Posted on Nov 26, 2012 in Berlin | 0 comments

Drawing of Berlin residential neighbourhood

I managed to squeeze in an hour of sketching in a Berlin residential neighbourhood between attending the gallery opening and walking to the Ku’damm where the play was.

Berlin residential building

And this is the building that is in the sketch.

Sunday, November 25 was another busy day in Berlin. They’re all busy here, but it’s fun. The apartment clean-up that I am planning to do, has had to wait.

Today I met Nina Neumaier, a Berlin artist who paints behind glass and plexiglass. I had googled “plexi-glass artist” or something like that, when I was trying to paint on plexiglass and was finding it harder than I expected (see my attempts below). I found Nina online and contacted her with some technical issues I had. She replied very quickly and was very friendly — I felt honoured that such an established artist was willing to tell me anything. We kept in touch and when I mentioned that I was planning to come to Berlin, she said I should contact her when the times comes and we’d meet.

Our first meeting was on Sunday at the Kommunale Galerie Berlin, which was hosting a gallery opening for the virtual Frauenmuseum Berlin (Museum for Women Berlin). Both artists sharing the opening had well-thought out, challenging, potentially disturbing work displayed; Katharina Moessinger’s over-sized stuffed animals with real fur, and Elisabeth Matthewes’ videos of a human body displacing or disturbing food or liquid. I found both women’s work worthwhile spending time with and of an artistic integrity that is hard for me to put into words.

Katharina Moessinger and Elisabeth Matthewes gallery opening

Katharina Moessinger and Elisabeth Matthewes gallery opening by the virtual Frauen Museum Berlin, hosted at the Kommunale Galerie Berlin.

In the theater on the Kurfürstendamm, Berlin

In the theater on the Kurfürstendamm, Berlin. I love live theatre. I booked a play here that sounded interesting and funny “Der Eiserne Gustav”, about an old carriage driver in the 1920s who is being usurped by the way, inflation, his children’s rebellion, his son’s death in the WWI, and the automobile’s gaining popularity. At first I wasn’t too impressed, but soon the play grew on me. It had a good dose of social realism and was not portraying anything in a romantic light. The end of an era, generational clashes, and the inability of the “Iron Gustav” to soften.

Christmas window display

Christmas window display, Berlin. Christmas sure draws out the sentimental kitsch. This holiday seems to be one big excuse to keep digging up a utopian fantasy of holiday cheer and cosy nights around the fire and red noses and sleigh rides and walks in the snow. Sometimes it does feel like that at Christmastime, but of course the commercial approach is to drip with clichees.

Cuckoo clocks

Kuckucksuhren (cuckoo clocks). Berlin is not exactly in the Black Forest, but this is still Germany after all.