Vian Borchert, an established expressionist visual artist.
My name is Vian Borchert, I am an established expressionist visual artist.
I've been creating art professionally for many years. I consider my artwork as a form of visual poetry. My artwork is inspired by nature and the environment. In my paintings and creative process, I seek to attain a meditative enlightenment where the art creation elevates one into a higher realm of consciousness and towards a Zen state of peace and harmony. I am a graduate and "Notable Alumni" from the Corcoran College of Art and Design George Washington University, Washington, DC. I am an internationally collected artist. I've exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions within the US and internationally in museums and key galleries in major cities such as: NYC, LA, Washington DC, London and Berlin, Dubai, Amman.
My artwork has been on display in prestigious venues such as Times Square on Broadway in NYC, United Nations in NYC, The National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, The SAM museum in PA along with world embassies. My art has been vastly featured in publications such as The Washington Post, Museum Week Magazine, Voyage LA, ARTPIL, Oxford Public Philosophy journal, SHOUTOUT LA, Canvas Rebel Magazine, Pensive global journal, Collect Art Book and others. I am also an educator teaching fine art classes to adults in the Washington DC area. My artwork is available at "1stDibs" and "Artsy" world's leading marketplaces with auctions.
My artwork can be acquired and is available at "1stDibs" and "Artsy" world's leading marketplaces with auctions.
"1stDibs" link for my available paintings:
Also, my artwork is available via "Artsy" at this link:
Link to view my displayed artwork titled "Spectrum" in Times Square on Broadway:
How did you first get into the world of art? What drew you to it?
I believe I was destined to be an artist. I feel that art chose me rather than me choosing it. I was born into an art household where art runs in my genetic making so to speak. Thus, I was born with a natural talent for the arts. As far as I can remember, I have always loved creating art. I was a shy child and art for me was a form of retreat where I can run to and let my imagination fly.
I have always been a dreamer till today, and art gave me that platform to transform into my own wonderland and dreamscapes. Growing up in an art household, we attended exhibitions and visited other artists ateliers and listened to art-talks almost non-stop. My teachers noticed my talent early on and directed me in the right path by entering my art into exhibitions on numerous occasions. Later on, I pursued an art education at Corcoran College of Art and Design George Washington University. For me, art is magnetic, I can't help but create and make it. It is so intrinsic in me. It is almost as if I am almost possessed from the start by the art spirit that pushes me to create.
I believe the art spirit has to be in one to be a true artist. And, that essential art spirit is the source that keeps one going through the many ups and downs. Art is in me, similar to someone who has been blessed with a beautiful singing voice where the minute they open their mouth to sing, they are what we call "a natural".
Can you pinpoint a moment or piece of work that solidified your decision to pursue art as a profession?
When my father had a heart attack a couple of years ago (thankfully he survived it). It was at the time, I remember sitting on my bed reflecting on my life and asking myself, "what am I doing with my life? I better get serious and do what I love," which is art. From that moment on, I was more steadfast with my approach and art creation. I would say I have created thousands of artwork ever since.
Who are your biggest artistic influences and why?
My biggest artistic influences are nature and the environment around me. Nature moves like no other to create and be inspired by its ever changing beauty, be it the four seasons or the endless wonder of the everyday sunrises and sunsets. Skies, clouds and their movement along with the blue sea have always been huge influences in my life, art and vision.
As for artists who I found profoundly inspiring and I admire their artwork and contribution to society are: Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Alberto Giacometti, Louise Bourgeois, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Robert Rauschenberg, and Franz Kline to name a few. I find these artists' visions to be so strong, so true, so singular; yet, so vast and so engaging. To illustrate, I can spend hours looking at Monet's water lilies over and over again and not ever get bored of his spectacular and visually stimulating work. Same goes for the other artists I mentioned.
How would you describe your personal artistic style, and how has it evolved over the years?
I have been doing art for around 30 years, and pretty much all my life ever since I was a child. Initially, in art school and college, I mainly worked from the figure. I am primarily a figurative artist where anatomy is a huge part of the execution of such works. I believe partially my love and interest for the figure stems from the fact that at heart I approach art in a rather scientific and almost dissecting way.
I realized later on within my life's journey that I would have loved to have been a physician, a surgeon sculpting, shaping, healing and saving lives - a surgeon works with their hands the same as an artist.. Even though initially I was mainly a figurative artist where friends and family would sit and model for me, I approached the figure in an abstracted way rather than creating an exact likeness to the model. My intent was more to capture the spirit, the mood and the psychology of the setting rather than to make a replica of what I see.
I always liked bringing that element of abstraction that opens up the imagination allowing it to come through and be set free onto the canvas. In this my work does have clear abstraction elements from the start and until now. Yet, currently, my themes and subject matters stem from nature and the environment like sources of light be it the sunrise or the sunset along with the sky and sea.
