German artist Stefan Strumbel hails from the infamous Black Forest, and is internationally known for his abstractions and reinterpretations of the banal elements that you’d find in the average household. His process involves taking the paradigms of what we consider “home”, “traditional” or “folk art” and fully questions their concepts, eradicating all sense of what is accepted and flipping clichés on their head. His favourite subjects include the über traditional German cuckoo clock, ever-present crucifixes, and the wooden masks of the Alemannic Carnival, elements found in run-of-the-mill Catholic homes. These objects are exaggerated in Strumbel’s hands, as he redefines them under the aesthetic qualities of pop culture and urban street art, creating a new context, allegorizing social status symbols, and inciting dialogue.
His provocative works replace the traditional with hyper-aggressive motifs that deal with touchy subjects such as death, war, pornography, and violence. Acorns are replaced with grenades, birds with dead rats, deer with pigs, and dripping paint proliferates all. Sticking to a bright and colourful palette, these images don’t faze the viewer at first, until they lean in to see the details, assaulted with an extreme and decadent display of shiny, well-polished taboos, reflecting on society’s deficiencies, truly redefining what the traditional really means to us in this day and age. His works have sold to clamouring audiences worldwide, including celebrities and designers. What I would do to get one of those clocks in my house, I can’t even begin to describe… wow! Love ’em!
Decrypt the German, and you can check out his blog.