Interview with Edgar Mueller  

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The most frequently asked questions about street painting - answered by Edgar Mueller

Edgar Mueller ၇ဲ ့ Interview ေလးပါ။ ကၽြန္ေတာ္ဘာသာၿပန္ေန၇င္ လဲြမွားမႈေတြ၇ွိေနမွာစိုးလို ့ မူ၇င္းအတိုင္းပဲ ကူးယူၿပီး share လိုက္ပါတယ္ခင္ဗ်ာ။

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your work of 3-D street painting?
My name is Edgar Mueller. I was born in Muelheim/Ruhr and grown up in the small village Straelen in Germany. I drew and sketch since I was able to hold a pencil. I was always an autodidact following the principle "Learning by doing". Although I studied Communication-Design I remained loyal to the philosophy that what ever solution you find out yourself you will never forget.
I did my first street painting at the age of 16. I went to upper school in the German Village Geldern where every year a traditional street painting competition takes place. On my way to school I saw this transient paintings done with chalk right on to the pavement. I felt in love with this art and decided to enter the competition when I was 16. Since then I call myself a street painter. At the beginning I often did copies of the old masters like Rembrandt, Caravaggio and others. The main reason was to attract people to have a look at my painting. I love to do that copies and learn the technique of the masters meanwhile. Street painting is still my profession but the subjects of the paintings changed.

Could you tell us when and why you start the work of 3-D street painting?
To be honest - my first contact with three dimensional street painting was an inquiry from a client. He asked me to paint a car, so I did. And that was the first time too I ever heard of Julian Beever. I saw his paintings and was very impressed by the extraordinary and fresh ideas he brought into street painting. But Kurt Wenner was the first guy who used anamorphic illusion for street paintings. His skill and drawing technique is perfect always look like a renaissance master painting.

Can you briefly talk about the process of your work? What is the most difficult part in your work?
To describe the process briefly is kind of impossible. However, there is one main perspective law which is an important base to construct a 3D street painting. If you have a look around and keep an eye on all verticals you see (for instance trees or streetlights) you may recognize that their extensions all meet at your feet or - if you are sitting - under your but. So if you choose a spot and fix a cord on it you can use it as a ruler for all the verticals in the painting. That's the reason why every anamorphic street painting only makes sense from one specific spot - where all verticals meet. The difficult part is to find out the right distortion in length. The more you go up the painting the longer the distortion should be. It is not a linear stretching. I always go to the right spot and check what I'm doing there. 

"Street Painting" or "Pavement Art"? What is the right designation for this art?
Searching the Internet you will find more designation for this art form. "Sidewalk Art" or "Chalk Art" are other Synonym for it. Painting pictures with chalk on the street is a traditional art form born in the 16th century in Italy. A few years ago only a minority of people had ever heard of it. By publication on the Internet in the past years this art form get noticed world wide and every country created his own designation(s) for it. In Germany people would say "Street Painting" in most cases. But "Chalk Art" is also used in some areas. In the northern english speaking part of Europe they use "Pavement Art" or "Sidewalk Art". "Street Painting" is the most dessiminated designation in America and Canada. In some countries of the world people just say "Street Art".

Street painting has a long history? How has it begun?
Street Painting came up in Italy in the 16th century and is regarded as one of the most important representatives of the traditional art. In Italy street painters are called "madonnari" (Madonna painter). As the name "madonnari" already points to, the Italian Street Painting has been a form of the religious art since its foundation. Historically madonnari were traveling artists who stood for a life at liberty and self-determination. They used many festivals and the religoius celebrations (which are also unique even today in Italy) to exersise and present their Chalk Art. They lived exclusively on the donations of the people. Miracles, religious icons and ex Voto pictures which are given to the church to the deference for an answered prayer were the genre of the "madonnaro".

Today the genre is not only religious anymore. When was the change and how did it come to this?
The early street painters reproduced easy pictures with coarse materials. 1972 the first Street Painting Festival came up in Italy - in the small pilgrim village 'Grazie di Curtatone'. The concern of this festival was to pay attention to and publish the work of those and which counted as the last representatives of this traditional art. With every year there came younger painters and the festival became bigger and bigger. His founders would never have counted on it. This Festival has remained popular till this day and is an example of its kind all over the world. Among the rise of more Street Painting Festivals - mainly in Europe and America - young artists and art students worldwide started going on the streets and brought new ideas, technologies and enthusiasm for this already almost lost art form.

What happens if it's raining?
This is probably the most frequently asked question. My answer is: Then I leave and paint a new picture tomorrow. This is often the best thing the street painters can do, because even a few drops can destroy a picture in seconds which often needed days to be painted. There are ways to protect the image, such as cover it with plastic tarpaulin or on street painting competitions even through most adventurous tent structures. But the rain keeps longer, he crawls under any protection. 

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