Duesseldorf: Myth Tour de France

thumb_P5180021_1024NRW-Forum Duesseldorf
Ehrenhof 2
40479 Düsseldorf

The exhibition Mythos Tour de France lasts until July 30, 2017.Sabine-2 (Large)Sabine2-Bearbeitet (Large)

For her long-term project „Allez le Tour“ my friend Nicola Mesken has been photographing fans on the fringes of the route Tour the France for twelve years now. Using an analogue compact camera and black-and-white film she documents life on the fringes of the route and shows the fans’ quiet moments – sitting on their folding chairs, preparing breakfast, or playing Scrabble to make the waiting time pass more quickly.



Nicola Mesken (left) about the approach of her Tour de France photography. Photo: Enric Boixadós

An international group exhibition showcases till July 30, 2017 the powerful imagery of the most important bicycle race in the world. It features portraits of cyclists, film documentaries, installations, landscape shots and mood images. The exhibition spans more than 80 years of Tour history with over 120 works by 20 international artists. It is shining a light on the tumultuous history of the Tour de France, showing its splendour and its more shady aspects and demonstrate how sporting events and image events are interdependent.

Beside Nicola Mesken there are works by Otto Berchem, Robert Capa, Laurent Cipriani, Andreas Gursky, Harry Gruyaert, Martin Höfer, Philipp Hympendahl, Richard Kalvar, Timm Kölln, Kraftwerk, Guy Le Querrec, Louis Malle, Reinhard Mucha, Pascal Rivet, Kai Schäfer, Paul Smith, Olaf Unverzart, Stephan Vanfleteren and John Vink.

Here you see an approach of Nicola Mesken’s work. It is an impressive testimony of sticking to a long planned project as well as ambition and courage. During 7 minutes the film will take you in an unknown world of both: the unconditional love to photography and the hard, often cruel challenges of a sport event which is unique on our planet.


If you cannot get enough of the pics and impressions: Get Nico’s art book „Allez le tour“. It is in English, French, German and Spanish. You can order here!

ausstellung nicola mesken-5 (Large)

Nicola Mesken with Allez le tour! Follow her on Instagram! And on Facebook!

Nicola Mesken, Photographer, Barcelona

4.designerportrait_PIMPAM (Large)I meet Nicola Mesken for a drink in Barcelona’s Café Zurich right at the Plaça de Catalunya. For the last 10 years she is working and living as a freelance photographer in Barcelona.

I know her already for some years and I am very curious to get to know more about her latest project, called PIMPAMs. Those are photographs of Barcelona applied on wood. They are available as keyholders and pictures at the onlineshop Dawanda.

macba (Large) gaudi-laterne (Large) estrella (Large) dali (Large)Nicola started that part of her business in 2012, when many of her friends left Barcelona due to the economic crisis. “I was looking for personalized presents, which would always remind my friends of their time in Barcelona. Something that they would look once in a while, bringing back nice memories we shared”, she explains. For every person Nicola took a special picture – their favourite bar, their favourite dish or the park, where they felt in love. Or just their preferred beach full of nice summer memories.

asunnyday (Large) hotelwdaylight (Large)“It was then, that residents of this town would ask me, where to buy those PIMPAMs and whether I had a shop in the city. One year after starting the business, it is now becoming bigger and bigger.” And Nicola is still quite flattered by the reaction of her friends as well as by complete strangers, not only by her idea, but by the photographs she takes and how she looks at Barcelona – the city of her choice.

balconies (Large) 3.moreproducts_PIMPAM (Large)calle-tallers (Large)PIMPAM is named after a Spanish expression. People use it to describe an action like “I fixed this – pimpam pimpam”, which means like “in an instance”, one after the other. “From the first moment I liked this expression, and my idea was that you can hang one picture PIM, and than a second one PAM, and you find your perfect combination of different images PIMPAM. There you go.”

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Buttons for Barcelona lovers.

Buttons for Barcelona lovers.

Nicola experimented for quite a while with different woods and several papers to find the perfect combination of materials. She wanted her work to be of very high quality and that it would last – well, forever :-). “And what can I say, I am very happy with the results”, she says.

“It was then, when people did not stop to ask me where to buy the PIMPAMs, that I started to sell them on little markets in Barcelona. A friend then suggested to sell them online which I now do on Dawanda.

Of course, people can still come to Barcelona to buy them directly from Nicola Mesken at her little photo studio. “I am always happy to look at the PIMPAMs together with my clients to find the personal, perfect combination, including some information of what to see and where to go in this town.”

Or, just visit one of the shops listed below, while strolling through Barcelona.

My studio at CREC
La central Bookshop at MACBA

By the way, Nicola as a photographer is specialized in weddings and love story shootings for couples visiting Barcelona. Also she makes great portrait and product photography.

Meet Nicola on Facebook!