Stefan Strumbel

In collaboration with six international artists the German brewery Warsteiner has given the opportunity to design a bottle each in their very own style. Stefan StrumbelAaron De La CruzBrooke ReidtNychos123Klan and INSA had the pleasure of designing the whole beer bottle from top to bottom, everyone with their own signature. Brooke Reidt’s design is as her other work very graphic and of kaleidoscopic nature. Artist and designer INSA’s chose a somewhat playful design reminding the viewer of dancing lights.
Beginning in September the Warsteiner Art Collection will be available retail as a limited give-away with every purchase of a Warsteiner case of beer.

In Stefan Strumbel’s work the concept of feeling at home is a central aspect. As an overriding collective term ‘home’ is essential to Stefan Strumbel. In the Warsteiner Art Collection the artist asserts the term ‘home’ in the way he is so well known for – with an oak leaves and a boars head. We met Strumbel and had the chance to talk to the artist.

Can you describe your bottle design, what inspired you and what is the meaning behind it?
As you can see I haven’t ‘strumbelized’ or estranged the bottle totally. I tried to apply my home and habitat theme to the origin of the bottle and the background of the enterprise. I used the classical colors black and gold and put them in a new and cross-border context to create something new and something you can discover new. I used the cuckoo clock as a kind of means of transport to put the viewer on a journey home. I played with with elements such as hops and color.

The topic ‘Heimat’ (Home/Homeland) is every present in your works. Why is it so fascinating to you?
The feeling of being home and belonging somewhere is one of the strongest things that occupies peoples minds around the world. I think every human being aspires and searches for a place to call home. We all chase the feeling of security, love, friendship and happiness. Thats why I also described this whole bundle of feelings as the strongest drug in the world. Especially in our times, our world with its fast-moving nature, the internet and globalization, it becomes more and more important to people to know where they come from, their home and their family. I think I love to play with this subject because I come from a region in Germany where being or feeling at home is associated wit idyll, with Black Forest gateau and cuckoo clocks – which is nonsense of course. ‘Home’ can be found anywhere in the world, not only in the Black Forest. I think people just always tend to link this picture of ‘home’ and origin to the very successful, first German Heimatfilm ‘Das Schwarzwaldmädl in St. Peter’, a film in an idealized regional and kind of nostalgic setting setting. I like to play with this image. In my work I don’t want to sell a piece of this feeling, this place I call home, that doesn’t make any sence. Instead I use my objects as a kind of a provocation, a hint and a push to send people on their own journey to discover their roots.

Can we choose our ‘Heimat’ freely or is this term necessarily linked to where we are born?
If you ask someone ‘Where is your home?’ or ‘Where do you come from?’ a lot of people name their birthplace. I think they do so, because it has something to do with motherly love. This love you experience at your birth is so unique and special that you spend your life looking and searching for this kind of love. We endeavor a family, this moment of happiness and feeling of security. Our home or place we belong is not a stationary thing – on the contrary it’s in the air. Unfortunately this is nothing you can buy. There are so many poor people, who have nothing but money. And you can’t just go into a grocery store and ask for two pounds of ‘feeling at home’. If I had a recipe for this feeling I would try to make the whole world happy. But I don’t have anything like it. And i I had a work of art, which defines the feeling of ‘being home’, it would be my last.

Is there a topic besides ‘Heimat’ that you are interested in at that you might consider for your artworks?
The home subject is more or less an umbrella term. There’s a lot more. Love, faith, hope. Home and origin is just such a strong subject for me that it exists as a topic. But I also play with terms like ‘motherly love’. I express what I feel, and this is connected to this feeling I would like to experience, the others can do the rest.

Can you give a little preview on what you are working on next?
Currently I’m working on a scenery for La Bohème at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. The premiere will be in May. This is a big assignment and I’m very excited. Otherwise im doing free work in my studio and would like to withdraw myself for some time from the public and develop my work at my studio.

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