In conversation with the artist DAVID KONIGSBERG



Landscape is my abiding love as both a backdrop and narrative. And I’m blessed to live in a place where the landscape is dramatic and ever changing—it gives me a lot to work with. I’m an avid hiker and I know the local foot trails like the back of my hand. These trails enable me to experience all the many moods of my environment. They’re invaluable to my practice, which depends on memory far more than photography.




David Konigsberg in his studio (c)


David Konigsberg's work has been presented and exhibited all throughout the United States and featured in numerous magazines, art blogs and art websites and captured our attention as well for its stunning mix between the real and the surreal.


Defined by many as a conceptual realist artist, he portrays transitional spaces and metaphoric moments in figurative ways. He is attracted to both rural and urban landscapes that he captures in semi-narrative paintings. The artist has been focused on art since high school years, but he began his professional life as a magazine writer and editor, since he was attracted a lot to words and writing. After a while and rather suddenly, he realized he could express himself more fully and complete in more visual terms. For some time, he decided to combine painting with freelance writing, while increasing his knowledge and contacts in the art world and that meant a lot of planning, according to Konigsberg himself.




Hayfield_Dusk by David Konigsberg

Asked about work and talent and the amount of each that an artist needs to have, David Konigsberg admits that he sees people as talented in one way or another, but that what matters is the connection one has to the talent, finding the means for it to come through and persevere in the work even if often validation or appreciation from outside is not coming or it takes a big amount of time to achieve success.


In terms of luck, it is rather important for artists when displaying and selling art or having to deal with art curators, to exist an understanding of someone's work and good marketing abilities. But this is not something that comes handy to all artists, therefore self-promotion is not a priority for the artist before the process of painting and creating art, as he confesses in the interview.


The artist admits his appreciation for people that dig in their work, put their fears aside and make things happen with great impact for everyone. He names Stacy Abrams, a politician from Georgia as an inspiring figure, for her constant battle for the people of colour to exercise their rigth to vote, but also all the young musicians who, despite the adverse situation and the shutdown of several of their shows, managed to find ways mostly online to put out some fantastic recordings and persevere in their song creation.





David Konigsberg by Sidney Long (c)

The artist advises any future artists or people that would like to pursue a career in art that it is not a permanent holiday, as many see it, but rather a lot of learning, dedication and studying, also a clear perspective is required on how to get by financially. Currently living in a small city on the Hudson, David Konigsberg reveals that, if he would have chosen some other kind of profession, he would have loved to be a writer or an advocate for a cause, since he always enjoyed working with people and within a community. In present, he is part of a group that fights to improve the city's waterfront in a sustainable way.


The artist takes mostly his inspiration from the happenings of the everyday life. He does not make a habit from overrationalising about his work, but he likes mostly to surprise himself and let the process of painting be spontaneous, natural. Questioning the process of art creation and painting is something that can happen at any moment, as the artist says, especially if it is not a linear or constant process: The critical thing I’ve learned is to recognize when something feels alive in a piece of work—to focus on that thing, to be objective enough to know what serves it and what, in the end, has to go. Also, to know when enough is enough. That, I think, takes a lot of discipline.



Clearing by David Konigsberg


The artist admits he feels closer to a few pieces that he made ten years ago or even more and they are not the ones that usually catch the eye of the buyers or audience, maybe because of them being highly personal. The artist reveals his appreciation for living so close to nature, in a place from which he can easily get inspired and create, also because of his love for hiking and exploring while walking in nature:

Landscape is my abiding love as both a backdrop and narrative. And I’m blessed to live in a place where the landscape is dramatic and ever changing—it gives me a lot to work with. I’m an avid hiker and I know the local foot trails like the back of my hand. These trails enable me to experience all the many moods of my environment. They’re invaluable to my practice, which depends on memory far more than photography.



Dusk by David Konigsberg

We asked the artist about his usual process of creation, the main techniques and whether he follows any particular rules or habits. For each artwork, the artist starts by making monotypes on his etching press, by painting quickly on a plate and run it through, a fast process that helps the artist find a sense of direction. He admits he usually starts several pieces at a time, so it is difficult to estimate how long each piece takes to be completed. Sometimes he can take a longer break because he works with several layers and needs to wait for them to dry before applying more or just to get some new perspective over a specific artwork. Each step of the process of creating the artworks emerges organically, according to the artist, but what truly matters, is the perception of the viewer, the feelings and emotions the painting triggers in him: The truth is a work of art is not complete until someone comes to it. People bring their own feelings, emotions, experiences and memories to the experience. It’s what a piece says to THEM that counts. That can vary widely, and it can all be valid.



Clouds#1 by David Konigsberg

His landscapes look extremely vivid, almost like scenes from a movie, setting up a certain tension and a specific mood. When asked how he would describe his paintings, the artist chooses the following words to define them: mysterious, honest and imperfect. There is often a dreamy, serene atmosphere in his paintings that can be perceived instantly. He surprises a particular space where nature and humanity meet, blend with each other and co-exist. His paintings often don't need a particular deciphering or interpretation, but rather to be experienced for their many emotional possibilities. This constant shift between surreal and real is mirrored in the personal view of the artist regarding his style of painting, that helps particularize it and distinguish it from other artists: It’s always balanced on some kind of knife’s edge—between earth and sky, reality and abstraction, calm and menace, and so on. I feel like my work walks on a tightrope of one kind or another pretty much all the time. This sets up a kind of vibration that may be the source of its appeal.



Fileds and across the river by David Konigsberg


At the moment, the artist is preparing for a couple of shows to take place this year. Beyond this, his ambitions consist mainly of creating some new monotypes, explore more landscapes and also life from different perspectives, while being constantly surpised by it: Through these little steps, a new cycle will begin, but where it goes is a mystery. For me, even after all these years, direction is less intentional than accidental.


Follow David Konigsberg's amazing artworks and exhibitions on his website and Instagram page!
















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