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December 2014 Special Issue

MICHEL GUY ALAN SINGER AMANDA MENDIANT METROV JENNIFER RYAN SIGITA DACKEVICIUTE GAYANE KARAPETYAN FRANCIS CHARLTON THEIRO MONTEIRO BARBARA BERVOETS Barbara Bervoets, Belgium


SUMMARY

ARTiculA Action ART Feel free to submit your artworks, mailto: articulaction@post.com D E C E M B E R

http://articulaction.yolasite.com/submit.php https://www.facebook.com/articulaction.artreview

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Amanda Mendiant

IN THIS ISSUE (France)

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"In Amanda’s paintings, fashion meets art in a natural, confident and classical way while still feeling modern. You can clearly see the love for lines, color and the character in female form. She blends a hint of graphic design, playful illustration and confident brush strokes in her paintings… "

Gayane Karapetyan

(Canada)

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The common theme of my creation infers the artist’s abstractive reflection on, and interpretation of, the natural world and phenomena. Paintings include natural environments and objects, single elements of natural phenomena and geographical ambiance, panoramic view, and wildlife.

Sigita Dackevičiūtė

(Lithuania)

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A good sculpture can be produced out of literally any single motive or idea… There is always the way, the possible combination to express this or that idea, you need only the will to proceed. So will power, as well as intelligence, is a necessary component of the process.

Barbara Bervoets

(Belgium)

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"I try to capture the essence of an inexplicable dream, an unidentifiable emotion or whatever other indescribable byproduct of the subconscious I encounter in a narrative, sensual way."

METROV

(USA)

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"I have a reverence for physical beauty, particularly the human body. But I came to see figurative painting as more of an intellectual process, i.e. when painting figuratively, I’m trying to reproduce how my brain interprets the world. As my work evolved, I learned to integrate other aspects of my awareness—primarily emotion and intuition."

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SUMMARY

(USA)

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Alan Singer

"Desire and intent are keys to the process of making art. I will add to that – freedom – and the knowledge that many other people are at work with this same goal in mind : to communicate through an emphasis on a visual potential. A community (across the globe) is at work making something, and I share in that endeavor in my studio."

(Canada)

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Michel Guy

"In my research I’m interested in exploring the nature of what appears to be a distortion, a social disability, often defined as unsightly when in fact this reality is just different from the forced standards of beauty. I absolutely do not want sensationalism, neither do I wear a voyeuristic gaze to simply create , a visual attraction.€€"

(Brazil)

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Thero Monteiro

"Geometric and mathematical layer in harmony and depth , with a three dimensional visual effect , in perfect synch with the optical art, fractal, exactness, perfection in space, structures , shapes, visual elements, optical space, light and color.

(USA)

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Jennifer Ryan

“Influenced by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, I love vibrant color, texture and movement in my work and paint mainly in oil and oil pastel. Painting is like writing poetry to me. My paintings have specific themes and emotional content.”

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(United Kingdom)

Francis Charlton

“ Francis has been an artist, or as he describes it 'an imagemaker,' for over forty years. From spraying simple stencil outlines of vapourised families and their pets on walls of buildings in the West End of London, in the late '70s"

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(The Netherlands) “ My artwork is a fusion from light, sound andbodies in space and its all about creating amovement or moving image out of thoseelements, under a specific theme or concept.Rarely using text or speech in my performances. Sometimes I can be elaborating with props or stage-set, but that varies by the different occasions. “

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Svetlin Velchev


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Amanda Mendiant (France / Sweden)

In Amanda’s paintings, fashion meets art in a natural, confident and classical way while still feeling modern. You can clearly see the love for lines, color and the character in female form. She blends a hint of graphic design, playful illustration and confident brush strokes in her paintings… For almost 20 years the female character has been in the center of Amanda’s work. The most inspiring form to portrait in all it’s differences, variations and moods. Amanda talks about her women as strong characters who crave and demand their space both within the wooden frame of the canvas but also in the space where the painting then will hang. Amanda Mendiant was born in 1975 in Paris to a Swedish mother and a French father. After growing up in France and with different stays in Sweden, France and Spain she settles in 1995 for the arctic north of Sweden and her hometown of Paris. With art school, “Illustration and Graphic Design” degrees (Berghs School of Communication) in the back pocket she works in the skateboard business for a few years and this period has shown to be a strong influence in her early works. She then joins a leading web design company in Sweden as an illustrator and in 2003 Amanda breaks out on her own and starts her own company “Amanda Mendiant – Art & Illustration”. In later years she has also launched a retail section called House Of Mendi.com. Today she works towards private collectors, communication / pr agencies and various brands around the world. Among sources of inspiration she would name artists such as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Tamara de Lempicka but also photographers, Richard Avedon and Jean Loup Sieff only to name a few. Photography, Art Déco, portraits, ballet and contemporary dance, airports and antique shops, book covers, odd details and contrasts, are keywords that keep nourish her always evolving work. She says she’s been drawing as long as she can remembers and can’t help herself see the world around her in pictures, lines and patterns. With a foot in two cultures she keeps getting inspired by women that come along her path. Friends around her, acquaintances and strangers on travels…. Amanda has, amongst other, collaborated with PHILIPS, Vans, Sessions Outerwear (USA), Dahl Agenturer (Stockholm, Sweden), JUS (Stockholm, Sweden), WESC (Stockholm, Sweden), Grandpa (Stockholm/Göteborg, Sweden), A Gallery (Göteborg, Sweden), DesignLabland (Luleå, Sweden), Clarion Sense Hotel (Sweden), Arte Limited (Italy). Three Is 145 cm x


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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

160 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

from Esprit de Femme

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Amanda Mendiant

An interview with

Amanda Mendiant An interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator

Hello Amanda, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Hello and thank you for featuring me. To begin with, I think a work of Art kan be defined by a thought and a creating process that has led to a result. It can be applied to various ”domains” not only classical art and crafts but could also include photography, film, performance art or dance to name a few. Basically t the work of Art tells a story and creates emotions. It can focus on particular aspects and awake questions. And last but not least, a work of Art can ”transport" you and take you to unexpected place within yourself and make the world around you disappear for a moment. I’d say a piece of contemporary art would reflect the time and society during the time in which it was made; this implies that what goes under the definition of Contemporary Art is constantly on the move... Would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold an Illustration and Graphic Design degree that you have received from Berghs School of Communication, and that lead you to work for a while in the skateboard business. How have these experiences impacted on your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I have been drawing and painting as long as I can remember. Born and raised in Paris, oldest child of

Amanda Mendiant three, with a french father, entrepreneur and a swedish mother, art teacher and photographer. We moved to Sweden when I was 16 and I left home to live in Madrid at 19. The ambition was first to become an interprete and I was kind of reluctant to make a job out of my passion, afraid that it would ruin the lust of drawing and creating… After a year in Spain I applied and was accepted to art school in the North of Sweden where I got to study painting, ceramics and textile


Amanda Mendiant

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Khol & Bun, 160 cm x 135 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

and that made me realize that I might not have a choice but to create in some way. At that point I wanted to stay in my swedish hometown and I got the opportunity to work in the retail skate & snowboard industry that proved to be an amazing platform for creative minds. An industry where art and music is tightly connected with boardsports and filled with people who were passionate about their �job". I discovered graffiti and skate graphics, video and photography and an

unconventional way of using them all. The punkrock attitude and rebellion might have layed ground fot my DIY attitude and ability to think that you can do a lot by yourself with hard work and commitment. Visually, I was influenced by the graphic expression of the pictures and later on, the fact that I studied Illustration and graphic design at Berghs School of Communication (actually parallel to working in the industry and not the other way around) rather than going to a


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AnnĂŠes Folles Gold, (background detail) close up. 215 cm x 135 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013. Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

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classical art school has definitely had an impact on my work today. The love of lines and contrasts and my graphic eye is very present in all my pictures. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I buy canvas on roll and stitch it up on a 2 m x 5 m panel which I have a couple of in my studio, that permits me to work on several painting at the same time. Based upon a very simple and small sketch, just for an approximate composition, I first draw with charcoal, until I set the lines I want. I then fix them with black acrylics ( I prefer it to oil because I work quite fast and in layers so I want it to dry quickly). The critical moment is always the first step, finding the right lines, the movement and posture and the attitude that will issue from it. Once I nailed it I ”just" have to try not to loose it on the way. The preparation time can be quite spontaneous if an idea comes to me but as I also work with commissioned pieces that need research to elaborate an accurate painting in accordance with a theme and place it can be months of preparation. (as ”The Organ Queen” commissioned for the inauguration of the ultra modern organ in Studio Acusticum in Piteå, or a piece I’m currently working on for the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi) Production time for a painting can be everything between 10 days to several weeks or months but not much longer as I tend to loose interest or meaning if I feel it is no longer fresh and after too many layers I loose contact with the surface of the canvas. In which case I prefer to start over. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Three Is and Années Folles that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit yur

website directly at http://amandamendiant.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these works? What was your initial inspiration?

