Kings of the Street
In Hamburg’s infamous and omniously named Reeperbahn red-light district, hunting knives and firearms glisten in shop windows next to window displays of fishnet catsuits, rhinestone-adorned dildos and posters advertising live sex shows where the copulating couples are semi-dressed as birds and bees. A short stroll away is the discreet headquarters/store for Kingdrips, a graphic design collective that sells their drawings, paintings on vintage magazine pages, handpainted surf-boards and skateboards alongside hand-sewn and hand-printed dresses, hoodies and T-shirts.
Staffed by Lutz Lindermann, Patrick Fuchs, Andreas Klammt, Mattian Weigb and Fabrian Wolf, five friends who met in the silk-screening studio at HAW Hamburg art college, Kingdrips opened its offices in their small one room basement space in December after the neighboring record label down-sized but only launched their shop-cum-gallery in May. “We figured that we were here already, so why not show our stuff in the same space?,” explains Lutz Lindermann. Kingdrips had previously created the decor for Hamburg´s hip Thomas-i-Punkt store and the skater label Faith21, but their own work combnes and expands too many mediums not to be showcased under their own name. “Crash the Beach,” their debut exhibition of hand-painted surf-boards, fit well with beach-obsession consuming the leading German port town, which I experienced in full at the True Religion perfume launch party that I attended at Lagos Beach sand-filled outdoor theme bar located across from the gray choppy harbor. “Surfing is very popular here,” Lindermann tells me. “Hamburg is all about the water. But these are just art. You can surf on them but I suggest just admiring them instead.”
An equally admirable although more functional aspect of the Kingdrips output is the clothing line they produce with Maren Szeymies, a fashion designer they met at university, whose masterfully hand-stitched hooded sweatsuit dress and super-soft organic cotton tee-shirts provided the canvas for silk-screen graphics. The T-shirts are printed with slinky line drawings of irate chihuahuas, taggers, kittens, kissing couples and seagulls. In contrast to their avatars in Reeperbahn nearby, the birds and couples kissing for Kingdrips are sensibly emblematic of separate items of clothing.
Kingdrips is located at Wohlwillstraße 27, Hamburg.