As an artist Case’s pieces are intensely photo-realistic and wow passers by the world over, combining at times with local themes, culture and stories.
Your style is such an intense photo realistic one, did you ever paint letters or was it always ‘real world’ people and things?
Thanks, I appreciate it. I used to tag and all that, but pretty soon I started to focus on my characters.
I had a bunch of tattoo magazines and was totally impressed how they create their characters. Later I had some old black and white copies of a Berlin underground magazine called BACKJUMPES. Pretty punk but good!
How long are you spraying, was it long before you became part of the Ma Claim crew?
I was always painting one way or another, but I started spraying in1995. Ma Claim was founded in 2000.
Is there anything or anyone you really want to portray that you haven’t yet?
Me and my good friend Ruediger Glatz started a project in 2007. We interviewed homeless people while we were traveling all around America. I started to portray seven men and I really need to finish this project.
What influences your creative process now?
My beautiful wife influences all of my work. We’ve been working together for the last eight years. She is not only my biggest influence, she is also my sharpest critic.
You painted at Art Basel this year. Is this a yearly ritual for you, and how was it?
No, it was my first time. I was invited by Jessica Goldman and I had a great time. I met so many good friends, it was a highlight in 2014.
You’re an extremely prolific painter. Are you more selective about the walls and projects you take part in now?
No, not really. The only thing that makes me selective is the time.
Your work often includes a series of things or a subject in a point of focus with a few ‘phases’ , and of course hands and colour. It seems, from the outside…like an exercise in how far you could take your ability. Every piece is hyper real. How would you describe your pieces for the people reading?
Distance changes the measure of insight. This means if you look really really close, than you get confused, If you step back to the the images changes.
Why do hands feature in your art?
It’s the most interesting form to paint. Hands are universal, specific anatomy and they convert ideas into images.
Often your pieces have a message or a positive feel (Martin Luther, the repetition of peace symbols). How do you approach coming up with ideas for street pieces?
My pieces basically bounded on moments, surroundings, history on buildings, self experiences and my deep relationship to my wife.
Your recent pieces are breathtaking; there is a recent memorial piece for a soldier ‘Hans Conrad Schumann’. Is there a particular story to this?
Thank you again for the kind words. So I did this piece while we’re in the 25th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin wall. Hans Conrad Schumann (HCS) was an east German soldier who famously defected East Germany (Russian occupation zone) to West Germany (American occupation zone). This was happen during the construction of the Berlin wall in 1961. Finally he escaping from the russians regime.
This wall is in Lutherstadt Wittenberg right on the border of a district called “Sternenstaedtchen”(Starvillage). During the cold war this district was the part of Wittenberg where all the Russian families used to live. When I paint this piece Russia had occupied the Crimea. This piece is transporting, while also connecting with all the surroundings an has a relevance to the area and also current issues.
Can you talk us through this?
The amount of preparation and production is depending on what I paint and for what I paint but it isn’t always a guarantee to get a good piece on a wall, as a final result. Believe me, out of my own experiences, you can make a crazy piece with a shitty reference and vice versa.
Who’s your favourite artist at the moment?
Honestly I can’t say this cause I’m really bad in names and therefore I’m totally sorry! I know a bunch of good artists in person which I really appreciate. To meet these persons, share experiences and become friends is my favor and a source to find new things.
Do you have any big projects coming up after this year?
There are some projects happen in Berlin and Frankfurt beginning next year. Also interesting journeys are waiting too.
I know you were here in 2010 for the Sandyford Urban Arts Festival. Would you come to Ireland to paint again?
Sure, it was fun there and what a shame, I missed Bono passing through.