Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview | Bernhard Vogel
Contemporary Watercolour Artist
'Painting is an adventure with the trust of a good ending'
We have been privileged to have been able to regularly present the work of award-winning artist Bernhard Vogel here at Watergate Street Gallery for the past twenty years. Visitors to the gallery will be familiar with the Austrian artist's striking contemporary watercolours that are full of vibrant colour, expressive marks and instinctive textures. Bernhard's work continues to evolve and he regularly exhibits in contemporary art galleries across Europe.
How did you come to be an artist?
I was born and educated in a commercial family - my way of life was not mapped out to become an artist.
When your talent is hidden it will come out when the time is right. You cannot study or learn art, you are selected by nature, no matter what obstacles there are. I decided to be an artist in 1987 because I felt a need to put all my energy and every minute into creating art - it was the point I was believing.
Describe your work in three words
My work is based on realism which inspires me. With fantasy, structures and shapes I try to change what I see into a new undiscovered world.
This happens when the creative process is found.
What draws you to creating art in your chosen medium?
I use nature and cities to change them into a new aesthetic and atmospheric shape.
Art is to create something new and surprising, not to copy something.
When I begin a watercolour I never know how it will develop.
My style is based on the philosophy 'Serendipity' which means that painting is an adventure with the trust of a good ending.
Does the area in which you live, influence your work?
I live in one of the most beautiful cities, Salzburg, which inspires me every day.
Especially here in Austria has begun the boom of the new contemporary watercolour.
My first exhibition in London in 1990 with this new free and unknown style was completely sold out.
It was also very unexpected for me and many successful exhibitions have followed since then.
In this time I got to know the owner of the Watergate Street Gallery Alan and Alex Sharp.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Mostly in front of the subject which is an enormous place of energy.
I seek my place for work intuitively by depth, contrast, composition and structure; and something unexplainable.
Do you listen to any favorite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
Yes, music affects my life very intensely, from classic to the latest - when I feel the genius.
For example: Henry Purcell, Soap and Skin, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode….. what I choose changes constantly.
If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?
Vincent Van Gogh because I like his madness.
What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate Street Gallery – do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to show your work?
An artist is always chosen by the gallery because the art dealer should believe that the art will be a success.
My criteria is the portfolio of artists exhibiting which should be the same level of quality, the good reputation of the gallery and the enthusiasm (the most important) of the art director.
What are you most excited about artistically in 2020 going into 2021?
To see that people need art more than ever.
The epidemic crises is a chance to realize that art is a basic need for everyone.
View Bernhard Vogel's full collection at the gallery here.