Tag: Roberto Cuellar

For us here at Place Magazine it is important to keep our connection to our city alive and kicking. Berlin has multiple hubs, places where our culture lives and from time to time those hubs change, get updated, or in the worst cases disappear. 2020 has been a tumultuous year with a lot of changes a lot of bad ones but also some good ones. One of the ones that are most relevant to us as a skate scene is the change of hands when it comes to our beloved indoor park, The Skatehalle Berlin. Yesterday we had an interview with Roberto Cuellar, who worked on the art in the park. Today we have Sara Plagemann one of the fixtures in the Berlin and one of the people now helping run the park talk about what these changes mean both long and short term. So, put on your reading glasses and inform yourself about one of the most important pieces of the Berlin skate scene.

Intro by Roland Hoogwater.
Text by Sara Plagemann, Marketing, Skatehalle Berlin.
Photos by Dennis Scholz.

New beginnings

2020 has been a year of many changes. We had to say farewell to life as we once knew it. But since endings also make room for new beginnings- what better time is there to take over the Skatehalle in Germany’s capital and change it into a non-profit company run by the skateboarding scene itself? Democratic structures through the association of Drop In e.V., the 1. Berliner Skateboardverein, the Cassiopeia Club, and, for a limited transition phase, the previous owner, paved the way for a sustainable concept for many decades to come.

“After a little more than three months of operation we see our ideas slowly but surely coming to life”, says Joest Schmidt, CEO of Skate RAW GmbH. “Despite the challenging circumstances of the reset at Skatehalle Berlin we have started necessary repairs and improvements, managed the bureaucratic challenges, found new partners and sponsors, and gave the building a new look. First and foremost, we already succeeded in quickly reopening the park for all skaters and made it safe to use during the COVID-crisis. It is very reassuring that the skateboard community in Berlin seems to take us up on the offer to get actively involved. Their requests, comments, advice, and constructive criticism genuinely helped us plan the next steps.” But in order to fully explain what we stand for at the new Skatehalle Berlin, it is essential to first take a look at the cultural meaning of skateboarding itself.

“After a little more than three months of operation we see our ideas slowly but surely coming to life.“

Joest Schmidt, CEO of Skate RAW gGmbH
Kalle Wiehn Frontside Flip.

Most people are aware of the fact that skateboarding is a sport. But, as you guys all know, there is more to the story. Traditionally, certain cultural aspects have had strong ties to the skate world. For instance graffiti art, punk rock and later rap music. Recent years have shown that subculture is no longer constrained by fixed signifiers but diversified to such an extent that it is no longer valid to paint a one-sided picture of a male pot-smoking -skater, who doesn’t shower and listens to trap music. This imagery is outdated as exemplified by a rapidly growing number of female skaters, who are taking their rightful place within the skateboarding scene in a very liberating way.

At the Skatehalle Berlin, located within the capital’s most progressive district, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, it does not matter what country you are from or what social class you were born into. Your gender does not define who you are, nor does your age. All of these things do nothing but add value to the great melting pot that is skateboarding. None of it matters when you hit the streets or, in particular during the long cold Berlin winter, the Skatehalle. We are all unified in diverse difference and we live by this notion. Everyday.

Patrick Rogalski Switch Backside Noseblunt.

A metaphor of unity resonates vastly in a world exceedingly divided by invisible borders between humans. Our power comes through our unity and creates a potent political component revealing the inherent subversive nature of the skateboard community around the globe.

So for a Skatehalle that brings all those astonishing groups of people together under one roof, it is important to make all of those feel at home.

Hence, our mission is to create a space for all things significant within the realm of skateboarding. Music and art form a bond with youth and community work and frequent exchange is accompanied by an ever growing range of food and drinks at the SHB-Café. Whilst naturally providing the best possible skate experience for every single one of our visitors from around the globe.

