Wednesday 19 February 2014


Martina Kubelk, untitled, Polaroid (10,5 x 10,5 cm), Courtesy Delmes & Zander / Galerie Susanne Zander

The Private World of Martina Kubelk
John Foster in the Design Observer (9.2.14)

"The discovery of a photo album containing 99 pages and over 380 photographs, mostly Polaroids, is the subject of a new exhibition at Galerie Susanne Zander in Cologne, Germany. On the cover of the album was written: Martina Kubelk: Clothes — Lingerie. Shown are images of a man in women’s clothes, photographed between January 1988 and July 1995. These self-portraits grant insight into the private world of Martina Kubelk, the pseudonym of a man unknown and deceased. These images give us ruffled dresses, latex underwear, a portrait of the parents on the wall, a cat poster, leather couches, 1970s wallpaper, and the focus on “Martina”, who photographs herself over a period of seven years in various outfits with a self-timer. That is about all that is known about the artist.

With a study of the photographs one can see that Martina was privately happy about being sexy or being classic, changing from personas ranging from lingerie, bland secretarial styles with white pumps to the mis-matched clothes of a house frau. Martina is also able to play between decades, going easily from 1960s fashions to the 1980s. While these pictures represent a private world now public, there is a sadness in these pictures, one of a man who reveled in his private performances of being his female alter ego Martina.

With this show Galerie Susanne Zander opened this past Friday February 7 with an exhibition trilogy that presents works by artists about whom little or nothing is known. Here, the quality and autonomy of the artistic work itself is the focus. There are no artists’ curricula vitae, the viewer is solely and immediately confronted with the work. (...)"

Martina Kubelk, untitled, Polaroid (10,5 x 10,5 cm), Courtesy Delmes & Zander / Galerie Susanne Zander

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