Skip to main content


A STUDIO VISIT: Exploring the artistic process with Marina Koldobskaya


Text by Irina Rusinovich 

A STUDIO VISIT: Exploring the artistic process with Marina Koldobskaya

Can you tell us about your creative process, from the moment you come up with an idea to the finished painting?

I have a number of motifs that are important to me, which I have been working on for many years. These are motifs that express something important, something basic to human beings. They have become stamps, mastered by popular culture, and I work with these stamps.

The red bull, for example, means power, masculine intensity, and aggression, but also a sacrifice, meat. It is with human beings from the Paleolithic cave to the label on the bottle of wine „Bull’s blood. Or the rose. It has been painted for thousands of years because it is a vagina, a symbol of seduction, desire, and pleasure. Blue flowers mean peace, oblivion, and heaven.

The cat and mouse – murderer and victim, nature’s indifference, „life is life.“

I do not paint real things, I try to create a kind of sign, a symbol of the experiences they evoke, to express visually Plato’s idea of these things.

Cézanne once said that painting is thinking with a brush in hand. That’s how I stand over my canvases or papers with a brush and ponder. I make endless versions, variations, and transformations… I repaint, and start over to make the image more precise, and more expressive. And simpler. It’s very difficult to make it simple. It is like calligraphy – you have to practice it for a long time, for years, in order to complete your artwork very quickly, with a few spontaneous movements, easily, powerfully, and beautifully. I am not afraid of beauty, unlike many artists today. Plato’s idea has to be beautiful.

Photo Credit / Johannes Pol 

How do you integrate or address environmental and social themes in your artwork?

The themes come by themselves. There’s the war that Russia runs against Ukraine, it’s horrible, people are dying, and my paintings are getting red, just streams of blood flooding the paintings. And there is a lot of black. And I also started painting people. Before, people as such were not my subject. Of course, my flowers and animals were anthropomorphic, but that was about the unity of all creation, the reflection of everything in everything.

And now in my works, people are exactly people, human beings, as they are. They are alive, wounded, dead, singly, in crowds, whole, and torn into pieces…

Can you walk us through a current project you’re working on and share your goals for the piece?

My latest series is about humans being a sick, insane animals. A crazy ape with a gun…

We are creatures who have created a brave new world and don’t know what to do with it. Scared to death of ourselves. People are simultaneously building a bright future and tearing themselves back into the cave. It seems that people today are losing ground under their feet faster than they are finding new ground.

I left Russia, and I last year was working on a series Migrants. It’s about the loss or change of identity, of homeland, of destiny.

The series I’m doing now has no name yet, for myself, I call it Primates for now. They are such incomprehensible creatures, like monkeys, or dolls, or children, or monsters… and at the same time, their composition should refer to recognizable examples of high art.

Marina Koldobskaya and Irina Rusinovich , Photo Credit / Johannes Pol 

What role do you think art plays in society, and how do you hope your work contributes to that dialogue?

For several months now, my colleagues and I have been preparing a joint exhibition of women artists from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, it calls Heartbeat, at Wolf&Galentz gallery. Finding like-minded people was not easy, many friends said that in today’s atmosphere of mutual hatred and suspicion, we would be eaten alive.  And that there would simply be no artists who would agree to participate.

But I think it’s very important to do an exhibition like this, precisely because it’s an attempt to confront the hatred that’s all around us. And I’m very glad we have found like-minded people and support from the gallery, we help and support each other, we are our own authors and curators, we decide everything together, and we cooperate despite the war – this is the most important result.

Photo Credit / Johannes Pol 

What are some upcoming projects or shows you’re most excited about?

This is the „Heartbeat“ exhibition I mentioned earlier.

Now people are overwhelmed with pain, it has to find a way out. It has been a year of horror, shame, despair, waiting, hope… None of us has ever had this experience of collective distress. Different artists look for different ways to express these experiences in their art. Straightforward experiences are long forgotten – crying, wailing, praying – are returning to art now. Perhaps it’s a bit awkward and even ugly, now is not the time for good taste and finesse.

I don’t think art is capable of fully embracing this experience at once. A new aesthetic will come, it’s already coming. It’s impossible for an artist to do anything else these days. For me for sure.


Follow Marina at FB  and Instagram 

Interview with photographer Alexander Platz


Text by Lyubov Melnickowa

Interview with photographer Alexander Platz

Tell us a little about yourself. As an art photographer, you have a very unusual background. Please tell our readers more about it.

My name is Alexander Platz and I was born in Berlin. In 1984, when I was nineteen, I joined the Berlin police force. At the time, I had no exposure to art whatsoever. I loved the training and the job, because I enjoyed working with people back then, too.

My first encounter with creative work came in the nineties, when I wrote novels and short stories, as a kind of contest, with friends who worked as actors. This is also how I got started working as a consultant, training actors for their roles, while still continuing my police work. One of my friends was the antagonist in the police series “Die Wache”. Later, I completed a project on “Operational Training for the Berlin Riot Police”. Here, I was the idea generator, scriptwriter and director, and was responsible for the production and presentation of a 15-minute film about the results.

In the meantime, as a fully fledged police officer, I devoted several years to pursuing my conventional career with the police. In 2004, after a work-related accident (resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder), I found my way to photography, quite by chance. I fought against the trauma-related flashbacks by taking photos that formed new images in my head and helped me find my way back to my emotions. I had absolutely no idea about photographic techniques and wasn’t interested in them. I just wanted to take photos, and was on the „hunt for my inner self“. During this time, I only learned the techniques that I really needed. My pictures from this period always had a sombre aspect. My works included portraits, nudes, erotic studies, dance photography at the Friedrichstadt-Palast revue theatre in Berlin, and portraits of boxers. Sometimes, I think I’ve always been searching for human biographies, encounters and experiences through my work, to learn more about life.

Upcycling Fashion

In 2016, it occurred to me that with my people photography I’d dabbled in just about everything except fashion. I’m not a fan of talking about things that I’ve never delved into before. So the first thing I did was start researching, and I emersed myself in this via YouTube. I asked myself how I could combine fashion photography with my interest in people and their expression.

Because I want to be independent in my work, I decided to go against the traditional path of working with designers and stylists.  I wanted to develop my own interpretation of people and fashion in my photographic world and find my personal visual language.

By happy chance, I stumbled upon a documentary about “anti-fashion” and “grunge”. I’m also a big fan of the English “mod” subculture and its development through to today. There are many facets of the world of fashion that can be traced back to these influences. I could identify with a lot of this, since my own style of dress and my lifestyle are based on this subculture. And so, the idea of using this as a starting point began to grow.

As I browsed through Berlin’s second-hand shops and bought clothes; I learned everything I could about what interested me and about fashion. I used, and still do use, international magazines, YouTube documentaries, books and interviews. And then I started the photographic work. This is how the visual language and aesthetics that I still use today came into being.