Those two are part of a serie of several paintings made during the same period of time. A kind of a study of the masters I’ve always looked at; among them Egon Schiele, Klimt, Tamara de Lempicka, to pick a few… Taking in consideration some of the palette, some composition but very important part of the process to make my OWN interpretation of it. "Three Is” is influenced by Klimt, as to the multiple characters (I almost only paint one per piece), the interaction between the women, physical as well as emotional. Sisters, mother and daughters or friends. I like the way Klimt worked with models of various generations and ages and pictured the naked and organic body. As to the colorways, I picked the mat black background, to work ”negative” as opposed to dark figure on light background. The shades of gold, orange and the warm tones to emphasize the essence of womens impact on each other and maybe my own close relation to my mother and sister... "Années Folles” was inspired by Tamara de Lempicka’s work. I’m a fan of Art Deco design and architecture… I find Lempicka interesting for her modern ways of picturing women in the twenties and thirties, her work with the shadows, the textures and the intense and warm shades. As a person she lived a quite controversial life, portraying high society characters. A bohemian and passionate, open bisexual, independent and selfsufficient woman. The female character has been in the center of your work and, as you have remarked in your artist's statement, you are inspired by women that come along your path. Both people you already know as friends & acquaintances and strangers on travels: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative


Amanda Mendiant

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STÄR Shooting before sending the painting to Amsterdam… Photo courtesy of Sanna Eriksson©


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process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Absolutely, the female character has always been the basis of my work. Through years and the her variations she remains my source of inspiration. Through personal meetings of course, but also very much visually since I’m always seeking for details, color ways, faces in the everyday life which includes books, magazines, films, dance, travels… I don’t turn it off. I guess I couldn’t either... I think it definitely can be a choice to bring your own personal experience into your work but I am not sure one can totally and entirely abstain from getting influenced by your background of what you feel. Can you resign from bringing in your emotions and choose another path? in which case you will still make a decision based upon your personal experience… right? The interesting thing is how different the creative process can be from person to person. It gives another dimension to the piece you’re looking at and makes it more understandable and maybe more accessible which I think is a good thing. With a background in different creative businesses, growing up in two countries, mixing painting, illustration and a little graphic design I have always looked towards another public, not necessarily the one going to art galleries. I believe you can, and should be able to get affected by works of art based on your own thoughts and emotions, not your knowledge in History of Art. Another interesting pieces of yours on which I would like to spend some words are entitled Grannie and Buffalo: one of the feature that has mostly struck on me is the dynamicity, the sense of movement that you have been capable of impressing on the canvas... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of red tone which creates an interesting synergy rather than a contrast, as in Organ Queen, which I have to admit is one of my favourite pieces of

Grannie 145 cm x 200 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2012.

yours: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I am a former dancer, ballet and modern dance so I really see the body as a tool for expression. Pretty much all my images are based on the posture that is the key to the painting. Where the attitude and personality exudes so yes I work a lot with the movement to get it as I want it.


Gรกbor A. Nagy

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Gold, (background detail)

Djungle Telephone Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 135 cmx 170 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

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The red tone in ”Grannie” was really chosen in concordance with and to lift the pale green. A retro feeling over the undies (therefor the title ”Grannie" as that’s what my french grandma would have worn ;) and the palette, fading pink, flesh and green and where the red color made it modern… Organ Queen is an interesting piece as it was created for the inauguration of the worlds most modern organ at Acusticum in Piteå, I was commissioned to interpret on a canvas, in my own characteristic way, the organ. As the Organ Acusticum took three years to build and is one digital marvel combined with the oldest instrument, it was definitely a challenge to personalize “Her”. As they say the organ is “the Queen of all Instruments”… I had the privilege to look inside and walk through the three level high organ house. See the 9000 pipes made of steel and wood, the raindeer leather that showed being stronger than the usual they use in central Europe and the incredible machinery where the “Air” has the main role. Talking with the German organ builder, historian and organists gave me a peek into the organ history and I felt the importance of getting “credits” among them. So searching into books and googling around I tried to assemble different technical as well as historical references. I wanted the painting to feel the Baroque period, which is one of the important eras regarding the evolution of the organ. With Power, Grandeur and Respect…

Buffalo 150 cm x 200 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

As a wind instrument, the “air” is present blowing up the hair upwards and in the dress and giving LIFE to the picture! The air is the living part of the organ… The gown is inspired from the Romantic period, another important time, with Heart, Passion, Disorder and Mysticism. The dress’ color is the red ochre that the wooden pipes are painted with that makes “the wood sing” according to the organ builder. A detail, the corset is made of pipes as well, the breast breathing…

(same color painted on the wooden boxes that contains all electronic devices) with wires woven in the fabric and around the arms, coming out from the finger tops. The futuristic part and the “eye into the Future” is illustrated with the green shade upon her eyes.

The connection to the digital part of the organ, is illustrated by her wearing pistage green gloves

One of the features of the stimulating dipthyc Ta hand om dig Syster that has impacted on

Finally, The Queen is wearing a crown and a collar of pipes, one hand on the clavier and the other lifting up the Air!.


Amanda Mendiant

Captions

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I am currentlly working on a piece, with the same process for ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi. A dream collab!

I guess my palette is getting more mature just as I am (laughs) which is alright. And I am more keen to try new and different combinations, particularly

Some paintings are made as a contrast to the previous one, for instance Djungle Telephone. Choosing a woman with rounder lines rather than sharped features and a more colorful palette after working with black & white. Or the 2 meter tall piece, STĂ„R (as in stare) to work on the details and intensity of a look after painting a body.

when it comes to commissioned works, I choose the shades based upon the background and theme for the piece. A challenge and a boost that pushes me forwards in parallel and upcoming works.

Organ Queen 160 cm x 200 cm. Acrylic on canvas. Summer the Potomac Commissioned workatStudio Acusticum. 2012.

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Ta hand om dig Syster I

Ta hand om dig Syster II

close up. 130 cm x 140 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

close up. 130 cm x 140 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

me is the way it effectively challenges the dichotomy between the perception of the real and the onirical dimension... it has suggested me the concept that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted", so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

The idea of that particular painting came to me in a period of dried out inspiration and a trip to Stockholm. I had a show coming up and two empty places for a couple of paintings. I strolled around and saw this hand written note in a storefront that said: ”Ta hand om dig syster” which means ”Take care of yourself sister” in swedish. Aiming directly at me! And I loved the thought of all the other women passing by and accidentally seeing that note. Comforting and summoning to look out for yourself and each other. Later on the same day I stumbled over an exhibition of a finish painter from the late 19th century I had never heard of. Helene Schjerfbeck that totally blew me away with her modernity and presence on small sized canvases. The woman had her break through at age 80 and I liked being reminded that you can grow old and wise in this profession… As opposed to the cult of youth today. So these two events led me to want to visually remind the ladies out there, inspired by

As I said earlier I believe Art should definitely awake emotions or thoughts. I always put my own reflexions in my work and have convictions I am faithful to. But I am also quite restrictive about telling too much about it (the simple titles of the paintings for instance) as I find interesting to let the viewer make her/his own interpretation of the work and make an impact through THEIR own referenses rather than dictating what I want. People should be able to make it highly personal. So yes, there is many layers to it…


Amanda Mendiant

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Schjerfecks clean lines and portraits, contrasts, sisters, alike, or not but still complementary. By the way, although your women are definitely strong characters who crave and demand their space, claiming a presence that our society is sometimes reluctant to reserve them, I would not go as far as to state that your works reveal a feminist message... on the contrary, I have been impressed with the way your women spring female identity with passion, as in Frankie S. and Khol & Bun, but without need of showing that kind of impetus that would in a certain sense chased a stereotyped image betraying the female identity itself. Accordingly, I wouldn't define your works as political tout-court but I can recognize in them an effective sociopolitcal message…

It is rather interesting that you are naming Frankie S. to exhale female identity as in fact I used a male face as a model, as I sometimes do, which give my ladies quite often androgyn looks that, in a way reflects todays genders. And I’m not sure what a typical feminist piece would look like… Feminism has an evolving way of expression that coincides with society. I am a feminist but we all use different kind of tools (or figuratively speaking weapons). I may live in one of the most ”equal” countries we still have work to do. My own modest way of doing it is to create and giving space to acknowledge women. And I have been criticized for the way I picture them, some people see the nudity, some see the girls who are skinny or with small breast and choose to focus on those aspects. You can’t, and certainly don’t want to please everyone. Well, I try to show a variation, no ideals even though I have the need to find their own beauty and show my characters asserting themselves. Many women and men too, get a positive feedback from my paintings. Which I particularly appreciate when it is the younger generation that might still be in search of themselves. If I can contribute to a little piece of self assurance trough my paintings then I am pleased.

Bleu-Gris 135 cm x 140 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

The size of the paintings is also a choice, made to acknowlegde a presence by craving space and hopefully can’t be walked by without being noticed. During your 20 years career your works have been shown in several occasions... It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of supporting an artist: do you take the audience into account when you are planning or creating a piece?

