Living and working in Vienna, David Hinterkörner is an Austrian artist with a background education in mathematics. Through his paintings he searches for the ideal combination of structure, colour and emotion – offering block patterns that reference Hinterkörner’s longstanding interest in geometry.
A: You have a background education in mathematics. How do you translate this, and your longstanding interest in geometry, into your artwork?
DH: A few years ago I wanted to know how the brain works. During these studies I read about the interaction between consciousness and subconsciousness. The subconscious is way mightier and so I trust it. My brain is wired mathematically and it influences all of my work.
A: How do you define the ideal combination of structure, colour and emotion?
DH: I’m still searching for it. There are structures and colours I like, but the combination of structures and colours are infinite. I guess it will be my life’s journey to find the perfect formula.
The premise of my work is that my paintings have to be beautiful. Everyone has their own understanding of beauty, and for me it’s important that a painting has emotions within it. So every painting is pretty emotional: it has its own story and is painted following a formula of structure and colour. My aim is that people can see and feel that when they stand in front of one of my pieces.
A: In Issue 86 we displayed the work Freundschaft (Friendship). How do your works explore human relationships?
DH: I guess it’s more an exploration of human relationships for viewers than for me, because they don’t know the story behind the painting.
For me it is a documentation, because the work is based upon my environment. Human relationships usually come with strong emotions and that’s something I need as ingredient for my paintings. Thinking about your last question, Freundschaft is quite an ideal combination for me.
A: The city is depicted prominently in some of your works. Can you explain your interest in the urban landscape?
DH: I lived with an architect for ten years and was influenced by that. My favourite form is a rectangle, which you find a lot in cities. Overall you can detect a lot of different structures in cities.
I like that every place has its own atmosphere and I enjoy the anonymity in a city. I assume it is a mixture of these reasons why urban landscapes keep appearing in my paintings.
A: Where do you work, and what is a typical day like for you?
DH: I have a place in my apartment where I have the space I need to paint. After finishing my morning routine I start to paint.
Usually I cook for myself and after lunch I paint again. When my neck starts to hurt or I’m not focused anymore, I organise stuff, do sport, read or attend events.
A: In 2018, you had an exhibition at Werkkunst Gallery. Can you tell us about this show, and do you have any others on the horizon?
DH: The gallery opened their third branch in Hamburg and it was a group exhibition with a broad theme. The whole evening featured live music and I got an awesome response to my paintings.
It was a very successful vernissage and some people who follow my Instagram account came to see my work. That was kind of surprising for me, because I didn’t realise the power of an Instagram account. The plan is to exhibit in Vienna this year, but there is nothing definite yet.
A: Your photography is markedly different from your painting – why is this, and to what extent is your photography part of you art practice?
DH: I can’t explain why they are so different. With unlimited space I already have collected about fifty thousand photos and actually lost the overview.
Maybe I just chose the markedly different ones. I use photography to collect interesting structures and compositions. Since all my paintings have some private background, I use photography for documentation as well. I haven’t shown these photos in public yet. It feels too early, but I think in ten, twenty or fifty years they will be an important supplement to understand the paintings.
A: What projects / events do you have coming up in 2019?
DH: For almost three years I’m working on a gorgeous piece. I want to finish it this year so that it can rest and I can show it in 2020. Last year I experimented with a different painting technique; I’m pretty happy with the result and I’m going to use this technique for a large-scale painting I’ve had in my mind for a while.
Also, I’m going to participate on a project with Ö1 Talentstipendium winner Matthias Lindtner, and I’m currently thinking of renting a studio.
The work of David Hinterkörner appears in the Artists’ Directory in Issue 86 of Aesthetica. To pick up a copy, click here to visit our online shop.