Reinhold Ponesch Interview

By Jason Clay Lewis | December 18, 2019
FORMULA FOR HAPPINESS, 180x120 cm, oil cryon, acrylic, pigment on fabric, Vienna, 2019

FORMULA FOR HAPPINESS, 180x120 cm, oil cryon, acrylic, pigment on fabric, Vienna, 2019

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I never thought to become an artist in my life. In my first profession I was a pastry chef. Later on, I was serving for many years as a police officer as well as being a commander in the Austrian Anti-Terrorist-Unit COBRA. But in 2001 during my time at this unit I had a deep urge to work creatively.

How did you first become interested in art and why you decided to become an artist?

A key experience happened which started my career as an artist. In 2000 I was visiting an exhibition opening of my brother's artist friend in Austria. The exhibition took place in an old factory building and abstract paintings were displayed. I was very impressed about this art. And that was the determining moment when I decided to becoming an artist.

I started to paint in 2001 and took many courses and workshops at different academies of fine arts to learn different painting techniques. During those years I evolved my own style and a unique picture language. I'm proud to characterize myself as a self-thought artist.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from different sources, like magazines, books, exhibitions, other artist works and from my own photography and especially from visiting contemporary and traditional museums but also travelling is inspiring me.

In addition I often get my inspiration from all kinds of fabrics and the fashion world.

What other artists have been inspirational to you in your work?

I was influenced by many artist like Julian Schnabel, Albert Oehlen, Cy Twombly, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Katharina Grosse, Maria Lassnig, Joan Mitchell, Eddie Martinez and Jacopo Tintoretto.


TRUST YOUR JOURNEY, 200x140 cm, Vienna, 2019

What can you tell us your work is about and a bit about your creative process?

I have mainly two methods to create my work. One method is: I have an idea and a specific concept in mind and try to implement this imagination on my canvas.

Secondly: I'm starting to put color on a new canvas and will see what will be happening while I'm working on it. After some layers an idea comes across or after a while I'm looking for a special composition.

During my creative process I sometimes also have a look in my material box what kind of stuff could I use for my current work.

What are you currently working on?

Currently I'm working on an overpainting. It's a realistic oil painting of my father from 1998 and I would like to overpaint the big scale painting with violet dynamic wide acrylic brush strokes. In a manner of speaking it's a composite work of my father and myself. The big challenge of this work is that I have only one or change to do it.

My father passed away in 2017.

Where can we see your work and any other projects you are working on?

My next solo exhibition "...AND NOTHING ELSE MATTERS" as well as the performance "IT CONCERNS YOU" together with my wife Nicole will be opening on 23rd January 2020 in Vienna.

After that my next solo exhibition "BACK TO THE ROOTS" will open on 13th February 2020 in my home town Bregenz.

And from April to June 2020 I will participate in an Art Residency in Vienna at the established Art Factory Ankerbrot Fabrik.


100x80, oil, arcylic on canvas, Vienna 2019

What has been your most amazing moment you have experienced as an artist?

My most amazing experience was to win the renovated Austrian Kapsch Art Award. 55 large scale paintings were displayed in a big old factory building with 2000 square meters and an opening with 1200 visitors.

Working in New York in the RSOAA studio is also always an impressive and creative time as an artist.

The Royal List Profile: Reinhold Ponesch