Sven Bode, who also goes by the pseudonym DEBO, is a German painter who lives in the United States. After a chance encounter with His Holiness the Dali Lama changed the course of his artistic career many years ago, was inspired to make a commitment to express his artistic message to the world. We sat down with Sven Bode to talk about his current projects, inspiration, and the start of his artistic career.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I started drawing portraits at the young age of 5, and later had always told my art teacher in elementary school that the artworks I did in class should be an “A+” and she agreed…
Later at age 15, I had my first group exhibition with two, much older artists. We had great success, so I was hooked. A real commercial breakthrough came a bit later when I started the “Ethno Series”, which sold larger paintings to collectors in Germany and the Middle East. Even a Saudi Sheik is one of those collectors.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
I was extremely impressed by Joseph Beuys, a great German Artist, and professor. I attended several workshops at the “Neue Nationalgalerie” in Berlin which he led. I was also a very frequent visitor to that Museum, which has great “Mies van der Rohe” Architecture.
I attended the “Berlin University of Arts” at that time. (UDK Berlin – formerly HDK Berlin). I was very much inspired by His Holiness “The Dalai Lama”, and by artists like Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Miro, Degas, Haring, Gauguin, Dali, Frieda Kahlo …and lately Gerhard Richter and even Baselitz.
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
I usually paint alone, but I have always had several artist friends to talk to about our progress and ideas. The painting process is so intense that I usually don’t notice anything around me anyway while painting.
Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?
During this terrible pandemic, I made a lot of new paintings and I am almost running out of storage.
Currently, I started a larger painting and am trying to use only one color besides black and white…. The color will come in a lighter and darker shade. The theme is very spiritual and I already love it even though it is one in a second stage and will have many more layers to come…. It will be a Master Piece – I am sure.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I never wanted to only rely on an artist’s income, and being that I am what you could call “A Workaholic”, I studied businesses which helped me to not accept ‘low ball offers’ on my valuable artwork.
Every artwork is unique and cannot, and will not be reproduced. That means it has a unique value, you could say they’re priceless… The prices for my paintings had evolved over time based on value and collectors appreciate that when they acquired a piece of my art – it will grow in value, just like a beautiful Rolex Watch. It will be enjoyed for a long time.
Have you found any other artists on Singulart whose work you admire?
I do see from time to time some that I like – Art is always in the “Eye of the Beholder” and I don’t want to judge too much and mention one or the other. Some I think are undervaluing themselves and sell their art too low – a few others I think are not worth my while.
What advice could you give to young artists starting out?
First of all – learn a technic that feels good to you and make it yours. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Don’t let others tell you what to create.
Secondly, experiment! Evolve! Work from your heart and never rest until you find your unique style.
To end with Picasso, “Everything you can imagine is real.”