MUNTHE ART MONDAY: LAURA THERESIA KÖHLER
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
Born in Geneva / Switzerland in 1980, I moved with my family to the Southwest of Germany at the age of six. After I graduated from the University of Applied Sciences in Trier, I first got employed as a Fashion Designer and then in a leading position in an International Fashion company in Germany. But during this time, I realized that I can´t fulfill my true purpose by following my inner impulses to create my own independent version of happiness. I felt that something needed to change in my life on my journey towards my personal satisfaction. From my point of view today all these years have contributed to the refinement of my style, to create these joyful & playful artworks.
The influence that the fashion industry has had on me can also be recognized in my paintings. Experimental color contrasts & the rhythm of arrangements are themes I love to discuss on my canvas. Being creative has always been an important part of my life. At the age of 8 I began to draw portraits with pencil and at 15 I almost painted abstract landscapes with acrylics on self-made canvases. Even today my paintings are also increasingly reminiscent of landscapes. The covid-19 pandemic gave me the chance to spend more time to paint. Finally, I became what I truly am: a passionate painter. In September 2020 I finally made the decision to sell my artworks. Since selling my paintings my collectors continue to grow. My artworks are distributed in several private collections as well as public buildings and offices in Germany, Cyprus, UK, Canada, USA and China. I enjoy creating my paintings in my studio based in Bielefeld.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
As a fashion designer, it was increasingly difficult for me to assert myself against my male colleagues. Over the years, I had to learn to be strong and defend my creations against male bosses. Fortunately, in art it doesn't matter whether I paint as a woman or a man. In my opinion genders don´t exist in Art. At least, so far, I haven´t been treated unfavorably just because I´m a woman. In this world, there are no disadvantages for me, only advantages. Everything is a matter of personal consideration. If we feel weak, we will be treated that way.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
I grew up with books reporting about Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle, I admire her colorful ”Nanas”. Shirley Jaffe also inspires me. She began as an abstract expressionist and later she changed her style, after a few decades, into a more geometric style. That caused a huge critical response, because her style moved in a "different direction" from other painters of her time. Love her colorful, abstract geometric paintings that are still timeless today.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Reaching people, touching their souls, making art vivid and tangible. But this is how all artists fare, no matter female or male.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I´m obsessed by questions about what colors & light can do for our mood. It´s my personal aim to convey joy with my colorful & abstract paintings. I would like to give the viewer an instant feeling of happiness, when she/he dives into my world. My alternative universe uses repetitive shapes playing with abstraction and a naive kind of representation. The shapes arise during the painting process and at the end sculpt it ́s own story of vibrant colors. A story without words, told by a hidden language of soul, my soul. I create what I love. Abstract, bright, joyful and colorful.