I’m Johannes, a Berlin-based calligrapher, and urban artist. My first real contact with calligraphy was back in 2015 when I watched a video of a CD cover being designed by Frank Ortmann – and it has never left me since. I began writing frenetically and soon it turned out that I had a profound love for blackletter. Since I’m lefthanded, this form of writing is kind of accommodating as I can just reverse the strokes right-handers do. Other forms of writing are not that easy to adopt.
Living in Berlin, the connection to urban art is pretty close. There are a lot of legal walls in this city, the urban art scene is huge and very welcoming. As calligraphy – at least broad-edged calligraphy – is pretty scalable, I quickly began writing on walls. I absolutely love the contrast between neatly and accurately writing on handmade ragged paper and going ballistic on a huge wall where color drips and flows everywhere. Both forms of calligraphy are absolutely fascinating to me.
One quick remark about my artist’s name, “Parisurteil” (German for “Judgement of Paris”): I wish no harm to the city of Paris – it alludes to a Greek myth in which the Trojan prince Paris is supposed to choose the most beautiful goddess and in return not only gets Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world but also plunges Troy into ruin. To take that as an allegory for the creation and perception of art seemed kind of fitting to me: Every judgment (opinion) has different aspects and different consequences, the judgment of the work of art as well as the work of art itself: Every work of art is a judgment about the world.