Like many contemporary artists, Patrick Bremer has flocked to Berlin and called it home. This citadel of contemporary art allows artists like Bremer to flourish, and since making the move from the UK, where he studied painting at the Wimbledon School of Arts in London, his career in collage has taken off.
Fundamental to Bremer’s approach is experimentation and playfulness, which probably explains why collage has become his favourite medium of choice. Instead of spending hours and hours trying to conceive some elevated idea for an artwork, Bremer instead prefers to experiment until something just clicks – and looks right. It’s a spontaneous method of working that has led to the creation of some wonderfully crafted collages that are always exploding with ideas.
Yet his move into collage wasn’t fully instigated by his love of experimentation. Whilst working as a teacher, Bremer produced a collage of his nephew, and found being able to transpose images, stories and text into one whole enjoyable. Not only this, but Patrick Bremer also admits that collage was just more convenient than impasto oil – because it was cheaper.
Bremer’s influences are not always obvious at first sight, but he is an artist who has a clear love for the psychology behind portraiture, and admits that the “visceral, bloody, fleshy figure paintings” of Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud have a big impact on him whenever he’s stuck for ideas. Although his work is certainly less bloody and less ferocious than Francis Bacon’s, a body of his work is characterised by a certain physical horror and, like Freud, Bremer isn’t afraid to attempt to bare his subject’s’ petrified souls to us.
Bremer is an artist who is probably hitting his peak right now. Collage is a difficult medium to master, but his work is showing the kind of confidence that comes through sheer persistence and experimentation. It leads to a looser, more playful style and now that he has a bigger studio, he hopes to be able to produce some large scale work.