Usagi Kannon II by Leiko Ikemura

Café Schmitz Köln Aachener Weiher Kaffee Schokoladenkuchen Skulptur Japan Terrasse Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Leiko Ikemura Usagi Kannon II bronze Skulptur sculpture art Japanese art japanische Kunst  Köln Fotografie Architektur Sharareh Shahedali

I just had enjoyed a miserable coffee and not the most beautiful chocolate cake on the terrace of Cologne’s museum of far Eastern art amidst its ever incredible mid century architecture that I glimpsed a Continue reading


Karl Schenker – Master Of Beauty At Ludwig Museum

Karl Schenker photography vintage fashion editorial 20s 30s roaring twenties Germany Fotografie golden era beauty mode fashion history master of retouching Sharareh Shahedali

Karl Schenker was a very much acclaimed master of photography and illustration especially during 20s Germany who later lost his impact and died 1954 in London without much notice from society.

I often wonder how it must be to rise that high and then vanish into oblivion. We see this all the time with film stars for example. But in Karl Schenker’s case it touches me even more. We see a man with true skills, magician like, he achieves unimaginable artistry and because of changing tastes and technology demand for him declines up into nothing.

Karl Schenker photography vintage fashion editorial 20s 30s roaring twenties Germany Fotografie golden era beauty mode fashion history master of retouching women history
Karl Schenker, Damenbildnis. Portrait of a Lady, around 1920. Photo: Rheinisches Bildarchiv Museum Ludwig; ML; K. Schenker; aus der Sammlung von R & E. Ruminski

At the beginning Karl Schenker had a Studio in Berlin where everybody from high society be it aristocrats or politicians came to get their portraits taken. He did everything himself and where he shined most was the post-editing process where Karl Schenker proved to be a master of retouching. The studio portraits were taken in the gloomy style of the decade but with his hands and a brush he managed to add feathery and glowing highlights. The subjects were manipulated to look better and in the end they appeared with slimmer noses and shined with soft radiance wearing pelts and feather boas from the picture. Continue reading

Double Church In Rieselfeld – Freiburg | Architecture

Maria Magdalena im Rieselfeld Freiburg im Breisgau ökumenische Kirche neomodernism Baden-Württemberg Architektur brutalisme monolithic beton concrete catholic protestant evangelisch Germany Susanne Gross women architect

As much as I love ancient buildings, I also admire monoliths of neo-modern architecture.

Today we went to a zoo located in the outer rims of Freiburg. The whole district is called Rieselfeld and a part of it got transformed into a residential area. A very new borough with a very new church. Continue reading

Oskar Koller – Frühlingsstrauß

Frühlingstrauß Oskar Koller Aquarell akvarell Wasserfarbe Kunst Künstler Maler vibrant watercolor beautiful spring bouquet 90s art painting

The other day a delivery of greeting cards arrived at the Apricot Room and when I saw the vibrant colors of this one I had to take a picture immediately.

The motive is called ‘Frühlingsstrauß‘ and was painted by German artist Oskar Koller in 1999. It feels so contemporary, right?

Oskar Koller was born in 1925 in Erlangen and was also educated in graphic design which you can clearly see in his execution of form and color. His water color paintings are so vibrant and highly aesthetic yet free from any kind of please or kitsch though he very often chose to draw flowers. To paint with water color has not the best reputation as it is considered a beginner’s medium and very easy to perform. But you can reach very high artistic standards as for example Japanese 19th century artists have shown us before.

Oskar Koller died a few years ago and I couldn’t find out where the original Frühlingsstrauß is located though I stumbled upon other works which are available. They’re not especially super expensive, I mean still too much for me right now but if you’re willing to splurge… I always preach to invest in art and I think his works are pretty much worth it.

Berlin Apotheke Hackescher Markt

Deckengemälde Wandgemälde Rokoko Engel Angel ceiling painting fries rococo BerlinApotheke RotheApotheke historic Sehenswürdigkeit Hackeschen Markt Berlin Berlinguide travelling Germany Deutschland sightseeing insider off the beaten path

I am back from a wonderful and turbulent visit in Berlin. The way there I took the plane and wasn’t aware of a change on the rules for cabin baggage (again…seriously it’s so annoying) and had to throw away some of my stuff.

