De(Re)tritus interview

07 Sep 2014

TL. What are your earliest memories of art making?

VK. My earliest memories are of drawing on the walls of my parents home when I was a child. After wiping away the tears from my obvious punishment, I was then told that from then on I was only to draw on the walls of my own room. With a smile i continued with my expression session.


TL. Explain your art making process from concept to finished work.

VK. My process from start to finish is quite an intuitive one. I would start with an idea which I would then sketch out and plan. I would then shoot the photography with my model in various poses. After choosing the best pose from the shoot, I would further formulate my idea. From there I would go to my local scrapyard to source material for the work. Inevitably I would not find exactly what I was looking for and my idea would then start to change. Getting back home with my sourced scrap I then start to reformulate my original concept. The next phase would be constructing the supports onto which my assembled metal would be secured. After arranging the metal and found objects I would then start cleaning and securing all the pieces. The second phase of construction would be to draw my figure onto board and then cut it out with a jig saw. Once the figure has been cut out and cleaned I would then secure it to the assembled found objects and base. Before painting the artwork I would prime and seal the entire artwork. The painting phase then begins. First an under layer of paint in subdued "moody" tones to map out the image, then the final more accurate hues and tones are added.


TL. What do you like to read, or listen to while you work?

VK. I enjoy listening to quite an array depending upon the phase of the work on which I am working. During the construction and metalwork phase of my process I would listen to quite hard edged heavy metal music. Thereafter during the priming and first painting phases I would listen to inspirational podacasts or audiobooks which I would mix with an electro backtrack. The final painting phase is accompanied by classical music.


TL. What are your hobbies?

VK. During my down time I really enjoy watching movies or series with my wife. I also really enjoy hunting for new podcasts or audiobooks.


TL. What artist/s inspires you or have inspired you?

VK. My artistic inspirations vary from Joseph Beuys to Willie Bester. From Rauschenberg to Marcel Duchamp.  


TL. Some artists have rituals before they can start work. Do you have any?

VK. No none at all. I usually just jump right into it. Or maybe my ritual is called breakfast.


TL. What obstacles have you encountered along the way to becoming a professional artist?

VK. I have faced many closed doors in my time. From galleries saying my work was not good enough to being rejected when entering competitions. One of my biggest obstacles which was actually a blessing in disguise was definitely when I had to leave my fine art studies due to financial constraints. 


TL. Describe a typical day in your life as an artist.

VK. A typical day for me would start at 06:30 by preparing for my wife and my day. Then after doing my emailing and digital networking I would either take a trip to the scrapyard or get straight into work. The day of either constructing or painting would continue till 17:00 when we would prepare for supper. Then from 19:00 till 21:00 I would get some more work in before calling it a day.


TL. How do you think your African identity relates to your work?

VK. My African identity being uniquely Cape Coloured has undoubtedly influenced my outlook and subsequent work. My unique vantage point I feel allows me access to both sides of my heritage and the ability to reflect upon the contemporary realities shared by Africans of all ancestral heritages. 


TL. How do you view African Contemporary Art in a world context?

VK. I am really excited about presenting Contemporary African Art in a world context in a confident way. Our particular voice and identity is as valid as any other national artistic identity and aesthetic. There are so many fallacies in the world media concerning the realities of African life. Part of my practice is to present a balanced view of what it means to live in Africa as an African from my particular vantage point. 

  Artist Page (Vivien Kohler)

De(Re)tritus interview

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