As a former engineer, the precision of science lets me feel in control. But as an artist, I’m also drawn to the diversity of the natural world. I create artwork that blends this duality, finding examples of their union all around me.
I see beauty in parallel railway tracks overgrown with tangled weeds. Or the ordered lines of a musical staff sprinkled with random notes. I merge logical patterns with organic elements creating narratives for my colorful, abstract paintings.USA
My current research involves a feminist retelling of the fairy tale. Often using humor, the work investigates the lack of agency for women in these classic stories.
Using the traditional format of the still life allows me to create a visual reinterpretation of the narrative in a single image. For instance, a single missing slipper just out of its packaging allows a contemporary viewer to be the Cinderella that bought her own missing slipper.
Directed by my biographical experiences, I am interested in the possibility of describing things she is barely conscious of - vague instincts, feelings and sensations that hover somewhere on the border of consciousness, inaccessible to the world of language.
Moving between figuration and abstraction, space and flatness, the conscious and unconscious mark, when is there some order within the chaos?
Eda Sarman United Kingdom
Eda’s practice as an artist, someone telling a story and unfolding the hidden obvious, develops from documenting everyday life to create conditions to challenge, or to loosen it. By using footages from reality she allows place to be seen as the extension of us.
Because when understood as an active/fleshy organism, place can tell us the hidden obvious about history, social norms, political structures, economical conditions. It can tell us about us.
Peisy Ting Malaysia
Simple and bold compositions conjure a range of emotions through organized arrangements of colour, shape and form.
I believe art is a universal language and a celebration of humanity, which is why I use abstract elements as universal communicators of joy and sorrow; strength and vulnerability; conflict and peace.
Ape’s art is a combination of tableaus, he builds with corroded metal and Photographs. Rich in texture and colors, they illustrate his personal mythology fed by his solitary years in the bush and his vivid imagination.
Traveller at heart, having spent most of his life on the road, Bernard Avantin is complex, secretive and full of surprise. He fancies calling himself an ape, probably because humanity isn’t meant for him.
Observing the world at close range and focussing inward has always been the main element of my work, my point of focus being the human figure and face. I believe that there is an innate response to the mimetic and the re-presenting of our own image, it is something we are fascinated by and conditioned to respond to. Painting takes this into another realm with the artist controlling each element of the representation.
Sid and Geri creates videos and installation.
They collaborate with different types of people around different culture.
“unexpected, allconsuming encounters with the textures, forms, and functions of the living universe around us.” is their primary research direction. They deploy various mediums through video, animation, multi-media as well as space installation to reflect the daily living experience and grapples with the most prescient social issues of our reality.
Hello Peisy and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You started your artistic journey mainly as a self-taught artist and you later nurtured your education with a BA (Hons) Visual Communication of Art & Design at Birmingham City University, UK: how did these formative years influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your decade-long career in the advertising world as a designer and creative director direct the trajectory of your artistic research?
I grew up in an artistic family background in Malaysia where my father was a fine artist and mother an Interior Designer. At the very young age of two my father walked out of my life and moved to Singapore, unfortunately I did not have an opportunity to learn any of his artistic skills. As a consequence, I had to I spend many hours hanging out at my mother's design firm with various designers, draftsmen, contractors about, and instead of playing with toys or Barbies I ended up idling away my time with all sorts of sample materials such as fabric, flooring, and tiles, and scribbled on recycled floor plans as my ‘canvas’. The definite upside of this upbringing was that without having any better knowledge on what design was, my early environment helped me understand not only how colours and lighting could change the ambience of a space or a person's mood, but more importantly, how creativity could change lives.
During my school age years I had very little exposure to art, and to be honest, not only did I not like art then, I hated attending art class as I
just couldn't understand why one should spend hours, days or even weeks to master a drawing skill so that one could replicate the exact object or scene in front of them when one could just easily capture the image with a click of a camera. As a teenager, my understanding of art was limited to originality and creativity and I admired those artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Klimt or Picasso who could paint the world as to how they see it in their own original way. At the same time, I marvelled at thePeisy Ting
Conscious Interlude (triptych), Mixed Media, 2018 – total dimension: 90" x40" (229 x 102cm)
designer who came out with the simple Nike Swoosh which holds such a strong and powerful message behind it – and it was this developing appreciation of design that led me to pursue my further study of Visual Communication at Birmingham City University in UK, where I majored in Graphic Design (but
still never thought of becoming an artist). I wanted to train my mind to think, to create, instead of me just using my hands to draw and paint innocuous things and scenes which had little meaning (oh how wrong I was!). My training eventually evolved into a thought process which crystalised in my mind that every
line and every colour used on a page should have a reason to be there!
Soon after graduation, I returned to Kuala Lumpur and started my career in advertising first as a graphic designer, then art director, and finally a creative director. For over a
decade and a half, my job was to help translate a marketing strategy into a visual language that speaks to the targeted market and expresses the brand equity. I create and then maintain a visually cohesive look for all the work on an account across all platforms, making sure the output was visually engaging and that the
selling message/proposition was clear. I handled accounts across the board, from consumer goods, banking, automotive, government, non-profit, telecommunications, retail etc., which enabled me to build a certain
market instinct to know what appeals to the market (or viewers/consumers). My long and in-depth experience and training forced me to look at matters in all possible angles in order to come out with the best creative solution for the
particular account/brand I was working on, and undoubtedly, it was this experience paired with a considerable developing skill set in design which has been a catalyst in my work today as an artist.
After years of working long hours in a fastpaced environment with crazy deadlines (coupled with a pretty insane lifestyle that was part of the advertising world), sensing burnout I decided to give myself a break or even find a
new path for myself. Through some soul searching, I finally realised that over the years it had been my job to be the voice of the client (the brand) so the brand could speak to the audience, but it was I who was the visual voice for a car, a bank, or even for a box of cereal (ok, sometimes diapers too!). But what about my
own voice? For the longest time, I had forgotten that I too have a voice and maybe it was about time I built something for myself, with my own voice – that’s when I picked up the paintbrush for the first time in decades.
I knew starting afresh would be daunting, and I had nothing less than terror and emptiness in
my mind when just less than three years ago I stood in front of a blank canvas with a paintbrush in my hand for the first time. It took me several days to finally have the courage to put something on the canvas, but after the first stroke, everything else just seemed to flow. It was absolutely liberating
and very scary, but it was the right choice with no looking back!
We have appreciated the way the results of your artistic inquiry convey a coherent combination between intuition and rigorous aesthetics to question the relationship between the real and the abstract: we would like to invite our readers to visit https:// www.peisyting.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist.
What is the relationship between the real and the abstract? As humans, we know that our emotions are very real be it anger, joy, sorrow, envy etc. A heartbreak is as real and powerful as it can be because we can feel it inside of us, however, it is not something tangible that we can touch, smell or see. We can’t hold anger in our hands and crush it to make it go away. We can only express feelings and emotions through our behaviour and gestures, however, when one tries to visualise such emotions into forms, that’s abstraction. In a sense, abstraction enables one to convey what is most important to us as human, not the world around us, but inside us – our emotional life is what makes us human, and as such, I choose to embrace this ideal through the use of colour, textural-play and even structural form with a goal to forge a connection between the mind and the psyche. The overarching objective of my work is to give human emotion a tangible form, as well as to stimulate psychological and emotional experiences in those who view my art – that’s pretty much the central idea of my work, especially in The Edge and Entropy Series.
For this special edition of Art Habens we have selected The Edge series, a captivating project that our readers have already started to get to
know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your body of work is the way you sapiently combined vivacious and at the same time
delicate tones with abstract feeling, as in the interesting Red Velvet Wound and Fahrenheit 1945: how did you conceived this interesting project?
In all honesty, the creation of The Edge Series was not intentional. You see, I have this small habit, which is during the ideation process (even way back in my advertising days) I would
always have a pen in my hand so I could easily jostle down thoughts and notes on a stack of recycled paper, but more often than not, however, it would simply be just random
Harmonic Decay (diptych), Acrylic Mixed Media, 2017 – Total dimension – 48" x 24" (122 x 61cm)
scribbles, strokes and slashes. When my mind is whirling away searching for ideas, my hand will almost instinctively be rendering seemingly
pointless slashes and scribbles as it just could not keep up with my mind. When my mind is in limbo, my hand would slash off an idea when I
thought it was bad, underline it with a stroke when I thought it was good, slash the middle of a page to separate my thoughts, and finally
slash and cross even more when I became frustrated with myself – and as one may surmise, this mundane and repetitious action
became the epiphany for The Edge.
For a number of paintings in The Edge Series, such as Magnetic Path, Fahrenheit 1945, Separation Consciousness, and Stranger Than Friction, I would utilise a long straight stroke (edge) across the canvas in one solid colour thereby producing one or more distinctive visual elements. This ‘edge’ element then becomes the foundational feature as a visceral dynamic that not only underpins the implicit linear cleavage of colours or elements but also represents the metaphor of a mind in conflict or separation. In some pieces, the ‘edge’ element is more subtlety displayed than the others such as in Fahrenheit 1945.
The outcome of Fahrenheit 1945 was quite a surprise for me. Usually, when I start a painting, I would draft out a rough composition and pick one or two predominant colours and let the rest take its own course when the painting process starts. It is a rather large painting –approximately 6ft (180cm) wide and 3ft (90cm) high – and thus it took me days to paint the red/orange colour field as its base layer. The more I painted, the more I became engrossed in the warm hue as it continued to expand until I was fully enveloped in it. With strokes of black as separation and to keep the composition grounded, I then utilised earthy tones and occasional strokes of metallic gold which represents the liquefaction of the melting gold as the metaphor of intense passion. In this painting, the ‘edge’ element is not to be seen, but rather to be experienced. For anyone who gets the chance to view this painting, after looking at it from a distance, I would suggest the viewer take a few steps forward and let it fill the vision and thus create the feeling of transcendence.
The ‘edge’ can carry a different significance to different viewers. Some might see it as a writeoff, a stroke of separation, a decisive break, a dash of temperament, or a cut of a knife. While
creating Red Velvet Wound, I had to dig deep into my own subconscious in order to free myself and let my sentiments lead the way. With layers after layers of tones applied onto the canvas which represented the deeper I had to look into myself. In the context of Red Velvet Wound, the ‘edge’ is interpreted as the cut wound, hidden beneath its surface, long forgotten. It challenges the viewers to see beyond what it seems but also to evoke a certain emotion that has been buried deep inside them and now face them, head on.
We have really appreciated the vibrancy of nuances of your canvas, and we like the way the vivacious tones of Fractured Sanity and Harmonic Decay create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your colour palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in an artwork and in particular, how do you develop a texture?
As I love colours, understandably colour plays a very important and obvious role in my work. I am attracted to strong and vibrant colours and am not afraid to explore and use them. I have always been intrigued by the colours, patterns and textures of nature – from the harmonious hue of the sunset glow, the vibrant colour combinations of feathers, exotic markings on a bug, or the rusty complexion of a piece of junk metal. With some fortitude, as I observe my surroundings, I try and document what I see into my subconscious with the intent to later use some as a source of inspiration in setting my colour palette. Additionally, my cultural background plays a more refined role as it relates to vibrancy, boldness and intensity as I emulate some past experiences in my colour choices.
Often, when beginning a new work, the state of mind I am in at that time plays a deep role in choosing the overall tone of the piece, although this does not necessarily mean this will remain in place until I am finished. At the moment of
creation, I am usually transfixed over some buried subjects or emotions that has taken hold of me which could have come from a recent argument, something I read in the news, or as simple as observing the interaction between people on the street. I next try to match my emotion with an initial choice of two or three colours and then lay down a large field of layers or tone which captures my feelings at that time, and this is what sets up a deeper connection to the painting such as one may observe in Fahrenheit 1945, Separation Consciousness, Red Velvet Wound, and Conscious Interlude.
