Martial Arts

Hellenic Center for Photography Presents

Martial Arts

Featuring Viktor Koen

Curated by Manolis Moressopoulos

Martial Arts is a combination of the “WarHeads” triptych and its sister series of alphabet prints, “Warphabet”. Both bodies of work cover the same subject matter from different directions, trying to better complete the way armed conflicts are presented and understood.

“WarHeads” is clearly not preoccupied with the beauty of weaponry, but a commentary on its uses, results, sale, and distribution. The life size prints address another side of war, the side where budgets and profiteering replace “guts and glory”. The well dressed characters represent that behind every conflict lays a complex fusion of armaments and commerce most times predetermining its outcome, instead of the bravery of its participants on the field.

“Warphabet” is an illuminated typeface, inspired by military history. A typeface I wanted to design for a while now but who’s creation, unfortunately, became current and very urgent. Instead of heroics, the letters focus on our obsession for mass destruction and injury. The use of arms and armor throughout, covers a wide yet random chronology of man’s passion for killing man. Random, because it makes no sense adhering to any kind of order when it comes to something so senseless.

Related Programming:

Artist Talk: Viktor Koen, Free Advice

Viktor Koen holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, Israel and an MFA with honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Mr. Koen is a regular contributor to national and international publications and serves on the graduate faculty of SVA. His award winning prints are widely exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and are part of private and institutional collections. One man shows include: United Photo Industries/NY, Type Directors Club/NYC, The Coningsby Gallery/London, Strychnin Gallery/Berlin, Fraser Gallery/Washington/DC, Astrolavos Gallery/Athens/Greece, Slovak National Museum/Bratislava, Photography Center of Athens, LeVall Gallery/Novosibirsk/Russia, Eirmos Gallery/Thessaloniki/Greece, International Month of Photography/Fillipoupolis/Bulgaria, Merry Karnowsky Gallery/Los Angeles, Viridian Artists/NYC, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art/Thessaloniki/Greece. He is a TED speaker and lectures for academic and professional institutions such as the Type Directors Club, The New York Public Library and the Graphic Artists Guild.