Berlin has long been known as a city of artists, but it’s often difficult to find them; galleries are hidden away and have strange opening times, and many Berlin artists exhibit elsewhere.
Studio Visit Berlin is a door to the city’s vibrant art scene. They provide personal tours (no more than six people per group) that take you into the homes and studios of artists and designers. Tours vary according to the interests of the tour group, take between 2-4 hours, and cost €40 per person, which includes a Prosecco sack lunch and a valuable goodie bag of prints and books from participating artists.
Here’s a summary of the tour I took this weekend:
We started in the home of artist and host Kottie Paloma and his wife designer Meike Legler, whose workspace is a nook in their apartment. She designs colourful pillows with geometric designs, and fun bed set sheets and shower curtains.
Diego Rodriguez-Warner was born in Managua, Nicaragua. He studied under Cuban Minister for Fine Arts Lesbia Vent Dumois, in Havana, and completed his Bachelor of Arts in COIN Theory and Fine Arts from Hampshire College. He received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Printmaking Department of Rhode Island School of Design.
German artist Sophia Domagla processes the naive, ugly and the beautiful moments of life, with a view to humor. After a two-month scholarship in September last year in Kiel, she is now back in Berlin until the end of 2014 on a Goldrausch program scholarship. She was recently nominated for the Berlin Art Prize 2014 and won the Prize for “Best Script.” She lives and works in the same space, and yes, that’s a doll house next to the bed…
Yorgos Stamkopoulos‘s abstract paintings are composed of multi-layered minimalistic colour fields. His process is super-interesting (in fact, the process itself seems to be one of his main concerns). He refers to his current series ‘blind paintings’ because his method of masking the canvas ensures that the final result is random and unexpected.
Bosnian artist Jadranko Barisic works in icons, replicating paintings from the 1200s to the 1500s. His works can be found in private collectors’ homes all over Europe as well as in churches that wanted to replace lost paintings and restore their collections. He mixes paints the old way, using substances like egg whites and gold leaf. Barisic is a master forger!
A graduate of the University of the Arts, Berlin, Johannes Rodenacke deals with abstraction, figures, and comics. He is in charge of an artist’s project space called Poseidon Projekt and recently launched his book and Risograph print publishing house called Nebenb’ Art.
In 1984, Franziska Jordan‘s family escaped from the Communist block of East Germany into West Germany in the middle of the night with Franziska smuggled in the trunk of the car. In 2000, she enrolled at UdK, Berlin where she was a student of H.J. Diehl and Daniel Richter.
The last stop was host Kottie Paloma‘s studio. His paintings, drawings and sculptures reflect the darker sides of society in a humorous yet poignant and gritty manner. Many collectors consider his art the darker side of pop. His art is in private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe. Some of the public collections include MOMA in NYC, Harvard and Stanford University and the Bavarian State Library in Munich.
For me, it’s always a pleasure to visit artists’ studios. Often, it’s more interesting to see the space where art is made – the creative mess, the half-formed paintings and sculptures, the paint spattered surfaces – rather than looking at finished works in a sterile exhibition space. It was also fun to meet the artists themselves, talk to them about their work and processes, and have the opportunity to buy from them directly – who needs galleries?