Category Archives: Berlin

What a town!

Mold Making

photo by Katherin York

photo by Katherine York

photo by Katherine York

photo by Katherine York

photo by Katherine York

Thanks so much to Katherine York for helping out with the process and documentation! Check out her beautiful photos linked above.

 

Something Wild

 

Hey Ya’ll,

been a while since I posted anything. So here goes!

In addition to all the comedy I’ve been doing at night, I have have also been working on a commission for Barre Sculpture Studios back in Vermont. The project is a wild boar, to be carved in granite this winter. Here are some progress shots so you can see the evolution of the piece.

(C) Barre Sculpture Studio

(C) Barre Sculpture Studios

(C) Barre Sculpture Studios

(C) Barre Sculpture Studios

(C) Barre Sculpture Studios

To get a better idea of hair direction, here is a drawing that was done over the photo for some final editing before the sculpture is cast.

(C) Barre Sculpture Studios

 

(c) Barre Sculpture Studios

 

ComedySportz videos: First of Many

Check us out with our new internet web presence! I’m so psyched to be back in Berlin with so many funny, talented people around me! Enjoy!

Practice piece/ Übungsstück

I’m far from Granite country, ladies and gents. Out here in Germany, they most carve sandstone. There may be work for me in the future, but first I have to show that I can also carve sandstone like they do in the old country.

This piece is being done entirely by hand (no pneumatics or angle grinders) and without pointing. It’s not exact, it’s not as accurate as I’d like it to be, but it’s been a great learning experience. Sandstone is a delight to carve, and is very much like modeling in clay, as opposed to the uphill battle that is granite carving.

 

The stone I chose wasn’t big enough to fit the entire body of the dophin, and I didn’t want to do the extra work of measuring to make a half size version so I could fit the entire body into the stone. In hindsight, that may have been easier and more beneficial… the version I am making now is the dolphin coming out of the water, without the fin on his back.

Hopefully I get this done before I bounce to Thailand for the winter!

 

 

It’s getting dark much earlier these days, and by the time I want to take some photos at the end of the day it’s dark already. The hold doesn’t help me hold the camera steady, either… here is the practice piece with the model I am loosely working from. It’s a kind of baroque dolphin that you would see in Italy — in fountains, door handles, belt buckles, etc. Not much like a dolphin at all, aber ist einfach so.

This is still very rough. Lot of work to go, but I love how fast things can go once you know what you want. I am not really at a point where I can fluently make observations and then go to the right chisel to get what I want. It’s trial and error until the owner of the shop comes by and say, “What the hell are you doing? You do it like this…”

The chisels that one uses for sandstone are very different from the chisels for granite. They are all very thin and sharp, and you never pound the stone directly. It’s more like modeling with a rake tool in clay. You might notice that some of the surfaces are pretty smooth. That’s because I have no idea what I am doing and I wanted to try out the flat chisels. I know now that the entire sculpture should be covered in rake marks (the striped pattern on the back created by a 4 toothed chisel) until the very end.

After showing the pictures to Jerry from Barre  he reacted with a similar, “what the hell are you doing?” but after the initial wave of criticism he softened up and said I should make the scales rounder, and pop in the eye so I know what I’m doing. So here’s where I’m at now.

Of course, Jerry was right. The rest of the piece seems to make more sense now. Next on the list is the lips and teeth, the I will probably finish up with smoothing out the back and doing the rest of the scales.

So this is the start of my first piece in sandstone. I have really enjoyed it, and learning about new tools and techniques. More to come later on!

GIGS, BABY!

Could I get a hell, yes!?? First travel gig. Me and the boys from Berlin gonna SHOW YOU SOMETHIN’, the 10th and 11th in ANTWERP, baby! Check us out this Saturday at the Barcode in Antwerp, Muntstraat 22. and Sunday at Cafe the Joker

 

Group Show in Prenzlauerberg

I was fortunate enough to be a part of a group show at new gallery in Prenzlauerberg across from the Kulturbrauerei called GHYCZY. To be more specific, I was exhibiting my jewelry in the section of the gallery called New Values. These are just the kind of talented artists I would like to be shown with!

Here are some Photos from the opening that at the end of September.

