“Vertreibung” by Michi Schneider
Art universities are a places of deep mystery for me. I often hear stories and anecdotes from several friends who studied in such places but I never got a clue on how these places really work. I guess it is somehow also intended to be like this. Imagine if the process of creating and teaching art would become transparent to everybody, it would loose definitely a lot of its magic.
Anyway, I try every year to visit the art universities graduation shows, not only because I love to scout for fresh new talents but also because I love to challenge my brain with the following problem: How can you give an artwork a grade and even a degree? Especially with very abstract artworks it is a challenge to imagine that somebody (I always imagine an art professor looking like Dumbledore with a white shirt full of color sprinkles) has given this a grade.
If you want to challenge yourself with the same question I invite you to visit the exhibition cool runnings by the graduates of Weißensee until the 30th of July. Some of the presented sculptures and paintings are really impressive. My favorites in the sculpture department was a flying boat called Syrenale made out of wood and neon lights by Anselm Schenkluhn. The illustration by Markus Scheunemann was also very intriguing – it was called Alice, tell me your wonderland and portrayed a very sexual interpretation of the story with a lot of pornographic Berlin scenery.
Call me shallow but my favorite painting was the one by Michi Schneider called Vertreibung showing Beyoncé as the Holy Mary next to a black kid being on the run. It hits the nerve on the recent refugee situation where our so-called Christian country is totally out of line in all political decisions right now. Enjoy some impressions of the exhibition after the jump and try to go there if you can.
photos: Anna Agliardi
The summer party of the UdK – University of the Arts is one of the cultural highlights of the summer. Crazy performances, nice jazz music, outlandish musical singers and of course beautiful art works of the graduating students are just a few of the highlights of this spectacular night. Sadly this year was a bit different than the other years. Most of the ateliers and working studios were closed for public. The students are protesting against the new faculty politic which is having less permanent professors and is working with more guest professors instead. These guest professors are often famous artists with a big name bringing a lot of attention to the university. But of course for the students this PR strategy means also less assistance also during the semester holidays and generally speaking famous artists are not automatically good teachers.
Even if I think the protest has its valuable reasons, I was wondering all night if not showing the work of the students is the best strategy to accomplish anything. The Rundgang is always a perfect platform for the upcoming artists to present their work to the public and to the press. Rejecting this opportunity for a bigger cause is a understandable decision. But as a lot of befriended artists of mine also said: It would have been much more effective to show art and cancel the party instead. Or at least don’t serve alcohol. But this would be crazy, right?
Anyway, we had a good night and enjoyed discovering some artworks and listening to the music and dancing in the magical courtyards of the university. You can still go and discover the artworks of the graduating students and the architects during the whole weekend. All the information and addresses are listed here. Enjoy the photographic impressions of last night shot by Anna Agliardi after the jump.
The good old days of Berlin everybody is constantly mentioning were somewhere in the 90s. There was a period where Berlin was still a Nimbus of freedom. Freedom of thinking loud, acting out and repurposing unused spaces. But between all this freedom some people got lost in drugs, fun, parties and maybe to much carelessness.
In the theater piece “Der Fuchs” premiering tonight at Ballhaus Ost a single character is on stage telling the true story of a typical Berlin 90s biography. Between all the cliches of drugs and techno the piece elaborates on the topic quite intimately and authentic thanks to the talents of actor Daniel Wagner. The stage by Thea Axthelm Hoffmann representing a mixture of artist workspace and hippie loft is in ever changing progression during the play. In front of the eyes of the spectators psychological controversies and abnormal thought chains unfold in a creative space that fails to become a real home. Anna Agliardi collected some photographic impressions for us. More pictures and the dates of the play after the rave.
Probably all the fashion enthusiast of Berlin have already paid a visit to the Mario Testino Exhibition at Kulturforum near Potsdamer Platz. Nonetheless we thought it would be still worth to review this unique exhibition because it’s not only relevant to people interested in fashion or advertisement, but it also gives a very critical perspective on the reality and surreality of images and beauty standards of our society therefore its thought provoking to both the haters and the fans of the fashion world.
Mario Testino is a Peruvian photographer who became successful in the 80s in London. I have to admit that for many years I always thought he was Italian because of his name, but he is actually from South America. For the fashion world he is probably one of the most iconic photographers and his imagery ranges from super artificial perfection to blurry authenticity. But he is not only known for the incredibly sexual imagery capable of projecting erotic fantasies on men and women alike. While visiting a panel this January I could experience how his incredible charm and sweet and creative personality is part of his artistic genius. Otherwise I don’t think that famous people such as Jennifer Lopez, Kate Winslet, Madonna and Kate Moss and many more would choose him over other photographers for unique and sometimes very intimate photography.
The exhibition “In Your Face” which is traveling around the world since 2012 is a tribute to his most famous photos from the different decades of his work. The photography itself is provocative, luscious and often very surreal. Watching famous ads or fashion shoots of magazines in big format and with perfect lightning will make enjoy the pictures on a different level. You also realize how much photoshopping and retouching is involved in creating the “perfect” images of beauty of our times. This becomes so evident while visiting this exhibition that it is somehow a relief. A relief from the pressure of society that always wants you to look better, thinner and younger everyday of your existence. Realizing that even the most famous people of our society have to be optimized so strongly to fulfill an unrealistic ideal that from up close its not even beautiful anymore makes you feel better about yourself. Or at least it did with me. The exhibition is still open until the 26 of July 2015. We are giving aways 2×2 tickets for the exhibition! More pictures and details after the jump.
