The Great Getty

The Getty Museum was the first building in Los Angeles I fell in love with as I visited the city for the first time in May 2023.

Regarding Los Angeles, you hear a lot of stories about when you‘re from Germany, but it’s more about dreams and some fantasies, as the news we receive in Europe come much more from the U.S. east coast, and if you get caught by the fairytales obviously happening and smashed in L.A., you might create your own perception, a dream version of this place on the west coast, until you experience it for the first time, and everything shifts or manifests.

My whole adult life, I was on vacation only a few times. Started being a German federal cop at the age of 16, and I had to travel and move a lot, as we worked all over Germany, I also worked abroad for a couple of years, traveling for vacation was something I was never much into, and I almost spent every vacation at home, which was in so many different places over the years. So there was always something fresh and new to discover, and to grow some fragile roots, until being uprooted again. I loved that for many years, and there was no need to travel at all.

In the last 26 years, I made it to Mallorca only twice, where every German is expected to be at least once each year, and I saw New Zealand in my early 20s for a couple of weeks. And then there are the United States.

I went with a former boyfriend of mine to New York City and Miami Beach, so east coast, for a few days, barely a week, 10 years ago. I was curious, open, interested, but not touched. The boyfriend told me before we travelled already that I wouldn’t love it as much as I fell for Paris, and he was right, not close. I was not ready for the United States, way too romantic, touched by the flair of the 19th century, perfectly caught up in my chosen hometown Baden-Baden, and the rich flair of the Belle Époque, which I feel best in Paris. So I went back to Germany for 10 years without traveling anywhere else than France, Switzerland, and England for one time, but for art, as business, my new one this time, as my cop job belonged to the past now.

And someday Los Angeles came to my mind, and the idea being there never left me. I looked for opportunities, wrote applications, and nobody gave me the chance. So I knew I had to do it by myself. Last year finally, I made it.

You have an amazing view from the Getty, and the architecture is breathtaking. The architect is the famous Richard Meier from New York City, while Robert Irwin was the one who created the garden. So I saw Irwin‘s garden just a couple of months before he died last year in October, at the age of 95 in La Jolla, California, close to San Diego.

Meier had a plan for the garden as well, and I would love to see his design, as there are always different ways to find a perfect unperfect solution, a way to enrich people, and to make them happy. And that is, so I was told yesterday, and I already felt, what Irwin wanted to reach. Irwin wanted to reach people, wanted them to feel his garden, and enjoy spending time there a lot. And they do, they always did, I’ve heard.

Yesterday there was excellent spring weather for picnicking, children rolling over the grass, laughing, enjoying space and beauty. And space is the thing I love about Los Angeles a lot. What a spacious city! How huge! How spread out! The wide roads, all this green in the city. So many, 80 – 100, different, vibrant, colorful, cozy, and beautiful neighborhoods building the second-largest city in the United States. And the space is it that makes the Getty so special as well.

There are other museums and buildings in Los Angeles, but the Getty is something every other city will likely not have the space to build something like this, and where it is built. Time to travel if you don‘t live here, for YOU!

J. Paul Getty was once one of the richest men on earth. He made his money in the oil industry. After his death in 1976, his fortune was managed by the Getty Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust, which oversee his philanthropic endeavors, and a 600-acre area was purchased, and on one of the mountains, the Getty Center was built, starting in 1983/84.

Every time I’m up at the Getty my first walk does not bring me into the visitor hall, how Meier wanted it to be. Instead, I almost run up the floors to the right, and can’t wait to have the view over the land to the west, private properties on different mountains and hills, and to the south, Los Angeles County. I breathe, and I’m fine. I discover new houses, changes in the environment, check on the air – sometimes it’s really foggy, which gives the surrounding a mysterious touch. You might turn around then at some point, and when the sun is up you‘ll see the museum, the different buildings; radiant in that type of light.

