Vienna Tourist Board Calls On Street Artists to Glam Up Klimt

Vienna Tourist Board Calls On Street Artists to Glam Up Klimt
Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (1907-8)
(Courstesy Austrian Gallery Belvedere)

The Vienna Tourist Board is collaborating with London street art specialist Lazarides Gallery on a live event and an exhibition that will bring together nine artists to pay tribute to Gustav Klimt. Part of the Board's campaign celebrating the 150th birthday of the Austrian symbolist painter, "Klimt Illustrated" will kick off tomorrow with artists Mode 2, Lucy McLauchlan, Vhils, Ron English, Christian Eisenberger, Bastardilla, Know Hope, and Marlene Hausegger creating their takes on Klimt in front of an audience in Grosvenor Gardens.

"It's a wonderful way of seeing artists work," Vienna Tourist Board spokeswoman Astrid Pockfuss told ARTINFO UK. "Usually, you get the result and you never see how they really do it — but with street art, they have so many interesting ways of doing their pieces of art."

The resulting pieces will be displayed in an exhibition at Lazarides Gallery, which will also include a Klimt-themed piece by street art superstar Shepard Fairey.

The concept, Pockfuss said, was inspired by UK street art great Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy. "We were fascinated by his work and how he is doing street art all over the world," she said, although she wasn't able to answer whether or not Britain's serial prankster had been invited to take part. 

Street art and Klimt are linked, Pockfuss explained, by "a way of doing art differently. Klimt was reinterpreting himself over a period of time — and street artists are quite the same, they don't always do the same stuff." 

"We also want to show that Vienna isn't only a city of museums with old stuff, old paintings and fine arts, but that there is a big contemporary art scene going on." Of the nine artists contributing to the London show, Christian Eisenberger and Marlene Hausegger are the only two Austrians.

"Klimt illustrated" will be on view at Lazarides Gallery from August 24th to September 1st.