Fabian Treiber: Memories, Narration and Painting


I catch up with Stuttgart-based artist and painter Fabian Treiber to discuss his practice and to get under the skin of his paintings. Keep scrolling down to see more of his work and to read more. A link to his Instagram is at the bottom of this page. 

Can you tell us more about your background, where you’re from and the kinds of themes that your paintings address? 

I'm from the south of Germany and was born close to Stuttgart. I was studying at the Stuttgart State Academy of Fine Arts mostly in the class of Reto Boller. Before I applied to the academy, I was working as a computer scientist in a company which I quit, before I decided to study painting.

As you can probably imagine, my work is sometimes hard to explain, but I think my work addresses painting as an action itself. When I look back on the past few years, I was more or less constantly focused on the media itself, the materials which you can use to express. For example I was asking myself, when does a form or shape become narrative? What is the narration of the painting and what roles do the colour, structures, memories play?


Many of your paintings depict or hold within them in some way, images of interiors and objects that we would have in spaces that we inhabit. Tell us more about this and the importance of it in your work.

The objects that appear in my work are in close relationship to my general interest. I wouldn’t say that my paintings are about objects or interiors – I'd say that these things are giving me the chance to go on with my research in a more explicit way. I'm also open to a change of course in my vocabulary at any time and believe this is the most important part of my practice.


When I look back at my work from past few years, I would say, that it was nearly a natural consequence, regarding the vocabulary I use, to focus on the simple things – the common things. Things which are surrounding me but, as you were saying right, things and spaces which you would inhabit as well. Just to remind them painterly.

I do believe, that there’s a special sort of common sense in this vocabulary and therefor it’s necessary to have a closer look on the feelings which we relate to these things.


How does sharing your work on Instagram help you?

Interesting question, I never asked myself this!

I don’t really know, I'd say that sharing can sometimes be a curse but a blessing too. Honestly, I try to use Instagram as a tool right from the beginning. I started with it in late 2015 and I am quite happy that I didn’t use it the years before. I believe, you should know what you’re doing before you face all those influences.

I tend to use it most to share works and images of what I'm doing in the studio. 


What is the single most important advice that you have been given by another creative person? 

Oh, that’s a tough one… I think it was advice that my former professor gave me. To go on with my interest behind the “obvious” on the surface and helped me to name things behind it – to adopt my own attitude in the end. 

He was totally convinced of the idea that a good artwork has to stand on it’s own and I should focus on my single pieces and forget about any relationships at first.

Follow Fabian on Instagram @fabian_treiber