The museum is build in two different whites, I was told: the Getty White and the Meier White, referring to the architect. The Meier white is a bit lighter, while the Getty white has a higher percentage. The material is either teflon-covered aluminum or travertine stone. A famous stone from Italy, 16,000 tons of stone were mainly brought in by a barge from Rome to Los Angeles to create this amazing architecture, which, despite all its massiveness, seeks a connection to the people, as it is broken down into divided areas, and there are concave and convex sequences as well. People feel comfortable in its presence, not overwhelmed.

The travertine stone is an adventure in itself to explore. You can see so much if you start watching it closely. There are not only pores in this porous stone; there are imprints from leaves, branches, and differences in enclosed materials. The aluminum is much quieter; it has a smooth, flat surface, but I‘m in love with the travertine.

The buildings would appear much more massive if there were no space left between the individual stones, aluminum plates, and between the individual buildings, too. It’s all about this space, the sunlight, shadow, and material, – the stone, the glass; and with the play of sunshine and shadow, time plays an important role as well. Which time of the day, which time of the year, as some days of the year the angle of the sun is more flat, some days the sun is more powerful so that the contrast is bigger, and, as the architecture seamlessly goes into the garden created by Robert Irwin, the trees from the garden, the leaves, consequently the wind that plays with it, play a role too. It‘s a fantastic composition of art!

Everywhere you go, you can discover architectural frames, where you’re able to look through, like you’re looking through a window into nature, and in doing so you’ll be outside almost all the time.

I love some museums, the modern ones, where a lot of light comes in, so that the building is actively interacting with nature. You can look at art, and calm and soften your gaze very often just by looking out the window to see green, grass, trees, flowers, people walking and enjoying life, and being outside. That’s why I always enjoyed being in the Frieder Burda Museum in Baden-Baden, having the possibility both to see art there and at the same time the beautiful Lichtenthaler Allee. Comparable to this museum is the Fonadation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. I was bored in a lot of big museums, even if the art was wonderful. No light, no air to breathe, not fresh enough, tiring. The Burda and Beyeler are small ones, and I am not even bored a second in the Getty.

The Getty area, unmatched its size, stands out with small exhibition rooms, and between them you step out to another building, caught by the sun, an incomparable Pacific Ocean west coast breeze, before you go in another room with art again. You can also have a coffee, a brownie, a break, watch all these happy people enjoying a day at this beautiful place, you can have another breathtaking view over the city of L.A. or the private properties of celebrities, sit in the garden watching children play, running over the grass, or rolling down the gentle hill.

There are angles everywhere, and the property plays on different levels on the outside; the buildings have several floors as well. It is a place to explore. It is what good architects have always meant or mean, when they talked or when they talk about how good architecture interacts and fits into the environment. The architect Richard Meier made this ideal, this dream come true. The city of Los Angeles, spacious and hilly, makes it the perfect place.

And here we are in the middle of the garden. ‚Walk with the direction of the water!‘, could be the message, starting from the museum buildings towards the south.

I must admit the garden is different from the gardens I know as I grew up and lived in Europe, where we have a lot of French or English gardens which I‘m in love with a lot. This one is the work of an artist, and I’ve never seen a garden like this one before. Robert Irwin never created any other garden, and walking through it yesterday, I thought about how Ed Ruscha, also from L.A., would have created the same place.

This garden by Irwin seems like a canvas painted by the different plants, which come in different sizes and colors. There is a small winding path you walk down, crossing an artificial creek for several times, and sometimes you’re close to the flowers that you can smell them without bending your back, and sometimes they are far away from you.

The surface given by the plants can be more flat and even, or wavy, or you see bushes that close the gap to the trees that cover the garden. These trees are like sculptures, changing as they grow branches, and even more so as they change with the seasons throughout the year. This year, we are experiencing a delay; there are almost no leaves on the trees right now, even though it’s already mid-April. There was an article last week stating that we had more rain than Seattle in Washington state this spring. But I’m sure that if you visit the Getty this upcoming weekend, it will already look different.

The little creek ends in a small round pond where there’s a sort of maze for ducks, it enters as a small waterfall, while the water in the pond is very quiet, and the ducklings we saw there yesterday seemed comfortable, curious, and safe.