Artist/Painter can be a quite lonely job, as are many creative activities. Even though I need to travel, watch people and feel the pulse of big cities, I need to be alone when entering my calm studio in the north of Sweden. For good or for worse! (laughs). It's a paradox because I love being in Paris, rushing all over the place, collecting ideas, and yet I know that the laborious part of the job will be (background done alone. Idetail) am Gold, during the creating phases quite isolated, Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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listening to myself and the way my work evolves. I couldn’t show or send a painting I am not pleased with… It would haunt me ;) As to the public, I tend to forget that I do have a public and I'm happily surprised when we organize shows, a couple a times a year, to see that people appreciate the work. So yes indeed positive feedback is supporting every once in a while to remind you that you might make a difference and it’s worth working forward through periods of doubt that every artist know of… Even if, in the end, it is my opinion that counts, but I think the viewers trust me on this (laughs). By the way, I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art: since in these years you have earned a wide experience with your own company “Amanda Mendiant – Art & Illustration” I would like to ask your point about this sometimes difficult but unavoidable bond…

That’s a tricky one for sure. I have been working some for years now and managing my own business so far without agent or anyone representing me. In order to make a living I think it is unavoidable to talk about business. With entrepreneurs in the family I don’t think it is a negative thing to have an ambition to be independent. This gives you also the freedom to follow your path and convictions. As to agents or gallery owners they have to make a living too but as in personal life you should choose your partners carefully and be able to trust them. At a certain point, to grow you need allies to take you to the next level, if that's what you want. The upsetting thing is that today, in some cases, pieces of art are sold further to astronomic sums while the artist got her/his initial 40 or 50 % and couldn’t for years afford to buy their own painting back. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Amanda. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you! Actually I have a couple of great collabs for 2015 that I unfortunately can’t discuss with you yet but I am currently working on a serie women’s portraits of smaller size; as I am used to big sized canvases I wanted to make some more manageable so I set for a standard format, 99 x 99 cm. To be able to create a puzzle by hanging them above, under or on the side of each other and that way to create dialogs and interaction between the personalities. Right now i have 10-15 pieces in mind but I can see the potential of letting it grow to fit bigger places or context. It’s a visual aspect of the importance of support, networking and collaborations. Women should be able to recognize themselves, friends etc.. and see the way we actually influence and affect each other but also see the possibilities. And as always a new opportunity to find new viewers to tag along… The plan is to show those in Piteå, my home town in the north of Sweden and afterwards in Paris my home in France. As to how I see my work evolve; well, earlier this year, as a personal challenge I painted on vintage objects (The Repurpose Project” on Instagram Amanda Mendiant) and realized that setting physical boundaries by painting on small other format and material that I am used to is something I’d like to explore. How exactly I don’t know, haven’t cracked it yet… But I know I will sooner or later :) Every project makes you grow a little bit and modifies slightly (or a lot) your perception and I do like the idea of change and evolution so I’m quite open for unexpected things. in Paris, London or New York… who knows…

an interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator articulaction@post.com


Amanda Mendiant

Frankie S. Original Painting. 135 cm x 140 cm. Acrylic on canvas. 2013.

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Gayane Karapetyan (Canada)

My name is Gaya and I am an independent abstract artist. With years of graduate studies ranging from a degree in education (biology) to event planning and after extended years of professional experience in different fields of occupation, I have found out my true calling and realized that painting is what I truly want and love to do. As an independent abstract artist, I feel privileged to share my work with the art community and present it to the public. My paintings can be described as continuous abstract variations on the theme of the beauty of nature. They associatively correlate and thematically complement each other. From the pure abstraction perspective, the goal is to introduce colours as unconventional identifiers of the nature themes. The common theme of my creation infers the artist’s abstractive reflection on, and interpretation of, the natural world and phenomena. Paintings include natural environments and objects, single elements of natural phenomena and geographical ambiance, panoramic view, and wildlife. The intent is to show the captivating power of colour of the landscapes and seascapes, light refractions in the texture of flowers, mysterious fluctuations of water and deviational patterns of the moving natural forms. The paintings feature an area of land or water, including their physical elements such as mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, flowers and other vegetation, as well as any transitory elements such as weather conditions. To define the underlying aesthetic concept of my artwork, it is an abstraction which represents an amalgamation of various streams in the contemporary art. Depending on the substance of the selected theme, the natural phenomena or elements, the aesthetic approach varies from impressionism to abstract expressionism and further to surrealism. I never choose the style specifically, and the theme itself dictates the creative concept for any given work of art. The overarching cultural concerns and social message of my work focus on demonstrating beauty and power of the nature. In the best traditions of the naturalistic movement, it defines the nature as a cradle of humanity and intransigent essence of our lives. The nature is a value on its own which should be preserved and not compromised. Environmental context includes the harmony within the nature as well as in the human interaction with the nature. My artwork is implemented in acrylic paints on stretched canvasses. I traditionally use the acrylic and they always provide desirable outcomes in terms of my aspirations for an adequate conveyance of my creative concepts and true depiction of the original artistic ideas. Another important technical aspect of my work is that music is an overwhelming part of my creative process. Music is that powerful source of inspiration which induces the emotional background to free the imagination and to reach the point of abstractive expression at which I create.

Gayane Karapetyan

Pomegranate Tango Acrylic on canvas 20x20 inches, 2014


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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

from Esprit de Femme

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Gayane Karapetyan

An interview with

Gayane Karapetyan Hello Gayane, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Hello. First of all, I would like to thank you and the entire team of ARTiculAction for this great opportunity to talk and share with a broad audience my thoughts about art, artistic experiences, discuss my work and the challenging but at the same time incredibly exciting journey I have undertaken in the world of creativity, imaginative uncertainty and the unknown. There are no simple answers to the questions you raise. Since ancient times to present days, philosophers and art theoreticians have strived to define Art and have come up, or sometimes have not, with a plethora of various terms and definitions, sometimes mutually contradictory, as to what is embedded in the meaning of Art. I can provide my subjective perspective on this matter which cannot be expected to be scientifically precise and accurate. My understanding is solely based on my lived experiences of living in Art and creating works of Art. I would like to underline two important aspects of what makes a work – any work – an object of Art. And in this case, I mean fine arts. First, the process of its creation. It should be driven by sensual and emotional sphere of the artist, the rationale element of it should be contained to the minimum possible to ensure absolute introversion and introspection, the artists cannot paint or draw preoccupied with externalities or having in mind what would the viewers think about his or her future work. It becomes irrelevant at that point because otherwise the painting stops being an artwork and transforms into a marketing tool. So,

Gayane Karapetyan the first aspect is about the creation process: it is always different, it uses different tools and techniques but its focus is always the same – the internal world of the artists. The second aspect of how I define the work of Art is all about perception. How the work is perceived in eyes of the art public. Obviously, the preferences and likeability attitudes of people change with the time but true works of Art have always something in common – they are able to trigger emotions, thoughts and a reaction – sometimes positive, sometimes not so much – among those you watch a painting. There shall not be indifference. I hope I tried to convey on a conceptual level what I think about Art. In that context, I have very few things to add specifically to the lens of Contemporary Art. The name itself is selfexplanatory, it is the same art which existed for


Gayane Karapetyan

Sun Through the Closed Eyes, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 20x20 inches

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Gayane Karapetyan

centuries; however, it is contemporary, it is reflective of our time, of the current thinking of artists and presently dominating trends in art perception and appreciation. Would you like to tell us something about your background? As a self-taught artist, are there any experiences that particularly impacted on your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

This is an interesting question. My answer is rather simple. With years of graduate studies ranging from a degree in education (biology) to event planning and after extended years of professional experience in different fields of occupation, I have found out my true calling and realized that painting is what I truly want and love to do. I would like to approach the matter of background from different viewpoints. If under the background we imply the overarching framework of our lives, experiential intricacies, positive or negative events, advantageous or disadvantageous encounters, living environment and people that surround us, then that is absolutely true – all that shapes and forms our mentality and emotional state of mind. And I am fortunate to tell that my environment, my ambiance is very positive and encouraging which contributes to my work and allows me to enjoy the creation process in a fully imaginative way. This is especially important in the case when the artist is concentrated on abstractive work. At the same time, if we speak about educational or occupational background, I would not heavily prioritize them. My conviction is that art creation is not determined by those factors, they can be contributing but not determining one’s art direction or creativity levels, and therefore there is nothing unusual with the fact of self-taughtness because creating art is calling and not an occupation or skill. In my case, I guess, it was a logical outcome of events and of a natural flow of my lifeline. One circumstance, however, I would like to stress in a sense of influences on my artistic development. As you probably know, music is an

overwhelming part of my creative process. Music is that powerful source of inspiration which induces the emotional background to free the imagination and to reach the point of abstractive expression at which I create. Love for music and its inspirational effect on my work is likely rooted in the traditional musical education (piano specialty) that I had obtained years ago. But this is a hypothesis only J. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece? In particular, I have read that an important technical aspect of your work is that music is an overwhelming part of your creative process...

