Potent photographer Friedjof Feye certainly got busy during lockdown, he presents us with his new series named ‘Duck Pond’. Friedjof documented some photos and transformed them into beautiful watercolour paintings. We sat down with him to have a catch up and talk about this series, his process and what his plans are for the future. Thank you so much Friedjof for treating our eyes to these amazing pieces! Enjoy this multi-talented man’s work below, he even painted his own self portrait too!
Yes Friedjof, hows it going? Where are you based at the moment and what have you been keeping yourself busy with during these peculiar times?
First of all I want to say thanks for this opportunity. I am glad wintertime will be over soon and I can’t wait to be out there again. During the last few months I kept myself surprisingly busy with a lot of stuff. I browsed through my photo archives, I built a darkroom in my walk-in closet and like pretty much everyone I took endless walks with my girlfriend around town. I made good use of the time selling stuff on ebay, reading books and giving attention to my almost chronic back pain. I am currently living close to the city of Hanover, Germany. I’ll most probably stay here for plenty more years, cause I just bought a log hut which is super cosy.
How long have you been shooting skate photos and painting? Are there any other mediums of art which you love to do?
I’ve been shooting skate photos for quite some time now. My first printed photos ended up in ‘Monster Skateboard Magazine’, ‘Place’ or ‘A Brief Glance’ back in 2010. To put it straight, painting is fun, but it’s nothing I am really passionate about yet. I wouldn’t like to be considered as an artist. It just doesn’t feel right. I am just the guy who documents skateboarding and likes to mess around with the results. I tried to get into drawing a few years ago, but it’s frustrating. You gotta be gifted and patient at the same time. I just figured that using an Apple pencil and an iPad can be fun.
Did this concept organically grow or were you influenced by another artist’s work?
No, I don’t think I have seen it anywhere else before. I am a huge fan of watercolour paintings though. A couple of years ago I tried to combine aquarell and skateboarding for the first time, but it didn’t really turn out the way I imagined. This time I felt more confident with it. New wine in old bottles so to speak, haha.
Why have you named this project ‘Duck Pond’?
Because I live right at a duck pond and this is where I look at when I paint or do handicrafts.
What process did you use to create these images?
At first I took a regular skate photo of the trick. After that you roughly transfer the lines from the image with a pencil on a aquarell block. For these 5 particular photos I used a few water-based pencils to colour the rest of the picture. What I like about painting is you can remove objects or select any colour you like. I guess art is way more playful than classic skateboard photography. At the end of the process you use water and a brush to round it off.
How long does each piece usually take you?
Well, it differs. Around two hours maybe for the final version, but it will definitely take some attempts til you get there.
Who are some of the your favoured artists who influences you particularly?
That’s a tough one. When it comes to photography I like the mystic works of Henrik Biemer or Sem Rubio. Ed Templeton or Benjamin Deberdt always have an eye for the special moment. Skate-art wise Olivier ‘Tavu’ Ente and Lucas Beaufort are two names that are constantly coming up with good stuff and recently they even collaborated with me. There are a lot of talented people out there in the industry and I am happy to see people going for it.
Why did you pick these skate photos specifically to paint?
I picked these photos, because they were relatively easy to turn them into a painting. A lot of straight lines, clean backgrounds and so on. After a first selection I was already pretty satisfied, because I found some images that would fit together nicely. I just had to throw in a fisheye shot to spice things up.
Do you plan to continue with more of these images?
To be honest I don’t really feel like continuing right now. I am looking forward to spend more time in the streets instead of the winter garden to capture new moments and memories. One day I could imagine to paint an entire article though. That would be rad.
What can we expect to see next from you Friedjof? Is there anything coming up project wise?
Most importantly is that we can keep on doing what we love sometime soon. In this case, I hope I will still be able to contribute some photos here and there for the skateboard media. For now there are bits and bobs from the past that will be published in some upcoming skate mags. Also I have a small exhibition plus a release of a non-skate related photo zine in the pipeline that will drop as soon as possible. Whatever this means…
Amazing! Want to thank anyone?
Sure. At first I would like to say thanks to my girlfriend. She is amazingly caring and just a really good mentor. Also a big hug to Oli and Stefan @ SOLO for always backing me throughout the years. Same for Daniel @ Place who is not only a great fellow but brilliant on a skateboard too. He paved the way for me into the world of skateboarding. Of course a lot of love to all my other skate homies too. You guys are amazing.
See more of the talented Friedjof Feye’s work here.