viennacontemporary is Austria’s largest international art fair. 112 galleries from 28 countries champion the latest styles by contemporary artists. It is an opportunity to explore national and international artistic creativity in conversation with gallery owners and artists. We asked artistic director Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt about the interplay between art and fashion.
Occupation Artistic Director of viennacontemporary
Aim Overcome inhibitions when buying art
Personal concentration training Weekly gallery visits – explains art to her daughter
Likes Individual fashion and artists who tell stories with their work
viennacontemporary, 22th to 25th October, Marx-Halle, Vienna
Cinema will once again be part of the viennacontemporary, with films and videos by Austrian and international artists being shown this time on the topic “Me, Myself and I”. How have forms of self-representation changed in art?
Forms of self-representation are becoming increasingly digital. More and more, artists are trying their hand at the moving image, internet art or artistic figures on social media.
What is a portrait? And what is an image? And can or could the two ever be separated?
A portrait looks for truth, an image plays with the truth.
Self-representation drives fashion. What role does fashion or do fashion trends play in the art industry and in artistic self-representation?
It’s the other way around: fashion designers look to the art world and surround themselves with art. All fashion designers have a very strong affinity with art. All artists are aesthetes. Form, colour and material play a crucial part.
Is art, are artists more fashionable now than they used to be?
Artists love good design and good fashion. They always have done. Not all of them live out that inclination. You can usually identify the artists in a room by what they’re wearing.
Is it even possible nowadays for an artist to take a back seat behind their work?
Lots of artists aren’t public people and if they want public attention then only through their work. In principle, it’s exciting that people want to have dialogues with artists and make them public. There is so much conformity and political correctness that exciting statements are very resonant.
Fashion and art have come ever closer over recent years. Where do you see exciting developments or synergies in Vienna?
Two good examples: Petar Petrov is a fashion designer who pays attention to art and is friends with lots of artists. Arthur Arbesser, too, lives close to art.
Are there artists at viennacontemporary who focus on fashion in particular?
A good example is Pavel Pepperstein. He has just released a collection.
Your specialism is art from Albania and the former Yugoslavia. What is it that those artists are mostly concentrating on?
It’s like a satirical, ironic exploration of the events in their region. Very intelligent and well done.
The Austrian art scene compared to international standards? In two sentences: how are we perceived?
We are the new star in the international art sky.
Vienna is becoming a place that no one can avoid.