Fig.1 Theater unterm Dach, Berlin
There is a feast of art exhibitions in Berlin at any time but this month there is quite a focus on illustrators. I’m spoiled for choice usually and extremely fortunate to have a great exhibition space directly across the street. The Gallere Parterre is housed in the old factory building named “Kulturhaus im Ernst-Thälmann Park”. It was opened in 1986 in the former Municipal Gasworks of Prenzlauer Berg/Weissen See/ Pankow district of East Berlin. This month runs an exhibition of about 25 illustrators from the district of Weissensee.
First to catch my eye was Tim Dinter. In this exhibit we had a sample of the sketch, the inked drawing and the finished piece in the newspaper Der Berliner Tagesspiegel.
Fig.2 Tim Dinter – Die Nackte Wahrheit – Berliner Tagesspiegel (2017)
Tim Dinter is a tremendously popular illustrator in Berlin, he has regular spots in Der Berliner Tagesspiegel and he is very accessible as an artist. His work speaks a normal language of everyday life, drawing in a ‘relaxed, realistic and easy-going style’. He was born in Hamburg and moved to Berlin to study illustration at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee. While still a student he set up a kollectiv with fellow students called Monogatari – Pictures for Readers. It has been a great collaboration for him. In 2005 he travelled with the Goethe-Institut in Tel Aviv with two other German comic artist in exchange with three Israeli comic artists for a project to record personal reports, the resulting published work was Cargo – Comic Journalism, Israel-Germany
Fig.3 Cargo – reportage
I visited his studio during ‘The Long Night of Illustration’ (Die Lange Nacht Der Illustration) and it was a great inspiration to see the work space of a very busy comic book/strip/Graphic Novel illustrator and to chat with him about the work.
Fig. 4 Handi Song – Wohnen in China – Life in a container (2017)
Handi Song is an enigma – there is no information I can find on this artist, at the exhibition or online, but I loved the work. Tremendously detailed and precise drawings in pen. A simple white cover with black ink make up a book telling the story of construction workers who move from the countryside to the big cities in China. These men who work long hours and in shifts, call a shipping container on the construction site home. Their story is told sensitively and in great detail through the drawings, the lines are honest and as a result add to the story of these workers. There are many detailed sketches on display that did not make it into the book, but they add proof that Handi Song spent quite some time with these men, drawing their story.
Fig. 5 Alexandra Klobouk – Polymeer (2017)
Alexandra Klobouk is an author and she self describes a “culture illustrator“. She has a strong voice in campaigning against Xenophobia through her self initiated work. While I am not drawn so much to picture book illustration, I found Polymeer a really interesting concept for a book. It’s not a children’s story. It’s an apocalyptic utopian story about a character who wakes up one day to find the glaciers have melted and Holland has been swallowed up, he finds safety in a floating pink wardrobe. The colours are dark greys and black and a really interesting choice of highlighter marker, pinks, oranges, yellows. It’s a disturbing tale of climate change and the story is supplemented by facts such as the pacific garbage whirlwind and the UN figures of expected 250 million climate refugees by 2050.
Fig. 6 Ariane Spanier illustrationen für Green Peace Magazin (2016-2017)
Editorial illustration is a genre of illustration I’d like to put some focus on, this great selection of process sketches and final published pieces by the design group Ariane Spanier brought me to their online portfolio to find these finished pieces became animated GIFs. They have a heavy hitting client base and their work is very present in Berlin
I spent and inspiring couple of hours browsing sketchbooks and reading notes, I’ll make another visit across the street before the closing.
Tim Dinter – Avant-Verlag artist bios http://www.avant-verlag.de/artist/tim_dinter
Berlin Interviews http://berlininterviews.com/?p=1337
Alexandra Klobouk http://cargocollective.com/alexandraklobouk/About
Ariane Spanier https://www.arianespanier.com/about/
Kulturhaus im Ernst-Thälmann-Park http://www.berlin.de/kunst-und-kultur-pankow/einrichtungen/galerie-parterre-berlin/programm/