Beazarility is the artist name of Lars Brehm, creative designer and mixed media (z)artist in daily life. Zart caught the attention of Beazarility just in time. Not because he will be on a long holiday, on the contrary, but because of recent successes. Brehm may soon belong to the select group of most wanted artists as he will be exposing his work at the prestigious art fair Art Basel Miami as a member of the Amsterdam Street Artists collective (ASA). He is invited to participate in the collective as an artist because his style and motives as expressed in the diverse range of works are deeply rooted in street art. Or “the street” as he says himself.
Who takes a look at the work of Beazarility will immediately see that anything he creates breathes Amsterdam. The city itself is at the centre of his work an defines both form and content. The streets of Amsterdam and street life come back on a very regular basis. Hence Brehm at a certain point was labeled as “street”. Brehm who is basically a graphic designer, was a bit surprised about the invitation by ASA at first, as he never thought he was actually making work that would fit in the category street art.
One is inclined to associate street art with graffiti art. All hand work. He tells us that he felt a bit intimidated in the beginning by the skills of his ASA colleagues. “ The other artists”, Brehm explains,”are all working with paint and spray cans, they can do a live performance, I just draw and scan or use photo’s then in the end i put everything together by the computer. I am a digital artist. This different way of working made me a bit nervous at first”. Brehm’s ties with the street art scene are most obviously present in his works Skull Onbenul, The Eye of the City and Amstellodami Prostitutia. Whatever label anyone wants to put on Brehm, Zart loves him anyway.
Recurrent Motives– Skulls, Red Light District and Repetition
The skull seems to be a recurrent element in Brehm’s work. When asked about the skull motive Brehm says” I find skulls very impressive for some reason. On the one hand it is a dark symbol. I like dark elements, especially in combination with colour. To contrast it. To colour the dark. Skull Onbenul is inspired by the Mexican sugar skull “. The sugar skull is part of the traditional Mexican holiday, Dia de Muertos. Day of the dead symbolises death and rebirth.
Skull Onbenul means so much as ‘skull ignoramus’. This is a work that has a special place in its creators heart. Brehm kick started his career as a mixed media artist with exposing a work at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam during the Museum Night’s “50 minutes of fame” in 2007. While most artist have to work for years to get picked up by any museum, this Zartist just sent some work in for a contest and was singled out right from the start by the Stedelijk Museum. This piece was Skull Onbenul.
The transition from one thing into another, from the old into something new, from darkness to light is obvious in Brehm’s work but very explicit in Amstellodami Prostitutia and Stranger at Red Light. The first work is an ode to Amsterdam’s most famous area, where as the second incorporates a firm critique as well. Brehm’s works expresses a nostalgic feeling on the vanishing of the oldest part of the city and at the same shows it in its contemporary form. A clever blend of the old world and the new. The city of Amsterdam, especially the Red Light District, has been radically transformed. The Red Light District has been heavily under attack and is now reduced to a few sanitised streets. “Amstellodami Prostitutia celebrates the raw edges of the city, the dirt and the vile”, Brehm explains. “This raw side has been an inspiration ever since I was a boy. It is a pity that this part of city life slowly disappears. If one can still find it at all. When I see a movie in which people fantasise about Amsterdam, I realise at the same time how privileged we are to live here. I try to give the old red Light and its new form a place in my work” Brehm finishes.
Brehm at the same time acknowledges that the famous district has a dark side as well. He is nostalgic and critical at the same time. He vision is shown in Stranger at Red Light. The image draws the eye of the viewer literally into a black hole. It mirrors the feeling a stranger in Amsterdam must have when he wonders through the night, crosses the bridge to the Red Light District and finds himself suddenly in a “black hole”. It creates a feeling of estrangement and makes you feel lost. Brehm makes you literally go wondering around in the dark here.
Another motif we see in the work of Beazarility is repetition. Brehm’s love for repetitive patterns becomes very clear in The Eye of the City. The repetitive pattern of the houses and its round form mirror the architecture of the city that is build in a round form around the canals. “I am a graphic designer after all, i like patterns and to go wild with colour”.
Who wants to see more of Beazarility can contact Zart or have a look at Brehm’s website. Brehm will be up to some interesting projects in the near future. He plans to launch a nostalgic t-shirt line and of course be busy with preparing the Amsterdam Street Art project. We will keep you posted!