Do you have a favorite medium to work with? If so, why do you prefer it?
Yes, my favorite medium is acrylic on canvas since acrylic dries very fast, and I am always working on my art up till the last moment before exhibitions. Thus, modern day hustle and bustle demands for the need of a modern versatile medium that adapts to my work and lifestyle. Initially, most of my work was in the oil medium, yet oil takes forever to dry and I've had incidents where some of my paintings were stolen due to leaving them in studios overnight or over days to dry to come back to a shared studio and see them gone.
You can say, I am a bit traumatized in this case, and that's why acrylic is so much better for me since it dries in minutes. Nevertheless, I've been academically trained to develop the same skills in acrylic like oil. Most people assume my work is oil, and are rather shocked to know it is acrylic. I tell them it takes a skilled artist / painter to create such results.
How do you push past creative blocks or moments of doubt in your career?
In general, I don't have creative blocks. I believe if you are a natural at something, then it comes naturally to you - you wouldn't have a problem in that regard. On the contrary, I find so much inspiration wherever I look and even in my dreams vivid images pop up that I have almost an overflow of visions, ideas that I end up doing quarter of what rushes through my mind.
On the other hand, moments of doubt in my career do occur every now and then since art and being a painter isn't exactly a piece of cake as a profession. Making dough as an artist isn't exactly as lucrative as being a lawyer or doctor or an engineer. The sale of artwork varies. Thus, to be honest, doubt does happen when one is an artist since one has to think of ways of how to keep progressing and moving forward within the art profession which is more mysterious in regards to how things fall into place rather than a desk job where one knows that you'll get a salary at the end of the month. I am also an art educator teaching art classes in painting and drawing to adults, which seems to strike a good balance in this regard while keeping thoughts of doubt at bay.
What's the most challenging piece you've ever created and what made it so difficult?
A few years ago, in 2020, I was in an art exhibition at a Los Angeles gallery (bG Gallery) where the theme was a painted forest, and the requirement was that the artwork had to be a structure along having specific measurements that occupy a little amount on the floor while being tall in height. Thus, I had to really think outside of the box and allow the sculptor and engineer within me to rise up to the occasion.
Therefore, I designed and engineered a free-standing versatile and transformative structure of a three dimensional triangular prism with surfaces that work as a painting. I wanted the work to be so transformative that one can also open its panels from the sides and have it still be freestanding without the use of a pedestal. Moreover, the piece can be completely opened flat and this way it will become a 2D painting that can be hung up on a wall. The title of the prism structure that is based on a green forest, is “Evergreen.” The work is inspired by the heavy woods that I live by where my intent through the work is to represent the array of different greens that a forest emits along showcasing the warmth and light of the sun peaking through the forest’s swaying leaves.
Although the structure was based on nature. Yet, I intended for the design to be modern yet grounded that it can be seen from any angle of the room. Therefore, I constructed a long triangular prism with 6 panels made out of canvas all the same size. On the canvas surface, I painted my vision of a Summer forest. The painting is executed in my signature abstract expressionist painterly style.
As for the triangle prism look, I tailored the structure to parallel ancient Egyptian engineering where triangular structures symbolize connection between the natural balance along with the physical and spiritual. As a nature lover – mother nature is my sanctuary and solace. Consequently, the “Evergreen” freestanding forest prism became a metaphor for a return to nature. The prism presents a safe haven; and the trees of the forest represent growth. The artwork emphasizes on a rejoice in nature in an uncertain world gone awry where some of the few objects that stand tall and firm are trees in a forest and natural forms.
The artwork is available online via "1stDibs" and "Artsy" at these links:
1stDibs link for "Evergreen::
Artsy link for "Evergreen"
My "Evergreen" triangular prism structure has created trend waves ever since its debut, and has proven to be very influential and inspiring to both budding and also local artists in the DC/DMV area where I reside that a number of triangular structures have been popping in public parks and venues following the same thought model that I created.
How do you handle criticism, both constructive and negative?
I handle criticism well. I have been in the art business for many years, and I mainly hear good and positive feedback and reinforcement. Yet, if there is a criticism, I am open minded in hearing the opinions of others and how they view matters differently than me. In general for me, I don't see different opinions as criticism, it is simply that some people think differently or might approach things alternatively than me. In this regard, I am open minded in seeing how they see things. I believe strongly that in this world, it is not a one way ticket, one has to accommodate and be open minded to have things go smoothly and get along nicely with people around one.
Of course, if the criticism comes from a source of rudeness which is rather rare or from a destructive hateful person then I mainly ignore it, or tell the person to be more positive in what they have to say.
Are there any themes or messages you consistently aim to convey through your work?
