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“The Gasteig is Very Welcome Here, of Course!”

We take a walk through the neighbourhood of the Gasteig HP8. Owned by the Stadtwerke energy utility, it is already home to artists and creatives, start-ups and craftspeople. Before we moved in ourselves, we stopped by a shared studio and a car valeting pro.

Man and polished car in background of his workshop
Copyright: Andrea Plücke/Gasteig

Rinat Garayev at Royal Glanz Turns Cars into Works of Art

Rinat Garayev has spent almost a decade polishing cars until they gleam. He doesn’t have to worry about his hands shaking when a vehicle costing millions rolls into his workshop. He initially qualified as a software developer but followed his passion away from working at the computer screen and towards making cars look their very best. Rinat’s art involves applying high-quality ceramic sealants and providing top-class vehicle detailing services. His workshop is located right next to the new Isarphilharmonie.


What do you think about the fact that the Gasteig is moving into HP8 soon?
The Gasteig is obviously very welcome here! It’s really going to benefit all of us here at HP8. I’m based here at the heart of the site, right next to the new Isarphilharmonie and I think it’s likely that people who own vintage or sports cars will find out about me as a result. I believe that good music also means good cars, particularly cars that sound like a symphony to me and especially the Italian ones. Joking aside, we can essentially coat any surface, including a tuba or a grand piano.


Some people see looking after your car as more of a necessary evil. Why do you find it so enthralling?
I’ve always been passionate about cars and my children have also caught the bug. Most of our work involves turning cars that are in a pretty poor condition into real works of art – we can make any kind of paint look like new. I always feel happy and proud when I see how emotional my customers are when they come to collect their cars.


How important are art and culture to you?
I grew up in a circus family in Kazakhstan. My sister is a circus artiste and is currently working as a film stuntwoman; my father plays the trombone and has been a musician in the circus orchestra as well as in the army. My background means that I have always been closely connected with art and culture and I’m very grateful for that. I used to spend a lot of time in the public library in the Gasteig and I’m already really looking forward to the arts centre.

Shiny hood of sports car
Right next to the Isar Philharmonic, cars are treated with tender loving care. Copyright: Andrea Plücke/Gasteig

Artist Benjy Barnhart Documents the Gasteig HP8

We drop in on a studio community in HP8 where American artist Benjy Barnhart shares several rooms and hotplates with three other creative spirits. The windows of the shared studio look out on the outer walls of the Isarphilharmonie in Orion Sparkle colour tone. On a whim, Barnhart, who likes to paint urban spaces, started sketching the construction site.


How do you feel about the new Isarphilharmonie and the Gasteig moving in?
Obviously I preferred the wider view that I used to have, but the grey outer walls aren’t actually that bad. If the Isarphilharmonie had been red, it would have reflected everything pink and it would have been impossible to identify or apply the correct colour shades. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve chosen to take a positive view of the construction site: I recorded the different stages of construction on a large canvas and I’m painting a picture of the creation of Gasteig HP8.


Have you got any specific wishes when it comes to a shared future here?
The site here is a bit of a desert in terms of places to eat, so the Gasteig moving in is bound to make things more convenient for us in that respect. It will also draw more attention to the site, which won’t necessarily be a bad thing for us artists. As a lecturer at the Münchner Volkshochschule adult education centre, I can definitely see courses being offered on site here, once the adult education centre moves here in 2022. (Barnhart grins) Maybe someone could mark the Gasteig opening in October by cleaning the outside of the windows that are high up and difficult to reach – that would be nice!

The artist Benji Barnhart in his studio
Artist Benji Barnhart with a drawing of Hall E
Studio with three large paintings