I have a very tiny and cosy art studio where I work. On the first glance, it might seem a bit crowded and inconvenient because it is integrated into my living space but I like it and am accustomed to working there. My artwork is implemented in acrylic paints on stretched canvasses. I traditionally use the acrylic and they always provide desirable outcomes in terms of my aspirations for an adequate conveyance of my creative concepts and true depiction of the original artistic ideas. My techniques differ: I use brushes and palette knives among other tools. It depends on what each specific painting dictates, what a tool should be used to ensure the strongest possible effect and to be in consistence with the overall intent and idea of the work. I like experimenting with the tools and sometimes use mixed media as well. How the art creation starts? Difficult to say‌ The idea of a painting may conceive first in my mind and then go through a long way of configuring and reconfiguring it virtually for days. But is some cases, it can just suddenly pop up and appear in a distinct visualised way thus triggering


Gรกbor A. Nagy

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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012

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immediate urge for me to start painting. The common thing in the both situations is that music plays a very important role in generating, conceptualizing and maturing the idea of painting. The materialization of the artistic idea into a concrete painting is also unconventional. A lot of efforts are made to truly depict the idea; you try this way then the other way… Then you look at your half-done painting and if something is not what you wanted or an element is falling out of the context, you should rework it, in some cases from scratch. We could say a method of trials and errors frequently takes place, but not always – some painting are created in a glimpse of an unhindered continuum of action, with no single hue being changed or refined afterwards. As I said, it depends on the nature of each painting. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Sun Through the Closed Eyes and Pomegranate Tango, an extremely interesting couple of works that I had the luck of discover and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://gayaartstudio.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

I usually use brief lyrical narratives, or “mottos,” if you will, to describe each of my artwork. They convey the essence of the work and at the same time leave sufficient latitude to the audience for freely interpreting my paintings. The narrative for one of my earliest works, Sun Through the Closed Eyes, is as follows: “Look at Sun - how enchanting are colors, perplexed and intertwined in each other.” The works is totally intuitional, just imagine closing your eyes, keeping them semi-closed and trying to look at Sun in a blurred way. Found out the colours of Sun, they are many and they perplex and intertwine. Colours and their juxtaposition are critical to this piece and they define the way how they transition between each other. On a related note, many of art lovers, who reviewed and commented on this work in

various forums and venues, expressed different opinions on what they see on this painting, from pure abstract concepts to landscapist views of wheat fields and other panoramic impressions. Pomegranate Tango… “Explosive passion of the tango moves, nothing left intact except a lonely motionless pomegranate...” This work is created from and intended to express the passion, passionate tango will colors dispersed all around, and the lonely motionless pomegranate theme is always present in the painting, with a symbolic question as to whether he is the part of a dance or it remains emotionless and intact and just observing the tango moves. And all those movements and equivocations happen on the background of a mild extremely soft color. I welcome interpretations from my art lovers, and they are extremely generous in comments on this piece of art. Thank you that you mentioned my artist website where the readers can explore my art portfolio and get the latest updates on my work and activities. In addition, I would like to invite them to visit Gaya Art Gallery at Google: https://gayaart-gallery.culturalspot.org. Google Open Gallery makes the technology behind Google Cultural Institute’s cultural projects available to artists to publish and share their artwork, archives, and other cultural content. Google Open Gallery platform provides tools and technologies to help create, preserve, and promote access to culture and heritage by bringing a global audience to your cultural content. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, the common theme of your creation infers the artist’s abstractive reflection on, and interpretation of, the natural world and phenomena... In particular, I have been impressed with the way your abstract approach is capable of forcing the viewer to re-elaborate and to re-contextualize the idea of landscape and of environment... so I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the landscape suggested by your works: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive background... and I'm sort convinced that some informations & ideas are


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Opacity of Love, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 20x20 inches

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hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a wayto decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal the harmony underlying the boundary between Nature and our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

That’s correct. The common theme of my creation infers the artist’s abstractive reflection on, and interpretation of, the natural world and

phenomena. To define the underlying aesthetic concept of my artwork, it is an abstraction which represents an amalgamation of various streams in the contemporary art. Depending on the substance of the selected theme, the natural phenomena or elements, the aesthetic approach varies from impressionism to abstract expressionism and further to surrealism. I never choose the style specifically, and the theme itself dictates the creative concept for any given


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work of art. Paintings include natural environments and objects, single elements of natural phenomena and geographical ambiance, panoramic view, and wildlife. The intent is to show the captivating power of colour of the landscapes and seascapes, light refractions in the texture of flowers, mysterious fluctuations of water and deviational patterns of the moving natural forms. The paintings feature an area of land or water, including their physical elements

such as mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, flowers and other vegetation, as well as any transitory elements such as weather conditions. The Nature is in the core of the most of my creations. The overarching cultural concerns and social message of my work focus on demonstrating beauty and power of the nature. In the best traditions of the naturalistic movement, it defines the nature as a cradle of Gold, (background detail) humanity and intransigent essence of our lives. Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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The nature is a value on its own which should be preserved and not compromised. Environmental context includes the harmony within the nature as well as in the human interaction with the nature. Let’s for example compare two of my paintings associated with the reflections on the natural phenomena or settings: The Milky Way and Charming Mosaics of Ocean. The Milky Way galaxy is floating in our universe of blue... It is not a nature element ON our planet; it is external to it, beyond our direct impact and comprehension, something vague and far away. However, it is part of our ambiance and the cosmic essence of unity of all matters. On the contrary, Charming Mosaics of Ocean is more specific in its theme; it is about the eternal blue of the ocean and articulates “the wavering ocean, full of emotion, moving slowly from a blue to a bright aquamarine, and towards infinity...” Its environmental context is explicit and it is within our reach to nurture it and admire its infinity. One of the features of Equilibrium and Heat that has mostly struck on me is the dynamicity, the sense of movement that you have been capable of impressing on the canvas... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of red tones in Twilight Visions with a Piano and in An Amber Intrigue, which creates an interesting synergy rather than a contrast: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on the mentioned works. You noted correctly that Equilibrium, Heat and also An Amber Intrigue have something very common in them, it is the dynamicity, as you call it, combined with a use of limited palette of colors to reach an effect of harmony and equilibrium. The synergistic effect is evidently demonstrated in Equilibrium: living in harmony with your life and your inner yourself, striving for an equilibrium - isn't that the definition of happiness? In the case of Heat, this technique is further exaggerated technique to convey the extreme power of passion. Here

Heat, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 20x20 inches

you may even notice that this objective is achieved with almost a single source of color and a monochrome representation. The thickness of colors suffices to express the heat. I would also like to separately mention Twilight Visions with a Piano. This work is special for me because it slightly deviates from the main stream of my creative thought, and it is situated on the brink of abstract expressions transforming to absurdity: “I saw in my dream someone dancing with a piano with a stupefying vigor... that was me.” By the way, as part of the Toronto Nuit Blanche 2014 festival in last October, Twilight Visions with a Piano was successfully exhibited in the Red Head Gallery’s Insomnia Salon Soirée show. Each Nuit Blanche, thousands of visitors come through the Red Head Gallery and other galleries and art centres in this hub of contemporary art activity, hosting numerous interactive and immersive projects all under one roof. Installations will include photography, painting, sculpture, video/film, interactive activities, and performances.


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Equilibrium, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 20x20 inches

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Gayane Karapetyan

Another interesting works of yours that has particular impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words are Opacity of Love and Blue Glories of the Snow: what has mostly impacted on me of these pieces is the way you are capable of challenging the perception of the real and the onirical dimension... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Yes, I agree with you. Real and surreal dimensions are intertwined in these paintings. The motive for Opacity of Love (it also goers under its original name in French – L’amour imperméable) is that love is opaque... It can be open, transparent, and translucent depending on how we choose to build our relationships. But deep inside, love is invisible, out of scrutiny, staying with us, only with us... Blue Glories of the Snow is one of the foundational and most publicised works of mine and it is really special for me. Amount of emotionally charged work it required is incomparable. In a way, it defined one of the leading trends in my portfolio. On a related note, I would like to mention that it had most recently participated in an open vote on Facebook for a jury selection of the GAA Global Art Award Winter 2014 and had made to the top 20 of popular vote. To answer your question about connection between a creative process and direct experience, I will further elaborate on the topics we discussed in previous questions and would say that we might perceive that direct experiences do not matter. And this is true: a direct experience does not directly translate into an artwork. However, it influences our internal world; it penetrates our emotional sphere and mind and indirectly shapes the personality who we are. Thus, it indirectly impacts our creation on a subconscious level. And I couldn't do without mentioning City Mix in Neons, a piece that I definitely love and that I have to admit is one of my favourite works of yours: I have appreciated the way you have been capable of going beyond the artificial dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness... by the way, do you think that still exists a boundary between Tradition and Contemporariness?

City Mix in Neons is a new direction in my artwork and it is focussed on urbanistic abstract views of our cities and streets. It required certain innovations in my painting technique to fully embrace the inherent lines and forms typical for a big city. A neversleeping busy city is the central theme of that painting.


