Emerging Artist of Week Andy Kassier
Every week Wertical has the pleasure to introduce a promising up-and-coming artist in the Emerging Artist of Week series in collaboration with the art platform Unavailable.org. This week all spots are on Andy Kassier. The Cologne- and Berlin-based photographer resembles, exaggerates and questions a lifestyle and a society that is driven by money and performance. We had the chance to sit down and talk about his new exhibition at Pop;68 entitled the science of happiness.
WE: How do you describe your art to somebody who has never seen one of your work?
AK: I don’t. This is a funny question given that just the other day I was talking to a coworker about this way of describing and talking about your work and how it is an art form of its own. There is a specific way, often very confusing to people outside of the artistic community and many times also for those in it, to talk about artworks. So I am trying to avoid this and I am keeping it short: I do self-portraits. My aesthetics tend to allude to the advertising world. My work refers to cultural perception of the self in the digital sphere, wealth, prestige, success and so forth. I became aware like all of us in the last couple of years of the phenomenon of self branding and this also plays a valid role in my work.
WE: Where did you study?
AK: I study in Cologne at KHM // Academy of Media Arts Cologne.
WE: What did University and your professors give to you?
AK: Above all they gave me tools to discuss and reflect on my own work, which unquestionably brings you forward.
I think also that having a frame and facilities can be incredibly good for an artist. Having said that, I think it took me a while to realize that the majority of the experiments I do as an artist happen due to meeting people, online and offline. You cannot understand your interests and motivations in this world without getting to know people you want to work with and whose style you appreciate. This makes you strive to be better. That can happen in the institute, but for me, if I am being fully honest, it happened mostly online.
WE: What are you currently working on?
AK: Currently, I am working on an exhibition which will open soon, just like the science of happiness.
I’ve been working on my projects since a few years and its always an ongoing process. So I will go on with these projects and every year there will be something huge coming up. All I can say is to keep an eye out.
WE: What are your three artists to watch?
WE: What will your artist career look like in five years?
AK: I don’t know if I want to know or plan this.
I think its more important to figure out how to have a life full of fulfillment now. I am not trying to sound so new age, I promise. But being an artist nowadays is a very demanding job, and you have to be in it constantly to also enjoy it.
We all know that the path we are going on now is different than how we imagined it five years ago. And that is good. I think that it might be for the best that we don’t know what will happen. Just giving it your best to make life and especially the life of the people around us a bit better every day should be the goal. I didn’t mean to sound like a life style guru, sorry.