What's the outcome when traditional etching techniques meet modern illustrations and character design?
Let's say it's a whole new beast! Check out Andreas Pistner's characteristic blend of all schools, new and old, in our interview.
58A: When you were first confronted with etching – was it love at first sight?
Andreas Pistner: Yes, I guess you can say that. The smell was especially rad. Although I noticed that the term “etching” tends to bring up a pretty crooked and incorrect perception with some people. When I talk to people I always tell them: I’m doing copper tattoos – and I’m lovin’ it.
58A: Etching is a pretty intense process as far as the materials go. How long does it usually take until you have the first print in your hands (including sleep and restroom breaks)?
Andreas Pistner: An eternity and three days. Roughly speaking, always three times longer than simply using pen and ink. If it’s an etching with Aquatinta, you can add one more day. And every print takes about an hour, since it’s a rotogravure process. But all that time pays off in the end, since you end up having more than one original. Plus I also sleep and use the restroom quite a lot, but not at the same time.
58A: Looking at your images, they have a very distinct and recognizable look. Is there a technique that you haven’t tried yet but would like to play with?
Andreas Pistner: There are still a couple – but I always want to keep working with etching and continue experimenting within that medium. Colored etchings or the “verni mou” technique (rougher and quicker etchings with a wax coating). But I also would like to mess with a brush and paints gain, whenever my time and money allow for it. And painting gigantic walls, using spray cans, of course.
58A: What if it wasn’t for drawing – what else are you passionate about?
Andreas Pistner: Graffiti and Rock’n Roll!
58A: Tell us about the HessianStateGallery...
Andreas Pistner: Well, we’re not really the officially elected government in this state, but as the young princes of this place we felt obligated to start up a cultural initiative and create a State Gallery, which has been missing so far, quite shockingly. Our approach is very exclusive but also family-oriented. Our main target demographic consists of French libertines from the 1920s, Mexican bean farmers with sons named Raoul and of course these small Japanese girls who dress up like their comic book heroes. We like to use the pseudonym HSG, which can stand for HessischeStaatsGalerie but also HangtimeSplinterGroup, HermeticShrubberyGardeners or HellaSweetGuys, if you will.
58A: Every artist needs an inspiring environment. Is the town of Wiesbaden enough for you?
Andreas Pistner: Ah, no! I mean, I kind of became attached to Wiesbaden, but I’m also headed out on inspirational journeys every year. Würzburg, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna... Würzburg is important since my creative roots are right here. Vienna is simply fabulous. And I’ll travel further, whenever I get the chance...
58A: Another question – Schnitzel with baked potatoes or Tabbouleh with lots of parsley?
Andreas Pistner: Schnickety-Schnitzel, of course!
58A: Aside from world peace, what’s your greatest wish right now?
Andreas Pistner: You should never lose sight of world peace, and then I have three more wishes on top...
58A: And something else: What’s your next big purchase going to be?
Andreas Pistner: Either crack or an ice cube selection. Or finally an artificial appendix. Maybe also a bionic arm or some of the stuff available for sale on this website...