Michael Moebius was born in 1968 when Germany was still divided in two by the Berlin Wall. Living in East Germany during the Cold War period, the artist was strongly influenced by communist ideals, or more accurately, the opposition to western values and popular culture.“As a child and growing up I would dearly hold on to the then-forbidden items… these really influenced me with their colours, designs and scents.'
Moebius became aware of cultural differences between his home and the rest of the world, and this incongruity plays a significant role in his art today.
The more Michael Moebius was pushed to conform to communist ideals, the more he became enamoured with western popular culture, and the more he was driven to create. After his conscription in the East German army, and then the fall of the Berlin Wall, he travelled to the US to dedicate his life entirely to art. The rest, as they say, is history.
Most famously, Michael Moebius gives a new dimension to popular cultural icons, adding brightly coloured gum bubbles to monochrome portraits. Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth have all been re-imagined in this style, and his latest depicts the four Beatles all with signature gum bubbles, aptly titled; All you need is gum.’
In terms of artistic influences, Moebius cites inspiration from Italian Renaissance artist Titian and the genius baroque artist Caravaggio, as well as more contemporary names such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Alberto Vargas.
His novel portrayal of much-featured subjects make Moebius’ bubblegum works an art investment favourite. His art also acts as a window into his personality and creative vision. What’s most interesting is the contrast between the artist’s upbringing in a communist Eastern Bloc state, and his love of pop culture, western icons and contemporary art.