Onka Allmayer-Beck Interview

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puplished on
March 19, 2022
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Onka Allmayer-Beck exquisite vessels

The Munchies Art Club first discovered the contemporary artist Onka Allmayer-Beck when we saw her work at the Raum mit Licht gallery exhibition “Pink is like red but not quite” exhibition together with the contemporary artist Sarah Bogner.

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“Pink is like red but not quite” exhibition | Onka Allmayer-Beck & Sarah Bogner | Gallery Raum mit Licht

We fell in love with Onka’s ceramics! The shiny botanical and creature-like vessels immediately caught our attention. 

Her state-of-the-art happy and almost child like and naive objects are bright, glossy and mostly candy coloured, impressing additionally with their simplicity and functionality.

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Onka Allmayer-Beck is participating in the 2022 SPARK Art Fair, Vienna, presented by the Austrian gallery Raum mit Licht.

Short intro for our viewers

Onka Allmayer-Beck. From Vienna, left to Study Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins in London in 2000- 2004 then moved to Milan to work in fashion, 2016 moved back to Vienna.

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This year you will be representing work at the Spark Art Fair with the Gallery Raum mit Licht. Will you be showing new pieces or a mix of both? 

I made 20 new Ceramics especially for Spark - I always make all new stuff for shows 

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I heard that before you began your career as an artist you were working in Milano for Armani, as a fashion designer, very impressive! How and why did you decide to make the turn, move to Vienna and start working as an artist making your extraordinary ceramics? 

Fashion is like Dog Years , I worked in fashion for 10 years and it felt like 30. 

I worked for a small niche experimental, a medium very commercial company and the last 5 years for Armani- at a certain point I thought I took from it everything I could, and it was time for something new, I quit my job and from the compensation I got I went to buy myself a ceramic kiln and a wheel and found myself a maestro that taught me how to throw ceramics. 

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Many years later a friend send me to Russia where I learned the technique I use today.

After Fashion I worked as an Illustrator but similar to Fashion it was always working close with a client - at a certain point about 3 years ago I had enough of nagging clients and wanted to do something just for myself , that I truly like - and did my first ceramic as you know them. 

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Onka Allmayer-Beck Artist Portrait

Where do you work?

I used to work from home which was not ideal as it was on the 3rd floor with no elevator and I had to carry everything up and down the stairs, also at home I would not have been able to get a bigger kiln.

Since May I have the perfect studio, I’m much more productive and love it ! 

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 What is your creative process?

That is quite different , most importantly is just sitting down and starting - I might have a  idea in mind or a certain direction , what I would like to do , but I also keep a certain percentage up to the clay.

 It’s quiet intuitive and can’t be rushed or forced , and you have to know how to let go in case something goes wrong / breaks. 

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I read you call your work messed vessels, could you explain that to us a little? 

Messed vessels was actually a misunderstanding - I did a phone interview and the journalist must have understood something wrong and wrote : messed vessel - since then people always pick up on that, and a don’t correct them as people always want me to have a name for them - I just call them ceramics, or vessels- or even centrepieces but no official name. 

People also ask if I give names to the individual ones - but I just number them , I guess I would get to attached if they would be called Sandra or Agathe… 

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What other projects are you working on for 2022? 

In such uncertain times I’m taking things one step at the time - I have lots of ideas and a few things lined up,  I have a waiting list of ceramics I need to do and things tend to pop up quite spontaneously with me ! 

But I worked very hard for the pieces we are showing at SPARK - so I guess the next project is taking some time off - long walks with the dog and see if I can do something helpful with my time. 

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I watched your video on Vösslauer, where I discovered that you are also a great illustrator.

Thank you, always nice to get a compliment! 

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How important is social media for you and your work?

Im on Instagram and it is very important for me and my work - I have met so many people via Instagram, most of my projects / clients / collectors / collars come from Instagram - but I also made a lot of friends in real life from it . 

I put a lot of work in it - I post everyday and answer to every message / request I get. 

Not sure how long it will still exist in this form, and what will be next , but for now it’s one of my most important tools . 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions 

Thank you for having me ! 

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Follow the artist on Instagram:

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Exhibitions :

March 2022 SPARK ;)

December 2021 -SUPERHOUSE- Group show  - New York

November 2021- Raum mit Licht- sarah Bogner and myself - Vienna

October 2021- Dutch Design Week - Group Show - Eindhoven

September 2021- Vienna Design Week- Group Show , Vienna

July 2021 - Schloß Lamberg - Group Show - Steyr AT

June 2021 - ARTEFACT, seeds gallery - Group Show London UK

May 2021 - Schloß Hollenegg for Design - Group Show EARTH & FIRE - Austria

Horrible horrible corona 2020 :(((

Feb 2020- COLLECT with SEEDS London - Group Show —Uk

November 2019 RIVIERA - Solo Show - milano

Oct 2017 - BIENNALE KRASNOYARSK - Group Show

Sept 2017 - MOSTRO Graphic design festival - Group Show milano

Sept 2015- Hdlu Zagreb - Solo Show - Zagreb

2015 - Triennale Milano - Solo Show

2014- Group Show - chez Simon Mraz - Moscow

2013 - Group Show - M.A.X. Museo - Chiasso SWIZZERLAND

and super important

My residency in Abramtsevo Russia in 2016 - because there I started my ceramics !

And 2019 unwashed on the 100 talents to watch list from ICON Design


All images courtesy and credit the artist Onka Allmayer-Beck

A huge thank you to the wonderful and talented artist Onka for sharing her work and her story with us!