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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 the designer of the brand „des FILLES désir“, Adrian Stoica


Text: Lyubov Melnickowa

Interview with the designer of the brand "des FILLES désir", Adrian Stoica
Thank you for taking time for an interview with us! Before asking questions about the brand, I would like to learn more about the designer and founder of the brand des FILLES désir.

Thank you for having me!

Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did your creative path begin and why did you decide to become a fashion designer?

From a young age I was mostly attracted to creative things. My father was a musician and my mother used to make her own garments. In 1990‘s Romania there wasn’t much to choose from. She also used to watch fashion shows but I wasn’t interested in those. I somehow was fascinated with the process of making clothes and seeing the result being uplifting to her.

What does fashion mean in your understanding?

For me this term hasn’t much meaning left, since it’s been used excessively in mass media. I’m mostly interested in personal style and the way people choose and why they choose to look a certain way. Unfortunately there’s much less individual choice and personal curation involved in the way people dress than you might expect in this day and age.

Tell us a little about the brand. At what point did the idea of creating a brand come up?

There wasn’t too much to choose from. After graduating and working some time in the industry, I realized that the only way to do something exciting was to do it on my own. Corporations in the fashion industry don’t even design anymore. They’re more and more reliant on data analysts, maximising numbers and less on innovative and interesting design.

As a rule, a clothing brand is a large team that takes part in the creation of collections. How many people are in the brand team and what are the responsibilities of the chief designer?

Like most independent designers I started on my own. It’s working around the clock to do research, design, pattern cutting, sewing prototypes, creating marketing materials, doing production, some PR, accounting and much more. With limited resources it’s a difficult process but seeing even the slightest success is very rewarding.
I was quite fortunate to have my partner Markus and my mother on my side for moral and professional support.

How would you describe the brand’s style?

A close friend of mine used to say I do a kind of “complex minimalism”. Certainly I like to experiment with shape, volume and texture to create new and exciting garments. Although I feel close in my ethos to the Japanese and Belgian Avantgarde, I don’t like to use this term since it’s become rather constricting aesthetically.

Now many brands are for environmental friendliness and recycling. What materials does the des FILLES désir brand use? What principles do you adhere to when creating clothes?

Preferably I work with high quality yet overlooked fabrics that allow me to create sculptural garments. I also consider how fabrics might feel on the skin or how durable they are. They’re mostly from Italian manufacturers or small and specialized stores. Being a small label and working mostly made-to-order, I think the environmental impact in our case is minimal. While I consider this debate to be important, it also allows for a lot of greenwashing. As the demand for fair and ecologically produced garments grows, it will become increasingly easy to integrate these in future garments. 

The design process starts with an abstract theme or some kind of observation that I try to translate into techniques or shapes before moving on to make the actual garment. I like to challenge myself to find new ways to create garments that you wouldn‘t find anywhere else.

Who is the des FILLES désir brand for? Can you describe its target audience?

I would like to see anyone trying on des FILLES désir and integrating the pieces in their daily lives. However the designs mostly attract creative people who like to experiment with new things and who are not afraid to be noticed for their bold choices.

des FILLES désir is a well-known brand in Berlin. Would you like the brand to exist on the world market in the future?

There’s still quite some work to be done to reach more people. But I’m confident that this can only be achieved by a slow and steady growth.

How would you describe today’s fashion and what feelings does it evoke in you?

Fashion as a broader phenomenon in the West has lost its luster in the last two decades. At least when we compare its current state to its rich history one might come to the conclusion that fashion has lost its meaning.
However there are still bubbles of interested people gravitating certain styles and designers that aren’t happy with today’s conformity. For me it’s still uplifting to see groundbreaking designs from fresh labels that have to fight to get heard and also to see people who have a strong personal style and who care about expressing themselves.

