Since my earliest childhood days I was in love with books. The combination of paper, ink and colour was for me the diving board into my own fantasy world. Until the day I learned reading myself, I was forcing all kinds of people to read stories for me. My father worked for the university and we always had young students at home for dinner or even for parties all night long. I remember wandering around the crowded rooms as a little boy and picking up the prettiest girls to read a story for me. The most talented storytellers of the night would then get the honour to read from my dearest pop-up book. Like a small Houdini I was eager to impress the student crowd with the secret magic tricks and illusions my books were capable off.
Growing up I kept them and additionally started collecting more and more pop-up books. Nowadays, I have them on display behind glass in my living room. Some of these books are beautifully illustrated, some have funny gimmicks or even glow in the dark. Not all of them have an artistic or a monetary value. But all of them are impregnated with all kinds of memories from my childhood, when my imagination used to be way more vivid and was able to take me away from real life. Therefore, it let me venture deep into a fierce dark jungle with little monkeys to play, snakes to enchant and wild tigers to tame.
Pieces of Berlin is one of the truely unique and charming fellow Berlin blogs that has been around since 2009 now. Photographer Florian Reischauer captures the people and places of this city in a very understated and modest way showing ordinary people instead of fashionable hipsters and ordinary places instead of fancy shops and cool clubs. With this he manages to give Berlin a very natural and approachable look, far away from the gloss and hype it so often appears to have.
Tomorrow on Friday December 20 he will celebrate the release of his first photobook which is a beautiful compilation of his work of the past 4 years. The crowdfunded product comes in a 208 page limited hard cover edition of 1000 copies for only 27 EUR and really looks amazing. A perfect Christmas gift and a true gem in our Berlin Goods series. After the jump you’ll find some of my favorite photos from the Pieces of Berlin blog and a preview of the book.
The idea of the beard goes back to its origin. In fact beards are one of the very few external distinguishing marks that show the basic features of us humans. I myself wear my beard convincingly because it simply is a part of me since I travelled to Peru five years ago growing my beard longer and longer. That’s when I became the „alemán con barba“ , the bearded German, who collected sun energy in the old Inca sites.
I spotted Töff in the „tent of the big car company“ during the Berlin Fashion Week. The dreamcatchers were on my list for beard accessories for quite some time now, but when I met Töff who spoke of his travels to South East Asia, green balconies, incense sticks, curly long hair, old music classics and festivals, I knew I had found the suitable beard model for them. Also, his last name translates to owl, how perfect. Enjoy another beard monologue with him after the jump.
Michi is the boyfriend of my lovely friend Lena. Lena has a passion for beautiful tableware – whether she brings me fruit salad in a cute box before our Sunday workout or serves you the best self-made lemonade in colorful cups – she really has an eye for those things! For this reason I just had to photograph the beard of her boyfriend with some kind of food or drink decoration. See for yourself after the jump.
Andreas is one of four beard models a friend of mine (being my designated beard agent) sent to me. He’s actually somewhat of a real nature-boy. I like taking pictures of beards with natural materials – the effect of plants and similar items around the face is the most beautiful I think. My mother got me the little garden gnomes that she found in a small deco store. By now she keeps her eyes open for all kinds of little objects that could pretty in a beard. In the end it’s quite good to have such lovely (little) helpers. More of the results and Andrea’s monologue after the jump.
Since I like Star Wars and have a lightsaber that a friend of mine gave me in my entrance, there had to be a beard theme with that topic as well. Besides I think Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi has a great beard. In this spirit: May the force be with your beard! Another beard photo set with and monologue by Bernard after the jump.
Alicia approached me last year at the Berlin Festival and asked me if I would be willing to model for a photo series about bearded guys she was working on. I was quite curious about the project so we exchanged contacts and she sent me some of the photos that she had already done. I really enjoyed them and was happy to be her next special beard portrait. As if she would have guessed that I had a sweet tooth I became her first edible beard. While the other guys before me got decorated with flowers or confetti or minituare figures, my beard was frosted with cream and sprinkles. As fun as it looked, it was a sweet mess and a nightmare to clean. But I think it was worth the trouble as the photos came out quite fun. Enjoy more creamed beard shots of me along with my beard monologue after the jump.
photos: Alicia Kassebohm
“I’ve been wearing my beard for about seven years now nonstop. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Actually, the effect it has is completely secondary to me – overall my beard gives me safety and protection. In fact it feels like a pair of fluffy socks or a cuddly pullover: though it is not essential, I feel more at ease and peaceful with it.”
Photographer and visual designer Alicia Kassebohm has been working on her ongoing photo series Beardicted now for over a year making very special beard portraits of interesting men. Every beard is unique, that’s why all of the portraits have an individual styling. For iHeartBerlin she let’s the men behind the beards speak about the fetishized extra hair in their faces. Enjoy the first part of our new series The Beard Monologues with Sascha from FluxFM and more photos after the jump.
photos: Melissa Hostetler
For three years the American-Iranian photographer Melissa Hostetler has toured with the Berlin band Bonaparte around the world. On her pictures she not only shows the wild performances of the hedonistic Emperor and his court, she also looks behind the scenes. Check out more information about her photobook 3 Years in the Heart of Bonaparte and a preview after the jump.