Categories
Blog

Scott Culley

Artist Interview: Scott Culley

Here is the last interview I will be sharing for the fetish exhibition, and it’s with artist Scott Culley! This work is called Mask #1 and will be on show at The Ballery, along with lots of other great pieces, until next week!

Thanks again to Scott, to all the artists who answered my questions, and to everybody taking part in the show.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am an American-born artist who crafts unique quilted artworks and limited edition prints. By exploring themes of the macabre and masculinity, expressed through vibrant, intricate designs and textile art, I aim to surprise and inspire other men to see that quilting is a powerful way to express themselves. I am a trained architect with Bachelor’s degrees in Architecture and Design Studies from the Boston Architectural College. A self-taught quilter, I live in Berlin with my husband and two children.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

Mask #1 – This is an inquiry into the belief that people can never show their true selves, everyone has something to hide, everyone wears a mask. The mask can be used to hide who you are, to cover up a perceived weakness, to make you seem stronger to your enemies, like the luchador, the Mexican wrestler. In this piece, the mask gives the luchador self-perceived power over his opponents while hiding all his shortcomings. The mask is in essence his fetish, it transforms him.  Masks do not need to be literal, to be effective, however.  I invite the viewer to think about the masks that they wear. Who are you pretending to be? What are you hiding from? Where do you want your mask to take you?

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

To me, to have a fetish is to have something, an object or concept, that gives you joy or makes you feel powerful. I think a majority of people will associate the term fetish with something sexual in nature, but I don’t believe it has to be. I think everyone has fetishes of one kind or another, to one degree or another. 

What made you apply for this call in particular?

My artwork pushes the boundaries of a very safe and quaint art form, crafted traditionally by gray-haired grandmas. Through my themes of masculinity and the macabre, I want to challenge conventional thinking with this specific piece, Mask #1.  This exhibition is also provocative, challenging the viewer to reconsider long-held beliefs.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

No, the discussion is not balanced, it never will be. Fetishes will always be seen through the lens of sexuality and the way our society is structured, the subject will always be seen as taboo and pushed into the closet by the mainstream. It takes a rebellious nature of the minority to put out into the public and want to talk about it, in an effort to normalize it.    

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why? 

Certainly! Berlin has a long and rich history of being a very sex-positive city and being a place to live free from judgment. It’s the perfect environment to cultivate everyone’s desires.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

Exhibiting online really scratched the itch of the artist who wanted to be exhibited at a time when we couldn’t be together. Unless accompanied by a social aspect like an artist’s roundtable, online exhibitions can be a back hole.  I would much rather exhibit in a physical space, not only for the social aspects but also because my art is made to be experienced in person. When you see my art up close and personal and feel the textures, seams, and fabric, you gain a whole new appreciation that cannot be replicated online.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

I’m excited to meet the other artists. This is a new venue for me, so I’m excited to share my work with a new group of people  – we’ve been cooped up for the past year and a half, and even though I’m an introvert, I really miss community. 

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

Oh, of course, art is very personal, and to put out for all to enjoy and hate and judge is very intimidating.  With each exhibition, the anxiety gets easier, the therapy is helping too. 

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

No, I have not, and I hope this will not be the last time.

www.scottculleydesign.com

www.instagram.com/scottculleydesign

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

Christian Gruber

Artist Interview: Christian Gruber

The exhibition opens to the public today after our artist reception last night! Today I am sharing my last two interviews with artists in this show.

This interview is with Christian Gruber!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I live in Berlin since 2013. Since I was a teenager I’ve been interested in biology, nature and in particular the anatomy of the human body. I predominantly paint with oil on canvas, mostly in black and white to emphasise the body.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

There are so many different fetishes. With this piece I want to depict a cross-section of fetishes that have shaped me. I also wanted to show that in Berlin’s gay hook up culture men often seems more interested in the fetish and less in the person behind it.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

Fetish for me is the passion for something intimate. It’s special – something unusual.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

On the one hand I fully identify with fetishism, and on the other hand, I want to show others my enthusiasm for it.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

I think most people don’t talk enough about their fetishes. The public should be more openminded around that topic, since it’s a form of personal expression.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Absolutely! That fetish scene is unique and many people just visit for that reason. The people in Berlin are simply much more uninhibited than in other cities, it seems.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

Offering art online makes it possible to reach a wider audience, but I think it’s still a different experience to contemplate an artwork in a gallery space.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

I anticipate the exhibition will introduce me to other artists who are interested in fetish and their work.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

I am always excited about showing my latest work to new people.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

It‘s my first exhibition at The Ballery. Who knows, maybe it won’t be the last one.

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

GodsAndBoys

Artist Interview: GodsAndBoys

The artist reception of the fetish exhibition is tonight and the exhibition opens to the public tomorrow! 

Here is an interview with GodsAndBoys, whose work we are pleased to show in the exhibition. It’s open for a week so be sure to visit and see the works in the special Ballery setting.

Thanks for answering my questions GodsAndBoys!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Born and raised in Berlin in the 80’s. Started with fashion design years ago and switched to  fashion and portrait photography and started GodsAndBoys for charity in 2019.

Feels like GodsAndBooks became my alter ego. It’s fun, work and business.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

„Trilogy of pee“ is a very small part of my work. Especially these three images, which are also part of my upcoming book about me peeing in weird toilets all over the world. It’s a mix of a pee diary, grotesque places and the aspect of intimacy and voyeurism. This work is different to my other photographs because it’s all about me.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

Fetish is a part of the sexual identity. For some people it’s a huge part of their identity and lifestyle as well, unfortunately not for me. In my case it’s just fun while having sex but I don’t spend time overthinking it. However – piss play and watersports aren’t my fetish. Sorry to disappoint you.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

I saw the Instagram post and just sent the email. Some people told me before my work is very sexual with strong aspects of fetishism. I just tried it.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

I think Berlin is very open and a playground for all kind of fetish, sexual identities and adventures in general. Also it’s one of most successful marketing strategy of Berlin: „Arm aber sexy“.  The connection to fetishism is not unique – it’s just very clever.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

In my opinion art is not for the world wide web. The internet is a mess – checking out art on social media only is like fast fashion. To promote art online could be an add on.
I don’t want to show my art on the same page like a random TikTok douchbag with 100k followers and a range of camera filters.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

I really like the discussion with other creative people and the exchange of ideas or different views. At the same time, I hate to talk about my art. Because it’s a photo – sometimes a snapshot. Theres nothing to talk about. Look at it.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

It’s more about getting nervous about deadlines. It’s the timing of printing and framing.
Sometimes it’s not the right paper for a print. Or the frame isn’t the right one. 

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

It’s my first time at The Ballery.

 

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

Koywe Kollage

Artist Interview: Koywe Kollage

We welcome back another artist who took part in the Pop-Up Shows, Koywe Kollage! 

We are really pleased to have more of Koywe Kollage’s work on display at The Ballery, and to have an interview to share with you today.

Take a look at the links below the interview for more works.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I’m a mixed media and analog collage artist from Chile, based in Berlin that goes by the name of “Koywe Kollage”. My collection of unique cut collages is based on the search for artistic expression through paper as the main working material. 

You recently took part in our Pop-Up Shows, how did you find the exhibitions?

The exhibition was a blast. It was actually really full but I had a really good time chatting with other artists. The Ballery always has a nice atmosphere which I found quite fascinating.

The fact that Simon asked the artists to talk about their exhibited artwork at the finissage made it very special.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

The inspiration behind these two pieces is based on the idea that everyone can do with their bodies whatever they want, as long as this doesn’t harm the rest. In this specific case, two female bodies are tied up celebrating and embracing the art of bondage.

By removing the first layer of skin, it is possible to glimpse what we are really made of meat/flesh. The component that we all share and that it does not distinguish divisions of sex, color, race, or gender.

In the end, no matter who you are and what you do in the bedroom, inside we are all a cluster of flesh that deserves equal respect.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

It means to me the exploration of the self in unconventional directions, the mystery of knowing what else gives us pleasure, the freedom to choose what to do with your body and perhaps most importantly, that it is a practice or inclination towards something that is based on the consent of all parties involved.   

What made you apply for this call in particular?

I found the Open Call theme very tempting and it opens the door to many types of interpretations (which I look forward to seeing). At the same time the two submitted works have a special place in my heart as they are some of the first works that were published in different media such as zines and bogs.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

I don’t know if there is a one-sided discussion, I think many people in Berlin see the subject in a similar way, and I think that when the concept of fetish or the person who practices it is stigmatized, it is because there is simply a lack of knowledge of what it really is.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Yes, it’s at least a special connection that you don’t hear so much from other cities.

I think that maybe the fact that in Berlin people can do whatever they want and nobody cares, helps people to dare to explore their own sexuality in a different way without fear of being judged.

 

www.koywekollage.com

The Ballery Shop

 

 

 

Categories
Blog

Anne Bengard

Artist Interview: Anne Bengard

Thanks to Anne Bengard who has also taken the time to answer my questions before the exhibition opens on Saturday!

Have a read of the interview below to find out more about Anne’s work and views on the theme of our exhibition.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I was born in Leipzig, had my childhood in Berlin and moved to a small coastal town in the south west of England with my family at the age of 9. I began attending fetish clubs as soon as I turned 18 and began working for Torture Garden, the worlds largest fetish club, when I moved to London aged 19. Fetish club etiquette formed my ethos of respect, consent and tolerance and provided a safe space for me to experiment with self expression in a sex positive environment. It taught me to be non judgmental and aware of my prejudices.

After 7 years in London, working what felt like 1000 various jobs in the events industry, I decided to relocated to Berlin in 2014 to focus on and develop my painting practice (which I had always done on the side). After focusing on watercolour painting, my focus switched to oil painting and murals in the last couple of years. In my work I predominantly explore themes around fetish, fetishisation, intimacy and connection. I play with polarities in my visual language and always seek a sense of balance whilst trying to subvert stereotypes and break cliches.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

It began as an idea of wanting to challenge the masculine stereotype, celebrating the beauty and grace of a man who is not afraid of vulnerability. I envisioned a black man in sportswear (a common fetishisation of the hyper masculine in mainstream media) suspended in rope bondage. I also wanted to subvert the pornographic cliche commonly associated with rope bondage, often depicting those tied up in submissive and highly sexualised contexts.

