Berlin – Pictoplasma

During the Easter holidays, I was lucky enough to visit the city of Berlin. I’d been once before, during one snowy December in 2009, but had only sampled the tourist sights… the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, DDR Museum. I knew there was more to this historic city, so when the chance arose to go back…I didn’t need to be asked twice. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my stories of alternative Berlin in a mini series. By that I mean, the non-tourist aspect that my second visit was  happily consumed by.

Pictoplasma 2013

Billed as the world’s leading festival and conference of contemporary character design and art, Pictoplasma can quickly be described as a visual explosion of colourful creativity. Bright, modern and inspiring, this arts festival is like no other. So, when I discovered I’d be in Berlin for the entirety of the festival, I decided to investigate.

 Four years on, still adopting the same pose, outside FIT, work by Klub7 Artcollective / DE It’s Like That
Held in various venues across the city, Pictoplasma artists take over shop units,  showcase in book shops and feature in art galleries. The festival hosts artists from all over the world, including the UK. You may have heard of Billy&Alex or Felt Mistress, just two of our artists exhibiting at the festival.
 ‘If it looks like art, it probably isn’t’
A quaint book shop hides behind it’s doors the fluffy work of Nina Braun and Moki’s ‘Wanderlust’
With 22 exhibits, scattered across a capital city, you can imagine the task at hand for a four night stay. We managed to see all, but one. My camera snapped over 700 images, some of which you will have seen over on my Instagram. Some of the pieces of art were very, erm, thought provoking. Doodles, fluff and whimsical brush strokes anyone? But that’s what I like about art, it’s subjective. One man’s Picasso is another man’s Turner, or something like that! Here are a few exhibits I enjoyed most.
Felt Mistress
Felt Mistress, aka Louise Evans, a UK based stitcher trained in fashion design and millinery, used to make wedding dresses until her felt creatures took over her day job. And, it’s not hard to see why. Bursting with colour, vibrancy and personality, each creature has its own persona. Whether it be the coffee and doom loving Groam (be wary, he has a wicked tongue) or the ever optimistic and complimentary G’goob (My head is a good size for a hat apparently) there is a creature to appeal to all. My favourite? Stylist and blogging power couple Amphibina De Lorian and Anton Trench (right) but Gooplin (left) is a close second.
* A big thanks to Felt Mistress for helping me fact check the creatures names.
Jon Burgerman
When someone describes themselves as an artist and salad enthusiast, you can tell that there’s humour to be found in their work. Guaranteed to raise a bemused smile, at the very least. Burgerman’s cutesy style hides behind it a deviant yet comical outlook to life. I’m sorry my brain was set to stupid or 2nd place is first place loser. Witty, bright & humorous.  A winner everytime.
Billy and Alex

It’s not hard to see Billy’s (Alex Goodwin) passion for colour and focus on happiness. It’s what hits you the moment you spy any of her work. Whether it be her Pictoplasma exhibit, her work at the brightly coloured Common Bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, or any of the pieces of street art across Berlin, Manchester and even on a school yard wall in Derby, you are guaranteed to raise a smile. Bursting with positivity and energy, Billy’s work is a firm favourite.

Whilst our UK artists captured my attention, there was oodles and oodles of exhibits which caught the attention of my camera.

 So, with good memories , artist’s business cards and a stack of photographs to keep me company, it’s now time to look forward to Pictoplasma 2014!

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