Gaby den Held - Inspiration

Jimmy Lucky and Nola Hatterman

This is Nathan Benillouche! I thought, when I saw this painting again
in the magazine last weekend of my newspaper. I love it. It is from
NOLA HATTERMAN (1899-1984). 'Op het terras'(On the terras)
shows the revue artist Jimmy van der Lak who performed under the
name Jimmy Lucky. It supposed to be painted as part of an advertising
campaign for the beer brand Amstel, but the brewer withdrew the order
when he saw a black man was portrayed.

About the painting and NOLA HATTERMAN


The people, the projects, the music,  the movies that lift you up. That inspire you in everything: your vision on society and the way you look at life. That make you reflect, move, shock and shake you, turn your world upside down. Or make it more beautiful. If only for a few moments.

Baudelaire par Saez (Femmes damnées)
Saez version of Femmes damnees and the video are beautiful!

Un Chant d'Amour

This hymn of poetic sensuality and only film of JEAN GENET (in collaboration with Nico Papa Takis) is from 1950, but was immediately considered pornograpic. The film was distributed only in private circles. The actual premiere took place in 1975.
It is a film without dialogue and originally without music band. In 2005 the French music group Mansfield.TYA issued a "cine-concert" with this film.

The dry humor of STEREO TOTAL, a Berlin-based French-German duo comprising Françoise Cactus (born Françoise Van Hove) and Brezel Göring (aka Friedrich von Finsterwalde, born Friedrich Ziegler), and the deadly serious eroticism of Jean Genet are a nice mix.
Stereo Total: Johnny
Painful paradise

The shining airbrush paintings from the Kashmir-born, London-based artist RAQIB SHAW shows you a painful earthly paradise. Since Hieronymus Bosch there hasn’t been an artist that portrayed the dark side of human existence with such splendor and glamor.


Hector de Gregorio

Hauntingly beautiful, terrifying terrific. Old masters return in a taunting dark
spotlight. I discovered today the work of HECTOR DE GREGORIO.


The Saragossa Manuscript

The Polish Count JAN POTOCKI (1761-1815) was a scholar, writer, diplomat, world traveler, adventurer, naturalist, ethnologist,  linguist, education improver, MP, one of the first balloonists and a revolutionary.  In 1815 he committed suicide. He shot himself with the silver knob of his mother’s  teapot that he had filed until it  fitted his gun. That was a year after he had finished his marvelous novel The Manuscript Found in Saragossa. For those who don’t know this masterpiece: get a copy and read it! It’s more tempting, exciting and intriguing than "Thousand and One Nights, Don Quixote and  Decameron together.

In 1964 it was filmed by Wojciech J. Has as ‘THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT’ with a score by the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The movie was admired by Buñuel. Unfortunately it was unavailable for decades until Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola financed its restoration

More on 'The Saragossa Manuscript'

Predrag Pajdic

Love of beauty is taste. the creation of beauty is art is the credo of the
artist, photographer, curator and historian PREDRAG PAJDIC
(Yugoslavia, 1965) who is living and working in London.

His images tell a story of mythological stature, his models seem both
tangible and unearthly.


Man with a pussy

STUART WARWICK. A man with a beautiful tender voice. His music is both serene and intense. He is compared to Rufus Wainwright and Perfume Genius.

Just listen to 'Man with a pussy. The video is beautiful. On display is the "anti-drag queen" and performance artist DAVID HOYLE.

STUART WARWICK: Man with a pussy

Roger Peyrefitte

Roger Peyrefitte (17 August 1907-5 November 2000) was a French writer, diplomat and a defender of gay rights. He wrote novels that were mostly gay related and biographical as LES AMITIÉS PARTICULIÈRES (1944), which was filmed in 1964. On the set he meets the the 12-year-old Alain-Philippe Malagnac d'Argens de Villèle. They maintained a lifelong friendship. Alain married later on with singer and artist Amanda Lear. Roger Peyrefitte was controversial because of his sharp tongue and pen. In April 1976, after Pope Paul VI had condemned homosexuality in a homily, Peyrefitte accused him of being a closet homosexual.

