The other stuff – I look at a lot of street art and art in general. A lot of the time I look at the technique of other works and what spirit they convey. A lot of what I do is inspired by what I perceive from life and humanity today mixed with my personal history. But most inspiring of all are all the assholes and idiots that make this world not a better place!
BAPS Your art doesn’t last long, does this bother you?
PP I think its part of the concept in a way that its fragile. I didn’t choose that but all of them can be destroyed incredibly fast and usually are. It shows how people interact and treat their surroundings and what the concept of ‘ownership’ means in public spaces. People even steal things – if you put something in the street it will get abused quite fast, really destroyed – even a pile of shit, a child just ran up to it and stamped in it!
BAPS Do you have a favourite piece of Street art?
PP I can say that the people I appreciate most are Marc Jenkins, Brad Downey, and Slinkachu, who does the little people project. The other person is Banksy, I like him because for me he’s one of the only people who does really critical things, it’s not just artsy.
BAPS Do you eat meat?
PP Yes. It’s interesting how people misinterpret the message!
BAPS How much preparation goes into the works?
PP With the potatoes it’s like a production line, you have to do the same actions over and over again – it’s a lot of shopping also! I don’t want to do anything with potatoes anymore, it was just a joke which opened an interesting possibility so I explored and milked it.
BAPS Why is it important for you to remain anonymous?
PP It’s the thing that makes Banksy so interesting. If you give away too much it’s boring and I don’t want to make it so much about me. The art should be about the art, not the artist – unless he’s amazing, which I don’t consider myself!
BAPS You grew up in America, does this influence your work?
PP Definitely, I don’t know if it’s in a good way or a bad way. I have a tendency to do something poppy or decadent, kind of trash also and a bit cocky maybe.
BAPS Is there a lot of you in your work?
PP It’s a lot of me. I’m not very good at detaching myself.
BAPS Which is your favourite park in Berlin?
PP Templehof, because it’s wide open. I think it’s the place that feels the most natural although it is an abondoned airport.
BAPS Do you have a favourite event in Berlin you look forward to?
PP I’m not good at realising when events are, also with exhibitions – I’m not really part of the art-scene. One thing I am into is stand up comedy.
BAPS Do you do it?
PP No. Not yet, I’m still standing on the sidelines. I’m inspired a lot by stand up comedians – Banksy I see as a comedian.
BAPS Are there benefits to being an artist in Berlin?
PP There definitely are. I think its a city that allows art, it doesn’t hate art and it allows weirdness and craziness – you don’t shock anybody in a negative way. People are generally open to it and because of that there is a lot of it and it is a challenge to get attention.
BAPS Do you have a bicycle?
PP Yeh. I actually bought a bicycle to make street art. It’s a former postal service bike and has a big basket on the front. I use it to transport materials and to reach all the different districts of the city.
Thank you Peter Pink!
Check out Peter Pink’s work.