cheerful morbidity

Malik is a gorilla – made out of branches. Malik is a rusty locomotive – silent and heavy. Malik is a man with his head burried in the soil. Malik is a man accidentally triggering a bomb. Malik is all of this and once he is finished with a work of art he goes on to the next project claiming that it won’t have anything to do with the previous. However, he is always visible by a sinister backdrop in all of his work. The beautiful landscape is actually a minefield, the frog is a fat politician and the flamingo is a chain smoker, cause he has to wait for public transport.

The gist of his work is seldom visible at first sight. It takes a moment of looking at an illustration, a painting, a drawing or a sculpture to see what it might be all about. It so happens at exhibitions that visitors are looking at a painting, smiling, then approaching the work of art and, realising what they had just looked at, stepping back with an irritated look on their faces. Surprising the audience is what Malik does best. Always with a twinkle in his eye.

His style is hard to pin down. As a teenager Malik used to hang out near the train tracks and spray paint animals onto pillars. Signing in to Art School in Bern broadened his mind in terms of the materials used, but it wasn’t a successful episode. There was nothing new to learn, he thought, and he decided to quit and concentrate on his own work.

In retrospect the decision was a wise one. In addition to an enormous amount of pieces of art that was created in the following years Malik started designing logos and interior concepts. He is now an internationally renown artists who has collaborated with different artists from different fields. There is no doubt that his ample wit and dark humour will delight gallery owners and visitors alike in the years to come.


art in prison

Since 2012 I'm painting walls in Swiss prisons. This is an ongoing thing. One of the most important work I've done till now. It all startet with the project 4661m2 in Lenzburg:

For years, they are stuck in a single, tiny room. Empty, grey walls surround them. From the window all they can see is another grey wall. Once a day, they are allowed to go and spend time in another room. This one too is grey.

This is the daily life of the inmates of a prison.

I was looking for a new challenge - for a new, exciting project where I could use my art. In Spring 2012, just before falling asleep as I lay in bed one night, I suddenly had the idea about the prison. On the one hand, it would mean huge, empty walls, which is (are?) hard to find in Switzerland, and on the other hand, I thought it would be an exciting challenge to present my art in such a confronting environment.

I wrote an e-mail to the Lenzburg penitentiary and told them I wanted to paint their prison. For free. Marcel Ruf, the director of the institute replied shortly afterwards, saying that I should come by to present my plans. Much to my surprise, the idea was well received and Ruf was willing to help wherever possible to help realise it. One thing was clear though - we couldn’t use tax money, which I had no desire to do anyway.

During the first tour of the prison, Ruf showed me which walls I could use for the composition. I realised then that the walls were much larger than I had hoped. My idea developed from a one-man show into a bigger project. The surfaces were a massive 4661 m2. I wandered through a complex made almost entirely from concrete. It was grey upon grey, and then topped off with the cloudy sky. A barren landscape singularly characterised by the cold and emptiness of the concrete. It made quite an impression on me, and the thought of having to spend a ​​long period of time between these walls was awful. Colour is a basic need in our lives, one that is taken for granted until it’s taken away.

After I had taken in the first impression, I started to think seriously about the possibilities in this kind of context. And above all, what kind of subjects could be suitable to make everyday life in prison at least a little more bearable. Not just for the inmates, but also for the staff.

My colleague Claude was excited about my idea and together we started to plan how to tackle the project. That was the start of a long phase of organising. The most important job to start with was to put together a team of professional artists that could deal with these kinds of surfaces and this context. We chose some of the best Swiss artists and also a friend from Poland. They all agreed to work for free. And they were also willing to take into consideration the impact of their choice of subjects on the inmates.

Before we knew it, we found ourselves in the middle of a massive project, which demanded a lot of time and energy, but also continued to motivate and inspire us. The working conditions were not always easy. On the one hand, we had to remain aware of where we are, but on the other hand, we had to let this go too. We had to ignore the claustrophobic surroundings and the noise of the inmates in the background. We also had to get used to the fact that we couldn’t move around without the staff accompanying us. Sometimes it seemed like the project was over our heads and we had doubts about whether we could handle it. But luckily our ambition kept winning through.

The pictures that can be seen in the prison now were created over a period of 18 months. We painted exercise courtyards, corridors, stairwells and of course the enormous outdoor walls.

What was once just an idea before falling asleep one night has become a piece of art in its entirety. It has emerged as something totally unique. I was lucky enough to be able to do this at the right time with the right people.

Above all, I want to pay a huge compliment to the artists involved, who have done an amazing job and turned this place into a living work of art. This wouldn’t have been possible without the openness and willing support of the prison management. Thanks to the photographers and filmmakers, we were also able to have the whole project professionally documented.