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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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9) It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? By the way, I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... and I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Absolutely. The feedback is invaluable for artists. I read each and every review about my

works and respect opinions and comments, including any critical, from the entire art community: art lovers, galleries and curators, collectors, my peer artists and many others. It is important and it is very stimulating to hear positive reviews about my paintings. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their interest in my artwork and tremendous support and encouragement they provide. This is also a part of inspiration required to succeed and create. About awards and recognition‌ yes, they are very important. I am pleased and honoured that many of my paintings participated and won


Gayane Karapetyan

various awards at various contests, competitions and open calls. To mention some of them: · Publication in Volume IX of International Contemporary Artists art book. International Contemporary Artists is a series of art books aiming to connect artists and the art world in a direct and effective way. The art book distribution is made internationally to art collectors, curators and major galleries and museums in the US and Europe; · Selection by the Curatorial Team of Google to show my artworks in the newly launched Chromecast feature that lets

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viewers customize their TV screen with some of my artworks, alongside works from other artists, museums and galleries worldwide; Several Special Recognition Awards from Light Space & Time Gallery; Publisher Choice Awards from Art & Beyond Magazine; Fifth Place Winner of the Abstract Theme Competition by Contemporary Art Gallery Online; Selection for the online exhibition Blue: Color of the Clear Sky and the Deep Sea Gold, (background detail) by Still Point Art Gallery and inclusion in Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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the Winter 2014 issue of the Still Point Art Quarterly as part of the featured gallery exhibition section; · Nomination for the highly value Palm Art Award 2014 by the Germany based Art Domain Group. The award aims to serve as a stepping stone to an enhanced level of your artist career. Art Award is granted to artists of all visual media and seeks to attract in particular emerging artists complying with or even redefining standards of art excellence, etc. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Gayane. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I have very ambitious plans for 2015. I am currently planning for several group exhibitions in my home city, Toronto, Canada. Toronto’s art life is very vibrant and provides with many opportunities to show my work. I am also invited to exhibit in a couple of upcoming important art shows and fairs in Europe, more specifically in London and Berlin. I am in a constant search of modalities and avenues to exhibit it to a broad audience because as an independent artist, I feel truly privileged to share my work with the art community and present it to the public. Mostly importantly, about the plans, I look forward to creating new artwork and to constantly improving my work, exploring new concepts and pathways in Art and striving for creativity. And lastly, I would like to emphasize that I truly appreciate the work you are doing to show the work of emerging artists, expose their achievements to the art lovers and disseminate new contemplative concepts of Contemporary Art. Thank you!

an interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator articulaction@post.com


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Sigita Dackevičiūtė

LadyNerves Midnight

Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

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An interview with

Sigita Dackevičiūtė An interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator

Hello Sigita, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Hello, Dario, what defines a work of art - it’s not a simple question. I would say that there is a constellation of certain features that joining together can create a reaction in you, so that one can’t stay indifferent to it. Nowadays when art has transcended disciplinary boundaries, when nearly everything can be called a piece of art if it has a thoughtful touch of an Author (even in such cases when the Author pretends not to participate), these constellations of features can be very different in each separate case…. If we talk of visual Arts, the creative ideas always acquire some visible form. Still in this case there are numerous ways to impress, to move the spectator. This is indispensable for a feature of art – it impresses you, it catches your imagination, intelligence, sometimes your heart. In order to realize this, a piece of Art has to have the impact power ingrained into it. This power, this impact is generated by some unexpected combination of features. The more educated and intelligent the spectator, the more requirements he or she sets to the quality of art. On the other hand, such educated spectator appreciates the valuable features of a piece of art more. For me “Contemporary” in the narrow sense of the word is the cutting-edge, using newest technologies, most unusual, unexpected forms and materials… Something that is always in the front line, keeps surprising by new images, combinations, vital subjects…

Sigita Dackevičiūtė (photo by Violeta Simulyniene)

In the broad sense, Contemporary art is a broad torrent covering more traditional decisions as well. However, a necessary condition for good art is always an element of novelty and the unexpected, something which you have not seen, otherwise, it will not make an impact. In every case art is inventing. Relevance is also an obligatory condition, it must be important. No matter what its aesthetics is, it is created for the people of the author’s time. So gradually an


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teach sculpture, composition and drawing at the Kaunas Art Gymnasium, so I would take this occasion to ask your point about formal training: I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

answer to your question forms: the essence of art is impact and relevance. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on your development as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, during these twenty years you earned a wide experience as a teacher and you currently

About my background: I have studied at the Secondary Art School from the 5th grade, so education must be one of the main influential factors for my mode of expression. Art cannot grow in a desert out of nothing, without tradition and present. It is always a certain stronger or weaker confrontation or a dialogue with tradition. I feel a special liking for Cubism. Constructing, cutting and joining anew is my way to create sculptures, and I would say this is due to the inclinations of my mind. However, you can never refuse an opportunity to try new ways of producing art. I do not wait till some external events will stimulate me to create something. I simply love sculpture. Creation is a process where the artist is a mover for himself: he himself creates objectives and challenges; he himself attempts to conquer them. On the other hand, an artist does not live in closed hermetic space and some painful social or political events can induce to create a new piece of art or find new subjects. However, the search for some new ideas and forms must continue constantly, that is the everyday occupation of an artist. Only from such constant process new combinations can appear and fuse into a new artwork, a combination of idea and form. To my mind, it is very important not to rest on one’s laurels and renew yourself constantly, in one way or another, be it subjects or forms or ways of solution. That makes life interesting and valuable. Can you stifle creativity during training process? You can fail to stimulate it... If the students are not very brave or creative and nobody lights this flame, it can stall easily. There are such strong personalities whom even unsuccessful teachers are not able to put out. Pedagogy is a complicated process covering many composite parts, as the art itself. To my mind, its most important part is inspiration or we could name it


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Sigita Dackevičiūtė

Open Closed Figure

as the fervor with a new idea – to be constantly zestful… as creation is impossible without this feeling – to be inflamed with some idea. It is sufficient for a teacher not to have such fervor, and the study of art will become its opposite – a boring learning of some formal rules, learning of anti-art. It is sufficient for a teacher to have no understanding on the processes in present art world, and he will take away from the students the opportunity to start a dialogue with tradition. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much

preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Process and set up for making my artworks: The process of creating artworks is constant, and always long. A good sculpture can be produced out of literally any single motive or idea… There is always the way, the possible combination to express this or that idea, you need only the will to proceed. So will power, as well as intelligence, is a necessary component of the process. A creative process constantly takes place in several directions: these are “play with forms”, connections of forms and ideas, search for details. Out of all this torrent from time to time something unites, fuses into unity: details or forms with an idea, a form with a name… It is difficult to say what is primary –


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idea or form, you can never tell. However, form is always the most important part; still I do not exhibit “pure thoughts”, although I cannot deny such an opportunity as well. There are forms which at certain time seem to me interesting or intriguing. Before, it was an intrigue to find an expression for ovaloids, although it is already a sufficiently “hackneyed” form, many artists use it. Then the hour was struck for abstractions and openwork. Still I do not think that I have depleted this openwork theme, I think it will continue, although it always drives the workers of the foundry round the twist. There was an intrigue to find a “natural form”, suitable to my ideas. Now I see other intrigues; that is a direction towards rougher textures and more complicated deconstruction. In short, everything begins from playing with forms and ends with forms; only they have already undergone a process and acquired specific shapes and names. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Open Closed Figure and Nerves that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://dackeviciute.website.lt in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these projects? What was your initial inspiration?

Somehow ovaloid forms started becoming “transparent”, I started assembling them from grating and this grating turned to a separate theme. When I thought of Open Closed Figure, I wanted that a certain conflict between the recognizable shape and unrealistic structures would exist… I wanted those recognizable shapes to be only a hint, and the very sculpture for me still always is a construction, accentuated, openly assembled on purpose. This figure is composed out of three separate parts; they are not connected, if you wish you can arrange them in other way. I think that the very solution of the construction should tell the idea I wanted to tell about this figure – it is a complicated, densely arranged grating structure, leaky and open and at the same

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time closed. Such is man – omnifarious, open and closed. However, the sculpture only reminds about the human reality, in general it lives a life of its own, has its own laws and can be interesting only if the formal sculptural solutions are “artistic” enough. Still sometimes these allusions are interesting for me, as human being is always one big theme which somehow participates in human creation. This figure is one of those about which I can say that I do not know if I would repeat such once again, as it has been moulded out of small wax grating. It is a true miracle and the mastership of the foundry workers that they managed to cast such a complicated construction. Nerves is a continuation of the same series, abstract movement which broke free from recognizable shapes and which inspires to go on and make volume constructions. This sculpture should also be seen as the movement of nervous energy through openwork. I think it is the beginning of a certain stage, as abstract openwork only starts to run up.


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Time Reel, 2014, bronze, 20x60 cm Another interesting piece of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Time Reel: in particular I have highly appreciated the way this stimulating work expresses such a sense of movement that has reminded me of Nicolas Schöffer's early works, and that I would go as far as to define "kinetic". It effectively challenges the viewer's perception, by questioning the categories of

staticity and dynamism: so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

As you see, nervous movement, surge acquired acceleration and started to turn in a spiral; both these works were really produced one after the


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other in respect of time. Dynamism is inside us, rhythm is inside us, so when you concentrate to this aspect, it starts looking for expression through shapes and forms. So creation is still related with experience, even if the motif has not been taken directly from nature. We would even be unaware what dynamism is without various its experiences inside and outside us. However, the very life is movement, and time is the most enigmatic

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experience. I do not think that stabile sculpture is very suitable for the expression of such experiences, but sometimes a wish appears to attempt, and you want to force a stabile into a mobile… Or maybe it is a wish to laugh at the trial to calculate the quantity of Time. The texts in this sculpture to my mind contribute one more dimension, switch on both mind and feelings.


