On Tour in... STUTTGART: Zwischen Kunst und Kink


Stuttgart is a favorite city of mine to tour in. It's a quick flight from Berlin, a short train ride from the airport into the city center where you step off the train and you are basically directly in front of the legendary institution of German BDSM, Studio Centric. On my first trip to Stuttgart, my flight landed early in the morning so I arrived at the studio really early but Kinky Jay (bless her) was there to let me in. I talked over coffee and she showed me around the Studio. Soon after I was settled in, Fraulein Eder arrived for her guest appearance. There are usually several touring ladies in the studio at the same time on any given day. It was a pleasant morning getting to know Kinky and Eder as we sat around the kitchen table, getting ready for the day, putting on makeup, getting dressed, sipping coffee, scribbling notes in our calendars and answering our phones.


My sessions in Stuttgart were all unique and fun and several of those guests I met on that first trip have become faithful regulars. The studio itself is like a labyrinth with many well equipped rooms. The Ladies of the house were helpful and nice, the vibe is professional but easy going in a way. My favorite room to play in at Centric is das Kabinett with it's traditional dungeon / goth vibe. 


 On Sunday morning I had some time to kill before I needed to head to the airport. As I often try to do when traveling, I decided to squeeze in some culture at a museum. Walking down the Charlottenstrasse, passing Karlsplatz and the New Palace, continuing on to Schloßplatz and then straight up to the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. The KS is a contemporary art museum that, while not huge, moved me by what it had to offer. (Sadly I didn't have time to check out the upper levels where the rotating exhibitions are shown, but only because I'd been happily lost on the ground and subterranean floors. I especially loved the paintings by Willi Baumeister, and Wolfgang Laib's beeswax ziggurat installation, and the abstract works of painter Fritz Winter.

But it was the Otto Dix wing, an impressively large collection of paintings (but also collages, drawings, etc spanning decades of his career) that left an unforgettable impression. Otto Dix was a prolific artist and one of the creators of the New Objectivity movement. As a Berliner, I know his portrait of 1920s Weimar era party girl and performer Anita Berber well. I always loved the bold red depiction of Anita, captured here during the peak of her hedonistic, short, drug-addled life. She is partly glamorous, partly ghoulish. This portrait of Berber is perhaps one of Dix’ most iconic works. I was able to get very close to his paintings, a liberty I took full advantage of. Close enough to study the brush strokes, to see up close and marvel at Dix’ technical skill.   

Dix is also famous for depicting prostitutes in his paintings, and two of his most famous paintings with prostitutes in them are also on display at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. His masterpiece triptych Metropolis is a painting you can really get lost in. Such a detailed scene and so many characters. Metropolis depicts many different prostitutes out in the streets, some exquisitely and elegantly dressed. His painting Salon 1 depicts several prostitutes in the parlor room of a brothel perhaps. They are sitting around a table, waiting for customers. 

 It's an amazing collection of Dix' work and I feel privileged that I got to see it up close. Most of Otto Dix's paintings depict the harshness in post World War I society. Scenes of poverty stricken, limbless veterans begging in the streets clashing with the glamorous ladies passing by dripping in in jewels, representing the artistic excess of the Weimar era. The subjects in Dix' paintings often exude utter misery, but some are crazed looking, as if in some whimsical substance fueled insanity, numbing away life's brutal realities night after night.....


A must see if you enjoy art and plan to visit Stuttgart.