working artists


Viktor Koen

artist statement | technical statement | process


Research is the preliminary stage is crucial to the structure and cohesiveness of the series. Once research is completed, my method is simple and painful:

I translate studies from my sketchbook into digital collages. I chose 24 images to be finished out of set of about 35 sketches done in a relatively short period of time. Speed is important in order to retain continuity within the series.
I match a face to each "character" (family or corporate vintage photography provides the base from which the style and expression originates) and most of the times this is the starting point of every image.

The combination of body, insect, machine, tool, flesh and bone parts, compose the body and evolve to finished seamless black and white images.The choice is done according to the "job description", or better "psychological profile" that stemmed from the preliminary research stage. Once most of the characters are assembled parts are swapped and even named in order to strengthen the individual concepts, so at some point the creative process is almost independent from the prior research decisions.

Then I add color by combining unrelated photos or parts of older paintings of mine who's color or textures I like. Also a great deal of tinting and shading is combined with various layer effects in order to get the end result. I print multiple stages of the work in progress and mark up the changes on the printout. The computer files are composed from over 20 sources and nearly 30-40 layers that require meticulous naming and organization in order to handle them. Each image requires a good, solid 40-50 hours of work between initial composition and final output.(not including research, photography or sketches). The final prints where done digitally on 44 x 60 canvases. Producing them with a hi resolution 6 color laser method, translates accurately their on-screen vibrant color quality.