It was a year before I met Christian who was the perfect embodiment of who I had in mind to be the muse for this piece. Someone who visually fits the stereotype of the hyper masculine man but 100% reflects this graceful and self aware vulnerability.

His flexibility from his background as a dancer, endurance and of course the good vibes between him and my rigger extraordinaire Chandler made for a smooth collaboration and we shot our reference images in a public park using a beautiful tree as a suspension point.

During the shoot Christian said something that stuck with me I wonder what my ancestors would think if they saw me now, being tied up hanging from a tree. In Germany!

This notion hadnt crossed my mind. For me personally, the piece became as much a celebration of men embracing and owning their vulnerability as it did about racism. In the months that followed the BLM movement got me delving further into the worldwide history of racism, terms like micro aggression, the economics of empire and so much more.

Despite the admiration and celebration of the vulnerable man I also felt guilt. Ill never be able to understand what its like to be a black man because I will never be a black man. I began asking myself things like…what does it mean for me as a white woman to depict a black man in this way? What does it mean for me a white woman to be producing and making money from paintings of black people? Who am I to be doing this in the first place? Am I fetishising black men? Those are some of the thoughts and questions I grappled with.

What does fetishmean to you?

Although the word evokes images of BDSM, latex, leather, feet etc at first, I like to think about fetish in terms of behaviour, devotion, obsession and consumption.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

The theme spoke to me in capital letters and with many exclamation marks.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

The term fetish is definitely primarily viewed within a sexual context. The other meanings of the word e.g ‘something, esp an inanimate object, that is believed in certain cultures to be the embodiment or habitation of a spirit or magical powers‘ or ‘any object, activity, etc, to which one is excessively or irrationally devoted e.g to make a fetish of cleanliness’ are often overlooked or not considered outside a sexual context.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetish, if so why?

I do think so, in that it has been attracting ‘outsiders’ and ‘misfits’ since the 1700s by offering freedoms that were unheard of elsewhere to make it a significant capital city. Certainly in regards to the sexual side, Berlin offers a kind of freedom that’s difficult to come by in other places. To me, it feels as though people don’t take much notice if someone cycles past in full latex or leather. It feel less out of the ordinary here.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

I’ve built my business mainly through my online presence and have mainly shown and sold work online. It’s easy, convenient and allows access to many all over the world. But experiencing a piece of art in a physical space is always completely different. Thankfully, when people see my work physically they say it’s so much better than viewing it through a screen. I have experienced it the other way around too though where work I’ve admired through a screen was then slightly underwhelming and not as I expected it would be in real life.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

Discussions, feedback, constructive criticism, and connecting with those who view my work. But also discovering artists and work I may not have known before and understanding my piece in a space with other artists responding to the same theme. When there’s a doggo or two running around and a glass of wine, that’s a pleasant bonus too.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

Maybe…a little…

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

Nope, first time! Hopefully not the last.

 

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

Joanna Chwilkowska

Artist Interview: Joanna Chwilkowska

Here is an interview I have done with Joanna Chwilkowska, an artist who is taking part in the fetish themed exhibition opening this weekend.

This piece is called Gara Teaser and you can see it at The Ballery from Saturday, along with many more amazing works on show!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Hello, I am Joanna, a Polish human living in Berlin since 2015. In my work, I use mediums such as photography, video and voice.  I graduated University of Arts in Poznan (BF), Silesian University (MA) and Warsaw Film School (DoP technic). I am a member of Fotografie Berlin e.V.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

I came across Gara’s profile on Instagram because a friend of mine, Dafna, photographed her. Confidence in her facial expressions and body movement hypnotized me. I invited her to a photoshoot – Lupae lent me her latex designs, Tincha was a make-up artist, Rob Chamber assisted me with light. Additionally, I recorded a short video, which was screened this year during 48H Neukölln Festival.

What does fetishmean to you?

That means to be obsessed with details.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

The topic was bold, as well as works that were exhibited in the past. 

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

For sure it’s provoking many questions.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

I am not sure If I am the right person to answer this question. Moving from an ultra-conservative country for sure changed my perspective and liberated me. I am amazed by the openness in the themes of sex, gender, sexuality in general here. So I guess there is the uniqueness, yes.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

It’s great to have this possibility, but I always miss physical space.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

Meeting others!

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

There is for sure a nervous tickling in my belly, but it’s always mixed with excitement.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

Nope, it’s my first time.

asidron.com

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

Soren Jahan

Artist Interview: Soren Jahan

As the opening of the exhibition draws closer, I have yet more interviews to share with you from artists who took the time to answer my questions.

I wanted to ask questions that introduce the artists and their work, but also their reflections and thoughts about the theme: ‘fetish’, and it’s relationship to Berlin in particular. 

Soren Jahan has provided really interesting responses to my questions, so check it out…!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I have been living in Berlin since 2013, and began casually with photography in 2018. At first I worked mainly with friends and a few people who have reached out to me, but soon it became became a passion of mine. I was very happy to have a way both to capture my own sense of aesthetic beauty in the context of alternative sexuality / fetishism, as well as to share this world of mine with people both new to the scene and with deeper backgrounds in it. The part-time job I have at Blackstyle Latex also led me to have some opportunities to add to my collection of pieces and accessories, even leading to some paid collaborative opportunities that inspired me to develop this project further. Photography also allowed me to put certain obsessive tendencies I have to a healthy, productive use – I gave gone very deep into the technical understandings of how film, development techniques, and lenses all come together to bring certain results, and am still learning every day.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

This work was produced in March of 2021 as part of an ongoing collaboration with my partner in our studio in Alt-Mariendorf, dealing with the convergence of editorial / fine-art aesthetics and the accessories and scenarios with which we express our intimacy with each other. This particular work and styling were quite spontaneous, flowed in a natural way, and to me feel like one day’s entry in the beautiful, tumultuous diary of our love story. There are memories attached to every shoot but the ones with my partner have a layer of personal meaning to me – the journey that we have made together, the trust that we have built in order to make a shoot like this possible are what make the image special. In this case it was not a model who I styled and posed to create some abstract idea of sexuality or beauty. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s absolutely a valid form of artistic expression and I have certainly made images in that way as well. But what I / we are trying to show here is something distinct from that while still, in this case, working within a formal portraiture style.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

Fetish is a loose term but for me it simply means the enjoyment of something, usually alternative clothing styles or modes of expressing intimacy, in a shameless, hedonistic way. People all have their own personal relationships to fetishism, all along a spectrum between simple interest and curiosity and deep passion / obsession. I would say I fall somewhere in the middle – I don’t wear latex in my day to day life but it’s been deeply encoded in my sexuality since my youth as a means of transcending the boredom and oppression of everyday life. Fetishism gives the possibility (especially with latex and masks) to radically break free from the social constructs of personhood, socially mandated rules of engagement with other people, and to unlock a plane of sexiness that also gains flavor and depth from transgressiveness.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

I have had some friends hang work here in the past and felt it to be a welcoming, respectful home for this kind of material. It’s the first time I’ve made any kind of request to be exhibited and I very much appreciate the opportunity to have people see work that I have created with my own hands, in my own tiny darkroom in my kitchen, with film that I shot and developed by hand. For me there’s no comparison between seeing something on your smartphone and having the direct physical product of someone’s labor hanging in front of you, in real space.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

I actually don’t feel like there’s much of a public discourse about fetishism in particular. I see latex appearing more often in both the mainstream media as well as references to BDSM practises, but I won’t fold fetishism into BDSM because it’s only one particular aspect or expression of it. For sure there’s much talk about safety, consent, communication, and all of that, and I hope that it leads to more acceptance of this kind of alternative lifestyle. However, I’m not a researcher in this subject and can’t speak to whether the discussion of fetishism only comes from one particular perspective or not. In the end the only perspective we can ever speak about with authority is our own, and that also comes with the territory when creating art.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Since my arrival in Berlin I got the general impression from people, particularly when it comes to latex, that the “glory days” of the city have been over for at least a decade. While I am happy to see many brilliant new designers creating new works out of this material, I also sense that there’s an effort to differentiate their work from this discourse of “fetishism” in the traditional sense – hoods, gas masks, full enclosure, and the obsessive immersion in the material. This is totally fair, since not everyone comes from this kind of background, and to me a diversification of approaches or understandings of this material is never a bad thing. However, this doesn’t mean that fetishists can’t find their own special delight in the material, no matter what its original intended use or the context in which it was created.

When I used to go clubbing more often, I was usually the only one wearing latex, and most often the only one wearing something as “extreme” as a gas mask or a hood covering my face, but I also can’t speak to the city outside of my own limited experiences. I’m sure there’s much more going on, particularly in the gay scene, that I’m not familiar with and can’t give a fair assessment of, but at least based on what I have seen from my time working at Blackstyle, there does seem to be quite much more of a presence. It’s safe to say Berlin has certainly been known as a historical hotspot of kink and various alternative subcultures, and in some way, I would like to think that my own work or personal life continues in that spirit. It’s certainly one of the most sexually tolerant cities I can think of at the moment, and more than once I’ve seen parents gently explaining to their children that either me or someone I’m shooting in full latex is simply wearing a different kind of clothes, if they’re not giving us adorable compliments about how chic we look!

