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An explosion of contrasts: An interview with the fabulous Coco Wasabi

InterviewsErika BelavyComment

Coco Wasabi... the name says it all! Her collages are an unexpected explosion of class and spice, making everything that exists shatter, whilst creating a new order. It is in harmony, and without a hint of boredom that her work is created, generating stylistic breakthroughs and indulging the viewer in a game of depth and perspective. She confidently approaches each topic, no matter how explosive, to lay it bare in front of the audience. Coco Wasabi’s art expeditions are full of contrasts between the traditional and the modern, between trivial and high culture, harmony and chaos, humour and solemnity, all of them merging into one another. 

How did you get started doing collage?

I started doing collages after my study of sculpture because I wanted to do something else other than working with these hard materials of wood or clay. It was in about 2007 when I did my first pieces. I started doing collages together with my former boyfriend - we collected a lot of old photos and magazines at the flea market and recreated whole new worlds out of them. After a while, lots of people asked me for contract works like flyers or invitations, so I decided to keep on doing the collages because I really love the rebuilding of images.

Where did the alias "Coco Wasabi" come from?

It was on a sunny day with my best friends. We thought about finding an artist name that everybody would definitely remember (there was a lot funny stuff, believe me!). At the end we were so drunk that I really couldn't tell you why we came up with this name. When I woke up the next day I discovered the name "COCO WASABI" written in big letters on my arm, so destiny wanted me to be the so called Coco Wasabi :)

We love your work! What inspires you?

I take a lot of my inspiration from observing my surrounding and question myself about how this society works. Weak situations or people inspire me a lot because its "out of the normal". Travelling and get in touch with foreign cultures is very inspiring too, of course. In the end I always try to do something thrilling and unsettling in my works, because often I wish people of this world would "think" more and get closer to their own spirit. This is why I never answer questions about the meaning of a work. It's a collage. Its a reconstruction of a lot of meanings. My aim is to take the observer of my works into a point where they want to think and recreate with their spirit.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

Again, to make people think. That they find a deeper meaning inside while looking at it, and not only to have a opinion about like or dislike. And to make a good living out of what I love to do of course :)

Which superpower would you have and why?

I´d like to be able to make myself invisible! Then I could discover places and situations where one is not allowed to be part of! And of course I could scare people suddenly, that could be funny :)

Shop Coco Wasabi's art here

Coco Wasabi completed her art practice at the Vienna Art School and is currently finishing her study of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Class Richter, Austria. In her studies of sculpture, Coco learned about dimensional operation, depth and perspective, which gave her a solid foundation in the production of art and collage. From her position, the most important fascination in working with art collages is to take images from the original context and place them into a whole new world. Cutting and gluing is simultaneously her therapy and deepest expression – the final art piece has no limits. Coco is constantly experimenting, using different visual media such as print on paper, canvas, tiles, postcards and glass. She has been exhibiting since 2010 and taking part in the events such as Dots 21 and Neni Art Collective & Yves Saint Laurent. Coco’s art work can be found in numerous private collections at home and abroad.

2010 - Crom Cycle Club
2011 - WIRR
2012 - Ayo Kammzai Kunstdrucke
2013 - Neni Art Collective feat. YSL
2014 - Dots 21 / group
2014 - Limited Editions 111 / solo
2015 - Art Muc (munich)
2015 - Stud111o / Kino Siska (ljubljana) / solo
2015 - YAA Young Artist Auction Albertina
2015 - Roter Teppich Küstlerhaus Vienna