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Parov Stelar: From pop music to art shooting star

As the king of electro swing, he performs to sold-out crowds from New York to Milan. More than a million fans follow him on Facebook, and his videos have been watched more than 500 million times on YouTube. Parov Stelar is Austria's most successful popstar – and right now, he is in the process of reinventing himself. His newest tracks sound like hits, but there is a perceptible shift away from his signature mix of swing and electro-beats. Most recently, Parov Stelar, a former designer, has started to successfully present his work as a pictorial artist as well. OOOM visited him on Mallorca – and shows his newest work for the first time.

Georg Kindel13. Mai 2019 No Comments
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Giving it all. The time in the work process has taken its toll: “I often painted the whole night, to exhaustion. It was an extremely inspiring process. Now, my batteries are empty.“

In between working on his canvases, he produced the video for his new hit Gringo, a composite of more than 1,600 individual frames: “First, I filmed the sequences, then I disassembled them into individual images of 12 to 25 frames per second. I manually changed these individual images, distorted, intervened, and re-colored them, and eventually scanned them back in.“ Parov Stelar also links his monumental paintings with his musical work: “Each song of the new album will be associated with a corresponding painting.“ The work of his art-world colleagues serves as inspiration. Stelar is particularly fascinated by the destructivism of Banksy: “He manages to convey a deep message through an aesthetic of reduction.“ Gottfried Helnwein is another one of his favorites: “He is an extraordinary artist. You have to move really close to the actual canvas to convince yourself the work is actually painted.“ Stelar also highly appreciates the un-agitated style of David Hockney: “An outstanding painter, on point with his approach of reduction. Man stands at the edge of a pool. And? Hockney hits upon something deep that is not readily explainable. And the best art touches us without needing an explanation.“

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Technology and digitalization will lead to the formation of new branches of art,“ says Parov Stelar, with conviction. But painting on canvas will always remain important as a counter-perspective, lest the human soul starves“. And, he adds: Music does not exist for me without pictorial art. It has, in fact, become increasingly important for me.

These two creative fields complement each other perfectly: there are aspects of my inner world I express in painting, and others through music.“

Pictures: Jan Kohlrusch

13. Mai 2019