Wednesday, August 10, 2011


  Everyone knows Tobias Yves Zintel is a German artist of note. But few realize that he has been writing criticism for years under various names. I sat down with him recently to discuss his eclectic approach to getting criticism in print.

MO- You were born in Munich in 1975. What were you doing in the 90's?
TYZ- I was working various dead-end jobs and going to art school. Germany at the time was still reeling from reunification. Many people from the East were flooding West. It was like being stuck in the arm with a syringe filled with energy. The "Easties" had no documentation. They were starting fresh. I coveted their anonymity. There was a small group of us working together. So I decided to steal an established critic's name to write about my friends and myself.
MO- Who was your first critic?
TYZ- I was only 20 in 1995 but I was fascinated by the way critics wrote about artists. Even older artists whose work bored me....I found the criticism more interesting than the art. In a bin outside my flat I found an old catalog from a show by Sigmar Polke. There was an essay by Friedrich Durrenmatt. I decided to steal his name and write about my own work in super-glowing ways under this name.
MO- Did you get published?
TYZ- I published it myself on a xerox machine and got my friends to pass it around school. We were all so naive, but in a way this worked. I had no idea I was doing anything wrong or illegal. In art you have a duty to push the boundaries of what is accepted. Eventually it got in the hands of the school authorities and I was censored.
MO- Censored?
TYZ- They told me I would be kicked out of school if I did it again.
MO- But you did, no?
TYZ- Yes, of course. Who ever was publishing in the art magazines at the time I would steal their name and eventually I got published.
MO- Whose name finally got you in print?
TYZ- I can't say.
MO- Will you review your show here at MO David North?

At this point TYZ indicated that the interview was over and his handlers ushered him out of the room.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home