Artwork title: Wandkäs´
Materials used: Polystyrene, fibre glass, polymer plaster, lacquer
Studio location: Frankfurt am Main
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Most of my work is an interpretation of concrete objects or natural patterns that can be studied in real life. I usually start with research. This first phase is important as I later on usually do not work from photograph or sketch. Rather I try to grasp the systematic essence of things and recreate it in my own way.
When the research phase is finished I decide which technique and materials I want to use. Sometimes I work with additive techniques like sculpting with modelling paste and epoxy putty, constructing in wood and steel and sometimes I work with subtractive techniques like carving polystyrene.
My approach is to achieve a certain realism without being overly worried about details that are not necessary to transport the essence.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Contemporary visual art.
How did you come up with the idea of „Wandkäs´“ ? Is there any story behind this artwork?
I realized that there is a certain sculptural quality about a piece of cheese; it can be seen as abstract art, a collaboration between human and bacteria. That inspired me to create a gallery version. It is hanging on the wall as a sculpture-painting hybrid and is located between the abstract and the concrete.
There is no particular reading of this work. It can be read as the representation of an iconic cheese – pure Pop! The title „Wandkäs´“ is best translated as „Wall cheese“ and can be read as a pun:
It has a local flavour to it as it alludes to my hometown Frankfurt´s own iconic cheese speciality called „Handkäs´“. „Das ist doch alles Käse!“ (This is all cheese!) is a German expression that translates best as „That´s rubbish!“. Regarding this, „Wandkäs´“ can also be interpreted as a commentary.
Are specific artworks created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative at the very beginning?
Every new work can be seen as an experiment. Sometimes, when I have an idea in mind and I cannot find a way to implement it right away, that motivates me even more to do it and find a way.
I always come up with a particular concept or narrative at the very beginning; the choice of materials and technique is based on the look and feel I like to achieve.
I have experimented a lot in the past, learned various crafts and techniques and i can fall back on a great deal of knowledge of different materials.
Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?
With my work I try to grasp the essence of things. I am driven by a constant fascination in nature and all those great creatures living within it.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
The best way would be a place that acts like a stage. It would provide a neutral setting, free of outside cultural influences, to frame my work. It would have sophisticated lighting, enough space to allow a lot of viewing angles and a lovely audience.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
I am generally inspired by everyone and everything that four dimensions and seven senses allow me to perceive. That includes a lot of artists.
Do you ever wonder if additional work was needed, when an artwork’s making process is finished?
That sounds like a paradox to me as the making process is finished when no additional work is needed. That does not exclude the possibility that I feel different about a finished work later, but I view that as progress. My art is a constant process, I learn with every sculpture.
What about the place where you work? What does your studio space look like?
I like to work in different places. I usually rent spaces depending on the project that I am working on. Sometimes I need a large place with a high ceiling and wide doors, sometimes I just need a pillow on an empty floor, sometimes a fully equipped workshop. I also have a small studio where I live.
What does your mum think about your art?
My parents raised me to be a loving, independent and critically thinking individual. Unfortunately my mum passed away too early, but I am sure she would like it.
Which exhibition did you visit last?
I went to the woods and visited the glorious exhibition „Spring“ by mother nature. Due to pandemic control measures in my area there haven´t been a lot of exhibitions going on lately. The last indoor exhibition I went to was „Dresses in motion – Women´s fashion after 1850“ at the Historical Museum Frankfurt and „Alles im Wunderland“, a group show at „Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden“ in which I myself took part.
What are your plans for the near future?
I will keep on developing further with my work.
All images by Günzel & Rademacher Fotografie – courtesy of the artist and PPC-Philipp Pflug Contemporary @guenzel.rademacher @ppcontemporary
2 thoughts on “Frank Brechter: Wandkäs´”
Interesting. While I detest Maurizio Cattelan’s banana, I love the slice(s) of cheese on a wall here. It’s expertly recreated, down to the sheen, and aesthetically satisfying as well. Nice work.
Thank you Eric for your comment! I totally agree with you. Bretchter’s work showcases meticulous expertise in forms and beautiful aesthetics as well.