Viktoria A. Köstler was born in Munich and lives in Zurich. After completing a degree in psychology and working for an international strategy and management consultancy, she began to rigorously pursue her artistic work. The young artist received training in the art of special-effect make-up for film and TV at the London College of Fashion.
She combines her expertise in crafting surfaces with traditional acrylic and oil painting techniques, aspiring to create modern art which aesthetically satisfies and cognitively and emotionally stimulates its viewers.
Whatever she does, she strives to achieve an unmediated expression of her self. Intensively expressive explosions of colour which display an almost hallucinogenic intensity reflect her many-faceted inner world of ideas.
However, her paintings hold a greater surprise in store: their spatial depth, in which intense viewers of her art can decipher the perspectival nuances as the most profound expression of her intuition, which constitutes her essence as an individual.
2017 Masterclass Painting with George Blacklock, University of the Arts London, Department: Chelsea College, London/UK
2017 Summer Program „Art World and Marketing for Artists“; Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York/USA
2015 Special Effects Make-up for Film and TV, London College of Fashion, London/UK
2014 Master’s degree in Business Psychology, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Zurich/Switzerland
Have you ever experienced a weighty decision, when you had only one chance to get it right?
This series features splash-painting techniques, where the artist mixed liquid paint in a bowl and threw it boldly onto processed canvas. The artist worked intensively to craft the surface for her splash paintings, coating it with precious materials, such as plated metals and genuine gold, as well as natural fibers and fabrics. That being said, her one-chance gestural moments required a clear mind without any distracting thoughts, feelings, self-doubt, or fear. Thus, there is a sense in which the series falls into the domain of performance art. Aligned with this, the artist documented her thoughts and feelings (in written form) before she enacted her „bold moment,“ resulting in a novel and free-flowing paint splash. Note, some of her actions were also video recorded. This series thus consists of a triad of physical painting, critical reflection (in writing), and video recording.
Ultimately, the artist’s aim was to depict the feeling you have when you are faced with an important decision or a situation that does not allow you to hesitate.
This series was inspired by the book „Principles“ written by Ray Dalio, which contains valuable advice on how to cultivate a successful private and business life. The life stories of fascinating personalities, who shape the world through their entrepreneurialism, fueled the artist to identify principles that can create an extraordinary life. Specifically, she drew on three habits: being bold, dealing with fear, and striving for an adventurous life. The artist occasionally translated these principles by using contrasting colors, dynamic elements, and movement within the paintings. Moreover, she used spontaneous and bold gestures to unify multiple layers, meant to engage the viewer’s attention and sustain their focus.
In our current culture, many of us strive to gain attention to the point that it is hard to stand out. Yet, what we surround ourselves with on a daily basis reflects our inner feelings and beliefs. This series helps people to fuel their creative thinking and to find new (and viable) solutions to navigate a digitalized and information-overloaded world. The goal is to remind people to take action to create what they want out of life.
Metallic Heaven” series
In “Metallic Heaven,” the artist combined precious metals – silver andgenuinegold – withnatural textiles, including jute (a rough fiber made from the stems of a tropical old-world plant).
Netting was stretched over wooden panels, partially covering the painting. The artist then overlaid plated metals to hide the natural brownish color of the jute material.
These multilayered paintings attract attention – even from a distance, thanks to their blurred appearance. When standing directly in front of the paintings, viewers are invited to discover the materials and layered textures.
Broadly speaking, many people now cover over their natural appearance with plastic surgeries, or replace beautiful landscapes in the natural world with modern architecture. In doing this, we are making a value judgment – that what is natural is not good enough. Responding to this, the artist’s intention is to encourage viewers to take a deeper look at the world around them: What’s hidden behind physical facades? What price do we pay to destroy nature for egocentric purposes? How does “covering over“ reality affect social values and norms?
Abstract Cityscapes series
This series was inspired by digitally-networked and global business travelers. Semi-abstract, the artwork visualizes urban life. During her stay in New York City, the artist was inspired by the morning view from her bedroom window in the financial district. The facades of the skyscrapers inspired her to paint in muted colors and to visualize the cool and distant feeling of concrete, glass, and steel that comprises the buildings. Rusty tones were integrated in an effort to remind the viewer that nothing lasts forever and of the inevitable progression of time.
The artist imagined stories about possible events and situations that occurred in these buildings and asked herself whether it would be desirable to spend half a lifetime in a such a building, working 9-5. More deeply, she asked when did people start doing work that is so far removed from the beautiful, energy-giving natural world?
Humans at work series
Today's world is often characterized as fast-moving, complex, and subject to constant change. People long for more structure, predictability, and control. On the one hand, the pictures in this series symbolize this need for organization in an aesthetic way. On the other hand, they are intended to represent the actual complexity of the world.
Hallmarks of the three pictures in this series are sharp lines and edges combined with geometric forms. The individual elements are intended to give the viewer a visually appealing, while cognitively stimulating experience.
In this series, the artist explored the contradiction between the rapid progress of digitalization, hierarchical and authoritarian ideologies, and today’s jobs as location-dependent. To this day, exchanging time for money characterizes the work ethos of the vast majority of people. The artist criticizes bonus remuneration systems for their failure to let people demonstrate their intrinsic motivation and work ethic.
I create art for those who want to live their lives boldly, courageously and to their full potential. While being driven to find out what makes people successful on their own terms, I have figured that art is a vehicle to spread inspiration and has the power to challenge people cognitively and emotionally.
Abstract art and its interpretation reveal a lot about people’s inner worlds and perceptions about their models of reality.
My signature element of each artwork is the red painted edges in combination with its trademarked name “RedOutside”. Red is mostly perceived as one of the most powerful colors and has the ability to energize the human's condition.
Materials I often use within my paintings are natural fabrics like jute and wood, covering these materials with precious metals like real gold or silver. The beauty of nature is mostly perfect as it is, but we humans try to hide its original beauty. In our materialistic world, we try to alter things by wearing plastic clothes for fashion reasons or we hide wooden furniture under chemically treated fabrics, or even worse, we destroy the countryside with concrete buildings looking like prisons.
That said, even though I strive to satisfy my viewers aesthetically, nature is the profound base of my paintings. My inspiration often comes from observing nature and from interacting with various personalities and their unique life stories.
Dive into an emotional art experience reserved for those who are willing to transform their perception.
June 2019 „Contemporary Landscapes “, Group Exhibition June 25 - July 9, 508 Kings Road Gallery, London/UK
July 2019 „Kunstrausch“, Group Exhibition July 12 - August 23, Gallery 16b, Zurich
April 2019 „Figurative“, Group Exhibition, Dacia Art Gallery, New York/USA
February 2019 „Abstract Landscapes“, Solo Exhibition, Gallery Van Limburg Stirum, Kilchberg Zurich/Switzerland
December 2018 “Winter Art Salon“, Art Fair at Salle de la Bourse, Strasbourg/France
November 2018 “Presentation of new works/series“, Group Exhibition, Gallery Le Sud, Zurich/Switzerland