Art, Commerce, and Cholesterol

Alwin Alles, a Saarbruecker citizen, interconnects a grotesque passion to a company logo


Saarbruecken. Who doesn't know the cheerful "M"? A logo in a warm yellow on a deep red is inviting all those hungry people out there, as once the crumb snatcher's the little kids. Whether in London, New York, Paris or No Mans Land - "McDonald's" is known everywhere: A "World-Wide-Web" in a culinary way.

Wasn't it about time to leave the level of the profane consumption commerce, and crest the Olympus between kitsch, and art? This target was obviously set by the Saarbruecker artist Alwin Alles. He makes the "McDonald's-M" to be a subject of his art. Since almost three and a half year's, he is painting on a daily base, with the help of stencils, a postcard sized watercolor variation of the fast food brand. Newly, he has painted picture no. 1230.

In the early "M"-pictures, the contiguousness to the original is still tangible; later, many "Ms" develop out of one "M", which turn, mirror, and change colors. Different, geometric designs appear, and overlaps create new colors. It is a great pleasure to take a look at the changing pictures in the thumb movie technique: a small pile of pictures is slightly bend with both hands; the thumb of one hand releases in a quick rotation one picture to look at. Through the fast succession, the impression of movement is given - now they dance, the voracious  "Ms".

But why in particular the "McDonald’s-M"? "On one hand, it analogous stands for our time, and our consumption. On the other hand, it is being recognized worldwide. Additionally, the artist explains, it is kept simple, and has a beautiful design." For sure, the enormous number of pictures doesn’t allow to hang them up somewhere. In piles, they are stored in diverse closets, and wait to be discovered. "It is a dream of myself, to exhibit the pictures in a museum; a museum, which is constructed like a giant spiral stairs, but it probably will always be a dream. Therefore," Alwin Alles illustrates, "a 'simple' gallery, will grant the same."

Besides the pictures, he has developed exactly 52 different models for hamburger packages: the most tasteful, delicious, and enjoyable appetite stimulant.

Despite the product closeness, the artist himself doesn't see his paintings as advertisement in a restricted sense: "I create a so-called Art of action." Therefore, the process of origins mainly, is very important to him, which only follows one rule: unexceptional, a picture is being painted every day. The most interesting part, is the interaction with the everyday life of the computer specialist, who earns his money in a very unpoetical way - with the management of credit cards: Under sometimes very hard conditions, pictures develop, for example, on a trip to a Pub in London, with an open watercolor box, and the odd looks of the habitues. Sometimes even dates come to a fast end, to just finish the daily picture before midnight.

The native Freisener visits some cities only due to their melodious name, to establish their name as a place of origins on the back of a picture. Therefore, the honor was already given to Sils Baseglia or Rapperswil. Actually, the Italian city Poggibonsi, with it's industrial charm doesn't invite to a second visit. Nevertheless, sooner or later you can find there Alwin Alles, with a pulled out brush due to a missed painting chance.

While McDonald's Germany in general renounces the art sponsoring, the "McDonald's"-operator's from the Saarland have firstly been perplexed. "We absolutely want to appreciate these paintings", the press officer Michael Rennig explains. "Therefore, Alwin Alles was asked to decorate our lions during the anniversary activities in Saarbruecken." Also five of the original paintings will be shortly displayed at the McDonald's subsidiary located at the Saarbruecker "Saargallery". It is also planned, that some of the paintings will tour through other McDonald's restaurants.

"These pictures turned out to be one of the most important component in my life", confesses the 39 year old with a smile on his face. Just like a ritual, this form of art is somehow exciting and motivating. It has the same assortative effect, and can exist completely detached from the content. Therefore, McDonald's has not an authentic meaning in the game of signs. Finally, Alwin Alles already has painted 777 Viva-pictures and approximately 366 variations of the documenta logo. Even the Euro got caught. Besides that, the hobby cook tries to avoid the fast food, and rather invites to an equisite eight-course meal in a sporadic period. Also a form of the everyday life art - with tangible advantages.

copyright © 2013 alwin alles