On the spot: Rupert Höller

February 5, 2021 by Displate Artists Team in Artist Interviews

Living his life in beautiful Vienna, Rupert Höller takes the minimalism to the next level, making his work a real feast for the eyes. Filmmaker by profession, he balances in between different experiences and combines them into pure aesthetics. Scroll down, read about his inspirations, and discover the true meaning of the less is more in art.

Where do you live?

I live in Vienna, Austria. My girlfriend insisted on taking a flat on the upper floor which I wasn’t keen on before but now wouldn’t change (great sunsets every day).

How does your normal day look like?

I get up between 8 and 10, depending on how long I’ve worked the day before (I love to work at night when I can). Most of the time I spend in front of my computer or phone, working on projects (writing concepts, coordinating shoots, finding locations, casting, etc., or editing photos). Sometimes life is kind enough to let me out of my flat and then I shoot music videos or commercials or go out photographing on sunny days.

Who are you above all – a filmmaker or a photographer?

I’d say a filmmaker who likes to make photographs. Filmmaking is my background, I started experimenting with it when I was 14 and it didn’t let me go since then.

Photography was always a hobby that came with it, but I never intended to make something more with it until three years ago when I discovered my love for minimalism, colors, and architecture.

Does filmmaking influence your photography?

Definitely. When I’m on-location shooting a film I often think „Oh that would be a great photo“ and then I’m angry that I don’t have my photo camera with me or don’t have time because I have to concentrate on stupid things like directing. I love to work on multiple projects at the same time, as they can be a great influence and inspiration for each other.

Double Pack
Spy Cat
Blue Peak

Why did you start taking photographs?

There was one specific music video that heavily influenced my photography or I would even say started it. It’s called Mynth – Smog, we shot it at Muralla Roja in Spain, a location that Instagram is now flooded with. This project also shaped my style as a filmmaker but mostly I discovered my love for still images as well. I liked to take photographs before but I didn’t have a style or a voice. With minimal photography, I found something I can identify with and create a specific feeling, even if it’s just a window on a pink wall. It’s also a really relaxing, almost meditative process for me. I love when my own feeling of relaxation and calmness when working on a photo can be transported to others when looking at them. 

Which movie and video directors inspire you the most?

I love the movies of Gaspar Noe, Spike Jonze. Also early films of Darren Aronofsky. Ian Pons Jewell is a music video and commercial director whose ideas I really like. And then there are tons of single films and music videos I admire. „Dancing Pigeons – Ritalin“ will forever be one of my favorite music videos. I’d say in general I really love films that work on an emotional level and are wrapped in a unique visual aesthetic at the same time.

Cactus Brothers

And artists?

That’s a broad question. I love the architecture of Ricardo Bofill. Piet Mondrian definitely triggered something in me when I discovered him in art class at school. I love the music of Charlie Cunningham or The Blaze. Two of my favorite photographers I follow on Instagram are Ben Zank and Brooke DiDonato. The list goes on.

Your art style is very satisfying to watch. One of those that are hard to take your eyes off. How did you develop it?

Thanks. A lot of it came together from all the inspiration I mentioned above. It was also a lot of trial and error. I guess I also enjoy the process because it’s so different than the work on a film set. On set you have such a limited time, are under constant stress, and have to make decisions within seconds. When I’m editing a photograph, I have all the time in the world, can try out different things. And when I have the feeling it doesn’t click, I just leave it and get back to it at another time. I’d say it is a mix of several visual inspirations I absorbed over the years and also just going with my gut feeling.

Living on the edge

What does ‘minimalism’ mean to you in relation to art?

I think reduction and limitations can be really powerful. It can boil down a message or feeling to its core. I just remembered an experience I had at school, my teacher invited a cartoon artist and whoever wanted could bring a self-drawn cartoon to get feedback.

I spent ages drawing a cartoon, trying to make it the best I could, decorating it with a lot of details. Then when presenting, the cartoonist told me that it’s crucial to focus on the important and leave out everything else that feels unnecessary. I guess I never made that connection until now but it makes sense and can be transported to a lot of other art forms as well. Decorating something with a lot of glitter and gold doesn’t mean it makes it good. Often it’s the best way to keep it pure.

You are a movie creator and photographer. What are you planning to do next?

I’m prepping some new music videos that I will shoot in the next weeks. And I also have a lot of photos from trips to Morocco and Italy that are waiting to be edited.


Instagram: @ruperthoeller

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