Tobias Kröger also known as Tobe, a pseudonym he adopted during his years as a graffiti artist, opened last Friday “Face-Off”, his first solo exhibition unveiling a completely new body of work presented under his real name.

“Face-Off” consists of 40 paintings and drawings and reflects a new stage in Tobias Kröger’s art, going from a bright expressionistic style to a darker and consistent cubist inspired approach to painting. The result is an interesting mix that combines his classical art training and experience as a street art artist and graphic designer.

As you enter the exhibition space located in a beautiful brick building, you find yourself confronted with dark and delicate portraits mounted with a sense of architectural narrative that highlights the already clear references to traditional modern painting, specially Braque’s cubism and Arcimboldo’s surreal portraits of flowers and fruits.

As soon as you get closer, the cubist face structures reveal themselves to us in countless and interesting shapes and details inviting the viewer to deconstruct them for so put them together again so that they make sense. Behind the façade of graphic elements and bio technical implants we found human emotions an impulses that in many way remind hidden. One of these recurrent details is the monolith, which according to the artist plays a central role in his work having the faculty to disturb and trouble the viewer, challenging the way we look at pictures.

Kröger’s current work deals with the idea of self-understanding in a technological world. His fictional portraits are composed of fragments of different kinds that, put together, give form to his concern about what it means to be an individual in a digital world. Kröger highlights this dichotomy by making use of traditional painting techniques and the graphic approach of street art, giving in this way room to what he calls “an interesting discussion regarding present and past, masses and individuals, communication and isolation”.

Tobias Kröger succeed in this exhibition to build a bridge between traditional portraiture and the kind of self-presentation we are used to in the Digital Age. Certainly an interesting subject.

Fran Cacirano

‘Face-Off’ will be open to the public on the following days:
Sat 17.05 . , Wed 21.05 . , Thu 22.05 . , Fr 23.05. and Tuesday 27.05. between 15-19 pm at  iD workshop GfG / group of Design – Überseestadt / Old Customs Office on Waller Stieg 1/28217 Bremen (right next to the restaurant ”fire station”)