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Achtung Baustelle

News from the Baustelle: It is making progress, but due to the long winter it is also running behind shedule. Our planned opening date with Jeremy Fish (May 29) is not in danger, but the last construction workers will probably shake Jeremy's hand on their way out when we start to set up his show ...

More pictures from the new space (Status March, 31st) can be found here.


7 years ago ... 


This photo was taken on march 29, 2003, exactly seven years ago, at Sternstraße 4, Hamburg. It was at the first opening ever held at the heliumcowboy artspace. So from my perspective, taking the preceding months away that it took to turn an empty space into a gallery, create the art and get the business started, it is like ... our birthday, really. 

Alongside with many memories of a great opening party we held, I most vividly remember this trashed car model sitting on the counter of the bar that night. The stamp of our logo on the door of the model happened more or less by coincidence during the evening and not through the artist's hand. The whole thing was a result of trial and error - initially the car was supposed to be part of the exhibited artwork, but in the process before it got destroyed, serving as the test-material for a series of works that featured various converted car models. Those were a lot shinier though, and not destructed at all. But for me, the image of that messed up car above is what stuck in my mind from that night. 

The images from the opening can still be found online (here). Last year on March 29, we invited one last time to our old space in Schanzenviertel before moving out, a farewell party that was also the finissage of Lena Schmidt's inaugural exhibition (images). And the video below is from the incredible anniversary show we did for our fifth birthday in 2008 (images). 

All this reminds me that today, while our new space is almost done but still not ready and after 12 months during which we've moved from St. Pauli to the Central Station and back again, for the first time in years, we will celebrate in silence. 




Modart - the book. 

Finally, the MODART book arrived at the gallery! I tore open the package, flipped through the pages, liked what I saw - and decided to lean back, grab a coffee and start writing down a purely personal, totally subjective retrospect of the story behind it. Or at least my version of it.

Click to read more ...


Jeremy Fish is coming to town.

As a teaser for the opening of our new space end of may in Hamburg: we found this great video by Upperplayground/Walrus TV about Jeremy Fish, the first artist to exhibit at the new heliumcowboy artspace this year. 

Can't tell you how happy I am to being able to show with Jeremy. And I seriously start to consider moving the gallery to San Francisco ... working out of the back of your Dodge Van overlooking the beach? Skateboarding a converted attaché case that would make James Bond jealous? Come on ...

More interesting features about Jeremy Fish can be found at The Citrus Report. And don't miss his blog at Juxtapoz. Well, there is so much stuff out there, just google the guy and you are entertained for the rest of the week.



Nina Braun on Television

Two days ago, Nina Braun was featured on german television: an insight into her studio and her current work. Check it out online here.

Nina will return to the heliumcowboy artspace later this year with her long awaited next solo-show. Stay tuned.


Back to Hamburg

We are back. Two exiting and exhausting weeks in New York behind us, we took the liberty to close the Ranch for a week. Sitting back at our desks in our temporary transit space we call our home until the big move (April? May!), we enjoy the tranquility of Hamburg - and miss all the rest.

There will be a bigger New York update soon. Currently I am compiling the dearest moments in a five-part mini series over at small-things.eu, an editorial site I am contributing to on a regular basis. As long as the memories are still fresh and we can still hear the laughter of our friends, old and new, echoing in our heads, I am writing down a longer feature over there - my very personal view on the great time we had. The first three parts are online already, once all five have been posted you will also be able to read them in our heliumcowboy-blog. Until then, visit this site for my New York Diaries.

Our finished booth at Volta New York was a boxing gym including (cardboard) locker filled with boxing gear and plastered with pin-ups.. This is how it looked before ... ... and this after take-down. what didn't get sold fit into some folders and a suitcase. World record for heliumcowboy. This includes the take-down time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.


I've added some pictures taken during the last days below: from the very busy closing day of the VOLTA art fair, some city images from New York in springtime (remember, we arrived in a snow storm? well, when we left it was T-shirt weather ...), and impressions from food we ate at really nice places ...

