About Philipp Pieroth:
Philipp Pieroth is a German-born artist who works in drawing, painting and murals. His practice explores the non-stop connectivity between humans experienced in daily life, and how this challenges our individual position and impacts our ability to form genuine connections with others. These social formations, personal interrelation, intimate affairs and environmental determinations are a subject of constant overthinking for Philipp, and he aims to shift our collective consciousness and perception as a constellation of social beings, rethinking our presence, or Dasein in this world and how we relate to one another.
Philipp lives and works between Berlin, Germany and Johannesburg, South Africa. His solo exhibitions have included: 2016 – Dasein, AGOG Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; Represantation by Gavin Project, Johannesburg, South Africa; Care, Guguletu, Capetown, South Africa; Concept of Hope, Khayelitsha, Capetown, South Africa and number of mural projects throughout Accra, Ghana; 2015 – Saudade, Inhaca, Mosambik and Same Wall, Different Space Woodstock (Mural), Side Street Studios, Capetown, South Africa; 2013 – A number of murals throughout Taghazout, Morocco; 2012 – Der STöR in der Pappelreihe, Pappelreihe, Berlin, among many others.
It’s been a week now since I arrived in Barbados and started my Fresh Milk residency. I received a warm welcome by the team, and am excited to finally be here.
Since I am a very intuitive worker, it has been challenging for me to work with a predetermined concept – the proposal I wrote for the residency investigating Bajan Identity – which frames me and my work in a certain way. I realized that I was trying to stick to this idea too closely. Hence, while I am still researching this topic, I’m trying to be free at the same time, allowing myself to step out of it.
My creative process is an organic one that allows itself to bend, crack and change from its original attempt or idea. I never know what might happen during the work. Though I have a concept or an image in mind, I enjoy and need it to be dynamic, and welcome unexpected changes and accidents. That makes my paintings alive and engaging. Usually, my concept is rather abstract and emotional, only being defined by words after the work is done. So at this point I am trying to balance these things in order to get into my workflow.
In my last blog, I wrote about my process. I still haven’t finished any work – I won’t be finishing the works before I Ieave, which was my original plan. Nobody pushed me to do so, but I that’s the pressure I put on myself. I’ve learned that I don’t work that way; there is a certain organic nature of the process I just can’t deny or can’t force. It needs time, no matter how much work I put in. At times I feel like I am not working enough, even though I am working every day up to 12, 14 hours, even often on weekends. A painting needs to be worked on, sometimes it needs to sit for a while and barely be looked at for weeks, before doing any work on it again. Though I was aware of these facts, the residency has acted as a good reminder.
My paintings look very different from each other. Like they have been made in different periods of my life almost. That was confusing and also unsatisfying, but I have accepted it now. I always try to take a failure as a chance to change my angle on things and turn it into a lesson. So it might turn out not to be a bad thing. I actually prefer – let’s say at a solo show – to see diversity in a body of work. If I see 20 works and the shapes and the colours only change a little bit, I feel bored.
Chelsea and I had the chance to speak to a class at the Barbados Community College. I showed my work and started a workshop with some of the students working on a mural at the school. The work that I saw from them was impressive, and I feel the talk was well received. For the mural, the group came up with an interesting concept, which we need to execute now, after the sketching is done.