Meeting with the Austrian artist Verena Weiss from the Atelier Olschinsky.
How was born the Atelier Olschinsky?
A few years ago, we literally bumped into each other. We both met when we were discussing a job we were planning to do as client and agent and we soon decided that it would be a good idea to work together as partners.
How do you work as a duo ?
We usually work collateral, which means both of us run projects with different clients. But whenever we start a new job from scratch, we sit together and discuss. And of course we always interact which is very helpful whenever you come to a point where you need a second opinion.
I feel that architecture is very important in your work. Can you tell me more about that? Is that only esthetic or is there a logic, a meaning behind this? Where does this fascination for cities and urban spaces come from?
In fact, it´s not just architecture that fascinates us. It is the environment as a whole, inspired by film scenes, comics and computer games, the interaction of spaces, places, structures, textures and colours. To imagine and create a new world and to explore it. As simple as that.
From this perspective, what cities give you inspiration?
Up to now, we have found inspiration in every place we have been to. Each city has its own spirits, characteristics. For us, particularly the light atmosphere is what fascinates us most and what we try to capture in our pictures.
Although you can say that is the people that form the appearance of a town, we usually exclude them from our illustrations. We want to create a scene, a stage, where everybody can imagine themselves to live or act in.
If you had to draw Paris, how would you do?
To be honest, we would not! Our city drawings are showing abstract, sci-fi based towns. We would not want to portrait existing cities in our illustrations, to do so, we would use photography as the media of our choice.
Photography is also an important domain for you. How do you use it in your creations?
For us, photography is very important, especially in the daily business. It is the most direct way to display a situation, a good photo says more than a thousand words.
That’s the opportunity to talk about Austrian art, much unknown in France. How is it?
To tell the truth, Austrian art is also much unknown in Austria as well. We do have some “big players”, Stefan Sagmeister for example, and a lot of young talented artists, but only a few are known here, it seems they have more chances abroad. Perhaps Austria is too small for a well-known independent contemporary art scene or at least too close to France, the UK, Germany or the Netherlands. Could be there is a lack of self-esteem? A few months ago, some funny thing happened to us: An Austrian blogger featured our work and posted: “Nice works. In the first moment I did not believe they were Austrian…”
What artists do you like, which ones inspire you?
There are so many… To mention two Austrian creatives: David Mascha and Dextro. Then Nonformat, Joshua Davis and Hellohikimori etc. And, very important, the old master Tapies.
What are your upcoming projects?
We are always working on many different projects besides of our daily business, but a lot of our time is spent on our own magazine, Nevertheless. This is our playground, where we truly can show what we like and we are up to.