To do an exhibition in Berlin, from a for profit stand point, may seem to some a fool hardy thing. All through my last sojourn in Berlin I heard time and time again, Berlin is a great place to create, not a place to sell art. Well I set out to prove this thesis wrong, as I knew, and heard from dealers, that an international clientele in fact supported many of the galleries in Berlin. And of course, coming from my non profit background, a for profit agenda was not my main motive for doing the show, but it certainly is a motive. And this inspiration to use Berlin as a frontier came from someone born in Israel, who spent years in NYC, and then moved to Berlin and started a very successful business in Mitte. He said Berlin welcomes innovation, welcomes ideas, and rewards it.
I love that Berlin rewards the intrepid collector too. It offers the collector an unadulterated experience of creativity. I love that Berlin is unapologetic, in fact revels in, its lack of material resources, and has fun, and parties. There are opportunities to find spaces, to pay little, and to create a lot. In that sense too, Berlin is like NYC in the 70s for an entrepreneur; opportunities to find spaces, pay little and create a lot. NYC at this time is at saturation point; all the spaces are taken and those that a free cost a lot. Artists are driven more and more to the periphery of the city, like in London, and Paris.
Berlin is unique in that it still offers its artists, and foreign artists, a home. Some of the foreign artists in NYC have come from Berlin and some artists in Berlin have come from NYC. On a very literal level this is what Conversations is about; the physical back and forth of artists between these cities, but also the creative connections and the exchange of ideas and energy between the two cities.
I must have met Bodo Korsig about 6 years ago. He had a studio on Spring Street in Soho and I was impressed by the massiveness of his work. Everything is just like him; big and manly. Even small pieces have that strong masculinity about them, which I love. Maike Paul is a similar case; a Berliner living and working in NYC. Hiroshi Mc Donald Mori made the opposite trek, from NYC to Berlin. David Button, originally from Miami, lived in NYC for 10 years and moved recently to Berlin. Maureen Jeram lived in upstate New York for several years and has lived in Berlin several years. She paints with a sensibility that echoes German tendencies in painting, while maintaining a fresh NYC edge. Christopher Steadman I met in Rome last summer, a friend of a very good friend of mine from NYC. He’s an international artist in the current global art world. Constantly moving between cities, his aesthetic is informed by a worldview that is unifying while at the same time bringing multiple points of views that are specific to him only. Michelle Isava is Trinidadian and her Berlin -> NYC connection comes from being in the right place at the right time, i.e. doing a performance workshop in Berlin after having met me in Trinidad and Tobago, our birthplace, and me living in NYC. The same applies to Juanli Carrion, Sebastian Gross Ossa and, Uri Dotan whose work has a very German sensibility and who has me as the conduit between NYC and Berlin.
Conversations strives to bring the viewer into a very specific vision of what happens when two cities switch it up a bit; what germinates from the union of two similar yet separate seeds.
Exhibition ends Sunday October 10, 2010
THIS EXHIBITION IS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY
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