“Transmigrations, Cases of Corporate Reincarnation” is 24 portraits of high executive title holders that return to life as insects. It’s a series that combines theories and research on social insects, traditional and contemporary corporate structures, job descriptions and reincarnation scriptures (more specifically the controversial teachings of Pythagoras on transmigration of souls). They personify symbols and weapons of their trades in a number of levels, some instantly visible and other hidden, avoiding the obvious and the expected.
Koen’s exuberantly flamboyant Transmigrations are large colour portraits assembled from fragments of human, insect and inanimate imagery. Nightmarish yet ludicrous mutants, clones of the organic and the mineral, they are also a demonstration of digital imagery successfully pushed to its limits.
Koens creatures are created by manipulating vintage photographs, depicting upper-class males< and fusing them with various monstrous or mechanical insects that bring to mind the surreal photomontages of Raoul Housman or Hannah Hoch from the 20s and 30s. The knowledge and application of these prototypes of mature modernism along with the use of contemporary scientific-mythology, render his work scholarly and multilayered.
Now that painting is in question or dead, according to pessimists, Viktor Koens work becomes intensely interesting and as the product of transformation, assumes symbolic dimensions. Art will live again through its successive reincarnations.