Five questions to Anja Sieber

Five questions to Anja Sieber

Anja Sieber is a German abstract painter and ARtist, living and working in Hamburg and Berlin. She has been researching the latest 3D techniques for two years. From 2009 to 2013 Sieber completed her studies at the Berlin Academy for Painting with a master’s degree and was appointed master student. Her works have been exhibited by galleries at international art fairs such as Art Karlsruhe, Kunst Zürich, Art Beijing, Miami River Art. In 2021 and 2022/2023 she received grants from the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the European Union to learn how to expand her artistic explorations by creating new forms of digital expression.How did you get into art?

Aside from being noticed as a drawing talent as a child, I was shaped by the fact that my school was directly across the street from a highly acclaimed university of the arts. The public tours there literally smelled of freedom, and I was fascinated by the alternative ways of looking at the world. That was the early 1980s, and as an 18-year-old, I found myself both confused and enchanted by the Conceptual Art and the New Wild Painters exhibited. All this fuelled my wish to become an artist myself and be as free and boundaries-breaking as they were.

How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

As an abstract painter, I usually transfer literature and writing in a gestural-expressive manner on paper, which through vehement processing under my hands often deforms into relief.

In my digital productions it is the flaws, holes, the weird and beautiful shapes ‘on the back’ of the scanned objects that pique my curiosity to infinity. They often look like fragments of strange flying objects captured in 3D mode.How do you go about developing your work?

The first step is the search for a suitable medium that contains an inspiring subject which can be incorporated into my art. Then my performing body becomes the medium. Hands and movements are forming writing lines. I condense what I write down with various fluid media into complex, mostly illegible line structures that materialize the message presented. Beneath these superimposed colored notes, the texts enclosed in gel remain visible, are partly readable, and provide a rectangular and linear counterpoint.

When working digitally, I also wave my arms widely, then reduce the movement to my fingers. Since I'm still at the very early stages here, I enjoy the complete freedom to do and leave what I want and quite spontaneously both to capture and to tease out the worlds behind the real objects.Who or what influences you?

As a long-time bookmaker, I am fascinated by both the materiality of language and the gestural in writing and painting without a brush on the ground, so I was inspired by the painted writing of Cy Twombly and the unique GDR sound poet Carlfriedrich Claus.

As far as the digital world is concerned, my approach is rather characterized by an anti-attitude towards the urge to hyper-realistically imitate the world in virtuality. In my search for abstract forms, I guess I show quite a pioneering spirit.

Make us curious. What are you planning to do next?

In fact, I'm currently preparing an exhibition for the open days of our shared studio in Hamburg-HafenCity, where I will show my digital works both in various prints and frames on the wall, but also as giant virtual walk-through objects on the floor.Learn more about the artist: