Emess’ work is most often motivated by political questions. Confronting the viewer with issues that would rather be swept under the rug, for which there are perhaps no clear answers or solutions but that need to be addressed. The use of humor and his sense of aesthetics catch the viewer off guard for a moment allowing attention to be drawn to the subject. Emess sees no difference between the street or the gallery space, his work is designed to reach an audience and adapts itself to the situation. His range of media goes from sculptural objects or large scale murals to woodcuts and delicate prints. – Alvaro Campo, Candyland
Being an art school graduate from Berlin’s Akademie der Künster (formerly Universität der Künste) Emess felt not at home in the white cube context of the traditional gallery space. To him the early street art movement of the 2000s was a liberating as inspiring experience, influence and inspiration. He started producing his stencil works, sculptures and objects and brought them to the streets of Berlin and beyond. To this day he is a recognized figure in capitol’s urban art scene.
In his latest print series Emess borrows portraits of known personalities of customary bank notes and puts them in a new context to each other and to itself by a very poppy over-layering of silkscreen and stencil. Thus are confronted Che Guevara and JFK as well as Nelson Mandela and Muhammar Gaddhafi. One starts to realize how easily the line between rebel and dictator, between statesman and terrorist can be shifted, and above all how much this perception is depending on the respective cultural point of view and the actual political situation. In this serigrafie which encloses a total of 14 portraits and 108 unique prints the inscription „German workers!“ takes relation on the xenophobic propaganda of the Nazis. This happens in accordance to the political posters by Klaus Staek and as a central theme picks out the change of national identity by a stronger and stronger globalizing job market.
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