Six pm and I wander from Schönhauser Allee up the steps leading into Pfefferberg, the ex-brewery that is now a cultural venue containing galleries, music venues, hostel and restaurant. Through to the back I get to where I’m going, the Akira Ikeda gallery where Bryan Adams himself is opening Bryan Adams – Exposed, the exhibition (as opposed to the book of the same name). The exhibition opening wasn’t advertised and was by invitation only which also meant no press; and that also meant that inside the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant. No hordes of fans, no snapping paparazzi.
You could actually chill out and look properly at the pictures, and that was especially good as Bryan Adams turns out to be an excellent photographer with a very good eye. Of course, and this will always be said about him, it helps if you’re already ridiculously famous as a musician and have access to being able to photograph lots of equally famous people in intimate situations. But actually it’s unfair to use this to be in any way dismissive of him as a photographer since he’s extremely talented: and every picture pulls something out of the subject that gives the picture itself an individuality, so that they’re not simply another pic of another famous person.
Also nice about the fact that it was such a small gathering was that I was introduced to Mr. Adams and chatted with him briefly. I told him that my favourite was the extraordinary portrait photo of Amy Winehouse and he confessed that they had been friends. I remarked that I had had the chance to see her live. „Was that a long time ago, before the alcohol?“ he asked me and I had to admit that I saw her only once she was on the horribly public downward spiral that would end in her death. I told him that even though she was drunk and played a pretty short show, she was nonetheless very good, and her voice even in that state was impressively powerful.
What I’d also like to make a point of saying is that Bryan Adams was really a very nice person. He was warm, utterly down-to-earth, seemed very calm and centred in himself, at ease and happy to chat. And towards the end when he’d more than once expressed a wish to go and eat and was obviously hungry, he still patiently posed for numerous photographs with various people and signed copies of his book Exposed.
The current exhibition runs from the 17th September until the 2nd November and its opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11-6pm.
Bryan Adams’ next work, Wounded – The Legacy of War – due for release in November, moves away from photographing famous people and instead deals with soldiers disfigured in the Afganistan and Iraq wars.
Akira Ikeda Gallery Christinenstrasse 18/19 10119 Berlin, Germany // Opening Hours:Tue-Sat 11:00-18:00. Direction:U2 to Senefelder Platz // Bryan Adams EXPOSED 9/17-11/2/2013
Article and photos: Mia Morris