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Andy Franzel: From a cappella to Visionale

Andy Franzel: From a cappella to Visionale

Illustrations, drawings and drawings – many works of art are created in Andy Franzel's studio in St. Pölten. His style is somewhat reminiscent of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró or Keith Haring. Fränzl is not picky when it comes to choosing materials. Colorful faces with different sized eyes smile from beer mats and crates as well as from stones. In general, he admired the small figures. It then transfers some images to a large format, for example in the form of a texture. In 2023 he exhibited his work for the first time as part of a solo exhibition at the Soldo Gallery in Vienna.

Music fans will remember Andy Franzel as the leader of the a cappella group Bauchklang. Franzel recalls that his musical career began at BORG St. Pölten as a result of joint musical production. “It so happened that after BORG, where the whole thing developed, I went to Angewandte (University of Applied Arts). I studied art and graphics there,” says Franzel, “and in the meantime the Ventral Voice project continued to develop, and there were the first shows in Vienna and the first national dates.” “.


Andy Franzel has won four Amadeus Awards with his unusual vocal line-up “Bauschklang”

Voice acrobats have won four Amadeus Awards

The artist eventually toured from Montreal to Mumbai with the band Bauchklang. The Acoustic Groove Project's music was unique at the time. “Diving into these areas with your voice, that is, making electronic music with just your voice, has never been done before,” Franzel recalls.

Voice acrobats have won four Amadeus Awards. 2016 ended after a brief comeback. Other Andy Franzel projects followed, such as the Sonnenpark in the south of St. Pölten, where the cultural association LAMES (La Musique et Sun), originally an artists' collective, found its home and workplace. “This then became a very broad association that brought together areas such as visuals, fine arts and music and addressed how you can be active and creative in an open space and create low-threshold performances to simply use the space dedicated to art and culture.”

Climate conference and art on the walls of the house

The association struggled for 15 years, and finally succeeded, in preserving the natural areas, because the city of St. Pölten originally wanted to build cooperative apartments on five hectares. As part of the Tangente Festival of Contemporary Culture taking place in St. Pölten this year, the climate conference will be held in Sonnenpark from 9 to 11 May. Anyone can come, Franzel promised. Discussions and lectures with climate experts are scheduled.

The area will then be developed further. “I think that these places that are not used commercially, where there is no pressure to consume, are important,” Franzel is convinced, because “where you have free space and nature is the best free space, where you have the opportunity to realize yourself and be yourself.” Everyone feels that “This is more important than ever in society.”

Andy Franzel


St. Poultner is a versatile artist

As curator, Franzel is also responsible for coordinating the “StadtLandFluss” as part of Tangente, which will take place on June 21 and 22 in the St. Pölten State and Cultural District, where there is a space for art, culture and encounters. It is to be created. The fact that, as a St. Pölten native, he knows the scene in the state capital better than many of Tangente's contributors who don't live in the city, is certainly no drawback.

I'm looking for young artists

Franzel, who was one of the featured artists in St. Pölten's then-burgeoning music and cultural scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is now important as a role model for young creative talents. He can prove himself in Tangente, for example. The search is still ongoing for young artists for the “Visionale” project. The open call continues until March 10.

It's a matter of developing decorations for the festival's themes, which are then transferred to three house walls in St. Pölten, says Franzel. “Ultimately, there should be something left after 2024 and things should continue to be good,” hopes Franzel. He added: “We must realize that 2024 also represents an opportunity and there are ways to strengthen structures and put new things on track. I think this is really important.”

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