Wien Kunst

Interview with Dinara Hörtnagl

Artist Dinara Hörtnagl was born in 1988 in Yekaterinburg, Russia and lived in Saint Petersburg until 2018, before she moved to Austria. She graduated with a gold medal from the Graphic Department of the Saint Petersburg Repin Academy of Fine Arts. Two years later she became a member of the Russian Union of Artists. Now she is creating her art projects in Vienna.
Balance, acrylic on canvas,80x100cm, 2020
Balance, acrylic on canvas, 80x100cm, 2020

Urban studies has become the main field for experimentation and research in painting. The author plays with form and space, studying the material and creating three-dimensional installations from her paintings. Since 2019 she has been working on the Talking Walls project, collaborating with Russian and European street artists such as Berlin Kidz, Skirl, NDZW, Maxim Ima, Vladimir Abikh and others.

dinara hoertnagl artist
Artist Dinara Hörtnagl

How you do you describe your style?
I have a classical and very conservative academic background. My studies were based on the school of old masters, so those still have a great influence on me. However, I love contemporary art and I try to reflect that in my artwork. Another big passion of mine is urban art: street art and underground graffiti, which has been the subject of my ongoing projects for the last two years. In those works find a way of mixing classical realism with the wild style of urban art. Besides that, I am a collector myself striving to grow my personal collection of urban artworks. All of my artworks are painted on unique and customised canvases, which are made for me in an individual production by a master craftsman from Russia. In the end, my artworks are balancing between paintings and installations.

Tell me about your first memory of art.
Both of my parents are artists, so I can’t remember a day without it.

Do you have a philosophy that you create by?
I draw inspiration from the world around me, try to hear the „voices“ (ideas and opinions) of modern people and transmit them through my art.

What famous artist from history would you like to spend a day with and why?
If we speak about something realistic, about great artists living right now, I would like to paint in a scenery of a forest together with David Hockney. I admire his artworks, philosophy and positive way of thinking. If the question is about the travel to the past, I would prefer to appear in the studio of Jan Vermeer. At the moment we know only 34 masterpieces of him. I would like to witness the creation of one of them.

What are your days like?
I have an art studio for adults, so my day usually starts from 4-hours group lesson and the rest of the day I paint myself. I like to listen to audiobooks or lectures about art. 2-3 times a week I am visiting exhibitions in galleries and museums. And of course I am spending time with my husband: we like to have long walks through the city, do sports, in summer we swim, go stand up paddling and go to the mountains.

What are you working on currently?
I usually work on several projects at the same time. I am continuing my Talking Walls project, where I collaborate with urban artists. We just finished a canvas with artist Phils, who’s funny characters are surrounding us almost in all parts of Vienna. Another project which I have started at the end of 2020 is a series of Tirol landscapes on round canvases which should remind «portholes» of different sizes, hung in a chaotic manner, should open a portal to better places. In the time of lockdowns and negative news nature is the only place to escape from all those problems, that’s maybe the reason why I returned to the genre of almost classic landscape painting. And a third project I am working on is called „Communication“. It’s about messages, left on the City Walls with the help of graffiti and stickers. The way to share your opinion with the public without censorship.

Dinara Hörtnagl –