My art practice mostly uses figurative painting and drawing. But I didn’t start there — as a teenager, I focused exclusively on making music. I started playing the bass at age fifteen, adding piano, guitar and double bass over the years. I played on my own and in many bands, with gigs in various constellations in Austria and Germany.
About Christian Bazant-Hegemark
Music and Game Development (2000-2006)
At age eighteen, I decided to learn programming. Two years later I started my first employment at neo software, which later became Rockstar Vienna. We were responsible for several high-profile ports, including GTA 3 and Vice City for Xbox, Max Payne 1 and 2 for Xbox and Playstation 2, and Manhunt 2.
Studying Fine Art, Writing my Dissertation (2006-2011)
Because of the crunching required for this, I decided to leave the gaming industry. I started drawing at age twenty-six, and was accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2006. I attended three classes there: graphics and printmaking (Gunter Damisch), expanded pictorial space (Daniel Richter) and film (Harun Farocki). I graduated in 2011, and got a government grant to research my PhD thesis, which became a 200 page piece about painting in the context of digital technologies (Elisabeth von Samsonow, Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein).
Curating, Art Writing, Managing a Startup Gallery (2011-2017)
While working on the PhD thesis, I started collaborating with various people to co-manage the artist-run space mo.ë, where I was responsible for funding, hiring our employee, managing the group studio and international residence program. I curated over twenty exhibitions (mostly focusing on local emerging painters), which included writing about these painter’s works and processes. This also led to several text commissions by artists and institutions.
One aspect of my curatorial efforts were live talks with the exhibiting artists — this curiosity to lead public conversations would follow me into later projects, like the Kunst und Klischee podcast, JOMO, or my “On Doubt” YouTube channel.
In 2015 I stopped my engagement for the art space, and began managing a start-up gallery in Vienna. I was responsible for curating, selecting the artists, insuring and organizing transports, selling works, etc.
On Doubt: YouTube channel about creativity (2017-2019)
I stopped “traditional” exhibition curating in 2017; I wanted to curate beyond the physical boundaries of exhibition spaces, and beyond the mental boundaries of fine arts.
This led to the conceptualization and implementation of On Doubt, my YouTube channel about creativity. The channel offers 10-20min short documentaries about creatives from all sorts of fields and countries, and accumulated over 750k views (and over 75k watch hours) by 2023.
Exhibiting and Project Work (since 2010)
All this time I painted and drew. I had different gallery collaborations, and exhibited in solo shows in Vienna, Salzburg, Düsseldorf, Paris, Brno, Leipzig, leading to my first museum solo exhibition in 2021, at Museum Angerlehner.
In 2015 I rekindled my passion for programming, developing a software and workflow to abstract images and videos into vector data, which can be plotted and then worked upon further (leading to the Waiting series, amongst others).
When Corona began, I continued my art practice – but also co-founded three team projects (as of 2023, “Kunst und Klischee” is the only one I’m still actively involved in):
The Artist's Life, and writing a Handbook for Emerging Artists (since 2019)
In 2019 I began structuring my knowledge about arts (“how to live as an artist”) into the manuscript of a book (“Handbook for Emerging Artists“, fourty chapters of which are available for free online) — its contents have been read over 65k times. This led to various workshops and art coachings held nationally and internationally. In addition, I started teaching life drawing and art history at Kunstschule Wien in 2019, and held a drawing classes “for people who think they cannot draw” at Klasse für Alle/Die Angewandte. In 2023, I started the Conscious Artist Membership as a platform for mutual learning, knowledge exchange and international networking.
I’m working on integrating my art practice into my life in a holistic way. This includes various modes of self-care (psychotherapy, Grinberg therapy, sports, digital minimalism as a somewhat romantic ideal, etc). Because of the diverse projects that make up my life, I benefit from a fine-tuned project management attitude that doesn’t always end up working. I try.