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

Instagram has so far been the only steady way for me to show my work and despite the constant hassle of their algorithms, I can’t complain for the amount of interesting, inspiring people and designers I have been able to connect with. My heart is really in the hand craft aspect of work, though, and I hope to have more chances to connect with audiences through physical materials I have made with my own two hands. That’s also why I don’t shoot digitally – I just enjoy it less and it feels less intimate to me. That said, it’s safe to say that in this digital age, things like NFT’s are changing the discourse of what constitutes art and expanding the boundaries of what forms of exhibition are possible. I’ll wait and see where things go but for now, the internet is still not my central focus besides the absolute necessity of providing an easily accessible portfolio.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

I have been very happy and intrigued to see so many different perspectives and artistic styles dealing with a theme that has been a defining part of my adult life! In a larger context, though, I’m interested in seeing more of the mechanics of how people engage with work, to help inform my own creative process and learn about what’s possible. Ideally an exhibition will also challenge people who see it, beyond just intriguing or tantalizing them.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

I wouldn’t say I feel nervous about it, no.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

Nope! But I’m happy to!

instagram.com/__huume

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

BJ Broekhuizen

Artist Interview: BJ Broekhuizen

We are really pleased to have BJ Broekhuizen featured in our group exhibition which opens in just a few days time! Take a look at this interview and come along to The Ballery this weekend to see this work, and lots more from all the talented artists taking part.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa, I lived in London before moving to Berlin last year. I work mostly in mixed media on paper and canvas here in my studio in Schöneberg. 

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

“Getting In The Mood” is an ink on paper drawing. It is a sensual erotic moment of two men driven by animalistic instincts, captured on paper.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

Fetish to me means the fantasy that comes with sex.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

Leather, rubber and sportswear fetishes are part of my daily lifestyle and when I saw the word ‘fetish’ in the open call I didn’t even think twice about entering.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

Of course you will always have your alpha male dominant that wants to bring their opinion to the front table but I believe over the past year or so the balance have increased more from the neutral-gender/trans community raising their voice in human rights and values and equality which I believe still needs to be pushed louder. 

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetish, if so why?

Totally, Berlin is one of the best cities of the underground club scene, techno, Berghain, Snax and the list goes on.. Its a place that provide individuals to live out their sexual fantasies.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

I feel super positive about online presentations especially in this new world order where the concept of working from home is becoming more predominant thus people have more time to spend online. 

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

Besides making money from the work, I think human connection and interactions, and behaviour of people will excite me the most.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

There will always be a small part of me that is nervous but I think the excitement of the show will overpower it.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

No, never shown at The Ballery before and I am excited and honoured to be part of the fetish exhibition 2021. Thank you.

 

https://www.bjbroekhuizen.com/

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

André Schubert

Artist Interview: André Schubert

The last interview I am sharing today is with André Schubert. We are pleased to have André in the exhibition which opens this weekend! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I didn‘t study art, design or anything similar. I work as a social worker in Germany in the social welfare system and supporting people with mental health issues, drug addiction and other disabilities. Nevertheless, I have been drawing since I could hold a pen. When I was 16, I started professional education in a fashion school in Frankfurt / Main and became a tailor. I have always improved my drawing skills and preserved my creativity. But an internship in a marketing agency showed me that I could not be freely creative like I wanted to be and that‘s why I skipped my plan to work in the creative industry. Therefore, I studied Social Work (B.A.) in Görlitz/ Saxony. After my study, I started to work in Berlin and began to show my work on Instagram. Friends and followers encouraged me to be part of the Pop Up exhibition of The Ballery last year. I am new to all this and lucky to have the chance to show my work in a gallery.

Usually I use pens, markers and pencils for my illustrations. The inspirations form my work comes from the different types of social media, magazines, when I am out in Berlin or what I come across.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

I love to draw guys who are having sex, pose in an appealing way or do something like my work shows. The current work is a series of similar images. It‘s a detail of an interaction of two person who enjoy their fetish. It‘s very explicit and shows a guy who enjoy to sniff feets, socks and sneaker. 

I like to let the viewers create their own story from the pictures and want to capture their inspiration/fantasy.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

I think I don‘t have a fetish. For my understanding fetish is more than just sex or wearing a harness on a techno party. It‘s a variety of several material, actions, dressing and not necessarily linked to having sex. Wearing a leather or rubber suit may have a sexual connotation for the wearer but not implicate the desire for sex. Regardless of that I don‘t have a fetish myself, I appreciate drawing it.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

I saw the announcement on Instagram and my boyfriend as well as other friends encouraged me to submit a work for the exhibition. Last year I was part of the pop up exhibition at The Ballery and I thought one of my latest works could fit with the fetish exhibition.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

I guess there are more accepted fetishes like leather or rubber and I think those materials come to mind when it comes to fetish. It is often mistaken with BDSM and people who does not know much about fetish. However, you can also enjoy wearing just a leather outfit in a gay bar in Schöneberg without having the interest to find a sexual encounter. In my impression, other fetishes are more unaccepted or irritate people more.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetish, if so why?

Of course, it has. Berlin is a place where everybody can express fetish freely. Berlin is unique in Europe and you have many fetish themed bars, clubs and a big scene. The Folsom Street fair or the Berlin Fetish Week celebrate it. Even in Berlin’s history it has always been a place for an extraordinary scene of fetish and artists – for everyone who is a bit different than the rest and wanted to show it without any discrimination. Unfortunately, there is an up rise of discrimination and violence against queers, lgbti+ and to others who are not conforming to the norm.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

To connect with other artists, get inspiration through other works and enjoy art.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

Yes, last year and it was my first exhibition. I was happy to get the chance to show my art in public.

 

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

Jack (theBoysofJack)

Artist Interview: Jack (theBoysofJack)

Here is an interview with Jack (theBoysofJack). Check out Jack’s work at The Ballery as part of the fetish exhibition. 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I live in Berlin for 5 years. I come from France, from the city of Lyon. I have been drawing since I was a child. In high school, I studied drawing. But, I learned a lot by myself. I am self-taught. I worked on different techniques (acrylic paint, colored inks, etc.) before pencil. Of course, the artist who fascinated and inspired me is Tom of Finland (the Master).

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

My drawings start from a desire, a fantasy, a moment with a guy. I want to share all of this in my drawings. The viewer can imagine things seeing the drawing, maybe remembering a moment … I want to excite the viewer. With this drawing, I want to show a pretty, very naughty Puppy. I like to draw the leather (work the light and dark).

I try to describe to you in the most detail a fetish mood. This drawing is in A4 format.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

Fetish is synonymous with leather, latex, uniforms, masks … fantasies.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

I like to draw leather (a harness, a mask, a jacket …). I thought to myself: why not give it a try?

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

We are in Berlin, the city where anything is possible. The various evenings at Berghain or a Gegen at Kitkat allow us to experience our Fetish mood freely. I think this is a normal discussion and shared among friends. Then let’s not forget that Berlin hosts the biggest Fetish festival in Europe … the Folsom.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Yes: because Berlin has hosted Folsom for many years.

No: the first thing I think of when I see the word “Fetish” is Tom of Finland. It’s the reference of the fetish.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

It is a good way to make yourself known. We are in the 21st century, everything works via the communications media (Instagram, Twitter …) …

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

To meet other artists, to talk about techniques and of course … to show my work!!

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

Oh yes, totally !! It’s always nice to meet people at an exhibition. But I don’t really feel comfortable around people. It’s always a little stressful to talk about your job.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

No it’s my first time.

 

https://www.theboysofjack.com

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

Javier De Benito

Artist Interview: Javier De Benito

We are pleased to welcome back another artist from the Pop-Up Shows, Javier De Benito!

You can see Javier’s work at our upcoming fetish exhibition opening this weekend, but for now here is an artist interview with Javier.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am Javier De Benito, born in Mallorca in 1994, in 2017 I decided to move to Barcelona and do a degree in photographic studies at the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya, where I discovered the analog techniques and started to spend hours and hours by myself at the school laboratory, practicing and learning about all the creative possibilities that the vast amount of analogue techniques and procedures can provide. Still, I have a lot to learn about them.

You recently took part in our Pop-Up Shows, how did you find the exhibitions?

It was quite nice, fresh and with a lot of works from different genres and totally different artists, but somehow it all looked coherent and very well displayed.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

This piece is a silver gelatin print on a textured paper and as well as the one I exhibited on the Pop-Up Exhibition some weeks ago, are part of a 37 piece series, in which I explore what is traditionally conceived as two different genres: nude and portrait, trying to undifferenciate them into a one collection of images. In this particular piece, I’m quite interested about the contraposition of the fetish elements on its body and the erotic posture of the model, with the gloomy expression he has, and the pure white background and high-key lighting on his body that almost blends with the back and gives the opposite perception. 

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

I see fetish from an outsider and spectator perspective, but I’m quite interested particularly on its aesthetics, and the connotations that they give to a lot of people that have no relation/idea about it, and how that connotations creates a huge gap between people being almost scared of it and people embracing fetish in their lives.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

Definitely I wanted to see other artist’s proposals on this theme and get new perspectives.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

Well, people love to have an opinion about everything, and as far as they have less knowledge about a theme their opinion will be stronger and less rectifiable, so we should start to take into consideration opinions of people that are actually involved on the issue on discussion.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Yes, definitely, but honestly, I have no idea why, maybe the huge clubbing culture had and influence on it?

The Ballery Shop

 

Categories
Blog

Angelina Mass

Artist Interview: Angelina Mass

Today I am sharing another interview, this time with artist Angelina Mass, who we are very pleased to have taking part in the upcoming fetish exhibition! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I was born in Belarus in the city of Minsk 26 years ago. I’ve always loved to draw and paint. At an early age, my parents took me to a psychiatrist when they noticed that I often draw genitals and so on, which is normal for children.  I think it certainly influenced my art. 

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

I had a strong psychological connection with my already deceased dog – Yefim. I think he came to us when I was 6 years old, and all my childhood I considered him my brother. Yefim was present at all stages of my growing up, both in body and spirit. He died under the wheels of a car, like Pasolini, completely dishonestly and at the wrong time, he was 15 years old.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

My habitat. Natural habitat.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

The topic is very interesting for me, and I am also interested in showing my picture to other people.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

 I think that everything in our world is enclosed in frames and boxes. no matter how much we don’t want to admit it. The fetish is also in the gradation of “normal” and “disease”.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Here you can not be afraid to stick out a little from under the frames or just break the frames. Here we can speak the same language with our fetish, and sometimes we will have a good conversation with other people.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

All methods are effective in their own way, but each has its own pros and cons.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

I’m looking for experience, new steps.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

No, never. On the contrary, I feel joy and relaxation  This is as part of the process-its completion.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

Never before.

