Giehler’s practice was one of the first I photographed. We originally met in New York, where he had been based for 15 years. By the time of the shoot, however, he had loaded a shipping container with his belongings and sent it to Berlin to establish a studio there. As Berlin has become a mecca for artists, Giehler, a German painter, felt that the return to his homeland was a logical move.
I met up with Giehler in a neighborhood with an unusual-sounding name for English speakers—Wedding. The contents of his studio had recently arrived, and he had just finished the task of sharpening his trowels to evenly apply geometrically-shaped layers of brightly-hued acrylic paint to his canvasses. When I asked him about the transatlantic transition, he mentioned that he had trouble finding certain materials in Germany. “Like this stuff,” he said holding up a roll of blue painter’s tape, “they have it here but it’s unbelievably expensive and I go through rolls and rolls of it. I’ll have to get it in New York and bring it back.” Giehler masks straight edges on his canvasses with the blue tape before troweling on the paint. Assessing the two huge mounds of used tape on the floor he grumbled, “That’s about what I go through in one week.”