Art Dealer SARAH HASTED  Interviews German Artist DANIEL VOELKER

Barack Obama  Mosaic created with 3600 American postage stamps

SH: Why should anyone care about art in this day and age? When there are so many images we see on the internet, why does art matter? Is now a good time to be an artist? 
DV: Hmmmm…that’s’ a tricky question. It’s always good to express yourself creatively, and as an artist, you can find a wider audience through the internet. On the other hand, everyone seems to be an #artist #photographer #model #musician #designer #DJ and and and…which makes it hard to get attention because of all the "picture noise" that floods our vision every single day, 24/7.

Everyone should care about art. Art is a reflection of what is going on in the world. Art is a very powerful tool, maybe even more powerful than politics. It makes people think, and inspires people to change things for the better. Art brings people together. The Internet is great for research but to experience real art you need to get off your ass and go see a show or go visit a museum. 

Art is essential to being human.

SH: What music were you listening to when you created your mosaic portrait of Barack Obama? 
DV: I was listening to bands  like Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age or Motorhead and music that most people would describe as noise.

SH:  Was that image influenced by the work of Martin Schoeller? 
DV: I reached out to fellow German photographer, Martin Schoeller, and asked him if he minded if I used his portrait of President Obama as inspiration for my (7 foot tall) mosaic portrait made with thousands of U.S. stamps  - and he was totally cool with it. 

SH: Do you think its romantic to be an artist? 
DV: No, I don’t think so. Being an artist is more like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes it wasn't easy when I was in my late 20's early 30's, watching all my friends buying cars and going on holidays twice a year while I was walking everywhere because I didn’t have a car and not taking the trains just to save 5€ for groceries. If you're one of the lucky ones who can make a living with your passion, everything was worth while.

SH: What advice would you give young artists working today?
DV: VODKA, SODA AND LIME, it tastes good, gets you buzzed and no hangover.

SH: Why did you go and work in Bali?
DV : I went to Bali because I wanted a break from the city, surf, sit and stare at the ocean for awhile. I thought its not a bad idea to work on my mosaic artworks in an endless summer location with coconuts and rum!

SH: 4 Star hotels or sleeping on the beach?
DV: Sleeping on a beach! I like the simple life and I don't like when people serve me…its a strange feeling.

SH: I saw that you posted an image on Facebook of Marlon Brando flipping the bird with both middle fingers, why that photo? 
DV:  Hahaha, yes, I love him! Marlon Brando was just very very cool, and he never gave a shit about other people’s opinions.
SH: What do you think of social media?
DV: I think social media is totally ridiculous! I’m on FB, Insta and Twitter…or at least I have accounts, but the amount of stupidity and boringness that is displayed on social media everyday makes me lose faith in the human race sometimes. Social media is a scam, it feels like everyone has a great life but it’s an illusion, its not real! I block anyone that posts “food" or "knees at the beach”. Social media has made everyone narcissists!

SH: Why did you get tattoos? Which tattoo is your favorite?
DV:  I got my first tattoo when I was 17. I guess because I wanted to look harder than I actually was. I don't have a favorite one though. I like them all, some more and some less, but even the "not so good" ones are kinda cool. I see my tattoos as a "map of my life"…and not everything you do or did in your life is a great idea ;)

SH: I see you still smoke cigarettes? Why do you smoke? It's not politically correct to smoke anymore…
DV:  Haha, well I don't care what’s political correct, that’s stupid anyways. I do what I want as long as I'm not hurting anyone, it should be my decision to smoke without being blackmailed by "green life police people"! My life, my decision.
Ok, lets go “Inside the Actor’s Studio” to end this interview…

What is your favorite word? 
FUCK. Its the BEST word -  like a Swiss Army pocket knife, its perfect for almost every situation

What is your least favorite word?
Political Correctness

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

What turns you off?
People that talk other people down to make themselves look better

What is your favorite curse word?
See answer to #1

What is your favorite sound?
Waves on the shore

What is your least favorite sound?
Alarm bells in the morning. Its horrible

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Which profession would you not like to do?

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the 
Pearly Gates?
"Fuck, you're here already?  Let's get a drink"!