 

The Ballery Shop

 

Categories
Blog

Zandong Li

Artist Interview: Zandong Li

We are very pleased to welcome back Zandong Li, who participated in the recent Pop-Up Show.

Here is an interview with Zandong in anticipation for the fetish exhibition which you can come and visit from this weekend!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

My name is Zandong Li. I am from China. Actually I have studied Architecture in Shanghai and was Architect before I moved to Germany. I have never been trained in art school or college. But I always love drawing and painting since I was a child. I am so-called self taught artist.

You recently took part in our Pop-up Shows, how did you find the exhibitions?

I find all Pop-Up exhibitions are exiting, with or without theme. Because you could meet so many different artists with very different works at the same time. It is very good for the artists and the viewers.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

My intention to paint a picture is always wanting to capture one moment in life. So rather to static models I use photos from internet or magazines as reference, if I found something of it that touches me. So I draw it or paint it.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

To me fetish is not directly sex, but always related to sex. The objects of Fetish could be anything. It could be body parts, such as armpit. It could be material, like leather. Or clothes, such as Sportswear. Even activities, like FKK. It is something that arouses you sexually or aesthetically.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

I found this theme is very interesting and rich. For example, my painting „the white socks“ is just a plain painting if you are not Socks Fetish or Feet Fetish. But for people who are, it sends them a signal. They would be paying extra attention at this part of painting. And through seeing the works of other artists, it enriches my own fantasies about the wide fetish world of other people.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

To admit or not, everyone has own fetishes. Someone lives it openly, the others maybe secretly. And ones fetish changes from time to time. I don’t think public discussion is necessary. Just like no one discusses about tastes of foods. You like it salty, but I like it sweet. No matter how people should not feel ashamed of their fetish.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

I would not say unique, but maybe a little more than the other big cities. Because Berlin is famous for its diversity and free mind club culture. You can do and try out anything you like, but do not expect applause from other people, they would not give a shit.

https://www.instagram.com/li_zandong.art

The Ballery Shop

 

Categories
Blog

Rick Burger

Artist Interview: Rick Burger

Here is an interview with artist Rick Burger, who is taking part in the fetish exhibition opening this weekend! 

Take a look at more of Rick’s work through the links below the interview 🙂

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

My name is Rick Burger. I am a Dutch photographer. Since May 2007 I live in Berlin.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

I mainly do portrait and fashion photography. I prefer to work with my large format camera (4 x 5 inch) on black and white film. Communication is a very big and important aspect in my work, to get an honest view of the people I portray. I am fascinated by people’s vulnerability, strength, honesty and the concentration the 4 x 5 inch camera demands, is a good way to achieve that.

What does ‘fetish’ mean to you?

Sexuality is a very personal thing for me. Not in a way that it is private but very personal. It represents someones character, needs, background, fantasies and depths. And fetishism is a part of sexuality that shows all these things in people.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

The reason why I applied for this specific call is: the possibility and the joy to show my work and to give it a platform.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

I think it does come from a particular perspective. In a way I find that good. It keeps the balance in the misbalance. I see it as something exotic, occult and mysterious. On the other hand fetish is still seen as something perverse and unhealthy which it shouldn’t been seen as.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Yes, I think so.  I experience quite a lot of freedom here. There is room for many things and therefore also for fetishism.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

I prefer to exhibit my work in a space but the advantage of an online exhibition is a much wider reach.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

Sharing my feelings, thoughts and communication. But also recognition for my work.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

No, not really.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

Yes, I have. 

 

www.rickburger.com

@rickburgerphotography

The Ballery Shop

 

 

Categories
Blog

Liviu Bulea

Artist Interview: Liviu Bulea

I really enjoyed doing the artist interviews for the Pop-Up Shows, so I thought I would also interview artists taking part in our next exhibition! I think it’s a nice way to introduce people to some of the artists involved before the exhibition actually opens, and to give a  glimpse of what you can expect to see at the show!

The first interview is with Liviu Bulea!

Thanks to Liviu for taking the time to answer my questions.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am a Romanian artist from Transylvania. For my BA and MA, I carried out an investigation in the field of medicine. I researched the memory of spaces and objects in oncology departments. I am doing a PhD at the University of Arts and Design in Cluj-Napoca, on the relationship between art, architecture and urban space. I’m currently living in Berlin, where I’m working on my PhD thesis. I also make works about the LGBTQ+ community having the pleasure, over time, to exhibit at various Pride events in Europe: Athena, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

This piece is a selfie, which I took in 2020 during the lockdown. It is about wanting to freely explore outer space again and express my sexual pleasures.

What does fetish mean to you?

Fetish is an object/place to which I attribute power and which causes me a special feeling. It can be a cross, it can be my rings, it can be objects that produce sexual pleasure, it can be an abandoned place.

What made you apply for this call in particular?

I’ve been working on the subject of fetish for a long time. I’ve been interested both religiously in what it means and sexually, and I’ve been hearing about this space for a long time, and both combined made me apply.

Do you feel the discussion around fetishes is a balanced one, or do you think it often comes from one particular perspective?

A lot of people think of fetish as something sexual. The origin of this word actually appeared in English in the early 17th century and it referred to objects believed by West Africans to have supernatural powers.

Do you think Berlin has a unique connection to fetishism, if so why?

Yes, Berlin is a city that has a connection to fetishism. I think this is due to the history of the city, which went from one extreme to the other all the time, thus forming very individual groups with certain concerns and pleasures.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

The whole idea of doing exhibitions online is quite sad. The direct contact with the public and the discussions that are created help me to evolve.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

I am interested in the interaction with the public and their reactions. I am interested in creating discussions and raising questions through the works I exhibit.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

I am never nervous about showing my work in an exhibition. I have learned over the years that it is a subjective field, and there is an audience for everyone.

Have you ever shown at The Ballery before?

I’ve never had the pleasure of exhibiting at The Ballery before.

 

You can take a look at more of Liviu’s work here:

https://bulealiviu.wixsite.com/mysite

@proclet_666

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

New Exhibition: Fetish!

The Ballery’s exhibition program continues with the fetish themed exhibition starting 10th September.

The participating artists have been selected, so we can get started preparing for the show!

I’ve also started to interview some of the artists who will be taking part so you can get to know them and their work before the exhibition even opens! I will be sharing updates of what’s happening at The Ballery as we prepare for this show and the other upcoming exhibitions. So, there’s lots more to come!

Categories
Blog

Thanks TPSY!

As the two Pop-Up Shows are now finished, we wanted to thank our friends at TPSY! The drinks went down so well at our recent openings, and really added a special something to the shows! We love the ‘wine in a can’ concept and think it works perfectly for exhibitions and openings, so here’s to more with TPSY in the future! 

Categories
Blog

Pop-Up Show II

The Second Pop-Up Show opened this weekend and we are so happy with how it went. A huge thank you to all the artists who took part! It was great to see so many amazing, yet different, works in the space and meet the many artists who were showing their work. Thanks as well to everybody who came to visit and support local artists at The Ballery. Here are a few photos I took at the reception on Friday night! If you haven’t seen the exhibition yet, there’s still time as it’s open until Saturday!

Categories
Blog

Gerrit Astor

Artist Interview: Gerrit Astor

Today I am sharing the final artist interview, this time with Gerrit Astor. The second Pop-Up Show opens this weekend, so come along to check out Gerrit’s work and all the other amazing works on show! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Art is my passion and I have been painting since I could hold a brush. I am a self-taught painter. After finishing my master’s degree in electrical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, I moved to Berlin three years ago. I came across life drawing when I was 13 years old. Years later, while studying electrical engineering, I sometimes snuck into the architecture students’ drawing classes. I have never shown my paintings to a wider audience. Thus, the exhibition of my painting at The Ballery is a premiere for me.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

No, and I am very much looking forward to being part of the group exhibition.

What made you apply for this call?

A friend introduced me to The Ballery. The call for artists came at the right time for me and it is an excellent opportunity for me to take a first step into the public eye. 

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

It is still a very recent work of mine. I have been working with the mixed media I use for a long time and the subject is also very typical of my paintings. Therefore, I think it gives a good first insight into my work.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

The work was painted in winter during the second lockdown and is part of a series. This time was very hard for me, and I processed this feeling of weight that was on me through painting. Since painting with life models was not appropriate during times of isolation, I took my inspiration from early 20th century nude photographs. Especially the aesthetics of the twenties fascinates me, which can be found in the resulting series of pictures.

What are your biggest influences?

In my paintings I mainly deal with mental states and developments and what influence social expectations have on them. The artists with the greatest influences on my art are Gustave Moreau, Ferdinand Hodler and Fernand Khnopff.

Categories
Blog

Marta Stratskas

Artist Interview: Marta Stratskas

The penultimate interview! This time with Marta Stratskas, who we are pleased is participating in the second Pop-Up Show! Come to the exhibition this weekend to see Marta’s work, or you can take a look on our online shop.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am Marta Stratskas. I graduated from the Estonian Art Academy in painting (MA). After that I moved to Berlin.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

No, I have not.

What made you apply for this call?

I have visited The Ballery a couple of times and have been following the gallery online. So when the opportunity came, I knew I wanted to be part of that.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

It is one of my freshest and favourite works.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

The initial idea for the project was born in early 2018, during the preparation of the solo exhibition “Crossroads”. The name “The Crossroads” came from old stories, especially fairy tales, from a familiar motif of a standing hero at a crossroads who was given the choice of going back or forth, stepping left or right. Physical and moral advancement depends on choice, but hesitations, including prejudices and superstition between left and right, are wide.

