Katja Wittmer is an artist based in Ireland whose paintings have been exhibited nationally, as well as in the United States, Austria, China, Germany and India. The central theme in her art is “looking behind the curtain”, as she is fascinated by the exploration of the “emotional abyss”. Through Wittmer’s works, she enjoys confronting the viewer with their own emotions and perceptions. She employs bold colors to provoke movement, elicit mysticism, and engage the viewer’s subconscious. We sat down with Katja Wittmer to talk about her current projects, inspiration and the start of her artistic career.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I knew that I wanted to be an artist at a very early age. I have always loved being creative and I was constantly painting and drawing when I was young. My parents brought me to art museums early on and they were always looking for me since I was getting completely lost in the works of Hieronymus Bosch and other Masters.
Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?
Growing up I absorbed all kinds of art styles and was fascinated mostly by the mere fact that I was expressing myself through painting. Later on during my time at university I was inspired by the expressionists mostly for their bold use of colours and shapes. I have always loved the work of Francesco Clemente for its unusual narrative and lately I find myself most drawn to abstract artists who use a lot of layers and textures in their work.
Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?
I mostly prefer to work alone since it is an almost meditative process for me. I get lost in the creative process and solitude is an essential part of digging deep. That said, I quite enjoy doing the occasional collaboration with other artists as well as joint exhibitions since it broadens your horizon and makes you look at things from a different perspective.
Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?
I am currently working on a new series of works on paper called ‘Impromptu’. The technique of mixed media that I use on paper is much more spontaneous and instinctive than on canvas. With this new series I am exploring the fleeting and impromptu nature of life.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?
If I wasn’t an artist I would be miserable. But I would always seek out being creative and would probably work as an interior designer as I love creating spaces that inspire.
What advice could you give to young artists starting out?
The best advice for an artist just starting out is to believe in themselves and to work from the heart.