Lina Iris Viktor was raised by Liberian parents in South Africa. She is an itinerary artist who lives between London and New York. Lina works as a conceptual artist, performer and painter. Lina’s work is a blend of the contemporary and the ancient. Her works explore the narrative of time and being. In her recent interview, she addresses the implication of blackness in her work, most importantly the economic disadvantage and presumption that is given to dark paint and marketability of artistic piece.
In different artistic expressions, Lina has shown the beauty of blackness and gold. This blend provokes the philosophical angle more for her work, beside the narratives of black beauty that her pieces demonstrate. Even when the art school where Lina enriches her knowledge of artistry preaches the use of dark painting, Lina finds her emotion and feeling in that. As a conceptual artist, Lina is fond of using ultramarine blue, god, black and white in her works. “So, it is definitely not just flat works”, she adds “Things will shift as conversations in my head are shifting.”
Her emphasis on gold which originates ancient meaning for her work is reflected in her lavish of 24-karat gold paint. This gives her work otherworldly interpretation, status and beauty. For her, gold is power, symbol of ancient and anti-counterfeit element of artistic piece while blue lets us associate with natural world such as sky and sea. Black for her is basis of being, her pride and what evokes her history.
In 2016, Viktor exhibited at Harvard Art Museums and The Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Boston; The Kentucky Museum of Arts & Craft, Louisville; and Spelman Museum of Fine Art, Spelman College, Georgia. Viktor has engaged in critical talks and panels at Harvard University, New York University, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA, London), and King’s College (London). She will be speaking at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York) and presenting at Saint Louis Art Museum (Missouri) in Spring 2017.