To celebrate the opening of the Berlin Biennale, SLEEK sat down with some of the women shaping the art scene in the German capital. Dressed in Giorgio Armani’s New Normal forthcoming FW16 collection, the quintet discussed their work and the impact the capricious city has played on their creativity.
Verena Gillmeier, Gallerist
Verena Gillmeier opened her gallery space, Gillmeier Rech, in November 2013 with friend and business partner, Claudia Rech. Already an esteemed venue, their gallery’s openings pull a crowd of fashionable collectors and seasoned art aficionados. Prompted to explain how being based in the Berlin has influenced her work, Gillmeier reveals that, while she moved to the city on a whim, she quickly fell in with the right crowd: “I was immediately able to find people that were extremely talented and had this ‘let’s do this’ kind of attitude.”
Hanna Putz, Photographer
Born and raised in Vienna, photographer Hanna Putz comes from a creative family. Before becoming a model she was a typical tomboy who listened to hip-hop and went skateboarding; later, she even had an unexpected stint as a children’s television host. Putz’s talent for producing figurative portraits and her keen eye for color and detail have made her an important name in contemporary art photography. Though she spends most of her time in Hackney, London, she frequently visits Berlin to refuel her creative energies.
Claudia Rech, Gallerist
The other half of Gillmeier Rech, Claudia came to running a gallery via a detour in fashion. Having studied Art History at Berlin’s Humboldt University, she started writing and styling for an Italian magazine before setting up her space. Despite being lauded for her gallery’s programme, she plays down her influence, citing the city’s evolving scene as the most important factor in her success. “Impact is something you can only really measure over time,” she says. “Right now it just comes down to facilitating good art.”
Ulrike Theusner, Painter
Ulrike Theusner’s works transcend time while reflecting snippets of the present. “It´s important to have a certain energy around me,” she says discussing how the German capital has guided her painting. For many years she thought she could only find this energy in New York. But after moving back to Berlin she realised it was here as well – and in plentiful supply. “During the last few years, Berlin has become more and more of an Inspiration to me. It’s wild and free, a hedonistic purgatory.”
Britta Thie, Artist
A visual artist, model and actor, Britta Thie incorporates her life into her work. For instance in “Translantics”, her semi-autobiographical project, Thie examines her adopted hometown of Berlin while tracing a journey to New York for a modelling gig. Featuring soap opera aesthetics and storytelling, the short film explores the feeling of belonging everywhere and nowhere. And recently,her latest project, a theatre production at the Munich Kammerspiele, surveys how online culture shapes our perception ourselves and each other. We hope that all this introversion isn’t a hint that Thie is planning on abandoning the city anytime soon.
Play the video below for a behind the scenes look from the photo shoot:
All looks by Giorgio Armani. Shop the collection at armani.com, including their iconic “Le Sac 11”. Available in a variety of sizes and hues, we love classic espresso (right) and glossy brown (left).
Photography by Roman Goebel
Fashion by Kamilla Richter