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Every week we feature a series of one selected artist who was published in our printed magazine. This person is blogging during that time.

Maria Sturm

Maria Sturm – Be good

Be Good is a work about underage married Roma teenagers in Romania, their traditions and rituals of the wedding (night), the importance of virginity and the burden of proof. It shows portraits of married couples with a focus on appearing as individuals and also some teenagers that grew up in this tradition, along with symbolic and metaphoric still lives of flowers and interiors like their marital bedrooms. Their society isn’t used to the idea of individuality in a modern sense, it simply doesn’t exist and so doesn’t the concept of youth: Either you’re a kid or an adult. It’s easy to understand that, when you think about a 12 year old girl getting ready for her wedding and at the same time knowing that her virginity is the holy key to a respected marriage. Shortly after marriage the girls get pregnant and become mothers, boys become fathers. In the end it’s a work about youth, although from our westernized point of view it can be read as a work about the absence of youth, which leaves us with the question about (un-)happiness. Are those teenagers less happy, because they’re “missing out” on something so essential to us?

Maria Sturm – Profile

Maria Sturm by Mia Leon

Maria Sturm was born in Ploiesti, Romania in 1985. After the revolution she left the country with her mom in 1991. She grew up in Augsburg, Germany and studied Photography and Media at the University of Applied Sciences Faculty of Art and Design in Bielefeld since 2006. In 2011 she interned at Milk Studios and Creative Exchange Agency in New York and received her Diploma in the summer of 2012. She graduated with the work “Be Good”.  She’s now based in Berlin and Cologne.

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Maria was selected for a one-month residency and workshop with Magnum photographer Antoine d’Agata at Atelier de Visu in Marseille 2012 and a finalist for the Stern scholarship “Junge Fotografie” 2013/14.

She was a finalist at the 54th edition of Bourse du Talent 2013 with “Be Good”. She won the New York Photo Awards in the category “Student Photobook ” 2012 and also the 3rd Place at the Erstwerk 2012, a competition of the Institut für Buchgestaltung both as well with “Be Good”.

Maria’s work has been exhibited and published internationally.

Maria Sturm – Guest-Posts

Nachteule Productions

June 26th, 2013Author: Maria Sturm

In my last post I’d like to introduce to you Nachteule Productions – a photographers collective, which I’m part of since 2011. Since we had a website relaunch a few days ago and we managed to write an awesome text about us and what we’re doing, I will just copy it, I don’t think I could say it any better:

“We’re a collective of 6 photographers from Bielefeld, Cologne and Berlin.
Founded within the making of a well received music video in 2009 Nachteule Productions evolved into a visual cluster for 6 different characters. Besides all the personal projects of everyone of us numerous collaborations for clients from most different fields have been realized since then. In between you could catch us hunting images throughout the whole world always in search for the visually interesting.”

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Kirchknopf+Grambow

June 24th, 2013Author: Maria Sturm

I mentioned the excursion to Hanoi yesterday in my post. Well two other talented young photographers came along with us: Andrea Grambow and Joscha Kirchknopf made the trip even more unforgettable. They also started to study photography with me in the same year and as well we’ve all joined the same Axel class. Especially Andrea is a very close friend of mine and we kinda started to hang out from the very beginning of our studies. I was very much looking forward to share their work with you.

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Heinrich Holtgreve

June 24th, 2013Author: Maria Sturm

Heinrich Holtgreve and I have started to study photography together and we’ve been in the same Axel class, meaning our whole semester was divided in two groups and we’ve been in the same one and Axel Grünewald was our first professor and also our last since we both chose him as one of our mentor’s along with Roman Bezjak for our diploma work.

Because of that I was able to follow Heinrich’s work from the very start. But also because we both went on every possible excursion our school offered during our time there. We both went to St. Petersburg, Russia, Hanoi, Vietnam and Tiflis, Georgia and we both always completed a series there. All three trips have been memorable experiences, especially Hanoi was a magical trip all participants and our professor Axel Grünewald like to look back, but I’ll write a bit more about this in my next post! Anyway its nice to be able to watch a series grow from the idea to the completed body of work.

