Orlando Hoetzel_3

The world is not like that

interview with Orlando Hoetzel



RK> Looking at your pictures I can suddenly find myself almost a half century ago... But there’s still something what throw me quickly back to our contemporary reality... Do you call for tradition in your art work in a new expressive (vectorial) way? How and why did you come to your „US cartoon-like“ pop-art illustration from 50s-60s?

OH> The funny thing is, that I always believed to be more influenced by french ligne claire comic-art rather than US American cartoon art, since I´ve lived, studied and worked in Paris and it was there where I decided to become an illustrator. On the other side, it´s true that America is pop culture country #1. They have a great illustration tradition, still make beautiful books (American illustration annual, great children books etc), so I guess I AM influenced by the American Pop-culture, cartoon- and illustration-art as well. I guess I´ve absorbed all the influences mentioned above, and now try not to think too much about my "illustration style" anymore. I try to tell a story using the techniques I know: scanned drawings+digital colors, vector, also serigraphie...whatever is appropriate in the specific situation. The essence for me is that the result shows some cleverness and/or humor and/or dreaminess, depending on what the subject requires.

RK> What is it we’re so fascinating and exciting in creation and perceiving a two-dimensional image for thousands of years? Is it all about how is impossible stop the time?

OH> A beautiful question and your suggested answer seems comprehensible. I´d agree to that. I´m not an expert in history of art, but I guess that a painting in former times had powers we cannot imagine anymore. Then came Mr. Walter Benjamin and the aura allegedly was gone. But is that true? Maybe among all the visual impressions breaking over us all the time, we seek a little rest, and find it in non-moving, quiet 2 dimensional images. Maybe they have NOT lost their aura at all, or let´s say- we want it back!

RK> Do you think, right now is the right time for reconstruction of the aesthetics based on natural perception? Is this a warm-up lap of the end of the „cold“ in art? By „cold“ I mean rather some kind of technocratic approach in arts which probably can’t be freezed. It’s still fascinating or provoking us but on the other hand getting more and more boring...

OH> I´m not sure, I fully understand this question, but I try an answer. As for illustration I can see a lot of change in the aesthetic standards recently. My students at a fashion school, where I teach fashion illustration, don´t want to design their illustrations using a computer – and none of them! Handmade or handmade looking (but still computer generated, by the way) is very hip. Then the subjects have changed a lot. No champagne drinking, shopping bag carrying long legged girls anymore. Because the world is not like that. So nowadays (in illustration) it´s either wonderland and/or clever concepts and/or personal handmade looking work.

RK> What is your personal experience in the field of illustration and business? Is the only option for artist to „come under“ and so work with the intentions generated by the flat public demand? Could you imagine you can survive out of this system where one is just producing and the other is just buying? Can you imagine some other better alternative?

OH> As an illustrator I don´t want to be necessarily “out of the system”. It´s an applied art, my colleagues and me, like working for clients, getting to illustrate stories that come from somewhere else. Besides of that, we are running businesses too, so we also demand “good services and goods”: good computers, print shops who do their jobs well etc, so we can do our jobs well. But: what has brought the world in such a mess like the big financial crisis during the last 3 years, and what already has begun maybe 20-30 years earlier - neo-liberalism, ultra fast capitalism, profit maximization – has affected and poisoned our jobs as well. A lot of people that know nothing about art, now have the power to decide what´s going to be printed and published. Then there is no consistency anymore. There seems to be no time to develop something great on a long term basis. I wish there were more clients who´d have the time to enter in dialogue with the illustrator and trust in the artists decision. A better alternative: First not to believe that “hard work” will lead to “good money” which will lead to “great happiness”. That´s complete rubbish. I suggest to downgrade a little bit, focus on one´s own art, to create own projects. And when working with clients: Trying to enter into the above mentioned dialogue with them, trying to convince them that WE are the specialists for illustration and finally get the highest quality out of everything we do. Just for our integrity´s sake.

RK> How could be the originality of today’s author understood? Terabytes of visual information are attacking our minds, lot of things are similar at first or third sight... Copy of the copy of the copy is regular now with almost no restrictions.

OH> Yeah, but that´s hard to avoid. There are too many artists (and non-artists) producing too many images that race around the world within seconds. Then it´s being copied, recycled, interpreted by others. Maybe as a viewer one should be trained to be aware of this. Don´t believe what you see, don´t believe in such thing as 100% originality. Choose wisely what you want so consume and what you want allow to affect your life.

RK> Do you believe in a "messages in art"?

OH> I believe in small magic moments of sheer joy combined with (self-) awareness provoked by art.

? Richard Kitta
: Orlando Hoetzel