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Edith Sitwell
I am not eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.

The English poet Edith Sitwell (7 September 1887 – 9 December 1964) had a striking appearance. Picasso described her face as a 'collecter's item', and Cecil Beaton described her as 'a tall graceful scarecrow'. Over the years her coths became more and more eccentric. Edith Sitwell came from an old aristocratic family but had an unhappy and loveless childhood. Her strict father forced her to wear a steel corset to correct the state of her spine. When she was twenty five she moved to London with her governess Helen Rootham. She began writing avant-garde poems that caused quite a fuss and aroused the disgust of traditionalists. FAÇADE (1923), for example, is a rap avant la lettre, with accompanying music by William Walton. But she impressed with her poems about the 2nd World War, like STILL FALLS THE RAIN (1941), written after the air raids on London, and to music by Benjamin Britten. After the war, she finally got recognition for her art. She received numerous awards and joined the Order of the British Empire.

Edith Sitwell interviewed by John Freeman
From: FACE TO FACE (fragment)
Still falls the rain

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Steven Arnold

The black & white tableau vivants from the American artist Steven Arnold (1943-1994) are unparalleled grotesque and fantastic. Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol were great admirers of his work. Especially after seeing his surrealist film LUMINOUS PROCURESS, featuring THE COCKETTES, a legendary group of drag queens.

More on Steven Arnold 

Vladimir Clavijo Telepnev  

The sepia colored pictures seem the work of a long-forgotten photographer from the Victorian era. But Vladimir Clavijo Telepnev was born in 1962 in Moscow. His images are nostalgic but transcend cheap sentiment. You are drawn into a magical world that seem long gone. In a pleasant way you get intoxicated. At the same time you're beginning to feel uncomfortable, a somehow creepy feeling. You realize that something is wrong. But it's too late.

More on Vladimir Clavijo Telepnev 

Gods of the night
The cultural life in Berlin bursted loose during the Weimar Republic (1918/1919-1933). Two artists in particular embodied this longing for artistic freedom: ANITA BERBER (1899-1928) and SEBASTIAN DROSTE (1892-1927). In the short time they lived and worked together they presented themselves averse taboos and anti-bourgeois. Their androgynous nude dances were no casual sex shows. They wanted to reach a state of ecstasy beyond mundane life and simple pleasure. A complex state of lust, purity, desire, horror and deep humanity. Some titles of their shows were "Suicide, Morphium, and Madhouse. Together they also released a book with poems and pictures titled ‘Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy '.
In 1987 ROSA VON PRAUNHEIM made a film about Anita Berber: "Anita, Tänze des Lasters’ with LOTTI HUBER.
More on Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste: 

Anita Berber
Sebastian Droste:
Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy
Opening scene from:  ‘Anita, Tänze des Lasters’

Louis Aragon

He had his most surreal experience in his younger years. How alienating it must be when your foster mother turns out to be your grandmother, and your real mother is your sister. And all to hide the fact that he was an illegitimate child. The writer and poet LOUIS ARAGON (1897, Paris—1982, Paris), was, together with André Breton and Philippe Soupault, one of the founders of the surrealist movement. His conversion to communism would later cause a break with his friends. His love for communism was not uncritical. He strongly condemned the heavy-handed suppression of the Prague Spring.

Over the years the style of his novels developed from surreal (LE PAYSAN DE PARIS) via social realism (LES COMMUNISTES) back to surrealism (BLANCHE OU L'OUBLIÉ). His poetry was interpreted by many composers and chansonniers, including Jean Ferrat, Georges Brassens and Léo Ferré.

