I’m visiting the studio of one Berlin’s most beloved street artist. Sitting in his sofa and surrounded by lots of spray cans, acrylics, old Chinese, Portuguese and German newspapers, images of Tin-Tin, typography and icon books, and hundreds of ice-pops made of all kind of material cover with a tick black moustache. I talk with the young artist in front of me, I’m trying to understand who or what da fuck is “Señor Schnu“.
While smoking a cigarette he repeats very confident “street art is kind of the new pop-art”, a concept that it’s easy to understand when you have followed the artist for a while and seen his ice-pops all around Berlin.
Original from Aachen, Germany, Señor Schnu is active in the streets since 2007, his work shows a big variety of techniques, from classic Paste-ups to “moss graffiti”, sculptures, canvas and anamorphic room installations. As a young artist he created a character that follows him everywhere and it’s easy to recognise: a moustached ice-pop. I asked him about this and he told me the story behind, “My parents died in 2008 and I decided to do something with a positive message, after some tries I found Senor Schnu. He misses a part but is still happy and positively”; “The original señor Schnu is a friend of mine, he had a moustache and I wanted to create his face as an ice-pop” he told me while showing me and old photo of his friend, since that day on, the artist has created more than 20.000 handmade stickers, posters, paste-ups, key chains, big and small sculptures of the famous Popsicle.
While browsing his archive it’s impossible not to notice the Chinese influence on his work, I wanted to know more about this. “I get my inspiration from my travels, for example from China, while I had an exhibition there I found many original communist propaganda books. I love that old style, texture and colours”. He calls his work Schnuminism like Mao but in a funny way. He wants everyone to follow his philosophy: try to see everything positive, try to stay happy ”
One of the things I like the most about Schnuis the way he impacts the street-art community by curating and organizing events and exhibitions. One of his last projects “Still Stand” was done together with the Urban Spree Gallery, the idea was to bring together a different range of locale artist to paint the walls of the gallery through an open call “The role and relevance of Art in the time of Corona was the subject of this Open Call”, the walls can be seen until the end of this year and remind us of the fragility of the artist during hard times.
After a couple of hours spent with Schnu something was clear, the artist is all over, and I don’t mean geographical, I also mean as a visual artist. It’s very interesting to see how productive the artist can be, from graffiti art exhibitions to painted train stations, moss graffiti, t-shirts and what not, the Schnuvolution is here to stay.