Artist Monika Mori who is also known as MOO by her followers is from a town called Maria Enzersdorf in Austria. Monika is a contemporary multi media artist who uses her art as communication and creates a unique language in which is open to all interpretations. Displaying great strength and spirit when creating lively yet moody paintings and collages, celebrating experiences by animating emotions with vibrant colour or muting emotions with black and white depictions.
When asked “What motivated you to deal with the subject of women’s rights in your art?” Monika replied:
“There is no special motivation needed; a word, an image and a feeling and the work is going to be born free of any given technique or medium.”
Monika has studied fine art under Prof. Anneliese Beschorner in Austria, attended workshops in Florida, USA and many in Europe. With worldwide exhibitions and works in public and private collections this artist is a strong representative for female artists.
We asked “What is your process when creating?”
“That is very simple: Either it works or it does not. Some works need only a short time and others want to grow over the years – it depends on an irreducible complexity.”
Monika explained how she was influenced by Cy Twombly an American painter of large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colours. Naming him her Father in Art and stating further that:
“He is the ultimate inspiration and the guiding matrix in my works. His unmatched surprising facility became my shining example in art as well as in my life.”
Monika was chosen by ASLI to be featured in this first issue which is all about the “celebration of women” and was picked out of over 1700 submissions from female artists all over the world. We chose MOO because we found her work to be engaging and expressive. This piece of art speaks volumes in an ironic way, it allows us to see the women for simply her “sex” rather than anything else. In the media this is often the case even going as far as only showing a set of breasts with no head to sell anything from bras to cars. So we wanted to ask Monika about how she feels about these particular issues facing women today.
Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously and do you have any experiences of this?
“Never ever! Women have to learn to accept themselves without any stereotypes! The most important problem is that women are afraid to stand up for their selves and have to grow in confidence.”
Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world?
“Laws are written but for some inexplicable reasons it needs more time to be maintained.”
What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?
“The word feminist is misused more and more nowadays and I try to avoid it more and more. I am a woman – that’s it, no more and no less. I grew up in the 1960s and 70s and I loved to play football (soccer) with the boys just like riding a motorbike and many more of those activities which are attributed to boys, men. And believe me, which was sometimes horrible for my parents.”
Moo says that her art depends on the viewer as her work is a communication which she would like to be engaged with but also allows for the viewer to take it or leave it.
“My collage “Frauenrechte” – Women´s Rights – stands for the reduction of women to a sexual object and that women aren´t allowed having an opinion and a point of view of their own in a sarcastic way.”
The work was chosen by AÖF – www.aoef.at – together with the Department of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Vienna for an interdisciplinary lecture series called “Eine von Fünf – Ringvorlesung” during the The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2014.
The reason that Art Saves Lives International exists is to show that art can be used to create change and engage, educate and express our world. Our goal is to find artists such as Monika and highlight their message through their art. Moo impressed us as her whole objective is communication. So we wanted to know:
What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?
“I liked the call for the International Women’s Day 2015 and what I could learn about ASLI through your website.“
What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life?
“It’s a very good statement and gives room for a lot of interpretations. When I was diagnosed with MS – multiple sclerosis – in 2004, art was the only way to handle this situation and as well as my PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder too.”
Finally we asked MOO: What are your goals as with your art?
“There is only one: Always to be true to myself!”
If you would like further information on MOO | Monika Mori please use the following links: