We've been interested in the work of Angela Dalinger for quite some time now. Her ever-distinctive style immediately caught our eye when we first spotted her work making waves through the world of tumblr. Taking notes from the art brut movement of the late 40's, Dalinger's work uses relatively 'simple' techniques to portray the ordinary & mundane, but equally out of this world happenings (see "Werewurf") in a light that is totally raw and honest.
With her dark sense of humor and knack for creating characters that are at the same time both haunting and endearing, Dalinger manages to blend a truly unique combination of elements that is incredibly captivating. We for one can't quite get enough of these original pieces!
With that being said, it's been our great pleasure to have had the opportunity to catch up with the incredibly talented an elusive character that is Angela Dalinger.
Let's start at the beginning: Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Cloppenburg and grew up in Essen Oldb, a small town of 10,000 in the ugly part of Lower Saxony. It's 2 hours in the south-west of Hamburg. Right now I live in a small flat with my 2 cats, mother and son, called Fluffy and Paul. It's right next to a 10 km² huge forest in the tiny town of Neetzendorf of 100 inhabitants.
Was it difficult growing up in such a small town?
It was both difficult and easy. It's a managable amount of people and you know most of them. But I also felt alone with some of my interests -- I didn't have anyone that showed me nice art, literature or music. Living in Hamburg was nice for that, I really enjoyed going to concerts but I grew a bit sick of the city itself.
So how come you left Hamburg?
I'm not used to the these masses of people, although Hamburg is really not that big compared to other cities. I felt distracted by everything and it was a constant stimulus satiation. And moving to this small town was great for my creativity, I was letting it all out again.
I'm hearing owls sing and foxes bark from my window instead of drunken teenagers and cars. That was nice to discover. I'm aware now what a deep impact the city had on my soul and inspiration.
When did you first start painting?
I copied Roy Lichtenstein paintings, using a grid pattern when I was about 16, because I just wanted to hang them on my wall. I liked Pop-Art back then, but not anymore. I guess I was never really technically talented.
Meanwhile I have a use for it in my naive paintings although I always have to remind myself that it's ok to get a wrong perspective or paint a buckled line.
"I guess I was just busy rebelling against what others wanted me to do."
Is it something you always wanted to do?
No, I was just hoping everyone would let me do nothing, if I wanted to. I guess I was just busy rebelling against what others wanted me to do.
Are there any particular artists that you really draw from?
No, but I'm always afraid of it. I try not to look too intensely at other peoples work because I don't like to copy from anyone. I just like to see from my own naive eyes.
You recently released your first comic, "the Werewurf", can you tell us a little bit about that?
The Werewurf is actually a Weremole! Many people think its a wolf but it's not. Mole is called "Maulwurf" in German. It's the first comic I've done.
"I found it very funny to convert him into a mole, messing around in the soil and bashing in the metal singers face, because I don't like Heavy Metal."
I don't usually like comics (I don't like to read them) but I was surprisingly asked to do one for the last issue of the german comic magazine Orang. It wasn't paid but I'm always excited about new tasks. The theme for the magazine was Heavy Metal and the Werewurf story was very sponateous.
The guy went out of the club and stood under a full moon and I found it very funny to convert him into a mole, messing around in the soil and bashing in the metal singers face, because I don't like Heavy Metal.
What's one of the most exciting projects you've worked on or are currently working on?
This week I'm busy being excited about my show in Belgium next week. But I want to work on more Werewurf stories when I come back. I already have a second one finished and I'll try to find a publisher for that.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope that I'll be able to make a living from my paintings.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to have my little house in the sticks and a little man who lives with me.
Who is an artist you would love to collaborate with?
I'd say Conor O'Brien, the pate of Villagers, a very good band from Ireland, for everyone who might not know. I'd like to do something like Nick Caves "Murder Ballads" but just a book, no music. I'm sadly very unmusical. I'd paint and he'd write and draw about gloomy and twisted things.... I'll dream on.
Who are some of your favourite artists right now?
Who is a dream client you would love to work with?
I'm not sure... I got a job for this summer. I'm doing a poster for the Rock en Seine Festival in France. Every act which will be playing there gets an individual poster from different artists. I've heard Vandenbroucke will also do a poster.
Right now I'm listening to… Villagers "Awaysland" , The Doors "Soft Parade", Patrick WatsonFleet Foxes,..
The last good movie I saw was… I have a lot of movie tips: Melancholia and Anti-Christ by Lars von Trier; A scandinavian movie named "Babycall"; Palindrome ( very nice ); Love is the Devil ( about Francis Bacon, the artist ); Import Export by Ulrich Seidl; We need to talk about Kevin with Tilda Swinton; Everything that Gus van Sant did and of course David Lynch.
The last book I read was… Right now, it's "Life is Elsewhere" by Milan Kundera. It's great. My recommendation for writers.
In my spare time I love to… paint, drink coffee and smoke cigarettes
I wish I could travel to… Great Britain, I have no money for that right now. I should try to get a gallery over there, that would give me a reason. If there is anyone from Liverpool, London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc. who'd like to show my works... CONTACT ME!
After a long hard days work I like to unwind by… having a nice coffee pot, smoking cigarettes and sitting on my laptop.
If I wasn't painting I would be… probably dead or seriously disabled.