Eins92 specialises in beautifully-detailed stencils produced on a small scale. The subjects of his stencils are often friends and colleagues from the world of street art and graffiti. Because of their relatively small size and often subtle placement, it can be easy to miss an Eins92 piece, but once spotted each piece of his work is captivating in its skill and execution. This year, Eins92 has contributed work to Upfest in Bristol and City of Colours in Birmingham, and has also been a regular visitor to #southseaghetto. Eins92 paid Southsea a visit over the recent August Bank Holiday, just before his return journey to Germany.
We managed to catch up with Eins92 to ask him a few questions about his work.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I’m a stencil artist from Germany, who just spent a year studying in the UK. It was in 2002-03 that I started painting classic graffiti and got involved with stencils a few years later. None of my friends were interested in graffiti and drawing, so it was hard to develop and get better, as there was no one to talk to and share the interest with. In about 2005, I somehow found the forum stencilrevolution.com where I printed my first ready-to- cut stencils from. I was hooked from that point on. I stopped painting classic graffiti and spent all my time creating stencils. With practise they evolved from simple one layers to intricate multi-layered stencils, ranging in size from 5x6cm to 2x2m.
Which other street artists inspire you?
• Penny (!!!!!)
• My Dog Sighs
• Conor Harrington
• Fin DAC
Why did you decide to make small-scale stencils?
Everybody goes large at the moment. It is all about several storey high murals. The bigger the better. I kind of oppose that trend. It was not a deliberate decision, but I just love cutting tiny cuts. Also I think that the purpose of stencils is to paint at small scale. Not forcibly as tiny as I do, but not mega-large, because at some point there is no need for a stencil anymore. It can be painted freehand. Furthermore, I want to challenge people. They have to discover the small stencils and go to them, put effort into exploring them. It was interesting to see at City of Colours 2016, where I acted as free-roaming artist painting my small stencils all over the area, that my stencils were mostly discovered by children. They seem to be more attentive for details and adults just walk past them staring at massive walls. But when they discover a small stencil they get excited and smile.
What do you like so much about visiting #southseaghetto?
I always enjoyed the warm welcome I received when I arrive in #southseaghetto. Many of the people seem more open to street art than people of Birmingham (where I studied). Also I love it being located at the seaside, which is always exciting for me as I am from the most continental area of Europe far from the coast. Although wind is a stencilist’s biggest enemy! Then I love the Tea Tray run by FarkFK and Lilou. Great food, great art, always spots available where you can paint legally and just a great place for networking and meeting people.
What are your plans for your street art in the future?
My plans are to visit Southsea again as soon as possible – there are still some walls lacking paint! And going to City of Colours 2017, if it takes place (fingers crossed they get the funding).Apart from that I have no more plans as I have to do grown-up stuff.
How does the street art scene in the UK compared with Germany?
Germany is more about classic graffiti, trains and bombing. Street art is mainly in Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig. But even these cities are dominated by graffiti. So the scene is much smaller. In person, I only know four street artists based in Germany. The street art scene in the UK is much larger. There are so many graffiti and street art festivals in the UK like Upfest, City of Colours, Sea Sand Spray, Gloucester Paint Jam – to name just a few. In Germany I only know about Meeting of Styles, which still is mainly graffiti. Maybe it is partly due to Banksy that street art is bigger in the UK. Or maybe Banksy is from the UK because street art is bigger here? I don’t know. But the fact is that I don’t know of any places in Germany which can be compared to London’s Brick Lane, Bristol, Brighton or now aspiring Weston- Super-Mare (and the #southseaghetto!).
For more of Eins92’s work: @Eins.92
Interview and Photography by @howardhurd