When Robert met Lamia in 2011, he joined her in the artistic pursuit of turning any ordinary surfaces into magnificent tape artworks. The material that most of us consider as nothing more than a tool to stick things together has inspired the creative duo behind TAPE OVER to make the world a more colourful place. Come and meet them with us!
Lamia and Robert welcomed us in their studio/office with big smiles. From the very first moment I realised what a strong and special synergy exists between them, and I couldn’t wait to delve deeper into it and find out more about their beginnings as an artist duo.
How and when did you meet and start collaborating?
Lamia: I studied Communication Design and I fell in love with this material while working on a university project in 2010. I started experimenting with it more and more, I could not stop!
Robert: In 2011 we met and thought about collaborating, then further created our tape art crew. To me, Lamia is a real natural born artist. I have a background in business and it was easy for me to realise that and figure out how to make the most out of her potential. Later on I started making tape art as well.
Lamia: He helped me to make a living out of my art. At the same time, I wanted to push his creativity and at the end it worked really well. We‘ve learned a lot from each other.
Robert: We have different strengths: she’s very arty, I’m somehow more logical and straight to the point. Also, I like geometrical patterns, whereas she’s more into organic forms. It’s always nice and interesting to see what comes out of this combination.
Indeed, I noticed that some of your artworks are related to nature – why?
Lamia: I love nature! I was raised in a hippy family and the best moments for me are when I’m outside in the nature. Nature has always inspired me, despite and probably also because I was born and raised in the city (Berlin).
Robert: Life, especially in the city, can be very hectic, and nature calms me down, helps me to connect with my creativity and express myself.
How would you describe your creative process?
Lamia: We start with some sketches, sometimes digital sketches and collages on Photoshop. Much of the process depends on the location, which always changes. It’s important for us to create something special that fits with the atmosphere of the place.
Robert: Also, we like it when we work with brands and it’s a conceptual work. It’s always surprising how much freedom we get.
Are there artists you’d like to work with?
Lamia: Yes, definitely. It’s very interesting for us to combine our art with music, so we’ve been collaborating with musicians.Last year we worked with the French singer Martin Mey (apparently we have a thing for French artists!) for the video of his song “One time too many”, then further on the stage design for his performances.
Robert: I’d love to collaborate with graffiti artists. In general, what I like about collaboration are the new inputs and different perspectives that always lead to a mutual enrichment.
Lamia: It’s always a bit of a challenge that takes you further and makes you achieve even more. Team power!
Talking about brands, why do you think businesses are getting more and more interested into teaming up with artists, especially street artists?
Robert: Brands are looking for authenticity, ’cause this is what they want their products to be associated with. Street art is authentic, it’s about people expressing themselves, and nowadays it’s better understood that street art is not about destroying/vandalizing public spaces.
Lamia: They have better chances to reach out to people thanks to art.
You say that it all started in the city‘s vibrant electro clubs and that this is your creative playground. What’s the best about working there and being part of the club scene?
Lamia: At the beginning I made some artworks at friends’ parties, and that was the starting point to bring my art to the clubs. It’s like street art, but in a different context. There are special lights and a unique atmosphere, and people feel art in a very intense way.
Robert: Yeah, that’s where we started. The first year was all about clubs.. now got more serious. Yet, we are still connected to them and we don’t forget our roots, we know where we come from. It’s a great network of friends, we have a lot of freedom and, of course, fun. Also, we’ve made artworks for many festivals.
Lamia: We just came back from Wilde Möhre Festival.
Robert: We created an interactive tape art installation with lights and sounds there, “Rainforest”. People could animate it by playing with different lights and change atmosphere. We were amazed by how much time they were spending on it!
So, interactivity is an important part of your work.
Lamia: Yes! People love interacting and it’s so much fun for us too. We realised how important it is to make art that makes people feel involved. There’s a strong emotional aspect within interactive artworks, and that’s what we aim to trigger – a meaningful and at the same time engaging and entertaining experience.
Robert: You get more feedback and understand the real effect of art on people. That’s very motivating for us, because it’s not just about showing our work, it also means making others be an essential part of it.
After our interview, we visited the shop right in front of their office – Klebeland, the paradise of tape. They told us about their favourite colours, explained the importance of light in their works – “it makes things come alive” – and made us experience the process of choosing and customising tape.
In the shop there was an artwork made by Buff Diss, an Australian tape artist who used to live in Berlin and with whom Lamia also collaborated. She named him as one of the artists who’ve been a big inspiration for her – Check out his projects and you’ll understand why!
Later on we went to Robert’s studio-apartment, and during our car ride we talked about the unpredictably transient nature of tape art and how it can be sometimes challenging, yet exciting, to make their art travel and reach out to as many places in the world as possible. Follow them on their journeys and discover the potential that tape has as a medium for making amazing art!
Photos by Catalina Pérez López