“Are they masturbating?” I asked the artist Luisa Pohlmann when I first saw her new magnificent photorealistic portrait series of paintings showing women washing themselves and enjoying apparently whatever they were doing. But the answer to my unsolicited and quiet indiscrete question was neither a yes or no but rather a smile of the artist. Maybe my phantasies to her works that will be presented in a solo exhibition opening next Monday are way to concrete for the subtle art of Pohlmann.
The exhibition WASCHTAG leads us into a world of images that illustrate both processes of outer cleaning, as well as inner purification (maybe of a very dirty fantasy). The beautiful portraits of young women, oil on canvas or on paper, who act in various poses, sometimes with inward attention, sometimes in direct contact with the viewer, but always with great intensity. We encounter female characters, who, by being focused entirely on themselves – on their innermost being, reveal themselves to the viewer. Their authenticity gives them beauty inside as well as outside but also strength that arises from their personal confrontation with their inner self. See an exclusive preview of her unique work after the jump and find out more infos about the exhibition.
Street art is an essential part of the Berlin DNA and a powerful output of the local creative culture. Particularly popular to tourists and locals alike are giant murals embellishing the old firewalls. Some of these murals even get certain fame and have the potential to become even a steady landmark of the city.
But street art in opposition to public art (art created and funded by an institution or the government) is not supposed to become a landmark or to be perceived as steady. No wonder that the famous artist Blu decided to paint over his magnificent work leaving nothing else than a black shadow behind. Read more of our thoughts about that in this article.
But even if some street art might disappear over time there is still place and space for new art. For the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall the Italian region Puglia decided to give Berlin a unique present. They commissioned the Italian artist Agostino Iacurci from this region to create a unique work of art representing the human aspects of the unification. His beautiful work where he combines his typical urban motives with the natural idyll of his home is now on display on a wall at Moritzplatz, near the former border check-point Heinrich-Heine-Straße.
We had the chance to speak to the artist and visit the artwork while it was created. Check out more images of the artwork after the jump and some information about a little contest where you can win a trip to Italy’s finest beaches in Puglia.
Berlin has always been a place with a strong disruptive attitude. Every decade this city sees new things going to waste and getting thrown apart. But between all that waste and messiness there is always growing an intense subculture of creative minds wanting to invent things out of the ordinary. Taking place at a former GDR-Plattenbau, now art center and nightclub called Neu West Berlin the Trashera Festival brings a whole spectrum of different art forms in one place. All the artist presented are far from being part of the establishment but a good mix of newcomers, amateurs and wild party kids in an experimental phase of their life. But by joining force and with the help of an interesting location this event might have an absorbing energy worth experiencing. You have time until monday to check out the whole festival weekend of performance, installation, and music. Also worth trying is the Agora-Pop Up Restaurant serving delicious vegan food on top of the building. A little photographic preview after the jump.
The long weekend (for everybody who could take a “Brückentag) was a blast! You want to know how we made it even better? We went to the Wormland & House of Calvin Klein event and enjoyed some nice drinks, luxurious fashion, beautiful models and a charming concert by Jesper Munk. And the cherry on the cake was meeting good friends like the boys from Dandy Diary, as well as model and entrepreneur Markus. We took some photos for everybody who could not make it. Take a look at our impressions after the jump.
Finding cool elegant menswear in Berlin is a challenge all around the year. But especially in the summer when the wedding season starts I know dozens of men in the desperate situation to buy a well fitting suit that can be called fashionable and where you don’t look like you have just been at your graduation ceremony (Abifeier).
Especially for elegant menswear I think that a nice variety of choices helps you to find a better deal. And what better way to shop and stroll than while having a good drink in your hand? One of the best and well selected menswear shops in Berlin is Wormland. This Friday on May 15th 2015 they are hosting a special Calvin Klein Event with a live fashion installation, free drinks, appetizers and an exclusive concert of sexy blues singer Jesper Munk. If you want to attend please register under this link. After the jump a little preview from the music talent of Jesper Munk and the details to the event.
It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes we are lucky to present to you events that have a very powerful message. On the 21st of May 2015 legendary folk singer Joan Baez and world-renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei – both committed activists – will be the joint recipients of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2015. Prominent presenters of the honorific speech will be Patty Smith and Chris Dercon (upcoming General Director of Volksbühne).
Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award is the organization’s top honour, recognizing those who have shown exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights, through their life and work. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Berlin at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Continuing in the proud tradition of Amnesty supporting musicians who have gone before them, Academy Award winning songwriter Glen Hansard, German singer/songwriter Clueso and one of the finest voices in soul and blues, Jo Harman, will perform at the award ceremony for Joan Baez and Ai Weiwei.
We are giving away 2×2 free tickets for the event which you can also buy tickets for here. More after the jump.