Based on these ideas, the project continued in 2019 under the name “Konvertierung II”. This time the paintings focused on the inner world of the human being, exploring the human soul and highlighting the inner struggle as real and intimate as possible.

Has it been shown before?

Yes, this work has been shown before in my solo exhibition.

What are your biggest influences?

History, circle of life, There are a number of existential questions in life that we ask: where do we come from? Who are we? Why are we? What is the meaning of life? What will happen after death? Etc.

Categories
Blog

Javier De Benito Garcia

Artist Interview: Javier De Benito Garcia

As we approach the opening of the second Pop-Up Show at The Ballery this weekend, I have a few more interviews to share. This time I’m sharing an interview with artist Javier De Benito Garcia! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I have a degree in Photography from the Insitut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya (Barcelona), which is a general photography degree, though my practice focuses on bringing analog photography techniques into art.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

No, never.

What made you apply for this call?

I follow the gallery on social media, and I thought they had an interesting approach to art and new talents, so when I saw the open call I decided to apply.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

The piece I submitted belongs to a 37 piece series of nudes and portraits and I thought that one was a good choice for it, not any particular reason. I had many options and of course there are some pieces that I like the most from my series, so I’ve chosen one of them.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

Well the whole series tries to explore the capability and malleability of human bodies and faces , in order to create something that goes beyond the nudity or the portraiture, by using highly contrasted black and white tonalities in studio photographs with a plain background. The whole process is entirely analog and printed by me on a textured paper.

Has it been shown before?

No.

What are your biggest influences?

Well I’d love their influence on me somehow, but let’s say the artists that made a big impact on me are  Francis Bacon, Tony Catany, Remedios Varo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patricia Highsmith or Hubert Selby Jr among others.

Categories
Blog

Magdalena Piech

Artist Interview: Magdalena Piech

Here is an interview with Magdalena Piech, who will be part of the next Pop-Up Show opening this weekend! Take a look at Magdalena’s work through the links below.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice? 

Hey, my name is Magda and I am a fine artist. I mainly work with graphite or charcoal and use myself as a model. I was educated at the Art Institute of Chicago and later in Berlin. I started my full time studio practice back in 2016 and I have been developing it ever since. 

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

This is my first time showing at The Ballery and I am very excited! 

What made you apply for this call? 

I really like the vibe of this gallery; the artists, the collection of work, the space and the open minded visitors; it really seems like the right place for my work.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did? 

I feel like this drawing has all the stylistic elements which are very representative of my work. It’s bold, figurative and dressed in latex… I personally find it hard to ignore.

Can you tell us a bit about this work? 

I was always drawn to subculture and scientific illustration, that is probably the reason why I gravitate towards old school fetish aesthetic. I feel like engaging with any art is a very sensual experience and I hope that this drawing conveys that.

Has it been shown before? 

Yes, during my last solo exhibition… Unfortunately it did not see many visitors due to the first lockdown.

What are your biggest influences? 

At the moment I am a big fan of Michael Borremans and Nicola Samori.

Categories
Blog

Zeno Spyropoulos

Artist Interview: Zeno Spyropoulos

Today I am continuing to share interview with artists in the next Pop-Up Show, opening this weekend! Here is an interview with Zeno Spyropoulos! Come to The Ballery to see Zeno’s work, or take a look at our online shop.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

My name is Zeno Spyropoulos, a photographer from Belgium where I’ve also done my bachelor in fine arts. In 2018 I was keeping my mind open for inspiration to start a project or series when I stumbled upon Berlin by visiting a friend. Since I’ve been living here, it took a year to photograph my project, and another to make the book. The style of photography I do could be best described as documenting, and snapshot photography which I find the perfect medium to express myself intuitively.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

No, I have not.


What made you apply for this call?

I’ve visited The Ballery from time to time and was also following them on social media for quite some time when this popped up, so I decided to apply.


Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

It was a tough choice, since my work is very contextual in certain series so I was looking for a recent image that was strong enough to speak by itself and out of reliance on other images. 

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

The reason I chose the image is because I feel that it can stand on it’s own and not have to rely on contextualisation from other photos which is mostly the case in my publications. There is a playfulness and contrast between the archetype masculinity and femininity. A contrast between soft and hard while normalising bodily freedom and finding beauty in it.

Has it been shown before?

No, it has never been shown or shared before. On the contrary, when I was looking for an image to submit for the show I found this one between my negatives, unaware that it even existed.


What are your biggest influences?

Nan Goldin, Larry Clark have been big inspirations in the narrative and spontaneous story telling from their publications.

Categories
Blog

Emmanuelle Wilhelm

Artist Interview: Emmanuelle Wilhelm

Here is an interview with Emmanuelle Wilhelm, who we are pleased is taking part in the next Pop-Up Show! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice? 

I’m Emmanuelle Wilhelm, a German/French, self taught painter based in Berlin, Germany. I exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and also in some solos.The past decade I was living and working more or less between Berlin and Tel Aviv. My artworks were created in both cities and even more so they are inspired by both places and its realities. Beside my own artistic practice I was assisting established artists for many years whereas now I am working as a scenic painter for film industries.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

No I haven’t. But I am happy to be part of the upcoming pop-up.

What made you apply for this call?

I like the Ballery’s concept and the mix of established and less known artists. Also the fact that Simon Willliams is a dancer intrigued me, as dancing became an important element in my life the last couple of years. Lastly the artist’s submission at Ballery’s open calls are for free. Which makes the participation possible for artists that are struggling financially and that’s very sympathetic.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

It’s my latest artwork.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

I did this painting during corona winter 2020….and it represents the mood that I felt in Berlin at that time. It’s called „seclusion“.

Has it been shown before?

No, it is its première 😉

What are your biggest influences?

Daily life and its visual phenomenons.

Categories
Blog

Camille Schaeffer (Cille Sch)

Artist Interview: Camille Schaeffer (Cille Sch)

The first Pop-Up Show finished yesterday and it’s been amazing! Thank you to all the artists and everyone who came to visit. Now we are preparing for the opening of the second show! So, I am continuing to share interviews with artists who are taking part in the next exhibition. Here is an interview with Camille Schaeffer (Cille Sch)!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice? 

Hi, I’m Camille Schaeffer (Cille Sch), a French multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany. I have a Performing Arts and Interaction design degree and I am a full-time artist. I have participated in numerous group exhibitions locally and abroad. I usually take part in residencies followed up by group exhibitions.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

No I haven’t. I am really excited to be selected. 

What made you apply for this call? 

I’ve seen previous shows at The Ballery and thought it was a great opportunity to apply for it. 

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did? 

It is the first artwork of my new series « Peace in chaos » where I talk about a topic that matters to me.

Can you tell us a bit about this work? 

This painting is part of a new series of artworks where I explore the topic of patriarchy. I study the notion of chaos as a result of a patriarchal order. I talk about gender identity, social roles and the way it affects us.

Has it been shown before? 

None of the artworks from my new series have been shown yet. It feels like a new chapter and I am excited to begin it with a first show at The Ballery.

What are your biggest influences? 

I don’t like to think of my work as being influenced by something specific. My practice is about research, experimentation and is also based on collaborations. I try more to be influenced by people, their life experiences, my own, and the society in which I live.

Categories
Blog

Emeline Mottais

Artist Interview: Emeline Mottais

Today I am sharing another interview, this time with Emeline Mottais, who will be taking part in the second Pop-Up Show, opening next Saturday! Take a look at Emeline’s work through the links below.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am Emeline Mottais, from France but living in Berlin for 9 years. I have been drawing since I was 7-8 years old. Then I developed a fascination for materiality and creation so when I grew up I wanted to study materiality in order to understand what is around us (materiality is everywhere). It is the reason why I have a scientific background on one side and a creative background on the other side. I also worked more than ten years in the architecture field, from where I took a lot of inspiration in my new series “angles, lines and forms”.

I want to draw the forms which are all around us in order to give them a new place in our consideration. Indeed, when we see something beautiful, we are more conscious about the colors, the materiality,… but less about the impact of the composition and forms on our mind, and the place it has in our sensibility for “beauty”. Through my art I let the public imagine its own colors, materiality, hearing, feeling,… or simply be aware of the composition created by those shapes, angles, and lines. I wish by this way to let the public be its own artist, and thus bringing a new dimension to what they are seeing.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

I exhibited in other gallery in Berlin and in one week in Athens – Greece, but it is for me a first time by The Ballery

What made you apply for this call? 

I love The Ballery! I discovered it by a French artist who lived in Berlin, a friend of mine, Anne-Bénédicte Girot. She exhibited in 2019 here and encouraged me also to present my artwork in galleries. The Ballery is also full of Berlin’s feeling and I will love to see my large format on its walls.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did? 

The Village represents really well my Series “line, angle and forms” : it is in the middle of an abstract/reality world, with a little bit of nature and a sensation to be in front of a village from the south of France. It also gives a holiday feeling that finally convinced me for this exhibition in August.

Can you tell us a bit about this work? 

This work represents my feelings when I drew it. The both sides of organization and discordance, reality/abstract, shape and light, solidity and fragility, the feeling to be lost but to have still a way to go away, the things we see and the things we imagine, all of this is for me represented in this artwork in a final composition I find beautiful.

Has it been shown before? 

It is my “new one” in this format, so no, it is for the first time in a Gallery.

What are your biggest influences? 

My biggest influences are the architects, nature, the painters, the sculptors, the philosophy, the history, the Bauhaus time and I think a little bit from Japanese culture.

Categories
Blog

Jean Ellen Flétta

Artist Interview: Jean Ellen Flétta

Here is an interview with Jean Ellen Flétta, who we are pleased is taking part in the next Pop-Up Show, opening next week! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice? 

I’m Jean Ellen Flétta, a German artist who lives and works in Berlin. As a multifaceted artist who worked in TV, has written theatre plays and did various visual Art series, I am a jumping jack in the corridors of Art. 

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

No I haven’t and I’m very excited to be part of this group show!

What made you apply for this call? 

