The pollen season is here and I am so damn allergic. I feel fatigue all the time. It makes me less focused and self-disciplined. But it gives me time to plan my career a little. What do I want to achieve with it? What am I all about, as an artist? What is the core to my art and how can I use it to change the world a little bit?
I used to define myself as an artist by thinking that ‘I will show all those girls who bullied me in school that they were wrong, I’m not a loser nor a freak – I am amazing and I can be whatever I want to be!’. But that’s not who I am – I am not driven by revenge or any negative energies. I am beyond that now. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. I want to get the negativity OUT of me – through my art; all the traumas, the pain, the rage and the humiliation. I don’t want it inside of me. It doesn’t fit. To be forced into being a victim never suited me. I hated it. I never asked for other people’s negative energy. So it doesn’t belong to me, that’s why I need to get it all out. Some people might look at my art and think that ‘the artist who made this must be a very angry or depressed person’. Yeah, I used to be, when I was still living inside the traumas. But as a person I am very vital and happy in my nature.
Many people think I love horror movies, dark music and horror literature. But I think it’s dull. One dimensional. I need more than that. Although I do enjoy Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, The Ring (American version) and old horror classics like The Changeling, The Haunting and The Innocents. But that’s about it. To me – Haneke is true horror. Especially the realistic elements of Benny’s Video and Funny Games (Austrian version). Reality is far more scary than any horror movie could ever be. Perhaps that’s why I am so drawn to the whole true crime documentary genre.
My art is often called “horror art” and I am described as a “horror artist”, which is fine by me but it’s not really true.
My art is full of horror elements. Sharp teeth, hungry jaws, bloody lips, crazy eyes, rawness and aggression. But they are also playful. Colorful. Full of absurdities and humor. Full of life. And sexual curiosity.
I am trying to use both the horror of my traumas and the playful core of who I am to create something that is both comfortable and uncomfortable to look at. If my art was just about the horror, people would feel too uncomfortable to take in all the heavy themes I’m dealing with in my art. And if I would just be funny and cute about it, it would create a distance and take away from the seriousness of what I am trying to say. It wouldn’t be as sincere and raw – which is my thing. With the perfect balance of horror and humor – the dark and the light, I can make people stay in front of my artworks and let them FEEL things instead of trivializing important and forgotten things about the human mind, soul, heart – or make them so uncomfortable that they would leave.
And sometimes, I get messages like this in my inbox: “Like you, I suffered from a long abusive marriage. Never thought a second it was possible for me to go through all the bad things. But your experience gives hope to all of us. Thank you Mia, you are an amazing Human Being and a gifted Artist.”
When you create a space for people where they can feel safe and be free to think and feel whatever they want – they will open their hearts and minds – and perhaps look at themselves through my artworks and discover new things or rediscover things they forgot about themselves. Or to know that their painful experiences as a human being doesn’t make them a freak but that it makes them beautiful. To know that their pain, loneliness, sadness, sexual nature and perversions, their shame, their rage and their traumas doesn’t make them less of a person. That they’re not alone.
That’s what I want to accomplish with my art. That’s who I am as an artist. To make the world a more open and honest place. To create a space where people are allowed to FEEL instead of just judging, numbing, closing off, shutting down and ignoring who they really are. What a challenge.
What a fun challenge.