To restock I spontaneously went into a pharmacy at Hackescher Markt and standing inside I got instantly struck by a most intricate old world wood interior. Turns out this is Berlins oldest existing pharmacy also once called Rothe Apotheke dating way back to 1954.

Focal point of the inner structure is a beautiful Rococo painting on the ceiling in soft pastel tones depicting chubby little angels enjoying themselves in the sky as you see above. Don’t miss out on this site visiting Berlin though if you happen to need medicine or French pharmacy beauty products be aware that much of the stuff is more expensive than at less exposed locations.

Vague Territories // Photography by Carsten Heisterkamp 

carsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibitionFor years the talented Carsten Heisterkamp has ventured deep into the wilderness of the Ruhrgebiet. The outcome is now on display in the brick covered vaults of W57 Düsseldorf.

Im weißgetünchten Gewölbekeller des W57 zeigt Carsten Heisterkamp das visuelle Ergebnis seiner Expeditionen ins industriell vernarbte Ruhrgebiet.
carsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibitioncarsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibition carsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibition carsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibition carsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibition carsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibition carsten heisterkamp vague territories photography ruhrpott düsseldorf ausstellung exhibition// Lager 3, W57 // Worringer Str. 57, 40211 Düsseldorf // open till November 28 //

Andy Kassier And His Secret To Success

sea meer drone Drohne photography Andy Kassier Palms suit Miami Vice High Fashion editorial mustache hipster My friend Andy Kassier is a terribly gifted photographer and artist. Recently he showed his installation ‘The secret to my success’ at local vintage clothing shop Vintage Emde and I posted about it on Spook.Andy Kassier Palms suit Miami Vice High Fashion editorial mustache hipster

In the article I also featured some of his regular images which are awesomely high scale and show him as a spoiled new money rich kid. All of his pics sport some serious fashion editorial vibe revealing his background as a classically trained photographer. Though Andy never forgets to put the subtle irony into his show off images transforming the pics into deeply thoughtful pieces that make you also dream.

Head over to Spook to see more of his great work and read my article in German.Marmor Buch Andy Kassier Photography Secret to my success Vintage Emde

And here some of my phone pics, showing us goofing around a little.

Maskenwand Andy Kassier photography Finissage Kunst Köln Andy Kassier Recamiere Secret to my success Vintage Emde 2 Andy Kassier Recamiere Secret to my success Vintage Emde Andy Kassier Recamiere Secret to my success Vintage Emde

Unintentional Beauty

Chinesischer Porzellanteller mit Wasserfarben Flecken watercolor stains on china porcellanEach time I paint I do fall in love with the plate I used to mix my colors in. These random spots coming together in a pattern I never would have thought of putting together.

Art happening where I did not intended it to. When I paint with oil I use a coated paper plate which I then keep. But with watercolor my preferred carrier is china and this I need to wash and reuse. So hard, every time! So much it takes me some time where the plate sits on my desk, for me to look at it until it’s all dusty and I can bear to wash the whole surface down the drain.

This one is still there…

Jedes Mal, wenn ich male verliebe ich mich in den Teller auf dem ich meine Farben gemischt habe. Diese zufälligen Flecken ergeben immer ein wunderschönes Muster und eine Farbkombination besser als ich es hätte mit Absicht erschaffen können.

Selbstschaffende Kunst! Bei einem Bild in Öl nutze ich einen beschichteten Papierteller, den ich im Anschluss immer behalte, aber für Wasserfarben brauche ich Porzellan. Das im Anschluss natürlich gewaschen werden muss, damit ich es wieder benutzen kann. Das fällt mir so schwer, dass ich erst eine Zeit abwarte, bis ich mich an den Klecksen satt gesehen habe und eine Staubschicht eh alle Schönheit verbirgt. Dann spüle ich endlich die Oberfläche den Abfluss hinunter.

