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5 Things We Learned... F. Erik Patzak

F. ERIK PATZAK, ARTIST

VIENNA, AUT

F. Erik Patzak is an Austrian-American artist based in Vienna who has a unique way of presenting themes such as heritage, displacement, and memory through relatable color and imagery. His work encourages conversation about multi-generational experience of migration - a topic that needs more conversation than ever given the current political climate. He received his MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna (Muntean/Rosenblum) and is a recipient of the Theodor Körner Prize and the Naomi Anolic Early Career Award. His work has been exhibited internationally and is housed in both public and private collections, including his Direct Transit series, which will be on exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Vienna starting October 15th.

Here are 5 Things We Learned about F. Erik.

What made you...you?

I was born in Vienna to an American mother and Austrian father. When I was 3 years old my mother enrolled me into the American International School there. She raised us in a cultural enclave. In some senses this is not unlike the experience of many children of immigrants the world over. Her parents were immigrants too. They came to New York in the late 1930s escaping Nazi persecution. Every generation that followed has experienced some form of migration between Austria and the U.S.

When are you happiest?

The moment I pick up my daughter from school.

Would you rather have a muse or be a muse?

To me inspiration is cyclical. I will always remember that strong urge to pick up a canvas and create a painting after visiting a museum as a child. If I’m lucky, I get to impart a similar feeling onto someone who sees a work of mine.

Who do you admire?

Musicians whose lyrics flood my imagination with images.

What is important?

Compassion, humor, and engaging with people in a way that is respectful.


Check out more of F. Erik’s work here. Stay up-to-date on his art and exhibitions on Instagram.

Images from left to right: Portrait of F. Erik by Julian Sharp; Detail of Large Wall 2, oil on canvas, 2018; Detail of Gulf, oil on canvas, 2018; Detail of Queen Mary II, watercolor on paper, 2018; Detail of Large Wall 1, oil on canvas, 2018; Detail of Bonds, oil on canvas, 2018