Seventh Heaven

The concept of the concept store has been applied to an inflationary extent in Berlin recently, but Seventh genuinely deserves that moniker. It is filled with extraordinary hand picked treasures and limited edition curiosities from every corner of the world. The only thing you can’t take home with you is the taxidermied beast in the basement. You might not know that you need that exquisitely crafted knife by Laguiole, that ultrasoft cashmere sweater by Dedem or that coral sculpture by Klaus Dupont before you see it, so you might want to think twice before entering the store – don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Seventh, Gormannstr. 7. Tue-Sat 11am-2pm and 3pm -7pm and by appointment.


Grotesque Dandyism

Take Gentlemen’s bespoke tailoring à la Savile Row, throw in a touch of Sleepy Hollow gothic and you get the sartorial eclecticism of Dandy of the Grotesque. Meticulous attention to detail makes each made-to-measure suit an original that corresponds with the wearer’s personality. Cut by the masterful hands of Israeli designer Itamar Zechoval, the suits have even found their way to father of grotesque dandyism, Marilyn Manson. The dapper ready-to-wear collections are avant-garde but affordable, and the store boasts a surprisingly wide variety of men’s accessories. Styled like a gentlemen’s club, whiskey and cigar tastings at the store complete the dandy experience.

Dandy of the Grotesque, Gormannstraße 17b. Just ring the bell, Itamar claims he’s almost always there.
Or make an appointment at +49 172 83 45 333.



The Heart of Darkness

Only in Berlin can you be in the heart of the city and in the middle of nowhere at the same time. And that’s exactly where the nomadic shop Darklands has opened its third and newest location. “We love having some of Berlin’s best contemporary galleries as neighbors, instead of the one of the high street chain stores that are taking over Mitte. Now, when someone walks through the door, you know they have made an effort to get here.” The effort is rewarded with exquisite designer menswear, sinister and almost exclusively in black.

DARKLANDS 3.0, Heidestraße 50, #1b. Mon-Sat 12-7pm.

Augustin Teboul

Annelie Augustin and Odély Teboul first met as students at Esmod, Paris, but only started working together some time later when Augustin, who had previously worked for Y3, and Teboul, who finished a stint at Gaultier, wanted to keep busy between jobs. Their side project soon turned into a full collection and Augustin Téboul, into one of the most intriguing labels in the Berlin fashion scene. So far, moving here from Paris has paid off for the French-German design duo, who won the “Start Your Fashion Business Award” for emerging Berlin designers this year.

They work and live together in a Neukölln studio – and no, they’re not a couple. Both admit that this symbiosis can be quite intense; they even invade each other’s sub-conscious. “For the storyboard of our last collection,” says Teboul, “we wrote down our dreams every morning for three months. Turns out we each appeared in each other’s dreams.” But they wouldn’t want it any other way: “We see fashion as a constant sharing of ideas. That doesn’t just happen nine to five, it’s a constant process”, says Augustin. Their intricate all-black creations, mashing crochet, lace and leather can be considered haute couture, but they like the challenge of producing them as ready-to-wear collections.

Sarah B. Bolen

Originally from Toronto, internationally renowned tattoo artist Sarah Bolen is currently a resident tattooist at AKA, one of Berlin’s leading tattoo studios with a gallery space attached. Not only has tattooing become more socially acceptable in recent years, it has come to be regarded as an artistic genre in its own right and is increasingly featured in the realm of “high art”. Bolen, who calls her style “Americana tattooing with a Victorian twist” and claims to be obsessed with birds, had both sleeves and both sides of her neck done before she turned 22 and still gets a new tattoo each birthday. Recently, she performed her art at the Arratia Beer gallery, where candidates were encouraged to bring their own designs. “It had nothing to do with tattoo art, and some of it was not really tattooable, so I had to change some of the designs, but the concepts behind them all were fantastic”, recalls Bolen, and adds, “I had to really make sure people had thought it through properly, some even wanted tattoos on their hands.” Like any truly professional tattoo artist, Bolen has a strong sense of responsibility towards her clients: “There is a common misconception that tattooists are crazy party people. But in this job you can’t be tired or hung over, and you must be healthy. We are the most boring people I’ve ever met!” Well, this certainly doesn’t hold true for Sarah.