Thanks very much to Ksenia Obukhova for having me in the show!  Also thanks to Nick Simpson for taking these photos, and if you would like to see more pictures of my jewelry and know a little bit more about it, look under the Schmuck/Popular Usage tab on the top right corner of this page.

Absalon bei Kunst-Werke Berlin


In his interview with the Ecole Nationale Superierure des Beaux-arts (Paris Academy of the Fine Arts) the artist Absalon refers to himself as an architect aspiring to “close the gap between his thoughts and his life”. The embodiment of these aspirations are his houses, or Cells, which are indeed the center pieces of the exhibition presented by the Kunst Werke Institution of Contemporary Art in Berlin. The exhibition is the most thorough presentation of Absalon’s art to date, and covers nearly his entire body of work.

Before his untimely death in Oct. 1993 due to AIDS, Absalon was realizing his most ambitious project in which six Cells of his design were to be installed in six different cities (Paris, Zürich, Frankfurt, New York, Tel Aviv, Tokyo) where the artist would then live in them for an extended period of time.

 

At first glance Absalon’s white Cells look as if they are an ultra-modern housing development from Apple Computers, but are built with the wisdom of antiquity by using measurements taken from the artists own body. Absalon painstakingly took measurements of his height, arm span, and shoulder width to serve a minimalist form and function. In addition, the houses are built for specific sties in each city, yet emphasize a complete cultural disconnect with their surroundings.

Absalon’s houses are “in no way utopian”, and are minimal to the point of playful discomfort. Once inside, one does not always have the ability to stand up straight. The rooms afford only enough room to serve basic single functions, and are intended to demonstrate how we can learn to live with discomfort through custom or routine. The Cells were originally intended to be left unkempt after fulfilling their use, making their preservation an otherworldly monument to life.

 

After viewing the entire exhibition one can see the close attention Absalon pays to process, in how he brings his Cells to life from sketch, to scale model, and finally full scale construction. The installation of sculptures on the second and third floors bear resemblance to his scale models, as if he always had something larger and more prolific in mind.

Here is a great link to a video of the exhibition and interview (Deutsch) with the director of Kunst-Werke Berlin, Susanne Pfeffer.

http://www.art-in-berlin.de/incbmeldvideo.php?id=2022

Steinrestaurierung Hoferick: Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft

Dialog der Kulturen

Ein Amerikanischer Steinbildhauer interviewt einen Deutschen Steinbildhauer.

SW: Sean Williams

Wie bist Du zu deinem Beruf Steinbildhauer gekommen?

A: Andreas Hoferick

Mein Vater geriet im Kalten Krieg zwischen die Fronten und wurde 1972 beruflich passiviert. Daraus erwuchs in mir der Wunsch beruflich etwas ganz Anderes zu werden und die musischen Ambitionen meiner Mutter führten mich zur Bildenden Kunst. Die lange unfreiwillige Kindheit in der DDR und sozialistische Erziehung gegen die ich mich früh genug positioniert habe und deshalb nicht an den DDR-Kunsthochschulen studieren durfte, führte zu einem ausgeprägten alternativem Denken. Deshalb auch der Umweg über eine Bergbaulehre im Kupferschieferbergbau (Lehrling im Bergbau) . Danach begegnete ich auf meiner Suche nach einer Bildhauerwerkstatt dem Steinbildhauermeister J. Klimes in Berlin. Er war Leiter einer Klassischen Bildhauerwerkstatt mit 27 Kollegen und vermittelte historisches Handwerk in der Steinbildhauerei. Kulturell und alternativ orientierte Menschen hatten in der DDR lediglich in einer Nische eine Überlebenschance. Und für mich bot sich diese Gelegenheit in der Werkstatt Klimes. Isoliert von der Welt, konnte ich mich in 11 Jahren Anstellung den Klassischen Stein-Skulpturen widmen, die es zu rekonstruieren galt, denn durch den II.WK waren in Berlin hohe Verluste entstanden.

 

SW: Wie und wann ist Deine Werkstatt gegründet worden?

