Interview: Gerhard Petzl
Luca Curci talks with Gerhard Petzl during ALCHEMIC BODY 2019 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Gerhard Petzl is an Austrian born visual artist who specialized in chocolate art and is using many different media, like bronze, wood, stone, designs and mixed media to express himself. He is a trained Pastry Chef and Chocolatier and was even voted as the “Master Chocolatier of the year” in New York, USA (2017). He won in his career more than 8 gold medals and 25 awards in international competitions on four continents so far. His art was shown in 250+ publications in magazines and newspapers and is also a regular guest on various television channels. The ‘chocolate crystals’ he discovered as an art form and he is a pioneer on presenting to the public, either in his published book “Chocolate Crystals – the soul of chocolate’ (2018) or like in the ‘Planet series’, are the best examples to show the different types of crystals and makes you believe that these are photos of real planets, that’s just a chocolate sweet illusion. They were shown in multiple exhibitions. He also likes doing live-performances with chocolate on stage, like a chocolate body-painting or doing sculptures live in front of an audience. Gerhard’s interest in the artistic side of his craft drove him to enroll in the Master’s School of Art and Design in Graz, Austria where he graduated with diploma as a Sculptor (2005).
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Gerhard Petzl – Harmonious beauty, Exploration, Research, Self discovery, Intuition and hard work over years.
LC – What’s your background?
GP – I am originally trained as a Pastry Chef and Master Chocolatier but I am also an entrepreneur, and have a publishing company. Further on, I have also attended the ‘Masterclasses of Art&Design’ in Austria, section sculpturing, which I completed with an art-diploma in 2005.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
GP – There is no special moment or happening which influenced me. I am fluid, my art is fluid… I am like a boat on a river which floats along and develops style, media and techniques along the way.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
GP – Life, people, nature, news, scientific researches, travels… lots of different elements inspire me.
LC – What is your creative process like?
GP – Just do it, but a lot comes intuitively and I am trying to explore new things out of my own interest. Once you start that process and open a new door, other doors continue to open as well. On the other hand I have a lot of Corporate clients (especially with chocolate artworks and projects) which put them and their needs into the first place. As the artist I try to find exactly the right solution for them. So there is not only the creative process involved, there is also a strong business perspective to consider.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
GP – As a chocolate artist the ‘heat’ of course; it’s the enemy – that means summer break from June to September as a chocolate artist, then I can explore bronze, wood, drawings, graphics, design templates etc. during that hot months.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?
GP – The idea is great and the title really caught my attention as the title reflects many of my artworks and styles.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
GP – My organic style of the element ‘Earth’ combined with a female 3D human sculpture brings lots of space for imagination and hopefully inspires people when looking at it.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
GP – The idea is great but I guess there is still space for improvement.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
GP – Well, I was part of an exhibition that means I had already kind of a collaboration with you. The e-mail communication was good though.