Alexander F. Tillmann is one of the new talents Germany has to offer. Born in 1983, he lives and works in Germany as an artist and a DJ. He is very popular in the gay scene of Germany, and, more specifically, in the drag scene.
He started his musical career 16 years ago by playing at gigs, bars, private parties and clubs. After some years of training he had the chance to play his sets that are a mixture of dance, house and techno at open air festivals in Berlin and around the Ruhrgebiet Area. Alexander has a regular DJ slot at the Hotel-Shanghai club in Essen and Druckluft and has played sets with artists such as Amanda LePore, Eric D.Clarke, Kim Ann Foxman, Andy Butler, Stereo Total, Sissys Reiterstaffel, Kai von Glasow,Tor So, Marc Heimann, Langenberg, Schwefelgelb, Ben Mudi or Garcon Garcon.
He is also known as a gay artist with a provocative sense of humour. His work is always in relation to his sexual identity and the modern gay culture. In 2018 he started together with some famous drag artists his Diamonds & Pride online shop where you can find accessories to show your pride.
YASS Magazine met Alexander in one of his recent exhibitions before visiting his new extravaganza glorious store and we learnt everything we needed to know.
What is art for you?
Art is a way to express yourself and your thoughts. A possibility to speak without talking. For me it is like meditation, a way to calm down and to process what is happening in the world or closer what is happening around me.
What is Diamonds and Pride? Tell us the story behind the brand!
We’ve got the Diamonds you’ve got the Pride. Which means that we don’t only want to sell queer merchandise we want to produce and sell good, arty and high-quality merchandise. Pride because we are only working with queer artists and all of our products have a relation to the queer community.
Who are the people involved behind this successful project?
The people behind D&P are queer artists, drag queens and/or friends of mine. I know most of the artists from my time in Berlin or from traveling. We met in the club scene while they or I were deejaying. Antoine Timmermans aka Cybersissy is a close friend of mine who I first met in the “Hotel Shanghai” club in Essen. They are some kind of a role model for me being an artist.
What are your influences and where do you find your inspirations?
Clubkids, Warhol, Cybersissy, Joseph Beuys, LaChapelle, Amanda LePore… I don`t know where I find them. I try to let it roll.
How did you decide to get involved in the drag scene?
I never decided to get involved with this certain scene. I always was part of it because of going out and deejaying in the queer scene of Berlin and other parts of Germany. I don’t know why but the drag queens and me always liked each other right from the beginning.
Tell us about your activism and the Aidhilfe Essen support.
Doing charity is an honour and a must for me as a gay artist. We have to be thankful for those who fought for our privileges and that I am able to walk hand in hand across the street with my boyfriend without being afraid of any consequences.
How do you feel being the biggest queer merchandise store in Germany?
Honestly, we are the first queer merchandise store in Germany and we are pretty small. We started end of July and the feedback is pretty good so far. We are already working on some new pin designs for artists like Tim Kruger from “Timtales”, BayBJane and for a German club. Several T-Shirt designs are going to follow.
What is the most selling item in your store?
The Cybersissy enamel pin. Maybe because it looks so surreal and abstract.
What are differences between the different dildos you are selling? How important is to choose the right one and how can we make sure it is the right one?
It’s all about how it feels. I have to see the raw material first and make sure the feeling is great.
What shall we expect from you in the future?
We try to collaborate with more artists to make enamel pins and T-Shirts. There will be some new products in future, but I cannot say which are going to be released first.
Who would be the biggest representatives of your brand?
I am already working with my favourite representatives/artists. In the future I would love to work with Amanda LePore or Casey Spooner. Maybe, one day I can produce a personalised enamel pin for them.
More of Alexander and Diamonds and Pride here:
*images courtesy of Alexander F. Tillmann and Yass Magazine