Tell us something more about your backgrounds. When and how did you start your artistic careers?
Madeleine Bülow is an artist, painter, and project manager. She was born in 1978 in Madgeburg (about 100 Miles east from Berlin). She spent her teenage years with colored pencils trying to transfer her countless ideas on paper. Around 2001 she developed a strong interest for abstract art and began working with acrylic paint on canvas. In 2004, she moved to Berlin in order to grow as an artist. From 2004 to 2006 she worked as a volunteer for an art project for kids aged from 3-4 years while still being active and creating privately. When she became a mother, her focus shifted towards her two little girls which left very little room for her art.
In 2012 she felt a strong desire to express herself in a new and challenging way, and that is why she started a project together with her husband Mike called "Mike & Madeleine Bülow". This is how they present their creations in various exhibitions around Europe, such as a 2013 exhibition in Salzburg and another one on 2014 in Berlin and London, 2015 in Berlin and Ibiza and 2016 in Austria, Cannes and Paris. Mike Bülow is an artist, musician, songwriter, producer, and photographer. He was born 1974 in Zossen (about half an hour south of Berlin). Mike has a strong musical background and was signed by multiple record labels throughout his 20 year career. He has released 4 Albums and 16 singles while being under contract for labels like MfS Records, Flesh, Universal Music, Sony and Warner. He also worked with Marcos Lopez and Bernard Sumner from the British Band “New Order.” He has had many gigs for the "Loveparade" in Berlin, lined up performances for E-Werk, a rather exquisite event venue in Berlin and has performed at the Musikfestival in Cannes. He launched his photography career as a new way to express his creative output. The project started with his wife was a way of experimenting with colors and unlikely elements.
Combined Painting & Photography – what are the most distinctive details of such interesting technique?
We do not like to set guidelines or structures for our work and we are always looking for new ways to create. We want to avoid stagnation and we usually find ourselves in ever evolving processes while experimenting with oil paint, acrylic paint, powder or some liquids we mixed up ourselves. We capture every step of the process with our camera for everyone to see.
Berlin’s Art Scene is very busy with events featuring artists from all over the world. What’s your approach towards all the opportunities you get as artists in Berlin? Also, what are the challenges you’ve faced throughout your journey?
Berlin is important for networking in general, and the people within the art scene here are especially welcoming and open their doors more so than in other parts of the country. Besides the business side of things, Berlin is our hometown now. Our friends and family live here as well. In addition to that, Berlin is such a rich source of meeting new and interesting people from around the globe. So in that sense we have the world at our doorstep. This is the kind of mindset we approach our work, too. Creativity should flow while being enriched through passion. And this is how we adopted our motto, “Work hard, have faith in your abilities and success will come to you”.
We hope that through our work we can leave something behind for future generation to appreciate and perhaps to understand our passion. Our devotion for our work is illustrated in these pictures. Our idea of transmitting our way of life and work to the world is reflected by being playful with our materials of choice while still creating something new by combining different elements in harmony. Bold colors are among the most impressive characteristics of your works. What or who has inspired you in your own color palettes?
In all honesty, the work itself is the inspiration. We have a certain idea of how the picture should look like, but we’re not exactly sure how to get that image. Therefore, we have to experiment a lot with a number of materials and that process alone inspires us immensely.
What are the main subjects that catch your attention? We need to have a lot of tranquility and balance for our collaboration to be successful. Our work is rather intuitive, since while we are engulfed into a process there’s not enough time to think anyways. Our work consists pretty much of reacting to the elements, so we have to trust our guts. And perhaps this is the most unique thing about our work. We almost understand each other telepathically and form a sort of symbiosis.
How do you see the role of social media on reaching audiences and even fame? Can you say that social media has had an impact on redefining your priorities?
Social platforms are important and helpful to gain a certain level of popularity in a broader spectrum. But working together with galleries we realized they have a different focus. They usually have a personal relationship with collectors and are generally more entwined with the entire art scene. Their kind of work and knowledge is not comparable and also not achievable through the benefits of social media. We have determined that our focus is to better work directly with galleries.
What’s the most overpowering feelings seeing your works in galleries and art fairs?
Before each exhibition we are just really happy and anxious. Of course we are also concerned that the lighting is proper and the pieces are displayed correctly. But mostly we hope that our work is able to speak for itself and that it can create a positive resonance with the viewer. We also wish that people see the work and passion we put in each piece and experience the kind of appreciation we try to share through our work.
Do you have any plans to exhibit your works in the U.S. in the near future?
Definitely, coming to the U.S. is one of our next goals and we plan to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 2017. So far we have received offers from the Art Miami Spectrum, but we are also interested in other important art fairs and exhibitions. One of our dreams is to have a solo exhibition in New York City.
Following your dreams is not an easy task, but…
…but one of our mantras is to envision your dreams and take action to bring them to fruition. Thus far we can actually say that almost everything has happened the way we hoped for and believed it would happen.
Being successful means …
We have the feeling that it’s not entirely possible to work towards success when you're an artist. You can just try to stay creative and be passionate about your work. If our art can actually reach a lot of people and perhaps inspire them, then it makes us very happy and from a certain perspective that also counts as success.
I think you just have to look within yourself if you want to be successful. We work very hard to materialize our dreams and wishes and our ‘experience is that the more effort you put in the more success you’ll enjoy, even more than what you expected in the beginning.