“During my childhood in Bavaria, the big question about art never crossed my mind. My father was a photographer and my mother owned a ceramics workshop in the basement. I was always surrounded by different art materials. Pens and brushes were readily available – it was only later that I started to realize the different skills involved, and my desire to study grew.”
Sascha Brylla is originally from a small town in Upper Bavaria. He moved to Berlin more than 10 years ago, studying a master’s degree at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee, which he graduated from in 2016.
We caught up with Brylla to learn more about his processes and where he draws his inspiration from.
Tell us about your works, we would like to know more about them. What materials do you use?
“Sometimes I feel I work in the opposite direction to classical painting. Instead of adding material and building up an image, I remove the paint, which I first apply on the canvas as a monochrome layer of tempera. I work my motives out of the material. It's an extension of the concept of painting I guess.”
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your work? What inspires you most?
“I do not like the term inspiration so much. Perhaps a better question is how does one stay on guard against the constant flood of 'inspiration'. Everyday impressions breathe freely into our consciousness and litter our thoughts. One solution I have for this is my love of cycling. I ride my bike every day on my way to the studio. Somewhere between Görlitzer Park and Oberbaumbrücke, these currents of thought run dry and I become a silent observer. It's interesting how travelling at a different speed can provide a change of perspective. The environment turns into patterns and ornaments. When I arrive in my studio, my head is rebooted; a state of mind which at best, finds its way into my work.”
How would you describe your work and how would you define your style?
“My works are reduced in colour. Grey and pastel shades dominate the picture series. They have a relief-like surface and are slightly dusty, or carry other traces of processing. The motifs are ornamental, form patterns, and speak a formal language reminiscent of drawings or etchings. They are figurative, but in the process of being created undergo a kind of metamorphosis towards abstraction. Even though I play with depictions of nature in my imagery, I do not feel obliged to observe nature as such. Rather, I'm interested in metaphorical sceneries, and the possibility to raise social questions.”
“Even though I play with depictions of nature in my imagery, I do not feel obliged to observe nature as such. Rather, I'm interested in metaphorical sceneries, and the possibility to raise social questions.”
“Every exhibition is important, whether it is small or large, solo or in a group. No show is like any other, and new experiences can always be gained from different spaces. I find exhibitions help me to reflect on my own work.”
Where have your most memorable exhibitions been? Do you have upcoming exhibitions you'd like to share?
“It's hard to highlight a special one. However, one possible answer could be my solo exhibition at SOX, a wonderful tiny art space in Berlin-Kreuzberg. In fact, it only consisted of a shop window. There, I did something I’d had in mind for a long time: I transformed the space into a diorama. And I loved it! This show really helped me to think of new ways of conveying a statement. This autumn, I will explore this idea further in another exhibition, and turn the room of the LM Gallery Arte Contemporanea in Latina into a large scale diorama. I'm really looking forward to this great opportunity.”