When art changes the second time you look at it: questioning what you see
In Vienna, Austria, at the foryouandyourcustomers office, we recently saw the official opening of the 28th ‘Codes’ exhibition, in which five well-known Austrian artists presented their own interpretations of the theme ‘Code’ via countless works of art. According to Angela Stief, ‘the meaning of the work remains hidden until the beholder connects with the piece and scrutinises it, then understands the meaning.’ Against the backdrop of numerous great works of art, Angela Stief welcomed around 170 guests to the opening event as she kicked off proceedings with her initial speech.
Works of art reveal the many ‘mental leaps’ of artists
It takes time and, in many cases, also a certain amount of the proverbial ‘going around in circles’ for a piece of work to be born from an idea. In Michael Kos’ case, if everything goes well, a ‘Round Thing’ will emerge from the process – it is this title (Runde Sache in German) that has been coined for one of the pieces in a series by this Austrian visual artist, which can be seen at the aforementioned exhibition at foryouandyourcustomers’ premises.
Using a very wide range of materials, including metal and glass beads, Kos creates oversized buttons measuring up to 1.5 metres in diameter. ‘The concept is a very important starting point for what I do, but equally important is the selection of materials that I integrate into my creative process later – the entire process also has something to do with building images,’ he explained to interested onlookers at the opening event. The oversized buttons are, however, just one part of multiple works of arts and series that Kos has in store for visitors to the exhibition. Other work that he will be presenting includes a second series entitled Mappings, which will consist of folded maps that are no longer legible. The works of art allude to the increasing digitisation of our times and inventions such as navigation apps which have largely replaced maps, meaning that the latter are hardly used anymore.
For once, art that you dont’t just look at
Tone Fink is probably one of Austria’s most well-known artists, so it gives foryouandyourcustomers great pleasure to be able to exhibit the artist’s work. ‘Tone Fink’s paper works of art form a focal point of the exhibition,’ Angela Stief said, introducing the artist in her speech. Tone Fink doesn’t just use regular paper in his work, but also lokta paper, which he uses to create unusual pieces of work such as the Papiermantel (paper coat). Lokta paper, which is handmade and originates from Nepal, is made from the bark of the daphne (lokta) tree, a tradition that goes back 2,000 years. Lokta paper remains the same quality over thousands of years.
Tone Fink’s work went down well with visitors: the pictures are dabbed with acrylic paint, then painted with quartz sand, before being sanded. Doing so means that the acrylic paint resurfaces and as such that the ‘images shouldn’t just be looked at, but also touched,’ Angela Stief told guests, urging them to experience the texture first-hand. ‘For me, these kinds of touchable pictures are always something rather special; it’s exciting to be able to feel the different textures on each piece,’ one of the visitors told us, as he ran his hand over a Tone Fink picture.
The fine and delicate work of artist Katharina Fink, which ‘jutted’ into the room, also proved to be a real talking point. These Indian ink drawings on paper turn into ‘cliffs’ that hang almost weightlessly on the wall as a result of the special folding technique. Katharina Fink’s simple work is intended to shake up society: ‘Increasing digitisation is causing us to take a back seat as people and live at such a fast pace that we hardly have any time left for our personal lives,’ Angela Stief informed the guests, on behalf of the artist. ‘It’s the simplicity that makes the artist’s work so breathtaking,’ one lady at the event told us as she contemplated where she could put one of the pieces of art for sale in her home.
Paper with colour geometric visualisations
Visual media such as data, tables and reports provide the basis for the work done by Michael Wegerer, an artist based in both Vienna and London. He puts the financial news from Austria’s Standard newspaper in an aesthetic context by printing colour geometric shapes on the newspaper clipping.
By painting over the clippings, Michael Wegerer’s intention is to put the alleged ‘outside’ in parallelism with the supposed ‘inside’, as Angela Stief explained. ‘Regardless of where I am currently with my body, the “outside” can extend fair beyond what I can envisage myself mentally, all the way to the end of the world. The financial world, with all of its intangible figures, is just as abstract,’ said the artist, describing what he does. One series of work exhibited by Michael Wegerer is based on log data from foryouandyourcustomers Vienna, which he has staged in his typical fashion.