Chance Encounters in Vienna

Kleines Café, Vienna, on a Monday morning in early February. I was enjoying a warming coffee and then right next to me I overhear a prep meeting for a day of filming with Hans-Peter Hettich. Hans-Peter is a local artist who makes pieces of art out of burnt up matches found on the street. And while he’s at it, he also picks up the occasional other finds which he uses in his works for art.

Hans-Peter told me that he read this article about Monet a while before he turned 50. Monet had supposedly stated, that it’s more important to have a hobby when you are 50 than when you’re 25 years of age. Hans-Peter wasn’t quite sure what to make of this statement. However, as it turned out, by 50 years of age he was a retired architect and had started his new career as a modern artist. And he wouldn’t want it any other way, it suits him perfectly!

I was curious how his creative process works: does he have a vision first, which he then goes on the hunt for the necessary items, or does he collect items first, which then trigger what his next piece of art is going to be. He was positive that for him the vision comes first, and it can come to him at all times and often unexpectedly. Only then does his arduous work start to find the required objects and assemble them to realise his vision.*

For some of the attendees of the January Vienna Photo Walk you might have noticed his work exhibited at Café Kandinsky – but most of you are excused if you didn’t; we did only spend moments in the café of Kandinsky’s before heading over to the gallery for the much-needed warming up from the freezing January wind.

Wandering around Vienna has all kinds of rare treats in store for anyone embarking on it**. Just grab your camera and head to almost anywhere in Vienna and start exploring, while being open for your very own chance encounters.

*Hans-Peter updated me on his process (see his comment below in German). Only when he creates an artwork with matches, that’s when the vision is clear ahead of assembling it all. With other work of art it’s a more intuitive process where the bits of debris will be the inspiration of a new piece of art.

**If you are up for some company for your Vienna explorations, you’re very welcome to join one of our future Vienna Photo Walks 🙂


3 thoughts on “Chance Encounters in Vienna

  1. hans-peter hettich says:

    […] und stiess auf deinen wunderbaren bericht über meine kunst und mich! ich erinnere mich sehr gut an dich, zumal es ja auch in wien nicht unbedingt NORMAL ist, mit dem nebentisch ins gespräch zu kommen.
    ich freue mich auch darüber, dass du derart positiv vom café kandinsky berichtetest!
    falsch verstanden hast du, dass die vision für ein kunstwerk STETS zuvor ‘vorhanden’ ist. das gilt ausschliesslich für die zündholz-assemblagen, die gedanklich konstruiert sein müssen und nach dem gedachten muster gefertigt werden. mit den dingen, die ich ansonsten herum liegen sehe und entscheide, sie mit zu nehmen (oder liegen zu lassen) ist es so: ich breite sie abends auf dem tisch aus und entweder animiert mich das einundandere sofort (oder am nächsten morgen) bzw. ich behalte besondere (für mich attraktive) bzw. ich trenne mich vom rest!
    gruss von hans-peter,
    der übermorgen nach 6 wochen ausland wieder in wien landet und sein wird > die letzten beiden drehtage stehen an!


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