Fresh Legs Berlin 2018 (EN)

Fresh Legs Berlin 2018  .

Ivan Arkhipov (RU) / Karmen Kraft (ES) / Ornella Orlandini (IT) / Xecon Uddin (BD) / Jarosław Lisicki (PL) /
Anne Louise Blicher (DK)  / 
Tuomas Korkalo (FI) / Katarzyna Kowalska (PL) / Georg Bothe (DE) / Lisa Rytterlund (SE) /
Line Schjølberg (NO) / Simone Hooymans (NL) / Ian Liddle (UK)   / Johan Reisang (NO) / Katharina Schellenberger (DE) / Marcus Gestré (SE) / Konrad Peszko (PL) / Philipp Haucke (DE) / Attila Schwanz (IT) / Loïc Saulin (FR) / Oscar Rey (ES)

The 2018 edition of the annual Fresh Legs open call exhibition proudly presents 22 emerging international artists with their unique styles, techniques and materials. The end result is an exciting group show with figurative and abstract artworks and a large variety of techniques for the viewer to discover.

Over 100 artists from all around the world applied with more than 500 artworks. After a long and thorough screening process, 22 artists were chosen. The Fresh Legs exhibition highlights a curated selection of these artists, and we are excited to follow their journey. Experience the sharp social criticism, perfectly captured contemporary life and refined technical skills. Through the different use of materials and techniques – from drawings and colourful paintings to animated videos – they amaze and pull us in to examine them closer. The key concepts include portraying aspects of humanity as well as showing concern for the current development of our society, as interpreted by the artists’ individual expressions. Here human relationships, loneliness and the fragility of the fleeting moment are explored through the artworks. Many take us on a journey, delving into the environment and the difficulties of being an individual in today’s world


Ivan Arkhipov (RU)

Ivan Arkhipov is a Moscow-based artist with a background in graphic design. In 2011, he started to develop video shorts where he combines printed graphics and video art. Arkhipov’s video work, A walk uses a classical print technique in black and white as frames for his animation. These are single-frame animations made from graphic prints using drypoint engraving, and hand printed with an intaglio press. The film shorts are composed of 1000 prints integrated into the short film, which makes his works all the more interesting.

Karmen Kraft (ES)

Karmen Kraft was born in Spain and currently resides and works in Berlin. She works with painting and drawing as well as print techniques. The work presented in Fresh Legs 2018 stems from her series of works, RAÍCES, which translates from Spanish to “roots”. These works are the result of Kraft’s trip to Peru, where the artist was confronted with the recent floods in the country and their impact on people’s lives. The concept of roots is the basis of what the artist intends to explore with her artworks, delving into her Andean heritage and her sense of self, while searching for her inner child.

Ornella Orlandini (IT)

Ornella Orlandini was born in Turin, Italy, and currently lives and works in Berlin. She is currently working on her artistic project focused on identity, memory, objects and space. In the last few years Orlandini’s work has matured through the experimentation with different materials – dust, soil, ash, lead and plaster – and their subsequent processes of transformation. With these materials Orlandini creates surfaces on which she reveals her photographs and screen prints. The accidental side of the process is symbolic, and at the same time an integral part of the artworks. The fragility of the pieces and the dissipation of the prints reveal the artist’s intention to show identity’s incessant transition process, through fragility and empowerment, as a constant conflict between order and chaos.

Xecon Uddin (BD)

Xecon Uddin is a visual artist from Bangladesh, currently living and working in Paris, France. His interest in art arose when he was a child. Since coming to France, his intention has been to express an enriched vision of his artistic practice through photography. His work explores the surrealistic possibilities of photography, with an intense focus on the questions of sexual identity and gender, with himself as a tool of his own work. Xecon Uddin portrays himself in his photographs and uses his body as the muse of his artistic intentions. The artist uses sensory perceptions and spiritual reflections to draw attention to issues of social, political, cultural and sexual identity.

Anne Louise Blicher (DK)

Denmark-based artist Anne Louise Blicher works with print and painting. Blicher’s paintings explore nature and the issues of climate change as a way of representing the current situation in our society – how something as simple as life and living has become complex. The world in her paintings is not that of humans and animals living side by side, instead it shows humans dominating not only animals, but other humans as well. Blicher’s painting shows us the simplicity of the human being, trapped on a canvas, as it is trapped everyday in the human world.

