subcultalk with visual artist Stefanie Schairer from Berlin, Germany

This time we had the pleasure to do a subcultalk with Stefanie Schairer. 
Stefanie is an art therapist (MA) and lives and works as a visual artist in Berlin, Germany.

On subcultours, she offers the Painting Workshop "Experimental Landscapes" in person at her studio in Berlin, the Blind Date in Silence Workshop for Teambuilding Events at your location, and as an online format, the Freestyle Art Workshop with Painting and Drawing.

1. What is the art you make?

I always like discovering new materials and art forms and experimenting with them. I am curious and enjoy trying out new things.
However, my main areas of work are painting, installation, and performance/happening in public spaces.

In my art I play with different types of colors, shapes, patterns and materials. I draw my inspiration from my observations of human interactions and behaviors and I tell these stories through my artwork.

My work is largely abstract and I avoid unambiguity in my forms and titles. It depends on the respective observation and which stories emerge from it.
This "This way or that way?" is always correct and has its place in my work. In this way, encounters can take place that would otherwise not have happened.

In a "search and find" format, for example, I am looking for titles for my abstract works and let others search and find them. The theme of "relationships" and "making reference" thus becomes visible on different levels. It appears in the painterly realization and takes on a performative, participatory character with the inclusion of other people's points of view.

Alan Kaprow once said "Don't look at, go in instead" and I find that very inspiring for painting, too.

I also try to avoid unambiguity and clarity, so that it remains open what feelings or memories they evoke in others, and everything is allowed to be. Another example of this is my series "Experimental Landscapes". Instead of using clear titles, I use consecutive numbers, digits, letters, combinations and it resembles a "bureaucratic act" for order.

In my performances and happenings, I create a space in which people become an active part of the art process. I create a kind of playground where I leave it open as to what happens next or what the outcome might be. I like to "blur" the boundaries between the artwork and the recipients so that something new and unpredictable can be created.

2. How did you find your way to your art?

When I think back to my childhood, I can think of two important things that certainly influenced my work as an artist. Even back then, I got the greatest pleasure from observing people, what they did and how they did it. I was amazed and fascinated by their behavior.

The second experience happened in kindergarten, when I was drawing a green meadow. I used a green pencil and changed the direction of the drawing within this green area. My head teacher at the time reprimanded me very severely and said that you weren't allowed to draw meadows using this technique. On the one hand, I was so scared that I had done something "wrong". On the other hand, I felt a great desire to try things out and do things "wrong".

However, it took me a while to realize that art and making art is what I really want to do in my life and is part of me.

3. What is the reason you continue to practice your art?

Making art is a matter of the heart for me. I can't imagine life without art.
When I make my art or look at other people's art, I feel alive. As my art can also be an interactive and social process, it can open doors for other people and that excites me.

4. What is your personal highlight during your entire time as an artist?

The experience that anything can be possible in art. Many things in the art business are unpredictable and cannot be planned. I'm convinced that it's often about being in the right place at the right time. I count this experience as one of the highlights of my artistic career, having been lucky enough to be in the right place time and time again. :)

5. When do you feel most productive?

When things that I start come easily to me and are simply fun, which can then also become a highlight ;).

6. What or who inspires you?

I am inspired by encounters with people.
Great exhibitions in galleries or museums.

I also find artists like Christo and Jean Claude, Cy Tombly, Helen Frankenthaler, Takato Seiko, Miranda July impressive and inspiring.

7. Do you have a vision or a goal that you are working towards?

I definitely want to push my artistic work further and be represented even more in galleries with my art. At the same time, I would like to offer many art workshops in different formats.

8. What is a well-lived life for you personally?

For me, a well-lived life is daring to do the things that are really important to me and taking myself seriously in what I do.

9. What do you do when you feel “stuck”?

Auwei, I definitely try not to put myself under pressure to change, that makes it even worse. I then try to deal with the feeling that is there.
A quote from Jack Kornfield helps me with this:

"To let things go, means to let things be. They come and go on their own."

That sounds relaxed.

10. How do you deal with setbacks?

At first, I feel a mishmash of feelings inside me and then it scratches at my self-confidence until I get soooo annoyed that I let myself be soooo impressed by these self-doubts that I feel strength again to just keep going.

11. What is your favorite feeling?

My favorite feeling is always supported by smells and images in my head. I love the feeling of "everything is just right as it is", without wants and needs.

12. What are you most afraid of?

What scares me most at the moment are the wars and the continuing lack of mutual acceptance between people. It seems to me that we humans are not in a position to learn from the past, to really listen to each other and find peaceful solutions. This is a topic that keeps bothering me again and again.

13. Your favorite guilty pleasure?

Hahaha, that remains my secret.

Thanks Stefanie for your time and energy to answer all of our questions! 

When you want to meet Stefanie in real life, either in person or online, check out her workshops here.

Until next time, 
Kat and Team subcultours

Back to blog

Leave a comment