More on Louis Aragon
Louis Aragon reads from ELSA
Jean Ferrat sings UN JOUR, UN JOUR (text Louis Aragon)
More on PARIS PEASANT (Le Paysan de Paris)
Andrej Dúbravský  

The young Slovenian artist Andrej Dúbravský (1987) captures the boisterous narcissism and riotous uninhibited sexuality of adolescence in his paintings and drawings of boys who, often in groups, enjoy the great outdoors. The rabbit ears refer to the ears of a faun. The viewer feels like a voyeur who is drawn into Andrej's world, revealed by his paintings, drawings, but also through private pictures and home videos.

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Matthew Albanese 

Matthew Albanese (1983) photographs miniature worlds he creates himself. Fire-breathing volcanoes, tornadoes, lunar landscapes, a burning house. The material and how it responds to the light is essential for him. “How To Breathe Underwater” for instance, is made from walnuts, poured and cast candle wax, cables, glitter, peanut shells, flock, plaster, wire, starfish, compressed moss, jellybeans, sponges, coated seashells and toothpaste.

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Wolfgang Herrndorf            

Movies, visual arts,  the stories of the past, current events and the news
are an inspiration. And literature? If there is a writer who inspires it would
Sadly he passed away recently. He had a brain tumor and before his end
was near he commited suicide. The reason for my fascination for him as
a writer lies in his extraordinary imaginative style, which seems limitless.
His stories are unclassifiable. His novel TSCHICK, about two boys who
go on an adventure in a stolen lada, is a road movie, a youth novel,
adult literature and thriller all together. And above all: who gives a
damn about the genre when you posses the power of telling a good story?

More on Wolfgang Herrndorf

Wolfgang Herrndorf reads from TSCHICK

Francesco Romoli    

Yellowed family pictures combined with science fiction.
People who slowly change into robots. Surrealistic townscapes
that look like the interior of a gigantic showbox. The Italian artist
FRANCESCO ROMOLI wants to create worlds that do not exist.
Using technology from the graphic arts and photography and armed
with his unbridled imagination he succeeds in making art that is
both estranging and familiair.
More on Francesco Romoli
Christopher Isherwood             

CABARET  (Bob Fosse), with Liza Minella as an unforgettable Sally Bowles,
was a  major hit in the 70s. The movie was an adaptation of  the play based
on the novels 'Goodbuy to Berlin' and 'Mr. Norris changes  trains' from the
British-American writer Christopher Isherwood (1904 -  1986). His novel
describes life in Berlin during the interwar period. In  these days a
world-renowned gay subculture arose. There was an  unprecedented sexual
freedom. At that time there were more gay bars in  Berlin then in New
York in the 70s. In 2009, another adaptation for  screen of one of his
novels drew attention: A SINGLE MAN (Tom Ford). And  a few years
later the film version of his autobiography came out:  CHRISTOPHER
AND HIS KIND (Geoffrey Sax). There is nothing against good  movie
adaptations. But if you like these movies: at least READ Isherwood's books.

More on Christopher Isherwood
Interview Day and Night
Documentary Pt. 1

Paul McComas                             

Writers and artists who can not be pigeonholed: the American
Paul McComas is one of them. His stories contain elements of
the fantasy, horror and comedy genre. The vexing question
whether it's mainstream or serious literature can happily be
omitted. It's both, and yes: it exists.

More on Paul McComas
Paul McComas reads from: Unforgettable
Interview with Paul McComas

Cliff van Thillo                           

Welcome to the magical world of the illustrator Cliff van Thillo.
Is this mother earth or planet XVI? Look, there in that immense
abandoned factory he walks hand in hand with Jules Verne,
accompanied by Max Ernst, Magritte and Fellini.
They step on their unicycles and drive on a winding path over
moss green hills to a godforsaken fairground.
Allez hop!

More on Cliff van Thillo

Andrzej Dragan   

"I like to remember things my own way. How I remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened"
David Lynch, Lost highway.