The production of Fractured Sanity and Harmonic Decay was more of a playful exploration of colours and texture in order to represent enthusiasm and dynamic energy –this happens when I’m in a much more carefree and curious state of mind! At times I would spend hours or days just cavorting around with anything I can lay my hands on – from different types of paper to texture, paste, yarns, cling wrap, glue, and foil – with a goal to discover the different effects and outcome on the canvas. By giving some rough texture to Fractured Sanity and Harmonic Decay, it further elevates its intensity and creates a rhythmic but chaotic surface at the same time.
You grew up in a vibrant Asian culture in Malaysia and you later had the chance to study under the western influence in the UK: how importance does everyday life's experience play in your creative process? In particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your Malaysian roots reflect your current artistic practice regarding your sources of inspiration?
Malaysia is a very culturally diverse country and is principally made up of a Malay, Chinese, and Indian populace as well as the original or indigenous inhabitants of Malaysia called the
Orang Asli, additionally, there is strong influence from Indonesia and to a lesser extent from Thailand. Being Chinese, my native tongue is Mandarin, however, I am also fluent in Cantonese and Malay, and of course, English. Understandably, given my upbringing, there are Asian influences in my art, however, this is in more subtle forms such as the way I use vibrant colours and texture rather than incorporate overt elements and style that would readily identify me as coming from Asia. My influences are primarily from an experiential perspective of how I interacted with the various races, religions, and cultural celebrations of other Malaysians, which as kids is how we grew up and in-turn infused us with a cross-cultural indoctrination that transcended one being just Chinese, Malay or some other race as our singular identity and influence. In other words, although I am very proud to be Chinese Malaysian, it is not my desire to be identified as an artist through my race or cultural heritage and hence my Asian roots are not a predominant focus of my art, and except for my Tropical Series, there is little in my work (apart from my name :-) which a viewer can pin point and say “Ah-ha, she must be from Asia!”.
Artist Lydia Dona once remarked that in order to make paintings today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of painting: are your works painted gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes from paper to canvas?
Gestural or instinctively, I think it’s a combination of both. I usually start drafting a basic composition on canvas with a structural base as a starting point as it provides me with a rough guideline, and due to my graphic design background it may also be lines, certain shapes or forms, after which I will pick a colour or two which I’m enamoured with at that point, so
that’s the gestural part. Within those given parameters the rest will be painted instinctively, depending on my state of mind, my mood and attitude at the given moment. I don’t predetermine the outcome of my painting, the colour(s) which is shown predominantly in the final outcome of my painting may not even be the colour I first picked at the very beginning, and to me that’s the fun part as I don’t really know what the final result might be, more often, it even surprises me.
Part of this process is a reflection back to my advertising days as an Art Director, as we were
always given a client’s brief with a list of requirements to meet, guidelines to follow and an objective to achieve. Often certain colour schemes need to be applied and some have to be avoided, whilst a certain tone and manner needed to be carried out across the various visuals etc. Of course, we were given creative freedom but only the freedom within the given parameters, and above all else, we needed to make sure the message was clearly delivered to the targeted audience – in short, every step of the process was strategically planned out in order to meet an expected outcome. Thankfully, however, in my artistic process there is really no need for me to set a specific
outcome, thus whatever it may turn out to be that is the way it is to be, so fundamentally for me, there’s no right or wrong way in my artistic approach. Of course, viewers can choose to like or not to like my paintings, but no one can say my approach is wrong. To me, painting is not a step-by-step process, painting is an experience, an experience with oneself – and this applies to the artist as well as viewers as well.
Your approach reveals such a sapient combination between academic techniques and freedom of abstraction and we like the way you use abstract elements as universal
communicators of joy and sorrow; strength and vulnerability; conflict and peace. In this sense, we daresay that your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appears to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with a freedom to realise their own perception. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning? And in particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?
I believe art is a universal language and a celebration of humanity and it should be universally understood and experienced. As I mentioned in an earlier answer, my work not
only expresses human emotion but also evokes a psychological and emotional experience in those who have viewed them.
As the American artist Mark Rothko once remarked, “The most interesting painting is one that expresses more of what one thinks than what one sees.” Likewise, it is more important for viewers to elaborate their personal meaning and hopefully find a connection within themselves through my work instead of merely understanding my work. At times, when viewers share their own thoughts and interpretation with me, they might have a very different take or experience that even I as the artist have overlooked – which is definitely what makes art interesting! From time to time, as I communicate with my viewers is then I too discover something new that I have not recognised in my paintings, which, to say the least, is a nice way to keep the connection ongoing.
We like the powerful narrative drive that marks out your artistic production: Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "artists' role differs depending on which part of the world they’re in. It depends on the political system they are living under": as an artist particularly interested in sparking a cross-cultural conversation through unified human emotion, how do you consider the role of artists in our media-driven and globalised contemporary age?
From the very beginning of our existence, from prehistoric cave drawings to the frescos around the world, to the avant-garde movements, from music to literacy, architectural constructions, performing arts etc., artists have contributed to expanding human evolution from many different aspects. Every artist plays a different and necessary part in contributing to the overall development and well-being of their own society regardless of which part of the
world they are in or what political system they live under, or even which time or era they belong.
Creative thinkers and artists provide their communities with joy, interaction and inspiration, but also serve as a reflection to our political, cultural and social-economic systems –artists push communities to engage and evolve towards social progress. Without a doubt, art can and does sparks debate!
Today, we live in a digital media-driven and globalised world where we are bombarded with constant streams of information day-inday-out through all channels and devices at every waking moment. Instead of being constantly informed, how often do we pause and take a step back to think and reflect, contemplate and to feel? In today’s world of digital media this certainly enables us to get connected globally, yet at the same time it seems to disconnect us not only to the person sitting right across from us but from our own selves as well, as it isolates us in a perverse way from having our own thoughts and feelings as we now seem to be constantly part of a ‘group’ and not simply being an individual.
I’m just an artist, and I’ve never thought that my art could change the society or the world at large (I’d leave that part to the Avengers to do their jobs). At the end of the day, art is about connecting people’s emotions – it’s personal, and at the same time, universal. I’m an expressive painter, I paint what I feel which is reflected in the conflicted and sometimes chaotic human emotions which I strive to capture on the canvas. My role as an artist is to offer through my art a window for the viewers into their own selves, to make them feel, think and reflect, and perhaps also as a window into me and my soul as well.
"I hope that my painting has the impact of giving someone, as it did me, the feeling of his own totality, of his own separateness, of his own individuality." ~ BarnettNewman
Your artworks have often ambiguous titles, that allow you to clarify the message: how do you go about naming your work? In particular, is important for you to tell something that might walk the viewers through their visual experience?
I have a little notebook, where I write down random titles, names or phrases I picked up from an article, a book, poetry, movies, or even from the lyrics of a rock son etc., anything that I find interesting, or resonate too – all these and more are a source of inspiration when it comes to naming a work. I also look to foreign words as they often have very interesting meanings once they are translated into English such as Kininaru, which is Japanese for “to be on one’s mind”.
I don’t name my work at the beginning stage of creation as I don’t want to predetermine the outcome of a piece. When a painting is completed I will then refer to my notebook or sometimes brainstorm with a friend to come out with a relevant name that connects to the art, and this can happen a week or even two weeks after completion! A painting’s name is very important as I feel its name really can set a tone for the painting, so I take the time to try and come up with something impactful and hopefully a viewer will remember it.
For some viewers, they won’t refer to the title of the painting but just look at the painting by itself and form their own personal interpretation towards the art – which is totally fine by me as well. While other viewers like to know the title of the art first before they further give it thought or consideration on it. Sometimes my titles are ambiguous providing
only a small clue or a reference point to the viewers, but also to leave some room for the viewers to further contemplate the art and seek their personal connection to the painting, which to me is part of the discovery process of art.
Over the years your artworks have been showcased in a number of occasions and you currently exhibit widely in museums and galleries in solo and group shows, and you are going to participate to the upcoming FLUX Exhibition, that will be held in London: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?
When viewers come to me and say a painting ‘speaks’ to them, or a particular painting ‘has grown’ on them – I know at that point the beginnings of a relationship between myself and a viewer has been established. Like most artists, it is particularly satisfying as well as a wonderful feeling to be able to connect to people through your work. As I mentioned earlier, when viewers respond to a painting and really ‘feel’ it and share their own thoughts and their personal experience towards a painting that at times offer me – both as an artist and a person – a different outlook and perspective in my own work, I definitely enjoy this kind of experiential two-way communication. Besides discovering something new in my own work through viewers, at the same time, I do get to know them a little bit more, and hopefully, through my work, they too can discover a little something about me but also about themselves as well – in a sense we are forging a symbiotic visual relationship.
As an artist – one way or another – we all have the unique power to elicit emotions from our audience. At the end of the day, and what I wish and care for most, is that my audience takes away something from my artwork which is positive and uplifting. No matter how dark or
distressing some of my work may seem, for example, Heartbreak and Red Velvet Wound (yes, a heartbreak hurts, but it underlies strength and courage, while a wound is not merely a scar but can be interpreted as a mark of wisdom and to be used to overcome and move forward), I hope my audience can find the ‘silver lining’ not just in my work, but also in whatever situation and circumstances they are in.
We have appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing
your thoughts, Peisy. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
I consider my artistic journey thus far still in its infancy, and to use a baseball metaphor, I would say that I have just finished the first inning and am still just getting warmed up.
My style is very much evolving, and while I am content with most of my work, I am in no way satisfied yet in my overall development and direction as I feel I still have a very long way to
go from exploring new techniques and mediums to stylistic perspective. The Edge and Entropy series both have plenty of room for growth and I will continue to develop and evolve each. At the same time, I am very actively exploring a number of new subject matters which excites me very much. ‘Contrast’ (just a working title for now), is something I have in mind which I wish to explore further more as it offers plenty of room for creative freedom. Apart from referring to the difference between art elements like colour, value, size, texture and so on, it can also serve as a metaphor to the difference of perspective, conflicted emotions
or even a contradicted argument – the positive/negative, the ‘Yin and Yang’ if you will
Going forward, I have much more to prove to not only myself, but my audience as well and will continue to seek new pathways express to my inner emotional wanderlust first through my paintings, but perhaps through other mediums such as sculpture or installation – it is a continuous learning process and I am just getting revved up!
An interview by , curator and curator
Lives and works in London, United Kingdom
th, two steps forwards one backwards, backwards forwards...)
ileri geri, iki ileri bir geri, geri geri ileri...
( back and forth, two steps forwards one backwards, backwards forwards...)An interview by , curator and curator
Hello Eda and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and after having earned your Bachelor of Architecture from the Pratt Institute, you nurtured your education in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art, in London: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your life in London and Istanbul direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?
Hello and thank you for your interest in my practice. In 2016, I volunteered in Nepal building schools in an area destroyed by the earthquake. The time I spent building in mud, carrying rocks, tying rebar, and pouring concrete something clicked. What were lines on a computer screen, then gained physicality. Not only that but it also took time. As we were building under the monsoon rain, the soil started to run down under our feet. We were all enthusiastic and working hard, yet all our effort was against nature. The whole process was turning into a fight against nature rather than building with it. As a new graduate from architecture school, I was struggling with this new structure we
were imposing on the site. Bernard Rudofsky’s 1964 book titled Architecture
Without Architects was my ideal architectural practice. In the book, Rudofksy reveals the primitive building systems, which stem out of the body: almost as a second skin that breathes, protects and is morphed by the body and the site. Thus I began to perceive my surroundings as ar-Eda Sarman
chitecture. For wherever I am, I am surrounded by systems intricately tied to one another, just like the monsoons on the hills of Nepal. Perhaps one has to go unfamiliar places to realize such phenomena. In my return to the city, whether it is New York, Istanbul or London, I continued to practice perceiving this closeness of body and the built environment. Living between these cities is an opportunity to constantly change my viewpoint and to have refreshed bodily experiences. Hence architecture became place. Not a building design practice, but a tool that organizes and composed of the culture, economic status, political conditions, geographical setting, history and future of the society. With my artistic practice I am finding ways of revealing such encounters through bodily engagement.