I hope that, through our work, we have brought a little more joy, imagination and relaxation into the bitter reality of everyday prison life. How much our work will move the inmates, or repel them, is hard to say. But every prisoner has the right to freedom of thought.


( Selection )

- 21 Solutions

- Amateur Magazine

- Carhartt

- Mantis

- Moksha

- Puma / Usain Bolt

- Reddesign

- Rehmann Museum Laufenburg

- Rolling Rock


( Selection )


- AZ Aargauer Zeitung

- Blue Balls Jazz Festival

- Boesner

- Boss Orange

- Boxclub Aarau


- Diamant Sondereinheit KaPo Zh

- Erne

- Implenia


- Justizvollzugsanstalt Lenzburg

- Kantonspolizei Luzern

- Kanton Zürich Direktion der Justiz und des Innern

- Lascaux

- Migros

- die Mobiliar

- Onitsuka Tiger

- Opel

- Privatkliniken Schweiz

- SBB Cargo

- Securitas

- Siemens

- Sihlcity

- Shoppi Tivoli

- Soprema

- Swisscom

- UE Ultimate Ears


- Verband Zürcher Musikschulen

- VW / Scania Nutzfahrzeuge

- Warner Bros

- Zürich Versicherung


Exhibitions / Events

2019 Goodbye Windows

David Monllor, Malik, Pollo7

Studio exhibition

Schönenwerd, CH

2018 Four Contemporaries

Malik, David Monllor, Mizzo, Daniel Zeltner

Gallery Dutoit, Unterentfelden, CH

2017 Under Construction

Malik, David Monllor, Mizzo, Daniel Zeltner, Pollo7, Benjamin Solt

Rehmann Museum, Laufenburg, CH

2016 Who Will Stop The Rain

David Monllor, David Stegmann, Fabian Hübner, Malik

Streetart Limited, Baden, CH

2016 Propart

Live Painting Event

Feat: Lack1, Safu, C- Line, Dr Drax, Mindless, NeverCrew, Cows, ...

Konzepthalle, Thun, Switzerland

2015 4661m2 - Art In Prison Book Release

Book Relese

Sphères, Zürich, CH

2015 Propart

Live Painting Event

Feat: Lack1, Safu, C- Line, Dr Drax, Mindless, NeverCrew, Cows, ...

Konzepthalle, Thun, Switzerland

2015 Urban X II


Büro Destruct, Zürich, CH

2014 Propart

Live Painting Event

Feat: Lack1, Safu, C- Line, Dr Drax, Mindless, NeverCrew, Cows, ...

Konzepthalle, Thun, Switzerland

2013 Propart

Live Painting Event

Feat: Lack1, Safu, C- Line, Dr Drax, Mindless, NeverCrew, Cows, ...

Konzepthalle, Thun, Switzerland

2012 Gallery Dutoit

Collective Exhibition

Gallery Dutoit, Unterentfelden, CH

2012 Grafik12

Collective Exhibition of Swiss Graphic Design with Livepainting

Feat: Ata Bozaci, Kkade, Safu, Fafa, C-Line, ...

Maag Areal, Zürich, Switzerland

2012 Drop2- Black and White

Live Painting Event

Feat: Note, Chromeo, Mizzo, Safu, Ti, Schwarzmaler, Monsta, ...

Drop2, Lausanne, Switzerland

2012 Propart

Live Painting Event

Feat: Lack1, Safu, C- Line, Dr Drax, Mindless, NeverCrew, Cows, ...

Konzepthalle, Thun, Switzerland

2011 Stroke Artfair

International Urban Art Exhibition

Feat: Note, Disk, Pheks, Pixel Pancho, Sepe, Robert Proch, Onur,...

Zenith, Munich, Germany

2011 The Next Step

Collective Exhibition

Feat: Note, Ti, Push, Tarek, Pisa 73, Andreas Pfister, ...

DoK Gallery, Baden, Switzerland

2011 Urban Art Studio

Live Painting and Exhibition

Camel Urban Art Studio, Zürich, Switzerland

2011 Propart 11

Live Painting Event

Feat: Safu, Cows, Lack1, Rips1, Dr Drax, Jay, Ras le Bol, Mindless, Queenkong, ...

Konzepthalle, Thun, Switzerland

2010 Art House- Artistic Living Room

Exhibition and Wallpaintings in a flat

Feat: Roma

Buchs, Switzerland

2010 Urban Explosion

Live Painting Event

Feat: Shark, Cruze, C-Line, Safu, Wes, ...

