Peter Koppen, paper ship collages

Agnesstrasse 56
D - 80798 Munich / Germany

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+49 (0)171 7455 644

Peter Koppen

Home German Version
1947 Born in Ellwangen/Jagst, Germany
1953 Started with paper ship-creations after first being instructed by his father.
1960 First attempt to leave for Canada together with his seven year old brother to become gold miners. The journey ended, however, 15 km away from home.
1961 First independent activity in the armament industry - he sold handmade catapults to classmates. Additional paper ship production with no commercial background.
1968 After having finished high school he emigrated to Australia. There was busy as crane-operator, forklift-driver, bank employee and city bus driver. Especially during the time he was bank employee, produced paper ships by using bus-tickets on his way to the office. 443 of these early ships still exist, safeguarded in a high security area.
1970 Returned to Germany (Berlin) and studied economy. Inspired by the interesting contents of his studies, his penchant for producing paper ships became highly pronounced. By economic optimising of one memo-paper sheet, he made up to 30 out of one - this was the beginning of "Microship" production.
1976 he quit his studies because of his excessive microship production and moved to Munich, Bavaria. There besides he was busy as a night watchman, and since 1978 as a city bus driver.
1982 Discovered as an artist by Susan Aviles and converted microships into art objects.
1984 First exhibitions.
Since 1988 leading manufacturer of microships worldwide. Several reports in the media, especially by different German TV-Stations. Exhibitions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain.
Since 2008 sculptural activities with social and multicultural commitment. For more click

Artist's Statement

"... The beholder can truly appreciate the ships' quality as an aesthetic basic element only by contemplating the finished object. The formal clarity of the microships is pleasing not only to the eye of the connoisseur but also by the general public. When viewing the assembled microships, people experience a sense of aesthetic enjoyment. Microships are not political, they practice no social criticism, and they are of no use. In short, they embody the quintessence of art..." Peter Koppen
About the artist

"...Koppen is perfectly organised. His right vest pocket is his Warehouse for Raw Materials 2c. It contains pieces of paper of a certain colour and size. His left vest pocket is the Warehouse for Half-Finished Products - half-finished because the ships in this state cannot be sold. In his workshop - where several hundred-thousand ships are stored in drawers - the ships are used to form pictures.

In order to protect the uniqueness of his maritime objects Koppen has taken out a copyright for the name "Microship". To make some of his Microships Koppen folds pieces of paper 9.2 millimetres long and 6.6 millimetres wide. That is not even a fifth of the area of a stamp. A ship is formed by making fifteen folds. These ships - possibly the smallest in the world - are arranged, for example, in concentric circles; then are pasted on paper, and the resulting picture is framed. Such pictures resemble a bizarre flower or a colourful wave depending on which of the four basic patterns have been used, i.e. Ring Circuit, Central Circuit, Controlled Spiral Circuit or System Breakdown.

What Koppen himself calls a "normal mental disease" is for others just modern art. Koppen has sold over 700 pictures during the last ten years - the most expensive so far for about 4800 US $." Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Juli 1996

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