The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention for the way they reveal such a coherent combination between intuition and a rigorous aesthetics, and we would like to invite our readers to visit http://edasarman.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all your works.
I am curious about how things come to be: the underlying systems at work, the infrastructure. I begin by bodily observation. Ac-
cessing a phenomenal reality through perception exposes a reality that is not based on facts or news but on us, as we
experience it. This process takes time, as things don’t just reveal themselves or sometimes, I am out of tune with my sur-
roundings. As Henri Lefebvre states "[Rhythmanalysis] requires energy, since it involves special concentration." Once I
calibrate my rhythm to that of the place, I have the chance to open it up and recognize the interactions composing that
place. I can detect the source of estrangement I feel in a particular place. I take this feeling and dwell into it, looking for ways
with which I can access that place. So my work emerges from intuition, ripens through bodily presence, and transforms into devices that either challenge, loosen or at times just expose the infrastructure.
Rich of metaphorical contents that you often draw from everyday life, your artworks invite the viewers to question the tension between the place we inhabit and the idea of individuality and society at large. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once remarked that "artists's role differs depending on which part of the world they’re in. It depends on the political system they are living under": how do you consider the role of artists in our globalised and media driven contemporary age? And how do you think your works respond to it in finding hidden, crystallised moments in the everyday?
I believe in the connection between one’s background and the work they produce. As everything has history, we do too. For me, having lived in Istanbul, New York and London over long periods of time gave me viewpoints, with which I can look at cultures from within and outside. The role of the artist today seems to be to propose alternative approaches to cope with the everyday we live in. To do so, I value subtlety for it allows for openness and conversation, prevents domination. This attitude possibly comes from my background, as I have experienced the claustrophobia domination gener-
bir göz, bir terazi, bir pusula ( is an eye is a balance is a compass )
ates: when one is told instead of given voice. I value the everyday as it is when we live, when we try to make sense of life or when we let ourselves be; and it is when we are subject to the infrastructures at work. As opposed to their presence, these infrastructures are hidden under the perpetual rhythm of our days. Hidden because we take them for granted, we are accustomed to them or we want to hold on to them. For these reasons, I pick up on them. I question their power in creating our culture, and the culture that has created such tools.
We like the way you artworks often convey such a stimulating captivating abstract feeling: in this sense, we daresay that calling seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning? And in particular, how open would you like your artworks to be understood?
As open as possible. As I am attuning through these works, I would only hope that they would stimulate others as well. Especially calling developed from a visit to Konya Kyoto Japanese Park on the side of the highway leading to the city of Rumi.
The clash of these two cultures, seemingly so distant were somehow complementing each other. In a state of trance/meditation, the koi pond turns into a mirror of reflec-
calling, video still
tion. As Kapuscinski writes “Others are the mirror in which I look at myself, and which tells me who I am.” I wanted to bring this
state of discovery into the work itself. By dedicating a sense to each culture, seeing and hearing, the cultures collapsed
onto each other, perhaps even generated a new culture, one with no name, no place, no member. In this unison, be-
calling, video still
tween eurhythmia and arrhythmia, the work is open for perception. I tend to work this way, as if creating mirrors to
reflect upon or just experience. As I have mentioned in the earlier question, I do not want dominate but expose/reveal.
Sound plays a crucial role in your practice and we have appreciated the way its soundtrack provides the footage calling
with such an ethereal and a bit unsettling atmosphere. According to Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan there is a 'sense bias' that affects Western societies favoring visual logic, a shift that occurred with the advent of modern alphabet as the eye became more essential than ear. How do you consider the role of sound playing within your artistic research?
The shift is also true for architecture. In The Eyes of the Skin Juhani Pallasmaa writes extensively on the hegemony of the eye in parallel with “the development of Western ego-consciousness and the gradually increasing separation of the self and the world”. Moving beyond architecture, meant perceiving places not just by seeing but also by hearing, or I would prefer, listening. The times we live in are constructed by the words of the few, so I am inclined to listen beyond language: which sounds fill up the space we live in, what kind of sounds we all make, what we all hear and experience daily. Sound is crucial to how we communicate, thus it needs as much attention. Coherent with my interest in the hidden/overlooked, exploring sound, which is inherently an invisible sense, is provocative for me.
Another interesting work from your current artistic production that we would like to introduce to our readers is entitled ileri geri, iki ileri bir geri, geri geri
free range, video stills
ileri and can be viewed at http://edasarman.com/ileri-geri.html. We have have really appreciated the way it condenses brilliant combination be-
tween traditional heritage and reference to contemporary technology: when walking our readers through the genesis of this stimulating work of art, would
you tell us how did you develop the initial idea?
Exploring sound in everyday life, of course, radio is still the most diffusive
medium. Every radio channel curates their program for their focus group. This is what I find special about the radio. It has the power to represent specific com-
munities, while as a whole reflects the concerns, interests, opinions, the soul of a country. Istanbul, also the city I grew up in, has been going through an immense
urban development over the past ten years, welcoming me with a new face every time I land on either airports. I wanted to somehow tune in to this rapid
change and the people inhabiting this new builtscape. Moving backwards from one airport to another, one is exposed to rapidly changing FM radios of Istanbul.
From the first encounter, one is both in control of and indifferent to this movement. One’s engagement is satisfied with a long gear handle (these elaborate gears
bir göz, bir terazi, bir pusula (is an eye is a balance is a compass)
are often very important to people who spend a lot of time in traffic), with which one can stay on a channel and move forward. The flux ends and we listen to the unheard yet omnipresent voices on this journey. Understanding this relation, one then questions the movement directions forward and backward (hence the title: back and forth, two steps forward one
backward, backwards forwards), the choice one has on tuning in, on what they hear, what they pick and choose, on inclusion and harmony.
In your artistic research you also seem to question the nature of movement: reminding us of the ideas behind Jean Tinguely's artworks, you tend to work
with kinetic structures in combination with moving image: could you comment this stimulating aspect of your artistic production?
Jean Tinguely’s artworks are intricately designed anti-machines; computed to move free of efficiency or rationalization, from which machines emerged from. An
uprise, an urge to free the machine. Hence the kinetic structure with exposed moving parts and bits. This transparency is exciting for me as I endeavour to understand infrastructures. The structures I create inherit this underlying network of relations exposed to be understood as parts connected through movement. While moving image exposes the obser-
vational setting, the structure reveals these relations which can be deciphered through perception rather than as a set narrative. When assembling moving image in such device-like structures, the concept gets embodied: having a body of parts that reveal/ question/ challenge the visual. Perhaps even remind us of our bodies.
Multidisciplinary artist Angela Bulloch onced remarked "that works of arts often continue to evolve after they have been realised, simply by the fact that they are conceived with an element of change, or an inherent potential for some kind of shift to occur". Technology can be used to create innovative works, but innovation means not only to create
works of art that haven't been before, but especially to recontextualize what already exists: do you think that one of the roles of artists has changed these days with the new global communications and the new sensibility created by new media? Moreover, what's your opinion about the relationship between Art production and Technology?
Definitely technology is not an end but a tool. The way I incorporate technology in my artistic practice is by working with computation and robotics as enablers, tools.
The reason I start with defining this is because it is about agency. When I question my agency over my surroundings, these
tools enable me to calibrate these situations over and over again. With the introduction of computation the devices become condensed and packed with perpetual processes. As days are, as Earth’s rotation is, as our lives are, these cyclical processes become a part of these works dealing with the everyday.
Using technology therefore enables the artwork to function between software and hardware, just as we are immersed in between these two realms. Like water, the artwork takes the shape of its container, our reality.
Over the years your artworks have been showcased in a number of occasions, including your recent participation with your work Calling, to Altered States at Waterloo Festival, in London: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?
To be honest, it was a bit unsettling to expose this piece in the St. John’s crypt. Yet once the piece was installed, the setting actually added another layer of culture, another spiritual calling.
This coming together immersed the viewers into the fluid formations of calling. One thing I have observed on such occasions is the power of one-to-one engagement. In some ways, with each work I am trying to create a way of communication
to relate to whomever experiences the work.
More than anything, I would hope that the encounter with my works is an attunement to multiplicity, to the richness of the everyday, to the diverse perspectives that composes our reality.
We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Eda. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
I thank you for having me here and looking into my work with such care. Right now I am working on a project to be on show in June.
This work differs from my work up until now as I am starting with a widely known tale to challenge a present day condition.
The tale is that of the Maiden Tower in the middle of Bosphorus, a tale hidden deep in history and memory.
I hope that by pulling it to the present day, I am going to be rethinking power of tales and the cultures they create.
An interview by , curator and curator
bir göz, bir terazi, bir pusula (is an eye is a balance is a compass)
Lives and works in Bristol, United Kingdom
Hello Helen and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and you hold a MA of Fine Art (with distinction), that you received from the University of Brighton: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?
Hello.. and thank you for inviting me to contribute to this edition of Art Habens. It’s great to have the opportunity to talk about my practice and why I do what I do.
Interesting to think about my journey as an artist in evolutionary terms. With the ape to man graphic in mind, I’d say the moment of standing upright was when I began my Masters in Fine Art at Brighton. This was an amazing experience. It was an opportunity to focus on all aspects of my practice for two years, take advantage of the facilities to explore different materials and processes and find a coherent theoretical foundation from which to expand my thinking and my work. I began with artists that I felt inspired and moved by. This led to researching the material written about them, by art writers, thinkers and theorists, and was a way in toHelen Acklam
psychoanalytical and phenomenological theories. Today, that on-going research, practical making and critical dialogue all make up my creative practice.
We have appreciated the way the results of your artistic inquiry convey such a coherent combination between intuition and a rigorous aesthetics, and we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.helenacklam.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic
production: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all your works.
The things that drive me to make work connect to experiences that are central to my existence and are universal. The impetus can come from anywhere, but the common thread is that something has touched me and I am personally affected. So, central to all my work, is that it derives from a very personal and emotional place, but is triggered by, and presented back as, something universal and current.
The combination of intuition and rigour that you’ve identified, comes from a process of working that allows a natural movement between these two aspects.
I organize my work into ‘projects’. They are simply a place to anchor me and the things I’m thinking about and wanting to make work about. For example, the project ‘betwixt and between’ (2017) was a phrase taken from a memoir by Jeanette Winterson, called ‘Why be happy when you could be normal’. Inspired by this moving account of passion, dysfunction and the human spirit, I began exploring my own thoughts and reactions, memories and experiences, through photography, drawing and casting. This exploratory work is a very personal place of research and discovery, which leads to a point when I know I want to paint. When I’m painting, I really don’t think much. My aim is to
selfie, my selfie (exhibition view) – 180 x 130 cms, oils on linen
have an open and still mind and try to keep my will, and ego, out of the way!
For this special edition of ART Habens we have selected selfie, my selfie, an interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Focussed on the theme ‘spaces reimagined’, this work looks inward and outward and we have particularly appreciated the way its exploration of the space of identity in the realm of the public and the private provides the viewers with a multilayered visual experience: when walking our readers to the genesis of selfie, my selfie, would you tell us something abut your process and setup?