VBZ- Werkstätte, Zürich, Switzerland

2010 Blue Balls Festival

Swatch MTV Playground Live Painting Battle

KKL, Luzern, Switzerland

2009 Rolling Rock Anniversary

Live Painting @ Skate/ Parcours Event

Feat: Note, Lain, Jones, Push, One Truth, Kenny Need, Ti, Roma, ...

Rolling Rock, Aarau, Switzerland

2009 Art Clash 09- Team Battle

Live Streetart Contest with 16 Teams

Feat: Jones

Freitag Produktionshallen, Zürich, Switzerland

2008 Canvas Bash- Urban Skillz- 5 years Pussies Paradise

Live Painting Event

Feat: Lain, Ti, Ezra, Pase, V11, Kenny Need, Drax, ...

Kiff Foyer, Aarau, Switzerland

2008 Gallery 6- Streetart from Aarau

Collective Exhibition

Feat: Kam, Lain, Roma

Gallery 6, Aarau, Switzerland

2008 Urban Feedback

Collective Exhibition

Feat: Dare, Smash, Flying Fortress, Tower, London Police, FYC, Mizzo, Evol, Wink, ..

Markthalle, Basel, Switzerland

2008 Freak Credibility- The Artwork of Malik

Solo Exhibition

Carhartt Store, Olten, Switzerland

2007 Freak Credibility- The Artwork of Malik

Solo Exhibition

Carhartt Store, Zürich, Switzerland

2007 Art Clash

International Street Art Contest

Art Clash Winner Malik

Rote Fabrik, Zürich, Switzerland

Event: Rote Fabrik, Zürich, Schweiz

Exhibitions: Zur Nachtigall ( Zürich ), Carharrt Store ( Zürich )

2006 Art Event

Collective Exhibition

Feat: Walter Müller, Christian Siegenthaler, Heidrun Tielmann

Maurer AG, Buchs, Switzerland

2006 Up to Pop

Collective Exhibition

Feat: Kam, Vade, Derek, Carmelo Lo Brutto

Galerie am Bach, Erlinsbach, Switzerland

2006 Style Instinct

Collective Exhibition

Feat: Ragna Schramm, Walter Müller, Roma, Roman Brändli

Zürich, Switzerland

2006 Von Schädeln und Tentakeln

Exhibition with Ragna Schramm

Rellingen, Hamburg, Germany

2005 Müllblüten


Rathausgalerie, Baden

2005 Malik

Solo Exhibition

Interpunkt, Suhr, Switzerland

2005 Art Clash- Sachen machen

Collective Exhibition and Art Contest

Huber+ Anacker, Aarau, Switzerland

2004 Villa Tannheim Exhibition- Ciao

Collective Exhibition

Feat: Mr. Papriko, Kam, Carmelo Lo Brutto

Villa Tannheim, Schönenwerd, Switzerland

2003 Malik- Gerade Verdreht

Solo Exhibition

Herzberg, Asp, Switzerland

2001 – 2002 Subart Gallery

Solo Exhibition

Subart Gallery, Aarau, Switzerland

2000 Arterien

Collective Exhibition and Mural Painting

Feat: Kam, Amik, Flash, Hutch, ...

Flösserplatz, Aarau, Switzerland

2000 Villa Tannheim

Collective Exhibition

Villa Tannheim, Schönenwerd, Switzerland


4661m2 - Art In Prison

Book about the prison project 4661m2 in JVA Lenzburg


25.5 x 28 cm, 192 pages, hardcover

german / english

ISBN 978-3-7212-0947-1



Fresh 1

Cutting Edge Illustrations Object

( part of Fresh Box: Illustrations / Object / Public )

publisher: Slanted, daab

21 x 28 cm, 336 pages

ISBN: 978-3-942597-06-7


Fresh 2

Cutting Edge Illustrations Public

( part of Fresh Box: Illustrations / Object / Public )

publisher: Slanted, daab

21 x 28 cm, 336 pages

ISBN: 978-3-942597-05-


Every Wall Is A Door

publisher: Benteli

29.5 x 20 cm, 192 pages

ISBN: 978-3-7165-1844-1



( Selection )


Best Of Aargau

Oktober 2020


AZ - Aargauer Zeitung

Dezember 2019



( Red Bull Magazine )

November 2015


Sonntags Zeitung

( report about the project 4661m2- Art In Prison )

September 2015


AZ - Aargauer Zeitung

( report about the project 4661m2 - Art In Prison )

September 2015


Amateur Magazine

May 2014



4661m2 - Der Eindruck Von Freiheit

Polymorph Pictures

Director: Valerie Blankenbyl

43 min

german / english