Interview with Mark Bryan


Text by Lucas Pantoja

Interview with Mark Bryan
In 2020 Mark Bryan, an American robotic engineer living in Germany, emerged as an Instagram fashion sensation seemingly out of nowhere, for his playful gender-bending style which has garnered him a lengthy list of captivated followers (sitting at 615K currently) and includes some of the fashion industry’s biggest names from Carine Roitfeld to Lotta Volkova. Though it wasn’t Bryan’s style alone that brought him digital fame, as cross-dressing is nothing new and those from the LGBTQ+ community have courageously been doing it for a long time now. Rather, it is the unique context with which Bryan – a straight cis male in his 60s, grandfather of four, and noted American football coach – adorns a uniform of skirts and high heels that has made him so intriguing. Two years after his Instagram success, the unexpected influencer has plenty of credits under his belt, such as stories with some of fashion’s biggest publications like Vogue Germany and Interview Magazine, as well as modeling experiences in Paris fashion week. Most recently he found himself in a controversy after an interview aired with the German television program Beyond Fashion, surprising many of his fans in the LGBTQ+ community with his statements hoping to distance himself from a community of followers that supported him from early on in his fame. The interview is a tense piece in which the host, Avi Jakobs, tears up in shock at Bryan’s questionable responses regarding his relationship with the queer community and his ambition to wear women’s clothing as a purely stylistic choice. We had the chance to speak with Bryan over email regarding his latest controversy, his upbringing in Texas and the early fashion memories that shaped him, plus much more.
In 2010 you moved from Texas to a town in the south of Germany. Do you feel well-accustomed to life in Germany and Europe in general at this point?
Yes, people always ask me how I like living in Germany. My typical reply is that I love everything about Germany but the weather. In Texas, you get 300+ days of sunshine and here you get 300+ days of clouds and rain. Maybe a bit over-exaggerated. I struggle with the language. German is a very difficult language to learn. Even when growing up in Texas, I struggled to learn Spanish. I like to think it’s like walking in high heels — for some, it’s natural and for others, it’s not! And the people here are so kind and understanding.
Was Texas where you spent most of your time growing up?
Yes, West Texas to be more precise. From the day I was born to graduating from college I lived in one place. Then moved to Dallas after graduation. Then lived there mostly till moving to Germany.
What kind of environment did you grow up in, and do you feel that’s played a part in your comfort in experimenting with dress codes?
I grew up in a traditional home. My mother taught us to always look our best, to be clean, our clothing wrinkle-free, and of course to match. Of course, she never expected that someday I’d be wearing high heels and skirts! But even growing up in a very conservative time, I always felt the freedom to express myself through clothing. I always enjoyed wearing a suit and tie, even when young going to church and other events that required a suit, even though the suit wasn’t required.
#DeGenderFashion is what we all want, but I want to take it even further. To de-sexualize fashion. I think this is where I differ from the LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ community has used fashion as a form of expressing their sexuality. Again, I have no problem with that. But clothing/fashion should not dictate gender #DeGenderFashion AND sexual orientation. A person is free to wear what they want, thanks to the LGBTQ community, but fashion, as a causality, is seen as an expression of sexual orientation as a result of their struggles.
So when I said that the LGBTQ community has made it hard on me, I was stating my fight to de- sexualize fashion where people can wear what they want without having their sexuality questioned. I’m fighting a separate war, and it’s against the stigma that the LGBTQ community fought for. And of course, not wanting to disrespect the LGBTQ community, but it’s hard to make that distinction.
What’s your earliest fashion memory? Whether it was the first time: you were awestruck by a garment or advertisement; or experimented with your style?
Perhaps when the plaid baggy pants and the platform high heels were popular in the early 70s. Maybe my first attempt at doing something that was considered trendy and fashionable. Also, I was aware that you never mix brands. For example, If wearing Adidas shorts or a t-shirt, you didn’t wear Puma shoes. So I was aware of branding even at a young age. Later, in college, my first must-have brand was Ralph Lauren and their polo shirts.
You’ve made a career for yourself in engineering and coaching American football, interests we don’t immediately associate with fashion. Nonetheless, has a fashion or personal style always been something important to you, even before you started wearing heels regularly?
