What is Drüegg doing these days?
The artist Drüegg is known for his turquoise, itself repeating little house-landscapes, which he prefers to paint on walls. The walls should be large, he likes these especially. The year 2020 was unpredictable for artists like him. A look back shows how it has been for him.
The “Haus zur Ameise“ (house to the ant) – an old townhouse in the middle of St.Gallen’s old town. Artist Dominik Rüegg comes running down the wooden stairs and opens the squeaky door with his inviting laugh. Two floors up is his studio. He sets his large bialetti on the mobile stove, asks if sugar or cream is preferred in the coffee, and sits down at his self-made table, which consists only of a wooden plate on two work trestles. Euphorically, he talks about past exhibitions on the first floor of the house. Recently, he says, they exhibited shoes. Yes, sneakers, he confirms. Because studio colleague Dominique Taudien, the shoemaker, has a large sneaker collection and friends who share the same passion with him. Great idea! And what else is new? They would now have the basement ready to go to organize small events in the future. That makes sense, because the Haus zur Ameise is not only an exhibition and studio house, but also a place for people to meet. Something that St.Gallen needed. Something with a lot of heart.
These scenes are memories from the fall of 2019. Now it has become quiet around the house. So, one might think, around Drüegg, too. “2020 has been a crazier year than expected,” he revises. It’s unusual to see him via a bluish screen. He hasn’t lost his hearty laugh. The joy is immense to see each other again, at least via Zoom, after almost a year. He has received bigger jobs than the year before. And what were those commissions? “My highlight was a 320-square-meter wall in a trampoline park in Lausanne,” he says. This park is supposed to be the largest in Switzerland, but the opening has remained pending to this day.
However, without visitors it is possible to paint. Such opportunities multiplied last year for the artist. Because where people work in a home office, the office space is empty and can be painted. A loyal client, the Süd Bar in St.Gallen, also took the opportunity to freshen up its walls with the doors closed. Drüegg is pleased: “With normal business hours, it was difficult to find an appointment.”
Things look different at the Haus zur Ameise. Silence has descended upon it. Because the vision of the house revolves primarily around events and get-togethers. And this was only possible to a limited extent or not at all. “We have once again become aware of what the original vision was,” says Dominik Rüegg. The Haus zur Ameise should continue to be a place of encounter that should also bring people from outside to St.Gallen. Ideas for the future are there. Now it is a matter of waiting out the crisis.
Website of Drüegg: https://drue-egg.com/
Website of the Haus zur Ameise: https://hauszurameise.com