I like to call it Corona mist. It makes our lives foggy and uncertain. As we put one foot in front of the other, who knows when the next turn will be. And titling it as such for this story adds a tat of irony as it was actually a beautiful sunny day (and the art was colourful and by no means misty). It was the weekend when the city of Berlin decided to open up its restaurants and galeries again. Despite it all, the show must go on. It was a Saturday.
The sun is shining, and people are thirsty for food, art and mingling. I get invited to join my sister and her boyfriend to a vernissage at König Galerie. The old St.Agnes church that was converted into a space for emerging and contemporary art. It’s one of my favorites. A vernissage during these particular times requires guest list, as only a few can enter at once. Mask on or mask off, that’s to ones discretion. Luckily, we qualified as friends and family since Flo knows the galerie’s technical director.
I was very much looking forward to being in that space, and immersing myself in art for a moment. Art that was seeing light of day for the first time and entering public gaze. In a way, we had that in common. The space is calm and serene. Three employees at the front desk are whispering to each other and barely notice us walk by. The young man lifts his eyes as I turn the corner. I see through the side door some of the cool cats hanging out in the backyard, sipping on rosé. Mmm rosé I think to myself. The artist and friends I suppose. Corona seems to not exist in here. It’s nice.
We get to the chapel. A series of colourful paintings depicting different characters interacting with flowers takes over the space. I have a thing for eternal flowers, so this exhibit caught my attention evermore so. The colours are rich, the scenery seems to anchor itself somewhere between dream and reality. Some flowers are eaten, others are picked, some form a bouquet others are stepped on. Some are big, some are small. One particular painting attracts my attention. I like to call it The love hate relationship between a mother and a child. But I don’t know what the title is til this day and I intend to keep it that way. Funny enough, it was the last piece still available for purchase. And it was bought at that very moment.
The artist comes out to greet us. She has a very familiar face and stride. Someone could’ve told me we went to high school together and I would’ve believed it. Little did I know we would both be ordering pizza at Standard a couple of hours later.
“Congratulations on the exhibit, it’s beautiful. The colours and faces remind me of South America… was this an inspiration of yours?”
“My inspiration comes from the Portuguese farmland and its socialist values. I’m very drawn by the simplicity of their lifestyle and the nature that surrounds them.
“And how long have you been working on this series?”
“Wow that’s fast… you must feel good, the show is evidently quite a success.”
“Yes, I’m very happy!”
I wish I had asked more questions now that I think about it. But those few unplanned exchanges at the moment felt satisfactory. The artist is Conny Maeir. A Berlin born and based artist to be looking out for. She also lives in Portugal part of the year. And used to illustrate children books. Domestic will run until June 14th 2020.