The Sexual Psyche of Pierre Schmidt
Pierre Schmidt, more commonly known as drømsjel, is a digital collage artist and illustrator, living and working in Berlin. Viewing his work feels like watching vintage porn on acid. Mind-bending psychedelia and erotic imagery combine with graphic illustrations and traditional collage techniques. And like classic surrealistic artists’ creations, Schmidt’s work is always open to the viewer’s interpretation.
Where did the name “drømsjel” come from?
It’s two Norwegian words merged together, meaning “dream soul.”
What draws you to creating surreal and erotic artworks?
Eroticism is not my main objective when creating the works. It’s more about capturing the feeling, the awe one feels in seeing something beautiful or grotesque for the first time — in the world, in a person, in dreams. It’s a feeling I look to capture.
Where does the inspiration for Pierre Schmidt come from?
I am inspired all the time by the past. Vintage publications, such as Penthouse, have always been a great source for inspiration. The color palettes, the grain of the paper at the time the image went to print, the fashion, the lighting. These elements play a huge part in inspiring me to create a new artwork. I would say my main inspiration is the past and the evolution of society. All those dreams of a 1950s man or woman, materializing through the next wave of liberation, and so it goes into the next decade.
As for being inspired by specific people, there are too many to mention. I created a series of works based off Nietzsche’s theories of morality at one time, yet I am equally inspired by musicians, films, documentaries and other artists such as Dalí or David Hockney. There are many of their influences in my works. David Lynch is a great inspiration, then so is Beethoven, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, metal bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder and documentaries by Adam Curtis. I could go on …
Where do you source the images that appear in your collages?
I find them on the internet or scan actual physical copies of vintage publications, magazines, catalogs or scour antique bookstores and flea markets for original photos.
What’s been your favorite image or bank of images find?
I have a huge library of digital images; I couldn’t tell you where one came from the next. I see and store clippings from modern backgrounds used on takeaway menus posted through my letterbox every week, right down to the shape of a petal on a flower from a children’s storybook that could’ve been published in 1935.
What tools do you use to create your pieces?
A computer, the internet, Photoshop, a scanner and a top-dollar printer.