At the same time, I was also working on my “My Japanese Faction” project. Here, I was able to process my fascination with Japanese aesthetics, my enthusiasm for Yoshi Yamamoto, Nobuyoshi Araki, Takeshi Kitano and the Japanese samurai period. My fascination is fuelled by the pervasive interaction between the exterior and the internal feelings in Japanese history and the present day.

All these experiences come together in my current upcycling project: “Fairy Tale Dreams”.

In 2010, I left the police force and focussed entirely on photography and art. 

As a self-taught artist, I was admitted to the Professional Association of Visual Artists Berlin (bbk) in 2019, and so recognised as a professional artist.

In the meantime, I find it artistically exciting and fulfilling to blend all aspects of photography, art and design.

My current project, “Fairy Tale Dreams”, is the canvas for this. Here, everything flows together. Photography, fashion, upcycling design, and painting for set design.

All of this is what led me to take part in the Haze Bazaar in March 2023.

Upcycling Fashion

From 1993 to 1996, you studied public law at the Berlin School of Economics and Law. Why didn’t you opt to study art? Do you have plans to do this in the future? Do you think that a photographer needs some kind of formal education?

My studies took place while I was still active in the police force and they served to advance my police career. I had no involvement with photography or art at the time. However, a lot of what I learned was, and continues to be, useful to me in my artistic development. Organisation, research and scientific work are all brought to bear in my development. I used these skills to work my way into every topic, and I came up with results on both a rational and emotional level. Actually, it was a self-organised course of study.

This has both advantages and disadvantages. The network and content that a traditional art course offers were missing. I work hard on this, however, in parallel to my actual work. On the other hand, my actual degree, and also my work as a teacher at the police academy, are an advantage when it comes to structured planning and communication with my project partners and the preparation of exhibitions.   

But doing a traditional course in art or photography was something that never occurred to me. My medium, photography, and the development of the internet made it possible for me to choose my own direction and to evolve. These days, I’m so deeply involved in my development that I won’t take a university degree course.

I think that training or a degree in photography can be important. It’s good if someone is interested in that and goes ahead with it. Photography and art are so extensive that you can learn many things that you won’t learn if you’re self-taught. On the other hand, teaching yourself allows you to determine everything yourself and to put all your energy into pursuing your own ideas and dreams.

But, whether you choose the classical or the autodidactic path, a good foundation of discipline is necessary to keep moving forward and learning. 

I think it’s great that today we have the option of choosing our own path.      

Your work depicts women. Why women? Do you think it’s easier to convey the beauty of a female image in photography than a male one?

I do photograph men, too, such as dancers, boxers, actors and other creative people. 

But my main focus in on working with women. For me, they symbolise the very origin of life. In many of my fashion works, you can see the female breast. This isn’t so much erotic as symbolic of this aspect of women’s lives as a beginning and as self-confidence, and it supports the overall expression of the works. Women are closer to their emotions and more courageous in interpreting and displaying them when working in front of the camera. Our work together is mostly a “dance”, in that there aren’t many set poses. In fashion photography, I apply the experience I gained in dance and boxing photography. For me, it’s a search for that “unexpected moment”.  We follow each other. And in doing so, we challenge each other in our respective roles. It’s a highly concentrated process. Quite often, I’m physically and mentally exhausted after a photo shoot. This way of working together so freely is what gives the photographs the special expression that reflects my idea of beauty, aesthetics and female self-confidence. I love this process.

With men, the projects are also very intensive, but working with women is closer to my heart and more fulfilling.

Upcycling Fashion

Your works have a certain style. How did this style take shape?

Because my first steps in photography were taken alone and without any rules, I was initially particularly fascinated by the Surrealists and Dadaists of the 1920s and their approach to images. The freedom of Dadaism and Surrealism gave me space to experiment and develop. The expression and effect of a work were more important to me than the classical photographic process. The camera is, and remains, simply a kind of pen or brush that I can use to capture whatever fascinates me. It was in 2007, when I worked on a project in the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin with the ensemble, that the idea of the “unexpected moment” took hold of me for the first time. That fraction of a second, in which you capture the perfect position in a sequence of movement. Thanks to my “stage photography”, I learned to “feel” or anticipate the moment just before this perfect position and to take that shot. I continued to improve this skill in my later work in boxing.

A further aspect, here, is my continuous learning. During my many years of research and image analysis, I found my own style. One of my self-selected “professors” was the celebrated Diana Vreeland. She said: “The eye has to travel!” To paraphrase: as a photographer, you can be anything but don’t be boring!

All these various aspects allowed me to find my style. I’m curious about how it will continue to develop and excited to see where the next few years will take me.

What’s the most important aspect of photography for you?

The freedom to realise and portray my ideas. To give them a material form. In preparation and implementation as well as in the subsequent retouching. It always moves me forward and allows me to learn more in order to express my feelings. Here, I’m guided only by myself. I reject all forms of dogma and ideology. I celebrate self-fulfilment through the freedom of art.

And I love meeting and working with people.

You teach photography at the Community College Berlin Treptow Köpenick. What motivated you to start teaching?

Since I’ve dedicated myself to artistic photography and have never undertaken any commercial work, ensuring the financial viability of my projects is a major issue. Teaching allowed me to earn part of my budget. I knew from my past endeavours that teaching was something I enjoyed. So, as well as benefitting from the financial aspect, I found the teaching very stimulating and a distraction from everyday life.

These courses also give me an incentive to keep learning and to keep evaluating the courses. My students include both amateurs and professionals. In the lessons, their thoughts also provide me with new perspectives. It’s a give and take situation for all concerned.

All this motivates me, time and time again.

What do you think is the most important thing students can learn from your lessons?

The world of photography and art is so multifarious. I introduce them to my world of photography, my ideas and my imagination, to expand their vision. There’s no right or wrong. It’s all about their development. “Why do I take photographs?” “What subject really interests me?” “How can I follow my chosen path?” “How can I find and maintain enjoyment in it?”

I try to expand their outlook, to arouse their curiosity.

To link everything together and not to think one-sidedly in genres.

I’d like them to leave the course with a sense of great curiosity and freedom and to follow their own personal path.

As I’ve been teaching since 2018, I’ve received quite a bit of feedback over the years. My students love this approach. Some of them keep coming back to my courses because they can’t find anything with similar content and they want to keep learning.

Do your works have a message? What thoughts do you want them to evoke?

That’s a difficult question. Because my works are always a result of my current thoughts, feelings and inspirations. And the interpretation of the performer is usually a factor, too. 

I don’t think I aim to evoke any particular thoughts. It’s more a matter of emotional reactions and interpretation. Thoughts tend to take second place here.

Each of us has a different biography, world of experience, and interpretation. This is why I’d like viewers to feel an emotional connection to the work in the first instance. This could be positive or negative. The most important thing is the emotional reaction.

Here, too, I work from the premise of the freedom of the individual. I’m always delighted when viewers share their reactions with me and we can discuss them.

Tell us about your creative plans for the future? 

I want to continue developing my “Fairy Tale Project”. There’s still so much to discover there. At the moment, I’m working with Islamic women on a project about Islamic fashion and the “hijab”.

Every day, a new idea materialises, and I write it down in a small book. 

I’m also heavily involved in the current discussion about nudity in art and the public arena. For me, a tendency toward restriction is emerging, moving toward a “phase of apparent moral prudishness”.

I have a project in mind, which would involve exploring this and would bring together and interpret the aspects of nude photography, erotic photography and pornography on an artistic level. 

The working title is “Por-nu-graphy?!”, derived from the terms pornography and nude. But these works, too, will take a subtle rather than an “in your face” approach.

And then, I’m always busy interpreting my ideas on the English subculture of the sixties and seventies in photographic terms.

So, I still have quite a lot of plans and hope to be able to bring them all to fruition.

Interview with Victoria Rosenman


Text: Irina Rusinovich

Interview with Victoria Rosenman

Art is an essential aspect of human life that has been around since ancient times. It is a form of expression that enables artists to capture emotions and ideas using different mediums. Today, we have had the chance to interview one of such artist, Victoria Rosenman, whose work has captured the attention of many collectors and art lovers over time. With a multidisciplinary approach to her art, she has managed to create pieces that demand attention and force the viewer to think beyond the surface. In this interview, we will have the privilege of stepping into her world, where we will learn the intricacies of her creative process, inspirations, and the motivations behind her work.

How did you come up with the title for the exhibition, and what does it mean to you?

„I will be on time“ – is a statement and revelation on my part. I like to refer to punctuality as my personal superpower, a quality that offers me illusionary security and order. As I wrote in my earlier texts, I manifest illusions – time, as a phenomenon, is also one of them for me. Moreover, there is a certain irony and uncertainty to the title because I do not say „where“ I will arrive on time. „What role does my destination play in relation to intangible time?“ – That is what I ask myself and at the same time I also have concerns about „my being on the road“.

Can you describe your working process, how do you start creating and, in particular, the choice of the medium?

Due to many events in the world and in my private life, I wanted to take another look at my fears and desires. I started a kind of self-study that took me back to my childhood to dismantle my current self-image in a good sense. So, I started to create images, write down texts and the appropriate final form became more and more visible.

I work in multimedia. And this time it was especially important to me to show my thoughts and convictions in the form of a text. Words that can be read directly, that are understandable, uncompromising. The texts can be seen as „Copper Announcements“. It is a series in which I record statements on copper. This material is one of the oldest and the first mirrors were made of it. I reflect myself with it. Of course, I continue to use photography as my familiar medium. Texts and photos are created over a longer period in different places.

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work in the series?

I think they all work and interact together. I wanted to create a togetherness that gives visions. The works are very personal this time – it’s not about people and their feelings in general, as it used to be with my „Muses Project“, but directly about me and my family.

What/Who are your key influences for this series?

It is personal experiences, my father and the time that scares me.

How do you go about choosing the subjects and scenes for your art?

They are mostly intuitions. I don’t directly research the next possible exciting topic. I deal strictly with what interests me, regardless of whether it might be boring for others – this is the only way I feel free in my creative process.

So, it can be a dream in the night that I want to process in my art or a person or a thing suddenly inspires me to new concepts. Fortunately, I have many funny and absurd thoughts in my head and the settings and themes quickly find their aesthetic.

How has your practice evolved in recent years?

New materials were added, more objects, new themes and, of course, exciting places to work.

When can we see it life?

I and my gallerist Irina Rusinovich are very happy to welcome everyone to the opening of my solo show at the Hazegallery on 11 May. The Hazegallery & I have been working on this exhibition for a long time and are very excited to meet and have a nice evening with everyone who is interested. You are cordially invited!

Interview with Gallery owner HAZEGALLERY, Irina Rusinovich


photo credit: Sasha Grigg

Interview with Gallery owner HAZEGALLERY, Irina Rusinovich

Irina Rusinovich began her career by studying Business Management Studies at UCL London but quickly realized that her interest lay more in Arts. After college she enrolled in the fashion photography course at St. Martins during this time, she opened her photo studio in the heart of Moscow working for 4 years as a fashion photographer with designers, fashion magazines, and advertising agencies.

Her passion for art and fashion led her to found one of the first independent Magazines in Russia – Cabinet d’Art. Then 2016 came where there was a pivotal point in Irina’s career. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy in Berlin, Germany. She sold her business in Russia and moved with her family to Berlin permanently.

After two years of falling out of work, she decided to return to her passion – Arts and enrolled in a curator certificate course at Berliner UdK and a course at Sotheby’s in Art Gallery Management. During this time one of her dreams came true and HAZEGALLERY opened its doors in October 2019. Since then Irina continuously developing and became not only an art dealer but also a curator, writer, and “coach” to her roster of artists. Irina seeks artists who have a strong combination of passion. Talent and drive.

What type of work do you show?

We show a lot of abstraction and figurative. I also have artists who do graphics, photography, and sculpture.

How do you go about finding new artists?

We are a staff of 3, so there is a limit to the number of artists I can represent. We participate in art fairs and that is a great way to find new talent. However much of how I find artists is by word of mouth.

What questions do you ask yourself when you are considering a new artist?

I am looking for innovative and conceptually rigorous work. I am also looking for practice. I ask myself: Do I see the artist pushing her/his practice in a new different direction? Is he/she extending her practice? I like to include the artist in a group show or two to see how it is to work with him first. According to my experience personal relationship that is what matters in the end.

What do you expect from the artist once they join your roster?

Showing in a gallery is serious business and it is not for everyone. To stay on the roster, my artists must step up to the commitment and continuously grow in their field. We need to have a conversation about their work that involves criticism and honest dialogue. I also expect commitment to the gallery from their side.

What do you take into consideration when pricing the work of your artists?

This is a very important topic! If artists have sold their art out of the studio for 1500Euro, then we start with the price and take it from there. It is important to keep the price reasonable to sell not to overprice and not sell. Once you go up you cannot go down! There are the following markers to raise the prices: a big show at a gallery, a museum show, or an acquisition by a museum would be a good point.

What advice would you give those who want to work with galleries?

Keep your CV, BIO, and artists statement to the point. Go to gallery shows, introduce yourself to the gallery owner and tell them you like what they do. Ask the gallery owner for a studio visit. Go to the openings! Curate and organize your shows! Invite people to come, invite gallery owners to come!

Interview Pink Metaverse


Interview by Irina Rusinovich

Interview Pink Metaverse

Tell me about yourselves. What background are you coming from?

