2019 was a wonderful start for pantoART Studio and Gallery in Vienna. Its concept has worked out and is very well received by both artists and visitors. The fact that artists do not have to pay commission when selling their artworks is rather unusual and encourages unknown artists to take the step into the public eye.
During the year a number of talented and creative artists exhibited monthly in the gallery. The actress and multi-talented Dana Proetsch with her picture feelings, the retired teacher Georg Brzobohaty and his timeless art, the artist's daughter Daniela Rohrer and her faces which she lets you see everywhere, Ulla Engerth from Germany dressing the book clothes, the sign language interpreter Theresia Eroes who mixes cultures with her collages, the photographer Paul Delpani whose works make the audience see with different eyes and the young and versatile Felix Felbermayer who showed the pretty and the ugly.
"All of the artists contributed to pantoART Studio and Gallery remaining true to itself. With the 1st anniversary celebration at the end of 2019 we celebrated this experience and the common success extensively."
As the owner and artist himself, Panto is enjoying the mutual inspiration by working with other artists at his gallery. "The many conversations and the encouraging exchange from artist to artist are what gives the feeling of being understood and taken seriously. This is especially important for an artist to get ahead and to be able to develop. Family and friends support him or her in a different way and since it is often not easy to show art to a critical public, it needs a place like my gallery.
After a vernissage the psychological and emotional pressure is gone and the artist is relieved that everything went well. Highly motivated, future ideas are born and he thinks about further exhibition. Of course, all this positive energy has an effect on me and gives me the necessary push to continue painting myself - that's the beautiful thing about my work."
How do you feel "Vienna" has reacted to PantoArt and what it represents in the city?
Panto: Vienna has a very long and also great culture and art scene. It is a mixture of traditional, fixed ideas, the post-war artists and the young, fresh ideas, influenced by the global art scene, about how art should look like today. Something like that: Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka versus Nitsch, Rainer, Lassnig versus today's young unknown artists.
Under these circumstances it is certainly easy to understand that pantoART has emerged as a place of possibilities. A place where it is about perceiving oneself as an artist and giving oneself a chance to show one's art in public. With pantoART I want to go my own way and act independently of the opinion of a competitive and profit-oriented world. This attitude has established itself very well in this past 1+ year and has been accepted enthusiastically by both artists and visitors. They feel comfortable and enjoy revisiting the gallery what motivates me to continue.
"With pantoART I want to go my own way and act independently of the opinion of a competitive and profit-oriented world"
These days many art events are being canceled. Do you think the purpose of art events can be delivered through online digital experiences? Is there any chance that online exhibitions/fairs can become mainstream at any point in the future?
Panto: Unfortunately the current circumstances are not pleasant. pantoART has also cancelled the vernissage and exhibition in March and it will be probably the same in April. At the moment I am still optimistic and hope that it's possible to announce vernissages again in May.
That art is spread on the internet is nothing new. For me it is quite clear that this kind of presentation will always remain only as a copy of the originals. Even if I, for example, look at hundreds of photos of Mona Lisa on the Internet or in books, I have to fly to Paris and go to the Louvre to see the original. Only in this way can I feel the real spirit and charisma of the artwork. And that applies to every aspect of art as well. We need this personal experience and encounter, to develop feelings that significantly influence our values.
Online exhibitions existed before the Corona virus and will continue to exist afterwards. It is just another offer. For example, despite numerous streaming services for music and films, people continue to buy CDs and go to the cinema. It is possible to enjoy everything from the comfort of your own home, but many people act differently. Because it's all about experiencing to hold a CD cover and read the booklet or watch the movie with friends on a big screen. Art is also about experiencing and this cannot be replaced by digitization of art.
Panto has recently been accepted as a member of the Professional Association of Austrian Visual Artists. "This is a great honor for me and at the same time a recognition of my artistic work so far." This year the association is organizing several exhibitions throughout Austria and Panto is currently working on new paintings to be able to participate. In this context he works on photographs with hot wax which are reborn in this way. This technique is a bit more complicated, because on the one hand it is the photographic paper that is very sensitive to the heat and on the other hand it is challenging to redesign an existing theme and produce his own new artwork.