I think the way we look and dress reveals a very important part of ourselves. I still wear a jacket and tie whenever possible. Even with the relaxed dress codes in the office I always continued to be overdressed. So yes, fashion is very important to me, I consider it a way to express myself with total freedom. I can choose what to wear, what goes with what, and create my style, which, in my personal opinion, is like a personal brand even if you are away from public opinion or social media.
Have you inspired any of your friends or family to start wearing clothes outside of their respective gender?
No. I don’t think so. That’s up to them and their comfort level. I’d never encourage anyone to do something they weren’t comfortable doing regarding fashion, but I hope to send a message that we can truly be ourselves regardless of what others think.
You recently appeared in a controversial interview on ARD Mediathek’s Beyond Fashion: would you mind speaking on the comments you made that have upset many people, particularly those in the LGBTQIA+ community?
I’m not sure why people think I’ve turned my back on the LGBTQ community. I understand that the LGBTQ community has made it possible for me to legally wear a skirt in public. And yet, if I don’t support the community in some way on my platform, I’m turning my back on them. That is not my intention.
My agenda has always been that clothing doesn’t dictate a person’s sexual orientation or gender. When I said I wasn’t fighting for the community but wasn’t fighting against them either, that meant I wanted to stay neutral. I’m a straight male, what I wear has nothing to do with sexuality. It’s a fashion statement only. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect the community and understand the hardships they have endured to get to where they are today. But to assume I’d fight for them is just that, an assumption. But in a way, I am fighting for the LGBTQ community, and that’s why so many in the community still see me as an ally. Just with me being seen in public or pictures or videos of me on my social media platforms, shows that anyone can wear non-gender conforming clothing. But it’s not fighting specifically for the LGBTQ community, but for everyone.
When I mentioned separation, I was talking about separating fashion from a form of sexual expression. Many in the LGBTQ community use clothing as a way to express their sexuality, which is ok. I’ve said several times, everyone should be free to express themselves, either through fashion or other means. But…. many outside the community and many inside the community associate wearing clothes from another gender to be a form of sexual expression only. It’s hard for them to comprehend that it can be just a fashion statement. So I try to keep my distance/separation from the LGBTQ community so there is less confusion that I’m making a fashion statement and not a sexual statement.
#DeGenderFashion is what we all want, but I want to take it even further. To de-sexualize fashion. I think this is where I differ from the LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ community has used fashion as a form of expressing their sexuality. Again, I have no problem with that. But clothing/fashion should not dictate gender #DeGenderFashion AND sexual orientation. A person is free to wear what they want, thanks to the LGBTQ community, but fashion, as a causality, is seen as an expression of sexual orientation as a result of their struggles.
So when I said that the LGBTQ community has made it hard on me, I was stating my fight to de- sexualize fashion where people can wear what they want without having their sexuality questioned. I’m fighting a separate war, and it’s against the stigma that the LGBTQ community fought for. And of course, not wanting to disrespect the LGBTQ community, but it’s hard to make that distinction.
The interview was over 2 hours long and it was shortened to about 6-7 minutes of footage to be shown. So a lot of cut and paste was done, so that some answers I gave did not have all the content that would make the conversation clear and not taken out of context, as in this case.
In the interview, when I started by saying “It’s not the clothes” I was answering a different question. I was trying to explain what makes it more threatening for a trans female than for me. I’ve been photographed in some very flamboyant outfits along with some very short skirts, but I’d never wear them out on the streets. I try to dress more conservatively and not draw as much attention to myself. Yes, I will draw some looks because of what I’m wearing, but then I also show a lot of confidence in what I’m wearing. Besides that, who wants to attack an old, bald man wearing high heels?
In one part of the interview, when saying something about the LGBTQ community I accidentally left off the T and only said LGB. This was not on purpose as many have assumed. I’m just not good with acronyms and since it’s not something I say very often, I just messed up!
I saw that you posted an apology on your instagram, how else have you been reconciling the situation?
