Sisters, Carola and Sabrina Deutsch have created a brand and reputation for themselves in Graz, a city of many districts and a certain degree of anonymity. A Deutsch mural of Frida Kahlo welcomes you as you enter their studio. Both sisters have been managing DeCasa for over eight years now. At times they reflect back to when they were 8 years old pretending to be editors. They would invent articles for magazines that needed to be approved by sister, Sabrina.
Carola Deutsch started painting at the early age of five on the windows of her classroom. She was inspired by famous artists like Monet or Picasso, but later in her youth, developed more of her own imagery and compositions that now influence her current style. Her mother recognized and supported her talent throughout the following years. With encouragement she provided paints, space her own easel to create and develop her skills as an artist.
Talk to us about your day to day schedule and activities. In and out of the studio.
I am a morning person, so my day starts quite early. I like it when I go to the studio by bike at 6:30 and almost nobody is on the streets yet. I enjoy the early sunshine rays on me when I drive past a market to get some vegetables for dinner. I’m very passionate about cooking and me and my sister have been vegan for quite some time now. Once in the studio, I first check my emails before I go painting or have a tattoo appointment. Every day is very different, almost no days are the same.
What was your first collaboration?
My first and only collaboration was last year with Jay Freestyle in Amsterdam at his studio ‘Freedom & Flesh Tattoo’, which was quite an interesting experience for me.
It was very challenging for both of us, at times we tattooed side by side for almost 12 hours, and our collector had to hold out as well. We were all very tired by the end, but extremely proud when the projects were done. At this point, there are no other collaborations planned. The two projects Jay and I worked together on, were really inspiring and Jay is most definitely an impressive artist. However, I have to say that this kind of tattooing is too extreme for me.
Who are some of your influences? What is your latest project?
Many artists have inspired me in different phases of my life! In the field of painting, initially, it was celebrities like Andy Warhol or Frida Kahlo.
Later I was fascinated by the conceptual art and surrealism of Marcel Duchamp or Santiago Sierra, which changed my artistic approach.
One of the latest projects I’m working on is called ‘Living Art’. It describes a connection between art and tattoo. I paint a picture on canvas and bring this concept to life on the skin. Sometimes as well vice versa. The goal is that tattooing is understood and perceived as something more than art.
The new dimension awakens the works into living sculptures. An incredibly exciting symbiosis between artist, wearer, skin, brush, color, time, and object, which gives the term “body art” a completely new meaning.
What memorable responses did you have to your work? Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Especially memorable are situations when I have finished a certain tattoo and the collector begins to cry with pleasure when he/she sees the piece in the mirror. Some collectors have a very intense history and work out certain things by getting a tattoo. Since I only have a limited number of tattoo sessions available, they are already very happy to get an appointment with me.
Many ideas from my collectors inspire me and give me a new perspective. I always try to select projects that I have never done before or to challenge and develop myself.
What is the best piece of advice you give to yourself and others?
I am a practicing yogi and try not to be caught up too much in the speed of this world. Of course, that doesn’t always work out, but this philosophy gives me the power to constantly re-think my ways over and over and determine what I really want from life and what really makes me happy.
Is it really the success? Is it when your company grows and gets bigger? Is it a lot of money?
For me it is always the knowledge of peace of mind, to do things, to decide which projects are close to my heart. Projects where I can give 100% and even more. Things that I can decide for myself. Freedom is my power, from which I draw energy and is the best adviser for all projects that are yet to come.
Most memorable quote – and what it means to you.
“He is marked – marked by and for life.” by Robert Menasse
I have been using this quote as inspiration for many years. Almost all human images revolve around this quote. Absolutely influential for me, in a sense that every human, every action is absolutely unique.
Professionally and creatively, what are your upcoming goals over the next couple of years?
My focus is clearly on my ‘want-to-do’ tattoos and ‘Living Art’ projects and in the course of this, my paintings and new art visions. My goal for the future is to immerse even more in the creative process and to let business be business. Next year, I’m am planning to withdraw myself for 4 weeks to enjoy absolute isolation. To concentrate on my inner being and my artistic work. Translating ideas and opinions into paintings and fully give myself to my profession. I really enjoy working with people and to dive into all kind of different stories! However, sometimes my artist heart needs a reset button.