Jarosław Lisicki (PL)

Jarosław Lisicki is a painter from Poland, currently living in Kracow. His drawings represent humans in different situations and social contexts. Lisicki employs ink and soap on paper, which creates  exciting and unique shades which highlights the yellow tone of the paper. The contrast between the sharp ink and softness of the paper’s colour gives the drawings volume and dimension. The drawings are almost frightening and create a feeling of eerie stillness.

Tuomas Korkalo (FI)

Tuomas Korkalo is a Finnish artist, painter and curator. He paints, draws and creates art installations. The abstract and geometric forms Korkalo employs on canvas are evocative of an early 20th century aesthetic, as seen in the Bauhaus movement. Unlike the Bauhaus aesthetics, he implements a watercolour-like technique in his artworks that adds on a  complementary lightnesse. In these works the geometric and colourful compositions that the artist employs in his canvas function by themselves, creating a comforting sense derived from the pureness of form and symmetry.

Katarzyna Kowalska (PL)

Katarzyna Kowalska has a background in both arts and law, and works in the fields of painting, mural and photography. She currently resides in Warsaw, Poland. Her canvas work is the result of her combining two apparently opposite types of expression – the rigor of geometry and the expression of gesture painting. The first is directly correlated with the sense of precision and rationality, rendering her paintings with perspective and volume, while the freedom of gesture that Kowalska applies to the same canvas provides a more organic sensibility to the work. We see here the use of two distinct forms of expression that work together to give birth to the illusion of infinity and motion, something that seems real but ultimately is not.

Georg Bothe (DE)

Georg Bothe is a German artist based in Berlin. Bothe is present in this exhibition through his indian ink paintings on graph paper. The opaque, bold, abstract objects the artist represents in these drawings are complemented by the use of millimetric paper as the canvas, which gives the work another layer of texture and creates a sense of volume and space. The objects appear to be floral-shaped, giving the illusion of walking through a meadow on a summer night, and the contrast of the monochromatic shapes makes everything appear dark and mysterious.

Lisa Rytterlund (SE)

Lisa Rytterlund is an artist from Stockholm, Sweden. Her work shows a clear influence from illustration and urban art. The themes the artist evokes are related to women’s issues and sexualization. These themes are explored along with the appropriation of religious iconography in an almost kitsch manner, displaying the absurdity of all these issues.
Rytterlund also appropriates work by famous artists, in this case, replacing the iconic picture of  the mythical Medusa with an image of a phallic-haired girl, mocking the position of women in society. This may be viewed as a form of empowerment and sexual liberty, stressing the fact that women can also think about sex and not be worried about societal rules.

Line Schjølberg (NO)

Norwegian painter Line Schjølberg has a background in drawing, painting and art history. Schjølberg works with oil and acrylic on canvas, using predominantly earthy pastel tones. She often uses the childish universe as a point of departure. The painting portrays a story through which the spectator can travel on a mysterious journey, a journey where the lines between reality and fiction are blurred. The narrative is dreamy, surrounded by an arcane mist, like a fairytale, where her impeccable technique makes the paintings come to life.

Katharina Schellenberger (DE)

German-born painter Katharina Schellenberger lives and works in Munich and Landsberg am Lech. Schellenberger often uses mixed media in her pieces and achieves different dynamics of expression. The heavy and opaque stroke of the pencil blends in with the freedom and transparency of the watercolour, highlighting the soft colour palette used. This aesthetic complements her employment of an almost childlike perception of human portrait, drawing only what is necessary to distinguish the human form and not needing the complexity of detail to show her artistic intentions.

Simone Hooymans (NL)

Simone Hooymans is a Dutch visual artist who works with experimental animation in various ways, using handmade ink drawings and colouration, and combining them with sophisticated computer technology. In her animations, Hooymans creates fantastic and twisted fairytale universes with unclear narratives that encourage the viewer to draw their own conclusions. A recurring theme throughout her animated work is the retraction of nature and subsequent overflow of fast urbanization and technology. These themes relate to the exploration of different emotional states such as harmony and fear. The result is a series of calming and hypnotic images that, for some reason, leave you restless as they discreetly evoke the issues of the world.