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Lisa Polk

June 22nd, 2013Author: Maria Sturm

I met the artist and all round talent Lisa Polk about 8 years ago during the entrance exams for graphic design and illustration at FH Münster. We kept in touch even after my move to Bielefeld and collaborated for Lisa’s diploma (at FH Münster, 2010), where she came up with a concept of a new clothing brand called What We Do. I would like to show you a selection of drawings and illustrations that Lisa did.

Lisa was always a type of maker, she came up with a lot of ideas, but she wouldn’t only talk about it, she would do it: She opened a shop for example in Münster called storyboard shop with Phil Pham, photographer and founder of United Skateboard Artists. I loved that passion about her and her work and I always loved her drawings, paintings and illustrations! Over the years she’s done countless things in various fields – which comes from a broad interest in the creative field, but not only that, it wouldn’t be possible without her fascinating imagination and her talent: She has worked as fashion designer, stylist, illustrator and art director – by the way next to freelance working and personal projects she found time to do a second degree and graduated from the German School of Fashion in Munich in 2011.

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Awol Erizku

June 21st, 2013Author: Maria Sturm

Two years ago I went to New York to do an internship, I only had one appointment in advance at Ryan McGinley‘s studio. They were looking for 8 interns, but many of the positions had already been filled and they were looking for somebody with filming or editing skills, which I unfortunately couldn’t really prove at the time. I stayed with his studio for a week but originally I really wanted to be an assistant, having only one appointment, I knew it would be hard to get new appointments, while I was there. You can’t just walk in to somebody’s studio. But you can walk in to galleries and agencies and that was my next step. I was strolling through Chelsea a lot to check out all the galleries.

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Book design: Sascha Fronczek and Sven Lindhorst-Emme

June 20th, 2013Author: Maria Sturm

Good evening!

Although making a photo book is not a new phenomenon, it feels like self-publishing is at it’s best these days. There are countless competitions popping out from everywhere and numerous blogs specialized on showcasing photo book dummies. My post today will focus on book design, especially on the works of the two graphic designers SASCHA FRONCZEK and SVEN LINDHORST-EMME.

My work “Be Good” includes an installation of 21 images, a video and a photo book. It was the first book I made and I’m very happy to have had Sascha (32) and Sven (35) guiding me along this process. They both are two excellent graphic designers, with a passion for book design and I’m glad, that I had the opportunity to work with them. All the effort we put inside this project payed off the first time, when “Be Good” won the New York Photo Award in the student photo book category. It also made the 3rd place at the Erstwerk 2012 competition and was exhibited widely at places like The Private Space Barcelona, Leipziger Buchmesse, Photobookshow E in Southhampton and during the New York Photo Festival.

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Dani Pujalte and Marseille 2012

June 19th, 2013Author: Maria Sturm

Hello everyone, my name is Maria Sturm and I will be sharing some nice projects with you for the next week! I’m excited and glad to be part of this!

Last year I’ve been chosen for a month long artist in residence and workshop guided by Magnum photographer Antoine d’Agata at Atelier de Visu in Marseille. By then I was still a student at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld and a bit bored from getting the same critiques over and over again. Everybody – fellow students and professors had already known my work for a couple of years, so I was super happy to go to Marseille and get new input and feedback and critiques. It turned out to be one of the best times I had, not only input wise, but we were a group of 13 students from all over the world living together and actually we all got along very well, which I found kinda magical. I kept in touch with some of the people there and some of them became really good friends. So today I’d like to introduce you to my friend Dani Pujalte’s work – I will show you the project “13000 Bouches-du-Rhône”, that he realized during our workshop in Marseille.

Here’s a little something something about Dani and his work and feel free to also check out his website:

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