Malen bei Nacht und die Kunst sich nicht zu ernst zu nehmen

with Fabrizio Frau

To many Berliners, running a wine bar while pursuing a career in the arts is perhaps the ultimate dream. The owner of Cento Passi, Fabrizio Frau, belongs to that rare breed of Berliners who have turned this dream into reality. Ten years into its existence, Cento Passi is the kind of place where drinks are served with a side of dried tomatoes and pane carasao, and guests stay on late to share their secrets. Leather armchairs and dim lights conjure a sense of familiarity, while the paintings and sculptures on view all around honor Fabrizio’s love of visual art.

Not far away, in Lichtenberg, is the atelier where Fabrizio retreats when excessive conviviality creates the need for solitude and the rigor required to lead a business, calls for moments of playfulness. Located on the 6th floor of an expansive industrial building, the atelier, which he shares with two other artists, is scruffy yet brimming with light and works in progress. When we visit, most of his paintings are on view in a nearby gallery, but the ingredients of Fabrizio’s practice are all present: a small radio, a denim salopettes, brushes in different sizes, and a small collection of old canvases, which Fabrizio plans on recycling.

Es ist eine Frage der Balance, in der sich verschiedene Lebensbereiche gegenseitig beleben und zu der sie gemeinsam beitragen. Wichtig ist dabei auch die Erkenntnis, dass Balance nicht ein für alle Male erreicht werden kann. Vielmehr handelt es sich um einen fortlaufenden Prozess. „Etwas, das man immer und immer wieder macht. Etwas, woran man ständig arbeitet.“

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Sweater AIDEN

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Sweater NICKTrousersDANIEL

"I really like painting at night. It’s quiet. Nobody is there, just the music, a bit of jazz, and I can relax."

Givn Berlin: Have your gastronomic work and your artistic projects always existed side by side?

Fabrizio: Yes, they complement each other well. Plus, it's incredibly difficult to make a living from art alone. Even if you make a lot for it. You have to go into this world and meet the right people. And that's not easy.

Givn Berlin: How do you balance your artistic work and your work at Cento Passi with your private life?

Fabrizio: I actually try to keep them separate. I think it's good that my wine bar is my wine bar and has its character, whereas art can be my retreat. A kind of nest where I can always go and hide. My home is a family affair, it’s where the family lives, where other things have their space and where life also takes place.

Givn Berlin: When do you prefer to spend time in the studio?

Fabrizio:
I usually go to the studio at night. I really like painting at night. It’s quiet. Nobody is there, just the music, a bit of jazz, and I can relax. I usually go Sunday night and Monday night and then sometimes Tuesday night.

Through Cento Passi, I am very often involved in other people's lives. I already know a lot of fates. But that's part of it. Everything about Cento Passi is very social, which is why working in the studio and spending time alone is nice at times. This ensures balance in my life and plays a big role for my wellbeing, and perhaps also for my ego. Whenever I have the chance to paint a lot, I feel very balanced.

Fabrizio's Jazz Playlist

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Sweater AIDENTrousers ERIC

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"We also often organize exhibitions. The exhibitions leave traces and traces come with stories."

Givn Berlin: Despite this separation, your artistic sensibility seems to have a strong influence on the ambience of Cento Passi.

Fabrizio: Definitely! We often organize exhibitions. The exhibitions leave traces and traces come with stories. Ten years ago, an artist came from Cuba. And that's a nice story because he was here again recently. At the time of his first visit, he was working with ceramics and clay. Among other things, he reproduced and painted cameras made of clay. They almost look like real cameras. We showed them in our very first exhibition, along with the photos that his grandmother took from the window. This was under Fidel Castro, so people weren't allowed to take as many photos. That would have been considered espionage. His Grandmother took a lot of photos of street life, of passersby by. The artist found the photos again and developed them, and then we had the exhibition. These are all black and white photos. And the cameras are still there. I think it's nice that something from that time is still there. That the people from back then left a trace.

Givn Berlin: Is there also a story about your current exhibition? Can you tell us about how the concept came about?

Fabrizio: As the name suggests, the works in the exhibition Organic Geometric are about merging the geometric and organic. And we did that with different materials and also with different approaches. I am a painter. Paula, who is also in the exhibition, does more interior design, and Andrea has an experimental fashion label called Fade Out Label. She works with recycled jeans, for example.

Have recycled materials also inspired your work?

Fabrizio:
All three of us use a lot of recycled materials. I don't buy new canvases either, I buy them at the flea market, or I buy old pictures or use what I find on the street. So, I use old stuff seventy percent of the time. It's nice to reuse old things, to revive them. It's also a lot of fun.

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Cap TIM | T-Shirt COLBY | Trousers DANIEL

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"Leave the seriousness at home and give free rein to your creativity."

And how would you describe your style as a painter?

