My studio is in a former shop from the 1950s, on a lively street near the Hamburg harbour. Lots of people walk by every day – neighbours, tourists and the many employees of the businesses, agencies and publishers in the area. The space is like a goldfish bowl: the front is one side completely made of glass. When I moved in in 2014, I knew right away that I had to do something with the window.
The day I moved in, I put a line from a song text in the big window: »Hands up, baby hands up«. I changed the lyrics every other week and because people on the street soon started to sing out loud when they saw the text, I called the project »Schaufensterkaraoke« – storefront karaoke. It had many fans.
But after three years, I wanted to do something new. That summer I had been in Berlin and painted a »Wallphabets« with Otto Baum. When I came back to Hamburg I thought »Now I need a wall to paint!«. While I was wondering about where to find a wall it occurred to me that I had a large free area: my window. That’s how the window alphabet series started.
Every two months or so I paint an alphabet on the window of my storefront studio, as a gift to the neighborhood and to draw attention to my work as a lettering artist in a playful way.
The window alphabets offer a perfect blend of familiarity and novelty – everyone knows these shapes but to see them so big, so narrow or turned on the side catches the eye and makes many people pull out their phone to take a photo. The series is also popular on social media.
By now, sometimes when I introduce myself and say: »I run a studio near the harbour and I specialise in lettering,« people answer: »Oh! You’re the one with the letters!«
About the project
Series of hand painted alphabets on the shop window of my office on Venusberg in Hamburg
324 x 200 cm
2017 to 2021