Friday Feature: Viktor Koen

“Hello. My name is Viktor and I’m a pictureholic. It’s a terrible, incurable disease that causes severe male pattern baldness and the obsession to make pictures day after day.”

That is how Viktor Koen, an award winning designer who teaches at the School of Visual Arts, began his TED Talk at TEDx in Athens in November 2012. Koen, who subscribes to the theory that mastering a skill requires 10,000 hours of practice, provided his definition of talent in his speech.

“Talent, to me, is what gives you the patience to practice what you like in order to become a specialist,” he told the audience in Athens.

Koen boasts an impressive list of clients that includes the New York Times, Esquire, Time, Wired, Sports Illustrated, National GeographicThe Nation, MoneyThe Village Voice, ESPN, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Random House, Simon & Schuster and Atlantic Records, among others.

In addition, he has had exhibitions featuring his work at the Photography Centre of Athens, the Strychin Gallery in Berlin, the Coningsby Gallery in London, the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles and the LeVall Art Gallery in Novosibirsk, Russia, among others.

Koen recently curated a poster exhibition featuring work from SVA students for the Third Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy, which takes place on June 26 and 27. The posters will then be displayed at the visitor’s center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center from July 2 through July 26. The posters address the topic of philanthropic giving.

Koen received a Gold award for the “SVA Spring Subway Poster Series” that he designed, which appeared in the Poster Annual 2014. Steven Heller was the art director for the project, Michael J. Walsh was the design director and Anthony P. Rhodes served as the creative director.

To learn more about the Philanthropy Poster Project, click here.

To view more of Viktor Koen’s work, visit his website here.

The Social and Political poster competition features the most compelling and influential posters dealing with the world’s most important issues. To submit your work to the competition, click here.

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