The mural of a woman with red hair adorns the student dormitory on Adalbertstrasse. Although it was attached to the wall of the building a good four years ago, many are still unaware of what it is supposed to say. The visual art has been elegantly painted and clearly shows how the artist has done on his best working boots to come up with a great painting on a wall.
Nice graffiti on the house in Adalbertstrasse: who is behind it?
At one of the main arteries in Bockenheim, Adalbertstrasse, she seems to look down on the passers-by from above and yet be absorbed in her own world. She sits elegantly on a pillow, gracefully holds an apple in her hand and flips through a book lying in her lap. The woman is not real, but a mural that was sprayed onto the wall of the student dormitory Alvarium by the illustrator Robert Matzke. Nevertheless, it should personalize a trait that is extremely real: curiosity.
“The little men pass on the knowledge of ‘curiosity’ and act as an intermediary between the book and the person.” – Robert Matzke, artist
“Since the object to be painted is a student dormitory, I wanted to show curiosity, because this is exactly what matters when studying,” the 39-year-old artist describes how he came up with the idea for the motif. Every detail has its own meaning.
So also the little men who stand on the red dress of the woman and on the book. “The little men pass on the knowledge of ‘curiosity’ and act as an intermediary between the book and the person,” says Matzke. The apple in her hand is said to represent the hunger for new knowledge. “In this case, the apple has nothing to do with the forbidden fruit,” explains the illustrator, who signed the artist name “Rookie” under the mural.
Although the 39-year-old immediately smashes this interpretation, he still finds it “very nice” when people look at his works of art and start to ponder them. Since he works a lot with symbols, this usually happens automatically. In addition to the goal of making others think, Matzke also wants to have fun painting himself. “I want to paint what is on my mind – I don’t care whether everyone likes it,” says the artist.
In the case of the Mural in Adalbertstrasse, this seemed to go hand in hand with the ideas of the operators of the student dormitory. In 2014 they came to the Art is Just a Four-Letter Word art gallery, says Katharina Galladé from the gallery. The curators mediated the operator with the artist, who was delighted to be able to spray on a large outside wall. “There are legal spaces in the city, but unfortunately they are very few,” says Matzke.
It took Matzke three days to get the mural on the wall. Above all, it was difficult to get the proportions right. The height at which the 39-year-old had to work also made it easy for him at first. He still likes the finished mural today. “Unfortunately, I haven’t been to Frankfurt since then,” says the illustrator, who lives in Münster.
If he visits the Main metropolis again, then he plans to drop by the “curiosity”. But then she couldn’t shine like that anymore. Art in public spaces is always subject to wear and tear. In the past four years there has been a bit of dirt on the picture. “I think decay is one of them,” says Matzke. However, since he sprayed the mural onto a fairly new building, he is optimistic that the personified curiosity will continue for a while and that the questioning, analyzing view will continue to shape the cityscape of Bockenheim.