Around this pond, on a higher level, there are more trees, providing shade, and there are flowers. People just love walking around there.

The Getty is like a magnet for people, a „Publikumsliebling“, and I‘m not surprised by that. Not only for its art; especially the photography exhibitions are always wonderful. The Getty showcases numerous artworks by Western European artists. But it’s much more than that. It’s one of the most perfect places to spend an amazing morning or afternoon, or even a whole day, just outside Los Angeles, but so close, and surrounded by magnificent architecture, an incredible environment, and fabulous art – sculptures, photographs, drawings, paintings.

Next time, maybe take a closer look at the fascinating travertine stone, imported from Italy.

Notice that in some parts of the architecture, even lavender color, picked up from the mountain opposite, was used.

Take pictures of the many frames the architecture offers, as if capturing your subject through a frame.

And enjoy. The space. The beauty. The Getty.

Thank you Richard, Thank you Robert, Thank you T.


Person by person.

Piece by piece.

It’s an exhibition, and it’s storytelling as well.

A story taking place in the 19th century.

But different people in the usual roles.

It’s art by Hilary Harkness.

And it’s about making history better in the presence for the future.

Focused on the American Civil War.

It’s about racism and freedom, wealth, however you define it, and love. The story Hilary tells in her pictures, inspired by her wife Ara, who’s black.

„To be Black, prosperous and free still comes at an enormous cost,“ does the artist write in her little booklet, which you were able to purchase during the exhibition which ends in two days.

Wimmelbilder. There’s a lot to see. A lot to interpret. 

Have a look at Hilary’s other works, too. 

The artist is represented by P.P.O.W. gallery.

New York . Broadway

Welcome to the Art World

It must have been Spring 2020 when I watched a Sotheby’s auction on YouTube for the first time. The auctioneer was Oliver Barker from London, UK, and he opened with the words: „Welcome to Sotheby’s.“
And in the live chat, a handsome gay guy commented, „Welcome to my bedroom, Mr. Barker.“
Well, while not the epitome of class, I choose it as a captivating introduction for my article about the auction of the Emily Fisher Landau collection held yesterday evening in New York City.
Furthermore, it stresses the magnetic presence and performance of this charismatic auctioneer.

An auction is not just a lil bid about action, positive drama, and entertainment as well; precisely this is a significant part of it, whether dealing with cattle or art.
Today is about art, and yesterday was a noteworthy day, a wonderful night.
The first evening auction I’ve ever attended, and I express a big „thank you“ – Sotheby’s knows why … Oliver Barker was the auctioneer, and everything went smoothly.

Emily Fisher Landau, “an era defined”, – to use the title used for the auction, was a female art patron with her own museum, who died this year at the age of 102 in Palm Beach, Florida.
These American lady had a fantastic art collection, including the biggest American contemporary and modern art player. And not exclusively; the first lot was one by the German painter Josef Albers, born in Bottrop, later moved to New Haven. „Homage to the Square: Yellow Resonance“ was estimated between 1,500,000 – 2,000,000 and performed well.

The surprising artwork was one by Agnes Martin, Lot No 8, which doubled its estimate to 1,600,000. Other works by this artist in the size the sold lot had are a rare find, but you’ll get lucky in finding them in two museums in the US: one in New York, East Coast, the other one in San Francisco, West Coast.

Not so surprising was the Picasso, Lot 10, which was „estimated upon request.“ Pablo Picasso ist eine Bank im internationalen Kunstmarkt! Höchstpreise! Chapeau! The painting, inspired by Picasso’s young blonde lover Thérèse Walter, sold for 121,000,000 (without tax).

Buy me an island! five to ten ranches with horses and happy cows in the American Countryside!
A significant Picasso in strong and clear colors.
Other masterpieces, all by Americans, including Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jasper Johns with his double American flag, Calder, Indiana, more.

