Back in June, when the weather was almost as shitty as it is now, and the hope for warmer days and sun sounded more real than deluded, I felt thankful for a mixup in the Berlin art scene. The twist came from two painters, who happened to be friends and wanted to take on Berlin with their art without sounding too pretentions or overdosing on the ass kissing. This of course upset many members of different art circles for not obeying the ground rules. However, I personally found a (in the best meaning of the words) naive and childishly curious approach a very brave thing to do and obviously, it worked.
Today is the opening of the second edition of The New Berlin Painters – a group exhibition featuring the works of returning artists Paul Vogeler and Moritz Hoffmann. Their work will be shown alongside the latest painter added to the collective, Philip DuSel. As part of exhibition, a newspaper created by the artists entitled The New Berlin Papers was distributed around the city of Berlin. The newspaper features opinion articles about the international art world, the Berlin art scene and the New Berlin Painters. Event details and map of the venue at the bottom of this post.
Moritz Hoffmann (1984) grew up in Frankfurt, studied at the School of Visual Arts at New York City and was the CEO of a silkscreen-based fashion line, Dr. Moe’s Hospital, before moving to Berlin in 2010. Best known for his love of hip hop and dead rap icons series entitled “The Dead,” his exhibitions in Berlin and Hamburg have garnered reviews in artINFO, Whitehot magazine, ArtSlant, Kunst-Factory, Superlative and Berlin Art Link, among others. He was once quoted as saying his idol is Jean-Paul Goude and if he stayed in Hamburg, he would probably be selling sneakers. The night before the exhibition I chatted with Moritz about the new exhibition, art cliques in Berlin and Kandinsky.
Hi Moritz, are you nervous before the show?
Why? The central nervous system is protected by major physical and chemical barriers. Physically, the brain and spinal cord are surrounded by tough meningeal membranes, and enclosed in the bones of the skull and spinal vertebrae, which combine to form a strong physical shield.
What has changed and what has evolved since the first show?
We open up.
Do you feel like a part of a certain scene and clique in the Berlin art landschaft or are you more of an underdog?
We create our own Berlin art landschaft. We love overcats.
I am always interested in the creative process artists have. How do you work? What was the process behind the body of art you are showing this time?
Wassily Kandinsky claimed his paintings could be heard and many thought he was talking nonsense. Today we know he was right. Scientists say that we all link sound and color mentally at some level and that some people consciously realize the crossover of senses in their brains. This neurologically based phenomenon is called SYNESTHESIA. Stimulations of one sensory lead to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory (… a Swiss musician sees certain colors when she hears specific notes but she also associates specific tastes with different pairs of notes: Johann Sebastian Bach for example is particularly creamy). I use music as a source of inspiration especially jazz improvisations. So the process is not driven by logic calculations. It‘s more like improvised performances influenced by tunes, rhythms, unconscious feelings, vibrations, moods. If you are lucky you are surprised of something unexpected, one way to avoid excessive mannerisms.
The New Berlin Painters publishes the first New Berlin Papers as part of the exhibition. Is the paper a piece of art or a media outlet?
It’s a real piece of paper.
Can we expect this to become an ongoing project and circuit of exhibitions and papers?
Expect more canvases.
What are you doing after the opening tonight?
Waiting for another shitty day in paradise.
The New Berlin Papers
Exhibition 2 of the New Berlin Painters
Paul Vogeler, Moritz Hoffmann and Philip DuSel
Opening November 30, 2012