Raymond Pettibon can’t help being political

Raymond Pettibon’s drawings are as rich in detail as they are in cultural references and, though not always immediately decipherable, social commentary. He often uses literary quotations in his works that don’t immediately relate to the imagery, lending his drawings an ambiguity that is at once challenging and intellectually provocative. Similarly elusive in person, Pettibon does not appreciate being pigeonholed with labels like “punk rocker” or “anarchist”, though he does little to shake these epithets: for this interview during Berlin’s Gallery Weekend, Pettibon showed up an hour late, after an assistant had been sent to pick him up from his hotel room. On arrival, Pettibon had alcohol on his breath. It was noon. But whatever you do, don’t dare call his work “political satire”, at least not when he’s listening. “It’s not about satire,” he told sleek, “I don’t mind that word, but it’s more real life. I don’t know why journalists need these categories. Who the fuck cares? But what am I going to do, argue with them? It’s tiresome, a fucking waste of time.”

sleek: So a work showing Michelle and Barack Obama and George W. Bush snorting cocaine is not meant as political satire? [Part of the text in this drawing reads: I thought you people smok’d it!]
Raymond Pettibon:
I’m not down with Obama, he’s a very severe disappointment. He’s worse than Bush, which is a pretty radical thing to be. America exports violence. Obama affects lives and people die. I could say ‘Who cares’, right? But I regret that kind of thing. I’m for saving lives, not for killing, and killing is what Obama does. He’s a weak, punk-ass motherfucker who doesn’t have to do that, but he does. He does it to get reelected. In America, foreign policy is domestic policy. I wish my work wasn’t about that. I’d rather not have to deal with politics.

sleek: But you do. Do you think that this is the role of the artist in society?
RP: Artists can kiss my ass. They do it for their own careers. I don’t give a fuck about clowning and careering. Fuck ‘em.

sleek: We are sitting in one of Berlin’s largest galleries right now.
RP: Berlin is an amazing city in a lot of ways, I mean the Wall coming down? But don’t give Reagan any credit for that. And don’t give JFK any credit for anything, either, the Berlin airlift and all that. ‘We are all Berliners?’ Fuck that motherfucker, the guy was a dick. My idols are Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Bishara Sirhan. Music-wise, I love German opera.

sleek: Does music influence your work? Do you listen to music when you draw?
RP: Music doesn’t bother or distract me. I’m not easily distracted because I’ve lived in places where the traffic is incessant and loud, and coming from a large family… you get used to it. But no, I don’t necessarily listen when I work. I come from post- punk music, but actually more from rap ‘cause I’m from L.A. and that’s what it’s like there, living with gang violence.

Read more interviews from our print archive


Neptune, Channeling for sleek

This Boston quartet of instrument builders made a contraption especially for sleek’s Sound/Silence issue, which involves each member donning a belt of guitar strings with a pickup, and chaining themselves together to a central steel triangle with four-metre cables. On Channeling,by leaning in and out to adjusting the tension, they alter pitch and timbre as they bow, strike and pluck, generating a visceral sonic grindhouse effect that scratches deep under the skull. A disturbed hornets’ nest of angry drones leads into a sequence of improvised clangs and thumps, aggravated by microtonal squiggles and twangs from the tortured strings. The mutual interdependence demands a physicality absent from much gallery based sound art.

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Text by Rob Young

Beautifully RUINed! A very special edition for sleek by Martin Eder

Those who wonder about the dark side in Martin Eder’s paintings of kittens, pugs, crows and naked girls shouldn’t forget that he’s also the mastermind behind the band RUIN, whose droning doom sound combines the morbid intensity of black metal with comatose-inducing electronic sound loops.

Eder made three one-of-a-kind RUIN T-shirts for sleek, each representing one of the three elements of metal: dirt, sweat and fire. The Dirt and Fire shirts have already found new owners, and this is your last chance to get your hands on Sweat.

Martin Eder
sleek edition “Sound/Silence”
Uniquely treated T-shirts: Sweat, 2011
Handmade, signed on the inside
€190,- (shipping within Europe included/€12,- worldwide)
To order, send an email to


John Bock, Ohr-Walachei

The slamming of doors and windows is considered a heavy form of noise disturbance. But if you encounter skirting boards slamming, you can almost certainly ascribe it to the supernatural. Or to John Bock. His installation Ohr Walachei [Ear Wallachia] consists of doors, windows, door handles and skirting boards banging and squeaking as if moved by a ghost’s hand, in an otherwise empty gallery space. Apart from being a region of Romania, in German the term “Walachei” also refers to getting lost in the middle of nowhere and wanting to get out of there asap. At the gallery, the installation’s spooky and ceaseless rattling soon becomes nerve-wracking—quite a bold move, then, by both artist and gallerist, to present an installation no one can leave quickly enough. Photographer Anders Sune Berg filmed the installation at Galerie Klosterfelde especially for sleek during Berlin Gallery Weekend. It’s only one minute and nineteen seconds long. See if you can last the whole clip.