I’ve been trying to educate myself more on the matter. Before this, I wasn’t interested in the details of the struggles of the LGBTQ community as I thought it doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m doing. I’m seeing this as a lesson learned and an opportunity, as this experience has helped me to understand what they have been through and how they feel about others. It has helped me to grow. In my position, as an influencer, I should be better educated on this. So this is my focus as of late.
The interview was over 2 hours long and it was shortened to about 6-7 minutes of footage to be shown. So a lot of cut and paste was done, so that some answers I gave did not have all the content that would make the conversation clear and not taken out of context, as in this case.
In the interview, when I started by saying “It’s not the clothes” I was answering a different question. I was trying to explain what makes it more threatening for a trans female than for me. I’ve been photographed in some very flamboyant outfits along with some very short skirts, but I’d never wear them out on the streets. I try to dress more conservatively and not draw as much attention to myself. Yes, I will draw some looks because of what I’m wearing, but then I also show a lot of confidence in what I’m wearing. Besides that, who wants to attack an old, bald man wearing high heels?
In one part of the interview, when saying something about the LGBTQ community I accidentally left off the T and only said LGB. This was not on purpose as many have assumed. I’m just not good with acronyms and since it’s not something I say very often, I just messed up!
I saw that you posted an apology on your instagram, how else have you been reconciling the situation?
I’ve been trying to educate myself more on the matter. Before this, I wasn’t interested in the details of the struggles of the LGBTQ community as I thought it doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m doing. I’m seeing this as a lesson learned and an opportunity, as this experience has helped me to understand what they have been through and how they feel about others. It has helped me to grow. In my position, as an influencer, I should be better educated on this. So this is my focus as of late.
What kind of conversations did the interview bring about for you? And did it affect any of your relationships offline or in your personal life?
I had a few brands that I have been working with express that they were disappointed in what I had said. Most of them that know me well agreed that the words I chose to use were inappropriate, but could see how what I said could be taken out of context.
As far as personally, I’ve had nothing but support as those that know me and, more importantly, understand how communicate, know what I said was not to be taken as hateful or disrespectful to anyone or any group.
You’ve continued to state your message that clothing should not define one’s gender or sexuality. Surely that’s tied to the way you dress currently, but is there more to how and when that became an important principle of yours?
It became more and more evident that what I was doing on Instagram was helping so many that wanted to wear non-gender conforming clothing but were afraid to have their sexuality questioned. I get over 100 direct messages a day on my Instagram account and a large number of them are followers that have thanked me for the courage to go out wearing something regardless of what others may think. Others still have this fear, however. This needs to change and thus has become one of my goals to de-sexualize clothing. But then I’m also helping everyone (regardless of sexual orientation or gender) that we all should feel comfortable wearing what we want.
On another note, you walked in your first-ever fashion show for Ninamounah FW 22. How was that experience?
It was a blast. At the rehearsals having the choreographer tell you how to walk, with timing and making nice turns, being focused, was interesting and fun. Meeting all the models and asking advice from many. I was at an extreme disadvantage, as almost everyone knew who I was, but I didn’t know anyone. But then after the show and seeing the footage I was amazed that more than half the models just did their own thing. I did what I was told but almost broke into a smile during the finale.
Are you paying attention to the runways and what goes on in the fashion world?
I am paying attention to the fashion designs and trends for men, but particularly seeing more and more skirts on the runway.
Would you like to walk in a show again someday? If so, is there any brand you have in mind?
Yes, I would be interested in doing this again. I think the most challenging for the brands would be to style for me. Taking some of their men’s shirts and jackets and matching them to the women’s skirts and heels may not fit their theme for that collection they won’t show. Of course, big brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, Balmain, Prada, and Alexander McQueen.
If you could wear only one pair of heels for the rest of your life, what would they be?
I’m very tempted to say an 8.5cm to 10cm stiletto pump. But if I had only one pair to wear everywhere, I would have to go with a black leather ankle boot with a wide heel (but not a block heel) and about 9cm high. Either a boot from Jimmy Choo or a boot from Louboutin

