We love Art. And we love artists. Especially Berlin based artists! The local art world is just so fertile and exciting! So as part of our “Made in Berlin” series, we are starting to talk to the artists that shape the city’s amazing art scene. Futhermore, we want to find out where they hang out, what they like to do, what inspires them and what role Berlin plays in their art.
Meet Marie M. Benaboud, a very inspiring Berlin based artist that combines photography, architecture and illustratrion to deliver beautiful and powerful urban landscape compositions. Apart from uniquely highlighting our favorite Berlin landmarks, Marie portrays them in a striking yet minimal light. Which we LOVE! Beyond that, all of Marie’s pieces have a personal component. They are all silkscreen printed and handmade in her atelier in the interesting neighborhood of Berlin Wedding.
Without Further ado, meet Marie and learn about her Blackout Cities art project!
Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Morocco, and moved to Switzerland for my studies. During the studies I had the chance to move and live in several cities like Barcelona, Madrid and Boston. I graduated from architecture school about a year ago, and moved to Berlin immediately after. I spent about 6 months to get to know the city and its secrets, and started working in an architecture office.
Why did you move to Berlin?
I’ve heard that Berlin was a great city for a new start, that you can live there with little means and find anything you’re looking for, meet any kind of people you like and be anyone you want. After moving here I discovered Berlin was also an awesome playground for an architecture photographer, you are free to wander in the city anytime you want, find beautiful hidden places, but also very emblematic monuments.
Please tell us about Blackout Cities.
Blackout Cities is born in Berlin, shortly after I arrived. I loved to take photographs in the city but wanted to give them a different atmosphere than my other photographs. One day I grabbed a black pen and started drawing over my favorite shots, rearranging the image with surfaces of black. It was the first Blackout Cities piece: a mixture of architecture, photography and illustration!
What other artists do you interact with in Berlin? How do they inspire you?
As I mentioned earlier, Berlin is really the city where you can find anything you’re looking for. At some point, what I needed was a nice atelier to work and to learn silkscreen printing. Berlin answered my wishes and I entered Stattlab, an atelier of silkscreen printing and photography in Wedding – previously based in the famous demolished Stattbad. We are about 50 members, I learned and still learn a lot from them! These places are really the best when you’re looking for new techniques, inspirations and friends. I also like to visit flea markets where I meet other artists and illustrators; or to participate at festivals of design like Berlin Graphic Days. These are great venues to interact and get to know Berlin based artists.
What’s next for you?
Berlin was the first context for the project Blackout Cities, but now I would like to try the style it generated in other venues. Hopefully I will find time soon to go to the next city of this project. The architecture of eastern Berlin was so inspiring, and I am thinking about going to former USSR cities to find the same brutal qualities.
We would love to know where you hang out and what you do for fun in Berlin. Tell us what a perfect day in Berlin would look like.
A perfect day in Berlin is definitely a day by bike. It is for me the best way to enjoy the city. Especially very late at night / very early in the morning when the city is silent, if not for the birds and some deep bass coming out of clubs. They are those moments that inspire me the most, that’s probably why my drawings never show any human presence!
Tell us your favorite…
– Neighborhood: Kreuzberg / Neukölln / Friedrichschain, for the diversity of people encountered. (and the nights…!)
– Bar: Primitiv in Friedrichschain for Moscow mule. (I first tasted this drink in Berlin and never got enough!)
– Coffee Shop: West Berlin in Kreuzberg for the magazines and the Käsekuchen! (New York style or German style depending on my mood)
– Night club/party: Sisyphos for the crowd (divers and intense), Ritter Butzke for the electro ! (every set is a concert!)