A: Als die Werkstett Klimes 5 Jahre nach der „Maueröffnung“ in dem Neuen Wirtschaftssystem nicht mehr überlebensfähig war entschloss ich mich 1995 mit 3 weiteren Kollegen eine kleinere Werkstatt auszugründen und ich fand Anschluss an des Kollegium der Restauratoren Berlin welches eine freie Assoziation von Restauratoren im selben Stadtbezirk Weißensee war und ist. Von 1989-1993 studierte ich an der TFH – Wedding Steinrestaurierung, so kann ich meine  Steinbildhauerischen Arbeiten unterstützen.

15 Jahre lang (1995-2010) ist es mir gelungen die Werkstatt Hoferick in demselben Stil wie die Werkstatt Klimes weiterzuführen, allerdings nur noch mit 7 Mitarbeitern.

SW: Welches war das Projekt mit der interessantesten Herausforderung für Dich und warum?

A: Pferdeportraits sind noch vor den Kolossalskulpturen wie z.B. der der „Caritas“ welche eine Größe von 5,70 m besitzt, eine besondere Herausforderung. Abgesehen von meiner unbefangenen Entdeckung, dass Pferde Fabelwesen gleichen, ist die Skulptur eines Pferdes wohl das Komplizierteste was einem naturalistisch arbeitenden Bildhauer begegnen kann.

 

SW: Wie ist Deine Werkstattphilosophie?

A: Skulpturen oder Ensembles zu schaffen, die der vermeintlichen Kurzlebigkeit unserer Zeit widerstehen. Wir kreieren die historische Zukunft in unserem Metier: Steinbildhauerei

SW: Wie sieht die Zukunft für Dich aus?

A: Was ich als nächstes machen will ist meine KUNST in anderen Ländern und Kulturen bekanntzumachen und an den in der Kunst bisher üblichen Selbstdarstellungen vorbei zu agieren. Z.B Themen anderer Kulturen aufzunehmen und in einem kulturellen Dialog bildnerisch darzustellen.

English:

SW: How did you become a Stone carver?

 A: Andreas Hoferick

In the cold war my father operated between the two fronts and was occupationally passified in 1972.  From then on there grew a desire to become something completely different and my mother’s musical ambitions drove me to fine art. The long restricted childhood in the DDR and socialistic upbringing, which I had been against early on and thus didn’t allow me to study in the DDR fine art colleges, lead me to an distinct alternative route. I began with the indirect route of becoming and apprentice in a copper mine. Afterwards during my search for a scupture workshop I came across the Stonecarver J. Klimes in Berlin. He was the head of a classical sculpture workshop with 27 co-workers and subcontracted historical works of sculpture. Cultured and alternatively oriented people in the DDR’s only chance to survive was finding a Niche. The workshop of J. Klimes offered me this opportunity. Isolated from the world, I was able to dedicate 11 years of employment to classical stone sculpture intended for reconstruction, and the many losses of WW2 in Berlin provided ample work.

 SW: How and when did you establish your workshop?

A: When Klimes’ workshop was no longer viable in the new economic system 5 years after the ‚opening of the wall’, 3 other colleagues and I resolved to start up a small workshop and found connections in the College of Restuaration Berlin which is a free association of conservators in Weißensee. From 1989 to 1993 I studied stone conservation at the TFH-Wedding (University of Applied Sciences), which supports my work as a stone carver. For 15 years I successfully ran the workshop Hoferick in the same fashion as the workshop Klimes, if only with 7 co-workers.

SW: Which was the project with the most interesting challenge for you, and why?

A: Horse portraits, even in comparison to collossal sculptures like „Caritas“ which is 5.7m tall, are especially challenging. Irrespective of my naive observations, the horse is that of a myth, and the form of a horse if definitely the most complicated form that a figurative sculptor can come up against.

SW: What is your workshop Philosophie?

A: To create sculptures or compositions, that withstand the professed humanity of our time. We create the historical future in our profession: Stonecarving.

SW: What do you have in mind fort he future?

A: What I want to do next is to make my art well known in other countries and cultures, and to work past what has been traditionally called self-expression in art. For example: taking up themes of other cultures and expressing them in a visual cultural dialogue. Stone carving is an age-old tradition in which every person doesn’t have to think of within a specific epoch or culture and in times of such global thinking it is important to foster a continuation of these skills.