Interview with actress Varvara Shmykova


Text editor in chief: Irina Rusinovich
Art director / photographer: Inna Malinovaya
Talent: Varvara Shmykova

Interview with actress Varvara Shmykova

How did you discover Film and Theatre? How old were you? How was your journey to becoming a working actor? 

My journey started with my name – Varvara. It’s unusual and fabulous. And with my character, of course.
Theatre has been open for me, perhaps, ever since my childhood. It includes performances in a kindergarten when I was standing on a stool in front of my relatives, along with singing songs or reciting poems on a train Moscow-Glazov when I was 4-5 years old.
There were only a few celebrations or performances I didn’t participate in, whether it was a family celebration, a school concert, or contests at children’s camps. I was always in the spotlight. I could be found on stage at any time. People always knew me as „that red-haired girl with two pigtails and freckles“.
That was followed by children’s school theatre, then children’s professional theatre, and then four years of drama school! After leaving school, it was four years before I enrolled in the Moscow Art Theater on Viktor Ryzhakov’s course, from which I eventually graduated in 2016.
At the end of the first year, we had our first play, which took us all over Russia further to France, Hungary, Estonia, and Croatia… The cinema came a little later, but the theatre was still the primary reason!

Which is your best role so far and why? 

My best role so far is the one I’ve played in a soap opera called „Chiqui“.
It’s the best because it covers the entire spectrum, my whole artistic range, so to speak. And also because the show in itself is a huge success, whichever way you look at it. It’s a courageous and sincere story that left no one indifferent. And to this day, viewers still write to me, asking for a sequel…

How do you select films?

Sometimes I think it’s the film that chooses me, not me.
I’ve been fortunate and proud of all my film works, which always differ from one another. 

Every industry, including the entertainment industry, is full of competition; how do you stand out amidst competition?

That’s a good question.
First of all, I come from a quite large family, so I know a lot about competition.
Secondly, at some point, I got a sense of this unique individuality that everyone really has. We are all very different, and that’s fine. And I’ve never tried to be like someone else or follow any trends. I always try to listen to myself and my heart. Well, thanks to my bright looks and ringing laughter, those who’ve seen me at least once – simply never forget me!

What is the first thing you do to research and approach a role?

I read the material/script/play many, many times.
And I begin to immerse myself in the topic, looking for echoes of it in myself, asking questions about the subject to everyone around me and myself in the first place.

The entertainment industry is known to be full of stress and pressure; how do you tackle the pressure that comes with your work?

It seems to me that stress and I are related. It could be a professional deformation, but I exist like a fish in water in stress and deadline mode. It’s probably hardened since the university. You manage to do everything when you’re working on two plays, studying for three exams, and reading four different books at the same time. 

Are there things you’d like to do other than acting?

Now I have a chapter called motherhood. It’s an exciting and vital experience for me! And speaking of occupations, I’d probably make a great producer! 

What is your strength as an actor?

I’m capable of anything!
P.S. The laughter of an evil genius…

Do you think that success has changed your life? 

It would’ve been a lie if I said it had not.
Success has definitely changed some areas of my life. Some, but not all of me. My status and recognition. I’ve learned to say no and be choosier about people.
But life continues to flow according to my laws and the laws of nature, of course. 

A character you would like to play. 

Speaking of a role, I would prefer a resisting character, some kind of a villainess; otherwise, I’d love to star in a fairy tale or some fictional world. However, overall, I would’ve been happy to get a starring role! 

