Through art we can change the world

How taking part in the Twitter Art Exhibit to help other people has also helped Karin Bruckner as an artist.

Our ‘meet the Twitter Art Exhibit (TAE) artists’ series of blog posts is an opportunity for you to discover more about the artists behind the TAE. All artists taking part in the TAE donate their own original postcard sized art works for sale each year. Their support, enthusiasm, talent and fantastic art enables the TAE to continue raising valuable funds for good causes.

For this inaugural post Adam Brant (@brantus on twitter) chats to Karin Bruckner to ask about her work and involvement with the TAE. Read our interview with Karin to find out what inspires her art work, how the TAE has helped her, and where you can discover more about her work.

A photograph of Karin Bruckner holding her art work ‘GoldCoast’
Large printmaking composite
Partially wiped etching and monoprint with metal leaf
On white BFK Rives printmaking paper
30” x 40”
2017

Karin was born in Zurich (Switzerland), grew up in Munich (Germany), and has lived in New York City (USA) for the past 30 years. She is a printmaking artist based in New York City who has contributed a postcard art work to each TAE since 2012.

When did you start making art work?
I graduated with a Masters Degree in Architecture from the Technical University in Munich, and later added a Master of Science Degree in Architecture and Building Design from Columbia University in New York. I subsequently worked for Richard Meier and Partners, and Philip Johnson Architects, before fully committing myself to my family.

My children ultimately brought me back to my initial passion for making art. When I took up printmaking at a local community center, I instantly knew I’d found my medium. Printmaking was the perfect bridge from the structures of Architecture to the freedom of artistic expression. Printmaking has allowed me to grow into, and own, my Inner Artist.

What inspires you to make art work?
Anything can inspire me to make artwork. When I began printmaking I was thrilled to see what happened when I added found or manmade subject matter to the printmaking process. My twitter handle @kbmatter alludes to that.

I have a very experimental approach to making art. The more I know about processes, techniques and materials, the more they tempt me into conversation. I often feel less like I’m making the art, and more like the art is making itself through me. Narratives develop through a dialogue between me and the material at hand.

Making a mark is what matters to me. Once the initial mark is made it can take you anywhere as long as you’re open to it.

GoingInCircles
Karin Bruckner
Viscosity Monotype with Chine Colle and Mixed Media
On white BFK Rivers Printmaking Paper
22” x 54”
2017

What can people expect from your art work?
As an architect I’m a staunchly minimal modernist. As an artist my work tends to be very layered and complex as a projection of experience, thought and emotion.

Within my work color, textures, shapes, materials and techniques come together in an increasingly mixed-media sense (although still printmaking based). I reduce and balance my work by applying careful editing. You can take a person out of architecture, but you can’t take architecture out of the person! Composition, Balance, the Horizontal and the Vertical are always present, but so are surprise and whimsy.

My largely abstract work is serious about beauty, but I like to have some fun with it as well. A lot of my work deals with chaos and control – how they influence one another, play-off one another, and keep each other in check.

Viscosity monotype in the making
A photograph from Karin Bruckner’s studio
The rolling up a viscosity monotype with an 18” rubber roller (Karin’s favourite!) on acrylic printmaking plates, before rolling them onto printmaking paper through the etching press.

Do you work as a full-time artist?
I consider myself a full-time artist. On days I’m not actively making art I’m either preparing for shows or working on connecting with others through social media, marketing and promoting. I also teach printmaking at Carter Burden Network in Manhattan twice a week, and run private workshops in my studio.

Land’sEnd
Karin Bruckner
Viscosity monotype with Chine Colle
On white BFK Rivers Printmaking Paper
22” x 30”
2017

How did you first hear about the Twitter Art Exhibit (TAE)?
I may have run into the concept of the twitterartexhibit early in 2012 on Facebook rather than Twitter.

