Beatrix Ost is difficult to characterise. During her nearly 80 years on this earth, she’s been an artist, performer, philosopher, social media star and so much more. As she prepares to open another show in Los Angeles, she still finds the most joy focusing on the present. “I’m good at recalling scenes from life past,” she claims, “but I’m more impressed [by] being in the now, in this moment’s beauty!”
Born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1940, Ost took to art quickly, beginning her painting career at the age of twelve. “I went from my boarding school to a painter’s studio to study with him,” she explains. In the walls of this studio, she discovered the basics of painting, later developing her ability and style under the supervision of Expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka.
Now based in the United States, she splits her time between Charlottesville, North Carolina and New York, all the while exhibiting paintings around the world. Currently, Ost has a show up in Charlottesville and will travel to Los Angeles in the coming months for another. “It will be wonderful to show the work on the west coast in Los Angeles – to a different clientele as well,” she says happily.
As more fans discover her work, Ost’s creative process remains the same, drawing inspiration from life and social issues and putting them into her painting. A recent piece entitled “Water Cometh” features a post-apocalyptic scene, an imagined reality after climate change has ravaged our natural landscape. Ost writes that it was inspired by “my love of nature and with it my concerns [about] what is happening around us… our negligence in taking care of our planet.” With such a chaotic scene, one might imagine Ost’s creative environment to be similarly chaotic. In reality, it’s quite the opposite – when asked about her dream workspace, she responds simply, “I’m in my studio in silence!”
Ost has also taken to writing. Writing, she says, “is as exciting as painting. [It’s] on the same plane of creativity.” Her most recent book, The Philosopher’s Style, is a collection of interviews interwoven with images, stories, drawings and art from an incredibly varied lifetime. “My question was, What is the marrow in your bone?” – in other words, what is at the core of your being? Using the many answers to this question, she sculpted a narrative and journey through her career and life, exploring notions of beauty, health and living itself. “It’s a gift from me to you,” she says.
Over the years, Ost has formed a distinct and recognisable personal style, which she shares through her clothing collection Ost Apparel. “I developed [my style] during my life without much thinking about it,” she elaborates. “It includes how I live, what I eat, what I wear…” Ost’s looks have recently taken hold across Instagram, a fact even she finds surprising. “It amuses me!” she exclaims. Ost originally joined the platform as a way to promote The Philosopher’s Style, but soon, she started to see attention outside of the expected book crowd – readers were intrigued by her insight, her art and, of course, her looks. As of writing, she has amassed over fifty thousand followers, and the New York Post listed her account as one to follow, dubbing her a senior who “[has] way better style than you”. “I’m not very active,” insists Ost. “It just seemed to happen from people’s interest in my stories!”
For someone who seems perpetually busy, Ost needs no reminder to live in the moment. “I’m always in equilibrium of mind and body – I’m deeply satisfied and happy with what the day will present to me.”
Make sure to follow Ost’s latest projects on her Instagram account.
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