Surrealist, architect, sculptor and street artist we caught up with the complex Otto Schade to ‘unravel’ his street pieces and the the influences for his art. Pursuing two very different styles on street level Otto kindly shone a light for us and shared some of his art….
Describe your art in 5 words?
Surreal, controversial, ironic, connected and simply complex.
Does your Chilean-German background influence your art?
Is there anything or anyone you really want to paint?
I always want to paint something, doesn’t matter what or who. Is just the need to express myself.
Your street pieces seem to be split into the oval ‘dream’ related scenes and the fantastic layered pieces, which ones do you prefer?
Both. To be honest they are both effectives and they show up in a different way.
The ribbons were created as I explain below (*)
The orbs were created to give a strong message, easy to understand just with silhouettes and a simple background (sun-moon), only 2 layers (black and light colors). To paint some walls in a quick way, to avoid problems I came out with the orbs that takes me 30 to 45 mins to paint them.
Lately I have been painting something new. Some important characters with few light but the shinny stuff as sort of worms.
How do you find your subjects?
I find them controversial and deep.
Does your painting style and sculpture affect each other, or do you consider them separate?
I think in the creation process base on my previous experiences I could consider them, unconsciously but not something that can guide my new piece.
Your layered and raveled creations burst with an energy and might come apart at any time, what was your inspiration to start painting these?
*I was trying to do something different and attractive, also a bit complex. Actually I was looking for a system that allows me to show the inside of the bodies or shapes I create and at the same time behind them. So I came with these ribbons that at the same time helps me to emphasize the expressions of the faces for example and gives me the possibilities to join or connect the different shapes. Then when I started painting singers I added the lyrics of their songs on the ribbons.
Do you have any big pieces coming up?
Nothing planned at the moment in London but nobody knows. Next week I am going to Miami to paint some walls in the area of Wynwood actually not big and then I fly to Chile for a show I got and holidays. I will also paint some walls in Santiago, Valparaiso and probably Arica and Concepcion. And in February I got a solo show in Gothenberg (Sweden) where I will probably paint another wall.
What’s the piece or project you most enjoyed this year?
From the ribbons style I enjoyed “Back to life, back to death” that I painted in Bricklane (Old Truman Brewery). A female with butterfly wings cornered by a big spider with a skull body shape and paint brushes as legs in a surreal landscape.The spider seems to weave her and at the same time is feeding itself from her. The Spider is an ancient symbol of mystery, power and growth. Just as the Spider weaves a web, so too must we weave our own lives. The Spider symbol meaning here serves as a reminder that our choices construct our lives.
The web is always reused by the spider. Our lives are always coming back to the web, or to the system.
From the orb style i like “Rock,Paper,Scissors”, where you can see 2 silhouettes, a boy and a girl chained, both playing scissor, rock, paper to win a bitten apple on the floor. At the back are 2 war aircrafts bombing a city. Slavery, War, Hunger, Destruction, all very negative aspects in life that need to be avoided. Children that see life in a different and innocent way they still play to feed and enjoy themselves.
Adam, Eva and the apple. Who wins the apple at the end? 😉
A lot of your pieces are around the Shoreditch area, is it just easier to paint there or is it a hub for you?
I live 5 mins walking from Shoreditch, so it’s easy for me to identify interesting spots to paint. Unfortunately Brick Lane area is getting more and more artists painting there but over other artists spots, when I think the idea is to create circuits in the area, that means finding new spots to create more art. Four times I got problem with other artists. Actually I prefer Camden because people respect more my work and even the police officers are more opened mind on relation on what’s art and what’s vandalism.
Lately what’s a favourite street piece you’ve seen on your travels?
I like Smug one pieces because this guy manages the proportions, lights and expressions of the characters he does. And is really quick. I saw his work in Sand, Sea and Spray Street Art Festival in Blackpool 2 years ago.
What does the future hold for Otto Schade?
I have no idea, the only thing I want is to continue doing what I am doing, developing it. And if I can focus as well in some other experimental work in parallel would be fantastic as I got many ideas, just need to find the way to materialise them.