And I love to mention Ed Ruscha, who is one of my 5 all-time favorites. He becomes more and more unattainable. Three works by him were in yesterday’s Emily Fisher Modern Evening Auction, the first part of the Auction Trilogy, which sold for 6,000,000, 13,000,000, and 39,000,000 million dollars (with tax).

In total, the auction, consisting of 31 lots, generated 406.4 million.

Stay tuned! To be continued.

The 2nd and 3rd parts of the auctions will take place on November 13th and 15th in New York. A consolation, if you can’t join it in person, is that there might be the possibility to join the auction online. Whether you choose to read the comments there or not.

I by myself like New York a lot-lot, but might stay, this time, home, in LA. On the other hand you never know. Sometimes life’s an auction, too.

Larger than Life

Well, no, not larger than life, but life itself:


And wow.

And weird.

And special, so special.

„Super squeeze!“

Jason Hackenwerth is a Florida-based artist, *1970 in St. Louis / MO, renowned for his balloon sculptures, and also his paintings. He was recently showcased at kcontemporary in Denver, Colorado, where I had the opportunity to witness his artwork for the first time, and he was currently creating a piece of art – an own little world – for a private party in sunshine-LA.

It’s all about joy. Everything! The process of creating these sculptures and the final result, because if there is any form of art that delights and inspires both children and adults alike, it is his art. 

These balloons! These Leichtigkeit des Seins!

Color, crafted creatures, mythical beings, tactile sensations, the playfulness, your sparkling eyes, forgotten world troubles, moments of pure happiness, or rather, 

hours of happiness for private occasions, 

creating memories, 

from galleries to museums ..

Jason’s artwork has been exhibited at the Guggenheim New York.

„It’s all about the process,“ he says when asked what it means for him to hand these sculptures to private owners, a party, knowing they might even be dismantled the next day. 

For him, the process is what really fascinates, touches, amazes, him. To design, the sketches, the selection of colors. Balloons are inflated after buying around 10,000 or even 20,000 of them for an event like today’s. 



And the music blares, while there’s dancing and laughter, and hundreds of balloons are loaded and linked to each other during a week of intense work.

Inflate it.

Load it.

Pop it.

Super squeeze!

… Insider.

When displayed in public buildings, these sculptures may last for three to five months, Jason says. Every day, they slowly lose a bid of air, and everyone has their own idea about when a sculpture looks the most appealing, at what level of inflation.

If a sculpture is robust and full of air at the start, its forms and colors gradually merge with time, just like in life: To be in awe, getting closer, more relaxed, and form deep connections. 


And sometimes it is broken before that.


And this art brings joy to the table! 

At a party venue, it will hang above you as you sit there, 

an adult, well-behaved at the lavishly set table, already secretly tapping your foot to the music’s rhythm, and it will catch your attention, whispering in your ear: 

‘Play with me! Now! Tomorrow I might be gone!‘

Thank you, Jason. It was both a pleasure and a lot of fun to meet you in LA and work with you! Grateful for you and your team. May your sculptures bring moments of greatest joy to life, everywhere to everybody, and they undoubtedly will.

Art is surprising .
Art is super-super food for your soul .
Earned it ! Look at art !

Please remain (or become) optimistic

“ I shared with her that having been super optimistic for most of my life, I felt that with the advent of social media, which should have brought the world closer together, the exact opposite had happened.  A Pandora’s box was opened and reawakened the worse demons of the 20th century. This led me to becoming for the first time quite pessimistic. She implored me to stay staunchly optimistic since with the way energy works and spreads our sole hope and solace will come from never giving up.

I have taken her advice to heart. Let’s focus our energy on empathy, soft power, positivity, love, compassion and tolerance.”

Please be worried

& let me entertain you anyway.

It’s all fake.

Everything is fake.

And I don’t mean the quiet science about art, in university or somewhere else. This quietness, this striving, this deep digging, breathing dusty books, for months, years. Circling around the same thing always.

Feel my weight!

