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Jay Rechsteiner


artist statement & CV

In essence I am a story-teller. I use different materials such as found objects, magazines, video & audio footage etc. that I collect during my research or travels and weave into stories. These stories are often hidden within the materials and not instantly visible.

My work is in general process-based and sits at the intersection of different practices. Whether it manifests itself in the form of a drawing, a collage, a painting, an installation, an action or any other medium, my work is never so much about the discrete unit of work but rather the work as a part of the gesamtkunstwerk, the gestamt-story. My understanding of the gesamtkunstwerk in its truest sense is the entirety of my work as a cohesive body.

It is very important to me that my work represents myself, my way of thinking and my opinions. Staying true to myself and having integrity is a very important aspect of my practice. I don't produce art for the masses, nor have I any desire to ride on the band wagon of current trends in the contemporary art world.

My current practice centers around nomadism and its impacts on the way I work and what I produce. I am not researching this concept theoretically but in a practical manner by living, working and travelling in a converted van (more info: The Red Van, a nomadic sculpture).

Short bio

I was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1971. I am based in London, UK. After my graduation from the School of Economics Basel I studied business administration as well as marketing planning & product management at the Institute for Managment Training IFKS in Basel while simultaneously taking a painting course at Neue Kunstschule Zürich. In 1996 I emigrated to Fukuoka, Japan where I became an active member of a new generation of artists. After my last solo show at the Fukuoka Art Museum in 2001 I returned to Switzerland where I studied a variety of art courses such as drawing, concept & methods and art history at the Basel School of Design. In 2004 I moved to London where I studied in multimedia at Hackney Community College, IT and design at the Open University and translation at City University. I soon established The Washroom Projects (TWP) which was an instant success in terms of press and artistic merit. I then developed TWP into the Washroom Talks which was presented twice at Tate Liverpool. In 2007 I joined forces with Portuguese Punk musician Victor 'Torpedo' from the Parkinsons and Tedio Boys and began working under the pseudonym Sardine & Tobleroni until 2012. Since 2012 I have been working solo again.

I have shown my work internationally (Japan, USA, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, France) in galleries and museums such as the Fukuoka Art Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Liverpool, the London Art Fair & the Venice Biennale.

Selection of past work

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