For the second part of our series The Berlin Experts we talked with gallery owner and curator Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer who co-founded the Circle Culture Gallery with Dirk Staudiger in 2001. Circle Culture is one of the leading galleries for contemporary art specialized in artists who draw their influences from street art, avant-garde design, pop-art, graffiti and other genres that go beyond traditional forms of art. For over 10 years Johann has maintained the urban attitude of the street in his gallery at Gipsstraße in Mitte, bringing his exceptional exhibitions also into a second location in Hamburg, several international art fairs worldwide and to recurring pop-up exhibitions in unusual spaces. Enjoy our interview with one of the most interesting personalities of our city about the art scene of Berlin after the jump.
photos: Pawel Zawiślak
I have always admired young artists who make powerful art out of imagination, who grab my attention and speak to my mind with just one image. Unfortunately, this ability to snap people out of their habitual state of mind is a very rare quality, especially in today’s cultural scene, where everyone seems to communicate through visual images.
One of the greatest examples and exceptions that springs up to my mind is with no doubt Polish artist Pawel Zawiślak, currently based in the beautiful Moscow. All his works are not simply grabbing my attention, like many other artists’ do, but they also embody such a deep meaning that you just cannot possibly turn away. Pawel is widely known for his prestigious art and illustrations, as well as for his highly-rewarded cooperations with exclusive magazines, art galleries, young designers and fashion labels all around Europe.
What makes me so supportive is probably his unique creativity in making art as a genuine projection of his inner sensibility, his emotions and inspirations. Apart from his commercial illustrations, he draws images of real life, shifting from mythological constructions to fascinating stories by playing with appearance, meaning and symbols. What strikes me every day is the attention given to the details and the impressive use of contrasts in the compositions, which remark once again his unique style and his pertinence with themes.
For your luck and mine, the Polish Institute in Berlin will soon present his excellent works with the exhibition Dots, Lines & Me and takes us all on a surrealistic trip through thematically diverse scenarios, where colors, shapes and media do not know any boundaries. If you don’t want to miss Pawel’s mindful and limitlesss art, you better start saving the date of the vernissage which takes place in Burgstr. 27, on Thursday 7th of March! Get a sneak preview of what I’ve been talking about after the jump.
It was one of the most talked about contributions for our GIF.ME.BERLIN. exhibition from 2011: Moving Forward – Looking Backward, a series of animated GIFs by visual artist Hara Katsiki. This weekend we have revived the series of intricate animated digital paintings on vintage photographs that has been expanded with 2 new pieces to be part of a group exhibition at the new nightlife-meets-art-hub POP. For the grand opening of the new art-themed nightclub this Saturday we have installed our collection of old TV sets once more to screen Hara’s amazing artwork. More after the jump.
artwork by Olaf Hajek
Last weekend a very interesting exhibition opened at Direktorenhaus. As the name suggests Handmade in Germany focuses on design and art made in Germany and feature the work of designers such as Fiona Bennet and Bless, artists like Olaf Hajek and Andreas Maier, product designers such as Valentin Loellmann and Sarah Böttger, German manufactures like Deutsche Werkstätte Hellerau and Fürstenberg, as well as many more. I think it’s a really nice showcase of German craftsmanship worth seeing. The exhibition is on display until November 14th 2012. Get a preview of the featured art, design and their makers after the jump.
Berlin is poor but sexy, so it follows that the Berliners are probably not a great market to buy your designs but get them wearing it cos they’ll make it look damn sexy- and everyone knows sex sells!
As a struggling designer (but aren’t we all) of a fledgling jewellery label in the city of Berlin, i am interested to see how other designers are surviving in the city that perfected cool but saves its pennies for beer and cigarettes. There’s no lack of ways to showcase your wares here; with endless design markets and exhibition opportunities, but after the materialistic mindset of my hometown Sydney i wonder: where are all the consumers?? So in the interest of personal research i take it upon myself to harass some other designers from far and wide who have also been seduced by Berlin and are attempting to support themselves in this broke but sexy city…
I’d like to start with artist and designer Ebon Heath who likes to play with words in his work – in the literal sense. Read my interview with him and check out his amazing jewellery after the jump.
Ai Weiwei is one of the currently most renowned artists in the world. That isn’t simply due to his mostly conceptual art, but especially because of his political activism. Ai Weiwei lives and works in Beijing, China and criticises the communist government through his art, on his blog, on Twitter and in plenty of interviews. He’s walking on very thin ice and in 2011 was arrested and held under false pretext at an undisclosed place, without even his closest relatives knowing if he was still alive. At this time an international protest formed to free Ai Weiwei and at least since he has been known outside the artworld as well. While people on the streets were shouting out: “Free Ai Weiwei“ young journalist and documentary filmmaker Alison Klayman was sitting in the editing booth piecing together what would become her first feature film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. She had accompanied and interviewed the artist for three years and gotten insights to his thinking, private life and working process. Last night I went to see the films with Claudio…
How many people do you know who are trying to apply to an art school like UDK or Weißensee? I feel like I know at least 100 of those young artists who tried to enter one on of the prestigious art academies Berlin has to offer. Even if most of them got rejected, some of them are currently really successful artist, stage designers, photographers and what not. On the other hand I know a lot of graduated artists who are working as bartenders. I always realized that success in art academies has nothing to do with financial succes. THIS IS FOR LOSERS is a project in Berlin that has set itself the task of give attention to unconsidered artists. They are looking for artists of all kinds that were rejected this or last year at Berlin’s art schools. Find out more about their project and how you can apply on their facebook page.
Sam Crew, Bubble Time, 350 Euro
Help! You don’t know what to buy for your boy or lady since he/she is allergic to any kind of perfume? You don’t have a clue about clothes and sizes and anyway he or she is SO picky? This might be a help: Backyard has a last minute Chrismas sale this week with pieces of the exhibition “It Wasn’t Art School”. There are bigger paintings and smaller pieces, easy to transport and for sure a nicer present than the odd DVD or perfume. The prices reach from 30 to 550 Euros. You can find most of the bigger pieces with picture and prices on the website backyardberlin.com. More and opening times after the jump:
The thing I like about artists working in Berlin is that they are not so much bound to economic values like in other big cities and still can have a decent living out of their art. A good way of supporting Berlin artists and don’t spend thousands on a painting is a project called Idealist. The Idea behind it is to make a book that works as an unique live exhibition. The book is limited to 5000 pieces and has Berlin artists working on the topic of “Kampfgeist”. So, any piece of art in it was especially made for this book. I’m really impressed with this book and think that the price of 100 EUR is pretty ok for that kind of limited edition and effort and work behind it. You can see the book this weekend at the Stroke Urban Art Fair. More about the project and some images after the jump.
Last weekend, the artbase 2011 Festival took place at Grabowsee. The fantatstic exhibition featured some of todays most interesting street artist. Addiontialy you had the oppurtunity to explore the historic buildings of the abandoned hospital. And naturally there was some Techno music, too.
More photos after the jump.