Nicholas Ganz was born in the Ruhr city of Essen in 1976. He works as a journalistic street artist, photographer and author.
When he was able to read, “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende was the first book, that cast a spell over him. The graphic composition with the two text colours and the chapter images by Roswitha Quadflieg had a very deep impact on him. Since then he painted, wrote and photographed every now and then, until he started to spay his first graffiti on walls in 1994. He bought his first reflex camera and documented his own works and the pieces of other graffiti artists. With this he had found two tools, that accompany him until today. Nicholas successfully completed his education as a sign artist and achieved a graphic diploma, but remained a self-educated person. He learned through books and practical experiences. Especially his journalistic projects in the crisis region of Burma/Myanmar and Thailand influenced the direction of his work deeply.
Nicholas concentrates on niche subjects. He works genuine and is rarely using image editing software in his photography. It is important for Nicholas to portray the things he sees and observes as they are. Unfiltered and unadorned. For this, he follows clear aesthetic goals. In his opinion realness is one of the biggest gifts, that you do not need to change or deform. He operates with analogue, as well as digital cameras. Even in his paintings and sprayed works he hardly needs a computer.
With his extensive archive of graffiti and street art photographs, the idea of a picture book rose up. In 2004, he published “Graffiti World,” which became an international best-seller and was translated into eleven languages. The follower was a book about women in graffiti and he travelled to Burma/Myanmar for the very first time. There he documented the effects of the military dictatorship on the people and dived into the life of the world’s longest civil war with interviews and documental photos. He released his first text book about his time in Burma and had first achievements as a photojournalist.
Currently he carries his artistic and photographic work into the broader light of publicity. Nicholas organises exhibitions and writes and researches on new books.
I like contradictions. Life is full of contradictions. Like yin and yang, my paintings combine these opposites into an overall picture. The rapid application of paint with the spray can and the pause when painting with the brush, the clearly outlined areas of the stencil technique stand next to the merging colors of oil painting. I need these contrasts, because sometimes this fire blazes in me and at the same time I also enjoy the stillness of slowness. All this energy is transferred to my works.
I like to tell stories in my paintings. My focus is on the stories and experiences that can shape and define a personality. The stories I choose and portray connect with the experiences of the viewer. It is an invitation to linger and reflect.
Thus, I capture a meditative mood in my paintings and create works that do not pass like a brief moment. Just like a view from the train window, past which the world rushes and turns on.
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