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Oh Boy... One City, Two Worlds

by our Editors in Theatre, Art & Expo , 17 december 2014

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

This year, it is twenty-five years ago the Berlin Wall fell. Shortly after the First World War, Berlin was at the center of creative and social developments. This came to an abrupt end when the Nazis came to power.

Also during the reconstruction period in the 1950s, there were other capitals that had an art scene that was more vibrant. Things would slowly change in the 1970s, when renowned artists such as David Bowie would visit the city for inspiration. Twenty-five years after “die Wende,” Berlin is becoming a true creative metropolis again, attracting artists from around the world, who often settle there.

At the exhibition “Oh Boy... One City, Two Words,” gallery MooiMan proudly presents two promising young artists from Berlin, each with their own world: Georg Weise and Benyamin Reich. Both have the full attention of museums and their curators.

Georg Weise (Berlin, 1973) grew up in Mecklenburg, and has been working in Berlin as a professional artist since 1991. From 1998 to 2003, he studied at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee. In his painting and sculptures, Georg Weise shows romantic scenes of teenage boys, modest but graceful, or as described in German with “Anmut” (charm). The sense of irony in these works, which are made using old paintings, frames and sometimes structures of walls, goes both ways. Not only does he masterfully reuse old paintings - he sometimes uses them in a way artists such as Banksy could not match - but adding a layer of self-reflection and intellectual distance also gives the artist a sense of satisfaction.

Earlier this year, Weise had a retrospective at the Museum Junge Kunst in Frankfurt an der Oder. The publication “Erste Liebe,” which appeared on this occasion, as well as two other books with works by Weise (“Ehrfurcht” and “An Mut”) can be purchased at the gallery.

Benyamin Reich (Jerusalem, 1976) grew up in an ultra-orthodox Jewish family. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. During his youth, he attended religious schools and yeshivas until he left home at a young age to find his way in a world that seemed at odds with his homosexuality.

In his photographic work, he shows the tension between art and religion, perception and memory, but also the contrast between sensuality and the strict formality of Jewish Orthodox religion. Earlier this year, his work could be seen at the exhibition “The Art of Believing” that was compiled by Maarten Spruyt, who also works for the Rijksmuseum. In December an American film crew is expected at the gallery to interview Benyamin Reich there for a future television series about gay artists, their works and the possible conflicts with their environment.

In the exhibition “Oh Boy ... One City, Two Worlds,” both artists show something of the world in which they live, which has shaped them and still inspires them. “Oh Boy ... One City, Two Worlds” is on view until January 5, 2015.

MooiMan Gallery, Noorderstationsstraat 40,
Groningen; opened Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 14:00-18:00.




In the New Issue of Gay News, 335, July 2019

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