Die Zeit, Modern Nomads


At the age of 17, Alexander Stenzel shifted his life onto the four wheels of a VW bus. Actually he was already a Nomad at birth, as he says today… By 21 he had his own fashion line. He designed a collection inspired by surfing and skateboarding and called it Broken Glasses. His baggy pants and shirts quickly established themselves in the trendiest boutiques. That’s how he made his first million.

Fashion magazines like Vogue wrote about the young designer, now director of a company with 15 employees. But at fashion shows he still spent the night in the parking lot. In public restrooms he would ready himself for luxurious dinners and for conventions where he was mobbed by the trade press and the competition. ” But somehow, this success weighed me down, and before I could put down roots I left the fashion industry.”

The art that the now 34-year-old Alexander Stenzel creates today, however, is no less successful.” Comfort is like a trap,” he says. ” I try to make myself uncomfortable. Early on, I already had this vision of carrying everything I have with me. That I don’t need a permanent residence…

On his wanderings, Alexander Stenzel photographs the surfaces of objects marked by time and weather. On walls or rusty steel doors, he finds “fractal images”: colors and forms that look like an abstract painting. ” A truthful moment can only be depicted with a complex fractal image as a starting point.” Later, in a studio, he paints over the enlarged photographs with oils.

Die Zeit, 2 December 1999