Tell us about your upcoming shows and how you’re staying on top of things during the geopolitical crisis. 

Recently, just in two months, my companion Misha Shamkov and I made a play via ZOOM, „The Heartbreak Club“. Producers Lisa Paliy and Philip Nesterenko started „Arête“ in Dubai to influence the Gulf countries‘ cultural agenda. We have been their first project!
Also, back then, Misha was in Dubai, while I was in Berlin. I flew in, and we met on stage just one day before the performance. We had a day for all the rehearsals, both acting and technical. And there were two performances in front of an audience, which were, I dare say, spectacular! We hope to tour the world with this show! It is a good thing that it only involves two actors, one table, and two chairs. And, of course, we’d love to play in Berlin!
And soon, in Russia, the series „Mir.druzhba.gum“ will be released, where I have a role in the second plan. It’s a very remarkable story about the ’90s. It is the third season when my character appears on screen for the first time. My partner is the wonderful Yura Borisov (Petrovs in Flu, Compartment number 6, Captain Volkogonov escaped, The bull).

Where do you see your career in five years as an actor?

Now the planning horizon has narrowed to a week… can’t look that far ahead. I want to believe that in five years, I’ll still be an actress because I love my profession very much, and I’m sure I can bring a lot to the world of theatre and cinema. Let’s go on with our lives and see what happens next. 

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.

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

Interview with artist Jan Prengel


Jan Prengel

L y u b o v  M e l n i c k o w a

Interview with artist Jan Prengel

Hello Jan! Thank you for taking time for that interview. How did you become photographer? Was it a long way to find yourself in art?

It’s my pleasure!
The serious interest in photography came up during a trip to Paris in 2010. I photographed urban life with a small, simple digital camera. The images printed out afterwards ignited a fire in me and my path began. I decided to study photography.
Starting with commissioned photography for companies and architects, etc., I have implemented more and more of my own projects and developed my personal style.
But I think finding yourself in art is a never-ending process. As long as you change yourself, your artistic creation will also change and redefine from time to time.


The main subjects of your works are modern architecture and urban spaces. Why did you choose this particular direction in photography?

I have chosen these subjects for my work because they allow you to project your own visions and feelings onto them. They provide the visual basis for it. For example If you portray people, they bring their own complex story with them, which you cannot and should not suppress for your own ideas.




Minimalism is a rather subjective concept. It leaves a wide space for the viewer to perceive the work. What does minimalism mean to you? Why did you choose this concept?

For me, minimalism is more than just a visual aesthetic. Minimalism has a calming psychological impact on the subconscious. It leads to internal order. Similar to the feeling after you’ve tidied up your home.
I think the greatest lasting happiness is when all energies are balanced and minimalism is a good basis for that.



Who are your favorite photographers and where do you get inspiration to create?

Andreas Gursky, George Byrne, Josef Hoflehner.

My inspiration is a product of the totality of all external sensory stimuli as well as the mental processing of them. The thoughts often wander around for hours and you can only hope that something ‚tangible‘ will emerge from it, an idea that can be realised.

External influences can be documentaries such as: Gerhard Richter – Painting, or the red light of a car park that falls into my girlfriend’s apartment at night and creates a cinematic atmosphere.




Who are your favorite photographers and where do you get inspiration to create? How has the pandemic affected your creative process in terms of goal setting? How did you deal with lockdown and limitations of last year?

The restrictions of the pandemic made me dealt with new subjects. For example I created my series Plants from Space. There has been also a strong self-reflection and personal development that will give future projects additional levels and depth.
So there has been a positive impact on my work. Nevertheless, I long for the freedom to travel with the opportunity to discover new places and to get new influences on my photography.




What are your future photography plans and current projects you are working on.

I am working on projects with new concepts and themes where I include my recent thoughts and visions.
I don’t want to be more specific about projects until they are finished.
You never know what the future will bring.