The Sensation of Color

Berlin-artparasites is getting pumped for the Universität der Künste (UdK) Rundgang 2012 starting this Thursday, July 12th at 7pm. In this interview we highlight a talented UdK art student, Julian Schwokowsy, to learn more about his artwork and what brought him to one of the top art schools in the whole of Europe. Entering into a Julian painting would be like entering into a riveting nirvana of bright colors. Forms blend and merge together through vibrant colors that simply make you feel ecstatic and wish that you too had taken part in the artistic creation of these paintings. Check out Julian’s artwork at the UdK Rundgang.
BAPS: When did you come to Berlin for the first time and what were your first sensations related to the city? 
JS: The first time I became aquainted with the city was during a trip with my class during High School. I immediately fell in love with Berlin – I think I felt something like a particular atmosphere or spirit of freedom here. Culture, art and music seemed to wave at you from every street corner. What I didn’t know back then was that I would finally end up here one day…
BAPS: When did you first realize that you wanted to enroll in an arts school and pursue painting?
JS: I don’t think I can nail one specific point in my life where that happened. It was rather a continuous thought that became clearer over the course of my time in school. I definitely enjoyed art classes the most. I also remember a visit at the art fair Art Karlsruhe where I saw one of Gerhard Richter’s abstract paintings for the first time – even though I at the time I didn’t know who the artist was, but discovered him later.
BAPS: What would you say drives your artwork?
JS: Good question. I would say it is driven by itself. Anything I see is so to say filtered in my mind – and some of the visual impulses need to be transformed into painting. Sometimes it is enough though just to catch the impression by camera or a quick sketch. 

BAPS: Being an art student can be quite demanding time-wise, what have you found to be the best time of the day to paint?

JS: Generally the mornings are good because you are still fresh and rested. Mostly I get to the studio in the afternoon though. These sessions sometimes get extended to late night shifts when you are in a flow. The nights have a special quality, too. At that time, only few people work at UdK and you can really focus on what you are doing. Even though I regret that sometimes on the next day, having hardly slept (smiles).
Julian Schwokowsy in his art studio at UdK
Julian in his art studio at the UdK preparing for the Rundgang. Photo: Chris Phillips
BAPS: How do you re-charge while not studying or painting? Where in Berlin do you go to relax and find some peace of mind?
JS: I can recharge very well biking around. And I meditate regularly. Apart from that, the lakes around Berlin and Grunewald are good places to find some peace of mind. Especially in summer. I also like spots with a good view, like the top of the Kreuzberg hill. Looking on Berlin from those places makes the challenges of daily life appear very small down there.
BAPS: You referenced Gerhard Richter as an inspiration earlier. Both of your works make excellent use of vibrant colors – what is currently on your color palette?
JS: Currently, I am working with strong, vibrant colors. I like colors that seem to be alive, that seem to breathe. Maybe I have seen too many dull paintings out there. However, I am trying to find colors in my works that have some power in them. This strength might be even close to hurt your eyes. It is a fine line between fields that i want to explore.
Thanks for the interview, Julian! Make sure to meet the artist and catch his artwork at the UdK Rundgang starting tomorrow, Thursday July 12th.