“At one time, it was the end of the world,” Leiko Ikemura says about Mitte, the Berlin neighborhood that once sat at the division between East and West. It’s now the vibrant center of the city, and she lives and works there in a building by her husband’s firm, Philipp von Matt Architects.
Her paintings, drawings, photography, and writing all mix representation and abstraction in a way that echoes the interplay of concrete and light in the space around her.
Her studio, which offers natural light from a variety of angles, occupies the ground level. From there,
a staircase spirals up to her office, then her husband’s atelier, and finally the couple’s duplex penthouse.
“I never wanted to be an architect,” she says. “But it’s been a dream since childhood to one day create a home.” This one offers both quiet contemplation and creative interaction, just like Berlin itself.
Site: Solarolo, Italy.
Asked to describe his artistic style, Andrea Salvatori laughs and replies, “Non è facile.” Which roughly translates as: It ain’t easy. That’s because what he creates at his live-work studio in Solarolo, Italy, is very often at a borderline. Pressed to elaborate, he adds, “My road is experimentation, giving everyday things a greater purpose.” A graduate of the Accademia di Belle Arti in nearby Bologna and a lover of futurist art, Salvatori deconstructs the traditional and creates new identities for antiques such as Meissen porcelain figurines. His studio is a testament to his prolific ability, working with objects that he either finds at flea markets or molds himself. Take his series of ceramic rabbits, Metaceramico, peeking into teapots or stuck under blocks. It invites you to play with reality, finding comfort in a topsy-turvy world.
Waowig Studio, the gallery-slash-boutique-slash-studio operated by designer and photographer Moises Esquenazi, appears amid the warehouses of Miami’s art-filled Wynwood neighborhood—like a vision from the future or some retro 2001: A Space Odyssey version thereof. Bubblelike windows are set into the concrete facade, covered in street art. Inside, surrounding a floating bed, shoppers will find an equally eccentric selection of art and objects sourced from Esquenazi’s travels. “It’s a constant evolution,” he says. “Every week, I bring in something different or move things around.” What does he hope visitors will walk away with? “They should feel inspired to make more creative, out-of-the box decisions that can also be elegant and chic,” he says. Papier-mâché ostrich, anyone? In his adjacent studio, he works on naturalist photographs and design projects under the soft glow of a cloudlike chandelier by Molo.
The painter and video artist who goes by the name Louis Rollinde is, alternately, Christian de Beaumont, a designer of frames and furniture to showcase art collections. This double identity offers him a way to experiment in secret, although, inevitably, the two personas overlap. “I think like a framer when I paint, and I’m a painter when I design,” he explains.
No matter the format, he explores the subtleties and contrasts between the clear and the ambiguous. His artwork blends crisp imagery with the softness of the hand. Likewise, his minimalist Paris apartment, furnished with sharply geometric pieces by Pierre Paulin and Harry Bertoia, provides a counterpoint to the ad hoc nature of his studio. “I think of it as another room of my home,” he says. Actually, it’s a quick bike ride away.