Trees, cars, suns, doodles… Matthias Mross, born in Freisig in 1986, remembers having a brush in his hand from an early age, constantly reproducing through his children’s eyes the world that surrounds him: 90’s Germany. This brush, he’ll never take it off his hand ever, even when he decided to accompany it with a bomb when he discovers the art of graffiti during is teenage years.
This passion for painting, he developed it during his illustration studies, during which he skipped the first year, convincing the director by his work and his arrogance that he didn’t need it. Accustomed to the use of pencils, markers, and spray cans, working with brushes opens up new perspectives for him but above all, allows him to refine his technique, leaving the thrill of the spray for the creation of complex paintings.
After obtaining his diploma in 2010, Matthias Mross created with Lion Fleischmann and Sebastian Wandl, whom he met during his art studies, the collective Haus 75, in reference to the house on Geyerspergerstrasse 75. This building, aged of over one hundred years old, becomes the heart of the creation process for the three friends. They settle there to share artistic projects in group while developing their own styles alongside.
Under their hands, the house transformed itself into a work of art which fluctuate according to their creations: walls and ceilings filled with photos, dining table stained with paintings as if they desire to leave a trace of every creation, use of the materials found in the cellar… Geyerspergerstrasse 75 is a place of life, a studio, a repository of material, and a source of inspiration that will push Matthias to stay even when his two friends leave the place for new horizons.
The authentic and spontaneous character of this place, Matthias transcribes it in his creations: whether it’s on large-scale frescoes or on canvas, his work revolves around the urban world, but more particularly moments of life, faces, slums, and poverty. He draws his inspiration from his many travels around the world and in the various streets of international cities where the protagonists of the scenes he transcribes goes from the homeless people of Los Angeles to a Moroccan or a Vietnamese street vendors.
Urban Cowboys is the highlighting of this urban world left behind, in real life as in graffiti, with the central theme of the cowboy kids of Dublin, these boys in tracksuit who ride their horses without a saddle in the parking lot of their neighborhood, a rite of passage in the Irish gypsy community where horse riding in the middle of the city and selling horse at the Smithfield horse fair is a transition to adulthood for the youngest.
This crossing of two worlds, Matthias brought it to light by the mixtures of materials: spray cans, acrylic paint, markers, brushes, spatulas, collages, iron foil… Matthias Mross combines elaborate layers of paint on repeating floral motifs or particular fabrics, making details that we discover little by little in front of his works and creating an additional structure, but also a depth that brings reflection on the protagonists of the street, who don’t just pass, but survive there, and that Matthias Mross has decided to represent.