It was a call from above.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did? 

This is one gets most immediate reactions from the audience because of its subtilty😊

Can you tell us a bit about this work? 

This artwork is part of a Pop Art series „Fuck that Art“ which combines pornographic images with Street Art elements.

Has it been shown before? 

This artwork has not been shown before.

What are your biggest influences? 

Caravaggio,  Lucian Freud, Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Quentin Massys, Francis Bacon, Otto Dix, Jenny Saville and many more…

Categories
Blog

Camille Theodet

Artist Interview: CamilleTheodet

Today I am sharing an interview with Camille Theodet, an artist taking part in the second Pop-Up Show which opens Saturday 21st August! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am Camille Theodet, a young French artist from the suburbs of Paris, France. I did Fine Art studies (bachelor) before entering a private school of Special effects makeup. After playing with different mediums and trying ways to express myself, it became clear that painting and drawing were the main mediums to be used.

I decided to move to Berlin in 2017, where I am now residing and working.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

This is the first time.

What made you apply for this call?

I was already following the gallery for a while, and always thought “damn I also wanna be part of it someday” which is now the case! I like the gallery’s spirit, but also its location in Schöneberg, I think this is a good mix.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

This is one of my most recent artwork, which is also the first with which I have experimented with new elements that I am now using again and again in my practice. I think we can say that this has been a trigger for myself in terms of representations and techniques. Also, I do think that this work can fit the gallery’s spirit well.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

This work is part of a long series of paintings that I am working on since the end of 2020. This is the 11th painting of this series to be more precise (which count now 14).

I am influenced by the classics, dramatics, and religious paintings of art history. I am creating new senses from what already exists in those periods, and reuse pictorial codes to reinterpret them. By using a modern eye,  I propose a very sarcastic and ridiculous vision of what was considered sacred, by using contemporary techniques. I am working with airbrush painting, spray paint, metal paintings and acrylic.

Has it been shown before?

This will be the first time that the public sees it.

What are your biggest influences?

I really have a huge interest in religious art, in any period of time, in any form. This is almost an obsession. I can not stop myself from looking into it, trying to understand it, but mostly, just looking at it in a very different way, most of the time kinda twisted.

I am also very influenced by the street art, as well as erotic art, and the fetish scenes of Berlin. Berlin itself has been a huge influence on my work, and BDSM is a never ending source of inspiration, from the clothes, to the spirit, to the practice, to even the psychological meanings that can be behind it sometimes.

Categories
Blog

Rolf Czulius

Artist Interview: Rolf Czulius

Here is the interview I did with Rolf Czulius, an artist who will be showing the piece ‘Save or play?’ in the second Pop-Up Show which opens Saturday 21st August! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Hi, I‘m Rolf Czulius, Austrian painter, living and working in Berlin.

After my career as a dancer and actor, mainly for theatre in Paris, I started painting at the age of 40, first learning handcraft skills in drawing and painting in private lessons with russian artists in Berlin, then absolving a 5 years study for contemporary painting at Akademie für Malerei, Berlin, ending with a „Meisterschüler“ in 2014. Ever since I did 2 solo and many group exhibitions.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

Yes, it’s the second time after last year.

What made you apply for this call?

I liked it last year and I‘m happy to be part of the show again.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

I wanted to show something recently finished, from this year.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

I like to mix characters, objects, landscape, and abstraction together in a little absurd and illogical narration, a bit like scenery in a theatre. The doll in this painting is a citation from the fotografer Morton Bartlett.She’s a member of the family of homemade children that he created in 1962-63. I often paint dolls – there’s something almost but not quite human in them that fits well into a creepy, yet ironically playful atmosphere, that I try to create in my paintings. Therefore I adore Morton Bartlett’s photos and I’m rendering homage to his fantastic work in this way. Is it more important, that I’m concerned about the preservation of nature, and is that the reason for painting an environmental of Brandenburg’s „Sumpflandschaft“ – tending to disappear – and a Gorilla that has never lost himself in there or is it more for painterly reasons to put some water in the painting because I like to paint water and the Gorilla is in a bit playful, nasty mood, at the same time dangerous and funny – (I love these oppositions) – that arranges the atmosphere that I want in the painting ? I also love to paint found objects, which in this case is the silver-couloured „Sparschwein“ (so German, tending to disappear, too, for different reasons) in the middle of the scenery. Maybe there is a little from my Czech origins in this consideration of „talking“ soulful objects, that destiny or hazard decided to bring by my way, and that change it’s meanings, most likely in a metaphorical use in the painting …

Has it been shown before?

No.

What are your biggest influences?

Hieronymus Bosch (the delirium), Manet (the touch), Peter Doig (the painterly excess and atmosphere), Neo Rauch (the dreamlike, absurd enigma).

Categories
Blog

Lucas Ngo

Artist Interview: Lucas Ngo

Today I am also sharing an interview with Lucas Ngo, taking part in the second Pop-Up Show which opens Saturday 21st August! You can take a look at Lucas’ website and the work in our shop through the links below.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice? 

I’m Lucas Ngo, I’ve been studying art in Belgium and in France. I live between Berlin and Paris. I mostly practice drawing and painting but I experiment with other mediums like video or sculpture. Recently I participated in a performance project “A Queer Glimpse” which appeared in Siegessaeule Magazine.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?
No, this is the first time.

What made you apply for this call?

For 3 months I have been working on an oil paintings series and I wanted to exhibit at least one piece. I saw on Instagram the open call and so I applied.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?
During the time I have been working on this painting series, this one has been the first I thought would be great to show in an exhibition.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?
The title of this work is “The Man’s Star” which is the name of one of the cards from the Belline Oracle. The Belline Oracle is used for cartomancy like Tarot. 

Has it been shown before?
No, this is the first time I will exhibit this painting.

What are your biggest influences?

Definitely Marlene Dumas.

Categories
Blog

Gawie Joubert

Artist Interview: Gawie Joubert

Whilst the first Pop-Up Show is still open until Saturday, we’ve heard from all our artists taking part in this exhibition. A huge thanks to them all for taking part in the show and for those who took part in the interviews! So, from today onwards we are sharing interviews from artists in the next show! First up is Gawie Joubert! The second Pop-Up Show opens Saturday 21st August.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Hi, I’m Gawie Joubert, a South African visual artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany. I have a Graphic Design degree and I had a brief career as an award-winning Art Director, Illustrator, and Illustration lecturer. In 2014, I focused my attention on my fine-art career and became a full-time artist. I have participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions and art fairs locally and abroad. I’ve been selected as part of the Top 30 for the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award (2017) and the Top 100 for the Thami Mnyele Fine Art Award. In 2017, I was invited to The Budapest Art Factory International Artist and Curator Residency Program where I spent 5 months living and working in Hungary.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

No I haven’t and I’m super excited to be part of this group show!

What made you apply for this call?

I’ve been at a couple of the openings at The Ballery and really enjoyed them. So when this opportunity came around I knew I wanted to be part of it.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

This is one of the artworks that haven’t been on show before so I thought it would be the best one to submit.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

This artwork is part of the Durban series, created during the first and second lockdown. Confined within my apartment and the uncertainty of the pandemic weighing on me. It reflects on grey Berlin days and yearns for the sea-side humidity and sweltering heat experienced while living in Durban before moving to Berlin. These large drawings are based on sketches I made while living in Durban.

Has it been shown before?

This specific artwork has not been shown before but some of the other artworks from the Durban series have been on show last year and this year.

What are your biggest influences?

My ethereal ink and charcoal drawings evolve around the complex connections between humans and nature. I simultaneously explore my own interest in the fluidity of identity and the impact of anxiety on my work that was inspired by the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, Zachari Logan, and Edward Munch. Fueled by my belief that humans are dependent on nature for psychological and physical well being. 

Categories
Blog

Imanuel Scheiko

Artist Interview: Imanuel Scheiko 

Here is my interview with Imanuel Scheiko. We are very happy to have Imanuel taking part in the first Pop-Up Show. You can check out the work in the exhibition which is open till Saturday, or through The Ballery website and links below.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

My name is Imanuel Scheiko, an Iranian visual artist who lives and works in Berlin.

I moved to Germany 12 years ago to study and I managed to finish my master degrees in Environmental Engineering in 2014. After working in that field for some years, I realized I need a change and quit my job to do what I really love to do. So today I work as a Visual Artist, part time Wedding photographer and translator for Farsi speaking LGBTIQ refugees.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

Unfortunately, not. Therefore, I am even more excited to be part of this exhibition.

What made you apply for this call?

5 years ago, as I moved to Schoeneberg, I passed by The Ballery for the first time and instantly knew I really want to be a part of this gallery one day. Maybe you can call it love at first sight. Since then, Iran and its troubling view on queer people become a topic at the Ballery several times. What better place and what better time could I find, to apply with this work.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

This work is a very special one for me as it is very personal. And I can truly say: this work introduces my artistic vision and practice very well. It seems to me that, within the last one and half years, the world has become a more dividing, separating, intolerant place. With my work and especially this peace, I invite people to look at things differently. Opening up your mind instead of shutting it down. I think that’s what we need now and that’s why I chose this work.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

This work was created during the first lockdown in 2020, where I had much more time for my creative process. This work is inspired by a very personal story that I have experienced as a 4-year-old Iranian kid on my birthday. Big birthday party, friends and family members all there and I, as an innocent happy and joyful kid, wanted to dance in a pink/red skirt of my 3 years older cousin. I got the chance to embrace and enjoy that moment and I danced like a bird who got to fly for the first time. Of course, that dance with skirt got filmed and it’s been shown afterwards for more than 30 years over and over again. I was for many members of the family and friends, mostly men of course, not the same as before. I was the kid, later on the teenage boy and after that, the man who can dance well and wore a skirt one time. It never ends. So I became the one who does not follow cultural or society norms. And while I started hiding from strange looks and mean words back then, I am proud of it today. At least in the world and culture I chose to live in today.  

Has it been shown before?

This work has not been shown before.