The biggest thankyou goes out to the people that made our stay so special: Ali and Adam from Factory Fresh Gallery for ... everything (so go check out their available artwork section and honour their efforts), Boris and Patrica for the hard work and great company, Isabel for being the undisputed number one assistant director, the best you can wish for; Alex for his "elusiveness", Jonathan for his friendship, Jade for being one of the greatest artists in the world (take care of that St. Pauli-shirt I gave you, remember, it was worn in the stand during so many matches), Jeff and Megan (and good luck with the Restaurant), Amanda and Chris for the support and indestructible good mood, everyone else at VOLTA, Sven for staying a close buddy, and of course all the friends that didn't get mentioned so far. Don't worry, this last part loses 99% of readers after the first six words anyway ... 



Now open: Boris Hoppek & Alex Diamond at Factory Fresh


Ever had an exhibition opening in Brooklyn, New York? We just did, and I can tell you it feels amazing. And we got the images to prove it ... below are some first photos from the opening of DAMAGE:CONTROL, a joint exhibition of Boris Hoppek & Alex Diamond at Factory Fresh Gallery

Too tired today for a longer entry, I will write more when I've recovered from last night. We're counting day 3 of the fair, it is warm and sunny and beautiful in New York and things couldn't go any smoother than during this trip so far... think we need to get some of those tourist shirts with the heart on them and NY next to it. Well, not really. But honestly, this city may never sleep but it most definitely doesn't stop being a perfect host for the heliumcowboys ...



DAMAGE:CONTROL - Boris Hoppek & Alex Diamond team up

Two of the six collaborations by Boris & Alex on display at their joint show at Factory Fresh


Tonight is the night: from 8 - 11 pm, we have our big opening at FactoryFresh Gallery in Brooklyn with the first ever joint show by artists Boris Hoppek and Alex Diamond, titled DAMAGE:CONTROL. I am really looking forward to this, it is really exciting to open an exhibition in New York instead of Hamburg for once. 

The VOLTA NY art fair started pretty well for us. I have the feeling that the mood has improved a lot and that the city tries to prove that art was not neglected or forgotten in the past dark months - people just waited for the right moment to resurface with confidence. 

Today is day 2 of the fair, and yesterday I managed to check out PULSE, one of the other New York fairs, and get wasted in Brooklyn afterwards with my friend Jade Townsend (an incredible artist you have to check out! Click here to view some of his work).

And just finishing this post I learned that heliumcowboy has been nominated as one of the favourite booths during this week's Armory Week Fairs at artlog.com. Nice one, we're up there with big names like Deitch Projects etc. Feels good to be appreciated for the sweat we all are putting into this. Thanks!




VOLTA NY: Let's do this.


Some first impressions from our (finished) booth (C7) at VOLTA NY art fair, shortly before it starts. Boris Hoppek has created a boxing gym environment, using my personal equipment for the display in the cardboard locker. All that's missing now is the smell of sweat, but hey, I guess we can do without it for now.

Today is the grand opening, and as usual it is extremely hard to tell what's going to happen. So many fairs, so many galleries, so many artists are in town, but everyone is really confident that the people of New York will be eager to explore this art-explosion at their doorstep. Armory opened last night, and there were many happy, champagne drinking faces, I guess business is getting better again. Or maybe it was the drinks. As we are having the VIP opening in the morning, we'll start the party with strong coffee ...

More info on VOLTA NY can be found here.  



Setting up at VOLTA NY: Solo booth with Boris Hoppek


VOLTA NY art fair opens its doors tomorrow, and we are almost done setting up our booth. Boris Hoppek still needs to work on a few details, and yes, we need to clear out the inspiring chaos we always create during set up, but other than that we are nearly there. Which is really unusual for the heliumcowboy's - normally we need the full 48-hours build up period.

This time, we almost wallpapered the stand, something we haven't done in a while but seemed the most appropriate thing to do with lots of smaller sized watercolors and photos by Boris. It looks really good. I am very happy with it, and now let's hope that the people of New York appreciate our hard work and Boris' amazing talent. 

Detailed info on VOLTA NY can be found at their website. These are the key facts:

We are at Booth #C7

VOLTA NY is located right across the Empire State Building, at 7 West 34th Street (betw. 5th and 6th Ave.)

THURS, March 4, 2010: Guest of Honors 11a.m. - 12 noon | VIP 12 noon - 2 p.m. | Public 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

FRI - SUN 7: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.


Some impressions from the first day setting up the booth: