Who or what is hiding behind the „NAME“ pseudonym and the peculiar figures with the giant, baggy eyes?

„NAME“ is my name, and it represents me and everything in my artistic universe. I was born in Kazakhstan in 1987 as the child of ethnically German-Russian parents, and returned to Germany in 1994, where I still live. Since childhood, I have experienced, drawn, designed, and created illustrations, graphics, graffiti, canvases, sculptures, and fashion here – everything else that flashes through my mind. Since the discovery of hip hop (at least on my part) and with it, the associated love of graffiti, my art remains heavily influenced by this style.

Although I still enjoy forming letters using a marker, and sometimes also create realistic works, as a child who was brought up on Disney and Nintendo in the 90s, I am fascinated by the characters that grace the bright block letters of graffiti artists. From my perspective, this style quickly earned my idols, like CAN2, HOMBRE, ANUS ONE and 5NAK enduring heroic status, and my focus was firmly established.

So how did we end up with „NAMES“ – or why „NAME“ indeed? It’s not a particularly creative handle, while a web designer would call it a bad choice for Google searches, and it’s not exactly colorful either.

YES, exactly! That’s the whole point. The concept came about in 2006, at almost the same time as the first „NAME“ character, which I surreptitiously doodled during the classes I took as an apprentice graphic designer. Searching for an artistic handle, the idea came to me by chance (a route that my art has a habit of following). Starting an NBA video game, I came across a form that asked me to enter a name for my avatar. The form was filled out in advance with the word „NAME.“ That was the origin of the concept.

So why do I need an artistic handle, when the art itself should be center stage? Why bother inventing a pseudonym to hide your identity, when the simple word „NAME“ is so misleading in itself? Why should the artistic persona occupy the foreground, when the message that the artist is seeking to convey should be the real star. That’s how my „NAME“ – literally – became a firm fixture.

This also paved the way for the first „NAME“ characters. In the development phase, I started out with fictitious characters who I created completely independently so that they wouldn’t need a name, and would in fact remain nameless. Nonetheless I kept entertaining the idea of giving them names. Names of friends, acquaintances, classmates, role models, celebrities, stars, characters, or simply people whose names would have a shock factor. As such, my characters evolved into street art caricatures, who didn’t need names but which had their own names and identities from the outset. However, my ego got in the way and I couldn’t unleash them onto the world without leaving my mark on them. From that point on, they got their characteristic rings under their eyes, oversize heads, and thickly lined eyebrows. It’s entirely possible that these characters are the culmination of all my inspiration that develops constantly with each new contact, influence, and idea that I encounter. Today, at 28, I’m delighted to see my characters take on a new lease of life and grow with me. I’m excited about the journey that my characters will take me on, and am looking forward to seeing where they will take me next.

„NAME“, 2016

Wer oder was steckt hinter dem Synonym „NAME“ und den eigenartigen Figuren mit den riesigen Tränensäcken?

„NAME“ Roman Hottmann (29) Mixed Media Artist • Illustrator • Designer.

Geboren 1987 in Kasachstan/Pawlodar als Kind deutsch-russischer Aussiedler und im Jahr 1994 nach Deutschland zurückgewandert. Hier lebe, zeichne, designe und gestalte ich von Kindesalter. Mit der Entdeckung des HipHops (meinerseits) und der damit einhergehenden Liebe für Graffitis, ist meine Kunst bis heute noch von diesem Style geprägt.

Obwohl ich zwar immer wieder gerne Letters zeichne und auch mal realistische Werke erstelle, galt meine Faszination, als Disney geprägtes Nintendo Kind der 90er, immer den Characters, die die bunten Buchstaben der Writers zierten.

NAME Characters

Mein Konzept entstand 2006 fast zeitgleich mit dem ersten „NAME“ Character, den ich während meiner Ausbildung zum Grafik Designer im Unterricht heimlich scribbelte. Auf der Suche nach einem Künstlernamen, kam mir die Idee aus Zufall. Zu Beginn eines NBA Video Games, stieß ich auf ein Formular, welches mich nach dem Namen für meinen Avatar fragte. Im Eingabefeld stand vorgefertigt „NAME“. So entstand der erste Gedanke dazu.

Das ebnete auch den Werdegang für die ersten „NAME“ Characters. In der Entwicklungsphase begann ich mit fiktiven, frei erfundenen Characters, die keinen Namen brauchten und auch keinen besitzen durften. Jedoch spielte ich immer wieder mit dem Gedanken ihnen doch Namen zu verleihen. Namen von Freunden, Bekannten, Schulkameraden, Vorbildern, berühmten Persönlichkeiten, Stars. Somit entwickelten sich meine Characters zu Streetart-Karikaturen, die keinen Namen benötigten, sondern von Haus aus schon Eigennamen trugen. Aber dank meinem Ego konnte ich die Figuren nicht auf die Welt lassen, ohne ihnen meinen eigenen Schliff mitzugeben.

„NAME“ 2016