‘selfie, my selfie’ is part of an on-going project and a development of ideas around personal identity that I’ve been exploring for some time. The theme, ‘Spaces reimagined’, triggered ideas about the potential gaps and discrepancies between our internal and external worlds and the cost to us of moving away from being authentic and connected. In this world of self presentation – of uptalking, editing, filtering, glamorising, idealising – how do we know what’s real and what’s fantasy?
I knew I wanted to create a work of two parts which were the ‘same, but different’. So I started with - 2 sets of stretcher and cross bars, 180 x 130 cms
2 pieces of primed linen, 190 x 140 cms –one stretched onto the frame, the other torn into narrow strips and tied together. At the end of each painting session, I cleaned my brushes and palette with the
linen strips and when the painting was finished, I wrapped the other set of stretcher bars with the torn strips.
As you have remarked once, you are
interested in the possibility of describing vague instincts, feelings and sensations that are inaccessible to the world of language: What has at once captured our attention of
your style it's the way it brings the notion of everyday life to a new level of significance: would you tell us how does everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? In
particular, do you think that your artistic research respond to a particular cultural moment?
My work is triggered by things that catch
my attention within everyday life and which tap somehow into my emotions and memories.
The exploration often starts with vague
ideas, trials and errors and little thought about where I’m going. For example, ‘selfie, my selfie’ started as a horizontal work that I imagined as an expansive and
panoramic interior view. (I still want to make that!) It also didn’t have a title until I noticed something of a human form had emerged, and it made sense to turn it to portrait.
These things developed in the work as I was considering today’s obsession with the selfie, and the creation of self through social media and software platforms.
We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of your canvas, and we like the way Nest shows that vivacious tones are not necessary to create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling
on your color palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in a specific artwork and in particular, how do you develop a texture?
Interesting question! I don’t know. I am drawn to certain colours, I like creating space through tones and temperature and I’m comfortable using an almost monochromatic palette. The palette for ‘Nest’ was obvious as
the piece included two resin casting of an old brick. One was blood red, the other a pale pink. The texture comes with the energy of the brush or the palette knife and depends if I’m building up or removing layers.
Walking the viewers to the border of consciousness, you invite them to question the tension between opposite concepts, as present and past, private and public, we daresay that your artistic practice seems to
aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception. How important is
for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning?
Certainly what I hope for, during my painting process, is that the conscious and
unconscious actionswill take me inside the work. During the process of researching and making, I’m aware of a different sense of time and space - the private becomes public; the past crashes into the present.
Moving between figuration and abstraction, space and flatness, the conscious and unconscious mark, I’m aware of shifts between chaos and order. I like to think that its at these tipping points, like the very top of a breath, that something has a chance to emerge.
I like the phrase ‘show, not tell’. My hope is, that if I make work from a personal and meaningful place, that something of that will come through and be of interest.
We like the way you artworks convey such a stimulating combination between figurative elements and captivating abstract feeling, as the interesting Out of Sight and All that Remains, whose backgrounds create such an oniric atmosphere: how would you consuder the relationship between abstraction and figurative in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?
I have set out to make a few figurative paintings, like the series ‘ring a ring a rosie’, but normally a paiting becomes figurative by chance. Some form or thing emerges and I’ll see if I can develop it. The challenge is to know when to stop.
You are a versatile artist and you are currently focussing on painting for the way it holds the most possibility and unpredictability: how do you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling the details of your artworks and the need of spontaneity? How
importance does the relationship between randomness and improvisation play in your process?
The unpredictability of random acts and planned decisions are what makes the process of painting exciting. But in order to enjoy the freedom and spontaneity of following the painting in an intuitive way, there has to be a structure and organization of ideas and research.
It's important to remark that you are a founder member of The Artist Project Space, a Bristol based artist-led initiative for artists who are interested in developing their art practice through peer support, dialogue and collaboration. It's no doubt that collaborations as the one that you have together are today ever growing forces in Contemporary Art and that the most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project: what did encourage you to be an active part of this community?
I agree that artist led collaborations, such as TAPS, are an exciting way forward for artists to create opportunities today. The diversity of cultures, practices, ideas all contribute to a dynamic and fertile ground for individual and group development. The Artist Project Space is spearheaded by an artist called Bea Kayani, and I feel very fortunate to be a founder member of this growing and exciting community.
Over the years your artworks have been showcased in a number of occasions and
you currently exhibit widely in museums and galleries in solo and group shows, including your recent participation to Kosar Contemporary, The Artist Project Space, Paradise Studios, in Bristol: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?
I do want my work to be seen and shared, physically as well as digitally. I love to actively look at art works - it’s a very
physical thing. I move in and out, try and work out what I’m attracted to, look at how it’s made, decide what I like/don’t like, look beyond the surface and get lost for a moment. It’s a rich experience which I’d love people to experience when they look at my work, but exhibiting is about offering the work up and letting go.
We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Helen. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
Thank you for asking me!
I have an exhibition planned for June with a small group of painters from the Turps Banana correspondence programme.
I will also be exhibiting with Whitenoise Projects in September at The Crypt, Marylebone, London in an exhibition called ‘Past and Present Tense’.
Other than that, we have lots of exciting events and exhibitions planned within the TAPS programme in Bedminster, Bristol.
So – I’m looking forward to an exciting year!
Lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Still from "Video Painting" series, 5440 Galler
Still from "Waterbox", University of Cincinnati, 2016An interview by , curator and curator
Hello Corey and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as a multidisciplinary artist? In particular, how does you multifaceted cultural substratum due to your work as a freelance photographer and videographer direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?
It is more than a pleasure to be involved with Art Habens. I think I owe the existence of my art-making practice entirely to photography and cinema. Growing up I loved photography which would inevitably lead to almost 7 consecutive years working as a freelance photographer. I became obsessed with images and the power they held over a viewer. I wanted to investigate images in a different way and particularly, to understand them on a different level. I began
watching films by directors that required a different mental space to enjoy like Kubrick, Tarkovsky, and Antonioni. Experiencing images in these ways really convinced me that “the image” is something that can elusively bring you into another place. I became obsessed withCorey Allen Davis
perception. These investigations certainly prompted me to become engaged in a larger dialogue.
You are a versatile artist and your practice includes film, painting, and installation: before starting to elaborate about your artistic production, we would invite to our readers to visit
http://coreyallendavis.com in order to get a synoptic idea about your artistic production: would you tell us what does address you to such captivating multidisciplinary approach? How do you select an artistic discipline in order to explore a particular aspect of your artistic inquiry?
I don’t necessarily see my multidisciplinary approach as combining mediums. I like to think of an art practice as consecutive phases and in each phase there exists a problem that needs solving.
Mediums, to me, are just tools used for solving particular problems. Think of them as different screwdrivers and wrenches for different hardware where some are much stronger at tightening a particular bolt than others. For
example, I find photography to be exceptionally indexical and painting to have more mnemonic strengths.
For this special edition of ART Habens we have selected Waterbox, an interesting experimental video installation that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/230682711. What has at once impressed us of this captivating artwork is the way it provides the viewers with such a multilayered visual experience, capable of challenging their perceptual parameters. When walking our readers through the genesis of Waterbox, would you tell us something about your usual setup and process?
Works like Waterbox commonly originate from a certain tension. Most notably, the tension between real “stuff” and not real “stuff”. The easiest exploitable duality that I’ve found that resonates with this tension is the co-existence of the digital world with our real world. I find it fascinating how we quantify and understand things like plants, animals, and other humans via
Still from "Nature Projections" performance, Burnet Woods, 2015
Still from "A Relaxing Forest" installation, University of Cincinnati, 2015
screens, data, and the internet. Digital technology and nature inherently seem so different and arguably opposite. Yet, there is a gray area where they co-exist. I post digital images of my work online to get jobs in real life. Real fuel and natural resources power servers that hold billions of images of dads trying to take selfies and videos of baby bats eating grapes and I am only being slightly hyperbolic!
These works aim to emphasize that gray area where the digital world and the real world overlap by presenting the viewer with a phenomenon. So I suppose most of these works, Waterbox especially, start there. After this moment, they usually gain a life of their own.
Questioning the dichotomy between the real and the digital, Waterbox seems to invite the viewers to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal interpretations? And in particular,
how open would you like your works to be understood?
The viewer is in complete control. One has all the power when viewing my art. I don’t seek affirmation or negation from the viewer’s relationship with my work, I just hope that an experience emerges that causes them to ask questions. I grant that the works aren’t super easy to understand in totality, but I believe that to be true with most artists that I like. This is why I tend to gravitate towards irony and humor to hook a viewer. The work doesn’t have to be solved to be enjoyed. I do not think artists should choose easy problems to solve. Furthermore, I dislike expecting too much from art. When an object knows too much about itself, I tend to find that boring.
The tension between the digital and the real is a recurrent theme of your current artistic production: in particular, A Relaxing Forest seems to focus on the theme of physicality and its integration with the realm of digital. We sometimes tend to ignore the fact that a work of art is a three-dimensional, physical, artefact: how do you consider the
relationship between "the reality" that we can perceive and what belong to the realm of our imagination? In particular, do you think that such apparently opposite dimensions - the real vs the imagined - are totally disconnected or do yu think that there are elusive points of convergence?
They certainly overlap. The idea of real and unreal is not black and white to me. Trying to compare and contrast relationships between the two is when perception gets muddy and interesting.
A work of art can be considered a combination between understanding reality and hinting at the unknown: how does everyday life's experience and your surroundings fuel your creative process?
Inside me there is a container full of likes, dislikes, memories, interests, feelings, etc. And every time I make a mark with paint on a surface for example, I am emptying that container by a percentage. This container is constantly being filled every second that I am alive while
also being emptied alongside my artmaking process.
With its sapiently combination between video and sculptural elements, Sun Screen explores the symbiosis between technology and life, and we have particularly appreciated the symbolic value of the fact that the projector’s light is seen to be lighting and “feeding” the plant. As a matter of fact, technology is taking on an evergrowing role in human experience: how do you consider the relationship between technology and artistic production? In particular, as an artist particularly involved in the creation of immersive works, how will technology help artist to expand their chances to create a kind of involvement that will break the usual exibition spaces' barriers?
I think it is irresponsible to think that technology and the internet will not change artists’ lives positively. Remember our conversation about mediums being different wrenches and screwdrivers? Now imagine the internet as one incredible all-fixing screwdriver that can tighten anything. I am not saying that the
Film still from "habitatAVI" video series, 2016
internet has an overwhelming positive affect on humans, but I am saying that it enormously benefits the average artist. One thing that is interesting about the internet in relation to the working artist is the way it raises the minimum components required to be an artist. In a world full of artists with websites, social media, virtual gallery spaces and live streams it seems that the general admission cost into the art world may be a bit higher than ever. But at the same time, these requirements make it easier than it has ever been in the history of the world for people to show, purchase, and view your art.
Another body of works that we would like to introduce ot our readers is your Video Paintings series, an interesting explorative project, both a mixture of actual oil paintings and digital projections: we like the way it conveys such a stimulating combination between slight figurative elements and such a captivating abstract feeling, that creates such an oniric atmosphere. Manipulation in visual arts is not new, but digital technology has extended the range of possibilities
and the line between straight and manipulated images is increasingly blurry. How do you consider the role of digital manipulation in video in order to offer an augmented visual experience?
I draw a lot of parallels between painting and film so I am going to reference both in this answer. When I think of the spiritual and even religious experiences that colorfield painters were having when creating their work, I think of the same space that I live in when I watch a really good film.
When film, video, or augmented reality takes me into a different mental space I get an experience familiar to viewing a really good painting. I think film and painting have a very similar relationship with their viewer. Painting allows viewers to make their own judgments and connections by remaining ambiguous. Painting’s history is long and rich and filled with intelligent methods of abstraction. Contemporary film is an extended version of the spiritual phenomenon that abstract expressionist painters preached about during their movement. Returning to viewing
every medium as a tool, for the engagement that I sought with my “Video Paintings”, I had to start with painting, but further bend the rules using video.
