Five questions to Christina Gschwantner

Five questions to Christina Gschwantner

Christina Gschwantner studied painting and graphic arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. After completing her studies in 2001, a one-year residency in Australia follows. When she is not traveling the world, Christina lives and works in Vienna and the Waldviertel.

How did you get into art?

There are childhood photos of me painting things in the same style I paint today - as soon as I could hold a pencil, painting was my medium to communicate - although it took some detours to get where I am today and where I want to be.



How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

As creative snapshots, sometimes in a strong and very colourful visual language, sometimes very reduced. It depends on the mood and is already apparent in the process of creation. Contemplation versus power. I need both and so one does not exclude the other - on the contrary. They fertilise and multiply. 

How do you go about developing your work?

I work in shifts. I use raw linen and do not prime it. Regardless of whether something abstract or one of my creatures is created, the subjects undergo a process of change through addition and omission, which often extends over a long period of time; the longer and more intensively I look at my pictures, the more possibilities arise. New things are allowed to appear on the picture´s surface. Some things stay, some things go. By adding and taking away, dislocations - and stories - emerge - this is how the depth of a picture is created. Much can only be guessed, felt, or sensed in retrospect. It is there and it is not. That's exciting and sometimes irritating at the same time.

Who or what influences you?

Everything! They say that life writes its stories - in my case it paints the pictures.

Make us curious. What is planned next?

The third dimension. Until now I have mainly painted pictures, but for some time now I feel a growing desire to work in sculpture. I plan to work with wood. I have a picture of different formations in many different colours and sizes. Also, the interest in the serial will probably continue.