Katharina Höglinger creates one of the most interesting contemporary paintings, often with figural motifs and herself displayed in the pictures too. And she perfectly fits our #SwineVisualSeries. I don’t know if I was just reading a biography of Georges Braque at that time, or what, but when some of her paintings popped up on my smartphone, everything clicked.
◖ Alert: This is not a professional curatorial text. You can skip this boring part straight to the interview.
When you browse her Instagram you can find generally 3 types of artworks. Paintings (which I love the most and are the most interesting according to me), quicker drawings & sketches – often with a representation of a skinny figure with a long oblong face. And the third group – merch – drawings and paintings on shoes, clothes, jackets, plates, etc.
Maybe I’m hit by the overall color palette of Katharina’s work the most. Yellow, shades of orange, beige…and sometimes with purple and blue for the contrast. Figures in her paintings are often very funny, strange girls or guys in twisted and unique positions. The background is often very raw and abstract – painted by a thick brushstroke.
◖ Education part would go like this: Katharina Höglinger (b. Austria, 1983) graduated from the University of Art and Design, Linz, Austria in 2011. In 2010-11 she had a scholarship abroad for art theory at the Kunsthochschule Weissensee, Berlin.
◖ Portfolio part would go like this: She has exhibited internationally at the Royal Academy (London, UK), Galeria Quadrado Azul (Lisbon), Cooper Cole (Toronto), Tower (Vienna), Kunsthaus Vienna, GUIMARÃES, Mauve (Vienna), Feÿ – Rencontres d’arts (Burgundy), M.I/mi1glissé (Berlin), Calaboose (Montreal), futur 2 (Paris), and City Surfer Office (Prague). Höglinger currently lives and works in Vienna, Austria.
As usual, we are curious about what music visual artists listen to. We ask them for a music mix of their favorite songs – which they should mix together. We recommend a simple software Audacity, where you just copy+paste downloaded songs and put together. But sometimes we understand that they don’t have time, so Krištof (usually on the train) mix it together ¯\_( ͡❛ ͟ʖ ͡❛)_/¯
How does your ideal creative environment look like? Is it full of light or dark?
There’s not really a thing like an ideal environment as my work is a lot about reacting to environment, situations, news, people I meet, conversations and things I see. I integrated drawing and also some kind of painting in my daily structures, starting at the breakfast table. For oil paintings, I go to the studio, where I prefer daylight for working (if possible).
Do you always listen to music while creating? Does it help you concentrate?
I have a super lazy relationship with music. Some of my friends are great musicians, DJs, radio makers. I listen to their mixes, podcasts, etc. A lot of the time I just start NTS (Radio) or sometimes I even turn Austrian radio with random pop music on. I tried to make a selection for Swine Daily, which mirrors that… Not sure if and in which way it influences my concentration or painting…
While looking at your paintings, they remind me a little bit of Georges Braque’s style (which I love). Are you inspired by him or another painter particularly?
There’s an endless amount of painters I’m inspired by, of course famous, historic painters too, but most important for me is moving around with a sharp eye, seeing a lot of shows, visiting other artists in their studios and seeing a lot of work on Instagram, which I love a lot.
- Here is a list of names as an idea (but it’s really just a quick idea):
Lee Lozano, Wolfgang Tillmans, Peggy Pehl, Tau Lewis, Dorothy Iannone, Ida Ekblad, Kate Newby, Maruša Höglinger, Amelie von Wulffen, Allison Katz, Frida Kahlo, Joan Mitchel, Sonia Delaunay, Bill Traylor, Keith Haring, Henri Matisse, Maria Lassnig, Rene Daniels, Anna Schachinger, k8hardball, Albert Öhlen, Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Santiago de Paoli, Bruce Sherman, David Hockney, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Quinn Latimer, Morandi.
You named the „Night Driver“ as one of your personal favorite paintings of the year. What is the story behind the picture?
There are no particular stories behind my paintings. I kind of think of my work as a fake symbolism – as one of the layers. I love to mix lies and truth and fiction. Cars and vehicles started to interest me and I observed that a lot of wheelchairs showed up in new contemporary painting. So I created something between a future, old fashioned, sports vehicle, which meets the specific need of its user.
The figure which is a main character in my work is between self portrait, commentator and actor for posture.
In „Night driver“ painting night was an essential motive. I guess the reason why it´s my favorite one is the mixture between successfully using a new technique, its composition and the somehow ambiguous storytelling. For me, the combination of those three works a lot in this one.
Are you happy living in Vienna? What does the city mean to you personally?
I love Vienna, it is close to my hometown (means my siblings & mum). I’m living here with my partner & daughter, have most of my friends here and the art scene is never boring. People don’t work too much (very important!) & you can always find someone to have coffee or a hike with. For me, it’s the perfect base for eight years now. As an artist, I also do travel a lot, which is a good mix.
Interview by: Krištof Budke