We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of your tones and we particularly like the way they create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decided to include in a specific work of your your Video Paintings series?
My color palette is almost exclusively intuitive especially since I began painting. My paintings have a life of their own and I try my hardest to give in to the painting while it is being made. I put full trust into my mind and the paint as a material to speak back to me. I’ve always described my painting process as a jazz quartet.
We all play together but then sometimes a certain section demands a solo, so I let it play for a bit. I’m just supporting it until it considers itself finished. Then I take my turn and have a solo. I’ll make
massive moves and take risks until I feel that my solo is over. The whole process is a conversation between myself and the medium. I typically start by picking a color that excites me. I apply it and then from there
every subsequent color is just a reaction. In a way, my authorship is heightened by the amount of myself embedded into each painting, yet, I’m not entirely sure that I am conscious while I paint.
We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship with your audience. Do
you consider the issue of audience reception? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?
Some of the work featured in this
article are not for everyone and that is okay. I am not interested in easy answers and in most cases I am not asking questions until I am finished. Any reaction, including no reaction, is a valid reaction. I hope that my art
can at least pose a question. I want to present the viewer with ingredients.
From there they can create whatever connections that they find appropriate.
Thanks for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Corey. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
Right now, I am fully invested in painting. I’ve really found love in the process of painting and the mnemonic qualities of the medium. I may return to past mediums eventually, but I’ve worked empirically with images for so long that I’m infatuated with the romance of painting. I’m just trying to continue emptying the container. I have a show that is finishing up in a gallery called DIVISIBLE.
I’m currently working on a stellar proposal for a solo show that I am shopping around to a few different galleries in the states, but I am hoping to show internationally as soon as possible. An MFA is definitely in my near future but for now I am just trying to show my work to anyone who will take a look.
An interview by , curator and curator
Lives and works in the United Kingdom
Hello Anne and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and you hold a B.A (Hons) in Fine Art that you received from the University of Manchester: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?
Hello and thank you for the opportunity. Prior to doing the degree course at the University of Manchester, UK I completed a 2 year Foundation Course, this was a highly disciplined course which gave me a very solid and comprehensive grounding in drawing and painting alongside developing my own creative vision. Taking this disciplined foundation forward into higher education paid dividends in terms of my artistic development and I have greatly benefited from this ever since both as an artist and as a lecturer in Art & Design.
Whilst at university being introduced to the history of art as well as more contemporary art practice greatly excited me, I was (and still am) fascinated by the techniques of the masters, both historical and modern, and the diversity of thinking and cultural discourse - all of which had its influence on my work and my thinking.
For this special edition of ART Habens we have selected Covered, Closer and Closed,
three interesting artworks that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your artistic research it's the way it brings the fragments of life to a new level of significance, involving the viewers into a multilayered visual experience: when walking our readers through the genesis of these stimulating artworks, would you tell us
something about your usual setup and process? In particular, what are your usual sources of inspiration?
Photographing the world around me is my starting point, capturing the fleeting image passing by or in the more controlled environment of the studio. Creative development of the image then takes place through digital manipulation allowing for experimentation with composition, colour and detail prior to scaling up the image onto canvas prior to painting. My main area of interest has always been the human face and form, encompassing universal recognition of emotion and sensuality seen up close with highly detailed observation. My work seems to follow certain themes such as ‘covered’, ‘touch’, ‘closer’, ‘closed’ - the portrayal of the elusive emotion or just a transfixed moment in time. Transforming these fragments of life into highly detailed paintings on a scale which makes them larger than life size gives the ‘ordinary’ and ‘everyday’ a particular significance.
On analysis of the question I suppose I unconsciously respond to certain qualities in my subjects (whether they are people known to me or passing strangers), qualities such as introspection, shyness, modesty alongside strength, determination and self-will. Or quite often I simply respond to the way someone may be standing or moving.
We have really appreciated the way the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of your canvas, create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include
Under Cover 61 x 101cm, 24 x 40”
in a specific artwork and in particular, how do you develop a texture?
Complex nuances of colour are especially
evident in skin tone and the technique of layering transparent colour over white allows for great subtlety with sometimes the slightest
change of tone. I aim for realism which goes beyond the surface for example: the blues and purples we have in our skin might show
through the yellows and pinks - this is exciting purely in terms of colour.I only now use oil colours with a high transparency rating which
allow for many thin layers of colour to be applied, allowing the white ground to show through - wiping off colour and modelling
with dry brushes and cloth is a vital element of my technique and I believe this gives a vibrancy to the painting.
The texture is purely illusional and is modelled from the very first layers of the painting for example: the texture of skin, lines etc. would be painted in very subtly on the first thin layer of paint, always retaining the highlights and gradually building the shadows and darker areas in subsequent layers.
As you have remarked once, observing the world at close range and focusing inward has always been the main element of your work. we daresay that your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meanings? In particular, is audience engagement a critical consideration for you, and is there a particular way of engagement that you seek to encourage?
I think it is imperative that people viewing my work realise their own perception - I believe my images are ambiguous and can be read in different ways.
The subject of the painting 'under cover' is a young French girl (Elsa) who struck me as a very shy, introspective person but also someone who had great strengths and resolve - I think this work can be read on one level as 'hiding' but on another level it can be read as a defiant, self-preserving gesture. When I asked Elsa to pose for me it was this dichotomy or tension that I felt in her and I believe that this is universal, we all have strengths and weaknesses and the viewer will read this in different ways.
Looking back at my artistic development, it is clear that I have always viewed life in closeup, focussing on detailed fragments - after some consideration I have come to the conclusion that this may have a lot to do with
having poor eye-sight from being a young child, forcing me to look closer at the detail and minutiae of life, looking at and appreciating texture, pattern and surface.
Although I have worked for many years in isolation, since ‘emerging’ onto the gallery scene and being given opportunities to show my work I have found it both gratifying and stimulating to engage with an audience and to receive feedback and opinions.
Exposure in the ‘right’ galleries is important to me now, building links with artists and audiences who are open and responsive to my work therefore providing ongoing stimulation and discussion.
What’s your philosophy on the nature of the portrait? How do you select the people that you decide to include in your artworks?
Apart from specific commissions, I don't paint portraits as such. My main area of interest has always been the human face and form, encompassing universal recognition of emotion and sensuality seen up close with highly detailed observation.
I often select people on the basis of certain qualities being evident, as mentioned previously - I often respond to tensions which may be evident in terms of introspection alongside boldness, shyness alongside confidence etc.
The painting 'Justin' was developed from a series of photographs taken of a friend who is a tattoo artist in London, he totally encompassed to me the fragility, introspection and strength that we have
touched on and I think (hope) I managed to convey this.
With society in such a state of flux and uncertainty at the moment, how do you think
your works respond to it in finding hidden, crystallised moments in the everyday? And
how does your everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? How much does
working from observation play with your work?
Yes, society is in a state of flux and uncertainty (maybe always has been?),
however, rather than attempting to make political or profound statements with my work I
respond to and attempt to portray the intimate, almost unconscious moments of reflection.
Wandering around the world with a camera is all about observation and capturing the
fleeting moment - this may be a moment of reflection or sadness that passes across
someones face or just the moment when one texture juxtaposes against another i.e. a piece of cloth across a leg, fur or leather against someones skin; a finger across a face; eyelashes against a cheek etc.
Your artworks vary in size and it seems elicit different feelings from viewers when viewed from different distances: how do the
dimensions of your canvass affect your workflow?
Generally I think that portraying images on the same scale or larger than reality gives the fragmented images a presence or an impact, however, occasionally certain images just seem to suit a more intimate approach which can work on a smaller scale for example: 'sleeping mimi' which is only 30 x 24cm (11.5 x
9.5"). This small painting was developed from a series of photographs of a Taiwanese artist/poet (& friend) whose face was very peaceful, still and calm, it was this quality I endeavoured to capture.
Painting with many layers of oil glazes is a long, slow process whether on a large or a small scale, gradually 'building' the image and the detail - therefore, I do often have 2 pieces of work ongoing at the same time in order to save the frustration of waiting for paint to dry and therefore affecting my workflow!
Over the years your artworks have been showcased in a number of occasions and you currently exhibit widely in museums and galleries in solo and group shows, including your recent participation to Sunny Art Prize and Aesthetica Art Prize: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?
Although I have been painting and developing my work for many years this has been in relative isolation, always supported by part time lecturing in art & design. Approximately 6 years ago I made the decision to 'emerge' onto the gallery scene and, although I haven't found it easy I have been gratified by the response I have received in a relatively short space of time, encouraging me onwards. It is always exciting (& a bit disturbing) to see my work exhibited in well considered and curated venues.
To me it is a privilege when people take time to view and consider my work in any capacity, I can only hope that there is a response and at least a momentary connection with the work.
We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Anne. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future
I am currently working on two new paintings: one which is exploring the theme of 'falling' taken and developed from a recent series of 'upside down' photographs of a young woman called Laura. The second comes within the theme of ‘closer’ and taken from a chance photograph of a young girl standing by a wall, I simply liked the juxtaposition of her skirt against her legs and the pose that she unconsciously struck.
Researching and collecting source material is key to my work and therefore I am always looking ahead. I am excited about a forthcoming photo session which I have arranged with a selected 'subject/model' which I am confident will provide me enough material for a future series of work.
Gaining more exposure and building on recent success is my main aim in terms of promoting my art. Further gallery representation will be essential for this so I will be focussing on building links and relationships with galleries who may support me in my endeavours. I would like to thank ART Habens for this wonderful opportunity to showcase my work and all the positive support you have given.
lives and works in Colorado and New York City
Bridging Our Differences, mixed media, 30x40
Hello Kathy and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production, we will begin this interview with a couple of questions about your background: MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco: how did these formative years influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your previous career as an engineer direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?
I have always loved making art, but due to scheduling issues, I wasn’t able to take an art class until my senior year in high school. I remember the teacher hanging my first drawing exercise in a school display window. Seeing my work up there was such a thrill that I have painted ever since. This same teacher entered a drawing of mine into a student state art competition where I won first place and some scholarship funds for college. Raised in a practical family, I chose to major in engineering and business instead of fine art. Still, the desire to create art lived within me, and when I left the workforce to raise my three children, I took up painting again eventually earned my MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2014.
Being a former engineer positively influences the style of my artwork. I love both science and nature. The precision of science lets me feel in control, but the artist is drawn to the diversity of the natural world. I create artwork that blends this duality, finding examples of their union all around me. I see beauty in parallel railway tracks overgrown with tangled weeds. Or the ordered lines of a musical staff sprinkled with random notes. I merge consistent
patterns with creative elements to tell stories in my colorful, abstract paintings.
We have appreciated the way the results of your artistic inquiry explores the elusive connection between reality and the dreamlike: we would like to invite our readers to visit https://kathyfergusonart.com in order to get a full idea about your artistic production: whenKathy Ferguson
walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist.
The inspiration for my artwork comes from my daily life experiences. The central idea of my work is to illustration these experiences and my reactions to them. So I usually paint whatever I seem to be focused on in my life at that time. I have a collection of paintings that illustrate the imaginary landscapes that show up in my dreams. I have another series about my yoga practice and how that transformed my life. Last year, consumed by the toxic political environment and contemporary social issues, I developed a series of work about how an individual could affect positive change. Despite these inconsistent themes, what connects all my work is a cohesive visual style. My use of a bold color palette, combined with geometric shapes mixed with organic elements is present in all my paintings.