Why did you decide to submit an art work to the TAE?
I learned about David Sandum and his idea of connecting artists all over the world, from all walks of life and every level of skill, through this social media. The idea of bringing artists together by encouraging them to send in postcard sized original work, which was then sold to benefit a charitable cause, appealed to me. My first postcard went to Moss, Norway in 2012 and to every other place every year after that.

I love the idea of someone somewhere being able to own a small piece of original artwork at a highly affordable price that not only brings pleasure to those who buy it, but also to those who’ll benefit from the charitable aspect of the TAE.

A collage of Karin Bruckner’s entries to the TAE exhibitions from 2012 – 2017
Clockwise from top-left:
TweetMe (2012), 6” x 4”, monotype on paper
GoodImpression (2013), 6” x 4”, monotype with embodding and ink transfer on paper
Primordius (2014), 6” x 4”, viscosity monotype on paper
Bird’sEyeView (2015), 6” x 4”, viscosity monotype on paper with graphite
SeeTheSea (2016), 6” x 4”, printmaking and mixed media on paper
HelterSkelter (2017), 6” x 4”, printmaking and mixed media on paper

What has been your favourite thing about being involved with TAE?
In 2016 the sixth TAE was held in New York. This was my opportunity to visit the exhibition and meet the people behind it in person.

I set off to look for my postcard but couldn’t find it, so I asked a lovely woman at the checkout about it. To my surprise she knew immediately which one was my postcard saying “My friend Liz bought that!”. This conversation led to us exchanging contact details.

The buyer of my card was the teaching artist at a Carter Burden Network Senior Center in New York. The buyer invited me to visit the Center and whilst exploring we found ourselves talking about printmaking lessons after seeing a small, recently donated, trusty old etching press. As a result of my visit I started delivering printmaking lessons at the Center one afternoon a week on a trial basis. This has now become a year round engagement twice a week. I greatly enjoy working with my older artists, and being a part of an organization that provides an amazing resource for the elderly in New York City.

It turns out that the TAE is not only a fun thing to take part in to support a good cause, but it has helped to propel me into the next phase of my artistic endeavors.

Making a difference for other people made a difference for myself. Thank you to the TAE, and all the wonderful people who work so hard to make it happen!

Fiery Crash
Karin Bruckner
Printmaking composite
Viscosity Monotype with gold leaf
On white BFK Rivers Printmaking Paper
30” x 40”
2017

Are you planning to submit a postcard for TAE18?
Needless to say my card for TAE 2018, ‘Always’, went in the mail to Australia right around the time I heard from David Sandum on Instagram. When he asked if I was going to participate again in 2018, I shared a little story with him that ultimately led to this interview.

At this point my card for TAE18 should have made it to Australia – you can count on me to send one in for as long as it keeps going!

Always
Karin Bruckner
6” x 4”
Printmaking and mixed media on paper
2018

Would you encourage others to take part in the TAE?
Go for it – I’ve come to see the postcard size as a perfect format for experimenting. Not only do you get to try out things, it gets your work out into the world, it also connects you with other artists and good causes.

Where can people discover more about you and your art work?
If you’re interested in discovering more about my work you can visit my website http://www.kbmatter.com/. On the homepage you can easily connect to my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

I’m represented by Susan Eley Fine Art and Carter Burden Gallery in New York. You can see more of my work on other websites online (including Etsy), but most notably by visiting:
The Susan Eley Fine Art website and looking for my name on the ‘artists’ page
The Susan Eley Fine Art profile on the 1stdibs website
The Susan Eley Fine Art profile on the Artsy website
My profile on the Print Solo website (an online gallery for printmaking art).

In 2017 I was lucky enough to participate in shows in New York, Block Island, England and Portugal, and I’m currently working on two upcoming solo shows at New York venues scheduled for late winter and spring 2018.

TheTiesThatBind
Karin Bruckner
Mixed media assemblage
Gelatin monotype with acrylics, blind embossing, metal leaf, collage, coffee and letraset
Mounted on white BFK Rivers printmaking paper
15” x 22”
2017

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