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Openness was the beginning when the shape of a figure turned to grating and started to change forms: looking from one side, it is completely abstract, not similar to a figure. Then sculpture is abstract, the very forms become very important, you watch them and accept their impact and do not think what they “correspond”. Here forms grave between the grating, counteract with the grating. Imprisoned, limited, however, if treated otherwise, already open, unlimited. I have always wanted bigger scales, especially for this figure, as forms need space and the scale must somehow chaffer with the scale of man. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach and I have highly appreciate the way you are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, re-contextualizing images through elaborated patterns as in the extremely stimulating work entitled Human Net which has particularly impressed me: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Graphics and sculpture are very different arts. I can say that sculpture seems to me much more difficult form of art due to its certain “inert” and minimalistic means of expression. Surely nothing hinders to employ more means, it is possible. However, the charm of sculpture lies in the fact that it can “talk little”, but weightily. The minimalistic form always floats around as if some “ideal”. And a flat surface seems for me much easier managed, expression for it can be provided easier. In any case, to my mind, the artistic thinking is important, although these two branches employ very different means of expression. I.e., each of them needs different thinking. E.g., sculpture accepts direct graphicity with difficulty, as its essence is the inner spatial structure; at least, that is how I understand it. One can say that on a flat surface we are also creating a structure; however, my graphics is not as “structural”, as sculpture.

Openness, 2013 bronze, 43x15x16 cm


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Sigita DackeviÄ?iĹŤtÄ—

Inner and Outer Form, 2012

Culture and Nature I, 2014

bronze, 35x25x25 cm

bronze, 30x25x25 cm

In graphics I allow myself to be on the surface and not to destroy the form. But in sculpture, deconstructing and constructing anew is a must for me. So the synergy of these two branches of art is rather based on their contradiction. However, certain contradiction, to my mind, is the mover of any art, as life as well.

the possibility to encode wider meanings. I would go as far as to state that with this work you have created such a bridge between the inner real feature of an image and the abstract feeling that comes from human manipulation, and I think that this brings a new level of significance to the surroundings on which you focus the viewers' attention... I'm sort of convinced that some information & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted", so we need -in a certain sense- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your opinion about this?

A relevant part of your artistic production is focused on human face, and in particular I would like to mention your recent Inner and Outer Form and the diptych Culture and Nature I and II. As you have stated once, what you are interested in is not an external likeness or moods of a separate person, but


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Inner and Outer Form, 2014 bronze, 28x35x40 cm

I produced all three sculptures for my last exhibition in June of 2014. Inner and outer form is the latest piece of my play with the abstract head. It expresses an idea similar to my earlier piece, Acoustic Sensations. I was fascinated by the idea which I found in Walter Benjamin texts that at the beginning of human life when our ancestors still did not have literacy, life was based on oral

culture, communication was taking place through heard sounds and said words. Hearing was an important way of contact with the world. This level is the basic, primeval in us. So ovaloid as a beginning (in which K. Brancusi’s motif can be recognized) has an ear emerging from half-natural shell. And today we still differentiate between “listening” and “hearing”, so the motif of hearing


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Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, 2013, 40x22,5x42

has a sense of better understanding as well. In short, it is a beginning, a new stage, new cognition. Both Culture and Nature I and II were born, one can say, in the Gymnasium. Those who are related with the process of studying will easily recognize in these sculptures models for anatomy lessons. During the long years of teaching the students about the structure of the skull and anatomic muscle layers, thoughts started coming about other “layers”, already immaterial for which the skull, this wonderful piece of nature, is a necessary foundation. During the analysis of its structure I cannot stop wondering at the complexity and symmetry of this nature form. For me it is not a symbol of death. In it I see the symbol of the material foundation of nature. Nothing – neither man nor culture - would exist without this foundation. Those other layers which I am trying to “depict” here – are the “second nature”, language and script, which is absent in nature, however, it grows on its foundation. The texts which I associate with these artworks have also been

chosen not accidentally. They are not some illustration; they are, to be more exact, a dialogue with the idea of foundation and mediation. Culture and Nature I has on its head an excerption of the text of French philosopher Rene Descartes, on the certainty: after denying everything which can be doubted, what the most real foundation about which I cannot doubt remains? For Descartes that is he himself, a thinking subject: I think it means I exist. Culture and Nature II has a different shape, I have related it more with the idea of mediation, continuation or prolongation of nature, so its openwork structure is crowned with a text from M. McLuhan “Understanding Media”: “any extension results in a new scale…”. And I couldn't do without mentioning Between Yesterday and Tomorrow that I have to admit is one of my favourite projects of yours: it has suggested me the concept of the continuous transformation that pervades our society. By the way, I can recognize such a subtle but effective social criticism in this


Amanda Mendiant

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Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, 2013, 40x22,5x42 12


of yours entitled Man Is The Measure... although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I'm sort of convinced that Art in these days could play an effective role in socio political issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can even steer people's behavior... I would take this chance to ask your point about this. Do you think that it's an exaggeration? And what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in our society?

I completely agree with you on the point that Art can be related to socio-political issues. I even think that every artist from time to time has to turn to some social or even political topics. The fact is that sculpture is neither a poster nor a flag, so it is not so easy to turn political themes to good qualitative sculpture. However, it would be inspiring for me to create some “political form”. In the world of art there are many good examples of the political subject and they charm me [turning back to classics: of what worth only Picasso’s Guernica is]. To my mind, artworks on social themes, even if they do not stir up a revolution, can at least maintain certain thinking. Here I see the role of an artist: to support certain values. Still, the main goal is artistic quality, there I no art without it.Yes, it’s true that certain slight irony colours Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, and especially Man is the Measure. There are always two sides, social phenomena are multiple. Movement and stopping, occupation of space and its taking away sometimes it is better to


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Sigita Dackevičiūtė

leave freedom for the interpretation of the spectators… If you have noticed, a similar artwork of social theme is Nuclear Head where head can be understood either as the container of “atomic” creativity or it becomes a container for a nuclear head… So the social aspect is a big theme for art. During these years your works have been shown in several occasions: you recently had the solo „Anatomy“ at the St. John’s Street Gallery, Vilnius and I think it's important to mention that you received the Individual State Grant of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture for art and culture creators... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I sometimes wonder if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? do you take the audience into account when you are planning or creating a piece?

Art is always a dialogue, you give your soul to it and then you exhibit it, you expose it for other’s contemplation and inevitable evaluation…On the other hand, an artist is a very individualistic person devoted to his/her idea. This is the only way to produce something valuable – to be devoted to some general idea or “vision” which leads you and which you follow. I believe all culture rests on this fundament of enthusiasm of the separate personalities, they are supporting the edifice of culture with their input. I do not want to demean the importance of the audience, how many artists would create art if nobody sees it? But I would say that the audience figures in my consciousness only as an abstract entity. When I produce art, I think only about artistic criteria. So I would not say that I indulge somebody or attempt to satisfy somebody’s taste. I think that an artist in certain sense plays the lead. About the grant and the feedback, I would say that it is more a support than recognition. Many

artists, especially young, receive some grant and support every year. Financial support for an artist is always very valuable. It can influence the results, especially the quantity and the size: with more money you can do more and bigger things, and the ideas are always bigger than possibilities. But I can say that it doesn’t influence my artistic process, I am free to do what I wish. And I wouldn’t say that expectation of positive feedback can influence the process. I believe an artist produces art for some more sublime idea which he or she has in mind. By this I attribute a certain leading or at least independent role to art in society. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Sigita. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? A new exhibition is always a time to stop and think for a while and start something new. I already see some change in my sketches and small models. I dream about big sizes, but, on the other hand, it is not the size that matters, but the quality – impressive combination of the form and idea. I know that my sculpture will be complicated as usual, maybe even more complicated, more deconstructed... Simple things look boring. It was a time in art history when simplicity and minimalist approach were a big turn in the art history. But nowadays you need to produce something quite complicated if you want to be unique and authentic and not to repeat usual, boring form patterns. After all, life nowadays is getting quite complicated, hectic, multidimensional... So this is the direction – towards complicatedness. Thank you for your clever and inspiring questions, it was a pleasure to communicate.

an interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator articulaction@post.com


Sigita Dackevičiūtė

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Culture and Nature II, 2014 bronze, 35x40x40 cm


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Barbara Bervoets (Belgium) Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which is visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present. RenĂŠ Magritte

Everything you see in my collages and works, hides another thing. It's like peeling an onion. The more you look, the more you will discover. I try to capture the essence of an inexplicable dream, an unidentifiable emotion or whatever other indescribable by-product of the subconscious I encounter in a narrative, sensual way. The power of surrealism is manifested in the instinctive emotional response to images that use the juxtaposition of the most unlikely symbols to convey the most relatable feelings. My work includes also bold experiments with bold colors, allusions to the modern politics in a feminine way and classical symbolism. Women are central in my work.They've always inspired and fascinated me as well in the classical as in the modern world. They are like modern goddesses to me and that's how I want to depict them.