Daria Vankova:

I bring brands to the Metaverse. Our agency creates a strategy for transition to the virtual worlds and implements it. I also develop blockchain-related projects. I came into this field from PR, which I did for 12 years. I believe that metaverses are an amazing new communication channel for the future. We will all be there, as we once were registered on social networks.

Nadia Vesna:

I’m a digital strategist for brands and products, soft skills evangelist and people manager. During my professional sabbatical I invested my time for education, one of the fields became web3 in NFT Academy to empower my digital comms knowledge. 

Now I’m also a co-founder of the Pink Metaverse October.

Julia Tet:

I am an independent curator and producer of creative industries projects, artist for the soul, the founder of ARTTET project with the mission to unite creative minds through cultural diplomacy and artistic cooperation. Now investigating web3.0 opportunities and believe that new technologies can now really make a significant contribution to the development of the modern world.

Maria Vatset:

I am a full-stack developer who has recently taken a deep interest in WEB3 technologies from smart contracts to metaverses. Then I started working with Daria to merge marketing and web technologies. Currently, I am actively promoting the Web3 story to the masses and collaborating with large companies. In December 2022, I organized a conference in St. Petersburg focused on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and metaverses from a scientific perspective

Nadia Vesna

Daria Vankova

Maria Vatset

Julia Tet

How did you come up with the idea of developing the PINK OCTOBER Project?


Nadia was looking for Web 3.0 project about breast cancer. It turned out there were no such projects and I suggested we do it ourselves because this topic is very close and important to me. I’ve faced cancer in my family, my friends died of cancer, and I understand the importance of education on the subject. The more you know, the earlier you discover the disease. Knowledge increases the chances of recovery.


There are 3 factors. First: I’m volunteering for the local BY #againstbreastcancer fund named “Touch with hands”. Second: as a digital manager I have my private blog “Beznadezhnoe poznanie”, which makes me famous among colleagues and friends as an expert in web2 and web 3 skills (that’s why Alla contacted me). The third: I studied at NFT Academy. 

The story in short: Alla Aloe, the founder of the TWH fund, asked me to create a post for their Instagram about how Web 3.0. tools increase awareness about breast cancer as if i made it for my blog. I found nothing across all metaverses and NFT collections. Then I asked for help from my classmates from NFT Academy and found Dasha! She said: let’s do it together! Her response was crucial for the project. 


This year I decided to devote myself to the exploration of new opportunities of web 3.0. I took a course at NFT Academy and was looking for projects where I could combine my experience in Arts and creative industries, explore how web 3.0 could work, and also how new tools could make a real useful impact for the world. My request to the Universe was heard 🙂 We started to cooperate with Dasha. I saw her post about the open call for the Pink Metaverse Exhibition, appreciated the concept, and decided to join the project.  

What were the stages of forming a team?

Daria: Masha joined the project from the very beginning, and Julia joined a week later; her experience in working with artists is important to us.

What are the main obstacles you are facing? And what are the ways to overcome them?

Daria: Lack of time. This is a charity and we all do it in our spare time, however we have great plans for this year and the project is my priority now. Perhaps another thing is people’s fear of the topic of cancer. Cancer is ugly and not Instagrammable. We try to talk about it in a way that doesn’t make people uncomfortable. But a lot of people are afraid of cancer, avoid thinking about it in every way possible.

Nadia: Huge amount of information and the sensitiveness of the topic. It was very important for me not to make mistakes, proofread all facts we communicated and project stages with experts (medical workers and volunteers).

Julia: The new field requires a full immersion and a detailed study of the specifics, and everything is changing very rapidly there, and you must always keep your hand on the pulse, sometimes move by intuition, constantly learning something new. So for me there is very often an imposter syndrome in the air. But I believe that the road takes the walker. 

Maria: The main difficulties are imperfections of the metaverses, each metaverse has its own limitations. For example, we decided to hold our first exhibition in Roblox, because there are the most active users there, but Roblox has pretty strict censorship and many of the paintings sent to the opencall didn’t pass it. In the future, we plan to hold „Pink October“ lectures already in other metaverses, since Roblox has quite a narrow functionality to realize it.

Why did you decide to go for METAVERSE? Why is it important?

Daria: There are many reasons for this. There’s a lot of hype around the Metaverse, and this is a great opportunity for us. In addition, the metaverses allow us to not be limited by space or time. We’re doing an international project. We gathered artists from different countries. Everyone who has a smartphone and internet can come to the exhibition and learn more about breast cancer. There are online events and an auction coming up. Unlike offline activities, our audience is the whole world.

Nadia: It’s a great new channel with a huge audience (mostly young). So why not? In this case the more we speak – the better.

Julia: Now the Metaverse is a whole new round of human interaction, and we are at a tipping point where the world is changing dramatically. Metaverse is not only a tool or a space where people could communicate but also a new philosophy where the main voice belongs to the community, not to the Government or the Company. And this creates a real value to act for each person. I think each project in Metaverse should have some particular valuable mission. It’s like an opportunity to build independent communes united by some particular ideas – we are moving to the future by inheriting the past. In our case it’s the idea to prevent cancer that is still a big problem in the modern world. Metaverse is also a network for young generations who are the future. 

Maria: The metaverse not only enables us to access virtual spaces from any location of the world , but it also expands our perception through immersion. With just a smartphone, users can experience this for themselves. I believe that the hype surrounding metaverses is warranted, and this technology will continue to evolve and have practical applications in the future.

How do you prioritize and delegate tasks in your project? Who does what?

Daria: Nadia is responsible for marketing, our website, community management and the main concept of the project, Julia for curation of the exhibition and events concepts, partnership development of the project, and Masha for the technical part. I am responsible for the business part. Everyone helps everyone, though. At the moment we have a targetologist and a designer. The project is growing and new tasks arise.

Julia: The structure of our project is very similar to the turquoise economy: everyone herself determines the area of her own responsibility. When issues arise, we discuss solutions as a team, and decide who is responsible for the next step. This is probably the most effective model for implementing projects in web 3.0, but here at the same time there is a serious challenge that you have to be a really high professional in your field for the project to move successfully.

Do you use any tools to plan your project?

Nadia: As a manager-freak, I used kanban and always wrote MFU after each meeting to create new tasks. But I never insisted on the team to join me, it’s my professional peculiarities  – i can’t live without a task-manager 🙂 

How do you handle conflict within your team?

Daria: I don’t think we’ve had a single conflict yet. But I think the main thing is to know who is responsible for what. Everyone has an opinion, but the final decision is made by the one whose area of responsibility is the issue.

Nadia: Trusted and open communication is the best way to negotiate. 

Julia: The best way to handle a conflict is to discuss the reasons. But it’s true, by this point we haven’t had any conflicts. And that means that everything is going right.

How is it to work remotely? What difficulties do you face?

Daria: Perhaps the main difficulty is the time zone difference. As for remotely work, the covid pandemic has taught us that an office is not necessarily a prerequisite for productive teamwork. Major companies are opening their offices in Metaverses. So it’s not a problem for us to work online. 

