Bartek Elsner is a freelance art director and artist who showcases everyday items as cardboard installations, whether furnishings, tools, animals or trees. As part of his project “The Paper Stuff”, Bartek created art installations that were placed in public spaces and he has had exhibitions in London, San Francisco and Berlin.
How did you start making cardboard installations? What was the most fun object you ever made?
Making cardboard objects started similar to how I began working with 3D software. Some graphic designers and artists who usually worked digitally began to bring their work back into the real world. I liked this movement and felt like giving it a try. I’m really not sure anymore why it had to be cardboard for me. The most fun object was the TV & VHS-recorder set, I guess. I like the cardboard version of these two daily life objects.
Seems like you had a fun day installing your cardboard installation for Meltin’Pot in the streets of Berlin and documenting it. You didn’t get arrested?
Yes, doing the docu was pretty much fun – especially because nobody had to spend the rest of the night in jail.
You often leave your installations on the street. What was the best reaction you’ve got by doing this?
A sympathetic thing about people passing by and having a look is that they mostly need a second to realize that the object is made out of cardboard. They mostly change from confused to positively surprised, but I’m not sure about the best reaction.
Where do you get inspiration from? Other artists? Music?
It’s a very open field. A lot of different things can have a positive impact. It can be a conversation, things passing by while you sit in the metro. It’s hard to define.
Do you have other talents besides making your cardboard installations? Any other projects to share?
I’m doing okay with illustration. Have a look at my portfolio if you feel like: www.bartek-elsner.de. Besides this I have the superpower to forget where I put my house-keys.
Berlin has a pretty vibrant nightlife, do you enjoy it often? Which places and parties are your absolute favorite?
It does. I still enjoy going out and partying, but it’s less than some years before.
For the cold wintertime, the “Berghain” is still my favorite club to celebrate a bit.
We’re really excited to see what your next installation will be! Can you give us a sneak peak?
For the moment, I’m mostly realizing digital projects, so it’s hard to say. Maybe there’s a way to combine both worlds – we will see!