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Raised by Artists

Born 1964 in Munich, Bavaria Between 1990 and now Brian has worked as a store- and sales manager, restaurant owner, various positions in the high-end Hotel Marketing, joined sales forces in retail and organic farming and held various positions in the food industry.

Brian's firm conviction, however, is that of an artist. Raised by artists in a house full of photography, paintings, sculpture and the family inclined to the art world over four generations, gave Brian a different outlook in life early on.

Eventually, he picked up a camera and let his eyes wander. Brian is a storyteller and at the same time has a deep-rooted wish to divert people's intentions toward their own inner freedom and growth. He uses this in connection with the poetry of nature.

Until 2005 various careers in the Hospitality and Retail business Travels and longer stays in Munich, Dresden, Berlin, New York, Washington, Houston, and San Francisco

Walk on the Wild Side

Lou

My friend Liam and I, both living in Berlin for more than 20 years decided on Sunday to do the monthly round of our private art walk through the city. Heading for the premier league, not Renaldo, but the many beautiful art photographies our city has to offer. Liam is a graduate of „Ostkreuz Schule,“ and he makes his living in the advertising business. We met first on one of their senior class final exhibits which do make up for a fun night out. Crowded but many hungry young artists who step out into their new world of making an image. The School is quite distinctive and follows the close-knit pattern of photography, making sure their „niche“ is recognized around the world. My thought on this is that you can see the handwriting of Professors who have been teaching there for a long time and so I always wonder if they let in a new look eventually. Interestingly enough you can see similarities in every senior class exhibits.

First, the weather check

It’s Winter, so the primary question is public transport or bikes? Then, how many layers? If you’d asked TripAdvisor, I think that’s the first thing you should check in Berlin before heading anywhere: Museum or Bar. Berlin temperatures can get quite frosty especially when you are out and try to discover things to do in Berlin. The reason why we do these walks more in the Winter is that the weather here is just made for this. It gets cold October 3rd, and the sun doesn’t come back until April 15th. Most of the time you get up in the dark, walk through the dark, and fall to bed like a vampire. To avoid any further downward spiral is to get up and out. Visit the multitude of Art spaces, shows, museums, and galleries.

Our Private Art-Map

Over the years we have created our own art map. It’s simple but effective and always ends with a cold beer at „Hotel Berlin.“ It’s just called "Hotel," but we add our city. Maybe that’s our main incentive; three beers and one fine discussion over all the great images we were out to see. "Noch ein Bier bitte!" Liam and I have been passionate photographers; Him specializing in Advertising and fine art Landscape photography and me going after different themes. However, since we are in Berlin and spending our days under former Mayor Klaus Wowereits’ slogan „Poor but sexy,“ I've picked up on male nude photography. Men here are more open to this art form.  Besides that, my travels take me to different countries around the world letting me engage in Landscape, people and urban image-making. We share a mutual taste for Irving Penn, Robert Frank, Wolfgang Tillmans - for us they share a collective eye. The primary foci are people and the different situation they are caught in a split second creating a lasting image full of detail and leaving an open outcome to whatever happens next.

Building up strength

Since we live in Kreuzberg, Berlins former working-class district and as red as they get, as well as nearly gentrified to the max - except us, we head to Südblock which is a cute queer bar filled with all kinds of characters. Gay, punk, hetero, artist, hipster, newcomers and old-timers sit next to each other. We choose hot tees to warm up, or whiskey when temperatures drop below 0 and discuss the new findings on PIB (Photography in Berlin) which is our local guide for the Photographer enthusiast. Sometimes we pick something out of their booklet to incorporate in our Foto-tour. All in all, it is always a fast walk of at least 4 hours but never more than 6. Yep, we got time for that.

