Paint quickly, sell cheaply – that’s artist Jim Avignon’s maxim. His subjects and style are colorful and bright, and always deliver a critical and witty commentary on today’s world. Now 44, he made his name as a street artist in the southern French city of Avignon. He established himself in Berlin’s gallery and club scene in the 1990s, not only as a painter but also as a musician, with his one-man-band Neoangin. Jim Avignon has repeatedly left the subculture with which he’s identified. He has designed watches for the Swiss manufacturer Swath and decorated aircraft for the former air carrier Deutsche BA. His motifs can be found on the t-shirts, jackets and flip-flops of the New Yorker fashion label. Jim Avignon has just returned to Berlin with his partner and daughter after six years in New York.
Features on these issues provide subjects for discussion and enhance the conversation on Talking Germany.The two discuss the importance of street art, the impact that tourists are having on Berlin, and what it means to be a father.
Jim Avignon paints his works in acrylic on paper or cardboard, and most of his works are priced under a hundred euros. His style is witty, eye-catching, and often contains more than a hint of social commentary. Berlin was the springboard of his career, and one of his early works has been immortalized on the remnant of the Berlin Wall that’s now the East Side Gallery. In 1997, Berlin was also the birthplace of Neoangin – Avignon’s musical alter ego. With his slogan "art for everyone," he’s taken a stance against the artificially inflated price structure of the international art market. From watches, to buildings, to sweatshirts – for Avignon, a canvas can be anything. He prefers to exhibit where he feels understood and appreciated – mainly in small galleries, ideally accompanied by a great party. After six years in New York, Jim Avignon lives with his partner and daughter in Berlin.