Andrzej Dragan is a quantum physicist, photographer and filmmaker, and has a unique style of photography and film making called the Dragan Effect. His purpose is to create such images that will trigger overreactivity of the organ that is responsible for the perception of faces and emotions related to that.
"I offer a faint portrayal of my perception of the reality"

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If one artist belongs in this gallery then it must be OTHON MATARAGAS.
The art of this Greek pianist and composer originally was dark, theatrical and ominous, but has gradually developed into a versatile, colorful and uplifting experience. PAN Muzik, he calls it. For me this is music of hope and inspiration. Without leaving the pain and the dark side of life unnamed. Othon is the perfect antidote against infertile cynicism.

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Mary Wollstonecraft

She loved the idea of a threesome. For instance with Henry Fuseli,
the great painter of nightmarish scenes and his wife. Wich they rejected indignantly. MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT (1759 - 1797) was unconventional, to say the least. She was a writer, a philosopher and a feminist avant la lettre. Her most influential work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Eventually she married the radical philosopher William Godwin. Both emphasized that their marriage was not a concession to the prevailing morality, and that they were completely equal partners. Her daughter MARY SHELLY would come in her footsteps and reap fame as the writer of the gothic novel Frankenstein.

More on Mary Wollstonecraft
Federico Fellini
First there are the images, then the words. It’s no surprise that the
movies are Gaby’s major influence. He love’s the films by Xavier
Dolan, François Ozon, Roman Polanski and David Lynch. But
FEDERICO FELLINI has influenced him most. Like Fellini he wants
to create a slightly caricatural dream world that gives reality a brighter
color. That does not deny the ruthlessness of life, but places it in a
different light. And so typically Italian as Fellini's films are, so
typically Dutch, is the setting in Gaby's stories. But he adds colors,
and places tragic clowns in it. Dutch anti-heroes with panache.
Outsiders who were bullied in the schoolyard as a kid. Because they
have red hair. Because they don’t play football. Because they are boys
who feel like a girl or vice versa. But they have rebounded. They go
through life with their heads held high. They remember that statement
of ballet legend Sonia Gaskell: If you fall, always make something
of it.
Sander & Sandor

A crooked world underneath a beautiful thin layer (Sander). Their pictures are colorful, with a wink to decadence and the underground pop culture. SANDER & SANDOR, lovers and business partners. Sander is in the photo technique and the big picture, while Sandor is doing the styling, make-up and focusses on the details. They lift each other to great heights, they say. They want to make the world a little more beautiful, but they don't avoid political statement. An example is their series: From Russia, With Love with images of beaten up gay and transgender people.

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Eiko Ishioka         

EIKO ISHIOKA (1938-2012) was a Japan born art director, costume and graphic designer. In her designs she brought along the Japanese tradition of the NO theater. Her creations are surreal, theatrical, over the top, but always effective and stylish. Her work was shown at the MoMa and she inspired fashion designers like Victor & Rolf. Her trophy cabinet was decorated with a Grammy award, two Tony awards and an Oscar. Who don't know her name, hath certainly seen her designs. She did the art direction of BJÖRK's video Cocoon and designed the costumes for GRACE JONES's Hurricane tour. She designed the fascinating costumes for Bram Stoker's Dracula (FRANCIS COPPOLA). Coppola said: the costumes are gonna be the sets, a perfect description of Eiko's work. Other films where she worked on include Tarsem Singh's The Cell, The Fall and The Immortals. Mirror Mirror would be her swan song. She died on January 21, 2012 of pancreatic cancer.

More on Eiko Ishioka
Leonor Fini       

The Argentine-French artist LEONOR FINI (1908-1996) was unconventional and uncompromising. She gained a foothold in the male-dominated Surrealist movement. A female Dalì she was called. A nickname that does its deficit because she had her own unique style: sophisticated, pronounced erotic with references to death. Besides painter, she was also a designer of ballet and film productions, illustrator of bibliophile book editions (eg from Baudelaire, Sade, Verlaine, William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe) and wrote three novels. However she seemed to be more famous for her independent and free lifestyle than her art: traditional marriage meant nothing to her. She preferred a ménage à trois. After her death she fell into obscurity, but in recent years she regains recognition.

