Karma International: For our Storefront Show you created a monumental work from your ballpoint pen series. Could you describe this technique that you developed a few years back and have been exploring ever since?
Markus Oehlen: The technique is actually a monotype; I use a string that is dipped in paint and glued to a board. By using my own bodyweight I press this stamp onto the fabric and literally trample on the fabric in order to transfer the paint onto it. I use several layers, sometimes with the same stamp in order to create an effect of repetition, other times with a different one which creates more of a layering of different motifs reminiscent of doodles.Read More
Marina and I started our contemporary art gallery Karma International in early 2009, during what felt like the beginning of an endless recession—in some ways comparable to the situation we’re in now. While art isn’t a luxury itself, buying it is an act of passion that might lose its flame when people get fearful. So we definitely started in a challenging moment. But looking back I see that this was actually a good time to get our gallery going because we provided a needed place for art and artists during an uncertain time.Read More
Lessons we have all been schooled in recently: the world is even more infintesimally small than we’ve realized, we are all cogs in a bunch of really big machines, most of which do not care about us, and we’ve collectively been living in denial of the very real existential crises that have been knocking on our doors for quite some time. The control you thought you had over your life was an illusion, sorry! If you’d like to stay sane for the foreseeable future, I’d start getting comfy with that idea.Read More