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February, 2012 Monthly archive

Nina Levett has recently been featured in the daily newspaper “Die Presse- Schaufenster”. She participated in a group interview with three other Austrian designers and artists. The interview took place at Madame Tussaud’s in Vienna, allowing a group photograph of the group to be taken near the wachs statue of Gustav Klimt.

Gustav Klimt was a very interesting personality. He was a bachelor right until his early death in 1918. It is said that he had about 12 children with different women. Mostly he had affairs with the women he painted. But one of his most important life partners was the fashion designer Emilie Flöge.

He started his very successful life as an artist by studying at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts.

He then proceded to make murals with his talented brother Ernst and their friend Franz Matsch. The trio was very successful and painted freskos for many famous buildings such as the Burgtheater in Vienna.  His father and brother died in the same year and Klimt took financial responsibility for himself and his family (he was one of seven children).

He became very successful when his artworks were liberated from stylistic and thematical conventions, but he was also subject to a lot of criticism which led to him withdrawing from one of his biggest commissions: three paintings for the Vienna university. After this scandal he refused to work for the Austrian State again. He was “punished” by never being made professor at the famous Vienna Art University which was a major honour at the time.

Even though there always was a lot of controversy about his work Klimt is one of the most famous Austrian painters to this day. If you enter the phrase “most expensive art” into the Google search machine  you will find two of his paintings among the most expensive artworks ever sold to this day.

Nina Levett’s first design for Ritzenhoff was presented at the Ambiente Messe approximately one week ago. Levett’s new espresso cup of the Spring/Summer Collection 2012 is called “My Little Darling”.  The cup can be bought directly on the Ritzenhoff website for 19,95 EUR by clicking here.

Born in 1973 in Vienna, Austrian ornament designer Nina Levett is best known for her provocative tableware designs and her inspiring works like her Sperm sofa and colourful moveable wallpapers.

Nina Levett starts her working process with a china ink drawing on transparent paper. She simply lets her hand do the work for her. Completely letting go of any thoughts and trusting her visual impulse, her hand follows the visual images her brain produces, anticipating the next step in her drawing process. The finished works are multi-layer artworks with harmonious colours. Her works are usually created using diverse techniques that she produces in-house in her own studio. She entirely controls all steps in the working process from the first drafts to the finished print or porcelain product.

Nina Levett finds inspiration from films like Abel Ferrara’s “Bad Lieutenant”. She says that her work is inspired by the three to five P’s: POP, PUNK, PORN, PROTEST and PAIN.

In the shooting for a magazine called “Best of Vienna” she depicts a woman in front of diverse unfinished wallpaper designs.

From the 3rd to 12th February the Rudolf Budja Gallery is at the American International Fine Art Fair at Palm Beach. Nina Levett’s artwork is shown at the show.

The ornamental moveable wallpaper exhibited at this art fair was made in preparation for Nina Levett’s wedding, when she made several designs to be lasered as cotton tablecloths.
Later she used the laser-ornaments to create some of her moveable wallpapers.

10 Things about Nina Levett

1// Nina Levett is an invented persona. Her nails are fake, her hair is not real. She does not exist.
2// It took her many years, one personal trainer and a few beauty docs to become as beautiful as she is now.
3// At school she was an achiever.
4// She does not believe in life after death and therefore often works long hours.
5// Nina Levett believes in following the flow. She works when ideas come to her. Much of what she does is spontaneous and unplanned. Watch the video of Amy Tan talking about creativity here.
6// She is fascinated by pop culture (Madonna,…).
7// Some of her inspiration comes from the city of Vienna and in particular the Wiener Werkstätte.
8// Her favourite film is by Abel Ferrara: “Bad Lieutenant”
9// Nina Levett eats no sugar and drinks no alcohol. She works out regularly.
10// Some of her spiritual inspiration comes from Ajahn Brahm, Theravada Buddhism and Sigmund Freud.