Watch: Artist Lina Iris Viktor on the Misconceptions of Blackness in Art, and Painting With Pure Gold

Artist Lina Iris Viktor is known for creating works using a palette of black, majorelle blue and pure 24-karat gold, but she refuses to be tied down to any particular aesthetic.


She has a background in film, photography and performance art, so her work is expressed across multiple media. When we spoke, she was intensely working in her studio on an upcoming series. It soon became obvious that her work is very precise and calculated.

“I map everything out. It takes a long time for me to start to literally create something,” she said. “I need to be able to draw, read and soak up information before I start to create that thing. Whatever that thing is.”


Viktor takes her inspiration from ancient Egypt, the Dogon people of Mali, indigenous cultures of Australia, South America and African textiles. Spiritual, cosmic and mathematical influences are also constant themes. “There’s something heavenly about math and patterns. I feel like there’s a place in the work for these bigger conversations that I want to share with people that care to listen,” she said.

Viktor’s work has appeared alongside those of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. In May she will be part of a major group exhibit in Havana, and she has upcoming shows in the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States.

The Root spoke with Viktor for Color Creatives, our video series highlighting the wave of black innovators in several creative industries. Watch the full interview above at her New York City studio, Atalier LVXIX.

Video Producer @ The Root

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Holy f—kin shit, her art is freakin GORGEOUS. if I was a wealthy millionaire, I’d buy one of her original paintings. MY GOD.