More on Leonor Fini
Federico :  llanto por García Lorca (1992)     

In 1992, a small but beautiful poetic film portrait was released
of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898 – 1936). The Dutch
director MART VAN DEN BERG made the film with minimal
resources and with the help of many volunteers. The film follows
Federico during crucial moments in his life: the death of his lover, the
bullfighter Ignacio Sanchez Mejias, the relationship with his mother
and his assassination by Franco's Phalangists.

Photography: Liesbeth Ruysink

Watch the movie
Confusion of the Struggle - Izaak P. Slagt

Like no one Isaac P Slagt makes with his photographs feelings visible that
are below the surface. An excellent example is Confusion of the Struggle,
a series of intimate nude portraits of trans woman Lisa van Ginneken. In
this series she is still in the intermediate stage, before surgery and during
hormone treatment. Isaak is close to her heart when he captures her
diverse emotions: joy, despair and euphoria. As never before it is tangible
for an outsider what a transgender is going through. Confrontational,
sensitive and moving.

More on Izaak P. Slagt
Confusion of the Struggle

Trans*Tapes - The Transketeers

Six beautiful, poignant and very diverse portraits of transgender people.
Trans*Tapes have undeniable emancipatory value, but there is more.
With their personal approach The Transketeers penetrate the soul of the
people they interview. That the filmmakers are also transgender helps,
of course, but it is clear that all their respect and attention focusses on
the interviewees and they let them fully in their value. Then you get a gem
like this.

The Transketeers is a Dutch collective of three transmen making audio-
visual productions: Jonah Lamers, Bart Peters en Chris Rijksen.


Nynke Laverman

Frisian is a poetic language. That is proved by NYNKE LAVERMAN and her song art. For years she successfully combines Frisian texts with southern sounds: fado and flamenco. The sturdy Frisian appears to hide unfathomable deep emotions which are conjured up by her music with gusto. Viva Nynke! En mei har sjongt de Fryske taal.

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Jherek Bischoff

Versatility is an understatement with multi-instrumentalist, composer
and performer JHEREK BISSCHOF. As an arranger he has worked
with indie pop bands like The Parenthetical Girls and Xiu Xiu. As a
composer, he has released several albums that have been realized in a
quirky way. His album Composed, he first played on the ukulele and then
he mixed the classical instruments one by one to an orchestra. His latest
album Cistern is recorded in the huge Dan Harpole Cistern at Fort Worden
State Park. An underground basin which was originally intended as a water
storage for a nearby military base. Specifically, the reverberation in the
water basin of at least 45 seconds must have had its impact on the
recording process.

How can you describe his style? it's a pleasant no man's land between
classical, ambient and the orchestral baroque pop style of bands like
The Divine Comedy. Bischoff is also called a "pop polymath" and
"the missing link between the somber overtones of Ennio Morricone
and the unpredictability of John Cale." Anyway, this self-taught
undisputable is an original voice in contemporary music land. His music
definitely deserves more attention than it gets so far. Let yourself be
inspired by the sound world of this likable music fool.

More on Jherek Bischoff


They are an inspiration for one of the main characters of the novel in the making REUNION: drag queens. The novel is about revenge, bullying and its consequences, but could equally be a tribute to the drag queen.

The picture includes: John Kelly, Lavinia, Ulrich, Ryan Burke, miss Guy and Ellen van Ellende.

