Viktor Koen was born in 1967 in Thessaloniki, Greece. He holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, and an MFA with honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Koen serves on the faculty of Parsons School of Design and the MFA program of the School of Visual Arts. His images are regularly published in the New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, Esquire, Money and Forbes. His clients include: Atlantic Records, Delta Airlines, IBM, Penguin Putnam, Random House, Doubleday, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Reader’s Digest, New York, Men’s Journal, Bloomberg Personal, Fortune, Smart Money, Business Week, Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
Koen’s “Dark Peculiar Toy” series is an assembly experiment where philosophies of what a toy is—and is supposed to do—differ and collide. These collisions deface, “brake or de-construct the toys into piles of raw materials, waiting to be re-constructed in alternative ways, without instructions or the memory of their origins and function; especially with no consideration for the original creators’ intentions. Curiously, they brake down not only to their essential parts, but to details of character and spirit—if they ever possessed any. They only retain colors, shapes and the scars inflicted by their previous owners—scars that separate them from their identical assembly line multiples and make them one-of-a-kind.