What are your biggest influences?

The current phase of my artistic journey began when I moved to Germany in 2009 and dove deeper into exploring the intersections of cultures. I blend the ancient visuals of Persian carpet weaving with the complexities of life in Berlin. I draw direct inspiration from the emotions and people I get to experience as a wedding photographer and translator for refugees.

The sobering chaos of iconic Persian patterns always comes back in one way or another. Sometimes it dominates a work, sometimes it’s a touch in the background, just slightly changing the atmosphere. I like to play with elements of paradox; seemingly symmetrical and harmonious but ultimately human in its essence. I chose to express myself both in form and color, and at the same time engage with story and narrative. My inspiration comes from my Iranian background as well as my Berlin life. The one from the past, the other from the present.

Categories
Blog

Andreas Hachulla

Artist Interview: Andreas Hachulla 

Today I’m sharing the last of the interviews with artists who are taking part in the first Pop-Up Show. This interview is with Andreas Hachulla! You can check out the work in the exhibition which is open till Saturday, or through The Ballery website and Andreas’ website linked below.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am Andreas Hachulla, architect, artist and musician. I started working as an architect in 2007, playing live shows since 1996 and doing art exhibitions since 1994.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

No.

What made you apply for this call?

An announcement on Facebook.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

Because we were asked to choose one that would represent the current artistic approach best and besides it is from January 2020, and therefore represents a pre crisis momentum.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

It is a digital drawing on a smartphone which is part of a series that I started in 2015 as a form of post plein air painting digital impressionism at places where no photos are allowed to take.

Has it been shown before?

Yes, in December 2020 at the Wiedererwachen group show in Berlin.

What are your biggest influences?

Probably my father and 80s & 90s mediaculture.

Categories
Blog

Pop-Up Show I

The first Pop-Up Show opened this weekend! Thank you to all the artists taking part and to everybody who came along over the weekend. Here are a few photos from the artist reception on Friday, where I got the chance to finally meet some more of the artists I’ve been speaking to in preparation for the exhibition. If you haven’t made it down to The Ballery yet, the show is open until Saturday!

Categories
Blog

Rachael Jablo

Artist Interview: Rachael Jablo

Today I’m also sharing an interview with Rachael Jablo whose work is on display at the Pop-Up Show until Saturday! We are so pleased to have Rachael in the exhibition, if you’d like to see more of Rachael’s work, take a look at the links below.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I’m a US-American artist from Texas and California with a background in analogue photography whose work combines cameraless photography techniques with analogue collage. I also do some performance-based work, and in 2013 published my photography book My days of losing words with Kehrer Verlag.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

This pop-up is my first time exhibiting at The Ballery. Thanks for inviting me!

What made you apply for this call? 

A friend posted the call on Instagram, and I liked that the gallery has a queer sensibility.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

This is work that I made during lockdown, part of a series of posie collages I created from the pre-germ-theory flower medicine. It felt right to show this as things are opening up again, and felt a bit more hopeful and protected. It hasn’t been shown before.

What are your biggest influences?

I’m inspired by flowers and gardens and textiles as well as medieval altarpieces and 70s feminist art. So much stuff.

In which ways has living in Berlin shaped your work or practice?

I moved here from San Francisco, where I had no space whatsoever, and so when I moved to Berlin, I could actually afford a studio that had enough space to make some bigger work. It changed my entire way of making art. I started working in collage and installation, and it’s been wonderful.

What other artists do you like, are there any other Berlin-based artists you are interested in?

I’m inspired by all of my friends around me who are working artists, as well as so many who have come before me: Anna Atkins, Ana Mendieta, Judy Chicago, and Adrian Piper (who lives in Berlin now).

Have you ever been in a group show before?

Many! I’ve been a practising artist for a long time.

What’s the experience like for you?

It depends on the gallery and the artists. But usually it’s a time to meet new people and be a part of a creative vision that’s not completely mine, which is interesting at the very least.

How do you feel about exhibiting work online instead of in a space?

It’s still new to me! I’ve been selling work online just for the past year or so, and it feels a little foreign, without the direct relationship that showing someone work in person has.

What is your approach to pricing your work?

My work is fairly labour intensive, and so I price it to incorporate both the cost of the materials as well as my time/labour.

What are you looking for from an exhibition, besides selling work?

Meeting people within the art community, from other artists, curators, to potential collectors. Creating dialog about art.

Do you ever get nervous about showing work in an exhibition?

I am never nervous about the work being shown; I do get nervous about talking about the work.

https://www.rjablo.com/

https://www.instagram.com/rljablo/

The Ballery Shop

Categories
Blog

Bernd-jan Overbosch

Artist Interview: Bernd-jan Overbosch

The first Pop-Up Show is open all this week and today I’m pleased to be sharing an interview with artist Bernd-jan Overbosch, whose work is on display at the exhibition! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Hi, I’m Bernd-jan(Bj) an artist from the Netherlands, I’m a graphic designer and illustrator that studied photography and urban design. 

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

This is one of the artworks that hasn’t been on show before. 

This summer I have been experimenting with different materials and working not just digital, this is the start of a series of art work I’m creating and wanted to show it here to see the reaction to it. 

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

Normally I focus my photography work just on the male body but felt it needed a more feminine energy, as a kid I used to do a lot of stitching and thought this would be an interesting combination to the black and white muscular body. 

Has it been shown before?

This specific artwork has not been shown before.

 What are your biggest influences?

I’m feeling my influence is a mix between artists like Damon Baker who tends to work a lot in black and white and my father and grandmother who both are very skilled in drawing and painting. 

Categories
Blog

Carlos Enfedaque

Artist Interview: Carlos Enfedaque

Here is another artist interview, this time with Carlos Enfedaque, who we are very happy is part of the first Pop-Up Show, take a look at his work in the links below!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am a queer Spanish painter, I moved to Berlin 3 years ago and before that I lived, worked and studied in Valencia, Coimbra (Portugal) and Zaragoza (where I come from). I have my studio in Neukölln where I try to spend as much time as possible.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

This is my first time in The Ballery, would love to do it again!

What made you apply for this call?

I knew the gallery through a couple of friends and I was told about this open call, loved the idea of showing local artists and the feeling of community.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did? 

The piece was a turning point in my production where I started to get more intimate and more self-referential. 

Can you tell us a bit about this work? 

I’m lately using images from my daily life and own experiences reflecting and analysing them through the prism of oil painting. I think this got triggered by the increase of LGBTQ+phobic attacks all over the world and specially in my home country (Spain). To exist as a queer person is something political and lately I’ve been feeling the need of being triple open about my sexuality and my identity as queer. This indirectly gets reflected in my painting production.

Has it been shown before? 

No, it’s quite new!

What are your biggest influences?

Arts of all kinds, I really admire authenticity as in being true to what you love and what excites you and reflecting that in your art. In terms of direct influences from painting we can talk of classical painters like Francisco de Goya, Rembrandt and Velazquez. Big contemporary names like Michaël Borremans, Gerhard Richter, David Hockney, Luc Luymans… and younger artists like Jenna Gribbon, Victoria Iranzo, Apolonia Sokol and many many more.

Many of my paintings are inspired by fashion, especially fashion from the 70s-80s-90s l, as well as the party scene in Berlin today, its people and its music.

Talking about music, my interests lie in different genres, from classical to disco dance and experimental… in my studio you can hear from Donna summer to Danny L Harle, Sophie, Bad Gyal, Himera to Brahms.

Categories
Blog

Maria Möller

Artist Interview: Maria Möller

Today I’m sharing an interview with the talented Maria Möller, who is showing her work Berghain at the first Pop-Up Show, which opens to the public today! 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Hello!!! My name is Maria Möller, living and creating in Berlin, Germany. In order to develop myself artistically, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in fashion design after studying sociology and philosophy for two semesters. I am currently a supervisor for people with disabilities and have always had the need to support people in coping with certain topics. In my opinion, art can help to deal with certain emotions, thoughts and experiences. In order to combine my creative and social fields of interest, I would like to start my master’s degree in art therapy from next year onwards. In my mostly abstract or abstracted paintings, I deal with my experiences, emotions and thoughts.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

I haven’t shown any work at the Ballery before. It is now my first time and I am really excited!

What made you apply for this call?

Very good friends of mine recently organized an event at the Ballery. In the week after, one of them forwarded a post on Instagram “Call for Artists” that caught my attention. I’ve wanted to take part in an exhibition for a long time and I’ve been waiting for the right moment. When I saw that post, I felt that now was the right time.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

Although the painting was created years ago, I chose the painting “Berghain.”. It describes our club culture, which became basically non existing during Covid19. We all had to learn what it means to live without museums, dancing in a shared place, meeting new people and so on. Things changed drastically starting with the spread of the virus. With the virus came fear and isolation. Connecting with other people was not as easy as we were used to. I am sure that we all are looking forward to an end of these times where fear is spreading and finally reconnect!

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

Even though the place has always been controversial – the door policy is one example – I still believe it is a place where many people enjoy a piece of freedom, acceptance and community. After a magical weekend with great friends and amazing energies, I had the urge to immediately start painting and processing my experiences and emotions. This impatience of having to queue in cold dark nights. Maybe being rejected. Music, a piece of freedom and a loving community represented with bright colours coming from inside the building, promising a magical night that is about to happen. That light also is a representation of hope for equality and being accepted, no matter where you come from or how you look. Of course Berghain not only is a place to see that light but also to face our darkest demons and everything in between.

Has it been shown before?

This painting has not been shown before in an exhibition, it has been on the walls of a good friend of mine for a long time though. 

What are your biggest influences?

My biggest influences for sure are my friends, family and the experiences I have had so far. The magical community I am looking up to and feeling so empowered to be surrounded by. Powerful personalities who all are truly fighters. Another influence for sure is my family. I learned a lot from my parents who were/are fashion designers / graphic designers / artists, as well as influences from my grandmother who is a silk painter. I have always been lucky to be surrounded by art. 

Categories
Blog

The art has arrived!