I mean the art market. The art market is fake. A huge show. An even bigger entertainment. The hype is real! Everything is loud, even if the artwork might be quiet and super soft, behind this artwork, there’s nothing gentle. It’s business! often faster than the speed of light.

It’s oversaturated, indulgent, an insatiable huge wolf in sheep’s clothing, on a mission for art.

It’s the world’s Las Vegas!

It’s the class clown, who will later lead a far more successful, happier, and more colorful life than any diligent top student. Passing by real life, you sly one, breaking all the rules!

It’s all fake!

Is it the bear, the bull, the Wolf of Wall Street?

Gulliver’s Travels of conscience?

Peter Pan wonders about Alice in Neverland, and the other way round?

Planet of the Power Apes. And I love this world so much!

Be entertained, even if you hate being entertained in all its storytelling, this bottomless superficiality, seemingly creating value. Feel it, absorb it, this is the way to make it through!

Saying it’s all about the money? Well, we all know you love money anyway! And you can’t beat someone, something, tralala, that never gives up. Let me tell you, as much as science might be an overdose of „Sitzfleisch,“ the art market has an infinitely long breath.
Breathe! And look at art. If it helps you look for the truth, the meaning, the sense behind it. It’s there too.

Greatest fun with a purpose!

The art market is like an Indian bareback racing horse, painted with artificial colors. Seen in Sheridan in July : The real horse. And in Denver lately : A painting.

To put it in a nutshell: The art market knows how to party!


Sheridan is a city in Wyoming, and my first-time-rodeo-Indian-bareback-horseracing-experience.

Artwork: by Marc Dennis, New-York-based.

Dan Success ! Love, lavishly, flavinly, your Haters and Shine THE Light !

Once there was a time in my life when I was deeply drawn to the 19th century and the century before it, to its romanticism and beauty. I fell in love with the architecture, the literature, – especially the Russian one, the paintings, the romance, and I believe I’m still a romantic person at times, but there was always more.

As I began to study art history, embraced all things from the 19th century. Fortunately, by chance or fate, I lived in the dream town to do that .. reveling in a bygone era, in the German Disneyland of this century: Baden-Baden. Beauty never goes out of style. And, in my eyes, Baden-Baden is unmatched in its beauty.

New York, might be the city with a vibe unlike any other, defies comparison.

And so is Baden-Baden as a town, incomparable to anything anywhere, in its quiet beauty, a place that leaves you in pure awe for eternity

I’m someone who loves to ignite a fire from a spark, and Baden-Baden meant much more to me than just a spark, I think, for everyone. So, there was this immense love for the 19th century, too; it was a wonderful enchantment. And, fortunately, be it fate or coincidence, there was always more.

As I started studying and attended Art Basel in Basel Switzerland for the first time, it offered a completely different perspective from the insights and feelings I gained at university. Everything at university revolved around the history of European art, with a lot-lot of focus on Italy and less on Dutch, German, and French art and artists.

All about : The roots.

Deeper knowledge.

Des Pudels Kern. Des Teufels Eichhörnchen.

But in Basel, there were two artworks that captured my attention, my heart, more than any other artwork. It was September 2019. Well, yes, and it was actually one month before I began my studies. And I had no clue.

Two artworks by two completely different American artists. One was a painting by Robin Francesca Williams, based in Brooklyn, New York, represented at P.P.O.W. gallery, younger than me.

The other was an installation by Dan Flavin. Pink and bright, placed on the floor, not on the wall, as he preferred his artwork to directly face the viewer.


Dan Flavin, born in 1933 in New York State, lived until 1996, and is considered a minimalist artist, something I never quite understood because he was, is, able to evoke such strong emotions with his style of art.

Minimalism, but more is more, and less is a bore!

Do we really need to categorize everything we see, feel, and experience? But let it be as it is, – as a kind of art too. Philosophical. But with a far from minimal impact. Dan!

The repetition of individual elements, combined into a single work, can be the minimal part.

The geometry, simplified, straight, often slender, can be the minimal part.