 

Fotos mit freunchliche Genehmigung von Andreas Hoferick

Photo provided courtesy of Andreas Hoferick

Comedy Sportz

I’m going slightly tangent to the fine art nature of this blog, and want to share with everyone a new venue of expression that I have recently found, and even more recently began to take part in. Comedy Sportz is an Improvisation comedy group (like Whose line is it Anway, but in a sports format) that I have been rehearsing with for a little over 2 months now and last Saturday was the first performance of the new group members that came through auditions a couple months ago. We are known, so far, as the “green team” — and we killed! Photos:

That was the first time I had performed in front of an audience that big for over 6 years. After four years of an introverted mindset brought on by art school, I can’t tell you have good it feels to get back in touch with my inner Dionysus… Thanks so much to all the talented people who I performed with, and to everyone who came for a laugh. I will keep the blog updated on further performances — and who knows — maybe even a little more theater on the side? BREAK A LEG!

RSP/Damstuhltrager Studio Week 2

After a month back in Berlin, I was given the extreme privilege of taking over the downstairs at Rockelmann Stuhltrager Projects for a 2 month residency. The first week I moved all relevant materials into the space, and by now I have started a few drawings and busted out some smaller ideas that I have been wanting to do for a while.

Here are photos of the space.

The space is plenty of room to make big drawings, a few clay pieces, and some smaller casts that I a working on. For the past week I have been trying out a faux bronze patina on polyurethane casts. Eventually, I would like to do larger pieces with this technique but for now these are fun experiments.

There are larger drawings and clay pieces going on, but they are in the beginning phases.

The Youth

I am very pleased to announce that I have found a new location for my Jewelry line, Popular Usage, in Berlin. After reading about the opening of Wasted German Youth on my favorite blog, I then went in myself to see if they had any interest in displaying some AWESOME jewelry. They were excited about the project and offered to display them in the store for the summer and see what the response is. You can find Wasted German Youth at Memhard Strasse 1 next to Alexander Platz.

I look forward to working with the good people at Wasted German Youth and further possibilities for collaboration. Special thanks to Paul Snowden for taking such an interest in my work. Here’s cool man Paul, man of Berlin design mystery, pictured below.

Knight Performance

As Times get tough here in Berlin one has to take whatever job comes their way. Last weekend, as a part of Gallery Weekend Berlin, I was asked to play a part in a performance by the Italian artist Pietro Roccasalva at Johnen Gallery.

When I asked if the gallery still needed people for the performance (at which point I had no idea what I would have to do) they said, “Yeah, it involves painting using a spray gun.”  Sounded simple enough, “How tall are you?” There was a follow up call to double check my height. When I got there I was taken to the room where the performance was going to be, and looked down on the floor to see full sized plastic knight armor laid out. “What’s that for?”, I asked. I looked back at the gallery director to see a finger pointing at me.

Laugh track.

So I tried the suit on. Felt good, felt real good. Then I had to try it out with the spray gun. “You’re really good with that! Could you go a little slower?” Little did they know that I had experience with a spray gun. The last detail was that I had to spray another knight while he was spray painting me.

Roll the tape.

Notice how there is no armor covering the butt.

If I were to then do paintings of these photos, would that be considered self-referential? I’m the one on the left, by the way.

There were two performances. One on Friday night, and the other on the following Saturday afternoon. The performance took, from head to toe, one hour to complete. These photos were taken, as always, by Nick Simpson on the Saturday performance. Hopefully I can get some photos from the opening. That was only the first gallery I went to that night.

Buda

I finally got some decent pictures from the exhibition in Budapest. The cars look great, and Hajnal will have them on display at the Kiscelli Museum until the and of May. All in all, it was a great trip and I really love the city.

The room where the full size car is installed is HUGE. It used to be a cathedral and the sound is amazing. It was great to finally see the car I was modelling in real life! I think I did okay working just from photos, but mine turned out to be a little more sporty than the real life version.

It snowed on the day of the exhibition, but we spent most of the day at the outdoor thermal baths with little snow flakes falling on our heads and creating a massive fog cloud over the pool. That was a great day. The picture really doesn’t do a justice, but here’s one.

Just imagine looking for your girlfriend in the fog, and getting a big handful of fat hairy Hungarian man instead… “Hellllooo you…OH GOD! I mean, excuse me!”

The End