Since childhood, the sisters Mercedes and Franziska Welte felt a close connection to art, music and dance. Supported by their parents, they attended various artistic courses in their early childhood, which were groundbreaking in later years. The sisters also enjoyed a classical music education.
The two were shaped by (Tribal Art) African art, which the father brought with him from Nigeria, and by the diverse creativity of the mother. Thus an artistic career was predetermined.
The sisters went separate ways for at least 15 years and each independently developed their own style in painting, photography and lino printing as well as formal language.
Both sisters chose extraordinary life paths before merging.
Franziska married her first great love. Her husband had an incurable disease and Franziska stood by his side until his last breath. This connection resulted in 2 children. Later a son was born who made the mother’s happiness perfect. In addition to this intensive life’s work, she passionately studied motion sequences, trained her eye with photography, and began with lino prints.
Mercedes, on the other hand, went on a journey at this time, where she refined and studied her understanding of color in Spain, Morocco, Mexico and Greece. Guided by instinct and inspired by nature, she hiked on many continents. She painted with earth colors, and works were created that have not yet been published to this day. During this time she too became the happy mother of a son.
The first joint work was the processing of what transpired in the form of photographs, which Franziska realized together with Mercedes. These are now hanging in the Klosterneuburg Abbey Museum.
The first sculpture was created 16 years ago, which Franziska formed into a new zest for life after processing her difficult time of privation. This transformation of pain on the one hand and freedom that Mercedes brought with it on the other formed their now shared vision. For both of them it was a sparkling and magical moment. A new beginning and metamorphosis into a new existence. A common artistic path was now programmed in advance.
By merging the two talents, the artists looked for a name that expresses their joint work. They decided on the name NONOS. The meaning of this name is kept as a closely guarded secret to this day.
The name NONOS has meanwhile established itself as a trademark and brand for their diverse work.
Vision, created through visions.
In the second year of their collaboration, the sisters went to New York and wandered through the city with a small sculpture on their backs. Their first art action.
This was followed by exhibitions, art events, the ‘highest’ exhibition and vernissage in the world on an airplane, and an intensive and continuous examination of their language of form and color.
For many years the sisters worked tirelessly in a tiny attic. They spared no effort, no place was too far for them to develop or to present their works.
Through their own strong commitment, they began to market themselves. They developed and strengthened their NONOS brand and their international presence on the stage of the art world.
The first museum exhibition and museum purchase followed in 2018. In Klosterneuburg Abbey, the sisters realized a light installation for the Leopold Hall.
In 2019, the artist sisters were invited to exhibit together with other recognized artists during the Venice Biennale in the Giardini della Marinaressa and in the Palazzo Mora.
The artists Mercedes and Franziska Welte have been working and presenting themselves since 2018 in the beautiful Wellenstein residence in Lochau on Lake Constance. It is also affectionately referred to as the “Castle”.
This unique place offers the sisters a limitless source of inspiration and new creativity.
Large series of works have already been created in this magical place. Sculptures, objects, pictures, as well as new product collections and designs in a further developed and diverse design language.
A continuous process of development and rediscovery of the Welte Sisters can be marveled at, observed and visited here.