Katharina Arndt (b.1981) is a Contemporary artist from Germany who lives and works between Berlin and Barcelona. She studied Fine Arts at Braunschweig school of art and later on obtained her Master of Fine Arts by John Armleder. Her work focuses on the observation of digital communication behaviour and mass consumerism in the digital age. Additionally, her work has been shown in several galleries and museums in Europe. Some examples include the Saatchi Gallery (London), Museum Villa Rot (Burgrieden), Kunstverein (Hannover).
What’s your background?
My mom was a strong influence, we always painted or did something creative with the hands. I still have a painting from her in my kitchen I look at every day!! It is a very cool sporty car in the mountains, she painted when she was 14 years! So, I never really questioned to study art to continue painting. I studied Fine Arts at the Braunschweig University of Art and completed my master’s degree in 2006 under the guidance of the Swiss artist John Armleder. Strong influence, as well, with his focus on ready mades and aesthetics of consumerism.
What does art mean to you?
To reflect, to think especially about our life in paradise and that we, very often, forget about it. To put light on the awareness to be born at the right continent, in the right country with the right skin colour. So, in showing or drawing my everyday life, I show my privileged life with the latest IPhone, eating Sushi, think about which next sneakers to buy. I think it is important to reach awareness of all these to be able to share and/or spend less.
How did you start making art/Why do you make art?
Beside my mom’s creative impact, there is the imagination in my head being an old lady and still loving it to be in the studio, sitting at my working table, having a coffee and going through the sketches I did the day before. It is only thing I want to do until I die. We have the great opportunity to choose our jobs and bring meaning to our lives. That is my choice!
What inspires you? What are your biggest influences?
Haha, almost everything. I love to watch people, what they are wearing, how they are wearing it, how they behave, which products they use. I think, clothes and accessories give a perfect impression of the spirit of the age we are living in. But of course, I also love to hear music and watch movies, listen to podcasts and use quotes for lightworks and the text I use on the drawings. That’s why I admire a lot Rose Wylie, her work, her age and the motifs she is painting.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
Beside reflecting about your own life and your attitudes, what makes you happier, it is so great to travel a lot, see the world and meet wonderful, interesting people. That was before Corona. Hmmm, let’s do a skype-call!
What gives you the most joy?
The really, really best thing is the moment an idea pops up, during jogging through the park or while having a bath (my two favourites). I love to paint, I love to exhibit and talk about my work, I love when people like my stuff and buy it to live with it, but the most exciting thing is the beginning, the first idea, the imagination how it should feel.
Considering the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, what do you think is the impact on the art world and how could we overcome it?
Personally, on one hand, I like that it is quiet and I can get lost in my own world. For the creative process it is perfect. Not so many appointments, not so many art to see, not so many people to meet. What a stress. On the other hand, I live from the hungry art world and I have to earn money to have the privilege to spend my whole day in the studio and not to do another shitty money-job. So, I need a viral art world to live my dream. At the moment I focus on Online Marketing, I focus on selecting my cooperation-partners and stay in progressive contact. And, I guess, the art world will get more digital, in showcasing. Or at least it became already. So, ladies, thank you for this online exhibition!! In my opinion, finally a painting has to be seen in real, but to get someone hooked on the piece, first digital impression is perfect. Before you used catalogues or any print media. Just the media changed. So, go for it!!