Božo Vrećo

In 2013, singer Božo Vrećo took a big risk. In his country, Bosnia,
where machismo reigns supreme, he came after the break during
a concert in Sarajevo on stage in a dress... and enchanted everyone
with his wonderful voice. It is as if God had placed an angel into his
throat. He chose to be himself in representing male and female, both
visually and in his music that is deeply rooted in the traditional
Bosnian melancholic Sevdah. He has convinced his audience, macho
or not. He is now one of the most celebrated stars of Bosnia.

More on Božo Vrećo
Božo Vrećo on YouTube

Journey to the end of the night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

For a long time I've been putting this novel far away: Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit) by LOUIS-FERDINAND CÉLINE. I read it once in a Dutch translation with beautiful illustrations by Jacques Tardi. I was in my mid-twenties and could not get through. The bleak and dreary view on humanity in this novel nauseated me at that age. Last night I saw on YouTube an old documentary about Céline from the Dutch writer Gerard Reve (1923-2006) which made me curious again. I took the book from the shelf and immediately I was captivated by the vivid language. In the documentary, Reve said he had learned and adopted a lot from Celine. I can understand that. In the expressive style I see similarities.
For everything there is a time in your life and maybe it's now time for me to (re) read Journey to the End of the Night.

Voyage au bout de la nuit,  Erik Lieshout et Gerard Reve (Dutch)
Pink Narcissus by James Bidgood

For seven years JAMES BODGOOD worked on the film PINK NARCISSUS (1963-1970) whose images were almost entirely filmed in the New York apartment of the director and photographer. However, the financial backers had lost their patience and the film was edited without Bidgood. He didn't approve of the release and out of protest he let his name be removed from the credits. Long time it was unclear who the director was. Some even thought to see the hand of Andy Warhol in the movie. In 1984 at last it became clear that James Bidgood was the director. Meanwhile, the film had become a cult classic.

What makes this film so influential? Not the flimsy story: a beautiful young male prostitute (Bobby Kendall) is, like Narcissus, completely obsessed with his reflection. Fantasizing he sees himself as a central figure in all sorts of exotic and mythological scenes. He dreams himself a bullfighter, a Roman slave and a faun.

It is not so much the story that appeals to the imagination, but the images. Which are sensual, dreamlike and shot in bright colors. They are like paintings with a kitschy but seductive quality that have come to life. That aspect: gay erotica in a dreamlike bright coloured and kitschy setting would make school and would have great influence on artists such as Pierre et Gilles, David LaChapelle and the film director Pedro Almodóvar.

Interview with director and photographer James Bidgood
Rose Macaulay

Dame ROSE MACAULAY, (August 1, 1881, Rugby, Warwickshire, England - October 30, 1958, London) is an English author of novels, biographies and travel stories who was widely praised in her time for her acumen, sharp observations, wit and erudition. She was no ordinary woman: first she wanted to be a naval officer, but then she sets her sights on a writing career. She was an ardent feminist who never married but she had a long affair with the Irish priest and writer Gerald O'Donovan. The gender issue intrigued her, just like her fellow writer Virginia Woolf. She was physically androgynous, but also in her ideas and her work she represented both male and female. She was religious, but she had very liberal ideas which she certainly did not hide.
Her best-known work is the novel The Towers of Trebizond (1956). Three eccentric English people are traveling through Turkey, partly by camel, from Istanbul to the fabled Trebizond. The trip has two purposes: to empower the Turkish woman and the conversion of the people to the Anglican faith. Humor prevails in this work but there is also an undercurrent of intense heartbreak.

