Oliver Latta, also known as Extraweg, is a German Art Director and 3D Artist. Born and raised in Kotten, a small town in East Germany, he currently can be found living and working in Berlin. He unconventionally transforms human being’s daily actions through his unique moving forms. Oliver refines them through their minimalist appearances and keeps the viewers focused on the arousing expressions.
Oliver’s animations are disturbing but at the same time strangely beautiful and hypnotic. He looks to provoke emotions, while being innovative and different as in all the things that he does. His range of artistic collaborations is very wide. The latest one with Gorillaz was enough for us to be truly captivated. Oliver’s creations lead his viewers into the future of design.
“My aim is to provoke emotions.”
Why pink rather than other colours?
The pink colour, like the nudity or the sexual neutrality that we usually see in the videos are only aesthetic resources to visually simplify the videos. I like to bring in to every video a non-threatening tone, and I often use monochrome materials, bright colours and somewhat slowed movements. All these resources are important not to distract too much from the content.
Lately, you’ve been working as a 3D animator for the last video of the Gorillaz which is very exciting! Tell me more about it.
Yes, that was indeed exciting and a great opportunity to somehow play with Stuart Harold Pot (“2-D”), this amazing character that Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn created, and in spite of being a short sequence people liked it very much. However, now I’m working on an entire music video for a British band, which is a big challenge for me because to animate almost 4 minutes, believe me it’s a big thing!
Where does your inspiration come from?
This is a recurring question however it is not easy to explain. I guess I usually find inspiration for the videos in everyday situations; I enjoy playing with them and presenting them in an ambiguous and uncomfortable way. On each publication there is a certain kind of social criticism too, but they do not necessarily correspond to any specific fact. Oftenly the inspiration comes more from a feeling or a emotion respect to something.
What makes a piece of art ‘provocative’?
Probably when it takes risks and surprises you, when it blows your mind or when it’s able to impact you enough to make you think.
“Art expresses the emotions and struggles of the society it exists within, and inspires people to cope and even overcome. Art is inherent to the human being and to picture a world without art would be like imagining a world with no voice. Nowadays, unfortunately there are many reasons to raise the voice, so to me art is fundamental.”
Tell me about the most challenging part of your career.
The lack of time, and I mean it in all senses. Whenever I´m involved in a project there is always this feeling of not having enough time, it’s very stressful. As a consequence, the same happens to my personal life, to deal with all this definitely is the most challenging part.
All of your videos are very impactful. Which one of them do you most identity with or defines you as an artist.
There are three aspects for me that are fundamental when I start creating a new video: aesthetic, story and technique. I always try to make something aesthetically strong in terms of colour, lightning and composition and there must also be a powerful message or story to tell. As for the technique, I try to make of every video a challenge in itself; for many people this is not that obvious to see but usually my videos are technically very innovative.
How do you keep up with the ever growing world of graphic design? Are there any specific festivals or events that you are following?
Hmm, there are artists that I admire and follow, of course, but more than any other thing I try to keep myself updated with new techniques and especially Houdini (the main software that I work with), in order to discover new functions and experiment a lot rather than checking what other people are doing.
Basically, I try to find references and inspiration in other areas more than in other people’s work, I think that as an artist this is much more productive. At the end of the day, authenticity is very important in design.
Do you have an idol?
Not really, but coming back to the question before I can tell you people that I admire very much because of their innovation and originality in their work. I’m talking about people like Gmunk, Korb or Dvein, who are really unique and also combining real footage and computer graphics.
Tell me about your next exciting projects.
Like I was saying before, I’m currently doing an entire music video for a really big British band which I´m very excited about. The song is great and since the very first moment both the band and I felt it was a great match doing something together. They gave us total creative freedom which is a big plus, so as you can imagine I can’t wait until it’s released and see people’s reaction. By the way, it will come out after Christmas!