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Fleshy. Tactile. Human-ish.

What shall I Swear by, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017, photo Asaf Oren Courtesy, Carbon 12

What shall I Swear by, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017, photo Asaf Oren

I didn’t grow up in a place where ‘being an artist’ was even thought about as an option.

Name

Monika Grabuschnigg 

Profession

Artist 

Website

monikagrabuschnigg.com

Monika Grabuschnigg, photo Sebastian Neeb

Monika Grabuschnigg, photo Sebastian Neeb

Who are you? What do you do?

I am an artist working mainly with clay and resins.

Where are you from?

 Tiny village in Austria. I grew up surrounded by mountains

Your style in 3 words?

Fleshy. Tactile. Human-ish. 

Your weakness? Your strength?

I’m very stubborn, and very ambitious – both of which can be strength & weakness.

Saluting new conclusions (ghost on a hill), Glazed Earthenware and resin, 25x25x65cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017, Photo Chris Grodotzki

Saluting new conclusions (ghost on a hill), Glazed Earthenware and resin, 25x25x65cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017, Photo Chris Grodotzki

What makes you different?

I dance while I sculpt. Maybe that shows in the work. Maybe not. 

When did you decide to become an artist? 

I didn’t grow up in a place where ‘being an artist’ was even thought about as an option.

I was a quiet kid and would get lost in reading, drawing and dancing. I guess some adults in my life saw me heading towards the arts quicker than me and gave guidance. One teacher at my high school was especially supportive, and I’ll never forget that. He even gave me the keys to the art classroom, and every friday before the weekend I’d let myself in and spend hours alone in this huge space. I was sixteen years old, but even than I wouldn’t have called myself an artist. The real decision probably happened when I got a full scholarship to attend the Summer academy for painting in Salzburg. Painting during that time just felt right, was maybe the first time that I thought: this is me, this is what I need to be doing, I need to be making art. From there I went straight to the Academy in Vienna and have never looked back.

Wine and roses and magnums of champagne, Glazed Earthenware, Resin and Steel, 28x29x60cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017, Photo Chris Grodotzki

Wine and roses and magnums of champagne, Glazed Earthenware, Resin and Steel, 28x29x60cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017, Photo Chris Grodotzki

What do you find most fascinating about the creative process? 

The hours (and hours) of physical work I do in the studio. That time is so important to me, and can bring huge amounts of joy, and sometimes frustration, and a whole ton of other emotions. Sculpture is so physical, as well as mental/conceptual, and that balance is what I need, and what I thrive on.

A few words about your favourite creation?

It’s always the piece I have just done – or the next piece that’s already in my head and I’m eager to start. Right now I am crazy happy with the ceramic installation ”What shall I swear by, 2017” that I just finished. I worked for almost 10 months on it, was intensely challenging, and changed both myself and how I work with my materials.

stick n poke, Glazed earthenware, gold luster and resin, 105x20x20cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2016, Photo Asaf Oren

stick n poke, Glazed earthenware, gold luster and resin, 105x20x20cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2016, Photo Asaf Oren

Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…

So many artists… I hardly know where to start. Often though its my colleagues in the studio who most inspire me. The BBK Sculpting Studio in Wedding, where the majority of Berlin based artists fire their ceramic works, has a constant flow of amazing artists, people like Veronica Brovall, Nico Ihlein, Sebastian Neeb, Dorothea Nold, and so many more…

A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?

 Too many ideas, not enough arms! The next months will be quite full. I am really looking forward though to a group show I’ve been invited to contribute to, at Horse and Pony Fine Arts Berlin in April, curated by Penny Rafferty. And then my solo show in Dubai with my gallery Carbon12 will be great too.

Finish the sentence „More important than my career is…“

To work quietly in my studio.

 2018: Where are we going?

 Wherever we want to: we just need to pick the right targets.

 When the going gets tough… 

…eat chocolate in the bathtub.

Your city’s favourite spots?

                                Morning coffee on a wood bench next to the canal in Kreuzberg.                          

Pop up those wings into stardust, Glazed Earthenware and resin, 73x34x26cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017

Pop up those wings into stardust, Glazed Earthenware and resin, 73x34x26cm, Monika Grabuschnigg, 2017        

Do you have a vision? 

Many visions. Much complexity. Too little space and time to do them justice. 

Tell us about your future plans…

As well as my first solo show in Dubai, I’m working on a public sculpture that I have been invited to install in the mountains of Austria. It’s a huge, and very interesting challenge. And both of these need to happen in May 2018…

Last but not least: what is your favourite Song? 

Impossible – I listen to music all day long. I even do special playlists while working with chemicals in the studio. Different songs indicate mixing time, applying time, and so on. For today though, its Frank Ocean! #frankoceannikes 

Follow Monika on Instagram

All Works: Courtesy, Carbon 12