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GRRRR - objectivity of the unperfect,

During an internet wandering, and thanks to excellent K-SET website, I found the link to swiss drawing artist GRRRR website I was looking for a long time. Though I'm fan for a long time of his work, from Maika 2 (www.noraduester.net => music) record sleeve to Vitra 2006 catalogue, I hardly found traces of his activity. (GRRRR - 4 Rs - is not an easy keyword for google search! ).



Impressive urban landscapes, where structure, destruction and chaos are harmoniously gathered through organic black lines. Between meditative observation, and witnessing nervous and versatile urban activity, GRRRR works oscillate between ligne claire and expressionism, linking harmony and defaults...


Drawings also express a web cultural background infused with squats, human photocamera and alternative comics. Those images are the humble wanderer and patient retranscription of unspectacular scenes, half molded by human hands, half by traces of complexity of nature.

If drawings shows industrial objects, it is with the defaults of the human hand. If they show human construction, it is with long and patient observation and retranscription of its activity.


I was surprised to find digital version of his illustrations, where crude pixelated treatment to drawing emphases radicaly and harmoniously his drawing style. Moreover, animated movies and music videos testimonates of a serious activity, out of the boundaries of inked paper.

The GRRRR link page was also a good surprise. Among others, there are links to few open source applications we're used to play with, such as Gimp, Inkscape and so on... Curiosity convinced me to go over shyness, and contact him, though I'm not use to such intrusive behavior...

After an exchange of few emails, GRRRR kindly accepted to give a little interview.
Here it is.

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- May you introduce your work?

i do drawings:

i start my work with pen, paper and a nice spot for a little rest and to have a seat... then my goal is to fill the very last corner of that sheet of paper with observations my surroundings, these drawings later evolve into murals, picturebooks, animations and other media.

i started with comics which lead me into drawing on the street to have any backgrounds for the stories, this than turned into a large collection of "urban-landscape"-drawings from where i started a research in density/patterns/"bildrauschen" which will lead into...?
...and very soon after i self-published comics i began to put my work on the internet (see www.GRRRR.net), i really like the anarchistic, self-expressive and low-cost aspect of this worldwide network and update my website regularly.

- What is the background you're coming from?

i have been raised lowerclass by my single mother but in switzerland - quite a rich country, so im more like from the middleclass... and then came comics, squats, artschool, internet, extensive travelling, artmarket...

right now im high on books ;)...

  • How did you get into open source softwares?*

out of curiosity, because open-source belongs to everyone and the best things in life are free... :)

- Did the use of open source softwares changed the way you work?

Not directly, but its generally better to work with open structures, when i started publishing on the net i also thought about using (at that time still proprietary) flash-graphics, but vectors didn't fit my drawings, i much prefered the pixelated gifs and pngs, and the HTML-structure proofed to be much more extendable, cross-platform-friendly and able to stand the time...

i was about to learn linux but then mac went unix too and i got lazy ;)...
i work on mac os x, with programs like:
mpeg streamclip
pure data extended

- Why do you consider FLOSS softwares more appropriate to your practice than commercial ones?

1. free of charge, you pay what you want/can...
2. it is public property, i love public space in general...

- Is it a problem to use those softwares compared to print workflow or standards?

yes and no; as artist i try to do things differently, some disadvantages can turn out to be inputs for new ideas...
but till now i haven't found an opensource-program for my animation-work, so I still have to this with an old apple-software...

- Do you know other artists or designers working with FLOSS?

just a few, generally its only those creative people that come from the conceptual, the computer-programing side who are into linux and opensource... visual designers working on macs don't care, for example they're too lazy to install first x11 and then the gimp etc... though its really not that complicated: i just managed to install scribus with fink :) (though my first attempt, installing it
through macports failed...)

all you need is an internet-connection, a little time but most important: curiosity!