Ian Liddle (UK)

Ian Liddle is a British painter and graphic artist. The paintings presented are inviting, and although at the first glance they may appear chaotic, they take the viewer on a colourful and exciting journey, which in the end leads to a sense of calm and serenity. His almost abstract method of portrayal, mixing techniques and dimensions, creates a challenge for the viewer to discover the objects and the underlying meaning of the art piece.  

Johan Reisang  (NO)

Johan Reisang is a Norwegian painter, living and working in Berlin since 2013. He works with drawing and digital art. Reisang mixes different styles, and through his artworks he takes the viewer to a different universe, filled with twisted bodies, strange fusions and topics taken from our society and everyday life. Although the artworks shift between feelings of optimism and darkness, they all share the same exquisite pencil strokes and colour use. His works are filled with social critique: in what seems to represent solely the human figure, the artist portrays mangled bodies as a representation of the message he wishes to pass on.

Marcus Gestré (SE)

Marcus Gestré is a Swedish illustrator and animator based in Berlin. Gestré’s artworks consist of drawings and paintings, and he takes inspiration from street art. By combining techniques such as acrylic, ink, watercolour and Indian ink, he gives the pieces a broad and playful atmosphere. The artworks are futuristic, robotic and ironic, making the viewer reflect on our society and where we are headed – a world dominated by human-like robots, living in a world where we are constantly searching for a way to keep the human race alive.

Oscar Rey (ES)

Oscar Rey from Spain, living in Berlin, works with painting, sculpture, street art and photographic work. He understands that there is no gap between his life and his art, so he chooses to represent his perspective on life through his paintings. Through his love of experimentation and mixed techniques, Oscar Rey creates figurative compositions with a primitive influence, needing only the simplicity of form and colour to pass his story through his paintings. His entire range of work shows expression and intensity, some of which almost seems abstract but is ultimately a figurative representation of his day-to-day thoughts.

Konrad Peszko (PL)

Konrad Peszko is a Polish artist focusing mainly on painting, the medium that we present in this exhibition. Peszko is mostly interested in topics concerning the issues of re-settlement in urban spaces and the original function of architecture. This architectural inspiration is very clear in his works, which consist mainly of geometric and opaque colourful forms that invoke the perception of structural details.

Philipp Haucke  (DE)

Philipp Haucke is a German visual artist and printmaker. His works are often the result of his detail-filled drawing series, in which the artist plays with the concepts of two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality. In these drawings, Haucke employs the monochromatic spectrum of possibilities to achieve the illusion of volume and texture on a piece of paper. The artist creates forms that resemble imaginary, floating geometric shapes, as well as microorganisms that appear to be moving on the paper.

Attila Schwanz (IT)

Attila Schwanz is an Italian painter, comic artist, illustrator and designer. In his artworks, Schwanz uses different types of technique, from Indian ink to pastel, watercolour and often ballpoint pen, which gives his artworks an almost scientific amount of detail. The peculiarity of his method brings the artworks to life and gives them an intense feeling, as if the objects were on the edge of exiting their natural habitat by coming out of the paper. His love of fantasy is visible in his work, which makes his artworks unique.

Hannes & Johannes (SE)

Hannes Elltorp and Johannes Helgelin are Swedish animators and illustrators. Their work is composed of three animated shorts, notable for their colourful and grotesque scenery and social critique. The construction of the shorts is marked by a composition in two stages: the setting in a somewhat normal scenario of mundane life, which escalates to a dramatic turn of events, filled with stuff of nightmares. This abrupt change points towards social critique, from depression and the food industry, to the consumerist television culture of today that turns us all into zombie-like individuals, distant from reality.

Loïc Saulin (FR)

Loïc Saulin was born in Dijon, France, and currently lives and works in Berlin. Saulin grew up in a progressive music environment, surrounded by esoteric comic books – factors that later influenced his artistic work. Thanks to these influences, Loïc Saulin opted for a more abstract and conceptual approach to art, with which he explores the layers of the subconscious. Saulin’s paintings transport the viewer into another dimension, as it pulls them into the multiple layers of colour and tri-dimensionality. This effect is achieved through the artist’s employment of acrylic paint and multiple other techniques, such as spray paint, pencil and watercolour.