Thoughts in handwriting, glued next to each other, with golden contrasts: the trained tattoo artist Daniel Potrykus became an artist during Corona. © mik
The Dachau tattoo artist Daniel Potrykus exhibits for the first time in the Small Old Town Gallery. An exhibition that would never have existed without the pandemic.
Dachau – If it hadn't been for the pandemic, the exhibition that opens today in the Small Old Town Gallery would probably never exist. Daniel Potrykus, a tattoo artist from Dachau, was not allowed to pursue his creative activity during the lockdowns, which is why he wanted to use his newfound time. "I've always been interested in writing, but I've never had time to deal with it," says the 29-year-old.
First exhibition for Dachau tattoo artists
He began to study calligraphy very closely, watched videos and tutorials on the Internet, bought books and taught himself the art of beautiful writing. "I learned to write every night," he says. He drew the alphabet up and down on his guides, letter by letter, in handwriting.
He transforms his writing into art
Eventually, he began to transform his writing into art. "It was important to me to find my own style," he says. On canvases and now also on other materials such as metal and discarded skateboards, he skilfully uses fonts as a stylistic device. The letters create shapes such as circles and other compositions, and deliberately used colors such as black and gold create expressive contrasts.
In his latest works, he works with several layers, which he creates through neatly cut lettering glued on top of each other. This creates depth. In other paintings, he allows objects such as a spray can or a black hand to protrude from his paintings, creating closeness. Through all this, he creates a total work of art in which the content of the words seems almost irrelevant. But the meaning of the words is just as important to Potrykus as the perfection of color, font style and composition. "I will hang the texts from the pictures legibly next to the picture again," he promises.
In everyday life, he writes down his thoughts on certain situations and experiences on his notepad or mobile phone – both good and bad. His thoughts can come to him while driving, working, drawing or listening to music, he lists examples. There may only be one sentence at the beginning, but it can happen that "two days later I come up with a rhyme about it," he describes.
Birth of daughter inspired him
The birth of his daughter, for example, was such an experience that makes him look at the world with new eyes. A joint work by the two entitled "First Words" also hangs in the gallery. "My daughter painted wildly and colorfully with finger paints on paper," he says. On the uninhibited red, yellow, blue and green blobs, he calligraphed the words mom, dad, no, cat and more with white paint – just her first words.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
For his lettering, "Da.Poty", as the artist calls himself on social networks, uses various brushes, calligraphy pencils and feathers. Paper also plays a major role for him. In the work "Generational Conflict", for example, he wrote words such as facts, opinion, discussion and meaning on papyrus, cut it up and intertwined the strips again like a woven carpet.
For the artist and family man, it is now the first solo exhibition at the Rock-Paper-Scissors Association, having previously shown a small selection at the Freiraum Dachau and at the "Stroke Art Fair" in Munich. As part of this exhibition entitled "First Words", which can be seen until 18 June, he also offers calligraphy workshops.
On June 11 and 17, from 12 noon to 16 p.m., he will guide participants to take their first steps in calligraphy. The material is provided by the artist, the workshops are free of charge, but donations are welcome. Why should you try calligraphy yourself? "Because there is nothing better than, for example, a beautiful handwritten letter in the mailbox. Otherwise, you'll only find invoices there."
"First Words" by the artist Daniel Potrykus in the Kleine Altstadt Galerie, Burgfriedenstraße 3, opens with a vernissage on Thursday, June 1, from 18 to 20 pm. After that, the exhibition will be open every Thursday and Friday from 18 p.m. to 18 p.m. and on Sundays from 20 p.m. to 14 p.m. until June 16. Registrations for the calligraphy workshops by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.