Inside the Studio

Peter Vahlefeld

Favorite materials to work with?
Oil paints, digital technologies (such as the desktop computer, scanner, and inkjet printer) as well as art magazine advertisements, and pages torn from museum catalogues and fine art auction catalogues.

Where is your studio?
My headquarters are in Berlin and I have another smaller studio in Munich.

What themes do you pursue?
Instead of creating new forms out of unedited “raw” material, I prefer to work with printed media as a raw material that is already carrying a certain cultural currency. The logo has an aura of propaganda that interests me. An overall theme is the art market with all its marketing strategies. As a technique I am interested in the mediatization of paintings and that the paint remains constant in the artwork both as a material and as a representation of itself.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I prefer to work with music. Right now my favorites are John Zorn, Defunkt, Tuxedomoon, and LCD Soundsystem.

Where can we find you outside the studio?  
In hotels, bars, restaurants, and galleries.

What’s around the corner from your place?
My studio is in the Kreuzberg neighborhood, so the vibe there is very original and authentic Berlin. To name just a few: opposite my studio is a tiny vodka distillery, then walking toward the river spree is Club der Visionäre, a very nice hangout bar directly at the river, and opposite you’ll find a funky nightclub, Le Chalet.

Art school or self-taught?
I hold a BFA from Parsons and the New School of Design.

Day job?
Painting in either one of my studios.

What do you collect?
Museum shop merchandise.

Favorite contemporary artist?  
I like the recycling strategies of Andy Warhol and picture generation artists like Richard Prince and Sherrie Levine… and Christopher Wool.

Is painting dead?  
Not at all. If it were dead, the question would be how did it die, or who killed it!

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Francisco de Goya’s “El Quitasol.”

Favorite brush?
My Epson printer.

Monet or Manet?

Koons or Hirst?