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Last week, we were very pleased to discover Björn Holzweg’s latest work: a painting on a boat in Hamburg. We had a chat with him to discover more about the story behind it!

The idea initially came from Michael Fritz from Viva con Agua, an organization whose aim is to guarantee access to fresh water to citizens of India, Nepal and Africa. The Millerntor Gallery (initiated by Viva con Agua) and the Affenfaust Gallery (representing Björn) supported him in this project.

Viva con Agua’s goal was to connect arts and boats through the painting of a ship. The owner of the ship – Hubert Neubacher – is also a true art lover and collector. He was enthusiastic about participating in the project and offered Björn to paint his ship after meeting him by chance in bar.
For 7 days Björn worked in a hall of a Dockyard in Hamburg. Because of some technical issues he sometimes had to work at night in order to finish the project early enough, but finally finished it in time. Hubert gave him absolutely free choice about what to paint: «  I wanted to do something weird and created a swimming fox that jumps out of the water and dives into again ». 

Björn Holzweg – copyright Janto Djassi
Björn Holzweg – copyright Janto Djassi

Björn loves nature an wants to sensibilise people about our view and relationship with the environment. « We just experience nature in packaged units like parks or natural resorts and believe this is how nature and wild life functions. What a fool. » 

Björn keeps a very good memory of this whole experience as well as the week after: « The ship went back to the water on the following Monday after being painted. I had a private tour back from the dockyard to the harbor and piloted the ship myself on the Elbe. We drank two bottles of champagne during our ride under the sun! »

björn holzweg boat painting photo janto djassi
Björn Holzweg – copyright Janto Djassi
Björn Holzweg – copyright Janto Djassi

It’s not the only time he collaborates with Viva con Agua: « Two weeks ago I was on a project journey initiated by Viva con Agua in Uganda together with artists and supporters from Viva con Agua. We made workshops and festivals, recorded one song with famous rap stars from Kenya and Uganda and had a road trip to the development areas in the northeast of the country. We made strong relations to visual artists from Kampala and it feels really good to support them doing urban art. »


Get to know Viva con Agua, the Millerntor Gallery and the Affenfaust Gallery.

Photo courtesy of Janto Djassi