With their love of all things fast and furious, German art collective Sucuk und Bratwurst are creating tripped out artwork for the future
From a smoking jacket in a cigarette print to their giant CGI toothbrushes, visual pranksters Sucuk und Bratwurst have always got a pun up their logoed sleeves. Comprised of childhood friends Alessandro Belliero, David Gönner, Denis Olgac and Lukas Olgac, what started out as a humble tumblr page soon turned into an established art agency and creative studio, having built up a cult following since 2014.
An obsession with the beauty of speed, technology and design underpins their overall aesthetic, as well as a deep understanding of global style tribes. Their work is a mashup of everyday objects (a calculator, a car air freshener) with the umistakenabke tropes of contemporary streetwear (a Gucci belt, Yeezy Boosts), recalibrated within a CGI-heavy landscape. As such their unique approach to storytelling has seen them work with several sportswear brands, from Nike to Adidas. For the former, they created a series of Ministry of Sound meets Pacha c.1992 inspired visuals, and for the latter they fashioned footwear from the future, flexed on cyborg models. They’ve also created motocross-inspired graphics for Berlin fashion bible 032c, as well as a Blade Runner style vision of the future for the cover of Indie magazine’s Japan issue. And there’s their line of merch, for which they make hoodies with the slogan “Trust nobody” and tees emblazoned with a graphic image of barbed wire wrapped into the shape of a pair of lungs. Post Malone is a big fan.
Part of the Dazed Beauty family, their latest proposition has seen the fearsome foursome hack the faces of Creative Director, Isamaya Ffrench, and enigmatic artist, Yves Tumor, transforming them into tripped out floating 3D heads. Yves is contorted into a toxic-looking alien creature and Isamaya into a fetus, because, well, why not?
Tell us a bit about yourselves and where you grew up? How has your background shaped who you are as a person?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: We’re just four dudes doing what they like and fooling around. We grew up as a bunch of friends in Mainz, Germany which is kind of next to Frankfurt. Some of us went to kindergarten together and later we all went to the same schools. We’ve known each other forever and always hung out together, messed around, documenting everything we did with those cheap one-way cameras. We’d make photoshopped collages and tried to find the beauty in ugly things, all of which we posted on our blog – which is how we started and basically what we still do now.
Growing up, what informed your understanding of beauty and identity?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: We all fell in love with Harmony Korine’s movie Spring Breakers when it came out back in 2012. All of his visual references we were already into at the time, watching Kimbo Slice garden fights (may he rest in peace), playing Call of Duty and fooling around with 3D art. And of course James Franco singing Britney Spears, Everytime is a real thing of beauty. Also La Haine is probably the main source of our haircuts. Thanks Vinz!
How did you guys get into art and design?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: It's nice to create something new out of thin air and to have the freedom to be able to follow your vision in your work. Also we all would probably pretty much drown if we had to pursue a “normal” job. Having fun in your work and doing what you like is the greatest thing.
Where did you hone your craft? Is it something you learnt or is it more instinctual?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: Doing design/art and especially 3D art goes hand in hand with constantly learning new stuff and trying to find better ways of doing a job. There is so much software and tools to learn and they are constantly evolving and updating. You can never learn enough. In terms of the visual understanding of design and composition, that is something you get into while doing it.
Tell us a bit about your creative process.
Sucuk und Bratwurst: First we all brainstorm in the group and just shout out all the ideas that come to our minds regardless of how good they seem. We then pick the one we like the most and start working on it. No one in the group has a certain role. We all do everything we can to get the job done and help everybody out where necessary.
What are the projects that you’re most proud of?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: We really like everything we did with Nike. It’s a client we’ve always dreamed of working with since we started. We also enjoy working with musicians. They bring in a different type of energy and often come to us with a certain mood in mind and let us explore freely within that direction.
Is beauty something you try to capture in your work or something that you reject? What is your relationship to “beauty”?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: I don't think we try to capture beauty in our images per se but rather try to create images that stay in your mind and catch your eye the first second you look at them.
How do you think our understanding of beauty has shifted with the evolution of technology?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: Especially with Instagram being around you can really see trends evolving and suddenly your feed looks all the same for a while. It’s easier to compare yourself to others and suddenly you have to compete against the whole world, whether that’s in beauty or creating good design.
You work a lot with everyday, inanimate objects. What is it you find beautiful about them?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: I think showing everyday objects in 3D and in a new way gives them a chance to be looked at differently in reality. A regular object can be the most interesting thing to look at when it is shown in the right context. I think that's what we really like about it.
How do you find the experience of working with bodies/faces? Is it different than working with products?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: For bodies and especially faces, it’s harder to really nail their natural expressions and get the look right. Maybe because the human face is such a complex thing. It’s better to send a message by using objects as symbols sometimes, rather than having a human reflect the same message.
How was it working with Isamaya on the fetus head project?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: We depicted Isamaya as a very fragile human fetus. It was great to push the boundaries of 3D art, as it was a really hard image to make.
You also worked on Yves Tumor’s head, can you talk tell us a bit about the creative process behind that?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: H.R. Giger and his work for Alien is a really strong point of inspiration for us. We tried to implement some of the alien’s features in this picture and also give Yves’ head a more robotic and dangerous look.
What is your dream project to work on?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: Our dream project is to not have to work anymore and live by a quiet lake somewhere in nature doing sports and art all day.
How do you think the industry has evolved since you first started out?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: Lots of people are doing 3D art now and that really is a great thing. I think more and more designers are picking up 3D practices as an addition to their tool set because it really gives you that extra freedom in creating beautiful pictures without the physical limitations you would have by photographing or drawing.
What advice would you give to young artists hoping to get into the industry? Sucuk und Bratwurst: Connect yourselves with other artists and also reach out to your idols. It is so easy these days to get in touch with someone. And we guarantee you that all of them are pretty nice people.
What is the future of beauty?
Sucuk und Bratwurst: Maybe the understanding of beauty gets more and more distorted in far future. Everything mixes with everything and creates a patchwork of things from different periods combined all in one.
3D artist: Sucuk unt Bratwurst
3D Scanning: Mini You
Concept and Creative Direction: Isamaya Ffrench and Ben Freenman
Carousel Web Development by Armin Unruh