Vian Borchert is an established award-winning contemporary expressionist artist. V. Borchert has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions internationally for many years. Vian is a graduate and “Notable Alumni” from the Corcoran College of Art and Design George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Vian considers her expressionistic art as a form of art as visual poetry. Vian Borchert’s art has been on exhibit in prestigious places such as the United Nations General Assembly’s Public Lobby Gallery, NYC, and in “Art Basel Miami Beach” Spectrum Miami, 1stdibs Design Center in Chelsea, NYC and the LA Art Show.
Vian's art is in private collections worldwide, embassies, and museums. Borchert exhibits in key galleries and in major world cities such as NYC, LA, DC, London, Berlin, Valencia and Hong Kong. Moreover, Vian Borchert has been attributed in revolutionizing the current contemporary abstract expressionist art movement, and a number of art styles originated from her unique vision. Most notably her love for the big blue and her signature use of the color blue in her abstract paintings which is inspired by the waves of the ocean, eventually like a domino effect created new waves of abstraction and art trends in the art and design world and beyond.
Her artwork is a huge source of inspiration for both aspiring and established artists alike. In this V. Borchert has singularly attributed immensely to the advancement of abstract and contemporary art in the world.
V. Borchert’s art has been featured in numerous publications such as The Washington Post, ARTPIL, The Flux Review, Art Reveal magazine, 300 Magazine, Vie magazine, Influential People magazine, The Miami Art Scene, SHOUTOUT LA and others. Furthermore, Vian has extensive knowledge in art history, and she has worked in major museums such as the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Borchert is an art educator teaching fine art classes to adults in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
Besides having her artwork exhibited in key galleries, her paintings are available in “Artsy” and “1stDibs” which are the world’s leading marketplaces with auctions, best galleries and museums.
Tell us something about you. Maybe your life, profession, habit, dream.
I am an expressionist artist, I consider all of my artwork as visual poems. I also write poetry. I’ve been making art and writing as far as I can remember. I’ve always been creative as a child, and I remember being considered as the best art student in my school where my friends and schoolmates would line up so I could make them drawings of their favorite Anime character. I come from an art background where my mother’s side of the family are artists. Thus, I grew up surrounded by art and art creation. For me art is very natural, it is like talking, eating, walking – it is part of my integral making and my everyday lifestyle. I have been doing art for decades now.
I am a graduate and notable alumni from the Corcoran College of Art and Design George Washington University, Washington DC. I’ve been working in the art field for a long time. I’ve worked in a number of art museums such as the National Gallery of Fine Arts and the The Phillips Collection museum both in Washington DC, which furthered my love and research in the arts. As for my profession, I have been teaching fine art classes for adults in the Washington DC area for over a decade. I teach painting and drawing classes. Lately, the classes have been virtually conducted online via Zoom due to Covid which opens up the class to attendees from all over the world.
What makes you choose this profession?
This profession chose me more than I chose it. Let me explain, being born with a natural talent in a way is like a blessing and a curse at the same time. I have always loved art and creativity; thus, making art came to me so naturally. I believe this is due to the fact that I have genetic art lineage springing from my family. I have observed in my studies of art history that most of the famous artists have had a father or a mother or an uncle who is an artist. For example, Picasso’s father was an art teacher and an artist. Hence, I feel that I belong to the same category as such artists – my artistic genes so to speak did come across loud and clear. This is why I feel that my profession was chosen even before I was born. I do believe in destiny, and that people are destined for a certain future and path.
The more I live, the more I can see how much the Universe plays a major role in one’s life. At an earlier point in my life though, I did work in other fields. At some point I was an interpreter / translator in the medical field since I speak four languages. Moreover, I worked in finance at some point, and had a 9 to 5 job. I didn’t like that part of my life, and for me going to the office day in and day out, punching numbers and inputting data was very stifling for my creative juices.
It felt like the “Groundhog Day” movie where I was stuck reliving the same day over and over again. Then, one day my life took a turn, and I said enough with this, I am an artist, I studied art, why am I doing finance when I should be doing fine arts! I went back to teaching along with painting, and the rest as they say is history.
Could you share how you expand your vision of art, fashion?
Truth be told, I came to realize throughout my artistic career that whatever I do somehow becomes the art trend in the art world. To illustrate, last year I singularly chose to work with the color lavender and all its purplish hues from periwinkle to violet. The color was inspired by my love for my lavender plant that I grew in my garden at the onset of Covid. I had found the plant to be so beautiful and so resilient and strong amid such uncertain times.
