“I’m going to be late, again,” I think running from the Oranienburger Strasse U-Bahn station. “Just once I want to make it to an interview on time.” When my editor approached me on Monday and told me I would be interviewing the Hilton Brothers, an artistic duo named after the Hilton sisters, my mind automatically went to Paris and Nicky Hilton, a side effect of my generation’s media I suppose. Thankfully, the two men actually chose the name because of Daisy and Violet Hilton, a pair of conjoined twins from the 1930’s, to symbolize the idea of shared identity. Not actually conjoined nor related, the Hilton Brothers consist of artists Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg, whose single artistic identity will be taking the spotlight at Galerie Hiltawsky for their upcoming show “Andy Dandy” which features, among other things, first-hand photos of Andy Warhol.
I arrive at the gallery breathless, but just in time, as another interviewer and photographer finish up with the artists. As I sit waiting for my interview, I overhear the conversation between the other woman, the gallery owner, and the two artists. Solberg and Makos comment on the fashionable older woman’s jacket and she gives them swanky restaurant suggestion, restaurant VAU in Mitte, for their time in Berlin. I had heard that the two men dressed alike in outrageous custom-made outfits, so I had planned to dress at least somewhat fashionable, but a late night of tacos and tequilas with my co-workers had crushed those plans and I showed up in jeans, Doc Martins, and an old Berkeley T-shirt. “Great, what if they are looking at me right now thinking ‘Is this bring your daughter to work day?’” I wonder. “What am I going to do, give them suggestions for the best döner kebab imbiss?”
Thankfully, my insecurities are unwarranted and once I am introduced to the two men they were just as friendly and engaging with me as they had been with their previous interviewer – asking me about my time in Berlin and where I was from in the U.S.. Both men are dressed in spectacular pin-striped chartreuse suits paired with patterned pants, neon running shoes, and matching black straw beanies.
Creative Love at First Sight
From Beijing to Moscow, Solberg and Makos have traveled the world together, photographing their experiences, each from his own perspective. “We first met each on our bicycles at art school in New York in 2004,” Makos explains. “We were both travel blogging at the time and bonded over our love of travel, that’s how this all began.” While both men are normally drawn to the same subject matter, their individual photographic styles differ.
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