Stepping below street level, we enter 700 square feet of pristine white-washed bliss – an atmosphere easily at home in one of the world’s urban hubs. And while those in Berlin, Toronto, or Barcelona might not consider this set-up anything special, the stark approach looks fresh and even unconventional in Cologne where such spaces are still few and far between – and often quick to disappear again.

Photo: Ionanna Gogolin
Photo: Ioanna Gogolin

Behind the counter, further steps take us into a cavernous 300 square feet space with Prussian coffered ceilings that lend the room an expansive, urban feel and present the works on display in a clean, airy light. Think bustling art opening, DJ in tow, where the young-ish crowd most of all wants to know if you “are an artist or Instagramer?”

Photo: Ioanna Gogolin
Photo: Ioanna Gogolin

Young, yet established international urban artists like Stefan Strumbel adorn the walls. Strumbel likes to take traditional motives – often featuring stereotypical notions of “Heimat“ (home) and folklore like cuckoo clocks or crucifixes – and replaces key elements with motifs associated with violence, pornography, or death. Here, a huge cuckoo clock-meets-Gone with the Wind turns into a game of space and time, topped by a Day-Glo yellow skull and pink crown.

Photo: Peter Bender
Photo: Peter Bender

Die Kunstagentin’s latest exhibition, NEO Vol # 1, not only features work by Stefan Strumbel (DE), but also modern-day luminaries like Swoon (US), Maya Hayuk (US), Whils (PT), Tilt (FR), and Smash 137 (CH) – the show is on display until May 3rd, 2014 .

Blessed with plenty of passion to promote creative potential and connect actors and cultural projects, intrepid art agent Anne Scherer works on the interface and interstices of the art market and creative economy. While she advises companies, institutions, and agencies on design and how to realize cultural projects, she also helps private collectors and corporate customers to build and maintain their art collections.

Photo: Ioanna Gogolin
Photo: Ioanna Gogolin

To this end, she relies on an active creative network of employees and freelancers from the fields of graphic design, illustration, animation, photography, and video production.

So, if you fancy a quick art fix, head to Maastrichter Straße 26, 50672 Cologne, and visit Die Kunstagentin: a cool gem in the city center and a great tip for any self-respecting urban art or neo-pop fan.

Header image: Peter Bender