Daniel Weissbach ist tot
Daniel passed away last month, suffering from a brain tumor that could not be healed.. its a very sad story hitting us hard and uncompromisingly, foremost our condolences are for his family.
We lost a great mind and pioneer of the post - selfreflecting - graffitti movement. To show a bit of respect, we decided to run this feature with his random appearances in Lodown Magazine over his time and manifestation of his art.
Places (Stellen), 2010 from the BERLIN issue:
If you grew up in Berlin and have been graffiti fiend or just took the U-Bahn on the daily, you might get a familiar feeling when receiving the works of Daniel Weissbach. Foremost Daniel formerly know as TAGNO has blazed the trails for post-graffiti and is gradually drifting away from it, but never denying its omnipresence.
Daniel Weissbach’s works acquire specific locations, places of profound reality and detaches them from their original context to both isolate and extend them into an artistic reality. These places of reality, originating from our everyday life and thus never or rarely entering our normal conscious perception, are to be found in a vast space of associations and relationships. They become part of an artistic concept that reflects on reality by making things that escape our everyday perception visible and significant.
Tiled walls of the Berlin Underground systems have become somehow the central symbol of the relationship between being and time in Weissbach ‘s work. A tiled wall is something we incessantly try to keep clean, something we polish, something that is supposed to make it easier for us to purge traces of the past from the present. We scrub the tiles in our bathrooms, and watch people in underground stations working hard day after day, with brushes and chemicals, to remove the perceived contamination of the traces and marks of the recent or distant past. And we also discover day after day in our bathrooms and stations what a vain labour of Sisyphus that is. Even if the tiles remain shiny and pristine for half a day, the joints between them are still there: evading cleaning, gathering residues, traces, marks. The past enters the present through the joints. These traces produce a change in the body from within, the soul speaks from the joints. And the past reveals traces of things that cannot be “repaired” and canceled out, residues that assert their presence and in aggregate cause distinct change, change reality itself. However hard we try to exorcise the past in the shape of its traces at places of reality and in the body, underneath it remains active and omnipresent. A tiled wall enables a distance to be established from the sometimes brutal, at least radical intimacy of your own body. The conditions of the body and its related fears, doubts, insecurities, moments of happiness and exuberance can be alluded to indirectly. The tiled wall becomes the carrier and transmitter of these conditions.
The tiled wall, constructed in accordance with strict geometric principles, is simultaneously deconstructed in Weissbach ‘s work: the geometric patterns are displaced, dissolve into freer forms, seem to open up to chaos, caprice, uncertainty, without sacrificing the appearance of structure. Here, too, the interior, the soul with its desire for openness, liberty, escape, influences the exterior, the form. The inner story becomes manifest on the surface of the body, which becomes the mirror of the soul. Weissbach ‘s work oscillates between painting, object and sculpture, he paints his objects. He reproduces the tiles on canvas with conventional materials like acrylic paint, lacquer and filler in such a way that the illusion only becomes evident upon closer examination. Weissbach ‘s tiled walls are a kind of an optical illusion actually creates the reality and space of its make-believe.
Based on the original German text by Helen Robertson
from lodown #64, 2008 by Willem Stratmann
Where does your name come from?
Everyone was listening to Techno in the 90s and all the Rap
kids hated it. Nowadays Rap kids turned into ravers and
Techno is completely Americanized.
Are you into exotic drugs? I’m asking because a lot of
your recent pictures suck me in through their unreal and
almost dreamlike virtue... they also seem to reveal your
character a lot.
You know, the majority of manga-porn-illustrators say that
they don’t really have a fulfilled sex-life... so they resile, they
think about the most outrageous perversions and let these
fantasies out on paper.
Where did you develop your skills and style... have you
visited an art school or was it a process of learning by
doing while bombing your hood?
My skills and my style, they’re ultramagnetic. Being on a film
school certainly helped...
Please describe the term ‘line’.
It’s never ending and always in the here and now.
It’s very Zen.
Please describe the term ‘calligraphy’.
Shouldn’t necessarily be connected to beauty!
Please describe the term ‘writing’.
Shouldn’t necessarily be connected to beauty!
What’s happening on that picture with the horseman and
The horseman is cutting off the dragon. The dragon is
actually a woman. And in actuality the woman is good and
the horseman is evil.
What are these ‘neon-sausages’ all about? Would you
still consider this to be graffiti? Help me out here...
Neon-sausages? Haven’t heard of this interpretation yet. I’m
calling them laser sword. Or contemporary frozen moment.
Sometimes even line with a beginning and an end. Or in this
particular case: Zen and very much in the moment.
Where would you see the origin of your aesthetic?
Writing bounces and gets diverted... it trundles and finally
finds/follows my course. Or in other words: I’m painting
emotional images based on symbols, that’s why they’re still
close to Writing.
What do your Writer-collegues think about your
A meeting with criticism is always welcome... but at the end
of the day I’m doing what I want.
What are you concerning yourself with these days?
With the nothingness.
Any artists you find outstanding and remarkable at the
Jonathan Meese. I’m also trying to fuck things up on a daily
basis in order to gloat over the ruins that I just created.
To what kind of music are you listening to while painting?
Phew, if I could just be satisfied with silence for once...
"I write figures and paint writing - I deconstruct Writing."
1976 - 2020
"As a writer I concern myself not only with the form of letters and their effect on the viewer, but much more with the interaction between writer and the written.
Over many years, personal identification with the harmony and form of the single letters and their combinations has developed through the repetition of words and names. The task of research will be to master the principle intrinsic to the knowledge of letters' number and order, as well as the problems occurring in their form and combination.
The exclusive occupation with the form over a long period of time eliminates the meaning of the letter's sound, and with it, the power of its phonetic content. Instead, an awakened, inspired life performs in the script, which forms a consubstantiality with the writing." - Daniel Weissbach