Claudia Kraus aka diaphoneo on Instagram, is a visual artist who lives and works in Vienna, Austria. If you look through her portfolio of work one of the first things you will notice is the way nature and her surroundings are common themes and big influences in her work. There is a strong sense of mystery about each piece of work which has a misty, sometimes blurry and often grungy style to it.
Claudia’s work has been showcased in multiple group and solo exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, in Austria, Hungary, Australia and USA. Since 2014 she is represented by TOBE Gallery Budapest.
I caught up with Claudia to find out more about her art and the images she creates with her iPhone.
Do you have a background in the arts?
I have been fascinated and obsessed by the arts since I was a teenager. I saved money to buy art magazines and on my walls there was not one poster of a singer or filmstar, but a huge print of an abstract landscape by Austrian artist Giselbert Hoke. Now, on reflection, I think that this image influenced the way I look at the world more than I was aware of. I wrote poetry, short poems, did a lot of painting and drawing since I didn’t want to limit myself to just one art form. I studied psychology and communication sciences focusing on the relationship between psychology and art.
How were you first introduced to the idea of creating art with your iPhone?
I was introduced to mobile photography about three years ago, when I got my first iPhone. I was really stunned by the amazing quality of the native camera. From the moment I joined Instagram a journey began that hasn’t ended yet. I learned a lot about different apps, styles etc. and was incredibly excited to interact and communicate with mobile photographers and artists all over the world.
One of my first projects was a series called “Rembrandt Remixed” – edits of self portraits of many artist friends on Instagram – with intense colors and a strongly edited painterly style. I loved how this project connected me to these artists on an entirely new level and it even led to meeting some of them in “real” life, for example Scott Irvine (pictured) and Kim Meinelt in Brooklyn.
Tell us about your style and what influences you?
I love to be guided by intuition so I’m not planning too much while I’m shooting, it is more a matter of feeling. I follow my instincts. Light and mood are the most important components and I’m drawn to mystic, dark, grungy atmospheric scenery.
Nature is my strongest inspiration and an oasis of tranquility – this is what I want to show and hopefully transfer this feeling to those who see my work. I love to be outside, surrounded by nature. I also explore many themes that are rooted in my interest in the human mind and the relationship between humans and nature, the symbolism of nature’s processes and rhythms.
How do you approach the creation of an image? Talk us through your creative process or the methodology that you apply to the images you create.
I basically use the native iPhone camera – very intuitively as I mentioned. My post processing is mostly done in Snapseed. Early on I was fascinated by apps like Mextures or Stackables, enhancing the palettes and hereby transforming the scenery at my will. But by trying new approaches I moved away from heavy editing and now I don’t want to over-do my images and be careful to use these effects as subtle as possible.
Two of your photos received honourable mentions in this years IPPA Awards. Tell us about these images and what this accolade means to you as an artist?
It was great to be considered amongst the entries from 139 countries. My images “white poem” and “fragility” were chosen in the categories, trees and flowers – two of my favorite subjects.
Are there any photographers or artists that have been a big influence or inspiration to you?
There are many artists I feel connected to. It’s very difficult to drop names. I feel inspired by eclectic artists as Cy Twombly and Gerhard Richter. A few days ago I visited an amazing exhibition by Javier Perez in Vienna and was deeply touched by his sense for fragility. In photography, Saul Leiter was a great inspiration for me, especially in my beginnings.
Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline?
In my current project I combine photography with drawing and painting. It is incredibly satisfying and fulfilling to connect different art forms. I work on black and white prints from my circle “shapes and line” where I focus on dense structure and high contrast. The work will be on display at the Parallel Vienna Art Show from September 21th to 25th 2016.
Connect with Claudia Kraus