Five questions to Kai “Raws” Imhof

Five questions to Kai “Raws” Imhof

Kai “Raws” Imhof was born in 1990, in Königs Wusterhausen, Germany and raised in Berlin. After finishing his A-level, the artist started the training as a graphic designer in Berlin, which he finished in 2015 by winning the best graduation work award. After that, he decided to become a full-time artist. Raws has his background in Graffiti and Urbanart.Since when do you paint and what are your favorite motives? 

I have been painting classic graffiti since 2004 and developed in a more abstract direction from around 2015. Since then, the classic graffiti letters have moved further and further into the background and I have concentrated more on colour, form and composition. I would describe my style as graphic, abstract and minimalist. A core motif of my work is the so-called CHAOS element, which consists of lines and shapes and creates a three-dimensional effect.

When you create a new work, how do you proceed? What comes first?

When working on canvas, a lot is created in the mind. A basic composition and a basic idea are already completely in my head before I actually start painting. Then I sketch the corresponding elements on the medium with a pencil. This happens spontaneously. How the elements are worked into the canvas in detail happens directly and intuitively. I then tape the individual areas and fill them with spray can colours. At the end, I work with transparent black to emphasise the shadows even more. The final step is the varnish and the signature on the back.From what do you get your inspiration?

The search for something new is a core motivation for me. There is an inner urge to explore the limits and to keep finding new approaches. Another drive is to advance my career. It motivates me enormously when I realise new projects, exhibitions or collaborations. Of course, feedback from people is also good, although I don't want to make my own work dependent on it.

Your life without art would be...

more boring, but good.

What is the best art place in your city at the moment?

My studio. For me personally at least. Here I can completely lose myself in my work and find myself. The moment when I have finalised a work and can look at it in peace makes me extremely happy, regardless of the fact that the whole city of Berlin is an incredibly exciting place for art for me. The streets with their graffiti and street art are like a unique gallery that displays the most authentic art form of all.Learn more about the artist: