Jan Pötter (DE)
Jan Pötter is a Berlin-based artist who creates colorful mixed-media pieces. Through symbolic motifs he explores the conflicts and catastrophes of our modern western society. There are clear references to art brut, a movement started in the late 1940’s by painter Jean Dubuffet celebrating art outside of the conventional rules of the art world – such as graffiti – the naive, raw and innocent. Basquiat was another painter who with his roots in the street scene and graffiti can be associated with this form of art. The reference to art brut can be seen in Pötter’s expressive, almost aggressive, lines, colors as well as the sometimes naivistic symbolic language used.
The works of Jan Pötter are without doubt very often political. Pötter got inspiration for the piece “KREUZFAHRT” from a discussion with his friend about a holiday she was going on. She was going on a cruiseship in the mediterranean sea, and Pötter was surprised by her unawareness and lack of reflection. The sea is also filled with boats of refugees. Pötter says “People are having vacation in a graveyard”. As an artist, Pötter has a striking way of putting themes into picures.
In a discussion with Pötter he confirms that “KREUZFAHRT” depicts a man standing on a big boat wearing a t-shirt with a peace sign and causally peeing out in the beautifully painted sea, hitting a very small boat containing fleeing refugees. Ironically the boat is coated with words such as ‘Freedom’ and ‘Welcome’ when it also has a fence on it, a symbol for the continent of Europe – so unreachable for so many. The artist says he does get his inspiration from the media, from tv, music and newspapers. However, he points out, not all of his works are political but they are always influenced by surroundings.
The the painting “BRANDSTIFTER” is almost existential. The motive looks like a
distorted skull intertwined with body parts. His expression clearly looks inspired by art brut; the lines, colours as well as the sometimes naivistic symbolic language used. There is also a reference to dadaism, the art is a reaction towards something that is wrong.
There is a certain sensitivity to his art, expressiveness leaves the observer moved and with stirred thoughts.