Being the only central indoor skatepark in Berlin, expectations are high. So in all of our attempts, we are being fully aware of the fact that, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to make everyone happy (only Tony Hawk can do that). However, we will continue to think outside the box and value our history without ever feeling restricted by it. We will face logistic and financial challenges during a worldwide pandemic “head-on” with the help of our sponsors VANS and Blue Tomato, our partners, and the community. And we will include and protect groups that need a little more of a “safe space” as long as we possibly can.

Roland Hirsch, Jump Off A Building.

We offer regular slots for skaters on boards and in wheelchairs, a vast variety of kids classes, an adult “After-Work-Session” for those, who no longer want to compete with the youngsters and not one but, due to popular demand, two “Girls Nights” a week, alongside a lot of educational projects for local and refugee kids topped by numerous events for the local skate scene.

It is important to us to provide artists, such as, very recently in the cooperation with Roberto Cuellar, a one of a kind “canvas” and give them the opportunity to create their own habitat within their Skatehalle. Replacing dominant corporate vibes with a more artistic one seems appealing to guests and skate-coaches alike. Thus, we aim to manufacture this change continuously throughout the whole area, which entails a huge yard, home of the open-air cinema “Freiluftkino Insel” and the SHB-bar, which will soon come back to life. One thing is certain, things are moving fast around here and you guys can be sure that we will host a hell of a lot of fun skate video premieres, contests, and music acts of any genre in these upgraded surroundings.

However, times are tough and entry fees, in particular during Corona, don’t come close to covering the costs of running and renovating the big area. Previously, a lot of the Hall’s profit was made through subleases, which since July 2020, are no longer possible. So as idealistic as we might be, we depend on other sources of income. Renting out the Skatehalle for movie shoots is one way to generate those.

Kalle Wiehn, Kickflip.

We will proceed to grow and progress and develop new concepts that do not exclude but fully involve everyone. In a city that has been hit hard by gentrification we are not scared to be one of the last subcultural bastions if you will.

Rapidly, our thoughts have become words, and now is the time to turn those words into action. For years, certain parts of the Skatehalle, such as the Bowl and Miniramp area, have been neglected. Rain has been pouring through holes in the wall and has rendered the indoor park unskateable in certain weather conditions. So we are using the vacuum caused by the government lockdown for intense renovation work and simultaneously enable our staff to keep their jobs. Like all sport & cultural sites, we are heavily affected by the current restrictions and the partial shutdown. All the more reason to unite our power and let the Skatehalle Berlin “feels like a home” for everyone.

Does Drop In e.v. sound familiar? They feature pretty heavily in our Mobina & Melika mini-doc that you can check out below.

Roberto Cuellar Santacruz about art & his new work at the Skatehalle Berlin.

We can talk about skate art all you want and people that do art will probably cringe more often than not. But what Roberto does is different. He is a skater that does art and his work just happens to lend itself to be skated. Which doesn’t mean that it is skate art it is more like skateable art. What is the difference? That is something you can find out by reading this second edition of our Long Read.

All photos by Dennis Scholz
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.

Hey Roberto, how are you?

Right now, I am fine! I just got word that after one year of being without a studio, I finally found a new space. I had moved from Düsseldorf to Berlin after having finished my studies at the art academy. So from then to now, I didn’t have a space to make anything. Which was a crazy feeling, I was used to just work hard and produce. So it was both good and bad, but it forced me to save up ideas, find new perspectives, finetune them inside myself, and now I can start to bring them to reality.

I can imagine, you did do some work though, tell us about your project at the Skatehalle Berlin. How did that happen?

The collaboration with Skatehalle Berlin started with teaching kids from different cultures, helping them do art, multiple times a week. They have asked me to show them how painting and/or stencils could be put on a skateboard. I had no experience working with children but it went well. Beginning of July 2020, news came that the Skatehalle had changed owners. Sara came and told me there was no time to remodel the park and build but instead they wanted to know what would be possible. I felt that by using, motifs, colors, and shapes on their walls we could at least create an atmosphere that feels different from the situation before.

