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Sven Ruthner

Sven Ruthner (1980) lives and works in Germany. He is best known for his pixel artwork, which has garnered international attention as well as being widely appreciated on Pixel-Art-Foren and in the Demoszene.

Ruthner has been making art his whole life. He draws his inspiration from theater, language and art; other influences include computer games and the demoscene sub culture, which is no surprise given the origin of pixel art. He experiments with the limited and strict color palettes from the 1980's and 1990's eras of computing, such as CGA, EGA and ZX Spectrum color schemes. He also creates work based on custom-made palettes that are exchanged between pixel artists the world over.

When using these color palettes he adheres strictly to the technical limits of computers of that time, only producing images a benchmark machine should be able to render. "Challenging myself in this way strengthens the art I produce," he says. "I'm forced into a dialogue with the art, because I need to find unconventional solutions for the restrictions I place on myself. That process of creating, the dialogue with the machine, is also what excites me the most about making this type of art."

The finished pictures often contain a dash of humor, and possess a universal appeal that harks back to a pioneering, more innocent age of computing.

Ruthner doesn't see pixel art as a style. "Pixels are more of a medium. There are artists the world over creating pixel art, and they do all kinds of different things with it. Pixel art is often regarded as retro, but that’s only part of it. There are different styles within pixel art."

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Sven Ruthner Personal Work