text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation
Desktop_Portrait_Image

DR. MARTENS PRESENTS: GABE

USING ART TO HELP PEOPLE CONNECT DURING SOCIAL ISOLATION

Self-expression is at the core of DM’s DNA. Just like it is for Gabriel Holzner, a multidisciplinary artist known simply as Gabe. Born in the South of Germany and working out of Munich, he uses art and design to make sense of the world around him. To find inner peace. And to help people do the same.

To coincide with Munich’s first Dr. Martens store opening in April, Gabe is curating an outdoor exhibition 'IN THIS TOGETHER?' at the city’s iconic and vibrant cultural hub, The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar. Through collaborations between Gabe and members of Munich’s creative community, the five bespoke pieces will provide a break from social isolation, celebrate art’s ability to help people connect, and bring the artists’ identity and stories to life. In a time when they need it most.

If you’re in Munich, lace up your DM’s and check out the exhibition now, live until the 25th of April. Or check out the artists’ bespoke work below and find out more about the project.

Find out more in the video below.

5 MINUTES WITH GABE

DM's chats to Gabe to hear about his city, the creative community and his inspirations.
Desktop_image2

Where do you find the inspiration behind your artwork?

Pretty much from the beginning, music has always been connected to making art for me. Growing up with hip hop culture helped me get into graffiti but also increased my interest in logo design and branding. Later on, I spent lots of time in Jamaica, first because of the music and later to study art there. That had a very lasting impact on my work. 

How have you adapted to the way you’re finding inspiration?

I try to refer to my identity, surroundings and experiences, and combine it with lots of experimentation. Since I’ve been creating stuff for such a long time, I want to get better at seeing what it is that I am doing and how and why I am doing it.
Desktop_image2
Desktop_image3_1

In what ways have you seen lockdown affect artists and creatives?

On the one hand there is the economic difficulties; when the pandemic hit, I was mainly doing live drawing session at events, so the focus had to shift. But in my eyes the questioning of one’s artistic practice and the shift to alternatives has positive sides as well. 

Then there are the mental difficulties. I think it is crucial for many artists to connect with fellow creatives to get feedback, talk about the challenges we face and get inspired by real experiences and encounters. This is very problematic now. 

What’s the motivation behind this project?

The motivation was to re-connect with other creatives from Munich and make something positive for the public to enjoy.
Desktop_image3_1

If this project says one thing about Munich’s creative community, what would it be?

This project is another small sign that there is a super interesting and open community of creatives in Munich that contribute a lot to the city, despite the fact that you face so many challenges as an independent creative here. 

Have you always believed in art’s ability to help people and communities?

Yes, I believe that art can ask important questions, raise awareness, tell stories, break down information, and bring beauty to an area. But it can also simply change the life of an individual and therefore a community by being seen and offering inspiration to create something. To show people, especially young people, that there is something different you can do with your life is still so powerful.

 What does Dr. Martens mean to you?

Dr. Martens are timeless classics, and I love how they are authentically interwoven with so many different eras and subcultures. They embody the drive to keep questioning the status quo and to carve out an independent route for yourself.

THE EXHIBITION ARTWORK

'IN THIS TOGETHER?'

A graphic art exhibition on creative resilience by GABE

SHOP GABE’S DM’S LOOK

Head back to DM’s Presents to discover more projects that put rebelliousness and self-expression front and centre.