How long did it take you to go from that raw idea to a concept?

7-days. I talked with Yamato Living Ramps to get the 3d drawings of the park because if I would have to draw the whole area it would have taken longer. But thanks to their help, I could make the sketches and present the project as fast as I did. To be honest it was nice because I could easily do experiments with shapes and colors this way. After that presentation, the whole thing started to move fast.

What part did the kids play into the work?

when the kids and I were searching for places to exhibit their work (which we then put on the billboards) we looked for different places in the park where we could place artistic prints that would make sense to the skaters and visitors. so they helped me to find the right places and spaces to put them.

How did you go from 3d drawings to the work we see now?

I had a beamer, with that I projected the designs on the wall. I then did the outlines with different sized tapes. Nice and tight. My work lives from sharp edges and mathematical precision so it was important to do it with care. Important to note is that I had to out line one whole shape in one sitting. Because of the precision it takes. If I had to re-set the beamer my work would have suffered. . The park was open during the day so it turned into a lot of night work. The longest being 19:00 until 9:00 in the morning.

Did you have help?

Lea Isabell helped me for 2 days, some other skaters like Sandro, Emre und Ryan stayed after the sessions and helped as well. It was hard work but fun.

Most people know your work as 3d sculptures but these are paintings.

I started with skateable sculptures something I was doing even before starting at art school. The general process of building hasn’t changed as much but my attitude has. It starts with two sketches on paper and from there I go to 3d. First I only knew how to work with wood but once I started at the academy I experimented more. So as you saw with my sculptures during SKTWK they were made by cutting out plexiglass shapes that were then supported by steel frames. Handmade and then combined with my geometric shapes, which I painted on the plexiglass boards.

One of the steel and plexiglass works from the SKTWK 2018.

Did that change your work?

When it is built with skating in mind, the functionality is extra important but it can’t be the only thing. I need 3 three elements – the technical side of things, like the room & the way that the object will get used by the client. I also need to know what mood I want to exude with my work and finally then come the shapes.

So back to the Skatehalle, how did that translate for you, and how did you come to these works?

Well, the medium was painting, the use was skating, and the goal was “How do I create a different appreciation of space” into a well-known place.

It had to be on the walls but 2D essentially. So to make these shapes I work with a grid, and within these grids, I go looking for shapes. I start with lines and afterwards through the use of colors I go towards shapes. I then keep working until I find a shape that has a certain personality. It is a way of seeing and people often say my work reminds them of logos. Things like an emblem of a football club or a poker chip. People want to see certain things and interpret them through their own grid and that is what I am interested in.

So these shapes in the park don’t represent anything particular but in another way they do. That is their “personality”.

Yes, for this project I am working basically with 2 graphics and those 2 shapes are shown in different ways through colors and distribution between lines to show different characters or moods within the work. Which is a new thing for me that I am exploring now.

One of my questions going into this was if we are looking at one single work (installation) or are we looking at a series of works?

They are multiple works, these shapes are also not limited to this space, they could show up again in other works of mine later on. I see possibilities of working them into a sculpture as well. I want to show these “graphics” can have a long life. I have a database of shapes and when I start a new project I go back and look at those shapes and see if I want to relive and work with some of these images or if I have to create something new.

A never-ending story, and in its own way a series of works. Can you tell me how you feel about the work being skated?

I feel good about that. But it is different than before. For instance, before my time at the academy, I built these big works, put a lot of detail in them. But then they got skated and once they were done I had to deconstruct and discard them. I didn’t have the space to keep the works. That bothered me a bit, the longevity wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong using something and then moving on is a part of skating but I wanted them to last.

So during SKTWK in Düsseldorf, I changed the concept and the materials so it would make sense for me that skaters could leave traces and use the sculptures.

Now in the SHB (Skatehalle Berlin) only the wallride will get skated and that is why I chose to put that shape there because it suggests motion and the traces of the skaters would make sense on that shape.