Thus, I dedicated its beautiful lavender color as the main tone for my 2021 paintings of “Lavender Fields” series which debuted in the Summer of 2021 in NYC in Lichtundfire gallery in Manhattan. The Lavender paintings’ series were very well received and widely written about in American and international publications. Moreover, my latest “Dreamscapes” series of abstracted cityscapes with the main lavender hues were created as well in 2021. Interestingly, the newly declared color of the year for 2022 is a lavender tone. The pattern seems to be happening for the past couple of years. Also in 2019, I singularly worked with the color blue due to my love for the ocean and my Mediterranean roots. Same story, in 2020 “Blue” was declared the color of the year.
By this, I do see that the art and design world and art organizations do keep a keen eye on what I do – it is quite clear they like what they see to follow in my footsteps and vision. Sometimes, it feels that I am one of the major influencers of the direction in the current contemporary art world. When I started doing abstract work a couple of years ago, I had taken a trip to the Niagara Falls where I took a tour in the catacombs behind the massive Falls where one walks in old narrow tunnels that are 130 years old to get a back view of the massive Falls. I feel this experience led me to my earlier signature abstracts of waterfall and rain-like abstractions in blue tones.
Back then, when I created my abstracts I wanted to do new works that hadn't been explored before, works of art that I personally would like to see when visiting museums. At that time, most of the abstract contemporary artists were making works that fell in the style of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. I didn’t want that for myself, I wanted to create work that is me, that is Vian Borchert, that encompasses my vision, my life and what I see. Later, my annual trips to the ocean inspired me to create my “New Wave” series which was based on the ocean and its blue tones and waves.
So, I incorporated my love for the ocean, the waves, the sunset, the fresh breeze, the clouds and their formation in this collection. And again upon creating this series, new trends in the abstract scene followed. In addition, I live by the woods so the trees and their thickness had rubbed on me. So, I created a number of paintings depicting the woods by my residence in my own abstracted textured painterly way – this as you can imagine took on like wildfire. I am not sure what it is that I am such a trendsetter of global art styles, but I believe people are clever enough to see a unique authentic vision which clearly inspires both emerging and established artists to emulate.
People tell me that it is the biggest of all compliments when people follow in your footsteps; but to be honest I do feel hurt when I see some artists not only make copies and derivative works similar to mine, and go around marketing it as their own creation… Unfortunately, we live in a world where some people just take from the artist what they like without crediting and proper attribution.
Overall, I can say in regards to art, it is crystal clear that I have singularly contributed vastly to the advancement of abstract and contemporary art in the world.
In your daily routine, what resources do you like to learn new things about art?
For me art history is always the best resource to learn about art. Beyond fine arts, I have studied history and psychology. Lately, I find myself delving more in research and studies of wellness and its connection to art. I have a number of books on art philosophy, art theory and art history that I go back to, and read in depth about my topics of research. I also find literature and history in general a great source of enjoyment and interest for me.
In my daily routine, nature for me is the biggest source of inspiration. I continuously on a daily basis aim to take in whatever beauty nature throws my way, be it the sunrises with their pink hues, or the fiery sunsets appearing like infernos in the sky while the clouds reflect the atmospheric light-show that the sun bestows upon us every day. To illustrate, when I look up and see the full moon, I feel that it watches over me. The moon, the sun and the stars make me feel good. This universal love intensified my appreciation, admiration and love for nature and my surrounding environment.
Is art important in your life? Why?
Yes, art is very important in my life since I feel that art changes everything. Art changes the way one sees matters, and how one views life. I do also see that firsthand as an art educator. I have students who are beginners who take my art classes and tell me that the art classes changed their life and their direction. They express to me that I opened their eyes to things that they never looked at, but that were always there, such as flowers and birds and the environment around us. Art does that, it opens one’s eyes! I do believe as an artist and art educator there is almost a certain responsibility to convey the beauty that the artist sees and share it with the world.
I tend to say that a mark of a civilized and cultured society is of how they view and treat art and artists. If art suffers then the rest of the making of that society will eventually decline. I feel when the art gets dropped from curriculum along with sharp cuts in art programs then like a domino effect the declination of the culture starts becoming apparent. Art, culture, innovation and creativity are all very much intertwined.
If you have a superpower or talent, which one do you wish to have? Why?
Tough question, well I already have the talent so perhaps in the next life I’ll go with superpower just to give it a try and to save the world. :)
Although I do believe with my vision and talent, I am currently touching and bettering lives within the world and around me through my art and philosophy. In a sense, one can alternatively say that it is a form of super power -> the power to make people react visually and without words to one’s art along with their feelings of wanting to become the best version of themselves due to their exposure to my art – this can edge on superpower.
There have been studies about the correlation of creativity and the sixth sense which do make sense since art is a multi-sensory activity where creativity results in innovation. I do feel that when one is in the Zen zone during the art creation and being so intrinsic with one’s senses, that eventually triggers the sixth sense appearance – at least, I feel that in my case. Clearly this is a very interesting subject matter that requires further scientific research.
