Somewhere along the way, “millennial” became a dirty word, or at least a tainted one— shorthand for lethargy, entitlement and fecklessness. All the while, young female artists were getting to work. A Women’s Thing spoke to six millennial artists on coming of age at the turn of the century and their own stock-taking of their careers thus far. First up: painter Alina Birkner.
Interview has been edited for clarity.
Munich-based artist Alina Birkner’s paintings are the stuff of gallery-selfie dreams. She graduated from Academy of Fine Arts Munich and apprenticed under Jean-Marc Bustamante. Her work has also been featured at viennacontemporary art fair (2016 and 2017) and Art Paris Art Fair (2017). Her youth has been both a positive and negative factor of her success, says Birkner, adding, “As has my gender, I will not lie.”
What would most impress a younger you about where you are today?
Alina Birkner: Maybe that I haven’t given up on [my] dreams yet.
What would you like to remember about where you are now when you’re older?
Alina Birkner: I would like to remember to take nothing and no one for granted. To nourish and nurture what I hold dear. I would like to remember every wonderful moment I have lived and every tear I’ve shed. I don’t want to forget a single encounter that touched my heart. I want to remember all those moments and people, so I never have to feel lonely or forget how beautiful life can be.
Do you think about age at all?
Alina Birkner: I often think about how fragile we are, that we all have to leave someday. I think more about the time [we have] left to do what we came here to do, to fully live, than about age. Age does not tell much about someone, I believe.
Do you have any advice for other young creators?
Alina Birkner: Stop comparing yourself so much. It can do a lot of damage.
We’re so glad you’re with us.
We’re a community of women who are changing women’s media. That’s no small task. But because you’re here, we know that you care, too. For us to keep doing what we do, we need your support. So we can keep printing, posting and furthering our mission. With you.
Get the latest issue in print