Musician, illustrator, and conceptual artist, Jim Avignon has become one of Berlin’s most recognizable characters over the past two plus decades. Defiant and whimsical, his artistic actions embody and emit his core idea that art should be accessible to everyone. He has been developing this unorthodox approach since the early 90s, incorporating different performative and activist elements into his work.
Jim Avignon’s World
During the 1990s, Jim Avignon often exhibited his work in techno clubs and became known as the “painter of the techno scene”. Already in 1992 he suggested a direction in which his art was going to move, when he painted one artwork every day throughout the duration of Documenta in Kassel, destroying the very piece at the end of each day. In 2001, he was involved in removal of a Kurfürstendamm Buddy Bear he painted, stirring up local spirits and press. He painted in the streets, while his East Side Gallery mural rose to prominence, having been officially placed under the city’s monument protection act. Still, this mural cannot be seen today, because Avignon himself painted over it in 2013, organizing a flashmob and without an official permission.
A loud propagator of a democratic art world, Jim Avignon strives to keep his prices low and therefore, produces a large number of artworks every day. This act of defying the elitist art market is aided by the speed-painting process the artist perfected, while speed emerges as one of the key aspects of his method – he has been known to produce around good-scale 200 paintings in 3 weeks. In a manner of “Picasso on acid”, the fastest painter in the world cultivates a highly recognizable style of simplified, caricatural drawing and vibrant color infused with heaps of satire.
The Permanent Hello
In line with the latest works he produced for his exhibition “Permanent Jetlag” at Urban Spree, but also spinning off of the title of Neoangin (his musical moniker) album, “Highway to Hello”, Jim Avignon will present a series of works entitled “Permanent Hello” in the upcoming edition of BERLINER LISTE.
A virtuoso in witty social commentary, this speedy painter explores the balance between virtual and real life in his latest work, referring to the omnipresence and invasiveness of the Internet. Strolling through the weakest parts of human nature, the artist extracts the most striking moments that show the depth of the social media influence, mocking our constant efforts to stay on top of the gadget world. He plays with the notion of global village and comments the overwhelming outpour of information we are all subjected to. A seeming fantasy, his work is an appropriate allegory of our postmodern present, infested with epiphenomena such as boredom, indecisiveness and resignation. Cleverly referencing art historical imagery, pop culture, mass media, fairy tales, politics and universal desires Jim Avignon tells a not-so-funny story of our present, inviting us to rethink our priorities.