diverzita-mediciny-1713445759 | Danubiana}

Diversity of Medicine

16. April 2024 - 02. June 2024 (Indigenous natural medicine meeting Europe)

Curator: Robert Fleck

Pulverized and given new life by the chemical reaction dormant in the pharmakon, teased with medicinal solvents, transformed with binders, and forced into usable pigment – this is what makes medicines, with all their blessings for humankind as well as the curse they can bring to the individual who experiences horrific side effects, such a special painting pigment. And this is what the artist makes visible and tangible in her profound paintings. Beauty and death, salvation and disaster lie close together in these breathtaking works. This is due to more than the unusual color palette, which the world has not yet seen. Kus-Picco must meticulously note all chemical reactions if she does not want to leave the coloristic result of a painting to blind chance: the cranberry essence of the dietary supplement, the white of the white pill, the dark brown of the powerful oxidizing agent potassium permanganate. Kus-Picco knows which medications commonly induce psychotic states – and paints with these remedies as if to picture the gruesome delirium. She pours iodine onto the canvas and cuts open the bright red Nurofen capsules to let the gel drip onto the surface. She paints from powdered pills and she paints ointment pictures. She lets medications for the relief of Alzheimer’s, put on paper, vanish in the sun – like the person who, absorbed by the disease, slowly disappears. Each painting has its own unique background, based on the knowledge – and even more on the experience and real-life encounter – of the respective medications used in treating people.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Albrecht Schröder
extract book „Medicine in Colors“


Monika Kus-Picco was born in Vienna, 1973; lives and works in Vienna and Rio de Janeiro. She studied at the University of applied Arts in Vienna and the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf. In her work, the artist with Brazilian roots researches expired products from the pharmaceutical industry in order to create vivid experiences with these substances and to explore the connections between social systems, genders and regional-cultural differences. The Works draw attention to the mass sale of brightly colored pills in the U.S., as well as to the issue of gender medicine. Research is interdisciplinary and also explores her own indigenous family history in the south of Brazil. Her work has been exhibited in various solo- and group exhibitions as well as in fairs in Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, Paris, Miami, Düsseldorf, Rio de Janeiro, among others. Kus-Picco´s works are represented in numerous public and private collections and museums.