"The difference between art and technology keeps me going"
CFLEX Expert Interview: Featuring Christian Zeller
Our Headquarter at Rivergate has just been expanded - more room on the 9th floor! As we have a talented artist amongst our employees he agreed to create two paintings for the new space. We took the opportunity to talk to Christian Zeller, the Head of Operations Development at Constantia Flexibles…
Constantia Flexibles: In your private life you create art as “Chris Delias” – here at Constantia Flexibles you lead the Operations Development team. Art and Technology. A contrast in itself?
Christian Zeller: You are right – at first glance those two topics seem absolutely contrary. At my job our main focus areas are the investments of the company in technology and machinery, Environmental, Health and Safety topics and Operational Excellence. I spend a lot of time at the different sites worldwide and evaluate new technologies and investments.
We support the Divisions at Constantia Flexibles in terms of operational strategy and ways to improve productivity. In my free time, I create art and exhibit my work at art fairs mainly in the United States.
What both areas have in common is creativity. I also need a lot of creativity at my job which looks very technical in the beginning – to solve problems, break up old structures and create new solutions. Here my art-influenced creative decision-making process and ability to see things from different angles certainly help.
In addition to that it is also the difference between the two worlds – art and technology – that keeps me going. I don’t think that a one-sided life is very exciting, it always is the balance between two opposites that makes our existence interesting.
Constantia Flexibles: What inspires you?
Christian Zeller: Believe it or not, but one of my main source of inspiration is fashion photography in magazines, which are often art in themselves. I think I am the only male person on board of a plane on a business trip who reads the Vogue or other traditionally female magazines.
I also like to observe people in public spaces like airports for example to study how they interact and how they pass their time while waiting.
Constantia Flexibles: Your works of art mainly concentrate on the daily urban life. People who communicate combined with elements of the so-called new technology, hashtags, Whatsapp and Facebook…
Christian Zeller: The world is only about us humans, and the relationship between us. Everything that you see around us: the furniture, the buildings, the table, the carpet; the political system, the finance system…everything is man-made. Every man-made system can be easily changed by mankind - by simply stopping doing wrong things; by do things differently from then on – hopefully better. It’s all about how we act, react, and interact.
Social Media is an artificial system for communicating and sharing – man-made as well; but it is not a 100% substitution for sharing feelings and emotions. In the end, you have to squeeze your world, your emotions, and your feelings into the fixed frame of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google etc. – can this really work?
Constantia Flexibles: But you are also using Social Media Channels...
Christian Zeller: Of course I use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so on. That is something you cannot ignore nowadays. I use them as marketing tools, as a conduit to let my fans participate in my life, and for me to stay connected with others around the world. It is a tool - nothing else! I do not use it for private interactions with friends or family; for these people, the real contact is more important - this is what counts; relationships with real humans.
Constantia Flexibles: Tell us something about the two paintings you made for our Headquarters at Rivergate here in Vienna…
Christian Zeller: The left painting on Floor 9 reflects the history of the group, with the root of the company as a mill - and the next big milestone - the aluminum rolling mill; the old Teich Logo is included in the piece, as is the shape of Austria, to reflect that in the beginning of the business was more related to Austria. For this piece, I decided on an old fashioned painting style to reflect the history as the company was established in 1912.
The right piece depicts the present-time status; the world map in the back, and the Rivergate building in Vienna. The intention of this work is to reflect - with a more modern painting style - the future of the company (rendered with a structured painting style, given different layers, and employing palette knives as the painting tools).
The link between the 2 pieces represents the symbols of the used technologies, which are placed on a horizontal line from left to right... From the raw material on the painting on the left, to the finished product on the painting on the right.
Constantia Flexibles: What are you looking forward to in the near future?
Christian Zeller: At the moment I am busy on the weekends preparing for the Art Santa Fe in New Mexico, USA. The art fair will take place in July and it is the first time I have been invited to exhibit at this prestigious fair. I have been experimenting with some other art styles and also materials. For example I have been painting on little rugs that are in the household of many people...with a very interesting effect!
This is another thing about how I approach art and technology and what I think those things have in common: as in my job at Constantia Flexibles, I strive to constantly develop myself further when it comes to my art – and in both places you have to have a strong believe that everything is possible!
Find out more about Christian Zeller alias Chris Delias and his art here:
Facebook: Chris Delias: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009312081814
Twitter: @deliasarts: https://twitter.com/deliasarts