KRM and The Spirit of the Wall

KRM is a couple of Franco-German artists Chérif Zerdoumi and Geza Jäger who create imaginary walls on wood. The Spirit of the Wall (L’Esprit Du Mur) reveals a portrait of city life and expresses freely inner contradictions, suffering and joy. Their exhibition at Kuwait’s Sultan Gallery runs thru’ 16th February 2017.

Chérif and Geza assume an iconoclastic and rebellious urban art, based on human tragedy and the complexity of being.  Their story began at the foot of the Berlin Wall, where Geza comes from. Since then, the walls have become their support. Playing a four hand on the canvas, they enrich their turns and supports by superposition, until finding a common stability, respecting the law of painting. The result is an explosion of colour, emotion and different techniques.  This artistic tandem is today in the largest collections of contemporary art in the world. Called KRM (their signum), they chose the dog, symbol of fidelity, as emblem. One finds it in stencil on their works. 

Your artwork blends so well together, what is your artistic process? Do you work simultaneously?

You could compare our working process to two musicians who are improvising together, playing music together, simultaneously or in dialogue; there is no routine and no rules, we are both completely free to do and act towards our canvas; there is no “sacred God artist”, we both have the total right to intervene, to accomplish or even to destroy all pictorial gestures of the partner, the impact is free and total. This working process creates a certain temporality which interests us; and is specific for walls; this way – the concept includes it – we provoke “lucky coincidences, spontaneous matching accidents”, which cannot issue from premeditation.

Do you collaborate on both the ideas and composition of the work?

Question one answers partly. There is no premeditation, nor collaboration, all working process and acting is instinctive and spontaneous; the “Art” is to get to capture, express and control instantly the spontaneous energy and pictorial gestures; philosophically the pictorial content is based on human tragedy and complexity of life. 

How do you know when a work is finished? 

The work is finished when the ephemera is stabilised, when the pictorial expression accomplishes the composition rules including significance and a message.

All the paintings are finished with and by KRM, without forgetting the running dog; he comes and integrates himself into the painting, the fragment of the wall; as the poet and witness of the street.

What experience do you want people to have in your show?

We don’t give solutions to tragedy; but we like to show that there is also beauty, hidden in cruelty; complexity of life and authenticity that life encloses in and combines us all.

Simon Balsom