Interview: Carole Kohler
Luca Curci talks with Carole Kohler during THE EXTENDED BODY 2020 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Carole Kohler is a Swiss visual artist. She creates abstract paintings in mixed media with semi-transparent layering, deceptive color gradients, camouflaged elements, as well as abstract sculptures mostly in sculpted stone, shiny cast aluminum, high transparent cast acrylic, sculpted olive wood, casted bronze and finally enhances her paintings with augmented reality videos. She is inspired by her extensive travels and her proximity to nature. Carole has exhibited in galleries, museums, art fairs, events and auctions in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, England, Belgium, Denmark, USA and Hongkong.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Carole Kohler – Art is the process of freely creating and arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. For me aesthetics and beauty are central goals in my art as well as creating positive feelings, like amazement, comfort, nice experiences in the spectator. I can create my own kind of aesthetics without being right or wrong, as long as I follow my ideas, my sense of beauty. An artwork is successful when it transports my inner energy and can be felt, relived and experienced by every spectator.
LC – What’s your background?
CK – Having an artistic basic education and life-long practicing – applying natural, aesthetic principles – finding my own, authentic style – doing color studies wherever I work – living passionately – working hard for my creations – dedicating my life for art, are the keywords describing my artistic background.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
CK – Travelling through the world over 6 years was probably my ultimate influencer. Together with my husband, I journeyed through Southeast Asia, Northern and Central America, Southern Africa and Australia. We lived on a very tight budget, very close to nature in the respective countries and their residents, to be able to be abroad longer. We learned how to ride Asian elephants and had our small bamboo hut in Thailand, slept for years in small vans, cooked on open fire, stayed in the Namib desert for weeks, observed wild rhinos in Namibia, searched for Platypus and Aboriginal Stone engravings in Eastern Australia, ate not much more than rice solely to appease one’s hunger and lengthen the possibility to travel. We travelled as ambassadors for the Jane Goodall Institute, got received in many hidden animal projects, got the time to study in artistic ways animals and humans, realized art project like murals in a cancer ward in Soweto, met Dr. Jane Goodall in South Africa, etc. At this time, we dedicated our lives to experience the world, to learn to observe and take my time for looking, to suck up new experiences every day, that have been burnt in my memory and nowadays inspire me like a never-ending source. Me working in abstraction has been initiated while and after a 2 weeks hiking trip in the Morocco’s Sahara Desert. Together with my husband, 2 guides and 3 pack camels, I walked through this endless seeming, beautiful landscape and let my mind being filled with its emptiness. The inner journey got so important in this surrounding and the individuum so small. I felt to have to quit the figurative path in my art, to be able to show the invisible, to better express feelings and to reach the spectator on other levels. I wanted the observer to have the possibility to see and live his own interpretation of my paintings, based on his own experiences, his history and his feelings. That’s when I started my artistic journey in abstraction. I still get inspired by feelings, I experienced while creating figurative artworks, nowadays expressing them in abstract ways.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
CK – I am moving every early day in nature, mostly jogging in the Swiss forests. That’s where my artistic workflow gets started. Mother nature’s beauty is so rich in details, perfectly balanced and overwhelmingly motivating that I start creating refreshed and inspired right after my morning routine. Like nature is changing and moving every day, showing unfinished things, I try keep being in movement with my creations.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
CK – As an artist living solely from my art, I need to invest my passion and my motivation into daily creating high-quality artwork without knowing when I will be able to sell it.
LC – What are you currently working on?
CK – I am currently creating in all my 3 sectors, abstract paintings, abstract sculptures and augmented reality. I am instantly working on a pair of stone sculptures in Travertine to be exhibited in a sculpture path in Läufelfingen, Switzerland from June 2020-June 2021 with the theme “to blow up frontiers”. I am as well painting and creating AR videos for a prestigious solo exhibition in Zurich which starts end of November 2020, which large-sized, abstract paintings enhanced with augmented reality videos.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
CK – I am not working on specific themes. My way of working abstractly is enabling me to create in all possible subjects. I am open and curious and let me be inspired consciously by every strong experience. This leads sometimes to certain themes, titles. In solo exhibitions I often give myself a title, a keyword to work on and to select the artworks for it.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
CK – The artworld is changing fast. Galleries, agents that are representing artists over years and several stages of an artist’s career are disappearing and dying out. Globalization, social media, online art galleries, new art fairs, art supermarkets, etc. are just a few keywords. I am searching for more representing agents that occupy themselves with the marketing and selling part of my art life, thinking long-term and enabling me to concentrate on the creative part. The fact that more and more people are part-time creating artworks these days is nice, but it is as well something that makes it more and more difficult for the full-time artists with artistic education. I don’t have the funds to buy me every art fair, every exhibition, every gallery representation all over the world. Nowadays I have to take more and more financial risks, often without sellers and galleries sharing them with me. In the last years the artist is getting more and more as well an investor, which makes living of it not easier. But I look at it as a challenge and a chance. As long as customers and collectors are still seeing something special in my artwork, I can keep creating and living from it.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
CK – ITSLIQUID.com and its social media presence are a nice mix of several creative aspects in life. It is enriching my perception and giving good opportunities.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
CK – As it is my first collaboration with ITSLIQUID and due to Corona prohibiting my first group exhibition in London to go public, I cannot make a well-founded statement. I think ITSLIQUID has an innovative way of connecting several visual art sectors, has good ideas, nice offers for exhibitions and events for artists. The collaboration was perfect, the communication was always fast, friendly and purposeful. My wishes and suggestions where fully respected. In my experiences with other collaborators this nowadays is not a self-evidence.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
CK – What I learned until know about ITSLIQUID is that they are giving good and appropriate opportunities for artists.