Five questions to Michael Grässli

Five questions to Michael Grässli

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Michael Grässli was born 1971 in St. Gallen. He lives and works in the countryside in a village called Kaltbrunn, in Switzerland. Michael grew up with art. His father used to be a drawing teacher, visual artist, and author. He went to art college in Zurich, and before that, he was trained as a scenic painter.

Since when do you paint and what are your favourite motives?

I have been painting since I was a child; I grew up with art. For the past 15 years, I have been painting and been inspired by lines and fragments of writing.

With the theme of "Traces," I initially created a series of large-format paintings in black, white, and gray from 2007 to 2018, exploring the interplay of surface, line, and space. These works reference graffiti tags in public spaces: overlapping, washed-off scribbles as traces of individual existences.

Since 2018, I have increasingly produced small-format works on paper, incorporating more color. Using mixed media like spray paint, watercolor, colored pencil, ink, and monotype, I continue to experiment with lines, materials, and techniques to explore new forms of expression.

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

It all happens very intuitively - I start with fine lines with graphite or directly with color or monotype. Then, I add numbers, dates, and words - it's always different. Sometimes, only lines and spots are created.

From what do you get your motivation?

My motivation comes from my everyday life and an inner urge to put my inspirations on paper or canvas.

Your life without art would be...

I grew up with art, which has been a part of me since I was a little boy. It would be a feeling of hopelessness that would overwhelm me.

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

I haven't lived in Zurich for a while now - but Zurich is a great place for art. I always love going to the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art or Haus Konstruktiv.

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