BOICUT‘s work is for the most part illustrative, combining impulsive lines and shapes. Since his early days, his work has been inspired by popular culture, skateboarding, the beauty of mundane objects and urban environments. What matters to him most in life and at work is being true to his inner child and self.
To this date his work was shown in Berlin, Belgrade, London, Luxembourg, Miami, Munich and his home base Vienna. In addition, he has worked with brands such as Nitro Snowboards, Bene, Absolut, Jameson, Remington, Vans, Paul Frank, Levis, KangaRoos, Hennessy, Samsung, Converse
Hi Boicut, where are you today? What have you been up to?
Today I am spending my day at my home office working on my computer.
Since the last month was very busy working 7 days a week to finish a collaboration with Bene and working on a show in upper Austria I tried to have a more chilled day including a burger date with Z, my girlfriend and studio partner. She is also working from the couch today 🙂
You worked as a graphic designer, what made you decide to leave that behind and follow your career as a solo artist?
From when I started to draw and paint I wanted to be a visual artist. But I studied graphic design because I thought it is nice to have a degree in something as a plan B. I liked to come up with ideas and solutions but we also had a day in painting class per week and that was always the most fun. Before I became self employed I took a job in an ad agency. The workmates were nice but soon I realized the classic agency designer job is not just coming up with ideas. Often they get destroyed by clients and in the end you are just the guy who knows how to use PS. So I worked as a designer during the day to save some money and at night and on weekends I worked on my own project, shows etc. until I had reached a point where I was almost working 24/7. I had enough money saved to quit the day job and started to work as a full time artist. Now I am my own boss and work doesn’t feel like work anymore because I do whatever I want most of the time. Even when I am working with brands I usually have complete freedom which is good for both sides because in my opinion you get the best results from fewer restrictions when working as an artist.
Your work has a very unique and distinctive look, tell us a bit more about how it’s developed and evolved over the years.
I think its important that an artists work is recognisable. Since the early days I always asked myself about developing a style that feels good for me and is distinctive. That is not something you have from one day to the other. It took me about 10 years to get where I am today. The most important thing I guess is to always experiment with materials, tools etc. See what feels right for you. Over the years my work became more abstract but I still use those bright colours because looking at them gives me a good feeling. I don’t like it when artists use the same style over decades but on the other hand its hard to be recognised by your art if you constantly change your style. Personally I feel that I have found my visual language about a year ago and I have enough „tools“ to articulate different accents within this language. I can move in different (new) directions and people will still know its my work. For example if I would get bored of doing abstract things I can always do more figurative work using my established techniques, colors, etc.
“Overall in life and work it is important to me to nurture my inner child, be playful and authentic. I think you might recognise this when looking at my work, no matter how abstract the work itself is.”
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Certainly there is no single source of inspiration. Lots of different things such as people around me, the urban environment, video games, stains on a wall or even my dirty laundry give me inspiration. I collect images and ideas – sometimes on my phone, sometimes just as a thought in my head – and put them together in my artworks. It is like a visual diary. Sometimes it is more concept driven, at other times I just work on some shapes and compose them until looking at them gives me some kind of satisfaction and feels balanced. Overall in life and work it is important to me to nurture my inner child, be playful and authentic. I think you might recognise this when looking at my work, no matter how abstract the work itself is.
You have applied your designs on bottles, cars, bicycles, clothing, the list goes on. What was the most challenging project you worked on that wasn’t on paper?
I would say it was the project I was working on recently. Wemake, a Viennese agency told me about a new furniture called Pixel from their client Bene and asked me if I want to collaborate painting on them. It is basically a wooden cube which is very modular. You can stack them, repurposing and building many different things like a stool, a desk, a rack etc. I loved the product and its flexibility so I said yes. In the end I was working almost three weeks, 7 days a week and at least 10 hours a day to get it done. It was very exhausting but also a lot of fun. I painted each and every side differently, much like those wooden cubes kids play with. I wanted the artwork to be as diverse and flexible as the product itself. I tested the material (wood) first, deciding where to start, which tools to use and so on. In the end Z helped me a lot with coordinating and optimizing the workflow and it turned out to be my favorite collaboration so far. I also never worked like this before; having 140 different paintings come together as one single artwork.
Like I mentioned earlier, alternation and experimenting with new things is very important to me. I always try to put in some things to a project which are new to me so I learn from every project and can take something with me.
Can you talk to us about projects you worked on with other artists – how do these collaborations start?
Personally I think it is hard for me to work with other artists. I always saw myself as some kind of lone wolf. Then I met Peter Phobia, a fabulous artist that became one of my best buddies over the past 2 years. We were asked to paint a mural together and in the beginning neither one of us had a plan but we made sketches and noticed that our styles work very well together. We seem to be on the same wavelength as people. So we did several works together, mostly murals but also plan on working on other media. Then there is my girlfriend Z. On one of our first dates we met at my studio and since then she has never left. We spent nights hanging in the studio working on all sorts of things. I never thought that I could spend that much time with one person but it was fun and still is. When I had to move out of my former studio we decided to get our very own kind of couple studio – something each one of us had always dreamed about – where we each can work on our own projects but also collaborate if we want to. We found this awesome place and made it our second home. Last year we both were invited to the same group show so we decided to build a sculpture together. In this case the shape came from Z and I painted them. Basically we seem to get along great not only as a couple but I love to hear her opinion about my work and discuss things at the kitchen table.
I also tried to work with other artists but most of the time it did not work even though I liked and respected them a lot as people. It seemed our workflow or work itself did not fit. That’s fine.
You have exhibited around the world, which place outside of Austria did you enjoy the most and why?
Idefinitely had good times in Miami. I have been there several times. One time the gallery I was represented by at the time – Galerie Hilger NEXT took me with them to show at Art Wynwood and Art Miami the next year. It has been one of the best weeks in my life. I met so many great people there and even found time to go to the beach while it was snowy back in Vienna.
I never exhibited in Barcelona but was there last year and loved the place. The climate is good (I don’t like snow and cold temperatures) and it seems to be much more relaxed compared to Vienna. There is also a beach, where even when its too cold to swim I would just sit and stare into the horizon. And I am a sucker for palm trees 🙂
Your work has appeared on street walls. What is the street art scene like in Vienna?
I mostly work in my studio but every now and then I get to paint a wall and I really enjoy it. I love to paint on big formats and its always good times especially with good weather and good company like Z and Peter. I don’t think that necessarily makes me a street artist. I’ve live here long enough and know some great locals like Nychos and Knarf, Mafia and Freshmax from the IrgaIrga crew, Ruin and Perkup to name a few. They are out on the streets more often and you can find their work all over this city and the next. There is also the Cash, Cans & Candy show curated by Katrin-Sophie Dworczak which takes place on a regular basis. They present locals alongside big international artists and curate walls across the city.
What are your plans for the future? Can we have a sneak preview of any exciting new projects you may be working on?
There will be new cycling gear coming out as an artist edition for Trikoterie, a Viennese label. I’ve already seen the samples and can say they look pretty dope 😉
I have a solo show in Liechtenstein next month which I will be working on in the next weeks. I’ll also go there earlier and paint a mural. After that Z and me go visit Barcelona again, mostly to relax after these busy months but maybe we also find a wall to paint. In July I will leave town to go to the Poolbar Festival in the western part of Austria to paint a new mural with Peter Phobia. There’s a bunch of other cool stuff happening but its top secret so far. Go check my instagram for updates!