The Foto-Tour

We start off riding our bikes to „Berlinische Galerie.“ Almost my favorite since it is tucked away in our neighborhood. Never crowded. We found Raphaela Vogel's work quite surprising and enjoyed her first solo show. Even though Video Art is something, I’m still in the process of getting my mind around. „Hamburger Bahnhof“ - Here it depends who’s on right now. Sometimes the artist is not photographers. „Otto Mueller and his Network in Wrocław“ was the show that we did see since we just had been to Wrocław last October. The picturesque town in Poland just about a three-hour car drive from Berlin. The „Me collectors Room“ is our next destination the ride is easy since it takes us in a straight line right through Tiergarten and past the Martin Gropius Bau. The last show I’ve seen there was the „Bestandsaufnahme“ - the show of Cornelius Gurlitt. The man behind keeping his Apartment in Munich filled with stolen Art from the Third Reich. Strangely enough, in the eighties when I lived in Munich as a very young man my best friend lived in the same building and believe it or not, Gurlitt was her Neighbour. ... if we would just had known then what we know today. Once you get to „Johann König“ you kinda have to look around first since the gallery located in a church building. Their exhibits are mixed, and we go only for photo art or installations. The gallery is fairly big but it does not take the two hours we usually spend at „C/O Berlin“ - we love this place which we both have visited ever since they opened their spot in Oranienburger Strasse within the strained walls of the „Postfuhramt.“ A grand looking Corner Building which used to be the central distribution center for Berlins postal-service in the 19th century. Now, many years later, they have chosen a new Location: The „America House“ in Charlottenburg. The double opening which we didn’t miss was „Will McBride“ and „The Magnum Photographers.“ The line was endless, but fortunately, we landed on the Guestlist and had fast and easy entry. What a party and what night.

Accessories

What would be a tour without our tools for making great images? Liam is the happy owner of a Leica M7, and I just recently bought a Fujifilm TX-20 to learn a new way of photography. My original companion was a Nikon f5 which I use to this day. We both load up at Foto Impex, which is the best dealer for anything analog. They carry 35 mm film from the leading producers like Ilford, Kodak, Adox and many more. The CMS 20 from Adox is my favorite. Since I’m addicted to fine, excellent grain - this film is my number one choice. And there is the HP5 which gives me more flexibility and the Silvermax which is a joy to use. But, as I said, I’ve put the analog aside - just for a little bit and enjoy the digital ways too. Adobe Creative Suite does an excellent job supporting me and like everything in the www these days I've got an account with them to make use of all the goodies they offer.

Having a friend

Liam and I have been best buddies for a very long time, and we have appreciated each others company and these walks very much. We encourage others to do the same since artists need the exchanging of thoughts like birds need the sky to fly. Besides all of that, it is great to share fun moments with a friend.

Finding a friend

Exhibit 2018 MUNICH

Looking at my work, I can see a pattern which spells F R E E D O M. Freedom of being free of whatever plagued me that day. The photos are documenting not a path but rather expressing a particular feeling that moment I pushed the trigger of my camera. These past 15 years coincided with the development of computers and smartphones giving humans a window to worlds unknown. Of course, the world is filled with wonders, but more and more voyeurs focus on the freedoms taken. Countries unfold where dictators capitate personal liberties of religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity and many more, creating sorrow, anger, hate, and fear. I wish that people see the freedom that I see in my many explorations and travels. The freedom that lies in nature and how comfortable in comparison to our reality it is to follow the unprecedented freedom it offers. Why „Exploring the idea of freedom?“ Our society is so entangled in stress and endless counts of bad news. It has become hard to focus only on one good thing. I want to inspire people to explore their versions of peace and freedom; Untangle themselves. Contemplating one's personal freedom is a good place to start.


BERLIN LINKS

Berlin has become a magnet for wonderful photography. Many creatives come here to show their work, stay in the city and enjoy the contagious creativity. The following are companies and institutions that I like personally very much. A small collection of galleries, bookstores, and festivals. This list will continue growing

C/O Berlin

PIB

IMAGO FOTOKUNST

CAMERA WORKS

FESTIVALS

SCHAU!

Buy your cameras here

The must in analog photography!

YOUR ANALOG PRINTS HERE

WALTHER KÖNIG AN DER MUSEUMSINSEL

FAVORITE BOOKSTORE

BRIAN DOES NOT PLAY SOCCER

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