Yes, most of my work revolves around the idea of seeking peace and harmony while reinforcing thoughts of rejuvenation and energy and evoking intellectual thought along with a visual dialogue between the audience and the artwork. I aim for my artwork to bring one to a higher realm be it a feeling or a thought. I love when the viewers engage and interpret the work the way they see it - Artwork should ignite a sensation and feelings when it is viewed.
How do you continue to grow and develop your skills? Are there any specific practices or routines you adhere to?
As I mentioned earlier, for me I feel I was born with the art gift and a natural talent. Of course, pursuing the talent and refining it by attending an art college (I am a graduate and notable alumni from the Corcoran College of art and Design George Washington University) the education and further learning of the arts and working in museums and art institutions had further fostered my skills and growth. Thus, besides my years of education and focus on art, as of late my go to routines are to start the day with meditation and of course a cup of coffee to set me on the right start to what comes my way within the day.
I am disciplined in that sense where I aim to repeat the same routine daily although there are days where I just have so much on my plate and have to jump right into work as soon as I get up. Nevertheless, meditative practices have proven to be a great source of calm anchoring towards self-love and self-care rather than feeling hurried, rushed and anxious by life's hurdles.
What role does the environment or your surroundings play in your creative process?
The environment and my surroundings play a huge role in my creative process since I do believe they also shape who we are, and they are what we see and experience in our daily lives. Thus, what you see around you / your surroundings do make an impact in one's lives, let alone a sensitive artist who takes everything in and later transforms that knowledge into works of art. This is so true of me, what I see along with memories of my childhood to my current situations and travels do make an appearance in my work albeit a bit more of an abstract take. Since I am a visual artist, I have a photographic memory, and what I see at least in my case gets stored in my subconscious and later on makes an appearance through the art creation - this is the artist that I am.
To illustrate, I travel a lot to NYC for exhibiting my art since I am represented by a gallery in Manhattan, Lichtundfire gallery. Also, in June my artwork was on a huge billboard in Times Square on Broadway which is a huge achievement in my art career and a great feeling to see one's work in one of the most important venues in the world. Thus, my back and forth travels to NYC had created the "NYC Cityscape Series" and "On the Road" series where monumental buildings such as the Empire State building and Flat Iron building are documented through these works via my signature abstract painterly style.
Here is a link to some of the NYC Cityscapes that are available:
"City Threads" on 1stDibs:
"The Circulation of Dreams" on 1stDibs:
"Flat Iron Life" on Artsy:
"Edifice" on Artsy:
Do you believe in the concept of a "muse"? If so, can you tell us about yours?
Yes, I believe in the concept of a "muse". My muses besides nature and its bountiful beauty are my children and husband. My family keeps me going in creating more and more artwork. Seeing their admiration and awe and appreciation along with utter support of my art career has always been a source of energy and absolute gratitude to what they bring to my life. My husband has also modeled for me for a number of artwork - although again I don't portray an absolute likeness of the sitter when I create figurative work but more of a capture of the spirit. Yet, he has been supportive, assisting through my growth and the ups and downs of the art journey together.
Can you talk about one piece of your artwork that holds a particularly special place in your heart?
One piece of artwork that holds a special place in my heart is my painting titled "Spectrum", the one that was up on the billboard display in Times Square in Broadway in NYC in June.
The painting was created during Covid times while everyone was sequestrated to confinement feeling the angst of what Covid and that mysterious deadly sickness had put us through during those dark and difficult times. The painting was made for a solo exhibition titled "Reflection" in 2020 where the artwork reflected how I felt at that moment, capturing the nostalgia of the good old days pre-covid where life was much simpler.
"Spectrum" is also a modern take on a rainbow. Yet, I wanted it to be more of a sunset that captures a spectrum of colors rather than a clear rainbow. In this, I aimed to transmit a modern take of a vivid and vibrant sunset executed through my modern and minimal aesthetic, and in such delivering a modern skyscape of a sunset. The painting has been greatly admired by the public and connoisseurs of art.
The painting is available at "Artsy" at this link:
How do you balance the commercial demands of being an artist with staying true to your artistic vision?
To be frank I work all the time, sometimes even non-stop. I am the type of person that if I am in the mood to work, then I start creating and working on what is in front of me even if it takes hours that go into the wee hours of the night. A lot of times, I am the only one still awake working on artwork or an interview or preparing for an exhibition where every minute counts. I do have many sleepless nights within my art career, and when I work I give it my all.
I am always true to my artistic vision and I uphold my artwork and vision to the highest degree, and I believe all my work are museum pieces and a collector's pot of gold. There were many times where I had to say "no" to certain projects or I didn't feel good about collaborating with certain people for art projects/exhibitions. On the other hand, there were also many times where I just went for it, and went with my gut feeling and saw my career flourish into new directions and evolve to what it is today. So, yes I am a true believer that every decision we make to what life throws our way whether we take it or not is part of what shapes us and shapes our destiny.
