Instagram: @klauskremmerz
Website: www.klauskremmerz.com

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

In other interviews, I have had to answer this question, and as in other situations, I think it is right to answer it in the same way. I prefer not to say where I come from, where I was born or grew up, and I do so in a slightly provocative and serious way. In a society where everyone seems to yearn for the opportunity to give intimate details of their lives, I choose to maintain privacy for that part of my life which, all things considered, does not affect the quality of my work.

I live in Europe, I travel a lot, I don’t have a real ‘base’. This job allows you to move around quickly, all you need is an internet connection and a laptop. 

@klauskremmerz

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

My aesthetics are mainly derived from the American underground comics of the 50s and 60s, and from those artists on the borderline between genres, Ken Price, John Wesley, Wesley Willis, Alex Kats, Robert Crumbs. All authors who use “pop” genres, mostly comics, to communicate “art”. 

I find this mix fascinating, comics were born for entertainment, they are generally catalogued as commercial art, the fact of using them as a means of expressing “high” art I find brilliant. The generations of children who grew up on comics are more familiar with the style of the comic and so the message expressed at the end comes across more strongly. Or so I think.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I use digital. I don’t know if it’s my favourite medium but it’s the one that allows me to be faster. At the end of the day I’m in the design business, being able to make as many or as few designs as I want makes a difference in how much I earn at the end of the month and I’m not the bohemian artist for whom the art he expresses is more important than the quality of his life. I am a practical person, being able to earn money and live my life as I want by doing a job that I enjoy is more than enough for me, I don’t give a damn about carving my name in the wall of artists. There are enough real artists, or those who are supposed to be artists. And the only artists I know are all dead. Which is another way of saying that only future generations will decide who among us deserves to be remembered and who is forgotten, and this cannot and should not be our problem. 

4. What is your artistic process like?

I went to art school, and then 4 years ago I started following in the footsteps of many to create a portfolio that would allow me to sell what I do. it took me 7 or 8 months to create a portfolio with a style that I could consider my own and original.  I put my work on behance and little by little I started. 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I would say what I do, my daughter, the places I see in my travels, the music I listen to, the books I read, the theatre shows, the films, what I eat, the friends I meet, in short, it is my life that influences and inspires my work.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I come from a family of artists so art has always been around me since I was a child, I had an extensive library of artists that I browsed through from the age of 10. 

While I work, I listen to jazz, I love theatre, I read before going to sleep. In short, I would say that art wakes up with me and goes to sleep with me. I can’t really say whether it changes the way I see the world, because I have always seen the world through art. I was bombarded right from primary school with information about how sick our planet was, wars, hunger, destruction, pollution, and so on… raising collective awareness for responsible behaviour is certainly important, but hammering these concepts home from an early age runs the risk of raising people who are convinced that they live in a lousy world and that consequently, the lives they live on this planet are lousy. Art allows you to pay attention to the beauty of things, there is some ugliness and it is up to us to improve things, but there is also some beauty, and what is more, the beauty that exists is part of the legacy of those “dead” people I mentioned earlier.

The generations of people who have left a legacy of beauty that we can use to live our lives well.  I think that’s something to keep in mind, something to teach our children, and I think it’s just as important as respecting our planet. A depressed person will never give a damn about our planet, a happy person will.

7. Where did you study?

In Europe

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I don’t know, where I am now makes me happy. I hope my job will be even better, but in general, if in 5 years time I am exactly where I am now, I would be fine. 

9. What about in ten?

Same as above 

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

Nothing. I don’t want to achieve anything. There are two categories of people who make “art”, those who like to call themselves artists, and those who make art. Those who like to call themselves artists are the 90% of people who play, sing, draw, write and so on, who crave likes and followers on Instagram, who like to talk about themselves, show how ‘good’ and talented they are, but who don’t actually express anything sincere through what they do, because their every move is conditioned by getting something in return, an applause, a like, money, so the product of their ‘art’ will serve them to achieve this goal.

Those who really make art, on the other hand, are intellectually honest, they have an urgency, they are Bukowski, who after a day of lifting quarters of beef, when he comes home at 11 o’clock at night, poor and drunk, has to get on his typewriter and hit the keys to get something out of him that would otherwise make him explode from the inside. That’s art. The rest for me is just a mixture of vanity and insecurity.

I don’t make art, I make money by making commissioned illustrations for people I don’t know. And I already consider myself a privileged person.

If one day I find the courage to say something of my own, I’ll do it because I can’t help myself and not because I want something in return. 

@klauskremmerz

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Italian food. Everything.

12. Favourite book?

The Master and Margarita. I think it is the only book in which you can find all the major themes of our civilisation and all the literary genres of a novel. 

Politics, religion, death, love, fantasy, comedy, drama, history, epic, thriller, crime. 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Jazz

14. What are your hobbies? 

I practice yoga, travel a lot (pre-pandemic), cook dinners for friends. After all, my job is what I would do as a hobby if I wasn’t paid, so I would say that I spend the rest of my time relaxing with walks in the countryside, an outdoor lunch maybe in the historic centre of a town that can be reached by train from where I live, in short, leading a good quality of life.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

A landscape gardener at Terre Borromee on Lake Maggiore. 

@klauskremmerz
@klauskremmerz