Monika Kus-Picco (AT/BRA)

Monika Kus-Picco, born in Vienna in 1973, the artist with Brazilian roots lives and works in Vienna, Lower Austria and Rio de Janeiro. Kus-Picco studied painting at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf. Her large-scale works are part of international museums collections such as the Albertina, Osthaus Museum Hagen and Academy Gallery – Academy of Art Düsseldorf.

Monika Kus-Picco has been working with exclusively expired pharmaceutical-medical material since 2018, creating large-scale, color-intensive images that evoke cosmic processes and biochemical reactions. Triggered by her mother‘s early Alzheimer‘s diagnosis, the idea for this work overrules color theory. „Red and yellow do not have to result in orange, it can equally result in green,“ says the artist. She creates large-scale, color-intensive paintings that evoke cosmic processes and biochemical reactions. With her unique technique, she uses interdisciplinary research on the dividing line between the natural sciences and art. She extracts and pulverizes her colors from expired products of the pharmaceutical industry, such as tablets and tinctures. She applies the pigments gained in this way to the canvas using solvents – also from the medical field. Pigments that are intended to change our lives in depression, anxiety, dementia. Her works are intended to draw attention to the mass sale of brightly colored pills, as well as to gender medicine - which is only hesitantly gaining in importance – or a substance that started a second sexual revolution. In her works, she visualizes invisible processes and the way different medications work, as well as she explores the connections between social systems, genders, and regional-cultural differences in medicine, and establishes a connection to life stories and fates.

Indigenous naturopathy
Monika Kus-Picco is currently planning a project on the subject of naturopathy among the indigenous peoples of Brazil. She is particularly interested in contrasting this centuries-old form of medicine with our very young pharmacy. It is a matter close to her heart. Her grandmother grew up in the south of Brazil in the Mata Atlantica with the indigenous people and her father, as an immigrant in the 1870s, was absolutely dependent on this knowledge. She knows countless stories about it and there is also a book about it. Her mother was born in Rio de Janeiro, where relatives still live, as well as in Santa Catarina. 

Fotocredits: Galerie Grill / Monika Kus-Picco

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