The first Pop-Up Show is well under way! This week the artists have been bringing in their artwork ready for the opening this weekend. I managed to get a few pictures of some of the pieces arriving, here is Maria Möller and Carlos Enfedaque dropping their pieces off at The Ballery. Come check out the show this week so you can see all the amazing work that’s on show!

 

Categories
Blog

Aris Chantzopoulos (Forvitinn)

Artist Interview: Forvitinn

Today I’m sharing an interview with the artist Forvitinn, who is showing the piece ‘Birke’ at the first Pop-Up Show! You can take a look at more of Forvitinn’s work through the links below the interview.

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?
My name is Aris Chantzopoulos. I am from Greece, living in Berlin for the last 10 years. I am a visual artist, musician and painter. I have been performing live for my solo music project, composed music and performed for dance theatre/theatre pieces, and directed video clips and exhibited my paintings in solo and group exhibitions.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?
Not yet!

What made you apply for this call?
I have seen a couple of exhibitions there and I love the space, plus I was sure of the quality of the artists that would participate.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?
It’s a very representative piece of my work generally.i love creating illusions. I love dark fairytales, hybrids, and nature. It’s my own mysterious world/forests visible in this work.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?
This piece is an illusion. In a forest of birch trees a figure of a peeping tom is revealed plus a sexual scene at the background. This piece is part of my solo exhibition: birke vol.ll / the watching tree. Inspired by birch trees.

Has it been shown before?
Yes at the cell 63 in a solo exhibition in Berlin, also for my porcelain pieces collection
at chrome store Berlin and 48 Neukölln.

What are your biggest influences?
Nature, music, creatures, hybrids.

Categories
Blog

Frank Lassak

Artist Interview: Frank Lassak

We are pleased to share another artist interview today, this time with Frank Lassak. The piece Frank is showing at the first Pop-Up Show is called ‘No Splash’. Take a look at Frank’s work through the links after the interview!

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

Back in 2010 I felt it was about time to add some new flavor to my professional life, and I began to revive my photographic skills, which I had acquired during my university years some time ago. Since then, I have been practicing the art of photography.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before?

Many times indeed. Starting in 2014, when I had the chance to show selected works in group shows. In November 2015, The Ballery showed a solo exhibition with my works, and in 2018, my series „Dream Control“ was also shown there.

What made you apply for this call?

Knowing Simon for quite a while, I thought it would be nice to show one of my recent works.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

It belongs to a series called „Corona Emptiness“ – which is what we all experience right now.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

See above.

Has it been shown before?

No.

What are your biggest influences?

Knowledge and Confusion.

Categories
The Ballery

Kaddi:H

Artist Interview: Kaddi:H

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I mainly deal with the issues of vulnerability and psychological exceptional states. I use and interpret experiences from my biography and my history of mental illnesses. In my work I also take up my interest in the abstraction of the human body and the animalistic and absurd in human behavior and emotional life. It is often the case that I intuitively choose a material and / or technique that is close to my chosen topic in some way. For example, I find the feel of a material suitable for a feeling that I want to convey. Or a certain technique helps me to add a certain atmosphere to a work.

Currently, a lot of my work is in the field of video and installation.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

 No.

What made you apply for this call?

I visited some exhibitions at the Ballery before and liked the curatorial selection. Then an artist friend sent me the open call and I thought: Great opportunity! 

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

I had the feeling it would match the interests and focus of the Ballery.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

The photo shows a section of a human face – digitally transformed into an insect-like being.

Has it been shown before?

No.

What are your biggest influences?

My history of mental illnesses and my connectedness with animals.

Categories
The Ballery

Mara Wagenführ

Artist Interview: Mara Wagenführ

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I studied painting at the UDK and since then I am active as an artist; with a focus on mixed media paintings, textile work (such as embroideries) and installations.  The human body, in the context of the self portrait, as a portal between the personal inner life and the external events is the central topic of my work, always guided by the question of the meaning of our existence and an investigation on a religious, poetic and romantic level.

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

Not yet – I am really looking forward to being part of the group show.

What made you apply for this call?

I have been following the gallery program for quite a while and somehow this felt like the right moment to do it.

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

Actually I was applying with some other work, but Simon asked me if ‘Wau Wau’, the painting I will show is also available.

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

It’s a portrait of my dog Willi who became part of my life 2 years ago and is really a heart opener to me. So somehow it is also a self portrait.The title is Wau Wau or: the unbearable lightness of being, which refers to the idea of being in the present moment. 

Has it been shown before?

No.

What are your biggest influences?

Music is a big influence as well as practicing Yoga, which has created a change in my thinking about what is really important in life.

Categories
The Ballery

Koywe Kollage

Artist Interview: Koywe Kollage

Today we are also sharing an interview with Koywe Kollage, who is showing the work ‘BIA 1’, a mixed media analog collage, at the first of the Pop-Up Shows opening this Friday. 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I´m a mixed media and analog collage artist from Chile, based in Berlin that goes by the name of “Koywe Kollage”. My collection of unique cut collages is based on the search for artistic expression through paper as the main working material.  

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

Yes, I participated for the first time in 2019 with one of my collages that was sold on the day of the Vernissage. Then in 2020, I participated twice, showing a total of 5 pieces. 

What made you apply for this call?

As I am already familiar with the gallery, I know the kind of exhibitions you do and I really like the way you work, the kind of audience The Ballery attracts and the selection of artists you include. There is always a good atmosphere in the gallery. 

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

Every time I participate in the Open Calls of The Ballery, I like to show the versatility in my work and, although this work is not within my recurring themes, it has for me, a special energy and a message of empowerment that I wanted to share with the friends of The Ballery. 

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

The name of this piece is BIA 1 and it’s part of a series of three mixed media analog collages called “BIA IN THREE SKINS – The personification of force and raw energy in different bodies”

The inspiration and name for the series come from Greek mythology. In ancient Greek: Βία, means “power, force, might” and it was the female personification of strength, anger, and raw energy.

I’m channeling and embracing this powerful feminine invisible energy represented in abstract portraits.

Each work begins with naked body b&w photographs that serve as a blank canvas that later, with the addition of paint floating in the water, absorbs and captures the tonalities and movement of that paint, simulating an invisible energy that emerges and floats in the darkness.

Has it been shown before?

It hasn’t been shown live yet, but I have already posted it on my Instagram account and website. 

What are your biggest influences?

My greatest influence comes from what inspires me, such as nature, the human body, sex, queerness, and how they relate to each other and coexist in this world. I try to portray that which surrounds us yet is non-visible and intangible as abstracts, likening it to the universal energy with which we coexist and which we also emit.

Categories
Blog

Aja Jacques

Artist Interview: Aja Jacques

We are really happy to have so many talented Berlin-based artists taking part in the Pop-Up shows, and many of them have been kind enough to answer a few questions about their work and practice. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing a lot of these artist interviews so you can hear directly from the artists and get to know some of them before the shows. 

First up is Aja Jacques who is participating in the first show this Friday! We are so happy to have this piece in the show. Take a look at more of Aja’s work through the links below. 

What is your background? Perhaps you could briefly introduce yourself and your practice?

I am a multi-disciplinary artist, originally from Vancouver, Canada. I have previously had careers as a ballet dancer, performance artist, and nude model, and most recently I have graduated from photography school. My work is always rooted in photography, but my larger projects often incorporate other media such as audio, installation, video, and text. 

Have you shown any work at The Ballery before? 

I have not shown my own work, however, two years ago photos of me by Leonardo Julian Rossi were shown at the Pop-Up exhibition. It feels like I’ve come full circle now, to now be showing my work as a photographer as I make the transition away from being a model. 

What made you apply for this call?

I love the way the Pop-Up exhibitions, and The Ballery as a whole, supports the Berlin art community and brings people together. I knew I would enjoy being a part of it, and of course I am always excited about the opportunity to exhibit my work. 

Why did you choose to submit the work that you did?

For the past year I have mostly been working on photo projects that are larger series. Since I was asked to submit only one image for this exhibition, I tried to choose a work of mine that would stand the strongest on it’s own. 

Can you tell us a bit about this work?

This is a portrait of one of my best friends, Soren Jahan, who is also a photographer. I took this photo of him in his home studio last summer. When I photograph men I usually try to show some femininity, softness, and depth, which I don’t often see in typical images of them. I think that the darkness of this image also reflects the difficult mental health issues that I was dealing with when I shot this. 

What are your biggest influences?

It’s hard to say what my biggest influences are, because I am influenced by many many things – and they are always changing. I do not have any singular heroes or movements that have continually inspired my path as an artist. More than anything, my work is influenced by my own emotions, and the struggles I am facing at the time I am creating. 

In which ways has living in Berlin shaped your work or practice?

Berlin has shaped everything – and I mean everything – about my practice. I moved to Berlin when I was 19, and at the time I believed that I actually just wasn’t a creative person, and I had never even considered being an artist. The experiences I have had here, as well as the way the affordability of the city has allowed me time to explore and learn, are what have made me into an artist. 

Categories
Blog

02.08.2021

After a great series of openings and events throughout July, we are pleased to welcome back another round of Pop-Up shows at The Ballery this August!

We thought we’d set up a blog to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening at The Ballery. This month we are putting on two Pop-Up exhibitions, meaning there’s lots going on at The Ballery! We want to share what’s happening in preparation for the upcoming shows and give you some more insight into the artists who are taking part this time round. We’ll be sharing interviews with some of the artists, updates on how the exhibitions are coming together, and probably some random, but hopefully interesting, updates! 

But to start things off, I will briefly introduce myself. I’m Meghan and, like Simon, I’m from the UK. I moved to Berlin a few years ago to pursue my interest in working with artists and galleries. I have been helping out at The Ballery for the last few months, working on the new online shop and the Pop-Up shows. I’ve really loved being a part of all the excitement at The Ballery, which I’m sure most people will agree is a very special place.

We will be adding to the blog everyday throughout August, so there will be lots of interesting things to come!