The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention for the way you saliently combined delicate tones with abstract feeling, as in the interesting Bridging Our Differences, a captivating artwork that is at once impressed for the way it communicates joyful sensations: would you tell us your sources of inspiration? How did you conceive this interesting work?
I mentioned early about my preoccupation with the politics, and the negative turn it was taking. I was feeling powerless and depressed about the detrimental changes that were occurring. I wondered if an individual had any power to affect change in a position way. With countries in conflict, the polarization of our political
parties, and xenophobia at an all-time high…how could we bridge our differences to work together for a better future? In Bridging Our Differences, I show that despite the enormous obstacles (the large green rocks) in our way, individuals (the small, colorful stones) banding together can build these bridges to move us forward towards positive change. One of my favorite quotes is by Margaret
Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” I hope to encourage myself and others to be these bridging stones.
Your colors are often bold and saturated. However, we have appreciated the vibrancy of
thoughtful nuances of your canvas, and we like the way EU Timetable and Arch Two show that vivacious tones are not strictly indispensable to create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how much does your psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you
decide to include in artwork and in particular, how do you develop a texture?
Early in my art career, I was painting lovely, muted landscape paintings of Colorado. During this time, I was asked to do a painting demonstration in a high-school gym. When I carried the finished picture outside, instead of
the muted colors I thought I was painting under the harsh fluorescent lighting, instead was a creation filled with bold, saturated colors rarely seen in nature. I had three offers to buy the paint that week. I realized that I could exaggerate my color palette even if the colors weren’t representational of the actual objects. I have since moved on to painting colorful
abstract images, but that lesson stuck with me. Muted tones are still relevant in my work as they amplify the bright colors with their contrast and give the viewers’ eyes a place to rest.
As for texture, my current work is a combination of acrylic paint, hand-printed
paper, and ink. Using overlapping papers, intermingled colors, and transparent images, it can take many layers to achieve a final painting. I like the tactile quality of all this layering for both its raised texture and the myriad of layers it reveals.
Your paintings walk the viewers to such a hybrid dimension, where illusion takes over authenticity, providing the spectatorship with a multilayered visual experience and challenging their perceptual parameters: how important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning? And in particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?
In a perfect world, I would like the viewers to see my work first without any preconceived ideas. I want the painting to evoke an emotional response or spark a memory that is important to them so that they may assign their own meaning to the picture. However, many of my collectors still want to know the inspiration or stories behind my paintings, so I share those thoughts on my website or if asked.
I believe good art evolves for the collector over time. Have you ever reread a favorite book years later? The story will impact you in new ways, as your personal experiences will have altered your perspective.
I hope my artwork can continue to excite and challenge the viewer over the years without constraining them to only my initial interpretation.
Circles are recurrent shapes in your imagery, and your paintings are marked out with a powerful narrative drive: we like the way you artfully meld science and nature to show the beauty of these two opposites and their symbiotic balance as they harmoniously blend to tell a story, as in the interesting Suspended Gravity. As an abstract painter, how do you consider the relationship between abstraction
Arch One, mixed media, 10x10
and figurative in your practice? In particular, how do representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?
Working as an artist can be quite isolating. I have solved this problem by anthropomorphizing the shapes around me (e.g., the circle) in my thoughts. Though only
Arch Two, mixed media, 10x10
abstract marks on the canvas, these shapes are often figurative in my mind. In the artwork Suspended Gravity, the circles were bored by just laying there and decided to change the
laws of physics and float where they willed without the cumbersome drag of gravity. So I let them have their way. My mind is a strange and wonderful place some days.
Arch Three, mixed media, 10x10
To answer your question, I don’t consider representation and abstraction to be mutually exclusive since they seem to live side by side in my head. And while I usually start my paintings
with narratives from my imagination, I don’t need or even want the viewer to follow my mental meanderings. I want my images to be abstract enough that the viewers can ascribe
Arch Four, mixed media, 10x10
the painting’s intent for themselves.
Your artworks are carefully composed, and you often merge logical patterns with organic
elements, to create such a coherent combination between intuition and rigorous aesthetics: do you conceive your works instinctively or do you methodically elaborate
your pieces? In particular, how important does spontaneity play in your work?
Ever the engineer, I always start with an idea, a color palette, and a rough composition. Once
the basic framework in blocked in, the work will begin to diverge. The blue and green paint will gang up and kicked out that lovely coral color I had thought to use. My horde of papers circles refuses to stay in the upper right corner and
have migrated down south. You can see my careful planning is upended, and spontaneity has ensued. Seriously though, for me, painting is part symphony and part battlefield. I build, destroy, erase, and repaint as I create. Every
change informs my next decision. And though I will cover over much of the original painting, the work underneath is still vital. Its layers peek through exposing glimpses of its initial framework.
In the end, it is this richness of unseen efforts that give the painting its complexity and afford the viewer with discoveries each time they see it.
Your artworks often have explanatory titles that allow you to clarify the message while maintaining the element of ambiguity: how do you go about naming your work? In particular, is it essential for you to tell something that
Spanning the Gap, mixed media, 36x36
might walk the viewers through their visual experience?
No, it isn't. I don't want the viewers to know only my single interpretation the work. And
while I am personally interested in what other artists imagine when they create their artwork, I don't particularly want that pre-knowledge for my viewers. I hope buyers of my paintings chose to collect my work because it speaks to
Communities, mixed media, 36x36
them on a deeper level. I think artwork can have multiple and changing meanings depending on one's mood and the context it's viewing it in. I don't wish to set that meaning for the viewer.
In respect to artwork titles, not naming your paintings is a missed opportunity. Say a viewer is looking at a work of mine with lots of little circles clumped around a large circle.
Corporate Farming, mixed media, 30x30
Hmmm…they think, and then walk on. But what if it was titled “Gravity Goes Awry.” Now they’re curious. Are those circles supposed to be planets sucked into the Sun’s gravity field?
Or what if I titled it “Sun’s birthday party”? Would you wonder what gift Pluto brought the Sun for its birthday? See…now you’ve gotten the viewer to pause and look at the painting more closely.
Women's March, mixed media, 36x36
As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your artwork reflects the synergy between Art and Science: How do you see the relationship between creativity and
technology in our contemporary age?
I have always defined creativity as less the construction of a product and more about the
process of creation. Technology has not affected this for me and in many ways has been a boon in this regard. It allows me to explore alternate possibilities without waste. In the
past, if I were struggling on a painting, I would continue to add more paint or paper with no guarantee that this was the best solution. Today, I can digitally "paint" over it, quickly
trying out multiple options, working and reworking until I’m happy with the outcome.
At that point, l can finish the original work with real paint knowing I’m on the right track.
I believe that technology does not quell creativity but rather enhances it. By expanding the possibilities of new methods and materials, there are more ways for artists to share their creative vision. Additionally, with the ability to automate some of the rote parts of the creative process, artists have more time to be productive.
Technology has also changed the method art is distributed and marketed. Traditionally, artists had to go through a gallery to get their work seen and promoted. Today, many artists use the Internet to exhibit their work and sell it. Social media is a powerful tool allowing artists to have a more direct relationship with their collectors and the public, effectively cutting the middleman out.
Your work is held in many collections, and over the years your paintings have been exhibited in galleries coast to coast, including the National Association of Women Artists Gallery in New York: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience takes away from your artworks?
While I enjoy connecting with my audience at gallery shows and through social media, I wouldn’t say I paint with them in mind. I create as a means to record my thoughts, dreams, and daily experiences. I create largely for myself, which is the best way I know to keep my work unique and authentic. I paint “uplifting” art, images designed to raise the spirit and spark curiosity. I hope my audience takes away feelings of joy, whimsy, and curiosity after they have viewed my work.
We have appreciated the originality of your artistic research, and before leaving this stimulating conversation; we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Kathy. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
I’m working on a new series that is less about the story narrative and more inspired by pure
emotion. Exuberant, wistful, or discordant…these are feelings I’m trying to capture and share with my viewers. I’m working larger and moving the paint around with sweeping strokes to put these emotions physically onto the canvas.
The color expression will be more critical than ever in these works.
I am working on several canvases at once,
adding a few strokes at a time and then moving on to the next painting. This multitasking helps me keep the focus on the main emotion while maintaining a fresh, energetic look.
An interview by , curator and curator
Oil on canvas, 28" x 22"
Hello Sarah and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production, we would invite to our readers to visit http://sarahbielski.squarespace.com in order to get a synoptic idea about your artistic production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training, holding a BFA (cum laude) from Michigan State University and, after having earned your Post Baccalaureate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, you nurtured your education with an MFA which you received from the State University of New York at Stony Brook: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?
In terms of technique and critical thinking, my years in school prepared me to create whatever work I wished to make. The “cultural
substratum” that informs the earliest work you will see here, is my experience being a student, employee and patient in institutional buildings. Later work is inspired by growing up in the quintessential suburban American landscape. Recent and current work stems fromSarah Bielski
Oil on canvas, 29” x 39.5”
my experience as a woman in our society.
The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of ART Habens and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has captured our attention due to your insightful inquiry into a wide number of socio-political issues that affect our globalized, still patriarchal society. In particular, your recent work explores rewriting classic fairy tales, with a focus on the relationship between objects of fashion and how they are displayed, as seen in the interesting “Too Big, Too Small, Just Right; After Goldilocks” and “8.5 Medium, After Cinderella.” When walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us something about your usual sources of inspiration?
I started using jewelry and visual the strategies of its display in works based on sexual euphemisms. It seemed a natural continuation to use it symbolically in the fairy tale series. I am interested in deeper meanings of jewelry given to women by men. Specifically, those of purchase and
possession of the former by the latter. Jewelry is so loaded with meaning. It seemed a perfect vehicle with which to retell these stories while exposing what has became their entrenched, overlooked, patriarchal and easy tropes.
Women are conditioned to covet jewelry, especially through advertising. I tried to mimic some of the same strategies we might see in a magazine when I composed these works. I paint from life, so these still lives involved the purchase of all the objects seen in the paintings. Once I acquire all that I need for the composition, I have a photo shoot where I explore different compositions. Eventually, I settle on one and use this image as my digital source from which I paint.
Your works reflect a stimulating combination between rigorous aesthetics and spontaneity: do you paint instinctively, gesturally? Or do you rather methodically transpose geometric schemes from paper to canvas?
As anyone can see, my finished work is far from gestural. The initial drawing, done with vine charcoal on
canvas coated in oil ground, has some gesture, as does the underpainting. The final layer of paint, especially in my most recent work, is painstakingly applied. In visually dense areas, I especially enjoy letting one piece of paint of the right temperature, saturation, value and shape do all the work needed, with no blending at all.
In more open areas, such as the background, more blending of the paint occurs. I suppose if we considered blending as a very small, controlled gesture, then that is the extent to which I work gesturally. I would say I am moving further and further away from that.
We have really appreciated the vibrancy of delicate nuances that marks out your paintings, and we like the way they create such a powerful narrative drive from the details that you sapiently bring to the attention of the viewers. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how much does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in a specific artwork. In particular, how do you develop a texture?
Integrity of color is very important to me. I think one of the greatest strengths I have as a painter is as a colorist. I mix what I call a “family of color” with no less than six members for each color in the composition and record it on canvas paper. Then, when I run out of a color, I can match it precisely when I mix it again. This goes back to question three in the sense that, if a piece of paint is going to function in the image without blending, it must be the right saturation, value and temperature. Regarding how this relates to my own psychological makeup, I am a Type A, obsessive individual who values order in the studio. It doesn’t take a psychologist to infer that the studio is place where I can escape the chaos of everyday life and that which I cannot control. As to the texture of the work; it doesn’t have any.
