She was about 19 when she came to the realization that wrestling with typecasting would not be her battle. She switched to film, and studied directing, cinematography, and film history—and went on to work for a certain Spike Lee (whom Viktor, in our conversation, simply refers to as “a particular film director”). The artist found herself in a very macho environment. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the medium, but she felt the culture of the industry would dictate the parameters of her engagement with it, that she would “become a slave to the medium and the culture and the politics,” she says. So Viktor switched gears again and began to experiment with photography and images at the School of Visual Arts, showing her work to friends in the art world.
In 2013, her first “Golden Ratio” painting went on view in a group show at a now-defunct Lower East Side gallery, and she received an excited reception. “The last thing I ever thought I would be doing as a creative is being a visual artist,” she says, “because I think that was my weakest thing when I was in school. But that happened very organically, and you have to trust that in life, you know?” She turned her attention to making artwork full-time, eventually moving to a studio, near City Hall in downtown Manhattan, that she dubbed Atelier LVXIX—the name suggesting the insertion of her initials into ancient time.