I think remote is the new standard. We are all accustomed to it now. Even though the time zones are different our team faced no problems. Right colleagues? 

Julia: Yes, indeed, we now have fewer and fewer distance-related constraints thanks to technology. By the way, Metaverse offers brilliant solutions on this subject. People say Metaverse is the Internet of the future, where there is no concept of remote work, because we are all in the space of the Metaverse.

Describe your experience in this industry.

Daria: I decided to create a project with Nadia, rather because Metaverses is my professional field, and I am sure that I can do good by combining my experience with the experience of the team.

Nadia: I’m not much into metaverses. That’s why I fully trust Dasha and Maria. I have the NFT collection of my 35mm film photoshoots but just as an experiment, to understand the tool and the new digital channels. 

Julia: As I have already said, so far I am more of an explorer and observer than an activist in this sphere. However, thanks to the Pink Metaverse project, a great start has already been made. Now I am also working on another project with the mission to unite people in the art industry from all over the world. But that’s another story 🙂 

Maria: I frequently engage in creating, discussing, and spending time in metaverses 🙂  But this is the first time I’m launching a charity project

What are your favorite and least favorite technology products, and why?

Daria: The word of the year is «Neural network». ChatGPT, which creates texts, and MidJorney, which creates visuals, are insanely popular right now. These are incredibly handy tools that optimize content generation processes. Neural networks also have great opportunities in metaverses. Instead of having a real person in their avatar interacting with visitors to a virtual bank or boutique there, it will be possible to program a self-learning bot that will take over the main negotiations. And while today a chatbot is most often a small set of standard questions and answers, in the future its possibilities are limitless.

How do you think technology advances will impact the art industry?

Daria: First of all, digital art is now as valued as classical art. It is also collected, exhibited, sold. Secondly, Artificial Intelligence is coming to the aid of artists and designers. Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think that Ai can replace creators. Rather, it will become a great tool in their hands.

Julia: I think that technology will affect the development of the Art industry only in a positive way and in no way will replace humanity in this sphere. There is a great deal of discourse about this aspect right now. But it’s all about our own choices: technology can be used as an additional tool to create, promote and sell Arts, as well to make the industry more open and diverse. Technology could help to solve some operational processes regarding Arts, thereby giving creators more freedom concerning the creative process itself. The question is how creators and managers could use this opportunity and manage the creative process with the involvement of technology.

Maria: In my opinion, technology will shape the concept of how art will be created, transmitted and perceived in the future. Artificial intelligence will be used more often to create paintings, blockchain to authenticate art, and metaverse to expand the perception of paintings at exhibitions.

What are the marks of a successful project do you think?

Daria: Involvement of people

Nadia: Visible and strict set of goals which are matters for each member of the team. It helps to construct the synergy within the team. While the team is the key success of each project. 

Julia: Successful achievement of the project’s mission and following the plan, positive feedback from the people involved, project sustainability. 

Maria: Effective resource management. In our case, resources mean people and technologies.

Tell us the main dates of your project so our followers will keep them in mind!

Daria: Until January 30, there will be a sale of the New Year NFT collection, the proceeds of which we will donate to a charity project from Minsk. In February, we have open lectures in the Metaverse. In October there will be a big charity auction. You can find the project’s Roadmap on our website.

Subscribe to official project sources:
Instagram: @pinkmetaverseoctober
Facebook: @Pink Metaverse October
Twitter: @pinkoctobermeta

project site:
visit Pink Metaverse Exhibition in Roblox: 

link to Pink Metaverse Collection:
buy charity NFT till 30th of January!

Interview with gallery owner and founder Robert Morat Galerie

Interview with gallery owner and founder Robert Morat Galerie

Thank you for taking the time to interview! We are glad to welcome you to PURPLE HAZE magazine. Before asking questions about gallery, I would like to know more about you as the director and founder of the gallery.

Tell us a little about yourself. At what point did you become interested in photography? What inspired you to create a gallery? 

There certainly were numerous factors that led me to open a gallery. First off, certainly, my upbringing. My parents are enthusiastic art-collectors, their collection is institutionalized in a foundation and publicly accessible in my hometown of Freiburg. I grew up in a constant conversation about art, surrounded by art, and in a very open household that always hosted guests, artists, curators, musicians, thinkers, publishers.

Robert Morat, Photo by: Roger Eberhard

I then went on to study at Hamburg University to become a journalist. Part of my studies was the History of Art, and it is there that I first learned about the history of photography and started reading photography theory. Photography was the one thing my parents did not collect, so naturally, I took an interest. Maybe because it was a field that allowed me to make my own discoveries. I started to look at photographic prints and eventually started collecting in a very modest and humble way. I noticed at the time – we are talking about the late 1990ies and the early 2000s – that photography galleries in Germany mostly offered vintage, black&white material. In order to look at young, emerging contemporary work, I had to travel.
In the following years, I met a lot of photographers who would become friends. I worked as an editor for different magazines and newspapers and ended up working for TV. That was a frustrating experience. I found myself in a dead-end. It was 2003, I was 32, living and working in Hamburg, when I decided to follow my passion for photography and I opened the gallery in spring 2004. In the beginning, I envisioned more of an exhibition space than a commercial gallery. I started exhibiting the work of friends in a small former storefront. But the shows we curated eventually received more and more interest and I started to professionalize and commercialize the program. Three years later, in 2007 we had our first artfair participation in Miami. Just two years later, 2009, we had our first participation in PARIS PHOTO and have been returning as exhibitors every year since then. In 2015, in order to meet a more international audience in our own space, I decided to move the gallery to Berlin.

Please tell us about the concept of the gallery. How does the selection of photo artists take place? How was the visual language of the gallery created? 

As I mentioned before, at the time we started, most photography galleries in Germany offered vintage, black&white material. I wanted to create a program that focused on young, emerging positions in contemporary photography, a space for discoveries. The program very much followed my own interest. I was never interested in photography as visual design, we never showed fashion photography for example, or digitally created imagery. My interest in photography comes from looking at people like William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Steven Shore or Robert Adams. Other key figures that formed my vision were Arno Fischer and Sibylle Bergemann. There’s a famous quote by Arno Fischer: „A picture of a bus stop must be more than a picture of a bus stop!“ That is to say, my program was always interested in the photographic perception of the world, but also in the author’s commentary. So the program, I would say, it’s very much based on documentary photography. But especially since moving the gallery to Berlin, I have found myself opening up to photography‘s conversation with other media. Some of the artists we work with now create collages, drawings, sculptures – today I consider the gallery to be more a gallery for contemporary art than a pure photography gallery.

When selecting authors, do you focus on personal preferences or is it an understanding of collectors‘ requests? Is it possible to combine both? 