The works imitate textures. I very much enjoy simulating texture, but the actual surface of each painting is smooth and very shiny. This is due to a large amount of stand oil, and lately Venice Turpentine, in the medium I use. I want the surface to appear slick, like pages of a magazine. I am already borrowing
strategies from jewelry counter displays in my object choices and composition, I would like the surfaces of the works to reflect our advertising culture as well.
Another body of work that we would like to introduce to our readers belongs to your previous exploration of the male-dominated nature of the industry of sport and entertainment. Rich in symbolically charged references, Amazon, Golfer’s Paradise and Goalie reflect the ubiquitous, yet still elusive dichotomy between the public and private: how do you consider the role of symbols and the chance to create such powerful allegorical qualities within your artistic research?
I look to the use of symbols in the history of art, especially still life painting. I enjoy the idea that something as innocuous as a nearly used, unlit candle is a metaphor for the end of a human life in the Vanitas painting tradition. The symbols I use in the body of work you ask about here are much more obvious and raunchier than those in the discreet Vanitas works. The use of symbolic objects in a
Oil on canvas, 27” x 68” 2001
realistic oil painting is certainly not the new shiny toy in contemporary art. I am, however, proud to be part of a rich allegorical tradition which reflects the nature of the world
around us. My aim is to push the boundaries of that tradition into new territory.
We have particularly appreciated
the way you have elegantly conveyed such subtle socio-political criticism about the notion of female identity in our globalized, still patriarchal age. Mexican artist
Gabriel Orozco once remarked that "artists's roles differ depending on which part of the world they’re in. It depends on the political system they are living under": does your artistic
Oil on canvas, 70” x 30” 2002
Oil on canvas, 48” x 90”
research respond to a particular cultural moment?
Yes. My work definitely responds to a particular cultural moment. I
Oil on canvas, 31” x 40”
believe the job of the artist is to reflect an unvarnished view of the world in their work. Despite the great gains of Feminism, we still have a long way to go. As a girl I was
indoctrinated into a literary and cinematic culture in which women lacked agency.
Recent work aims to explore that
ButterscotchOil on canvas
ButterscotchOil on canvas, 46” x 73”
culture, sometimes revealing that lack and other times replacing it with power. I am most interested,
however, in the middle space that I have found through this process. That as a person, I can still want to
be saved or awoken by a prince, even though the Feminist inside me says I shouldn’t.
Your current research involves a feminist retelling of the fairy tale, to investigate “the lack of agency” for women in classic stories as well as the overall social constructs of women: how do you consider the role of artists to tackle sensitive cultural issues in order to trigger social change in our contemporary age?
I consider it my job to trigger social change, small as that change may be, while at the same time creating a beautiful artifact. I don’t worry too much about sensitive issues.
That is where being a traditional oil painter painting still lives is great. An artist can do something extremely radical, but it will be cloaked in tradition.
Marked out with a powerful narrative drive and rich, symbolically charged elements, your artistic production seems to urge the viewer to look inside of what appears to be seen, rather than its surface. This provides the spectator the freedom to realize their own perception. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal
meanings? And how open would you like your work to be understood? There is a great divide between the making subject and the viewing subject.
This is why dialog between the two is so meaningful. It always surprises me when I hear other people talk about my work. What I intend for them to understand about the work is not always what they walk away understanding. This is frustrating, but gives me insight on how to move forward with the next piece so that I can make my intentions clearer. Sometimes, viewers have a deeper or different understanding of the work that is right in line with what I intended, which is really exciting. The very best is hearing about something I was not conscious of myself.
Over the years your artworks have been nationally and internationally showcased in a number of occasions: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?
I hope I make my audience laugh. In more recent work, that is. I worried that the series of panty paintings might have been somewhat emasculating, but no one has reflected that back to me.
Watch, now my inbox will be flooded with complaints! Of course the viewer is going to view the work through their own personal lens.
They bring all of their experiences and knowledge to the work, just as the work brings mine to them. That is what makes making and viewing art so
exciting. It is NEVER 2 + 1 = 3 for everyone, everywhere.
Before leaving this conversation, we
want to take this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in the contemporary art scene. For more than half a century, women have been discouraged from producing something 'uncommon’. In the last few decades, however, women are finding their voices in art: how would you describe your personal experience as an unconventional artist? And what is your view on the future of women in this interdisciplinary field? In particular, do you think that being a woman provides your artistic research with some special value?
Right now my gender brings my artistic research some special value. I wish it didn’t. There are so many other things I would like to consider artistically and a much different world I would like to live in. As I stated earlier, however, I feel compelled address some the visual and literary tropes that perpetuate inequality.
I think women will continue to see greater and greater representation in contemporary art. Perhaps more importantly, the greater representation of women in the canon of art history must continue. By this I mean that historians, critics, etc., must shine a strong light on underrepresented women in the canon.
We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Sarah. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
Thank you for your interest in my work and for the thought- provoking questions! Right now, I am finishing up two more works in the fairy tale series, one based on a knight errant and another on The Princess and the Pea.
After that, I will likely go back to a piece I started (and never finished) in the sexual euphemism series entitled: “Family Jewels.” Then I would like to do a series of large works featuring fields of grass. There may be holes in the earth or the grass may be dead in various shapes. My brother says the most interesting things I have going on in my studio are candy and grass. So, it might be that!
An interview by , curator and curator
Oil on canvas, 64” x 40”Shadow Boxing
Lives and works in Taiwan
tion, Dimensions variable
121 hours, 2018
video/audio installation, Dimensions variableAn interview by , curator and curator
Hello Jasmine and welcome to ART Habens: we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. You have a solid formal training and you hold an MFA, that you received from the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist and help you to develop your attitude to experiment with different media? Moreover, how does your multicultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?
I have studied fashion design for my Bachelor's degree at Shih Chien University in Taipei. in my undergrad, art creation is an area that I have never touched. although the advent of clothing within the university is an experimental process. however, to be a successful clothing line, it nevertheless has to have its fundamental silhouette and commercial concerns for it to be within the apparel market.
After my Bachelor's degree, I went to New York to study fine arts at the School of Visual Arts and received an MFA with Fine Arts in 2018.
The process of studying my Master's degree is a completely different scene for me. New York is a big city with excellent artists from all over the world. Its art market and acceptance are also one of the best. The way we go to class is very free like we are just chatting, there is no so-called "Teacher", artists from all around discuss and communicate with us, and learn a lot of
cultures from classmates. Everyone comes from different countries and has different cultural backgrounds.
This has been a new experience for me. I have always lived in Taipei, and because I have a lot of freedom to make my artwork in different media, I also get help and opinions from artists from all around.
Sid and Geri is a collaborative brand that you have create, focussing on videos and installation. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit http://www.sidandgeri.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production. It's no doubt that collaborations as the one that you have together are today ever growing forces in Contemporary Art and that the most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project: could you tell us something about this proficient synergy? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between artists from different backgrounds?
The reason why I founded the" Sid and Geri" is that my works are all performed together with others. for example, the videos I make, I hope that the characters I shoot can put on anything they need and flow however they want to. I will not provide them too much guidance, I will only discuss with them the thoughts I need to deliver inside the video, and once in a while I will not discuss at all, I handiest want to shoot their original appearance, and later edited them in my own view. The matters I see or experience via the manner of filming the video.
In a video, there are sometimes a protagonist, sound, clothing, makeup...etc. There were many people running collectively. so I do not need to be my personal introduction. I am hoping that Sid and Geri can be used as names, and all those who participate may be part of it, a collective creation.
I love to find people in exceptional fields, office employees or artists, musicians, I really like surprises, and those in exceptional fields can continually wonder me. there are numerous sparks which are determined when my final work is finished. I at the beginning idea it changed into definitely distinctive, however, it the result was wonderful, I really enjoy working with different people.
For this special edition of ART Habens we have selected Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind, a stimulating video/audio installation that can be viewed at
http://www.sidandgeri.com/mswalters_troub led_mind.html. What has at once captured our attention of your unconventional style it's the way it allows you to condense in a single work of art such a coherent combination between intuition and unconventional aesthetics: when walking our readers through the genesis of this interesting project, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea?
"Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind" was inspired by a true story told by a friend. When my friend was living in Los Angeles she had a neighbor who was a white American old lady, the lady hated Asians, she was always shouting out not to eat dog meat when she passes by the Chinese restaurant downstairs.
My friend had a cat. and she often let her cat walk around outside freely. One day, an Asian couple moved in next door. and suddenly the old lady rings on my friend's doorbell carrying my her cat in her arms, and warn her not to let the cat outside because the Asian couple next door would eat her cat.
After hearing the story. I decided to names the American old lady Ms. Walter, which is the most common surname of white Americans. I picture what Ms. Walter mind would look like and name the project "Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind"
I used two classic American movies that have an uncomfortable "stereotype" of Asian characters interspersed in the video of "Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind". one of it is "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Blake Edwards. The characters of a Japanese landlord Mr. Yunioshi played by Mickey Rooney. not only is he fatuous and uncomplimentary with a serious accent, but he is played by a Caucasian actor in heavy makeup. The second film is an American comedy film "Sixteen Candles" by John Hughes. Long Duk Dong (played by Gedde Watanabe) is an Asian foreign exchange student. He appears accompanied by a gong sound. He practices his conversational English with others, has his hair parted down the middle as an uncool style, is mystified by American food, and calls himself "The Donger". To some viewers, "Long Duk Dong" represents one of the most offensive Asian stereotypes Hollywood ever gave America. When the film came out in 1984, several Asian-American groups condemned the character "as stereotypical, racist and part of a long history of Hollywood's offensive depictions of Asian men.
In the video of "Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind" also contains Video clips of white people stretching their eyes with their fingers to imitate an "Asian" look, and those are some real video footage taken from the news.
The entire video is run through by an Asian appearances woman, doing daily things such as
video/audio installation, Dimensions variable
doing housework, cooking fried rice, putting up making up.. etc. I wanted the video to be as stereotypical of an Asian woman as
possible. from the red dress that simulates a Chinese wedding or the exaggerated makeup, the hairstyle, the gesture, and the
body language, the sound. visualizing what Ms.Walter's mind would look like.
The final project is a video installation
Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind, 2018
video/audio installation, Dimensions variable
accomplish with a traditional Chinese round wedding table, furnished with the traditional Chinese New Year and wedding accessories.
A big red Plasma TV in the middle of the table playing the video of "Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind". The walls entirely covered with
"welcome" door matches written in Chinese characters that often appear in Chinese restaurants.
Video credits :
Video / Sid and Geri
Model / Xinju San
Stylist / Yin Yin Lu
Hair / Kai Hou
Makeup / Fiona li
Sound / Ao Wu
Photo / Poyen Chen
Your artistic research is centered on seeking answers about the human condition, about life, and about the way we are with each other. A work of art can be considered a combination between understanding reality and hinting at the unknown: how does everyday life's experience and your surroundings fuel your creative process?
I often discuss some current issues with my friends, we live in an internationalization era. Many problems will occur in various countries. We will look at one thing from different levels and from different nationalities or countries. And there are always some very interesting phenomena that are worth discussing and developing.
I admire conceptual work with a social and/or political background. I was a child who was full of doubts about things. I always asked why are things are the way it is. In Asian culture people don't tend to give an explanation, things are just the way it is. Growing up in this kind of culture made me wonder more about the society, the place we live in. For me, the little things in daily life are what inspires me.
The combination between sound and visuals plays a crucial role in your works and we have appreciated it provides the footage of
Ms.Walter's Troubled Mind with such an enigmatic and a bit unsettling atmosphere: as an artist particularly concerned in the connection between sound and moving images, how would you consider the role of sound within your practice and how do you see the relationship between sound and moving images?
For my works I think audio is just as important as the video. shooting a video it’s important to give significant attention to both the audio and visual aspects of my content.My works extend the idea of a performative connection between sound and image towards the role of the audience.
