Updated: 13-08-2012 15:22 | Artists
Viktor KOEN was born in Thessaloniki, Greece.
He holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, Israel and an MFA with honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Mr. Koen serves on the faculty of the MFA Illustration program and the BFA Graphic Design Department at SVA. His images are regularly published in The New York Times and his client list includes Time, Newsweek, Esquire, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Wired, Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Penguin Books, Random House, Doubleday, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Rizzoli, Houghton Miflin, Atlantic Records, Roadrunner Records, Virgin and the BBC.
His award winning prints are featured in numerous books and publications worldwide and are part of private and institutional collections.
Select one-person exhibitions:
- October 2012, UPI Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
- May 2012, Kalos&Klio Showroom, Thessaloniki, Greece
- March 2012, The Type Directors Club, NYC
- November 2011, Ghikas Gallery-HAU, Athens, Greece
- September 2011, Coningsby Gallery, London
- June 2010, Ammochostos Gate Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
- October 2009, Rethimnon Center for Modern Art, Crete
- November 2006, Strychnin Gallery, Berlin
- April 2005, Fraser Gallery, Washington, DC
- November 2003, Slovak National Museum, Bratislava
- September 2003, Photography Center of Athens
- May 2003, LeVall Gallery, Novosibirsk, Russia
- April 2002, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles
- January 2001, Gallery 402, NYC
- February 2001, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece December 2000, Viridian Artists Gallery, NYC
- June 1998, Mary Anthony Galleries, NYC.
Select group exhibitions
- December 2012, Golden Bee Biennale, Artplay Design Center, Moscow
- June 2011, Gallery Villa Mai Nau, Zurich, Switzerland
- May 2011, Greek Film Archives, Athens, Greece
- June 2010, Museo De La Ciudad De Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
- September 2009, Materia Prima Exhibition Complex, Maxéville, France
- January 2008, Art District 798, Beijing, China
- January 2008, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
- December 2007, Graphite Gallery, Perth, Australia
- December 2006, Palazzo della Ragione, Mantua, Italy
- July 2006, Skopelos Center for Photography, Greece
- June 2006, Bodenburg Castle, Germany
- June 2006, National Museum, Canberra, Australia
- March 2006, Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Siberia
- October 2005, DeVos Art Museum, Michigan
- May 2005, Archeological Museum of Mytilene, Greece
- April 2005, Hyehwa-dong Gallery, Sang-Myung University, Seoul, Korea
- October 2004, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan
Aphrodite and the Kraken
Viktor Koen, 2012, digital print on canvas, 36”x60”, edition of 3
Being an artist that thrives on reversal, choosing the two diametrically opposite sides in the spectrum of ideal beauty and love, produced Aphrodite on one end and the Kraken on the other. I found these to be the ultimate personifications (if mythological creatures ever qualified as persons) of the timeless dialogue between beauty and the beast.
The Kraken, a Norwegian version of the Odyssean monster Scylla, has established itself as the ultimate aquatic terror (even though H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu emerges as the most terrible in this category). Taking into consideration Aphrodite’s connection to the sea, it was only natural to match them as prototypes for the roles they embody and make them a couple.
Seemingly unaware or unafraid of the monster lurking beneath, the goddess swims just above. Since her face is obscured, the beauty of the beast is what takes her place as the gravity center of a composition that resembles another version of the duo, one belonging to a contemporary pop culture reference with a very different ending - Steven Spielberg’s Jaws iconic poster.
Viktor Koen, June 2012