At the window

Caspar David Friedrich's Woman at the Window painting inspired Christoph Niemann's artwork for the cover of a German art magazine.

From the Series

For the special summer edition of Berlin-based art magazine Weltkunst wanted  to break the mould of always using a photograph of an artist, collector or museum director on the cover.

So the editor, Lisa Zeitz, approached her husband – who happens to be Christoph Niemann, to come up with something fresh.

Keen to produce a piece of art that relates to both the city of Berlin and current affairs, Niemann took the new Berlin Airport as his cue and inspiration. Remembering Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Berlin Street Scene from MoMA, Niemann decided to alter it somewhat to depict the group of 1920s hipsters striding down a gangway. It was ideal for the cover of Weltkunst.

But then, just days before going to bring, it was announced that the airport wouldn’t, in fact, open for another nine months. This meant that Niemann’s cover concept could not be used.

So Niemann “did what illustrators do when they are done cursing the idiocy of their clients”. He says: “I started out of my window.”

This proved to be a particularly inspiring action for Niemann who then remembered Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Woman at the Window. Niemann replaced the mast of the ship with Berlin’s TV tower, dressed her a bit more comfortably and kicked off her shoes, and had another cover ready to go! 

Watch the Talk with Christoph Niemann