Do you have any problems with your profession? How did you solve it?
I came to the realization that with whichever profession one chooses, it will not be smooth sailing, and there will be obstacles. There will always be ups and downs – it will never be an easy road where the future is clear. Just think about these times we live in. Who would have thought that we would be living in a pandemic? Just when life seems to be steady and stable, a huge curve ball comes and throws one in a totally different direction.
Lately, I’ve been working on expanding my horizons. I find that whichever direction I seek – I tend to gravitate towards the professions that involve innovation and creativity. Therefore, when I am at an intersection, I try to see what I am currently interested in and hence incorporate that with my profession to broaden the field. As of late, I’ve been incorporating my writing along with my art, and I have a number of future projects in mind that fall within this line.
Who do people impact most in your profession? What do you learn from them?
My children are the most impactful people in my life. Everyday I wake up, I want to give my 100% to them and their generation. I aim through my vision and work to be the beacon of light and brighten up their future’s journey as best as I can.
In regards to the artists who impacted me and are a great source of inspiration – here are some of them along with my favorite works by them:
Richard Diebenkorn ``Ocean Park '' paintings' series. I like these Diebenkorn paintings since they remind me of California streets, and overlook of the ocean through a very modern, abstract geometric take which is pleasing to my senses.
Anselm Kiefer’s landscapes in watercolor such as “The Evenings of All Days, The Day of All Evenings”. I like pretty much everything done by Kiefer. I simply gravitate towards his work. I love the somber colors and textures he presents in his work.
Claude Monet’s “Water Lillies” the ones at the MoMA in NYC. These are simply breathtaking beyond words. When I am at the MoMA viewing Monet’s water lilies, I feel like I am in Monet’s Garden in Giverny taking in the beauty of the pond and its waterlilies through the eyes of Monet.
“Attersee” and most of Gustav Klimt’s landscapes – Klimt’s landscapes are some of my favorites from all of the artists. Klimt created his best landscapes while vacationing by this lake in Austria near his Summer house. I especially like the shimmering and reflecting light presented in these works through Klimt’s mosaic-like depiction of ripples on the surface of the lake.
“Spider” sculpture by Louise Bourgeois – The darkness and mysterious element of Bourgeois’s work appeal to me. For me Bourgeois tells a story through each sculpture she presented. The Spiders I feel overtake us with their size, color and material. They are immensely strong but fragile at the same time.
“Orange and Black Wall” by Franz Kline – The energy that Kline presents in most of his work is endlessly beautiful and bold. His art imbue strength and confidence like no other.
What do you think about your work? Is it what you like, or simply saying a dream?
Both, my work encompasses my identity and who I am as a person, but it also reveals my dreams and aspirations. Ever since I was a child I was a dreamer. I remember looking up at the sky and being fascinated by the clouds’ movement and formations. The sky was always there for me to dream upon and provide me with joyful feelings.
As an artist, contemplation and observation on the world around me is of utmost importance to my work. The world, nature and the environment move me like no other. In my latest “Dreamscapes” series, the work is an accumulation of my dreams, my journeys, and what caught my eyes at a specific moment in time. The art illustrates the snapshots of my visual voyages documenting my life through these paintings.
In “Dreamscapes”, I aspire not only for me but for the world to return to many feel-good emotions: a return to hope, a return to dream, a return to love, and a return to art. Hence, my artwork visually translates what constitutes a dream, be it looking up at the clouds and dreaming the day away, be it looking at a sunset that says goodbye till another day, or be it looking up at tall skyscrapers that awaken one’s fascination with splendid architecture. Dreams arrive in many shapes and forms.
Yet, the most wondrous of dreams are the ones that occur when one is awake. Ultimately, Carl Jung rings true in his findings that dreams are vital in the development of one’s personality. Consequently, art has been and remains a vehicle for me that transports me to my dreams.
In modern society, lots of people want to be famous, influential, and artist. What do you think about it?
I am not sure what to think about it. Part of me thinks it is sad that we live in such a society where people can only feel content if they have fame and influence. I do believe there is a flaw in how our societies are shaped in this regard. I feel that the archaic ways of thinking that you are only important if you are famous, a celebrity or influential needs to halt. This way of thinking is unhealthy since it puts so much stress on let’s say the artist / individual.
We do see lots of mental illness affecting people today and a good part of that ailment comes about from the pressure of society and especially social media effects. Unfortunately, I do see some artists who just started doing new art, claiming grandeur which they don’t have while making copies of others art, and acquiring followers and likes just to have a certain appearance. Unfortunately, the “fake it to make it” personas only end up in fooling themselves since at the end of the day, if one short-cuts and fakes one’s way through, this will eventually come back to haunt one, and the razzle-dazzle house of cards will crumble.
What will be the suggestions to new artists?
