There are no wunderkinds in the art world, despite everything what it may look like, it actually takes years of concentrated focus and effort in the studio. Lauriston Avery has dedicated an extensive amount of time working in his New York studio, mastering the process of manipulating vernacular materials, such as soil, glue, feathers, mirrors, hair, and turn these into a provocative body of work.
Düsseldorf has been one of the mainsprings of European art in the past decades. And the Kunstakademie acts as its tireless engine, continuously attracting internationally renown professors and producing graduates who quickly become stars of the art scene in their own right. It’s no wonder the city not only boasts world-class museums but also quite a few galleries and not-to-be-missed art events.
A cold wind whistles as the minibus arrives at the grounds of the rehearsal stage of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. Voices, laughter and lively hustle and bustle can be heard. One of them catches your eye immediately because of his physical presence: Philipp Westerbarkei. We meet him this Saturday in Duisburg to talk about his current production, “Roméo et Juliette” by Charles Gounod.
A naked man hangs from the ceiling. His long-limbed, life-sized body is the rst thing coming into view, as the heavy studio door opens. The room with high ceilings and the cathedral-like windows is located in a former factory building of the “Duewag” on the edge of the Lierenfeld industrial estate. There is a strong smell of wood in the air. The male nude’s eyes are closed. He is slim, slender and made of limewood. This is the wood from which most of the sculptures of the Düsseldorfer artist Paloma Varga Weisz are made.
Get into the car at the weekend, leave Düsseldorf ’s city limits behind and drive to the neighbouring region of the RUHR AREA to enjoy a bit of cultural diversity. ‘Ab in den Pott’ as the locals would say. It is a region that made history due to its heavy industrial manufacturing past. Even though the collieries were closed long ago, the Ruhrgebiet remains acutely alive due to its extremely high population density.
“My own unpunctuality is my rebellion against my father’s punctuality”, says Gil Bronner when he walks through the door of his Philara Collection only slightly late. The former glass factory Lennartz that the property developer bought and rebuilt extensively over the course of two years lies in a shabby backyard off Birkenstraße.
A visit in Chris Succo’s studio: The silver-grey roll-up door is being lifted after ringing Chris Succo Studio’s doorbell. Behind the shutter appears a man with messy blond hair, all dressed in black and a band sweater. We walk past a black Mini and a storage area towards the main studio with its red couch.