The Miracle of Berlin
Berlin based artist ATAK (born 1967, alias Georg Barber) started out as a street artist and cartoonist and evolved to illustrator of picture books. Patiently and with a stunning lightness, he has created the miracle of Berlin in his flat in an old building in the bustling neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg. Opulent gardens blossom in stylised landscapes; flora and fauna shine in happy forceful colours, sometimes creating a sharp contrast. They all appear at their best, as they used to on the old-fashioned wall charts: owls, woodpeckers, kingfishers, butterflies, and deer. And out of the blue, cartoon characters such as Mickey, Batman, Snoopy or Barbapapa appear on the scene. Other affairs go topsy-turvy too: a punk lends a helping hand to a homeless banker, the rabbit targets the hunter, and the jockey shoulders the horse. The exhibition at the Cartoonmuseum Basel presents ATAK’s illustrations, selected and arranged by himself. Other works on display – created by ATAK and his students – refer to selected cartoons in the museum’s collection. ATAK was born in Frankfurt (Oder, Germany). His father was an art teacher, his mother a textile designer. After his training in sign painting and graphic design in the former German Democratic Republic, he started off as a stencil street artist, and drew his first cartoons. After the fall of the Berlin wall he studied Visual Communication at the Berlin University of the Arts and was a founding member of the comic group and magazine “Renate”. Today he lives and works in Berlin as a free artist and illustrator, and teaches at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle.
Curator: Anette Gehrig