Double Tap That – Tim Bengel
An up and coming artist from a little-known town in Germany is about to launch his first solo show in New York … after racking up more that 80 million youtube views and several hundred thousand social media followers.
What in the actual, fuck, right? How?
Well, for starters … his work is insane. Which helps quite a bit. It has all the ingredients that make for an internet stand-out. It’s different, it has showmanship but it’s also grounded in the integrity of actual craft and hard work. This isn’t a guy spray painting a couple of lines on a canvas and standing back – this is weeks and weeks of work, leading up to one final, breathless moment when he reveals what’s underneath.
There’s also the simplicity of it.
Sand. Gold. Glue.
That’s all he uses.
From portraiture to skylines to more abstract – entirely different results across his portfolio, all with the same three simple ingredients.
It all starts off with a blank canvas.
He sprays on the glue, leaving the canvas sticky enough to hold the sand, then starts to layer … in black, and then in white. Gold leaf is used to highlight and bring depth.
Then, the canvas is tipped, dumping the excess and revealing – in an enigmatic cloud of smoke – the actual artwork underneath for the very first time, even to Tim himself.
It’s this insight into the process – the peak around the curtain – combined with the shock and awe of seeing the reveal happen that has appealed so broadly online. Think about it, how much do we love watching those two things? Watching, immersed, in the meticulous detail, the painstaking placement of each grain of sand, to then see it uncovered right before your eyes. We live for that shit, we always have … think of it like a modern day ‘can you see what it is yet?’
And this is the other aspect of his success – knowing how to reach his audience. Yes, his work and his talent would have gotten him his solo show in New York, but it’s his ingenuity in actually getting himself out there in a way that resonates that has whipped up the storm to carry him there from Germany. Tim has a unique understanding of the duality of art in the digital age. There will always be a treasured respect and dignity in what is made by hand but how you tell your own story is kind of just as important in order to be seen and heard in the cluster fuck that is the digital world.
What can we say, he’s a clever, clever guy.
“My advice to dreamers is this – follow your vision.
And if you dream …