I advise new and emerging artists to stay true to themselves, be who you are, get to know yourself and what you like and let the growth naturally happen, don’t force it – if it is meant to be, it will happen.
Also, don’t skip formal education which is essential for your creative and artistic growth. Most importantly, don’t go around social media copying works that you fancy, which a number of self-taught and emerging artists end up doing.
Through such wrongful actions this showcases that their identity is missing. If you find yourself looking at other artists' work and starting to imitate it, then it is a sign that you are still not developed enough as a serious professional artist. Serious art galleries don’t take artists who don’t display their own original and authentic vision.
If you still want to be an artist, then an art university and academic training will help you in finding your vision and voice in the art. Copying other people’s work and ideas is not only unhealthy but also wrong on so many levels. So, save yourself the chagrin, and delve into your own being and do what is meant for you.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Nature has been for years my biggest source of inspiration. Last year, my garden and more specifically my lavender plant with its beautiful purple hues and tones along with its soothing aroma has been a huge source of inspiration for my work. I am a city girl, so my love for architecture is clearly evident in my latest works titled “Dreamscapes” embodying cityscapes in a dreamy way.
Also, I love clouds, I can look at clouds’ formation for hours. So, a number of my paintings were dedicated to skyscapes and to the light and rays of the sun be it the sunrise that wakes us up from our sleep or by it the sunset that bids us goodnight! The seasons with their beautiful colors also have a huge impact on my artistry and poetic visual sense. I especially love snow landscapes, and I feel in the bareness of color there is so much beauty.
What are the most difficulties during creating new art works?
The most difficult thing of producing new works is conquering unknown grounds. For me this covers pretty much everything, not only art. It’s like diving in a pool where you don’t know if the water is cold or warm, you simply have to dive in to feel it. The fear in the beginning is always there, yet I remind myself to be brave and dig in. Thus, when creating new artwork, there is always that element of fear along with excitement: one element says “don’t do it” while the other element says “go for it” – two conflicting emotions at the onset of embarking on the new.
Nevertheless, for me there is also that extra element of curiosity that says “do it, create the new work,” and with this I can see what comes out of me and what my subconscious wishes to bring to life.
How often do you create new works?
When the art spirit visits me so to speak then that is the most creative time for me. I can be in the studio for weeks non stop creating one painting after another. Yet, I do believe for me at least, a creative rest is needed every now and then, where I consciously pause myself from creating so that when I return back to the studio, the starved hungry artist reappears and produces the masterpieces.
What is the most important thing for creating new work?
Vision, skill and enthusiasm: if you don’t have these, then nothing occurs. The drive is what keeps one going as well – the drive to create, to evolve, to make new again. For me that constant drive and desire of evolving gets stirred in my gut and moves me in a certain direction.
Early on, my artwork revolved around the figure where I painted the figure in an expressionistic way with emphasis on the portrait, the twist and position of the body, hands and the certain mood that the colors allude to the work. My figurative artwork illustrates the psychological state of being of the figure. With this, I consider myself an artist of feelings. I paint the deep emotions that occupy the mind. Feelings such as love, despair and uncertainty are some of the emotions depicted. Consequently, I consider each of my paintings as a visual poem: a poem of love, a poem of hope, a poem of melancholy – poems that depict and capture the expression and the mood of the figure.
Through my work, I aim to to transcend the viewer into another realm – a thoughtful and intellectual realm.The abstract touch was always there from the beginning be it abstracting the model and the background or abstracting landscapes and cityscapes. I always was drawn to mystery and aim to present a mysterious ambience through my work.
For me, art is all about cognitive ability and how to connect the invisible to the visible. I might be suggestive with my brushstrokes, yet the shapes along with the colors would be symbolic of change, rebirth and renewal. The composition at the end should stand alone effectively and the thematic work should speak volumes to the viewer. Good art does that, good art has the ability to create change and to better the world. This is what I aim to create, good art that moves people.
Will you still create new works when you are old?
I will always create new works at any age. The thing with being a creative person is that you can’t stop the creative mind from thoughts of creation. Sometimes it is difficult to be in the creative realm which is the right side of the brain, the non-analytical one that I find myself quite a lot in. There are times when my body is tired and just wants to sleep and rest, yet my creative active mind is cooking up ideas and can’t stop. Nevertheless, I learned that I have to turn on the internal switch. It is difficult but I have to switch it off, and go back to the left side of the brain which is the side that most people are on. When I was a child, I thought everyone was like me or perhaps I wanted to think that way to feel more relatable.
Yet, the older I get, the more I realize it is actually the opposite, my mind thinks very differently than the rest. I believe that is what makes me an artist – a creative thinker. To conclude, it is very hard to stop the creative flow when it rises regardless of age; and that is why I believe I will continue creating new works as long as I am alive.