Barbara Bervoets


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Lady Midnight Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

From the Secret Series

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ARTiculAction

An interview with

Barbara Bervoets Hello Barbara, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Thank you for inviting me! Art is something very personal, I think. What one person experiences as art, can be something totally different for an other one. It's subjective. In the 'world of art' there is always the tendency to form what is 'hot' at the moment. But if you ask me personally what defines a good work of art, I must say that it has to touch the soul and the heart at the first glimpse. It has to grab you by the throat: to be able to make you shiver, cry, be angry, be happy, disturb you... Art has to be able to make you feel an emotion, to make you start questioning. I also believe that when there is a kind of recognition of the spectator in a specific work, it makes it easier to like it. Last year I went to visit 'La Maison Rouge' in Paris to check out the duo exhibition of two great Belgian artists Berlinde de Bruyckere and Phillippe Vandenberg. I already admired Berlinde de Bruyckere for her powerful and emotional works, but when I saw these two artists combined in one place, I couldn't hold my tears. It all made sense! The combination was so well chosen, so beautiful, so initimite and painful at the same time. I was completely overwhelmed! Afterwards me and my friend were so dazzled, we talked about the works and our feelings for hours. It lingers! And thĂ t is what it's all about!!!! Art will always bring me in an euphoric state of mind. Whenever I am visiting a museum I get a boost by looking at certain works. It kind of gives me the


Barbara Bervoets

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Barbara Bervoets 4


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Barbara Bervoets

Sex Lies, from the Secret Series

knowledge that everything is possible, that all makes sense. Art energizes. It gives hope. That's why it's so universal! Contemporary art is art produced in the present periodic time. It's a new expression of a timeless archetype by combining old and new ingredients. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that particularly impacted on your development as

an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

My grand parents used to own a fabric/textile store. My grandmother used to held it open, while my grandfather was upstairs creating drawings and paintings on wood. I was always there by his side, to see what I could learn. My father was the spokesman of fabrics and paints, but like his father also really creative


Barbara Bervoets

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flabbergasted by all the beauty and mystery this man puts in his works. What an artist! A new world opened for me! I followed art science in school, but eventually I went into tourism since I also adored travelling. I flew for a belgian air company all over the world during years. It was the most amazing job for a young girl. I've seen so many astonishing places, but also a lot of poverty and misery. We cannot close our eyes for this! That makes you think and being gratefull at the same time. These journeys learned me a lot about the different cultures, which also is a powerful inspiration in the creative process. Besides the mentioned above, I also followed courses in color consulting and styling (worked for a short time as stylist for fashion magazines), and a course of monumental arts at the Academy of Mechelen. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Healing Hands, from the Secret Series

since he as was a poet and he could play the piano. On my mothers side my grandfather was the artist, besides his job as a head mechanic, he was constantly drawing and fiddling. And my mother went to fashion school in Vienna. So counting up it is not hard to see where I found my creativity. When I was younger I was already busy drawing, cutting ans pasting. The first time my parents took me to a museum, I was 10 years old. We visited the wonderful Museo Dali in Figueres, Spain. I was

When making the collage series about a certain theme, ( see "7 Sins: Nunsense"), I put a lot of research in advance. I read plenty of books about the subject and explore it enough. After this research I start searching for images from old magazines linked to the subject. So from a technical point of view my works are photograpical fusions of images I find or I take myself.This is also the starting stade of all my collage series. I enlarge or decrease the images by printer and I cut them, which I love doing. After the cutting there's the pasting, which is the most difficult part, because of my narrative style I have to work layer by layer, which takes the most of the time. At this stade soul and depth is given by the use of different materials such as lace and fabrics, lingerie, plastics, cellofan, acrylics, ink, dried Gold, (background detail) plants and flowers etc. Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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Barbara Bervoets

Also the research takes a lot of time, but this is the learning part of the proces, which is so interesting! Curiosity keeps fueling my creativity and without that I will stagnate. For the collage series '7 Sins', I read Dantes' 'La divina Commedia', books about mythology and symbolism. But I also explored the works of Jeronimus Bosch. In fact I converted one of his old pieces of 'The 7 Sins' into a modernised and feminine version for "7 Sins: Nunsense". His work was my base, for this theme. Also I added naked, sinning nuns as the leading figures in these works. I am questioning whether the sins, imposed by the catholic church, aren't just human and an invention by the church to keep the people stupid and obedient. Therefore I created the 8th and only true sin in my eyes, the 'Hypocrisy' from the catholics. I am against every religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. When I work on my 'Pop Art' series, it's a whole different way of creating. The first thing I choose are the colors. I start mixing till I get the right colors and I often use the dripping technique ( Pollock) or I work layer on layer, pouring out the paint on the canvas. When I create my work, I prefer to keep it flat on the ground, working bare footed. I love the feeling of paint on my body! At the background the stereo will play some loud music. It stimulates the creating proces. Synergy between collage art and action painting ' with some irony' I mostly work on several pieces at the same time. Laid out on the floor, I can move on to the next piece when my inspiration leaves me. Others may find this way chaotic, for me it works. The pictures from the magazines, that I ripped out in advance, are also on the floor and the table, so that I can practically intuitively work out each theme. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Secrets that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit yur website directly at http://www.barbarabervoets.be in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

The inspiration for the collage series 'Secrets' I found in my personal love life.


Barbara Bervoets

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Secret meeting, smartforex, 50x70cm

Effect Papillon, from the Secret Series


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Barbara Bervoets

The ultimate Seduction, from the Secret Series

I believe there is no bigger inspiration than love, passion and all the drama about it. Love is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and very universal. We all have experienced once the same feelings of pleasure, joy, pain, shame and anger. Of course I love to believe in a 'happy ending', but I'd like to stay realistic about it too, so I put the pain, suffering and joy that comes with it into my works. I wanted to initiate that kind of feelings and emotions in the observer.

This series is extremely personal and intimite. It's about the stitches that hold the cracked hearts together, the bitter words from heated arguments, about the music that gets me through and about emotions that I can not convey...It's a confession of my love life and dreams, a piece of my innerworld, which I share with the world. For this series I used textiles and lace from my


Barbara Bervoets

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in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process. Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

In the 'Anarchy series', I look at the world with irony and I don't make way for the social debate. Let's call it 'activist art', social critisism with a female touch. With 'Anarchy' I want to break through the never ending deadlock created by the politics, backed up by the media and its images. (see 'O Dierbaar BelgiÍ' , 'Punk is calling London', ‌) These works point out the political and economical games that are played in our own and other country(ies). I want to make the audience aware of that, to make them reconsider. By using a synergy between the perception of real and surreal dimension, I try to challenge the viewers perception. Answering on your other question: in my opinion personal experience is what fuels my creativity and impacts the way I produce my work. It's a reflection of an actual human condition. Being disconnected from direct experience is called 'conceptual art', which can be very interesting and fascinating too on a different level.

Hypocrisy, From the 7 Sins: Nunsense series

grandmothers fabric shop to add some depth and texture and also pictures of myself in the pieces. It is a set that won't ever be finished and will always have a sequel... One of the features of the pieces from your Anarchy series that has impacted on me is the way it effectively challenges the dichotomy between the perception of the real and the onirical dimension... so I would like to ask you if

Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice: and I have been asked to sum up in a single word your artistic production, I would say that it's kaledoiscopic... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Interesting that you mention that! I can agree with the terms kaleidoscopic and multidisciplinary. It 's a synergy between collage, assemblage, photography and action painting. I think that every reflection or idea needs to be expressed in a way that suits it best. Some ideas need to be expressed through different media to Gold, (background detail) form the whole picture. Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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Barbara Bervoets

I like to cross borders on several artistic fields, and I am not afraid to add other mediums or to experiment some more in the near future. I am always learning more through several workshops and simply by experimenting. At the moment I am following workshops linography and photography; that I'm already applying in my works from time to time. I find that one must always be prepared to learn and open the soul for new experiences and new paths in life. It is the most interesting and fascinating thing in life: feeding the soul through culture, learning, questioning everything, to grow‌I am a real culture vulture and try to cath up with art exhibitions, theatre, movies, music, books as much as I can. Sometimes I think that the modern world has lost all capacity to wonder, to look into the mysterious‌Without culture no life! Of course it is possible to only use one discipline to create and achieve good results, like many artists do, but it is not my way of creating. As an artist I think the more tools you can use to communicate, the more freedom there is to express results and concepts. The artistic world is like a paradise and I'm feeling like a little child in a candy store. I sincerely advise you not to loose your inner child! During these years your works have been shown in several occasions: it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? By the way, I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... and I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

When I am conceiving my pieces, I never think about who will enjoy them. I am on my own planet with all my emotions, lots of passion and that is enough. When in an artistic flow, I put on

Punk is calling London, from the Anarchy series

some good music in my studio and the creating process can start. Heaven on earth! Feedback from my audience is very important. Although it's not the most important. It gives you a great feeling when people appreciate your work and I truly appreciate it, because it creates an interaction between people and art. I am very humble, thankfull and happy that some people like my work and that I can create. It is a beautiful gift! Without the constructive feedback I would repeat or stagnate. To answer your second question: business and art in a genuine relationship are a very difficult matter.


Barbara Bervoets

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Secret meeting, smartforex, 50x70cm

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180째 From the Anarchy series


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Barbara Bervoets

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Purple Rain from the Pop Art series

I think art loses its true value when it becomes fully commercial, because the artist will try to please to the wishes of the customers or will follow with the latest trends and when you're not totally free to do what's in your mind, you cannot give the best of you, you cannot give true soul to your work.

