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Detail from Übersee, 2020


The overpaintings have been an integral part of Berlin artist Peer Kriesel’s oeuvre since 2012, and in this series of works the artist uses “designed” print products as painting surfaces that have served their original function. He uses a wide variety of materials, from canceled tickets, admission tickets and invitations to exhibition openings to postcards, atlas maps and large-format nautical charts.

Peer Kriesel is fascinated by these obsolete documents of contemporary history, which are becoming increasingly rare in a time of digital transformation and a digital society and can serve as a kind of mirror for our values and identity.

Übersee, watercolor/acrylic/pigment ink on paper (overpainted nautical chart from 1978), 73cm × 103cm, 2020

Most materials no longer have any real value at the time they are painted over. Nevertheless, they are loaded with stories from their past lives. Every journey had an occasion, every visit to the cinema, every trip leaves behind a memory that is stored in the tickets, admission tickets or boarding tickets made of paper and cardboard.

And yet they are becoming fewer. Instead of paper tickets and airline tickets, we use QR codes and digital wallets. Instead of just a few very concentrated souvenir photos, we collect masses of digital snapshots on our smartphones and computers. Analog handwritten postcards or greeting cards are still rarely sent. Instead, they are copied WhatsApp messages.
In the end, there is so much data that we can no longer keep track of it all.

In addition to the memory that these haptic paper finds carry, more and more originality is also being lost.
The overpaintings are strongly inspired by the age of digitalization.It is about values, the acceleration of communication, the change in perception and the inflationary consumption of art and media.

The more life and history there is in the objects, the more interesting they are for Peer Kriesel. Design elements, imprints and smudged, partially faded stamping ink as well as stains and tears serve as a source of inspiration for the artist.

Just Air, watercolor/pigment ink on paper, 48cm × 26cm, 2020

FRTZNABSTRCTN #642, oil/acrylic on canvas, 50cm × 40cm

1849, overpainting (BVG map)
Watercolor/acrylic/pigment ink on paper, 7,5cm × 6cm, 2022


The first overpainted tickets were created in 2012/2013 and thus represent the first works in the series of overpaintings. It all started with the tickets of the Berlin transport company BVG and S-Bahn tickets, but over the years other tickets also became the painting background.

Peer Kriesel is fascinated by the short-term value of these tickets. It’s usually only a few meters from buying the ticket at the ticket machine to “validating” it. And despite the fact that the object has obviously become worthless, it is charged with a certain “journey”, a journey, a destination. The time and starting point of this journey is still manifested in analog form with a stamp.

Design elements of the ticket that are hardly noticed, such as holograms, ornaments and the unique serial numbers on Berlin tickets, serve as a source of inspiration for the artist.

By painting over the piece of paper, which is actually worthless after the journey, it is revalued in a new context. The journey thus becomes a stand-alone object of memory. It is not stored digitally in a history of journeys. It is the opposite of the ephemeral QR code.

Digitalization means that these analogue tickets and other reminders in paper form, such as admission and invitation cards and boarding tickets etc., will increasingly disappear from our lives.


Alongside the tickets, the overpainted postcards form a separate series within this series of works.

Old postcards and greeting cards exert a great fascination on the artist Peer Kriesel.
The handwritten postcard is the epitome and expression of an appreciation that is increasingly being lost in the digital age of copy and paste.

While a postcard was an important means of communication back then, when the telephone was not yet available in every household, it has become a rarity in times of messenger services such as WhatsApp.

The personal addressing of a postcard with a personal handwritten message from the sender also touches on so many points in the current debate about data protection, anonymity, identity and originality.

Strippenzieher, watercolor/acrylic/pigment ink on paper (postcard)
14cm × 9,5cm, 2022

Mandel, overpainting from the Risque series, watercolor/pigment ink on paper (photo), 14cm × 8.5cm, 2020

Risque series

The overpainted nudes and erotic photos in the Risque series represent a small series of their own within the series of overpaintings.

Just as access to erotic content has become easier and easier over time, so too have the possibilities for production and publication become simpler and more extensive. Digitalization and the Internet have accelerated this many times over.
While today many different online platforms compete with user-generated free erotic content that is freely available, back then it was a big risk to obtain, produce or publish erotic images.

Today, these sometimes bizarrely staged nude photos from back then often seem rather naive, almost funny and harmless.

The Risque series also addresses, on behalf of other areas, the enormous change in access to questionable and even dangerous content over time and the role of the internet and digitalization in this.

Viking Bank, watercolor/acrylic/pigment ink on paper (overpainted nautical chart from 1966), 74cm × 108cm, 2020

Sea charts & atlas charts

The painted-over sea and atlas maps and city maps were added to the series of works by Berlin artist Peer Kriesel in 2020. The overpaintings typical of the artist thus become large-format for the first time with the nautical charts, so that the filigree and detailed structures become an almost infinite teeming mass.

The artist paints over old – often very rare – cards with watercolor and acrylic paint as well as pigment fineliner. This leads to a seemingly irrevocable change in the medium of the card, but at the same time the object is elevated to the status of art. The old (disused) maps, which seem almost anachronistic in the age of Google Maps, are thus given a new lease of life. The map depiction with its landscapes and dates, its past life and the time from which it originates, serves as a source of inspiration for something new: for an unfathomable universe of grimaces, mythical creatures and figures drawn on paper with the finest of strokes. Shoreline and national borders dissolve.

Symbolically, the works of the map overpaintings deal with orientation in an age of an abundance of data, influences, impressions and messages that can no longer be grasped and categorized in an unstructured way.

Die Begegnung/The Encounter, watercolor/acrylic/pigment ink on paper, 54cm × 44cm, 2021

Vorteil, Achim series, watercolor/pigment ink on paper (card) and string, 8,3cm × 14,4cm, 2020

Deine Mutti, Achim series, watercolor/pigment ink on paper, approx. 15cm × 10cm, 2019

Achim series

This series of works includes overpaintings of old postcards, documents and papers by Peer Kriesel’s great-uncle, Achim.

They tell a personal, but also forgotten story – new figures and a contemporary world emerge in contrast on old, aesthetically exciting backgrounds.

In addition to old postcards from the family, the papers and backgrounds are also from a time as a prisoner of war during and after the Second World War.

Of particular interest here are the type of communication and the feelings associated with it at this time. Hope for when one will finally be released, fears for relatives and all of this in analog form via field mail, which was on the road for weeks and today it seems like a miracle that it reached the recipient anyway. Replies then took just as long and were only as short on small postcards as today’s Twitter messages.

These purely analog finds, which are very limited in number and range from photos of unknown ancestors and family members, to handwritten lists that seem irrelevant today, to obviously important documents such as certificates or identity cards, reflect the entire life of a man.

Clothing And Equipment Record, Achim series, watercolor/pigment ink on paper, ca. 18cm × 32cm, 2019

Works from this series

Versuchung Glück

Nach dem Diner

Goldene Zeiten


Exercise Area

Clothing And Equipment Record

Schweizer Irrfahrt

Bitte Please


Gruß aus Berlin

La République


Beste Wünsche

Salut, salut!

Liegender Akt

Hinter der Vase

Guten Morgen!

Prisoner of war

Sches Theater

Was ist Freiheit?

Die Begegnung

Terrain terrible

Aus der Isolation

Eine Frage der Ehre

Der Anfang vom Ende

Hier Und Jetzt