You might have noticed that lately we found several talented Berlin illustrators who have shown us their perspective on the city. Today I am glad to present you one particular artist who I have been following for quite a while. Sholem Krishtalka, is a Canadian illustrator and author and in my opinion one of the most talented storytellers of this city. He moved to Berlin nearly one and a half years ago and already created 30 short comic strips telling about his life in Berlin and his travels to other places in Europe. The short comics are little emotional journeys of a gay expat man here in Berlin, but I think that nearly everybody, no matter if gay or straight can relate to the tales of strange encounters happening in there. Some of the stories deal with general troubles, like finding a flat, others are more specific to the gay community. But all in all you realize that the comics are as unique as Berlin and no other place could have provided a better background for them. Read a statement of the artist and all the details of the exhibition after the jump.
Statement from Sholem Krishtalka about his work:
A BERLIN DIARY
I have always tried, in my work, to map my own cosmology – to make an account of where I am and where I come from. My move to Berlin was a leap in the dark, precipitated by trauma. I had no real plan, and didn’t know how long I would even be able to stay. So I began to paint and to draw; I began to create a map. Above all else, I needed to have a record of my time here, a record that I built myself.
All drawing and painting is a building. It is a physical act, an embodiment, a construction of space and light and time gesture by gesture, stroke by stroke, line by line. My map is not (only) geographic – it is emotional. The question that drives my work, then, is: what does it mean to do this? What does it mean to relive memories, to embody them, to process and to express them gesture by gesture, stroke by stroke, line by line?
My diary is a map of places, of people, of moments, of feelings. The creation of this map is a process of reification, of emotional safeguarding, a kind of spell. I do this so that these memories of places and people and moments and feelings pass through my mind and heart and are expressed through body. My mind and heart and body have processed them, and they become safe. I am their keeper.
A Berlin Diary – by Sholem Krishtalka