KEF! Simon Röhlen
Simon Röhlen, also known as KEF!, grew up in a small German town in Aachen, right on the Dutch border. Even as a child, he is always looking for something creative, a form with which he can express himself. The art offers KEF! the chance to escape to another world full of peace and harmony. Here he finds peace and true inspiration for his life.
At the age of 14 he first appeared in public with his own works. Creates his name pictorially and develops his very own form of art, which he brings to people around the world today. His path begins with an enthusiasm for graffiti, especially street art. For him, creating and viewing graffiti means freedom. “There are no rules there. You are not given anything. Everyone has access to street art, egardless of their social background. "
Even today he likes to look at other works of art. Every work of art works and has an impact on people. Street art influences KEF! and inspires him to produce himself. In 2006 he found the book “The Art of Rebellion: The World of Street Art”. He is fascinated by the chance to express himself through visual art. In the following years KEF! two characters who can be found everywhere in his works. As the reproduction of the material world increasingly blocks him, his paintings become more abstract. KEF starts at the age of 19! a three and a half year apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic. His ambition to paint grew during this time. KEF! has the unshakable belief that he has to be creative. He is almost obsessed with the idea of not doing anything but painting.
In 2011 the former German soccer league player Christian Timm contacted him and invited him to his pop-up gallery "Neeshkat", in the KEF! exhibits together with other street art artists. An important milestone that motivates him to invest more time in his art and to immerse himself in the London art scene. After completing his technical training, KEF! Knows that from now on he will devote himself exclusively to his art. He leaves his German homeland and moves to London. KEF paints in London numerous walls. His works are now regularly exhibited in European galleries and find their way into private art collections. At the same time, his work is becoming more and more popular and KEF! receives first orders outside of Europe. KEF! has been living since 2015 in Berlin. For him, the city exudes the freedom he needs.The fact that many people are creative in Berlin inspires him. In Berlin, KEF! an indefinable connection. Nevertheless, he does not want to commit to one place.
"I'm just a guest on this planet." KEF! travels regularly to live his art. Traveling makes him feel like he's everywhere and nowhere.
“I don't like to categorize my work. Even if I wanted to, I don't even know where I would be most likely to place them." KEF! chooses the environment, the subsoil and the form of his work! flexible. The diversity makes him free. He is interested in getting to know different surfaces and projects.
His works can be seen on canvases, interior wall surfaces, outdoor facilities, furnishing elements, clothing and accessories. In 2017 his art flowed into the design of a new handbag from Liebeskind. In place of figurative approximations, organic forms appear. The reproduction of the material world acts like a blockade on the evolution of his art. He repeatedly uses lines that come together to form a calm and harmonious whole.
“If we hold two leaves of a tree next to each other, they look pretty much the same at first. If we take a closer look, it becomes clear to us that each leaf is completely unique in itself and contains the entire universe. It's the same with my work."
KEF! works on various outdoor and indoor projects worldwide, including with the Park Lane Hotel in Hong Kong, the Hotel Molitor in Paris, the Artyzen Habitat Hotel in Shanghai as well as Urban Outfitters (Berlin, Stuttgart, London, Hong Kong) & Printemps in Paris.
Among other things, he has exhibited in the Danysz Gallery (London), Orlinda Lavergne Gallery (Mulhouse) and in the gallery "Ann Connelly Fine Art" (Baton Rouge).
The German NEUE KUNST GALLERY from Karlsruhe has been representing the artist almost exclusively since 2019.