iamjan_ on Instagram
In a few days it’s already here: This year’s early edition of the Berlin Festival. It normally took place in the Fall, but with the changes the festival is going through they also moved their date into the Spring to be the first festival of the year to open the festival season. Since it’s change of location from Tempelhof to the newly founded Arena Park that includes not only the Arena itself but also a lot of the space, venues and parks around it, the festival has experienced pretty much a reboot. We are totally in favor of these changes and like that it has more of a club atmosphere now and seems a bit more true to the spirit of Berlins nightlife.
Speaking of nightlife! Absolut is one of this year’s supporter of the Berlin Festival and they know a thing or two about creative nightlife. In support of the Berlin Festival they commissioned XI Design to create five big street art murals spread over several in town in the spirit of their Absolut Nights campaign. They look super fun and are great additions to all the ones we previously reported about. After the jump you can see a making of video, some photos and you’ll get a chance to win a pair of last minute Berlin Festival tickets!
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.
photo: Georg Schober
A tattoo is an irreversible act bound to a body and a life, and who better to remind us of this than Berlin-based tattoo artist Valentin Hirsch? It’s not easy to establish yourself as a tattoo artist these days, especially with the new wave of styles, technique and talent the past few years have brought us. Hirsch found his niche in the form of haunting animal motifs, geometry and avant-garde collages, all brought to life with beautifully refined dot work and clean lines. 2010 marked the transition from illustrations on paper to skin, and this change in medium acted as the distinctive turning point in the artistic development of Hirsch’s work, which resulted in tattoos drawn with disturbing symmetry and abstraction. His first monographic book SYMMETRIES highlights the transition from drawing to tattooing as an inevitable next step in his evolution as an artist, which is defined by consistency and reinvention in equal measure, with an essay by Gunter Damisch and an interview with the artist by Uta Grosenick. Click on to see more of his designs and find out how you can get a copy. On Saturday, June 27, 2015 Valentin is celebrating the release of the book together with iGnant.
Recently Berlin-based artist duo Various & Gould have revealed a street art scavenger hunt as part of the Backjumps exhibition opening at Kunstraum Bethanien. We absolutely love this idea, combining art with an interactive game and making it an experience that goes beyond the traditional gallery visit. What the artists have prepared for this hunt is an illustrated version of a short story by Polina Soloveichik that has been divided in 6 parts that are being spread out along a route in Kreuzberg. With each illustration you will also find a part of the story (in German, but with a QR code you will be able to get a translation in English on your smartphone). It’s about three construction workers named Maik, Paul and Jörg and the secret about some abandoned construction sites. The works will were revealed in conjunction with the opening of Backjumps. You can get more details on the Various & Gould website. With the hashtag #PublicTale photos and comments about the project can be tracked on Twitter and Instagram. After the jump you can see photos of the street art pieces.
These days Berlin got one more awesome amazing street art mural more! I love that this is totally becoming a thing here and it seems the murals are getting more and more refined and elaborate. We owe quite a big percentage of the new city murals to the work of Urban Nation who are actually organizing the artists and getting permissions by the city to use certain walls.
This new one up here is by the German artist duo Herakut who are already for the second time painting a wall in Berlin. It’s located at Greifswalder Str. 87 in Prenzlauer Berg right outside the ring and it’s about motherhood. Coincidently I took these making of photos on mothers day. This Saturday Herakut are also celebrating the opening of their exhibition Displaced Thoughts here in Berlin at the Urban Nation Headquarters at Bülowstraße. Come by and have a drink and be impressed by these amazing artists. After the jump we have more details of this new Berlin piece as well as many of their other mural. Enjoy!
artwork: Katerina Belkina
This city has many communities of different nations from all over the world that all live together here mixing their cultures into the big juicy cocktail that is Berlin. One of these many communities are Russian artists living in Berlin. I think they are fairly quiet compared to other nationalities, but with the upcoming Russian Contemporary Art Week making some noise in the city.
The RCAW is taking place in 3 galleries which are The Ballery in Schönenberg that is showcasing the work of 3 highlighted artist, the LemoArt Gallery in Prenzlauer Berg that is showing a bigger selection of younger Russian talents and finally a project by UdK students presented at Panke. The whole thing gets kicked off this Friday (May 15, 2015) with the opening reception of the main exhibition at The Ballery that shows the amazing work of Katerina Belkina, Igor Skaletsky, and Vera Veritas Kochubey. On May 29th the second part of the RCAW starts at The Ballery with additional artists in their line-up. We have a little preview of that after the jump.
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.
photos: Matt Lambert
We’ve had talented photographer and filmmaker Matt Lambert on our radar since his short film project with Dazed&Confused and his involvement in the amazing participative theater production MEAT. Since then we’ve seen his sexually provocative work also in several amazing editorials and films including a recent music video for iconic German singer Marius Müller Westernhagen.
Matt is giving us a pretty good reflection of the current youth culture with its rebellious and overly sexualized forms of expression. In his photos and videos we see young people exploring themselves and their sexuality with a strong impulse to be as progressive and aggressive as possible, bending the rules and the social norms of what is appropriate. They glorify non-conformance, sexualize violence, and experiment with different sexual orientations and polygamy. From a superficial point of view it looks a bit like they have an inflated sense of self-importance. But my interpretation is, that they are simply confused, scared and lost in the strange times we live in. It’s a world that’s caught in a limbo between luxury, gluttony and safety on the one side and complete and utter chaos on the other. They are looking into a future that is uncertain in many ways because our past generations are leaving them a world that’s a complete mess.
Matt’s first photo book titled Keim is being released by Pogo Books today and features a good chunk of his mostly homoerotic work. Tonight (May 13) the release is being celebrated with an exhibition opening at Iconoclast and an afterparty at Ballhaus Mitte. Enjoy some of Matt Lambert’s photographs after the jump.
We have to admit that we are a little late with our trend review of the best of the Milan Design Week. But better late than never right? Not only did we have a great experience at the Airbnb House Warming exhibition, but were also impressed by other places with intriguing and remarkably intelligent design installations. Check out the 5 highlights we found after the jump that includes a couple of designs from here that were shown at the Berlin Design Selection showroom that’s currently traveling around Europe to several design events.