More on Rose Macaulay

Conrad Veidt

Movies from the Weimar era are not rarely fascinating. Think of Metropolis
or Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler from Fritz Lang.  Some have expressionistic and
beautiful decors such as Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari (1920)
directed by Robert Wiene. In the last movie, the pacifistic ideas from
scriptwriters Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer are reflected in the figure of
Caligari. He is a symbol of the emerging  fascism and the crowd who is
uncritically following a strong leader. The call for a strong leader is very

One of the main actors of Das Kabinett Des Doktor Caligari is CONRAD
VEIDT (1893 - 1943). His personalization of the physically handicapped
Gwynplaine in Theman who laughs (Paul Leni, 1928) would write history.
The film isbased on the novel L'homme qui rit by Victor  Hugo.
Gwynplaine has a permanent grin smile, brought to him by Comprachicos.
These nomads, invented by Victor Hugo, deformed children physically
from a young age to let them work at freak shows. The grinning
Gwynplaine would later be a key inspiration for comic bookwriter Bill
Finger and artists Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson in creating Batman's
biggest enemy, The Joker.

Conrad Veidt has another special role in his name: Anders als die Andern (1919) by Magnus Hirschfeld in which he plays
the role of gay violinist Paul Körner. This is one of the first films in which homosexuality is positively portrayed, despite it's bad ending. The story was in fact a charge against the Legislative Act, Paragraph 175, which deals with the prohibition of sex between men.

In 1933, he and his Jewish wife Ilona Prager went to Britain, fleeing the Nazi regime. In 1941, they moved to Hollywood where he played in a number of movies. Ironically, he was often typecast as a Nazi agent. His best-known role was that of the sinister Major Heinrich Strasser in Casablanca (1942). He died of a heart attack in 1943 at the age of 50.

More on Conrad Veidt
How a 1928 Silent Film Influenced the Creation of the Joker
About Laurie Andersons Chalkroom, influences and multidisciplinary cooperation

Gaby about inspirators (particularly Laurie Anderson), influences and
multidisciplinary cooperation:
One thing about influences and inspirators: They do not take over your mind.
But I think, if you have achieved a certain maturity you can be influenced
without becoming an epigon. In addition, I have the convenient certainty of a
distinctive style. Everything I see an hear: on the streets, on the web, in movies,
in books, goes through a big blender and what I can use transforms into
something that really fits into 'my world'.

I have regularly revealed who my inspirators are as a writer: Federico Fellini,
David Lynch, Mikhail Bulgakov, Jan Potocki. And certainly Laurie Anderson.
Why Laurie Anderson? Because she is able to get you out of your comfort zone
and pull you into a very different strange world. This will teach you to recognize
how you stick to patterns, judgments, paradigms. She can help you loosen up
those ties a bit.

What also is so appealing about Laurie Anderson, is that she always keeps renewing and refreshing herself. In this project (Chalkroom, 2017) she works with Taiwanese artist Hsin-Chien Huang and people from the game world. She created a virtual reality with them in which you fly through the sky - like in dreams - in an environment in which you find stories. Watch the video and discover why it's so inspiring.

I know that I limit myself to text, writing and especially novels. But I am extremely open to collaboration with other disciplines to create something new together. A small example of this is the collaboration for my debut novel Maan (Moon) with graphic designer Cliff van Thillo and photographers Sander & Sandor. Based on the story of Moon, they have created something from different visual disciplines. Such cooperations tastes morish.

More on Laurie Andersons Chalkroom

Kazuo Ohno

It is almost eight years ago that a great inspirator died at the very respectable age of 103 years: Kazuo Ohno. One of the inevitable complications of becoming older is that those you look up to, seem to drop like flies over the years, like Stephen Hawking yesterday. However, unlike Hawking, Kazuo Ohno is unknown to many people. People from the art and dance world will probably know him. Kazuo Ohno stood at the cradle of new form of Japanese dance: Butoh. He was inspired for this by the Spanish dancer La Argentina. His style can be characterized by slow movements, fragility, expressiveness and strong visual power. Music lovers might know him because he adorned the cover of A crying light by Antony and the Johnsons.

