Abstract, overlay, experiment; these three concepts are representative of the intension behind Sven Egert’s artistic work (* 1980 in Chur). For years, the Swiss artist with roots in the Grisons region has dedicated himself to free painting, which he further developed with various techniques and materials. It is an experimental and multi-stage work process that leads to the production of new pieces. He paints, sprays, glues, collages and often in several layered layers. Sven Egert uses various materials such as canvas, glass, plastic mats, styrofoam or photographed artwork as image carrier. The process he uses is to examine the reciprocal interaction of the application of materials, while considering the possibilities of the interpretation of shape.
When looking at his works, the closeness to the graffiti and spraying scene is striking. This comes from the early years of his youth, when Sven Egert gained his first painting and drawing experiences during nocturnal adventures. Over the years, he has been able to develop a distinct personal style that gives his work a high degree of recognition. Sven Egert’s work captivates with its multitude of individual shapes and colors, without resorting to objectivity. Rather, his abstract works are a complex interplay between foreground, medium and background, which simultaneously create an ambivalence between transparency and opacity.
In the new collection «Untitled», Sven Egert experiments with changes in the surface texture of foamed plastics. The starting material is a special kind of expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is mainly used for the production of architectural models. The light blueish, slightly-porous ground substance of the material is covered in advance with various stencils and adhesive structures in order to dust them with a chemical-corrosive substance (nitro thinner). The result is a unique, subtle change in the surface texture, which evokes an elevation difference in some places. Partial etching destroys certain polystyrene layers, while others remain through the adhesive covering and, in the final interaction, create a novel surface structure. The artistic process involves targeted and controlled damage to the material in favour of a changed design.
Also made of polystyrene (styrofoam) are the three-dimensional sculptures, which Sven Egert developed as a continuous production series. The artist processes the raw material with chemical solvents, thus breaking down the stability of the polystyrene structure. The result is a transformation of the original form, creating a decaying, karst-like substance, which he then covers with black or silver paint. The hardness of the material influences the new design language as well as the quantitative use of the chemicals.
In several works, Sven Egert combines his painting with various plastic mats. These mats are usually used as drainage systems, in the interior of automobiles or as special plastic floor coverings, which allow winter sports activities such as ski jumping and cross-country skiing in the summer months. In the first step, Sven Egert uses a matt lacquer spray paint on cardboard and glass to create abstract image forms that change between splinter-like and roundish. The work is then overlaid with plastic and rubber mats, with round, angular and wavy patterns that partially cover the background, monochrome spray surfaces. The result is a material and colour interplay between foreground and background, which is able to visually irritate the eye of the beholder. The assemblages, a mixture of painting and three-dimensional objects on a flat image carrier, look like digital maps with a relief character and a sensory perception.
Glass as picture carrier / Glass as frame
In the three-part series «Plastic Karma», Sven Egert applies a reciprocal design process by additionally adding a sprayed glass plate over the plastic mats. The works are condensed into a multi-layered composition of color, plastic and glass. This multifunctional material application results in a design layer interplay, resulting in a pronounced depth of field look through.