Art & the Artist Travel & Leisure

In the Studio with extraweg’s Oliver Latta

With a huge following on Instagram and working under the moniker extraweg, the Berlin-based artist highlights a world in flux with his dramatic 3D creations of contorting human figures

When asked to describe the animated videos he posts on social media, Oliver Latta says: “Provocative, non-conformist, risky… There is a story behind every video and always the motivation to shake the viewers and provoke their emotions.”

The animations that Latta posts as extraweg often feature bubblegum-pink human figures that melt, contort, or disintegrate before our eyes. Others show numbers exploding in technicolor. “With each of my posts there is a kind of social criticism… the #MeToo movement, the influencers phenomenon, Brexit, and climate change,” he confesses.

Latta grew up in a small town in East Germany and discovered a love of photography at an early age. “I’ve always taken pictures,” he says. “Soon I began to edit images and then videos.” Realizing that the audiovisual world was often limited, Latta became interested in 3D motion design and its “endless creative possibilities.” After studying Design at Bauhaus university in Dessau, Latta started working as a 3D artist for a production studio in Berlin.

Oliver Latta extraweg Out of Sight
Still from Latta’s work, Out of Sight. The artist posts online as extraweg. ©extraweg

Not content with working solely for other people, however, he continued with his own creative output out of hours. “My artistic work is an escape route,” he observes. “With it I have absolute freedom to do what I want or experiment with effects or techniques.”

Oliver Latta extraweg Brainstorming
Latta incorporates social criticism into his work. This piece, Brainstorming, is a comment on the influencers phenomenon. ©extraweg

Setting up an Instagram account to share his videos was, he admits, “life-changing.” His creations have been viewed millions of times and he now has an impressive 340,000 followers. Commissions soon began to come through the platform, leading Latta to open his studio, extraweg.

There is a story behind every video and always the motivation to shake the viewers and provoke their emotions.

“The name extraweg is a statement of intent and explains very well what we want to be as a design studio. Extraweg is the combination of the words ‘extra,’ where extra means being more than what is usual or expected, and weg, the German word for path or way.” Latta currently runs the studio with one other collaborator, Bruno León, though he says things are moving fast and that they recruit freelance talent when needed.

Oliver Latta extraweg With one eye crying
Each eye-catching extraweg video is just a few seconds long, but can take up to a week to create. ©extraweg

Instagram continues to be the space in which the German artist expresses himself best, sharing the short videos that can take as much as a week to craft. “Instagram allows you to reach millions of people where you can compel them to engage or share content. It’s also the reason why I’m invited to give talks, and why I’ve done this interview…”