ABOUT ME ...
My name is Felix Berner and I am a qualified designer, photographer and filmmaker. After my A levels, I studied communication design at the Fachhochschule Düsseldorf and got my diploma (way before the Bologna-process). I have been creatively active for as long as I can think. When I was a child I drew a possible record-breaking amount of pictures. I always liked to invent exciting stories that I needed to visualize. Being a solitary child, I took refuge in the fantasy worlds that I created.
At a very early age my father got me a video camera that I used to make my own short stories into a film. I got my friends to be the actors and even wrote my own script.
When I was in school, I discovered online-gaming for the first time. It served as a gateway to web design. I founded a video-gaming clan (as one did in those days) and designed my first website for them. While working on the website I discovered that I had more fun creating a website for my clan than actually playing the game.
I stopped playing video games and left the clan to create a website for anime and manga. Back then Japanese pop culture was a novelty in Germany, which made it possible for me to grow my anime-website to one of the biggest (and best designed) anime-websites in the German-speaking world. For a while some of my friends helped me moderate and maintain the website until my enthusiasm for anime and manga left me. I felt that I needed to move on.
I dived deeper into web design and got into graphic design. Fueled by my manic creativity I started doing music on the side. Inspired by my cousin Jan St. Werner, the founder of “Mouse on Mars”, I dabbled in electronic music. Even today I use my computer and music software to create dark and dystopian tracks, envisioning a threatening future as I knew it from the science-fiction movies of my childhood.
It does not come as a surprise to me that my first drawings where heavily inspired by science-fiction movies. Jurassic Park, the Alien-franchise and Terminator were among the first movies I watched (despite being too young for the age rating) and they inspired me deeply. I could feel myself into the movies and dive deep into the fictional universes, which helped me in my own work. If I needed a label for what I do, I’d say that what I do can be called “fan-fiction” in its purest sense.
Shortly before my A levels filmmaking more and more superseded my interest in web design. As a result I did a political clip for the film contest PROJEKT-P from Berlin, which I shot and submitted at the last minute. My clip won first place but I couldn’t go to Berlin to collect my prize, because I was too busy with my A levels and my graduation party. This success nevertheless gave me confidence in my abilities and I applied to the Fachhochschule Düsseldorf to study design. I passed the aptitude test with flying colors and started my studies.
During my studies I shifted my focus from filmmaking to photography and digital art. You can find some of my works under NON-PROFIT ARTWORKS.
I realized through my work as a photographer where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I took everything in and learned as much as I could about digital and analog photography. Photography and film became my vocation. I still like designing leaflets, posters, business cards and print media but film and photography are my only passion.
It’s in my blood to tell stories. That’s why my photography appears staged and cinematic. I don’t like photography that only represents reality and documents everyday-life. I want my models to show me their exaggerated dark side and I want to stage their performance and capture it. I don’t want my photography or my filmmaking to simply depict a part of life, I want to create something and tell a story.
“Doing what has been done is something anybody can do. Creating something and telling a story is a gift.”
Apart from my portrait photography, which serves as my creative outlet, I also specialize in product photography, animal photography, and architectural photography. I also work as a wedding photographer and aim to create unforgettable and beautiful pictures according to the needs and wants of my customers. I know my trade.
I am available for booking in all areas of expertise as shown in my portfolio. I will set films to music or produce a soundtrack. I will shoot music videos for musicians or create promotional films for companies. I will also do photo manipulations for people who’d like to walk their dog to the moon (see Digital Art). As mentioned above I will also do classical photography.
Have a look around, enjoy what you see and write me a message if you are interested in working with me.
ABOUT MY ART...
It takes many years, sometimes a lifetime to realize who one is, where one wants to go and in my case; what it means to be an artist and a human.
How far have I gone in search of myself, in search of a job that‘s not only a job but my vocation; in search of a place where I belong. How far have I gone only to ultimately find myself where I have always wanted to be, finding what I always wanted to find.
I am a creative person. I have known this for a very long time. I have also known that I have been long-drawn to photography and filmmaking. But what defines me as an artist? What drives me and what doesn‘t? What ignites me, what leaves me cold? Where does my creative journey lead? What will be my destination?
Recently I have found the answers to my questions by participating in a photography contest where I had to choose, name and describe my own photographic work.
Every work of every artist is abound with the artist‘s soul, tears, sweat and blood.
I have been asked frequently, even in therapeutic settings, while working on my self-reflection and psychological self-optimization what kind of story my work tries to tell. What do I come to terms with, what do I reappraise and digest? What do I compensate, sublimate or illustrate with my work?
I know that people see me as the happy, smiling and carefree golden boy. I also know that this is simply a façade, that underneath the veneer there is a lot of anger, sorrow, aggression and hate. There are wounds that hurt, echoes from the past of childhood days long gone by.
I always choosed models and celebrities for my projects that in some way related to myself. Some of them are radiant entertainers like myself, who smile away what seethes beneath.
As I worked on arranging my photographies for the contest it was as if the scales fell from my eyes. I looked into the eyes of the people I had photographed and saw their pain, their hate, their anger, their repulsion and aversion and by looking in their eyes, I saw myself.
Every person hides these emotions. We live and have to function in a society that chisels away at us, forcing us to construct an ever improving façade. I am not interested in this façade. I simply ignore all those blonde retouched and shallow dolly birds. I am only interested in the dark alter ego called wrath. I want to reveal it, to bring it to the light hoping to be rid of my model‘s and also my own wrath, if only for a brief moment. My work deals with (suppressed) pain and everyday contempt.
In a way my art deals with the brutality of human existence. It deals with the unadorned, raw and intense depiction of brutality. It deals with deception and disenchantment. It deals with anguish and oppression. It deals with violence in a very pure form. My art is violent. It knows no flourish nor mercy, no tenderness nor gentleness. It is devoid of false idylls.
Friends and family complain on a weekly basis about the negativity of my work and always give unwanted advice. „Why don‘t you try something softer? Less cruel, less dark. Why don‘t you try something cheerful instead? Why don‘t you try it like this or like this?“
My final answer to this attempt to encroach on my creativity is simply: „I will do as I please, this is my style, this is me. I leave „soft“ to the rest."