“I wanted to create a public platform to show my art including drawings, paintings and collages that I created over the past 20 years”. In 2018 Steffen Schuster started his new project: Great Gallery (@great.gallery). It is based in Dresden and it is Steffen’s way to make “the world more beautiful while developing new concepts and products” which is also reflected in his pictures. Steffen studied marketing and served an apprenticeship as a graphic designer. However, his passion for art made him pursue a career as an artist.
An artistic evolution in Steffen’s works of art can be seen on his Instagram (@great.gallery): “At the beginning there were only graphics, then combinations with paintings and finally collages”, he said. That is because of his love to experiment and discover new techniques, that make him a changing and multifaceted artist: “It is a process that is constantly evolving”, he thinks.
“It is a process that is constantly evolving”
In his opinion, he believes that young generations are not losing the love of art. But, because of social media like Instagram, for example, young generations are experiencing a transformation in the way of consuming art. That is that it has become a fast experience and “the challenge for younger generations is to slow down again and realize that art is not like fast food”, he said.
“The challenge for younger generations is to slow down again and realize that art is not like fast food”
–When did you start with the project ‘Great Gallery’? What motivated you to carry it out?
The “Great Gallery” project started in 2018. I wanted to create a public platform to show my art including drawings, paintings and collages that I created over the past 20 years. Family and friends have always been great supporters even though I have never put on an exhibition before.
Basically, I see myself as an artist at heart but not as a professional, pure artist. I have studied advertising and marketing and served an apprenticeship as a graphic designer, but never worked in this profession. Besides pursuing my passion for art I own and run a communications and marketing agency named “Great Innovations UG”. “Great Gallery” is one of the agency’s projects.
I love making the world more beautiful while developing new concepts and products which is also reflected in my pictures. And with the “Great Gallery” they finally have a platform. Which may also serve as an inspiration to other creative people, too.
–Has the art been your dream since you were a child?
Painting and drawing have been a part of me ever since I was a young boy. My parents even kept my first creative experiments from kindergarten. Being creative has always been a passion, which I have never dared to pursue professionally. I am fascinated by so many things, such as architecture and design as well as events and marketing. I see myself as a creative person who is always looking for new ways of expression. One of my many dreams is to one day open my own art gallery. In a space like the “Great Gallery Location” I can show my work, but also further artists who inspire me. There are so many great artists all over the world to be discovered. And almost every single day I find another one on Instagram.
“One of my many dreams is to one day open my own art gallery“
–In your Instagram we can appreciate an artistic evolution, since illustrations to the current collages with an urbanistic touch, for what is this evolution?
My work of the last few years shows my true creative process. I like to experiment and to discover new techniques. So one thing leads to another. At the beginning there were only graphics, then combinations with paintings and finally collages. I don’t have a fixed work style. It is a process that is constantly evolving.
I would describe myself as a “multifaceted” person, in my art and in my business. I am excited for new things and easily bored of repetitions. This complexity is also reflected in my current work, which depicts my multifaceted persona literally with multiple layers. Right now I don’t know where the journey is heading, but I am very excited about it!
–Do you think you have found your personal style?
As mentioned previously, I don’t have just one style or direction that I follow. My personal style is a process that is constantly evolving, because I am constantly evolving. My work is an expression of my current life situation. A lot of things are happening right now. Not only because I started my own business in August 2019, but also because from here on out I am following my own professional path.
–Who do you usually paint? Are they models, people around you or orders?
I am not a professional photographer myself, but I am inspired by other photographers and models. So I’m interested in finding partners for projects and cooperations to bring out the best of both worlds. I see thousands of fascinating photographs every day. And I hope some of these artists, models and fashion labels are maybe intrigued to work with me as well. I am looking forward to that!
–What difficulties did you find to carry out this project?
So far I didn’t face significant challenges. “Great Gallery” is my personal project so I can do whatever I like and want to do. Sure, there are always techniques that can be improved, but I wouldn’t call these difficulties rather than progress.
–Do you have the support of your circle as an artist?
I have wonderful friends and family who are backing me all the way. They all support my creative work and motivate me to continue sharing my works with the world. I am really blessed.
–Do you think there is not enough support between artists?
I think as a professional artist it is difficult to be able to economically stand on your own feet. Each one seems to struggle to make ends meet. Looking at artist’s websites you notice that it’s almost exclusively about their own work.
You rarely find mutual support, for example by simply linking to another artist’s website. I do believe working together more effectively as an artist community would lead to more support for everyone. The bigger the network the greater the attention and therefor the greater the benefits for each one. There is definitely room for improvement.
“I think as a professional artist it is difficult to be able to economically stand on your own feet”
–Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still curious about life and inspired by it. In 10 years, I see myself as a part of many projects that I have helped to create. I also imagine “Great Gallery” to be a real gallery you can visit to discover innovative artists. I am sure there will be enough space for my pictures, too. My dream is to organise a group exhibition with – for example – photographers presenting their own shots and my pictures inspired by their work. This is not only a fascinating combination of different forms of art, but also cooperation and mutual publicity support.
–Do you believe that new generations are losing the love of art?
No, I don’t think so. I think every generation is looking for its own way of expression. Each generation redefines art for itself and is enthusiastic about possibilities art can offer. Take Instagram for example, the world’s largest gallery is an art form of its own where people express themselves constantly. Everyday we are flooded with thousands and thousands of gorgeous pictures. And consuming art has become a very fast-moving experience.
The challenge for younger generations is to slow down again and realize that art is not like fast food. Art of every kind can accompany you for a lifetime. Art is life and works of art should be more like enjoyable lifestyle objects, like beautiful cars, decorative furniture or favorite clothes, without being ordinary.
People need to connect to art and beauty on a more mindful level. I actually see marketing as essential in promoting art. So, in my opinion, today’s art galleries need to be more like advertising agencies or lifestyle companies than just pure exhibition areas and touch everyone’s life in many different ways. That way art will stay attractive to new generations.