The Boys of Nest | Born to Fly by Robert Grunenberg & Henning Strassburger
Born to Fly–Model turned photographer, Robert Grunenberg picks up his camera for a feature starring seven Nest models. Photographed and interviewed, Jakob Wiechmann, Adam Merks, Nikola Jovanovic, Simon Paul, Chris Sitzler and Philip Milojovic are the topic of conversation as they talk about modeling, interests and future dreams. / Interviews and video by Henning Strassburger.
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HS: Jakob, you finished your studies of Business and Engineering yesterday. Is that your dream job?
JW: Haha, nope…
HS: But it is not the easiest subject to study, many don’t make it. Busy busy…!
JW: No (laughing), more lazy lazy… It took me 5 years for a bachelor! I wrote my Bachelor thesis about the strategic management of a french fashion brand.
HS: And did your fellow students from University know about your model career?
JW: I told the cool ones in the beginning. But it makes the rounds relatively fast, you know.
HS: Do you have a certain masterplan for how long you want to go on working as a model? Because you’re doing it for a while now…
JW: Well, as long as nice people want to work with me. Because it is definitely fun, when you have a cool team around you.
HS: And afterwards, changing the sides?
JW: That’s what I can imagine, of course. As a photographer. Maybe as a designer. But I have never done such things so far.
HS: I have a special question: Seeing yourself in a campaign for example, how does it feel? I mean in the way, that it is not you as a person anymore, more like role. Do you separate between these characters?
JW: No, that’s definitely me. I know how the image was created and what it took, that the result looks this way. With this consciousness, it is no big deal for me anymore.
I also try to explain my friends the whole business as close to reality as I can, without making a big story out of it. They sometimes think I only live in 5 Star Hotels with lots of massages (laughing). But I must confess, as a model it is honestly suffering on a higher level. You are in the position to enjoy some advantages: Everybody takes care of you at the set, they want you to feel good. This really rocks! (laughing) Except for today, if your half naked, it is raining and it’s cold… (laughing).
HS: Now that you mention it, what is the most uncomfortable situation for you in the job?
JW: Actually if someone thinks he knows best. I mean if somebody really thinks he is a big deal and it then is no teamwork anymore.
HS: What do you like most coming back to Berlin after shootings?
JW: Watching tracks and the sunset from the Modersohnbrücke and drinking a Sternburg Export. That’s from Leipzig. And costs only 48 Cents in my Späti*.
HS: Oh I shouldn’t write this, it’s my neighborhood and all the tourists shouldn’t know about these places (laughing).
And what’s the perfect music for this situation?
JW: Alle Farben.
HS: And which club afterwords?
JW: Suicide. No, better say Tresor!
* Late Night Delis in Berlin
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HS: Bastian, tell me, what is it about, being a successful model from one day to the next and everybody seems to be interested into you suddenly?
BT: Weeeeell, that’s…eehhm… interesting (laughing).
HS: And especially what is it like coming back home? Are your friends interested into your new career?
BT: There are many questions, of course. But luckily not too many. It is really nice having a kind of vacation after coming back home.
HS: What about your mother?
BT: She is proud! I guess she is the one who is searching the most on google to see the latest editorials on blogs, that’s what she is doing with lots of discipline!
HS: Where you interested into the whole model business before? Did you assume it to be fun or to be fucked up?
BT: It wasn’t actually part of my personal world. I haven’t had any interest so far. As well as my friends, they are getting a taste of it right now, too. It is definitely interesting… a nice experience.
HS: And do you post your model pics on facebook?
BT: Mmhh, maybe some backstage shots and I sometimes “like” certain photos of me. But posting magazine-pictures would be too much on purpose I guess.
HS: Did you change something ever since you’re modeling, I mean do you eat less or do you do more sports?
BT: Nope, not really. I go for a jog from time to time, but more to calm down. I don’t get fat anyways, because I don’t eat any meat. I am vegetarian. But of course, I am surely more aware of my body now.
HS: Where have you been for a job lately?
BT: I was in London and Paris on stay and I am coming from a job in New York right now. New York is the best city to be!
HS: What was the most stressful situation for you so far?
BT: Well, the worst is waiting at a casting for 3 hours and then being inside for only 30 seconds. That sucks!
HS: Ok, so what do you do to chill when you’re back in Berlin?
BT: I go to my favorite clubs, I really enjoy the „Wilde Renate“ and the „about:blanc“ Club here in Friedrichshain.
HS: Is this the music you like the most?
BT: Yes, all electronic music. I also like listening to Chill Out or Lounge a lot. And I love to dance to Funk Music!
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HS: You are modeling for half a year now. Was there any interest into that before?
AM: Not really – I have never thought about it. I knew there are models and they live in a crazy world, but I have never had any relation to it…
AM: Yes, I am halfway in between. Funny shootings and so on, I like it a lot!
AM: Well, I could say yes (laughing)… 90% trained. There is a final exam that I need to do.
HS: And your second career suddenly started, you had a bunch of editorials and shows already. What did you like the most?
HS: Is there a certain kick in being the centre of attention? I mean talking about your personal ego?
AM: Yes, from time to time. Actually I have never been the kind of guy who likes being in the focus and therefore it was difficult for me in the beginning. I always had problems in doing that. Therefore I see the whole model experience as a chance to work on myself and to develop myself. That makes it cool in many ways for sure.
AM: She’s so proud! She still can’t believe seeing any look-books and editorials from me online. She can’t imagine people seeing me as a model, because for her I am still the same. It is a crazy world for her too!
AM: She is happy! She told me to get every possible job and to bring all the money back home (laughing)!
AM: In the 24Stunden Reichelt* in the Berliner Straße (laughing).
AM: A crazy Electro song that I like a lot, I guess it is by Standhall Syndrom and the song is called D’s Waltz in the Cora Nuvoa Remix.