Still, how was that first moment to see people skating it?

By now, I am used to it. For me when the work is done it is a beautiful thing. A private moment, I want to chill, smoke a cigarette, and look at the work. But after that moment is over I am happy to see people use the space and the works. It is cool!

Roberto wallriding his own work at the Skatehall Berlin 2020.

How has the response been?

Good, I haven’t heard any bad news but maybe they are talking behind my back (laughs).

How long will this work be in the space?

I don’t know but I did suggest working on different things like skateable sculptures in the park and I hope that we can work together in the future to make those happen.

I understand that is all, anything more to add from your side?

No, you asked me about everything I wanted to talk about (laughs).

Roberto’s Skatehalle Berlin pieces were realized together with the children under the “Diversity Decks” project created by Drop In e.V.

More on the updated Skatehalle Berlin tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled!

Fresh off that boat (actually this was produced before the cruise) Hamburg’s most productive group of skaters Stanley WE is back with a new project for our viewing pleasure. Those guys really put Hamburg on the map lately. Use headphones for this one, the sound is really good.

Here’s a little explanation:

“R. is a video-installation that documents the encounter of the Sculpture artist Roberto Cuellar with our Skatecrew Stanley WE.
This work was shown on multiple TV screens at the artnight of the SKTWK -Skateweek in Düsseldorf 2019.
The centre point of the exhibition was the sculpture of Roberto Cuellar and the walls and screens around it were ment for the other artists involved in this project.”

Feat.: Kenny Hopf, Christoph Friedmann, Dennis Behrens, Benny Vogel, David Neier, Luis Mathys, Mike Brauer, Johann Rohde, Johannes Keschke, Christoph Reinhardt and Lars Zimmermann.

A video by Nizan Kasper.

Arte hat eine neue fünfteilige Webserie im Programm – “Art of Skate” beschäftigt sich mit der Schnittstelle zwischen Skateboarding und Kunst. In der ersten Folge werden Roberto Cuellar und seine Skulpturen vergestellt. “Roberto nennt sich selbst einen “Aktionskünstler”, er experimentiert mit Farben und Formen. Sein Ziel ist es, seine Kunstwerke so zu entwerfen, dass die Skater “ein Teil davon” werden.”

Ein Veranstaltungshinweis aus unserem Posteingang: The Open Door ist ein in München beheimatetes Kollektiv von kreativen Köpfen. Es organisiert temporäre Veranstaltungen für Fotografie, Illustration, Kunst und Mode. The Open Door hat seit seiner Gründung einen starken Bezug zur Skateboardkultur und wird im Zuge von Whatsthedeal einige Künstler daraus vorstellen.

Kommt vorbei, skatet die Nomadic Sculpture und erlebt Skateboardkultur in Reinstform. Alle Infos gibt es auch noch einmal gesammelt im Facebook Event.

Samstag, 6. Dezember
Maximilians Forum
Passage Maximilianstrasse/Altstadtring, München
Beginn Skatesession: 16 Uhr
Beginn Ausstellung: 19 Uhr
Musik: Monaco Bass
Design Concept Store by Haeppi Piecis

Ausstellende Künstler:
Roberto Cuellar / Almaros / Laura Kaczmarek Photography / Leo Preisinger Fotografie / Conny Mirbach / Carl Wander / Holiday Life Co. / SHRN / Wiethaus Michael



Roberto Cuellar und seine Gang sind unstoppable – schon wieder eine neue Skulptur samt schicken Video. Diesmal mit von der Partie sind: Kai Hillebrand, Aladin Cabart, Marcel Kühnemund und Ruben Lücke. Hinter Kamera stand Simon Liersam, der gleichzeitig auch für den Schnitt verantwortlich ist!

Roberto Cuellar zeigt zusammen mit dem Kartell Kollektiv aus Düsseldorf seine neue Skulptur, geskatet von Mannheims Stig Breu.

