Klaus Dauven

Klaus Dauven experimented with drawing techniques both before and during his training at the art colleges in Düsseldorf and Münster. In the mid-1990s he hit upon the idea of using a vacuum cleaner to partially vacuum up strips of paper that he had previously stained with charcoal. In 1999, Dauven, who was born in Düren, transferred this idea of partial cleaning to external walls in public spaces, using a wire brush to selectively remove dirt and patina from bridge piers, concrete surfaces, road signs and electricity boxes.

Since 2003 Dauven has worked with a pressure washer and stencils, mainly in the Cologne and Aachen area. His drawing technique uses the same spaces as graffiti artists but, unlike them, he removes something instead of adding it. As a result, his works are sometimes described as “anti-graffiti.” The works of art created in this way on walls, parking bollards and underpasses include “Vorfahrt” (Right of Way) in Stuttgart, “Privatgrün” (Private Green) in Cologne and “Continental Drift” in Düren. Since the works are temporary and gradually disappear as the soiling returns, detailed photographic records are kept.

Cleaning equipment manufacturer Kärcher and Klaus Dauven have collaborated since 2005. Dauven spent around 18 months preparing for their joint project “Wildwechsel” (Wildlife Variations).

For more information about the artist visit www.klaus-dauven.de