Cape Town. Looking at Pieter Hugo's photographs often makes you feel uncomfortable. You do not really want to look at them, but feel attracted none the less. This fascination extends to every one of his famous series of works, such as Looking Aside, Permanent Error, The Hyena & Other Men or La Cucaracha, his current project. What is so captivating about these pictures? During our conversation I am trying to find out. We meet in his in Cape Town studio ...

New York, East-Hampton. The meeting with not just one but three impressive women takes me out of the hectic and overcrowding of Manhattan to The Hamptons, THE week-end and summer destination of numerous celebrities. Nothing but nature and tranquility! The invitation came from none less than Donna Karan, one of the most successful fashion designers since the early 1980ies ...

Potsdam. Today's studio visit takes me to Marion Fink, an artist, who caught the attention not only of current top galleries in Germany, but also of international galleries. Her remarkable paintings will be shown in London and New York before the end of this year. I want to find out what makes these paintings so special. Her studio – situated in a quiet street in a leafy part of Potsdam - is in a former Kindergarten that was transformed into a studio building. An austere stair case, an equally austere communal office in front of her studio, but then ...

Berlin. Commissioned by Meet Pablo – totally unsuspecting of what is going to await me in "baketown“, an off-space in Berlin-Schöneberg – I find myself face to face with Noah Becker, a creative wizard. Whether it is music, fashion, interior design, films or even painting – he is everywhere. Today, my objective is to learn something about his painting which started here in his studio and which helped him through a difficult time ...

Johannesburg. Never before in my life have I seen so many fences and walls, usually topped by electric fences, and so few pedestrians. Strangely enough, there are very few parked cars. Of course I had heard that Johannesburg is plagued by high crime and serious socio-political problems. But, as I shall find out today, it is something quite different meeting people who grew up here and use art to discuss life in this city....

Cape Town. I had no idea that the THK Gallery is an exhibition venue founded only eight months ago by – of all people – an inhabitant of Cologne, a person, therefore who just like myself, is from the Rhineland. Initially, it was the cover of the current first thursdays cape town* tour guide, which took me to Waterkant Street and thus to Frank Schönau and the artist, whose self-portrait graces the cover of the guide. It is the first solo exhibition of the 27-year-old Anke Loots, a student of the photographic artist Pieter Hugo, with whom – coincidentally ?...

Cape Town. In Observatory, Cape Town's creative hotspot, I visit Conrad Hicks – an artist -blacksmith, or a toolmaker, as he calls himself. His studio forms a backdrop of a special kind. It is right in the middle of the previously burnt-out Art Déco cinema, which he bought and restored. Already the exterior view is quite surreal – it immediately takes me to a scene in the film Metropolis ...

Belgium, Sint-Martens-Latem. I need to mention that I am visiting an artist today whose works I have never seen live, and which I only know as pictures via an Instagram account. A risky experiment!...

Walkabout in the Düsseldorfer Akademie, Class of Katharina Fritsch. Hakan Eren is on the verge of his final exam. Clearly nervous, he tinkers with the final details of his presentation. Here, the term "tinker" hits the nail on the head. The creations mounted on the walls spontaneously remind me of technoid construction models for advanced hobbyists in a toy shop of a long gone era....

Düsseldorf. Visiting art fairs is exciting. At least in the beginning. Then, at some stage, it starts to become tiring because one can feel one's concentration going. Many a good art work is then simply missed, unless ...