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Artists from the artothek berlin are guests in the Bettina-von-Arnim Library

Markus Willeke is a painter who is not afraid to install huge rainbows in urban spaces or place ink drawings of dead birds under street lamps and thus cause confusion.

With physical directness, he creates a counterpoint to American Pop Art with his wet-on-wet technique (watercolor, ink), in which the contours dissolve. Parts of the series “I can't see the point in another day”, in which he boldly portrays shopping bags, have been loaned to the artothek berlin.

Quote from Galerie Hengesbach: “Willeke's motifs emerge from the European youth culture of the eighties and nineties, which deals with the subcultural influence of America on the creation of striking symbols in our everyday life: fictional monsters, fast food buildings and packaging, bizarre cartoon characters, evocatively tattooed backs, dancing lights at night, crime. In the physical directness and impetuousness of his painting, Willeke creates a counterpoint to American Pop Art.”

Statement: As a painter, I use the wet-on-wet technique with watercolors or ink, in which contours dissolve, colored surfaces become unstable and content threatens to disappear into abstraction. I include disruptive factors and chance in the painting process. This interplay of control and loss of control does not seem to be a suitable technology that meets the human desire for stability, order and security. Perhaps it is still suitable to represent times of change.

Short bio
Markus Willeke was born in Recklinghausen in 1971. He studied painting at the Münster Art Academy with Reiner Barzen and Mechtild Frisch. During his studies, he moved to Cologne to set up his first studio and won an award in the national “Art Students Exhibits” competition. He completed his studies in 2000 with honors and the master student certificate. Before moving to Berlin in 2002, he spent several months in New York and Los Angeles on a scholarship from the Kunststiftung NRW. He taught at the Bremen University of Fine Arts and had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Siegen, the Marburger Kunstverein and the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen. His works are in the collections of the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, the Von-der-Heydt Museum Wuppertal and the Collection for Young Art North Rhine-Westphalia in Kornelimünster.

The series of discussions is a collaboration between artothek berlin, the Bettina von Arnim Library and artspring berlin.

  • Saturday, November 18th, 2023 at 12:00 p.m
  • Bettina-von-Arnim Library, Schönhauser Allee 75, next to the arcades
  • Moderation: Jan Gottschalk and Marc Gröszer
Additional information
Participating artists
Markus Willeke