Karla Pechstein

Karla (Kali) Pechstein is a young painter from Hamburg. She studied fine arts and painting at HfbK Hamburg from 2008 – 2016, she was a student of Achim Hoops, Werner Büttner and Norbert Schwontkovski. Imitating and ironizing the traditional, academic panel painting masters she only paints with oil and often on wood or hardboard. The devious and fear are recurring themes in her works, the reflection on human nature in relation to an unnatural world. This site is showing her recent works sorted by sujets rather than chronologically.

Lost places

Lost places are very interesting for Karla, since she is always looking for a calm place without having to miss out on city life. In lost places and abandoned industries she finds nature growing over the signs of civilization which gives her a kind of reassurance of life’s strength itself.

"Thief" 2006, 30x50 cm, oil on canvas
„Thief“ 2006, 30×50 cm, oil on canvas
"Hero" 2007, 60x80 cm, oil on canvas
„Hero“ 2007, 60×80 cm, oil on canvas
"Recess" 2005, 40x60 cm, oil on canvas board
„Recess“ 2005, 40×60 cm, oil on canvas board
"Oven" 2005, 40x60 cm, oil on canvas board
„Oven“ 2005, 40×60 cm, oil on canvas board
"Der Taucher" 2006, 40x60 cm, oil on canvas board
„Diver“ 2006, 40×60 cm, oil on canvas board


The „creepy“ and the „weird“, as to be found around the internet for Karla are not only parts and bits to construct her imaginary world, but also a way to research the human psyche, fears, disgusts and kindness.


The place, where Karla lives, never feels like home to her. As she relocated many times during her childhood, she has no roots. The feeling of not belonging is symbolized by the ghosts that haunt her paintings, as if, every room she goes to, there is already someone else, no place to hide, no place to settle.

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The pulsating city life gives Karla everyday new energy, but can also be exhausting at times. By visualizing the different energies in the city, Karla analyzes how she reacts to the vibes and flows of her surroundings, painting as a human – technological interface of the smart city to be.

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Experimenting is a crucial part of Karla Pechsteins work, as every painting to her is a trial and essay. As she is always a part of it, she is also experimenting on herself, her feelings, her reactions and her needs. The objective view is something desirable but unattainable to her. Like a stubborn child she then plunges into the subjective which is equally unreachable.

Nature U Scary!

In our modern society, nature is often so far away, it is scary to some even without being harmful. Dark forests seem to hide monsters, a little mud might lead to infections. By portraying these fears metaphorically, Karla tries to reconciliate the spectator with his natural origins.