Corona Intra View no.14: Anne Hoenig
feinart berlin: How are you doing right now?
Anna Hoenig: It varies day to day, a mixture of gratitude, horror and contentment in the solitude.
fb: In view of the pandemic restrictions, how do you shape/organize your everyday professional life in the face of pandemic restrictions?
AH: Nothing has changed. I lived and worked in the same location for the last 21 years. I have always worked alone in the studio.
fb: Do you consider the lockdown to be appropriate throughout the art business?
AH: I consider the lockdown to be appropriate for all unessential businesses.
fb: Do you distribute news about (new) works for sale via the networks available to you?
AH: No, I don’t use social media for philosophical reasons.
fb: Could sales of works of art not (yet) be realized due to the "contact and assembly restrictions"?
AH: That is not a consideration due to the way I work.
fb: How do you assess media reports on the current situation of artists?
AH: The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian, my main sources of information, cover the topic quite extensively, although obviously no one pretends to see the future. But the situation has, of course, been brutal, especially in America, which basically has no safety net.
fb: Have communications in your circle of colleagues changed in the last few weeks?
AH: Zoom cocktail hours with London and New York. Surprisingly entertaining.
fb: What are you working on?
AH: A series of pencil drawings for the next round of paintings.
fb: Has your artistic work changed in terms of content and structure, in terms of intensity and work, due to recent developments?
AH: I have started a new series of drawings on tightly enclosed environments and was working rather feverishly. Drawing too much for too many days I gave myself tendinitis in my right hand.
fb: Have the consequences of the Corona outbreak significantly changed the economic environment?
AH: Globally, I believe we are looking at a downturn much larger than 2008. Combine that with the fear, actual hunger and, in America’s case, a very real chance of violence, people are definitely going to be conservative in their spending.
fb: Are the currently known state aids sufficient for artists?
AH: My reference is only two friends in Berlin. They received their checks in 48 hours. I am very impressed considering the chaos and graft we see elsewhere.
fb: What do you think of the idea of introducing "a solidarity levy for Artists"?
AH: Inconceivable for an American...
fb: What does your view of the (closer) future look like?
AH: I was initially hopeful that the crisis could aid the climate by tying all governmental relief funds to greener solutions in all industry and in job creation, but it seems I was dreaming. It is impossible not to think that despair is still on the rise.
fb: How is your professional situation expected to develop in the coming weeks and months?
AH: When my tendons heal, I will be working in the studio and when allowed, swimming in the sea.
fb: How do you assess your career chances and problems after the end of the pandemic?
AH: We can’t know what our world will be like in the near future. What we are living through is truly unprecedented. Certainly, the virus has been a crash course in mindfulness.
fb: How will the art business (galleries, trade fairs, public Exhibition, state. grants) in the coming months and years?
AH: There will be nostalgia for the in-person experience. I believe that being physically with a work and the social interaction involved in sales will be difficult to reproduce digitally.
fb: Will the current crisis lead to a recurrent change in art life?
AH: I think many artist are finding the times and its limits inspirational. This pause allows for deep reflection, and, perhaps, clarity. Painters have always loved a plague.
fb: What impact will the current situation have on young colleagues, on art colleges and academies?
AH: I don’t think it is going to be easy on any of those three. Many are graduating into a world of extremely limited opportunities. Colleges are already closing and students are hesitating on starting their education in the fall. In America, we already see bankruptcies of small colleges and lawsuits of students requesting refunds of pre-paid fees.
Oil on canvas, 125 x 97cm, 2008
Price on request
Oil on canvas, 78 x 112cm, 2008
Price on request