Creating art for people who want their lives to be extraordinary and authentic is Munich born artist Viktoria Koestler. Intensively expressive explosions of colours can be seen throughout her work which display an almost hallucinogenic intensity reflecting her many-faceted inner world of ideas. Geneyclee Gallery had the amazing opportunity to speak to Viktoria before her solo exhibition opening reception in New York City.
Photo by Kate Taylor (@quincenmulberry)
Q. Who is Viktoria Koestler? Tell us about yourself and share with us one secret about yourself.
A. I was born and raised in Munich (Germany) and I currently live in Zurich – the largest city in Switzerland. In the past, I had a "normal" job for almost 2 years, where I worked for an international strategy and management consulting firm. Following this, I decided to leave the corporate world to pursue my passion for art. I don’t regret anything, because I value living life on my terms and leading an extraordinary life that can help inspire others.
I began my art career by painting realistic mountains before I transitioned to abstract artwork. This evolution was inspired by my fascination with how people project their thoughts and feelings onto paintings. I appreciated that art can be a tool for self-exploration as it can help the viewer to connect with their higher self.
Ok, one thing almost nobody knows about me is that my first foray into the art world was through mounting hunting trophies on painted wood panels. After I wrapped up this work, it took over one year for people to stop asking me: Are you still working with dead animals?
Q. What is the meaning behind your work?
A. I want people to embrace the dualities in life: love and hate, birth and death, and joy and sadness. Today’s social media culture motivates us to show the brightest sides of life. I create art for people who want their lives to be extraordinary and authentic. An extraordinary life requires boldness, perseverance, and often risk-taking. Without a vision – a strong mental model – you cannot achieve uncommon things.
Q. What made you want to be an artist?
A. I am highly visual and am attracted to aesthetics like exciting patterns, sophisticated interior design, and the beauty of nature. I have always been inclined to alter what I see around me to create beautiful surroundings.
After graduating from high school my friends and classmates all thought I would pursue art. I made the rational decision not to study art at the time, thinking I would be unable to handle the uncertainty of the lifestyle. I had bought into the myth of the starving artist. But now I can see every aspect of my work through a business standpoint: Art and a prosperous life are not incompatible! After realizing that there is no certainty in life and appreciating the need to make the most out of my talent and to deeply connect with other people, I decided to take the leap.
Photo by Kate Taylor (@quincenmulberry)
Q. Walk us through your creative process and what part of the process do you enjoy the most?
A. My process is very strategic. I begin by picturing what I plan to paint, but I always strive to surpass my expectations. When I permit myself to let every emotion – however unpleasant – rise up and then transfer it into my brushstrokes, color combinations, or exciting compositions I do my best work. I am also driven by my belief that every finished piece should trigger the human brain or heart.
"every finished piece should trigger the human brain or heart."
Q. Congratulations on your upcoming solo exhibition in New York City! The opening is tomorrow isn't it? Tell us about the exhibition, is this your first in New York? What are you looking forward to the most?
A. Thank you so much! Yes, I am very excited about my first solo show in New York and have already exhibited in the city several times. New York is a vibrant, fast-paced city that opens unlimited creative possibilities. I appreciate that New York can accelerate an artist’s career, because gallerists quickly, tend to be doers, and want to see you thrive. Artists often question their value, be it their art or their person, and the city gives you lots of opportunities to get frank feedback and have rich interactions on your work.
My solo exhibition, "Unexpected Reality" is a series of paintings that showcases figurative artwork in various degrees of abstraction. Within the series, certain pieces contain explicit imagery of the female body, while others display the aura of a person who has left a room.
Q. What are some of the things you’re currently working on for the future?
A. I plan to create an entire series where I paint on genuine gold. I am fascinated by the craft of gold gilding and appreciate why it is a sacred color in so many cultures.
At the beginning of 2020, I am presenting my sculptural paintings at a show in Athens. It is a series that combines art with scents. Scents cull up past experiences and I am eager to get involved in conversations over what happens to spectators in the present when they experience this combination.
Overall, I want to have more impact on the world. My dream is to buy more art from other artists, to connect to art communities worldwide, and to foster business opportunities to gain more international exposure.
Thank you Viktoria, it was a pleasure speaking to you and we can't wait to see more of your work.
Make sure you follow her progress by following her on social media