KLUB7 is a collective of six artists mainly based in Berlin. The collective focus on creating mural art, but also diversify their portfolio through several art projects. The challenge of working as a collective makes their artwork even more unique and fully rooted into the Berlin art scene.
Can you tell us more about Klub7? We know you’re a creative collective but we’d like to know how it all started and how you’ve managed to sustain your activity for so long.
Certain preferences have manifested themselves within each of our six members within the last several years of joint creation. Thematic, technical and aesthetic preferences, in which everyone is both contributing to and taking from the group style.
We like to work intuitively and spontaneously. We love meshing our six impulses, quickly processing shapes and surfaces. That’s why we use certain materials like acrylic, spray paint, ink and markers. Street chalk is also really important for that process. For years, we’ve been attracted to its transience and lightness, which reminds us of childhood.
The roots of our work lie in the graffiti and urban art scenes of the 1990s and 2000s. That’s where we got a feel for public spaces, facades, surfaces and used objects. Our spontaneous working style also arose out of working in urban spaces, where you have to make quick decisions and create results quickly. These spaces have influenced our work until today, sometimes more profoundly and sometimes less so. They’re responsible for our sensitive observations in urban spaces and our love of dynamic and lived-in places.
What’s your favorite or most interesting project you have worked on?
That’s not so easy to answer. Each one of us has their own favorite project. Some of our most beautiful experiences have been the trips we’ve taken together. In the past few years, we’ve been to New York, Paris, Lyon, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Genezareth, Barcelona and Havana. Those were all wonderful projects were we had a ton of fun, met incredibly nice people and made new friends. Traveling inspires us, broadens our horizons and allows us to understand the world a little bit better.
What kind of challenge do you face working as a collective?
We like to compare ourselves to a jazz band having a jam session. You each bring your ideas and your instruments, and together you create music. It’s like that with us, too. We just start and each person adds their ideas and their art. Of course, we also rub up against each other. Sometimes certain portions get painted over or taken away. But these conflicts are very productive for us as a collective. We have to find a way to make it work and find compromise, until we feel like the work is finished and we’re all satisfied.
How do you find your inspiration?
We get our inspiration from all sorts of places. Each one of us six has their own very impulsive experiences. That’s how we work on old and used materials, discarded objects on the road, rusty gates, torn-off posters, and remnants of washed-out graffiti. A few of us have been observing barriers and construction sites for some time now. For example, construction workers unknowingly create great sculptures when they stack, park and cover building materials. But we’re equally inspired by quotes from movies and music, fragments of memories from our childhood and everyday occurences in our lives.
Is it more complex to work on a commercial request than practicing free art? What’s the main difference between those two?
Each type of project is easy and hard in its own way. It’s important for us to regularly work on our own free art projects, so that we maintain some independence. We believe that, without this kind of work, we would eventually stop evolving as artists. In our applied arts, we rely on a lot of processes and techniques that we’re good at and that we know work well. So that’s nice because it’s calming and secure. But it’s important for us that we’re always truthful, and that we don’t do things just to please other people.
How would you describe the Berlin art scene and how do you think it’s going to evolve in the next 10 years?
Berlin is still a very special place. Through its cultural diversity and associated openness, Berlin is very exciting, but it’s also got rough edges. Art and culture, madness, freedom, normalcy, everyday life visions, all of this is bundled up in Berlin and pulls us along. In the urban area alone, there are hundreds and even thousands of artists from all over the world, so that you’re always discovering something. All of these dynamics inspire us. Berlin is like a rush.
What it’s all going to look like in 10 years is a good question, one that we often ask ourselves. We think that the subculture is going to be more and more suppressed as gentrification continues. The art scene will become more competitive and we’ll see who stays on the ball. We hope there will be more and more great exhibits that are well-curated. We think that Berlin will remain a city of contrasts and we hope in ten years it will still be a place of human development. We hope that the city will also become more of a bike and child-friendly place! And KLUB7 will still be rocking, even in 20 years!