Fabrizio: My work is strongly influenced by geometric art and very influenced by the industrial landscape here in Berlin. I like the schematic nature of the geometries and at the same time I am drawn to the warmth of organic shapes. They are often women. The pieces in the current exhibition were somewhat inspired by a trip to Tanzania. In Zanzibar women would be walking around in large groups. They went for walks in the evening and dressed colorfully, very colorfully. These colors fascinate me. And that's what I tried to reproduce.

What does a healthy relationship with artistic practice look like? Do you have any tips for other artists trying to improve their creative routines?

Fabrizio: You shouldn't be afraid to see the studio as a playground, especially as an adult. You can't take it so seriously. Leave the seriousness at home and give free rein to your creativity. That’s what I would say. Have fun and don't take yourself so seriously.

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T-Shirt CLIFF | Trousers ERIC

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You can paint on a shoebox; it doesn’t matter what you have. But you shouldn't let your thoughts stop you.

It's difficult not to take things seriously. Maybe more artists should open wine bars, what do you think?

Fabrizio: Perhaps! But art in general is very difficult. I think there are very few artists who can say that they only make a living from art. So, it's very complicated. Every artist I know— and I know a lot of them – has a second job. Many people view painting as their first job and their continued employment as a side job. Nevertheless, you shouldn't take it so seriously, because it's boring to just talk about art and not produce anything. You just have to paint! Otherwise, everything will be so stiff. You can paint on a shoebox; it doesn’t matter what you have. But you shouldn't let your thoughts stop you. You should produce a lot, a lot, so that you can show what you have done when an exhibition come along.

Success is often associated with wealth or achieving a high position. What does success look like for you?

Fabrizio: Personally, I am very satisfied with little. For me, success is about having a bit of freedom to do the things that make me happy. That is success for me. This includes family, a pleasant job, and time for creativity. No big cars and no big villas.

Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)
Givn Berlin Strickpullover GBAIDEN aus Bio-Baumwolle Sweater Beige / Blue (Melange)

Knitted Sweater GBAIDEN Made Of Organic Cotton - Beige / Blue (Melange)

Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)
Givn Berlin Chinohose GBERIC aus Leinen mit elastischem Bund Trousers Malachite Green (Linen)

GBERIC Linen Chinos With Elastic Waistband - Malachite Green (Linen)

Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)
Givn Berlin Strukturierte Blousonjacke GBCARTER aus Bio-Baumwolle Jacket Dark Blue (Structure)

Structured GBCARTER Blouson Jacket Made From Organic Cotton - Dark Blue (Structure)

Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown
Givn Berlin Hose DANIEL aus Bio-Baumwolle Trousers Caramel Brown

Organic Cotton Pants DANIEL - Caramel Brown

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In Conversation with Mickey Mouse

To make your blog an effective sales machine, integrate your product into your content in a way that doesn’t scream BUY, BUY, BUY. Here are five steps to provide relevant information and eye-candy to lure readers in and help convert blog posts to sales receipts.

Images: Mick Rock
Words: Theo Adorno

Many companies spend lots of resources and effort to create a blog that supports their business, particularly the sales process. Yet many corporate bloggers complain that while blogs contain relevant information and attract visitors, they can’t track how their blog has influenced sales. Social media has raised customers’ expectations about the information they need before they purchase. If your blog content is relevant to prospects’ and customers’ needs before and after purchase and your products deliver on their promise, you can convert your blog into a sales machine.

3 cs of using your blog to sell

Content. Provide useful, educational and entertaining content. Present information based on your product offering and customers’ problems or needs.

Context. While your end goal is to sell, consider the context of your blog posts. Here, you’re a tour guide through your firm’s extended offering – not an auctioneer. Your job is to show readers how to use your firm’s products.

Commerce. Once you’ve given your readers useful information in a meaningful setting, they may be interested in actually plunking down their credit card. Unfortunately, here’s where many business blogs stop. Blog editors, familiar with their company’s e-commerce site and how to find specific products, can assume readers innately know how to find the product or have the motivation to track it down. Don’t get me wrong. Some very small percentage of prospects will to go extreme efforts to find the product. Unfortunately, the rest will just leave or worse go to your competitor.

Ways to convert your traffic to sales

To make your blog an effective sales machine, integrate your product into your content in a way that doesn’t scream BUY, BUY, BUY. Here are five steps to provide relevant information and eye-candy to lure readers in and help convert blog posts to sales receipts.

Provide useful, relevant information. Show prospects how to use your product, give them instructions or how-tos, and/or entertain them.

Showing making procedure is a good way to guarantee product quality

Include a variety of different forms of content. Photographs and videos are particularly important because readers tend to be visual and want to see your product in action.

Get customer attention by clean visual and video

Make it easy to buy by eliminating stumbling blocks to purchase. Don’t assume customers know which item you’re talking about in your post. Provide a link directly to the product page or just link the product to your blog so they can buy if they want. If it relevant give readers more than one way to get to the product.