"It's going ok mir not about painting something that looks great, I paint what makes me special”
In an interview with Mirko Reisser, who realized the first mural of the current project UpTheWall.
Mirko Reisser, too DAIM called, is not proud of his career as a world-renowned graffiti artist. He's just happy, claiming his success has more to do with social development than with his skill. These and his visions have brought him to the position in which the 49-year-old artist, who belongs to the first generation of graffiti sprayers, is today.
If you take the S-Bahn along the Hammerbrook-Hauptbahnhof route, you can't help but be spellbound by the large-scale mural of DAIM watch. Day by day, the complex structures of the lettering take on a more closed form, making them more open and appearing to penetrate deeper and deeper into the environment.
Thus, the work has already fulfilled the most important requirement of the basic idea of UpTheWall: The interior of the OZM is made visible to the outside and brings the first offensive change in the industrial and business district.
The mural could also be seen as a self-contained work to the outside observer, but in fact the mural is a continuation of a motif that finds its origin in the work, which was created through a project to promote urban art in Næstved.
So what is behind the three-dimensional shapes and letters that not only cover the side wall of the OZM, but give the whole district new splendor? These and other questions were answered by DAIM personally in his future showroom of the OZM beantwortet.
Great that it worked! To jump right into the topic: The friendship between Alex Heimkind and you go way back in time. How does it feel to be part of the UpTheWall project OZM's to become?
For me it's really nice to be able to do something like that in Hamburg, just around the corner from my gym and in Hammerbrook. The family comes over from time to time. I don't usually have that. Otherwise I fly somewhere, work there from morning to night for ten days and then fly back. There is only “painting a picture” at that time.
It's different here. Even though I've known these premises from the start, I'm only really feeling this new place now that I'm really there. I actually wanted to do the mural last year in winter. That would have been hectic. That would have felt like "oh come on now, we have to do this now" and would have made no sense at all. Now it all feels very right. And then it is also pleasant to work over such a long period of time. A total of four weeks, but then of course not from morning to evening...
To go into the work a little more precisely: We already talked about the fact that the current work is a continuation of your work in Denmark. What was the basic idea of the mural in Næstved?
The basic theme of my free artistic work is always my stage name DAIM. I've been writing my name for 30 years. Of course I also do other things, but with the free work, just like here on the wall, it's just that DAIM the central motif that is being exploded more and more. It's a deconstruction of my typography. In this case, the style is based on working in Denmark, but I'll blow it up further. This is a process that I would like to implement over the years. My typography should be expanded more and more, so that in the end it might even end in complete abstraction.
Was there an intention to continue the motif from the start? And is this now part 2/2 or does it continue after that?
I hold mir that open. When I saw the wall here, I immediately thought of the Næstved wall when I saw the format, and that the motif fits in here perfectly.
The environment in particular plays a role when you work outdoors.
In the second step, it is planned to further develop the whole thing with AR (Augmented Reality) so that you can look at the picture with an app and it really comes out of the wall. Of course we didn't do that in Denmark, it would be something completely new.
This project comes next after we set up the exhibition here in the premises.
As you mentioned, there are common denominators in almost all of your work: playing with your name, detailed work with shading and deconstruction. What are factors that differentiate your artworks from each other?
There is the stylistic; I basically have the shaded three dimensional bodies, the volumes, the big solid areas that get painted and masked off and then I have the black line that goes through the whole picture. I find it particularly exciting here to have these three themes and to combine them with the various techniques.
According to a statement from you, your writings are self-portraits. Which part of your personality does the current work reflect most succinctly?
well everything So for me there is my whole character in these pictures. If you think about it, you've been writing your name there for 30 years, four letters, it's not particularly varied now. Still, if you look at it that way over the years, you can see quite a nice development. That absolutely reflects my personal development, as a person. I find I always push it a little further and don't feel like I'm going round in circles or trying to figure something out. There are relatively few works by mir. Denmark is already two years ago. Then it goes a small step further each time and you discover something new to deal with. Or you accept things. I think I used to be much more ambitious, much more perfectionist, without the pictures necessarily being more perfect. It was more the inner attitude. Every picture had to be even better, even different. Today people are more relaxed, but it's still a mixture of "I could do it a lot more complicated now, but I don't have to". Especially when it comes to the three-dimensional. The three dimensional is what at mir always likes to be mentioned, but it doesn't play the biggest role for me. It's nothing that I particularly value. I've always found it almost funny when my work is reduced to that, because that's what it's all about mir Yes, not at all. Then I realize again, it's just these self-portraits. It's going ok mir It's not about painting something that looks great, I paint what makes me special and I find myself in it 100%.
What would your youthful self say if it were strolling through the neighborhood and you in the here and Now at your work would see. Would it be proud?
The fact is that I started spray painting when I was 17, which is relatively late. I didn't start out as a 13-year-old and then have this phase of the game where you did a lot of nonsense and only then worked your way into it. I started relatively late and was able to make a living from it in a very short time; Orders made and only sprayed. I was interested in hip-hop music years before and watched the scene. Then I hit the gas because I was totally up for it, because it mir brought fun. '89 wasn't the time when people thought there was great money to be made from spraying.
When I finished school, of course, I already said: "I don't want to do anything else, and if I don't want to do anything else in my life, then I have to earn money with it." At that time, I managed to think outside the box. There weren't any examples to go by. You had to have the vision for yourself. From today's perspective I have to say it was mir all that was clear back then. It's not like I have mir I couldn't dream of that at all, that's exactly what I always wanted to have. I dreamed of this 30 years ago.
I'm totally happy and happy that it worked. But this development is nothing that makes me proud, because it only has something to do with my skills to a limited extent.
It has an incredible amount to do with social development. I got exactly the right window of opportunity. Firstly, because I was so old, basically almost as old as all the old schoolers who started spray painting in '84/'85. And on the other hand, because I was in the right situation.
I am very lucky that I had parents who always left me alone and supported me. I was able to just do it without them asking any concerned questions.
I have never been afraid of the future. This is perhaps a helpful character trait. I know many who could not go this way because their fears for the future were too great.
What would you like to achieve with your mural, here in Hammerbrook in particular?
It is extremely rare that an advertising space that has been rented for a long time is free and is then also taken down especially for graffiti. I've known the area and the advertising stretched across it for as long as I can remember. I've driven this way a thousand times and stood at the traffic light with a view of the area. Every time I thought mir: "What a wall of fireworks". Of course, that's also something special because it's an urban hotspot here. Hamburg can hardly be more urban. There is still the port urbanity, but apart from the port, the corner of Hammerbrook is absolutely the most urban spot in Hamburg. Hardly anything has changed in the last 30 years. Now suddenly a lot is happening here; large buildings are demolished and rebuilt. You know that this building will also be gone at some point, but that's the only reason we're here and making use of the time we have. The fact that this place is here will have an impact on the whole of Hamburg. It will be a center where people come. But that's not because of the district, it's because of Alex Heimkind. He has it in the old OZM proved on the hill and now he will prove it here too. With the energy he puts in there, he could be anywhere in the urban space.