The relations of sound and image addresses the multiplicity of their different conceptions, and then focuses on aesthetic artifacts that propose interactive experiences articulated through images and sounds.sound and image become the expression of the distinctive dynamics, of the variable behavior that defines the meaning and experience from the work. For me sound is an extension of the image that can't be separate.
For my works I suppose audio is just as critical as the video. shooting a video it’s critical to provide significant attention to both the audio and visible components of my content.My works extend the concept of a performative connection between sound and image towards the role of the audience.
The relations of sound and image addresses the multiplicity in their different conceptions, and then focuses on aesthetic artifacts that propose interactive experiences articulated through images and sounds.It become the expression of the distinctive dynamics, of the
variable behavior that defines the meaning and experience from the art work. For me sound is an extension of the image that can not be separate.
You are a versatile artist and you sapiently include digital manipulation in your works, in order to create such an effective surreal ambience. Manipulation in video is not new,
but digital technology has extended the range of possibilities and the line between straight and manipulated footage is increasingly blurry. How do you consider the
Princess Baby, 2018
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role of digital technology playing within your work?
The role of digital technology for me is a creative medium to explored conducted and
experiment within. Using modern techniques to create pieces of work that are truly reflective of our time. Technology nowserves as a key influence that drives, shape and
inspires contemporary work. While the fact that our lives are increasingly entwined in technology also creates fascinating and diverse subject matter for topics by artists.
Our increased obsession and reliance on technology has created wonderful inspiration for modern artists around, which in turn has reignited the relationship between art and tech. The cooperation technology in installation through the visual artwork will illustrate the expression and the impact their ideas development.
With its richness of allegorical elements, the images of your video have a short length and are information-dense. In particular, Princess Baby provides the viewers with such an immersive experience, that can be utilized to display a meaningful idea where people can relate to and build stories upon: in this sense, your artistic practice seems to invite the viewers to question the idea of perception look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, urging the spectatorship to see beyond the surface of the work of art. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meaning? And in particular, how open would you like your artworks to be understood?
The work itself will provide the viewer with the content it wants to convey. Visual exploration is an active and dynamic process of gathering information about the world. Contextual and personal factors influence this dynamic visual exploration.
The artwork isn’t about art that had a concept, but about interrogating the concept of the things you see or feel.
I like to ask the viewers what they see in my work or how they feel. The answers usually surprise me. It made me see the other side of the work that I could not see. And made me understand my work in a different way. A quote from Frank Stella "What you see is what
you see." People with different experience in life with a different opinion is what makes it interesting.
Marked out with a powerful narrative drive, your body of work grapples with the most prescient social issues of our unstable contemporary age, including the surveillance state, the patriarchy, the ugly underbelly of capitalism. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once remarked that "artists's role differs depending on which part of the world they’re in. It depends on the political system they aree living under": how do you consider the role of artists in our globalised and media driven contemporary age? And how do you think your works respond to it in finding hidden, crystallised moments in the everyday?
In this social chain, the artist has never been a practical production function. It is a role that provides human thinking and provides feedback on the evolution of society.
"Eat, drink, man, woman. Food and sex. Basic desires. Can't avoid them." A quote from the movie "Eat Drink Man Woman" by Ang Lee.
"Daily life" is what I like to discuss most, I like to put things and stories in daily life into my work. I want to be a neighbor or a pet...etc. looking at the smaller things in life that build up the bigger picture and often repetitive moments in the everyday can be quite reflective.
We sometimes tend to ignore the fact that a work of art is a three-dimensional, physical, artefact. How do you how do you consider the relation between the abstract nature of the concepts that you explore in your artistic research and the physical aspect of your daily
HD Video; duration 01:30
practice as an artist?
The relation between the abstract nature of the concepts that I explore in my artworks is
mostly based on an overview of my own experience of how I digest and how I see our culture phoneme. Or inspired by a story that relates to our daily lives. "Unfortunate
Anchises" is a video installation of a pair of plastic columns that imitates a classical Greek column, which you can buy on eBay for weddings or parties. On top of one of the
Princess Baby, 2018
HD Video; duration 01:30
column, placed with a molded plaster sculpture of a female bust posing intentionally to mimic ancient Greek sculpture, a smartphone placed on top of the
neck, playing a video of a close-up tongue movement.
Along with a Plasma TV placed on the other column, playing a video of a 3D male
character, with a nude upper body and leaning over with a feminine pose. In a background with different vacation scene, making an uncomfortable squirm with his
tongue. The was inspired by Greek mythology. The story of Anchises who was a mortal lover of the goddess Venus. Venus had warned him that if he boasted of the affair, he would be blasted by the thunderbolt of Zeus. He did not heed her warning and was struck with a thunderbolt.
"121 hour" is an interesting project that began by a self-experiment. I started this project when I saw a YouTube video called “The Kylie Jenner challenge (The lip cup challenge).” There is a current online trend where teenagers place their mouths into the opening of a cup, jar, or other narrow vessels and inhale until the air vacuum causes their lips to swell up, artificially plumping them to look more like Kylie Jenner, the teenage television star from the reality show “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” I began my research on the Kardashian family and started watching the show for 5–7 hours a day. After 2 weeks, I finished the show from season 1 to season 13.
The final project is an installation of episode transcripts wallpapering the entire surface of the room. Contrast by the curiously open shelf/closet full of hanging screens and monitors. Seven separate but connected videos are running all together on multiple monitors installed in spaces furnished with closet that are bought at Ikea, also wrapped in a hundred pages of dialog from the show “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” with the driving sound of teenage language patterns, engaging the visual, sonic, and physical fields as a combined object, a balance of overloading the viewer with stimulation of strong media content while simultaneously
leaving a lot of white space for the mundane text that fills room.
We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception? And what do you hope to trigger in the spectatorship?
I hope I can deliver a sense of emotional resonance amongst the viewers. To feel familiar and related to the work. provoking a resonance to stimulate the viewer to question. I think the important part with the relationship with the artist and the audience is to create "soft communication" in the form of art. And to trigger a question or an answer for the viewer, even for myself. Sometimes when I finish a project, it feels like I have found the answer to my own questions.
We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Jasmine. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
Currently, I am doing research about water fountains. The way a water fountain operas, the materials and what it signify in the social system. I am not sure what will this project lead me towards. But I hope I can bring something interesting to the audience.
An interview by , curator and curator
Hello Bernie and welcome to ART Habens. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum due to your early life in Morocco direct the trajectory of your current artistic practice?
My youth, in Morocco was an easy and exotic life, even if at the time I wasn’t much aware of it. However, I always been charmed by my native country: the smells of spices, the infinite nature of the light, the ocres and earth colors, the ocean and its secret…..
Then immigration created Australia where I found a new playground for my senses to explore.
We have appreciated the way the results of your artistic inquiry convey such a coherent combination between intuitionBernie Avantin
and a rigorous aesthetics, and we would like to invite our readers to visit http://apesartcave.wordpress.c om in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all your works.
I have never actually thought in these terms of central idea. My spirit wanders where ever it desires, but of course certain textures and ideas interest me more.
The all process is what i call the delightful chaos. Very rarely an idea construct itself in an ordered manner in my mind,and when a nail,a broken bottle,a pair of scissors or a rusty piece of metal ignite a creative spark,i never know what will be……?
For this special edition of ART
Habens we have selected Feux de
frousse and Mig Rateur, a couple of interesting artworks
that our readers have already started to get to know in theART Habens Bernie Avantin
introductory pages of this article. What has at once
captured our attention of your successful attempt to invite
the viewers to question the boundary between the real and
the imagined, is the way it establishes direct relations with the viewers: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us something about your sources of inspiration?
In the second course of my life I was exposed to an industrial background, metals and the corrosions effect had a particular appeal. In all the red I could sense more than see, blue, a cold blue ray of the steel, hidden in the texture of the surfaces. I liked to surround myself with various metals found during my work, and in my spare time I would created these tableaux. Mig Rateur is one of them,started as an owl,metamorphosed as a hybrid plane.
Feux de frousse is what a tree worse nightmare would look like,a scary bushfire,”feux de
Shroud of retiremen
as connect with wildlife in all its beauty and decay.
frousse”! I also love to emphasis the texture of a scenery as wellART Habens Bernie Avantin
We like the way you artworks
convey such a powerful
combination between figurative elements and
captivating abstract feeling: Your approach to art making seems to stimulates the viewer’s psyche and
consequently works on both a subconscious and a conscious level. How did you decide to focus on this form of art?
Fate,and the filters found in a cameras, all sorts of rusty metals with their unique rust signature,and a new found self
discovery that shown me i could pretty much give life to inert materials avoiding to be too precise.
Your current imagery draws also from the solitary years you spent in the bush of the vastness of the Australian outback.
A work of art can be considered a combination between understanding reality and hinting at the unknown: how does everyday life's experience and your surroundings fuel your creative process? And how do you think your works respond to it in finding hidden, crystallised moments in the everyday?
My life in the bush was episodes of survival exercises,and pursuits of gemstones,in this process i have met a few extraordinary, inspirational individuals.One of them was Thancoupie,(Gloria Fletcher)an Australian Aboriginal artist who taught me to view the world with eyes under my feet! I also used to find satisfaction in writing because it was a way to let the
words sing. Since early childhood I was an avid reader and I used to write often using words to
harmonise the flow of the written letters in my head. Later on I expanded my horizon a visual way
with Photography and metal work. I like the roughness and unsophistication of what I do like I
enjoyed the same aspect of my early life in the bush.
Your artworks walk the viewers to such an hybrid dimension, inviting the public into a
guessing game full of humor and magic: in this sense, your artistic practice seems to invite
the viewers to question the idea of perception look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, urging the spectatorship to see beyond the surface of the work of art. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meanings? And in particular, how open would you like your artworks to be understood?
Of course I would love people to go beyond the first sight and detect the games and symbols I tried to distilled in my work but I am not expecting it nor seeking it.And they are often childish in teneur!
Manipulation in photography is not new, but digital technology has recently extended the range of possibilities and the line between straight and manipulated photographs is increasingly blurry. How do you consider the role of digital
technology playing within your work?
Computesr are just another tool to offer a vision, a camera is technology already. I am hand on with the metal work then I just adjust the story by using all tools I can possibly use, digital technology is as useful as a brush for a painter, it is nothing else. The vision is all, the tools do not matter.
You can have as much technology as you wish and as much talent as a technician it won’t matter if you don’t have a vision or a story to tell. If not all computer engineers would be artists. Or are they? I suppose you know the story of the photograph asked about his equipment and making a parallel between a cook and the quality of his oven? The level of a cook’s talent isn’t recognized by his equipment and the same should be said about art in general.
Rich of details, your images are marked out with such an effective evocative power: do
you conceive your artworks in order to achieve a precise aesthetic result or do you
prefer a more spontaneity?
I am totally spontaneous in my work. All pieces are create
slowly and inspiration is appearing as fingers are moving.
Sometimes a piece can take many weeks before it find its
final shape and harmony, even in its roughest details.
Challenging both the reason and the imagination of the viewers, your artworks offer them a door to escape from reality, during the visual experience: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?
I wish they smile a bit but If they don’t it doesn’t matter much. I do what I do for myself.
If in the process it makes my fellow men getting some enjoyment out of it, it's a bonus for all of us.
We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for
chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Bernie. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?
I, and my partner, who is a talented writer and artist, are both working on a project relating to fairy tales for our next exhibit, because a lot of our mind and inspiration seems to be connected to magical stories that haunted our childhood.
P.S. Agnes is actually the driving force behind it! My best regards to all the Art Habens team, and thank you again for this graceful opportunity! Ape
An interview by , curator and curator