Ivan Gette was born in 1988 in Omsk, Siberia, and currently resides and works in Berlin. He started his artistic journey after a successful career in marketing and art direction, driven by the desire to create a space where unconventional art thrives. As the founder of Notagallery, Ivan challenges traditional art norms and seeks toprovide opportunities for emerging artists while engaging with the vibrant Berlin art scene. Since when do you paint and what are your favorite motives?
I began my artistic journey at the age of 13 by getting involved in the graffiti scene. My move from Siberia to Germany involved some rough transitions, particularly because I was growing up in a conservative, small city. In our city, Hip Hop served as a gateway for all outsiders to escape their problems and be a part of an international community. We learned from each other and channeled our feelings and emotions through creativity. Graffiti was the form that resonated with me the most. After learning how to sketch and spray paint, I fell in love with the wild style and freestyle writing, which, to me, still represents the purest form of creating art in the moment since there are no rules in the imagination of an art piece through its style. Its complexity is difficult to read and understand but requires a lot of imagination and technique. Subconsciously, I think this was the biggest inspiration and adaptation for me when looking at my artworks now. All my artworks are loaded with colors, mixed techniques, and several layers that hide different moments of emotions, which are always the foundation of each piece. Each artwork is created through free-style improvisation, and what some might call its 'complexity' or chaos actually brings a sense of peace and structure through its layered composition. I call my style “abstract nihilism”: to describe the purest form of creation, but I think it's pure chaos theory in my life and art that creates the inspiration and its driving motives.
When you create a new work, how do you proceed? What comes first?
I love to follow a quiet and impulsive approach, creating my work spontaneously. This means I need to be emotionally engaged in a moment that creates the desire to portray stories and their feelings on a canvas through colors. It's always emotion first. I love to step out of my comfort zone and try new adventures that usually result in quite a story connected to an emotion. When I recall these scenarios, I can see the colors that stood out the most. The color or shape that stands out the most is usually where I begin. Sometimes, I try to start the traditional way with the background, an idea, or composition, but during the process, I often discard everything and break my concept through the freedom of creation. It's like a constant inner battle that creates several layers (stories and emotions) that lead to the final result. I usually continue until I reach a breaking point where I am empty of emotions and don't feel anything. That's when I know the artwork is ready.From what do you get your motivation?
I draw motivation from my personal history and identity. The challenges I faced when trying to break into the traditional art world without an established network or a classic art background inspired me to establish Notagallery, a platform where artists following their passion can be heard and seen. My motivation lies in opening doors for emerging artists and fostering a creative community. I try to view every challenge as an opportunity, focusing on my intuition and the surrounding energy.All this combined create a restless drive I would say. Your life without art would be...
As Feodor Dostoyevski said, "At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art. Then life will find its very existence from the arts." That sums it up quite well.
What's the best art venue in your city right now?
Regarding the best art place in my city at the moment, I would proudly say that it is Notagallery. To me, this place stands as a vibrant and unconventional art space in Berlin. My team and I are challenging traditional notions of art presentation and offering a platform for emerging artists to thrive. Notagallery represents a dynamic hub within the Berlin art scene, pushing boundaries and fostering artistic exploration. It's all about promoting creativity through art, music, and culture.Learn more about the artist: