Some start small; Tobias Kroeger started rather large. Inspired by the New York City subway graffitis of the 1990’s, he sprayed his first works of art in his hometown of Bremen, Germany, at the age of 12. Kroeger spent his youth exploring the boundaries of the genre: Out of the typical imagery of graffiti, he developed his own iconography, and finally transported this style on to classic canvas – since 2013, his focus has been on using oil and acrylic paints.
Kroeger has catapulted the classical portrait—in which he often inserts quotes—into the digital world of ones and zeros. When speaking about his works, Kroeger talks about data fragments and machine elements, of heteronomy and life dreams that have little space under the conditions of mechanization and, therefore, get lost in standardized conditions.
He repeatedly plays with strong abstractions, but inserts figurative elements and colour schemes to guide the viewer. Unlike in previous phases of his work, he uses an impasto technique, incorporating intense yellow, orange, blue or pink, and then binds them together with various shades of grey. This mixing of traditional analogue techniques and bold colours creates a three-dimensional image that online appears to be two-dimensional – also on this level Kroeger allows a more complex analogue artwork compared to its digital pendant.
Through the filter of his early urban art influences, Kroeger takes the historically important theme of portraiture and combines it with a binary presence to create a contemporary portrait of man in the 21st century – both on large walls and on canvas, and by the standards of actual, artistic greatness.
1998 – Groupshow “Graffiti Art” / Galerie Steinbrecher, Bremen (Germany)
2005 – Groupshow “Das unbekannte Meisterwerk” / Bremen Art Centre Buntentor, Bremen (Germany)
2012 – Groupshow “Cantamananas” / Contemporary Art Centre, Huarte (Spain)
2013 – Soloshow “Macrocosmic Masks” / Underpressure, Hamburg (Germany)
2014 – Groupshow “A Major Minority” / 1AM Gallery, San Francisco (USA)
2014 – Groupshow “Die tragbare Ausstellung” / GaDeWE, Bremen (Germany)
2014 – Soloshow “Face-Off” / GfG Gruppe für Gestaltung, Bremen (Germany)
2014 – Groupshow “Katzen gehen immer” / Affenfaust Gallery, Hamburg (Germany)
2014 – Groupshow “KNOTENPUNKT 14” / Affenfaust Gallery, Hamburg (Germany)
2015 – Soloshow “FOOLS” / kunstmix – Produzentengalerie im Schnoor, Bremen (Germany)
2016 – Soloshow “Playground” / Hugo 45 Gallery, Braunschweig (Germany)
2016 – Groupshow “MenschTierWir” / Affenfaust Gallery, Hamburg (Germany)
2017 – Groupshow “Abstract” / 44309 Streetart Gallery, Dortmund (Germany)
2017 – Groupshow “Another view” / Plastic Murs Gallery, Valencia (Spain)
2017 – Groupshow “Anamorphic Portraiture” / Mirus Gallery, San Francisco (USA)
2017 – Groupshow “Nord Nord Ost” / Kolly Gallery, Zurich (Switzerland)
2017 – Soloshow “Masquerade” / Mirus Gallery, San Francisco (USA)
2018 – Soloshow “Windows” / Peggy Gallery, Bremen (Germany)
2019 – Duoshow “Two for Tomorrow” w. Nawer / 44309 Streetart Gallery, Dortmund (Germany)