I certainly hope that it is possible to combine the two! I would like to think that after almost 20 years of running the gallery, collectors and clients have learned to trust our judgment when selecting a new position. Gallery work to me was always more about sharing my enthusiasm for an artist then trying to meet the market’s requests.

Bill Jacobson and Giorgio Morandi „Photographs and Drawings“ at the Berlin gallery space, spring 2018. Photo by: Roger Eberhard

Bill Jacobson and Giorgio Morandi „Photographs and Drawings“ at the Berlin gallery space, spring 2018. Photo by: Roger Eberhard

At what point, in your opinion, was the adoption of photography as an art form? 

Photography has always allowed not only for the realistic description of reality, but also for it’s subjective, creative interpretation. Ever since the surrealist Man Ray put the sound holes of a Cello on to the back of his female model in 1924, photography has been an art form. MoMA started collecting photography in 1930. Photography has always been an art form. Just because there are people that have not caught up, doesn’t change the fact.

What influence has photography had on the development of modern art? 

When the French painter Eugène Delacroix saw the first heliography in the late 1820ies, he famously exclaimed: This is the end of Art! History has proven him wrong. On the contrary, the accurate representation of the world through photography has freed painting from the need to be realistic. Film, developed from photography, has become the most important art form of the modern age.  So the influence of photography not only on Modern Art, but on the way we communicate today, can not be overstated.

Solo Booth for Hannah Hughes at PHOTO LONDON 2022

Robert Morat Galerie was established in 2004. How has the art market changed since that time? What difficulties are gallery owners, artists, photographers experiencing in Berlin at the moment? 

The art market has always been a very volatile market, following economic cycles. When we started out in 2004, the stars of the Becher School, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer broke through internationally. Contemporary photography out of German was in high demand all of a sudden – we were lucky to start out in that environment. The years 2005, 2006, 2007 saw a strong high point of international art dealing. But just 12 months later, November 2008 saw the Lehman Brother’s crash and the international fiscal crises that the implosion of the American housing market caused. The following years, 2009, 2010, were difficult, many galleries closed, the market was down. But eventually it picked up again. Gallery owners and artists always had to deal with that volatility. Or take last year, we had just come out of two pandemic years, the market just started to pick up when Russia started it’s criminal, shameful war in Ukraine. It felt like somebody pulled the plug. All sales stopped on February 24. What followed was another difficult season. But then in fall, things came around, the market picked uo again, the winter season was extremely successful. It feels like a rollercoaster ride mostly.

Works by Jessica Backhaus, Hannah Hughes and Bill Jacobson at our booth at PARIS PHOTO 2022

Berlin is considered the artistic capital of Europe. Is this really the case? What is the difference between Berlin’s art spaces and similar venues in other art cities, such as London or New York, for example?
Besides these global economic influences on the market, the situation here in Berlin is today mostly difficult because of the real estate market. Berlin built it’s reputation as an international center for the arts mostly because of the artists who came here to work because they were able to find affordable studio spaces here. The same is true for all the new interesting exhibition spaces and gallery projects. Real estate prices that by now have reached the levels of Paris or London make that more and more difficult.
On January 13, the Robert Morat Galerie hosted the opening of the exhibition “Artefakte und Modelle” by Lena Amuat und Zoë Meyer. Please tell us more about the exhibition.

Lena Amuat & Zoë Meyer are a Swiss artist duo, the latest addition to the gallery program. „Artefakte und Modelle“ is their first exhibition with us, a series of still life studies. The project is a collection of objects that embody the human struggle for knowledge. Over twelve years in the making and numbering hundreds of images, the project inventories the models, artifacts, natural specimen and teaching objects that the two women have unearthed traveling to search through the archives and collections of European universities and natural history museums. Dutch art historian Flor Linckens calls it “a series of enigmatic and decontextualized objects that are given a new life” and in her review of the work she writes: “Elements from science, advertising, religion, art and nature are isolated and combined effortlessly in what could be described as encyclopedic cabinets of curiosities. In the work of Amuat and Meyer, the past and the present enter into a new relationship.”

Lena Amuat & Zoë Meyer, Mathematisches Modell #138, 2017

What are you, Robert Morat Galerie, aiming for in the future? 

To stay on board the rollercoaster a little longer!

The exhibition “Artefakte und Modelle” by Lena Amuat und Zoë Meyer will be held at the Robert Morat Gallerie until February 25, 2023.

Dariia Migalova: New Reflections October 20 – October 21, 2022

By /ART/, /NEWS/

Text by: L u c a s  P a n t o j a

Dariia Migalova: New Reflections October 20 - October 21, 2022

October 20, 2022 – What can be said of the artist Dariia Migalova? Well, she found her talent early on in oil painting and later studied graphic arts at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg where she saw success exhibiting her works in numerous shows. Yet, through her own lust for life and a dissatisfaction with the rigid structure of academia, she left the institution in pursuit of a less restrictive artistic environment.

What can be said of the photographer, Dariia Migalova? While in art school, before her time at the academy, she went on a trip with her class and became close with an uplifting professor who introduced her to shooting landscape photography with manual lenses; only, the landscape they’d be photographing was a gulag. After years of documenting that which disgusted her, she’d transition into fashion photography to capture images of the garments she’d designed. Since then, she has seen success shooting editorials and covering events for independent fashion publications, always with a painterly eye.

What can be said of Dariia Migalova, the artist and photographer? Not to be overly dramatic, but almost nothing… She is a blank canvas, a full roll of Kodak film with a story ready to write itself. I, however, have been given the honor of writing the introduction to her very first solo exhibition.

New Reflections – the title of Migalova’s debut exhibition says it all. A title which might suit the return of a veteran artist making a comeback later in life, this is the first exhibition in Migalova’s career, and for that reason it suits her even more aptly so. Without revealing too much of the title’s meaning, it is ‘new’ because this is a new side of Dariia we are now acquainted with.

Each of the 18 works or ‘reflections’ have plenty to tell, and what do we associate with newness if not excitement for the next chapter as well as fear and anxiety of the unknown? Because if something is new it should be outside of one’s comfort zone and possess some hint of riskiness or danger – which Dariia represents through the drowning of both her camera and subjects to capture her otherworldly images.

To elaborate briefly on the 18 works in the catalogue, they are all considered part of one photography exhibition, although, in composition, they are technically digital collages made up of Dariia’s underwater photographs. What began as an effort to separate herself from her work in editorial and classical fashion photography became the experimentation of making all elements within a composition the main subject. This later evolved into photographs distancing themselves from themselves, and a questioning of the medium and Dariia’s relationship with it.

In turn, the process of creating these artworks revealed both answers and more questions (as well as an interesting connection to Dariia’s home birth which she can tell you more about). The frames captured were then manipulated in shape, size, and form, and, in some works, printed into plastic blobs which occupy varying perspectives of their surroundings. This blended collage style is, no doubt, informed by her background as an oil painter. When all works are assembled together, an empty room blossoms into the world of textures painted by her lens. Her photography becomes an entirely new environment we enter into.

