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Creatives in Berlin - Anna Mirkin

January 16, 2023

Thanks to a post in a Facebook group for Israeli women, I got to meet Anna Mirkin, an artist living and creating in Berlin. After I dropped Robin off, I drove from the quiet residential neighborhood where his Kita is located, to the center of Berlin’s oh-so-popular Friedrichshain. This area is known to be very cool, alternative and artistic, and it is the exact opposite of our south-western neighborhood, both in vibe and physical location. That made me extra excited to visit Anna’s exhibition, for which she collaborated with Katharina Trudzinski, in the Gallery im Turm, right in the center of the architecturally impressive Frankfurter Tor.

Frankfurter Allee, Berlin
Architecture at Frankfurter Allee

I was immediately attracted by the location, as well as the colorful and interesting three-dimensional pieces inside the gallery. I always respond to installations that allow you to see the pieces from different angles and walk around them. My experience at the exhibition, titled “A lying sun”, was made extra special thanks to the amazing actual sunlight that came in through the large glass doors, and the soft and delicate movements of the fabrics that were part of the art pieces, both creating a magical ambiance.

Afterward, we sat down for some mediocre coffee, but awesome conversation, in a gorgeous cafe, which seemed like it was frozen in time, thus providing us with an amazing vintage atmosphere.

Anna Mirkin
from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski

What do you do in 5 words or less?

Artist and multi-disciplinary designer.

And in a little more detail -

I’m currently focusing on creating 3D digital images and printing them on different materials. I use primarily two-dimensional surfaces, like paper and textiles, to make three-dimensional forms and installations. I studied fashion design at Shenkar college for engineering and design in Israel, worked as a designer and a stylist, and taught design. I still love this field and these days I design costumes for dance and stage productions. That enables me to continue exploring textiles and textures while avoiding the polluting aspect of the fashion industry and mass production. I created costumes for the show Girlanda performed by The Batsheva Ensemble. last year I collaborated with the choreographer Tomer Zirkilevich, whom I met in the LABA Berlin fellowship program, which connects Jewish artists living in Berlin, and I recently worked with Omer Keinan on his new piece.

Girlanda performed by The Batsheva Ensemble
Girlanda, performed by The Batsheva Ensemble, Photo by Tom Marshak
Girlanda, performed by The Batsheva Ensemble
Girlanda, performed by The Batsheva Ensemble, Photo by Tom Marshak

In the past, I was a street artist, creating under the name Foma, and in 2011 my work was showcased as a part of a street art exhibition at Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv. Painting on walls is still something that I do, but nowadays I do it commercially for firms, restaurants and hotels that hire my services, and as a collaboration with interior design studios, such as the Israeli Yaron Tal and Studio Mu. You can see my art at the Urban loft hotel in Berlin, The Voco Düsseldorf Seestern, Benedict restaurants, the NYX Herzliya hotel, and two Mindspace office spaces in Israel, to name a few.

Mural by Anna Mirkin
Mural by Anna Mirkin

Tell us a bit about your professional journey, what led you to do what you do?

I studied art in school, and later, in college, studied fashion design to direct that interest towards an actual profession. After graduating, I was looking for another form of creative expression and was looking to explore the emotional aspects of my journey as an artist, so I turned to street art. However, I found that it had certain limitations, such as the conceptual and physical materials that I had to work with. That made me transition to installations, which is my favorite creative outlet. I enjoy creating spaces that can be both seen and experienced.

from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski
from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski

Could you share a bit about your relocation to Berlin? When, why, how?

I moved to Berlin four years ago, and all of my friends were already living here. I realized that Berlin offered me more artistic opportunities. Here I can physically experience current exhibitions of artists from all over the world, which is much more exciting and inspiring than seeing it only online.

Has Berlin or the experience of relocation changed your art/design in any way?

In a way, I moved here to allow myself to start over artistically, and that takes away the pressure of the comparison. At first, I closed off, and it took me a while to process my materials again. But I am really happy with what I’m currently doing and I feel that I have more freedom here.

from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski

What do you do on your day off?

I like to go out and enjoy Berlin’s nightlife. I also explore nature, flea markets and exhibits.

What is an essential tool/instrument for your daily work?

A free and open-source program for 3D models named Blender. It makes processes, that used to be very time-consuming, much easier and more accessible. I use it to take photos using my phone and then transform them into 3D models, without needing years of modeling or coding experience. It’s really amazing.

from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski
from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski

What are you currently working on?

The second part of my collaboration with Katharina Trudzinski will take place in Almacen Gallery in Tel Aviv this spring. The first part, which you visited, was showcased in Berlin’s Gallery im Turm a couple of months ago. Both exhibits form a connection between the physical surroundings of the two galleries. I used 3D scans of the public spaces around them and created surrealistic collages of imaginary landscapes. My idea was to explore the way we perceive and remember the public spaces around us, and how our external environment becomes our inner environment.

from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski
from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski

I really enjoy collaborating with other artists and feel that it produces unexpected things. I think a certain way, and suddenly someone else comes along and brings something new to the creative process. Katharina and I both have backgrounds in fashion and textiles, and similarly. we both use two-dimensional materials and transform them into three-dimensional objects.

Can you share one big dream or aspiration of yours?

A solo exhibition in Berlin.

from the exhibition "A lying sun" by Anna Mirkin and Katharina Trudzinski

Anything to recommend to our community? Book, movie, series, exhibition…

The exhibition GHOSTS by Noa Heyne, who I also met during my fellowship with LABA. She is collaborating with Jens Brand and they are showcasing kinetic sculptures with sound at the Galerie weisser Elefant in Berlin. You can catch it until February 4th 2023.

You can see more of Anna's work on her Instagram account and website.

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