What advice would you give to young artists just starting out in the field?
To be frank the art business is very tough, and I believe it seems to be getting tougher and tougher these days. My advice is very simple, if you have what it takes then go for it. If you are missing a talent and struggle to make even a simple drawing, then this might not be your thing - maybe ceramics or a different form of art like acting, writing or singing might be more your forte. Thus, my advice is to be true to yourself and be very honest with yourself. To be an artist is no bed of roses, it is a long and winding round with lots of ups and downs; so before embarking on this artistic path, allow to give yourself enough time to study and reflect on who your are, your needs and wants along dabbling in varying art forms to figure out what is the right one for your personality along with your skills.
Are there any artists, past or present, you'd love to collaborate with?
Yes, so many. The list can be very long.
From the past artists, I would have loved to have painted en plein air with the French Impressionists painters especially Claude Monet in his garden, his Japanese footbridge and his water lilies. I would have loved to live in Monet's beautiful yellow house in Giverny and see what he saw everyday as he went on strolls in the garden and its grounds.
Apart from Monet, from the present day artists, I would love to collaborate with German artist Anslem Kiefer on one of his huge abstract monochromatic landscapes. I can do the sky and he can do the fields. ;)
Moreover, I would like to collaborate with American artist Vaughn Spann in creating my own version of a rainbow along his arch-like rainbow art which is prominent in most of his works.
How do you stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in the art world?
I don't follow art trends since I make them. When I paint, I look inward, not outward. For me creating art is all about personal expression rather than following others and trends. I am not interested in others' self-expression - I am interested in my own and what comes out of my own world and imagination and my own creativity. For me that is the primal reason why I am an artist to figure me out, reveal my hidden unknown subconscious which is where the creativity comes from and let that stream onto the canvas through the art process of painting.
In regards to techniques and trends as I have said, I have observed these last few years that what I do in my own studio which gets shared through the internet and through exhibitions, does go around and circulate and makes waves and trends in the artworld. Case in point, in 2021, I had solely made a series of paintings of "Lavender Fields" (which were on exhibit in NYC that got numerous press) where the singular color of lavender / periwinkle was the main hue throughout the work. Low and behold comes 2022 and periwinkle is announced to be the color of the year. One might say that this is a coincidence, yet in 2019 I mainly created blue paintings which were also on exhibit in NYC and the DC area and come 2020 and blue is announced the color of that year.
I know that there are some who keep a keen eye on my vision, art and ideas and what gets birthed from my studio. In this and other examples, I see first hand my singular contribution to the art world, design and beyond - Yet, I also see that giving proper credit and contribution, alas, is missing.... This has been a source of angst to me in seeing one's ideas and the making of derivative versions of my work become almost mainstream without recognition to the creator of the work.
What's the role of technology in your art? Do you incorporate digital tools or methods in your creation process?
Nope, no technology, just good old school methodology of canvas, pigment, brushes, my hands, my mind/brain and an easel. I do take my own photos of what my eyes capture while out on walks or even while driving and sometimes I refer to those photos sometimes as points of interest for a project. Yet, my art mainly stems from my imagination, my memory and subconscious and abstraction is the vehicle that brings these elements into place and onto the canvas through my modern take of what I saw or of a fleeting memory.
Are there any societal or global issues that influence or inspire your artwork?
Yes, everything that goes in the world or I hear and see on the news makes its way subconsciously to my work. It might appear indirect, and it might come through the title or specific colors and patterns used within the work. The message is subtle and delivered through an elegant and unique way that is true to my vision rather than explicitly in your face kind of work which is so not me. To illustrate, in 2021, I had a series of mixed media and collage work where my objective was to visit abandoned historic ruins and present them in the work to reinforce the idea of preserving heritage and culture of historic sites. The series also included walks in the parks and woods to underpin the importance of nature in one's lives and how essential nature is in giving back to us through its fruitful bounty.
Link to "Green Breeze" a work in this "Green Daze" series is available via "Artsy" at this link:
Link to "Green Dadaism" available at "Artsy"
Also, "Wild Flowers" painting is available via "1stDibs" at this link:
How do you envision the future of your art? Are there any particular goals or milestones you're aiming to achieve?
Yes, I envision my art to be in major global museums such as the MoMA and The Whitney Museum along with the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, and The Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi in Dubai amongst others. I can see a retrospective of my works in one of these major museums in the future - I hope this vision will become a reality.
Also, I would like to make films especially artsy ones based on narratives that capture the mind and heart, and hence transform my vision from a still one on a painting into the field of cinema and the moving picture. Besides studying fine art back in college, I've also studied cinema and its history, and I have been an avid cinema lover itching to make my own films which I hope will eventually transpire in the near future.