Photography in Berlin: Sven Marquardt & the Ostkreuzschule

photo: Hannes Gade, Ostkreuzschule

Sven Marquardt is a Berlin living legend. And although this notion may sound a little bit generic at first, virtually all about him corroborates it. It’s as if his story and image were made up by a pretty skillful writer for some character in a novel. But no – it’s just that Berlin fate proving again that sometimes, seemingly the most coincidental occurrences make up for the best storylines.

Find out more about the famous Berghain bouncer who’s also a renowned photographer and a preview of the graduate exhibition “REPEAT” by his photography class students from the Ostkreuzschule for photography below.

photo: Sven Marquardt

Born in Prenzlauer Berg in 1962, Sven got to know the harsh reality of the life behind the Iron Curtain. The Russian censorship was obviously hard at work to discourage the youth from any yearning for the Western culture, but it was obviously impossible in Berlin, where casting a longing gaze over the high wall was just too much of a temptation. And that was the perplexing setting for Sven’s first photographic ventures – using his analog SLR camera, he’d document the emerging punk and new-wave East Berlin scene.

photo: Rabea Edel, Ostkreuzschule

Along with the revolutionary events of 1989, Marquardt experienced an unexpected career shift that in the end wouldn’t substitute his photographer profession entirely, but one that would strongly influence his image and future fame. His younger brother Oliver was becoming a huge figure on the Berlin electronic music scene and that’s where Sven performed his now legendary services consisting of looking deep down into the souls of people wanting to join a Berlin party and basically making sure they’re worthy of this unique pleasure.

photo: Uwe Jung-Kempe, Ostkreuzschule

Over the years, following his decision to take up photography again, Marquardt has created a fascinating portfolio with a predominance of black and white portraits. He’s very successful with his art regardless of how you want to measure it: appreciated by critics, he’s also done collaborations with fashion companies like Hugo Boss or Levi’s.

photo: Thomas Tiltmann, Ostkreuzschule

Meanwhile, he’s also published a Memoir, “Die Nacht ist Leben”. And the topic that he’s been working on with other photographers in his latest seminar at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie evokes similar associations: Leben, Todt und Auferstehung, die ewige Wiederkehr, der Kreislauf des Lebens: REPEAT? (life, death and resurrection: the eternal return, the circulation of life: REPEAT?).

photo: Arne Wesenberg, Ostkreuzschule

photo: Wilhelm Rinke, Ostkreuzschule

Michalina by
on March 13th, 2017
updated on September 21st, 2017
in Art

2 Responses to “Photography in Berlin: Sven Marquardt & the Ostkreuzschule”

  1. Peter Lotis Abram Says:

    Love the photography. Look forward to checking more out.

  2. Peter Lotis Abram Says:

    Does Sven have much photography from the late 80s, when I lived in Berlin? Be great to see

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