At the 4th of December, Harald Naegli aka DER SPRAYER VON ZÜRICH celebrates his 75th birthday. The trademark of his graffiti are characters, reduced to the utmost, but highly recognizable. His matchstick figures are anything but static, handle strange tools with expansive sweeping motions. Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf shows „Harald Naegli – Der Prozess“. The exhibition dedicates to his creative process. The artist’s studio has been transported to the museum and he shows his work live.
„You never should be conciliatory with obstinacy and bigotry“ (Harald Naegli)
In the 1970ies at ugly grey concrete walls in Zürich graffiti of mysterious matchstick figures appeared, which caused heated public debates. Some were riveted by the poetic and cryptic humor, others were peeved of those criminal damages. The anonymous originator of those graffiti became world-famous as „Sprayer von Zürich“. Sought by the police and imaginatively masked for keeping his identity confidential, he provoked with the claim to be the rebirth of an ancient cave painter. No doubt, with his paintings he came into conflict with the System and was sentenced to 9 months arrest in jail and a fine of CHF 206,000 by the Swiss justice. He fled to Düsseldorf, where his work was more appreciated as art, and Naegeli remained there for the next few years and became acquainted with Joseph Beuys. 1984, Naegeli turned himself in to the Swiss police and subsequently served his jail sentence. Once released, he returned to Düsseldorf, were he still lives. His matchstick figures can be seen all over Düsseldorf. OPEN YOUR EYES then you’ll find them everywhere.