Last week I went to the vibrant South-West German city of Karlsruhe, to create a massive, 6 x 4 metre high wall mural featuring the ‘Pink Bear’, for a high end cool clothes store called SKOG42.
The owner of the store, a designer called Evelyn Engel, first saw the bear at DSTRKT nightclub back in April 2014. Drawn to an image of him sitting in a tree she saw the potential to evoke the name of her shop, with a twist. SKOG42 means ’42 Wood St’ in Swedish by the way!
She said it was love at first sight – with the bear (not me). After pondering for years how to make the huge wall in her shop really special, Evelyn was finally inspired. Her brief to me was clear – “create a decayed but ethereal scene in white and silver, featuring the bear in a tree – to form a stunning backdrop to my store.
To achieve the desired effect, I combined full photographic images with replicas of the same scene, reduced to halftones to achieve a calligraphic painted effect. Throughout the process of assembling the collage I layered paint washes and pattern, which made it seem as if the image had always been there, discovered under layers of paint and wallpaper.
It was two, really intense and long days to get it finished, but Evelyn and her staff made the project so much fun for me – as you can see from the pictures and the video. I am really happy with the final result, the bear looks right at home in the store. And I loved Karlsruhe and the people, so I think I’ll try and get back and see him soon, just to make sure he’s ok.
The intricate process was filmed and time lapsed. Check out the video below.