ART - PERSON OF THE MONTH
Philipp Koenig is a modern German artist currently studying at the Arts Academy in Dusseldorf. The main theme of his works is creating structures and experimenting with their demolition with time. He continues developing traditions of conceptual and experimental art using various techniques.
When did you decide to become an artist?
In my childhood, I guess. The thing is that I used to spend much time painting something and at the age of 7 I created my first abstract pictures. During the drawing lessons other children were thoroughly copying some objects, and I was trying to present them abstractly. And it was in 2010 when I finally made up my mind to introduce my works to other people and to officially join the German art-stage.
Now you are studying at the Arts Academy, and what happened in the period before it, after you have completed your school studies?
Like other youngsters, I was attracted by material perspectives, so after finishing school I got fixed up in a job. It was exactly during that period when I was haunted by ideas and conceptions that I was deriving from French and German experience elaborating the basics of experimental art. The turning point was in 2012 when some wealthy people paid 480 euro for my painting and I became well-known in Dusseldorf art-circles. Professors from the Arts Academy took note of me and suggested my studying there, and I`m doing it now. In 2016 my education will be over.
Who is your master now? How often do you follow advices of other well-known artists?
My master is professor, former Academy`s dean, who is very well respected in our art-sphere. He teaches me how to depict light in painting. I also highly appreciate the advices of a private collector from Paris.
How long are you usually working at one picture? Are you able to work at several pictures at the same time? Are your works custom-built or you can rather call yourself a freelance artist?
It depends on my internal voice. Some pictures demand months of work. Yeah, I can work at several pictures concurrently and practice it very often. As for the character of my work I prefer regarding myself as a freelance artist.
Are there any not abstract paintings among your works?
Yeah, sure, there are two such series. Other paintings in a realistic style I create for my own delectation.
What is your dream?
To be daily surrounded by nature and people.
What artists do you like?
I like the works of the ZERO group and the movement called Nouveau Réalisme, such as Yves Klein. I also like Mark Rothko.
What is, from your opinion, the difference between German and Russian artists?
Well, I consider German art to be more experimental, as against Russian, where a great deal of paintings are executed in detailed realism style. Russian artists are much more disciplined then German ones, they know history much better, respect masters` of the past traditions and even paint better. I think so. They are more goal-seeking, in short. But German artists are more free-minded.
And in the end let me ask you who`s your favourite Russian artist?
Kazimir Malevich. I like his style and philosophy.
Who had the most significant influence on your work?
My journeys, I guess, for during travelling I usually fall under a charm of different beautiful places I visit, of their history and architecture. The second thing is music that is also crucially important in painting.
What are your innovations in painting? Any special techniques, may be?
I prefer painting with the help of natural pigments only which have a certain history themselves, I never buy manufactured pigments in special-purpose shops.
Are there any famous people among those who bought your works?
The main famous buyers are the members of a popular modern British music group.
Your works can be divided into two fundamental themes – Les Empreintes and Monox. What do they mean, what sense do you put into them?
When I work at “Les Empreintes” project I visit different cities searching for attractive historical places and later I transfer the structure of their covering into the canvas. What about the works from the “Monox” project – they depict the process of ageing in time conserving the perfection simultaneously. We were talking about techniques – from this point of view Monox is unique, because I created it after a number of experiments with gyps structures and natural pigments. One of my paintings was lying under the 108 aged stones for one year absorbing their history, and only after it I started the procession. In this project I use rather old pigments of 1934-1938.