It is important to note that all the photographs in this exhibition were taken in Berlin, a city both chaotic and free, where souls come to wander about and if they’re lucky, successfully recreate themselves. With New Reflections Dariia has provenly done so, and in conjunction with her self-re-creation, now finds herself leaving Berlin. Though not due to her own accord but, rather, the city is spitting her out. These 18 works capture this metamorphosis of Dariia and serve to document it; as she came to Berlin during a very particular period in her ‘20s, during a very particular time in the world. We see how she took from the city, gave to the city, and is now made to depart.

When I first met Dariia, we were accompanying each other to the Louise Bourgeois exhibition at Gropius Baus. As I bid farewell to Dariia and her time in Berlin, it will be at another exhibition, but this time, her own.


By /ART/, /NEWS/


Assistant: Grace Dolan
Photographer: Walter Worch @thescandalouswolfgang
Wardrobe Stylist: Lex Stan @lexstan
Makeup Artist: Michelle Ramirez @michellecarolinamua
Hair Stylist: Stephany Suzelle @stephanysuzelle
Model: Cecilia Soriano @Genetics NYC @cecisorian

Gloves -Dries Van Noten; Pants – SAINT LAURENT

Gloves -Dries Van Noten; Pants – SAINT LAURENT; shirt: COMME DES GARÇONS

Gloves -Dries Van Noten; Pants – SAINT LAURENT




Interview with photographer Nadine Dinter


Text: I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h

Interview with photographer Nadine Dinter
For the people who don’t yet know you: who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Nadine Dinter. I work as a professional publicist in the fields of art & culture, specializing in the promotion of photography (exhibitions, books, and artists in general). Apart from this main occupation, I am a writer, curator, and photographer. It’s all about photography – that is what brings it all together.
What work do you most enjoy doing?
Working on the creative side – writing, taking photos, and curating. That creates a sweet flow, a different way of thinking and the possibility to activate another part of the brain, compared to organizing, structuring, and strategically planning other people’s projects and creative output, such as photographs or books. I very much enjoy both sides, as they beautifully complement each other.
What type of art do you most identify with?
Definitely photography, but I also love painting, sculpture, and installation art.

Benjamin Kühnemund, Berlin, 2022, copyright Nadine Dinter, courtesy HAZEGALLERY

Ben, Berlin 2022, copyright Nadine Dinter, courtesy HAZEGALLERY

Traegi, Cologne, 2022, copyright Nadine Dinter, courtesy HAZEGALLERY

How did you come up with the idea for the exhibition?
In 2012, I curated a photo show for the New York artist duo The Hilton Brothers. One of them was Christopher Makos, a longtime friend of Andy Warhol who documented his life in photographs. Of course, during our work together and in most of his interviews, he spoke about Andy Warhol. Part of his travel crew was the former erotic art model Benjamin Godfre, with whom I clicked pretty quickly, chatting about LA, photography, and Warhol. We especially loved Warhol’s series Torsos and decided to take some pictures together. The rest is history.

What theme do you pursue in this exhibition?
In my show Torso Reloaded, I explore male nudes and how the current generation stages and adorns itself.Over the course of four months (January to April 2022), I photographed six young men, asking them to take poses that seemed typical for their personality and profession. They include a slick skater, a professional model,a wrestler, a photographer, and a fitness trainer. The images I took of Godfre from 2012 are also included in the show.

What is your favorite piece of artwork in the exhibition, and why?
That’s impossible for me to say – I love them all – and each one is special in its own way.

How could you tell when this series was finished?
It was finished this spring, in April 2022.

Do you have a funny or interesting story from your work on this project?
One of the 2022 models has the logo of my all-time favorite band HIM, tattooed above his crotch – it was a nice coincidence, as I discovered that only after we started to shoot. You can see some of those images in the show, too.

Benjamin Godfre, 1, Berlin, 2012, copyright Nadine Dinter, courtesy HAZEGALLERY

Eric, Berlin 2022, copyright Nadine Dinter, courtesy HAZEGALLERY

Alexander Schuktuew, Berlin 2022, copyright Nadine Dinter, courtesy HAZEGALLERY

Where can I go to see more of your work?
Most works, also from other series plus all my travel impressions, can be found on my IG account @dinterphotography. I also recently created a little website with more information about myself, my photography background, and the different series. Feel free to visit

Art in Berlin: interview with the director and curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation Dr. Matthias Harder.


Dr. Matthias Harder, director and curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation, photo David von Becker

Text: L y u b o v  M e l n i c k o w a

Art in Berlin: interview with the director and curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation Dr. Matthias Harder.

Thank you for taking the time to interview! We are glad to welcome you to PURPLE HAZE magazine. Before asking questions about Helmut Newton Foundation, I would like to know more about you as the director and curator HNF.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you come to be a curator?

My path was almost classical, but also playful. While still studying art history at the Free University of Berlin, I specialized in the medium of photography, wrote my master’s and doctoral theses on photographic subjects, which was still somewhat exotic at the time, in the 1990s. In 1995 I started organizing parallel photo exhibitions in Berlin at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK), and I opened an off-space in Berlin for all artistic media, with a focus on installation art. In 2000 I became guest curator at the Munich Photomuseum and co-curated the retrospectives of Herbert List and Stefan Moses, which subsequently toured internationally for years, which I partly accompanied. Afterwards I directed an art association near Hamburg for almost two years, then in early 2004 I joined the Helmut Newton Foundation, which had just been founded by Newton in Berlin – and stayed until today.

Dr. Matthias Harder, director and curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation, photo David von Becker

When did you first encounter the work of Helmut Newton?

I was already interested in photography as a teenager, I took photographs myself, I had my own darkroom – and it was also the time I encountered Newton’s great works, almost automatically. Thus, I bought the two Newton publications „Portraits“ and „Big Nudes“ relatively early, of course without suspecting that I would later get to present his original photographs in many international exhibitions and write about them.

Personally, do you have a favorite work HN and why this particular work?

It’s probably hard for anyone to name favorite works by Helmut Newton, because he created so many extraordinary and iconic images and shaped our visual collective memory as few other colleagues have. Personally, of course, I know far more of Newton’s photographs than the average exhibition visitor, as I have been working intensively with his archive, which is housed in our foundation, for the past 18 years. If I had to pick just one motif from his three main genres, however, I would name the double portrait of David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini from 1988, because it psychologically congenially condenses the ambivalence of their relationship, and „Arielle after Haircut“ from 1982, because it is one of the most sensual pictures I know, and „16th Arrondissement“ a fashion photograph for French Vogue from 1975, which looks like a snapshot, but as always was perfectly composed and staged by Newton, with the two models also playing their roles magnificently.

