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Nailed it

#nailartist #nailjob #ladyfounder


Between craft and self-founded “Ich-AG”, nail design can be a second career for women, a return to the job market and, sometimes, the first self-employment. Hendrik Quast and Maika Knoblich also underwent a training for three months at the nail academy Luna Nails in Berlin to become certified nail technicians. As Hen & Mai, they founded a mobile nail bar, a place that celebrates the birth of nail art. No matter which technique you choose – dots, splatter, sprinkle – each session takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Hen & Mai always try to bring out the best – not in you – but your hands. Their signature designs are unique. They do not see themselves as service providing nail technicians but nail artists. The costumer is not king, but the nail artists are. The nail as canvas and happening is paramount, not the individual consultation. This nail bar subverts the mechanisms of the service sector and questions the relation between work and art.


(german language, no subtitles) 

Concept, text, performance Hendrik Quast, Maika Knoblich

Press, production Björn Pätz, Björn Frers

Co-production FFT Düsseldorf, Schwankhalle Bremen, SOPHIENSAELE, Quast & Knoblich

Funded by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. 


Premiere 27.05.2016, Berlin Sophiensaele

Maika Knoblich's and Hendrik Quast's actions captivate the audience due to the ongoing strangeness and its focus on society and its conditions.

Roger Merguin & Dominik Müller, Gessnerallee Zurich, Festival keine Disziplin, 2018

The artist duo has opened a nail bar in the premises of the Forum Freies Theater (FFT), where they merge nail art and artistic performance. (...) The canvas is the nail of each person visiting FFT. Most important fact: The artists choose their customers, not vice versa. Once they find a customer, the happening begins. While Maika stays at the table applying a white foundation and some colourful dots, Hendrik uses the space. When the foundation is dry, he absorbs colourful paint with a straw and blows the colour on the white nails. The artists created their very own world at FFT. They have a cat called Kitty. She was a once a vegetarian. To name one anecdote Hendrik and Maika tell their customers while beautifying their nails.

Rheinische Post, May 2017


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