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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ollis, SilverFox

Viktor Schreckengost

Updated: Jul 23, 2018

He quietly walked about the studio viewing my photography which hung on the studio walls while we mixed the clay slip to place on his hands. Viktor a noted sculptor and ceramicist (Jazz Bowl) would certainly feel at home with this nod to his craft. He was humble and thoughtful as he continued looking about.

In a few minutes Viktor was seated with strobe lights surrounding him as I focused the large format camera and began the process of photographing him. We talked and laughed during the session. This artistic icon, so natural and talented had no air of superiority to his presence. No ego. Viktor was like a calm lake, one you could see your own reflection in.

Before he left that day, he said to me, "Karen, I really like your work". Those words and his critique have stayed with me since 2000 when we created his portrait in honor of his retrospective exhibition at Cleveland Museum of Art at the age of 96. Viktor was my first epiphany on what it means to "live your truth" through out one's life.

Sitting around a kitchen table in his Cleveland Heights home, we continued our conversations of life and art over the course of a few more years before his death. Ever the artist and human being. A mentor to me, one so very much appreciated and respected.

about the author: Karen Ollis is an experienced photographer specializing in studio portraiture, and environmental on-location portraits for editorial stories, PR and marketing testimonials.

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