Viktor Koen
Viktor Koen

Martial Arts is a combination of the “WarHeads” triptych and its sister series of alphabet prints, “Warphabet”. Both bodies of work cover the same subject matter from different directions, trying to better complete the way armed conflicts are presented and understood.

“WarHeads” is clearly not preoccupied with the beauty of weaponry, but a commentary on its uses, results, sale, and distribution. The life size prints address another side of war, the side where budgets and profiteering replace “guts and glory”. The well dressed characters represent that behind every conflict lays a complex fusion of armaments and commerce most times predetermining its outcome, instead of the bravery of its participants on the field.

“Warphabet” is an illuminated typeface, inspired by military history. A typeface I wanted to design for a while now but who’s creation, unfortunately, became current and very urgent. Instead of heroics, the letters focus on our obsession for mass destruction and injury. The use of arms and armor throughout, covers a wide yet random chronology of man’s passion for killing man. Random, because it makes no sense adhering to any kind of order when it comes to something so senseless.

Artist Bios

  • Viktor Koen

    Viktor Koen is an award winning artist, curator and Chair of the BFA Illustration & BFA Comics departments at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem and an MFA with honors from SVA. His client list includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, Newsweek, Esquire, Nature, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Wired, ESPN, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Fortune, Money, Forbes, Penguin Random House, Doubleday, Harper Collins, Rizzoli, Houghton Miflin, Tor Books, Atlantic Records, Virgin the BBC and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

    Frequently featured in books and publications, his work is exhibited in galleries and museums around the world and represented in private and institutional collections. Mr. Koen is a TED speaker and regularly lectures for academic and professional institutions and conferences.

    Distinctions include: Communication Arts Award of Excellence, Graphis Gold Awards, Folio Awards, American Illustration, 3×3 Educator of the Year.

Martial Arts

 archive : 2013

Featuring: Viktor Koen

Curated by: Manolis Moressopoulos

Presented by: Hellenic Center for Photography
  • Hellenic Center for Photography


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Sep 292013

Artist Talk: Free Advice

This talk will regurgitate advice given to me through the years, especially pieces of it I found to apply well in the creative process, (or ones that make me sound intelligent) and try to explain how a sweet boy, good with a pencil (as my late father lovingly used to describe me) turned into a picture making maniac with workaholic tendencies and illusions of grandeur. A grueling Q&A session will follow.

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