„Someone’s photos are art. But not mine. If they are ever going to be exhibited in a gallery or museum, I don’t mind. But that’s not why I make them. I am a gun for hire!“ What do you think is the uniqueness of Helmut Newton’s works?

Newton explored the possibilities of the medium of photography like no other and transcended genre boundaries, first and foremost with his fashion stagings in timeless elegance. Innovative in all aspects of his work, Newton became famous for his spectacular photographs of clothed and unclothed women, with which he also succeeded in pushing existing taboo boundaries. The countless publications of his fashion and nude photographs in the most renowned international magazines also reflect the changes in the social role of women in the second half of the 20th century in the Western world. In Newton’s work, it is often unclear where reality ends and staging begins; everything becomes a confusing game of power and seduction. With his sometimes radical, but also subtly elegant images of women, Helmut Newton was often ahead of the zeitgeist – and at the same time helped to shape it for decades.

What brought you to the Helmut Newton Foundation?

We met in Berlin in December 2003, arranged through a mutual acquaintance, and we had a very good talk for hours. Newton told me about his plans for the foundation and, at the end of the conversation, asked me if I would like to lead the foundation as a curator – I instantly agreed.

Lobby view at the Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin, copyright Stefan Müller

HNF was established in 2004. How has the art market changed since that time? What difficulties are gallery owners, artists, photographers experiencing in Berlin at the moment?

When we opened the Museum of Photography with a double exhibition in June 2004, a very lively art and photography scene was also established in Berlin at the same time. Since then, many artists have come to the city – and stayed. But in the meantime, it has become increasingly difficult to find affordable studios or gallery space here as well, and many gallery owners have moved within the city, some have even given up entirely; the whole scene is on the move. There are still many creative niches to make and offer art, at every level, and Berlin’s blue-chip galleries like Max Hetzler, Esther Schipper, Johann König, neugerriemschneider or Sprüth Magers are still finding enough customers.

How are museums connected with the art market?

In Germany, this connection is only indirect. Of course, the most important works of art in terms of art history ultimately end up in the museum, but few institutions have a decent acquisition budget and go shopping in the renowned galleries. Instead, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, or installations are often acquired by museum circles of friends and private collectors and then donated to the museum collections.

Installation view, HOLLYWOOD, Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin 2022, photo Gerhard Kassner

Berlin is considered the artistic capital of Europe. Is this really the case? What is the difference between Berlin’s art spaces and similar venues in other art cities, such as London or New York, for example?

The art and culture scene in Berlin has been incredibly diverse for years, it’s a unique, great mix of high and low. But it’s similar in Paris, London and New York, I wouldn’t want to define a ranking here.

On 2 June 2022, the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin opened its new exhibition “HOLLYWOOD” featured works by Eve Arnold, Anton Corbijn, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Michael Dressel, George Hoyningen-Huene, Jens Liebchen, Ruth Harriet Louise, Inge Morath, Helmut Newton, Steve Schapiro, Julius Shulman, Alice Springs, and Larry Sultan.  Photographs by George Hurrell and publications by Annie Leibovitz and Ed Ruscha will also be on view in glass displays. Tell us more about the exhibition.

Hollywood is a brand and a myth, for decades an illusion machine without equal, not only when the Oscars are awarded in spring. The exhibition at the Helmut Newton Foundation traces the fascination of Hollywood. We see the stars, official and private, the villas of the rich and beautiful or film-loving tourists as well as numerous secondary motifs. Our group exhibition looks back 100 years by means of more than 200 exhibits, and yet it is highly up-to-date at the same time. It is a tribute to the slowly fading splendor of an entire era, in which cinematographic storytelling continues with photographic means.

Helmut Newton, Sigourney Weaver at Warner Bros, Burbank 1983, copyright Helmut Newton Foundation

Helmut Newton, Elizabeth Taylor, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles 1985, copyright Helmut Newton Foundation

George Hoyningen-Huene, Judy Garland, Hollywood 1945, © The George Hoyningen-Huene Estate Archives

How was the work on the preparation of the exhibition?

I love the whole developing process of such an exhibition – from the first idea, the compilation of possible photographers and their works, at first only in my head, the contact with the artists or the estates or galleries representing them, the imaginary combination of the concrete loans – up to the placing and hanging of the exhibits. Such a process usually takes more than a year – and so I am also engaged thoughtfully with the next exhibition and the one after that at the same time.

As a curator, what did you note for yourself at this exhibition?

I’m very pleased with the way the individual groups of works in our exhibition rooms harmoniously fit together, or contrast with each other in an exciting way. I have brought together the most diverse aspects in the Hollywood exhibition, from the very early vintage PR shots of the stars by Ruth Harriet Louise for MGM in the 1920s to the film set shots of „The Misfits,“ taken in 1960 by all the members of Magnum at the time, to the large-format documentation of the porn film production „The Valley“ by Larry Sultan in the late 1990s, which, as you know, is being made parallel and virtually next door to the big Hollywood productions. In addition to all the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood stars, we also encounter other dark sides of the film city Los Angeles, for example in the unsparing portraits by Michael Dressel or the photographic road trip „L.A. Crossing“ by Jens Liebchen, which also deals with the numerous homeless people in today’s metropolis.

Marilyn Monroe going over her lines for a difficult scene, The Misfits, USA 1960, copyright Eve Arnold and Magnum Photos

Why is it worth visiting the „HOLLYWOOD“ exhibition?

There has never been an exhibition like this before. The starting point and reference point for such group presentations in our museum is always the work of Helmut Newton, who portrayed numerous celebrities in Los Angeles, in and around Hollywood, for each and every one of whom Newton developed an individual scenario, thus creating magnificent psychological portraits. Anyone who is even slightly interested in cinema or the relationship between film and photography should see this exhibition. By the way, for all those for whom the way to Berlin is too far, we also offer guided VR films of our exhibitions on our website.

What are you, HNF, aiming for in the future?

I have many interesting exhibition projects in the drawer, I can promise you that; they always deal with the re-contextualization of Newton’s work. Specifically, I am preparing for the winter of 2022/23 with „Helmut Newton. Brands“, a presentation of his commercial photography; most of the motifs are completely unknown to the majority of visitors. This will be followed by a retrospective of the work of June Newton, a.k.a. Alice Springs, on the occasion of her 100th birthday in June 2023. The exhibition will also be shown in other locations, as well as the Newton exhibitions we have just organized in Belgium, Spain, Monaco, Australia, Austria, and Italy. In parallel I take care of the editing of newer and older Newton publications. Through these activities of our foundation Helmut and June Newton and their great work remain alive internationally – and I am very happy about that.

Installation view, HOLLYWOOD, Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin 2022, photo Gerhard Kassner

“HOLLYWOOD”, on view through 20 November 2022, at the Helmut Newton Foundation, Jebensstrasse 2, 10623 Berlin