The tranquility, even with fluorescent light, sometimes in a multitude of colors in an artwork of this considerable dimensions, can be the minimal part.

Nichts ist so aufreizend wie Gelassenheit .. „Lack the look of history,“ these installations, as Dan once put it, „but are light itself.“ He wanted them to be recognizable in one way or another, an artwork that doesn’t dictate a specific direction but can be seen in various ways.

A suggestion rather than an explanation.

A guess in art.

An installation. A sculpture too? „I think Flavin wants … a particular phenomenon.“ „Lumination was, is, the phenomenon.”

A sense of wonder, an event.

I want that too!

By fate, coincidence or chance.

Dan Flavin . ”Untitled (for A. C.)” . 1992 . Denver Art Museum .
L.A. – & let’s be mischievous !
Denver – & let’s have some fun !

More is more. Less is a bore.

Inspired by Richard Shiff’s „Writing after Art“ . Zwirner Books . And, of course, Dan Flavin’s installations. I saw the last one in Denver, where I’m right now. Again.


You bet!

Cheyenne in Wyoming, founded in the late 19th century, main capital, 65 000 people, and named after the Cheyenne Native American people, has an art scene. Of course it has! And artists!

One such artist is Brandon Bailey, a 39-year-old painter born in this city. He has always been deeply fascinated by the outdoors and has had the opportunity to travel to countries like New Zealand and Africa in the past to study their flora and fauna. This practice mirrors the traditions of 19th-century painters who ventured abroad to enhance their skills, gain new perspectives, see something new, unexpected, unpredictable.

Brandon’s western art is magnifique!

– and that’s French, while his themes represent the American dream and freedom, along with his own passions, because in the past he used participate in competitive bull riding events.

„I figured if I can ride a two-thousand pound wild farm animal, there is nothing I can’t at least try to overcome.“

Brandon Baily

American mindset, as American as his paintings. 

In Cheyenne, Brandon is represented by the Gallery Deselms Fine Art & Custom Framing. This gallery also features other notable artists such as Cathy Nicholas, whose distinctive style captures the essence of farm and ranch life using a variety of color hues and painting shapes from another world, absolutely not the countryside ..

Mick Shimonek is another artist. Fell in like and love with his wide-brushed landscape paintings. And there are many more talented artists to explore at this gallery who you could love or fall for.

Gallery Deselms Fine Art & Custom Framing is most well-known for its bronze sculptures displayed throughout Cheyenne. These sculptures can be found in more than 70 locations across the city. Accessible by car, or you could go on foot, lustwandeln!

– and this is German, while the themes of the sculptures are distinctly American, representing its wildlife, its visions, and its realized dreams.

Furthermore, I recommend the Cheyenne Artist Guild, and the Manitou Galleries.

It’s wonderful to witness the thriving art scene in Cheyenne, which celebrates the city’s heritage, its connection to the American West, and its appreciation of the arts. This artistic vibrancy enriches the cultural life of both residents and visitors alike.

All photos of the paintings, detail photography, too, taken in the mentioned galleries, or in the street, in and around Cheyenne.
For information about the artists, contact me via email

Being humble might be overrated . Maybe .

Sorry not sorry,

excuse me,

or whatsoever ..


who had the idea to schedule Art Basel Miami Beach at the same time as the Final U.S. Rodeo’s in Las Vegas in December?!!?

I could possibly cancel an appointment, a date, with Elon Musk for one of the two events, but can’t decide this, these, that!

East Coast. Nevada.

Nevada. East Coast.


Miami or Vegas? Art or Rodeo? Champagner or scream & shout?

City or Country art? Bisons or Black Angus – on the canvas, on the plate?

New York or L.A.? Gallery or Auction House?

Christie’s or Sotheby’s? Figurative or Abstract? Europe, Asia, or the U.S.?

Richter or Rothko? Hockney or Hirst?

Contemporary or Temporary?

Passion or Patience? Buy, keep, or sell?

Take it all, take two,

I’m happy with YOU ! :

— until December . ..

Las Vegas or Miami ?