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Back Where It All Began: The Peripatetic Artist Wolfgang Stiller In Berlin

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Wolfgang Stiller‘s Berlin studio feels more like a workshop than anything else, strewn with materials and tools, the vast room smells a little of beeswax and his artworks unfold on the walls and the floor of the space.

Born 1961 in Wiesbaden, Stiller relocated to Berlin in 1988 after completing his studies in fine art. After twelve years in the city, he spent twelve years abroad—ten in New York and two in Peking. Today the peripatetic artist has found himself back in Berlin where it all began.

‘Matchstickmen’, one of Stiller’s most recent works, hangs from the wall of his studio. These sculptural, burnt down matchsticks feature human heads—symbolic of burn out induced by adhering to societal structures that focus on wealth and prestige. Next to it is the work ‘Ginseng Spirit’ which was inspired by the Chinese myth that says if you help a Ginseng ghost that is lost or hurt, it will show you where Ginseng roots can be found in return.

Stiller’s art is a place where he can ask questions, offer criticism and reveal social injustices, in a way that is never deadly serious and often has a humorous spin. It’s a search for answers really, Stiller explains, “It’s not like I have any solutions”.

To discover more of Wolfgang Stiller’s works, visit his Website or his gallery Galerie Schmalfuss.

Photography by Ana Santl, Interview & Text by Caroline Kurze