More on Kazuo Ohno
Dennis Cooper

The American cult writer Dennis Cooper can rightly be called an outsider.
He never joined any current trend and he went on his way as soon as
people wanted to annex him. His heroes were the poets Baudelaire,
Rimbaud, but also Marquis de Sade. With such examples, it is no surprise
that he writes about boys who indulge in violent sexual excesses. Rape,
incest, necrophilia, there is no subject he avoids. An entertaining story is
that the bass guitarist of Blur, Alex James, figured in his novel 'Guide' in
which the latter was drugged, raped and even murdered. Alex James turned
out to be a fan of Cooper's work and agreed to an interview with him. But
half an hour before it would happen Alex shied away from it and the two
never met. Despite, or perhaps thanks to, the shocking content of his work,
he has many fans among well-known artists such as Leonardo di Caprio
and U2. The latter is known to have their song Numb inspired by the
eponymous chapter from Coopers novel Frisk. But of course there is more
to it than shock value. Better than anyone he knows how to make the
craving for love tangible in a way that, despite the extreme violence in his
stories, actually moves the reader. Originating from the punk culture,
Dennis Cooper lets himself constantly be influenced by alternative art and
music movements and he also continues to renew himself. Examples are
the two novels 'Zac's haunted house,' and 'Zac's control panel,' (2015) which consist entirely of gifs. Other works are: the semi-autobiographical George Miles Cycle (Closer (1989), Frisk (1991), Try (1994), Guide (1997), Period (2000), The sluts (2005) and The Marbled Swarm (2011).

A good writer as bad as you'll find (The Guardian)
Speaking in tongues with Dennis Cooper
Dennis Cooper: the art of fiction (Paris review)
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Mikhail Bulgakov

Those who know my novels will not be surprised that I am influenced by
magical realism, surrealism and fairy tales. With magical realism, many
people think of South American literature. But although I admire the
novels of Gabriel García Márquez, I don't feel connected to it.
Where do I get my inspiration from then? The answer is: Russian literature.
I love the novel We by Jevgeni Zamjatin (1884-1937). A dystopian novel
from which George Orwell has drawn a lot of inspiration in writing '1984.'
But my greatest example is Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) and especially
his novel The Master and Margarita. His style is satirical with a surrealistic
twist. He makes a superior blend of reality, social criticism and fantasy. But
he also had to resort to metaphors and fairytale scenes because his books
and plays were heavily criticized by the Stalinist regime. His pieces were
even banned in 1929, leaving him without income. In his despiration, he
wrote a letter to Stalin. A short time later, he was offered work in the
Moscow Art Theater. He spent his days as assistant director, librettist and
translator. His own work in the Soviet Union, however, no longer came
through the censorship. From 1928 to 1940 Bulgakov worked on his main
novel: The Master and Margarita. When he died on March 10, 1940, he had
not fully redesigned his magnum opus. For decades his widow Jelena Bulgakova unsuccessfully tried to get the work through censorship. Only in 1966 a heavily censored Soviet version was published. A year later the complete edition of that masterly work appeared in Western Europe.

Master &Margarita
Biography Mikhail-Bulgakov (Britannica)

Kate Bush - In der Tiefe gibt es ein Licht

'Hello earth' by Kate Bush absolutely belongs to the music that has touched and influenced me. It is part of the hallucinogenic B-side of the album Hounds of Love, named The Ninth Wave (after a poem by Alfred Tennyson), a suite of seven songs. It's a dark, almost frightening trip. A mini-opera with a horror edge. The first time I heard it I could hardly sleep afterwards, it made such an impression. The songs resounded in my head. Scary fairytales have my preference and this is one of them. One time La Bush sounds like an anxious little child, than as a furious witch. Hello Earth is the apotheosis. Here everything comes together. Up to and including the dramatic climax: the choir that sings the Georgian song Tsintskaro (known from the film Nosferatu by Werner Herzog). Then the melody descends and the both ominous and reassuring words are spoken: "Tiefer, tiefer, irgendwo in the Tiefe gibt es ein Licht." I quoted this sentence in Charlie Dark. Also as an apotheosis. And as an ode.

Kate Bush - Hello earth (YouTube)