Old friends of ours, Markus Genesius aka WOW123 and Andreas von Chrzanowsk aka CASE MACLAIM visited Heidelberg, the hometown of MONTANA-CANS to work on a mural just a few steps away from our HQ. Located next to a gas station they spent the last days painting for Metropolink Festival 2017. CASEs photorealistic style melted with WOWs abstract figures that he is known for. METROPOLINK FESTIVAL 2017 WOW123 X CASE MACLAIM
Can you tell us something about your recent projects?
WOW123: We did a bunch of projects together, most of them in Russia where we painted some huge walls, some were over 30 meters high. We gave the two walls in Magnotigborsk and Ekaterinburg a new facing and called it “from city to city” which was a great experience.
CASE: We also went to Toulouse together where we realized a project called “Chaos is a circle of squares” in 2014!
You two have very different approaches. How does it feel to let ones work melt with a completely different aesthetic?
WOW123: I think it’s the perfect case when two languages come together to complement each other, and a unique piece evolves. Another important point is that working in a team, the conceptual frame is always different from the one that I would set myself. Working with CASE has always been exciting for me.
CASE: It feels very good. Through our team work we create a certain dynamic and a graphic character. Over the years we found a way to connect our styles even better. Even in 2004, when we painted for Maclaim Crew, we already had the same concept, I worked figuratively after WOW finished his abstract forms.
You two work with the Montana GOLD and BLACK LINE. What do you like about them?
WOW123: It just is my favorite tool to work with, it’s perfect.
CASE: Montana-Cans are the best ones. To paint with them is based on a long tradition and relationship I have with the company. In earlier times, when the line was developed, there was a big community here in Heidelberg that immediately started to use the cans. I can say today that we were the ones influencing the color palette and characteristics of the paint we have today. It just makes me proud to be a part of this incredible team!
How does the process of your conceptions work? Do you develop a concrete concept beforehand or is it a intuitive workflow?
WOW123: Since we don’t live in the same city it is difficult to meet beforehand. What we usually do is collect ideas and then filter them in the phone calls we make. It helps to know what the other one is planning, but still, I work very intuitively and spontaneously. Doing freestyles lets me include the given environment into my work.
Working with CASE has always been exciting for me.Markus Genesius aka WOW123
CASE: We work differently from wall to wall. Knowing each other helps a lot because it allows us to follow a very loose concept that we’ve ideally discussed before. We usually know how to divide the wall, and what I add to WOWs part unfolds while I am working.
How do you like the atmosphere here in Heidelberg? Does your work have a certain connection to the city?
WOW123: Earlier, in 1988 probably, Heidelberg had a very high significance when it came to Graffiti & street art, so I like to call the city sleeping giant. The community was incredible! The Stieber Twins and Kane have influenced my work frequently for over two decades.
CASE: My work is not concretely connected to Heidelberg. I enjoy working freely, to paint what comes to my mind. But still, there is a tradition in hip hop culture that I was part of years ago, so it feels good to be back.
Are there already new projects that we can look forward to?
WOW123: I currently decline acceptance for new projects because there’s a lot of things coming, for example will I be exhibiting in Stadtgalerie Bremen in November with DAIM.
CASE: We are planning an exhibition that includes WOWs and also my work, but there’s nothing concrete that I can say right now, so you will have to be patient until next year.
Interview taken by Montana Cans / Leonie Specht
All images by Montana Cans / Jordan Katz & Alexander Krziwanie