Roberto Cuellar sorgt mit seinen eindrucksvollen Skulpturen schon seit einiger Zeit für Aufsehen. Seine letzte Projektarbeit “Gnade” stand in Wuppertal – klar, dass die Homies Aladin Cabart und Ruben Lücke es sich nicht nehmen ließen für ein paar Tricks vorbeizuschauen…


Das Making Of zum “Skate on Art” Film des CONS Space 002 BLN gibt interessante Einblicke hinter die Kamera der aufwendigen Produktion. Mit Interviews von Roberto Cuellar und Michel Lohmann.

Neues Jahr, neues Heft, neues Glück! “The Photographer Issue” ist der Titel unserer ersten Ausgabe in 2014 und markiert zugleich eine Hommage an die Fotografen, die uns in den all den Jahren begleitet und begeistert haben. In dieser Woche findet ihr unsere neueste Perspektive auf die Skateboard-Welt im Skateshop, Bahnhofskiosk, oder Zeitschriftenhandel eures Vertrauens. Die Ausgabe enthält unter anderem folgende Fotostrecken:

Kevin Metallier – Alone In Ordos

Phil Boyd – The Hothouse Chronicles

Sarah Meurle – Extended Grey Tuesdays

Brian Kelley – A Friendship Formed Throughout The Years

Davy van Laere – Silhouettes Gallery

Außerdem gibt es ein Special Feature zum CONS Space 002 BLN mit eigenem Backcover featuring Roberto Cuellar.

Wir wünschen viel Lesevergnügen und angenehme Entschleunigung!

Hier geht es zum Abo.

Mauro Caruso by Sam Clark

In diesem Sommer schuf Aktionskünstler Roberto Cuellar die Skulptur “Palmera”. Bespielt wurde die leuchtende Skate-Palme von Mauro Caruso, Sami Harithi, Conrad Bauer und weiteren Locals, sowie internationalen Gästen. Jo Peters hat die Sessions mit der Videokamera eindrucksvoll festgehalten.

Seit zwei Wochen sind die Tore des CONS Space 002 BLN in der alten Teppichfabrik in Alt-Stralau geöffnet. Seitdem ist viel passiert – das Opening mit Redman, ein Skateboard Concerto und natürlich der freie Zugang zu den skatebaren Skulpturen von Roberto Cuellar. Genau dort haben Louis Taubert und Stevie Schmidt zwischen der Ausstellung im ersten Stock und der Bar direkt am Parcours vorbei geschaut.

Film and Edit by Julius Krappe

Am heutigen Tag geht das Projekt mit einer großen Closing Party zu Ende, alle Infos dazu auf dem Flyer:

Am vergangenen Mittwoch fand das Opening Event zum CONS Space 002 BLN in der alten Teppichfabrik in Stralau statt: Geladene Gäste, Free Drinks en Masse, Live Painting Action und Redman in Höchstform auf der Bühne – ein ziemlicher Abriss. Wir haben die Fotos für euch:

Der CONS Space 002 BLN ist ab sofort für jedermann geöffnet. Es erwarten euch skatebare Skulpturen, Ausstellungen, sowie Workshops und Events – alle Infos zum Programm findet ihr hier. Vorbeischauen lohnt sich auf alle Fälle.

Francisco Saco mit seiner Interpretation der Absolut Graffiti Session an der Sic Semper Skulptur von Roberto Cuellar. Mit dabei sind Mauro Caruso, Kai Hillebrand, Hardy, Colin Mclean und Daniel Pannemann. Satisfaction kills desire.

Am kommenden Donnerstag, den 03.10. ist es soweit – der CONS Space 002 wird in Berlin seine Tore öffnen. Bis zum 16.Oktober wird die alte Teppichfabrik in Stralau in eine temporäre Ausstellungs- und Veranstaltungsfläche für Skateboarding, Musik und Street Art verwandelt. Auch Teile des globalen Converse Skate Teams werden anwesend sein – Jason Jessee, Kenny Anderson, Mike Anderson und Ben Raemers sind bereits bestätigt.

