Over a cup of tea with Jan von Holleben

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An informal Q & A

Which photographer or artist do you most admire?

There are very many artists and photographers I respect a lot. However I admire none of them. I only have admiration for musicians.

What artwork, where money is no object, would you like to hang on your wall?

Paul Klee 'Palast im Vorübergehen' (1928). It's a photograph that happened to turn out as a painting!

What is the worst commission you have ever had?

When the Art Director confronted me with his digitally built composite of the photograph I had to exactly copy from his sketch.

What is the best commission you have ever had?

When I received a good budget and the request to take 6 images. No more details. Those images are still some of my favourite photographs.

Which famous artists, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

John Cage - as I'd have a few things to discuss with him.

When are you at your happiest?

When I wake up in my Berlin bed and the sun is bright

What is your most treasured possession?

A Christopher Bucklow print of himself with his childhood friend from his 'Guests' series and my laptop with all my work on it.

What book are you reading at the moment?

'Gauss - the Biography', about the great maths hero and 'Invisible Cities' by Italo Calvino which tells the most magical stories and is great inspiration for my work.

What made you laugh recently?

My Captain Violetta and my Lieutenant Felix who I work daily with!

What really winds you up?

Repetition, I hate doing things again.

What would your dream project be?

A department store for props, a bunch of good friends for players and a big empty studio with great catering.

What do you do when not working?

Take photographs.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

From out there and up there and in there.

How you would you like to be remembered?

Dancing wildly.

What music would you like played at your funeral?

Keith Jarrett's 'Köln Concert' - it's the only music I know that fits to any situation in my life and has accompanied me for ever since I am born.

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