Aber dieser Teller hier ist noch da…

Flower Overpower // Public Art Cologne

Grayish postwar architecture determines the cityscape of Cologne. A few of these modernist blocks acquired some charm with time but many managed becoming even more ugly. To the fugliest of these ugliest belong parking buildings… never seen a pretty one.

As it happens I came by a particular parking building in the city center around summer last year and got blown away by vibrant colors inside a display attached to the façade. A really huge pile of the most beautiful flowers had been put behind its window which usually would have contained advertisement. But due to a lack of advertisers artists had decided to use this free space as a public gallery. And in fact there was a whole row of displays full of works from various artists but I only had eyes for the flowery one.

Kunst Schaufenster Köln Blumen

See!!! in the face of nature everything manmade diminishes. An artist just dumped a huge pile of flowers behind some glass and managed to overpower the works of everyone else who I am pretty sure made a whole lot more effort.

Kunst Schaufenster Köln Blumen Vollansicht Kopie

Some days later everything had wilted and nothing of the former beauty prolonged anymore. The artist’s intention undetectable for the passenger who would see the remnants only in this state.

At current Conti-Parkhaus is under construction. I don’t remember seeing any names but I am curious if the displays will come back when measures have completed. Meanwhile we can distract ourselves with a similar project at Ebertplatz metro station. Under the name Schaufenstern the Come-Together-Projekt has something similar going on.

Johannes Post 'Hel' Come Together Project Ebertplatz Schaufenstern Köln Kunst Art Photography
Johannes Post ‘Hel

Tanzfaktur // Meet Performer Karoline Strys // Artists to Watch out

Karoline Strys Tanzfaktur gemeinsam inkubator performance dance kunst art Köln cologne

Meet my sweet and beautiful friend Karoline Strys.

Dance performances can sometimes be quite disturbing. The ones I’ve seen in the past have been for sure but that’s just Germany. I am always very thankful when there’s no incoherent talking thrown in.

I watched a piece of her at 15 Minuten Festival some time ago and it was calm and powerful at the same time. There is something about modern dance which I think fits very well into our modern times. The fluent unusual movements reflect life perfectly and manage to touch the inner walls of my hardened heart.

So have a look at her personal Vimeo or see her as one of the dancers in EuphOria at Odonien, a piece from last year.

Right now she is in Residenz with Maria Golding and Salim Benmammar. There will be showings today and tomorrow at Tanzfaktur with a bunch of other performance artists.  This is all part of Inkubator were young artists  take over all space at Tanzfaktur for a few weeks and turn it into an idea laboratory.

Also tomorrow, a workshop Mit-einANDER at 4.30 pm free for anybody who’s interested.

Morgen findet in der Tanzfaktur Köln für alle Performance Interessierten ein Workshop Mit-einANDER mit Karoline Strys, Maria Golding and Salim Benmammar um 16.30 statt.

Zusammen hängt der Workshop mit dem Inkubator Konzept, ein Auszug aus der Tanzfaktur Facebook Seite:

Während der zweiwöchigen Residenz INKUBATOR beleben acht junge Tanzschaffende aus Köln, Essen und Hamburg die Räumen der TanzFaktur. Seit Montag werden alle Räume zu Laboratorien, in Studios und auf der Bühne, im Souterrain und im Foyer werden Ideen und Fragestellungen entwickelt, ausprobiert, oder auch wieder verworfen. In gemeinsamen Morgen-Warmups führen einzelne Künstler*innen die Gruppe in ihre Arbeitsmethoden ein, in Feedback-Runden wird der Stand der Dinge reflektiert, beim gemeinsamen Lunch geplaudert. Dabei schaut das Team der TanzFaktur gerne über die Schulter, stellt Fragen oder versucht selbst Antworten und Impulse für die Teilnehmenden zu finden.
Die kollektive Arbeit und der Wunsch, Recherchen, Erfahrungen und Methoden zu teilen und zu vermitteln stehen dabei im Vordergrund. Am Ende der zwei Wochen steht ein erstes Showing – wir sind gespannt, was uns erwartet.

Credits: header pic from here