Roberto Cuellar
wird die Grenzen skatebarer Kunst ausloten und das Erdgeschoss in ein einzigartiges Skate-Lab transformieren. Dieser “state-of-the-art Skate-Park” wird das pulsierende Herzstück des CONS Space sein und allen Besuchern zur Verfügung stehen. Wir haben bereits die ersten Bilder der Obstacles.

Neues für die Hauptstadt: Converse eröffnet Anfang Oktober den CONS SPACE 002 BLN – eine Initiative, die urbane Kreativität durch das Zusammenbringen von Künstlern aus den Bereichen Skate, Kunst und Musik freisetzt. In Friedrichshain wird ein verlassenes Fabrikgebäue vom 3. bis 16. Oktober in eine temporäre Ausstellungs- und Veranstaltungsfläche für Skateboarding, Musik und Street Art verwandelt. Lokale Künstler werden eine alte, stillgelegte Teppichfabrik über drei Etagen bespielen und dort die Kreativität des modernen Berlins leben und feiern. Auch Teile des globalen Converse Skate Teams werden anwesend sein, Jason Jessee, Kenny Anderson, Mike Anderson und Ben Reamers haben sich schon angekündigt.

Ein wesentlicher Bestandteil des neuen CONS SPACE wird ein Kreativstudio und eine Ausstellungsfläche sein, die von dem auf Streetart spezialisierten Team von Hallenkunst kuratiert wird. Eine Gruppe lokaler Künstler entwickelt den “Kunstraum“ während der zwei Wochen kontinuierlich weiter und bringt ihre Vision der Berliner Street Culture zum Ausdruck. Roberto Cuellar wird die Grenzen skatebarer Kunst ausloten und das Erdgeschoss in ein einzigartiges Skate-Lab transformieren. Dieser “state-of-the-art Skate-Park” wird das pulsierende Herzstück des CONS SPACE sein und allen Besuchern zur Verfügung stehen.

Eine Vielzahl verschiedener Special Events, Performances und kreativer Ausstellungen werden in der Galerie in der ersten Etage, den verschiedenen Lounges und einem Freiluftkino des CONS Space 002 stattfinden. Wir halten euch auf dem Laufenden!

Mittlerweile hat sich unser guter Freund Roberto Cuellar durch diverse skatebare Skulpturen einen Namen gemacht. Vor Kurzem hat Absolut Vodka geladen und wenn es was zu skaten und umsonst zu trinken gibt, lassen sich Skateboarder nicht zweimal bitten. Die Skatesession vor der eigens angesprühten Wand voller Absolut Flaschen fand im Hof des Prince Charles statt.

Kunstwerke im öffentlichen Raum üben seit jeher ihren Reiz auf Skateboarder aus, bringen oft ungewöhnliche Möglichkeiten mit, sie als Spots zu benutzen und haben mehr Flair als der Skatepark um die Ecke. Leider macht man sich meistens wenig Freunde beim Befahren selbiger.

Roberto Cuellar, gebürtiger Mexikaner, hat das erkannt und inszeniert skatebare Skultpturen als eigene Welten, die sich alle insofern gleichen, dass sie zum Skaten gebaut sind.

Zusammen mit Arrow & Beast und adidas Skateboarding hat er eine Skulptur gebaut – ihr seid herzlich eingeladen die Skulptur am 07. September zu skaten. Treffpunkt ist um 14 Uhr in der Schwabenlandhalle in Fellbach. Zu allem Überfluss findet auch noch eine Best Trick Session, eine kleine Demo vom adidas Skateboarding und Arrow & Beast Team statt – gute Laune garantiert. Ab 22 Uhr wird dann im Mata Hari gefeiert. Wer also in der Nähe sein sollte – hin da, es lohnt sich! Alle Infos nochmal gesammelt auf dem Flyer oder auf der Arrow & Beast Website.