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Playing with Perception.

Abstract, minimalist, playing with colour and optical illusions, the Hamburg-based artist 1010 painted his design on the wall for the fourth LOA art facade directly across from the entrance to Berlin’s Tierpark. In the first two weeks of July, his design “Drops and rings” emerged on the 30-meter high, 500-square meter gable wall on Erich-Kurz-Straße 9-11. The design draw essentially the viewer into the building through its colour scheme. In this way, it is consistent with the signature style of the internationally renowned street artist, who still wants to remain anonymous.

For several years, fundamental themes from 1010’s artwork have included playing with perception and the allure of imagination. His appealing optical illusions transform the walls into intriguing caverns and gateways Visually speaking, the artist cuts away the wall layer by layer until the entrance to a new realm of imagination is created. With his works, 1010 wants to capture the viewers and take them on a journey into their own imaginary world. The artist was actually inspired by rain for the design “Drops and rings” – by the drops falling into the water and forming rings. The individual layers appear like overlapping snapshots of movements on the water.

1010 created his last two murals in Germany in 2016 in Heidelberg and on Finnowstrasse in Berlin. His other artworks abroad include pieces in Ostende (Belgium), Detroit (USA) and Dubai (UAE). In the last year, 1010 had solo exhibitions in the gallery 10AM Art Contemporary in Milan and at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco. He is planning to participate in more shows and festivals in Germany, Italy, USA, England and UAE this year.

“Learning by doing”


LOA Berlin: How did you get the idea to create the optical illusions?

1010: My style has developed over the years. I started with classic graffiti in my youth. But I was soon bored by repeating letter forms. That’s why I worked figuratively for a long time afterwards. Over the years, the figures became increasingly abstract and minimalist, until only black shapes on white backgrounds remained. At some point I decided to start using colour again and deal with optical effects – stylistic devices that still characterise my pictures today. That’s learning by doing, I would say.


LOA Berlin: A 30-meter wall awaits you in Tierpark. Is that a challenge for you?

1010: Absolutely. The wall is large. Transferring the sketch to the facade will be the most challenging part of the piece. Once I’ve nailed the sketch, everything else is almost like painting by numbers (laughs).


LOA Berlin: Why did you choose the concept “Drops and rings”?

1010: I created the design on a few rainy days last winter. It followed from the impulse to combat the greyness and cold with something colourful.  For a viewer gradually approaching the wall, the depth of the design opens up the wall and pulls them optically into the building. The picture invites the viewer to look behind the facade.