Also I believe that the concept of reconciling art and business will always be a struggle for most of the artists... Another interesting pieces of yours on which I would like to spend some words are from your Pop Art series: one of the feature that has


Barbara Bervoets

ARTiculAction

I love to create these works in the garden, under my favorite tree, during summer. I really enjoy mixing the colors and throwing them on the canvas, going wild! I never know what they will become. Not knowing where it will turn out, is an adorable surprise. When the paint has dried up, I glue the pictures my unconsciousness tells me to add. It's a true synergy between action painting and collage art in a pop arty-style'. Mostly I work with acrylic based colors, because of its tolerance of mixing. In time my color palette has changed. My latest series shows many shades of red and black - red is the color of passion. Black defines my darkest side. I 've always had an affection with the red color palette and for the collage series 'Secrets' and '7 Sins' the colors have a symbolic meaning. For the 'Anarchy series' I like to use very vivid colors to express the revolutionary mindset and message of the work. The more intense the color is, the more empowering the message is! Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Barbara. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of? Let's Get This Party Started from the Pop Art series

mostly struck on me is the dynamicity, the sense of movement that you have been capable of impressing on the canvas... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of intense tones which creates an interesting synergy rather than a contrast... by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

This set is indeed the most dynamic one. I used a lot of action painting and dripping technique (see Jackson Pollock). It is in fact a very intensive process because you are constantly moving, throwing paint, pouring paint in various colors, layer to layer,... I enjoy doing it. It takes a lot of energy.

My pleasure! Thank you for the interesting questions! A new show, which I am still working on, is coming up in March in Antwerp, Belgium. Also some groupshows in Amsterdam and Berlin are on the agenda. And of course, enjoying creating to the fullest! http://www.barbarabervoets.be/

an interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator Gold, (background detail) art.iculaction@post.com Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


ARTiculAction

Metrov

(USA)

AUTOMATIC-EXPRESSIONISM—STATEMENT I’ve often thought, “What am I saying?” “What are these new paintings about?” Seems I’m always getting more answers, so I’ll just start logging them. Here are a few recent ones: 1 — The paintings suggest our human efforts are clumsy compared to Nature’s… 2 — They are an expression of politically incorrect emotions… 3 — They express the unspoken Anguish of Humanity… 4 — They are vestiges of my still-suffering inner child… 5 — They are glimpses of my own repressed angst… 6 — They prove that beneath my thin facade of normalcy, I am quite mad… ? 7 — They hint that we all live with deeply repressed terror knowing we are essentially some kind of microbes clinging to a very small chunk of stone hurtling through the cosmos at dizzying speeds toward a completely unknown destination… quite possibly even on our way directly into the Black Hole that resides at the center of our Galaxy… 8 — They suggest that most humans are dehumanized (zombified?) as a result of their unwitting immersion in today’s media-deluged, material world/market society… or perhaps more to the point, we are not quite totally human anymore… 9 — I have the emotional maturity of a three-year-old… 10 — I am hypersensitive to all the challenges facing Humankind today… 11 — I am simply trying to balance extremes as I am a Hopeless Control Freak… 12 — Perhaps they say to the viewer… be free… let it all out… release all that repressed anxiety… and howl to the bloody moon.

Born in Los Angeles, Metrov began his professional life in New York City in 1970 working as a designer/illustrator, then as a Fine Arts painter€in a loft studio across the street from Andy Warhol’s Factory. He studied painting €with Gilbert Stone, a Prix di Rome Scholar, whose mentor was the late, great Gregory Gillespie. Metrov’s paintings currently reside in dozens of collections worldwide. Patterson Sims (former curator New York Whitney Museum), Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger, Keith Richards, Ben Vereen, and Margaux Hemingway are a few of the aficionados who have collected his work. He left his mark on America’s 1970’s sub-culture as punk rocker, Tony Coca-Cola, singer/guitarist of the Roosters. After ten years, he segued into motion pictures when he realized that films had the potential to be paintings that moved and made sound. After many years in the film business, writing (screenplays & novels), directing, producing—the whole time continuing to paint, exhibit, and produce art videos—he has finally come full circle and returned, full-time, to his first love, painting. His main influences are Leonardo da Vinci, Chuck Close, Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, Gregory Gillespie, Jim Nutt, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Frank Stella.€


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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011 #2262 – Selfie: Happy as a Harlequin Before the Drugs from Stopped Esprit deWorking. Femme

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Metrov

An interview with

Metrov Hello Metrov, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?

I believe Art should somehow be inspiring or stimulating. It should force us to broaden our perspective of the universe or trigger the nobler aspects of our human nature. I also believe art is its own language. It’s not really something that can be translated into words. There is a trend these days toward intellectual or conceptual art, i.e. the actual execution or even the visual aspect of the art is unimportant, and it’s the artist’s philosophy behind the work that matters. Many exhibits these days require that the artist give a talk at the opening to explain what he’s done. I don’t believe this type of art succeeds on a historical level. There is something about truly great art that moves the viewer without requiring that the artist be present to explain it. The language of Art communicates on many more levels than just the intellectual or philosophical level. True Art communicates to the spirit. A museum curator once said to me, “Why define Art?” Well, if we don’t, then anything can be art, in which case art becomes nothing. What’s the point? By the way, what in your opinion are the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Ever since the birth of Impressionism, art became more of a visual conversation rather than mere renderings of people, or objects, or historical events. What this means is, art became its own language, and artists began talking to each other

Metrov

using this unique language. It is a visual language that can affect the viewer on various levels. This has been going on for hundreds of years now. So if, firstly, one hasn’t learned the language, and secondly, one hasn’t been following the conversation, one will not understand what’s being said. It would be as if someone pushed you out of an airplane over rural China. You don’t speak a word of Chinese. When you land, not only is everyone speaking Chinese, but they are using a rare Chinese dialect to gossip about events in their small, remote village.


Metrov

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#2258 – Selfie: The Lunar Eclipse Created Sufficient Electrostatic Interference.

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Metrov

There’s no way you’re going to understand what anyone is saying. It’s going to sound like gibberish. My point is, if one understands the language and has been following the conversation, they will recognize when a work of art has made a noteworthy statement. You cannot and should not try to articulate it with words. You can only experience it. Those who know, will know, and their concensus will deem the work “Contemporary.” The difficulty today is that so much has been said, virtually anything can be promoted as Contemporary Art. Anything. So the success of art becomes more a matter of marketing and who you know than anything else... at least in the short run. Recognizing true Contemporary Art takes a great deal of skill and expertise. This is why collectors should educate themselves, and not simply rely on the recommendations of dealers. Today there are more than a few unscrupulous business people dealing in the Art World because of our loose definition of art. Do you think there still exists a boundary between Tradition and Contemporariness?

Yes, and no. As I’ve said, Traditional Art is more about rendering a person(s), place, or event. So far, Contemporary Art has been a kind of debate in which the participants offer their unique interpretations of life. Both, however, have the potential to be inspiring. When inspiration occurs, the boundary disappears. Great Art is Great Art whether Traditional or Contemporary. You stated you began your professional life in New York City in 1970, as a designer/illustrator and then as a Fine Arts painter€in a loft studio across the street from Andy Warhol’s Factory. You hold a solid formal training and you studied painting with Gilbert Stone. After a long and intense career in the film business you have finally come full circle and returned to your first love: painting. How have your kaledoiscopic experiences impacted on your developement as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artwork?

I would like people to know that the primary reason I got involved in the film business was

because I realized films had the potential to be paintings that moved and made sound, i.e. a movie could be a very contemporary type of painting. I recently produced a documentary film about my evolution as an artist; my explorations in painting, film, and writing. The (30) minute film, A LIFE IN THE WAR ZONES OF AMERICAN ART, can be seen at: http://vimeo.com/metrov/metdoc2 (or if you’re pressed for time, you may prefer, the 1:40 minute version: http://vimeo.com/metrov/quickdoc ) One of the things I hoped to convey in my documentary is that my experiences—particularly in dealing with the “business” of art, film, and publishing— definitely had an effect on how I express myself as an artist; how I see the world; how I attempt to fit in. I think the more challenging it became to navigate the business side of things (as well as life itself, of course), the more crazed and emotional my art became... almost as if I began kicking and screaming in my demands to be heard; my attempts to comment on some of the absurdities of our world. I don’t think I’m cynical. I just need to vent in a healthy sort of way. Like anyone, I need to find a balance between the outer world and the data I’ve recorded internally; my memories. It’s interesting to note, however, that it is my technique that has evolved over time. But my message or theme—the need for balance and harmony in our lives—has always remained the same. Theme is not something I choose. It chooses me. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece? In particular, I have read that music is an overwhelming part of your creative process...

My website includes a 40-year retrospective of my work. You’ll see that my early works were a very realistic form of figurative painting. I have a reverence for physical beauty, particularly the


Gábor A. Nagy

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#2264 – Selfie: He Used to Try to Fit In.

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ARTiculAction human body. But I came to see figurative painting as more of an intellectual process, i.e. when painting figuratively, I’m trying to reproduce how my brain interprets the world. As my work evolved, I learned to integrate other aspects of my awareness—primarily emotion and intuition. Ultimately, I was able to invent my own unique way of expressing myself that includes the figurative (intellect), the abstract (emotion), and the primitive (intuition or instinct). However, I reached a point where it no longer made sense to me to paint realistically— using a camera is much easier, and far more efficient in capturing the visual aspect of an object. So now, I use photography to represent the figurative—the intellectual component—and I use paint, collage, or oil crayon to express emotion and instinct. This means the first technical step is to either take a photograph or otherwise find (appropriate) someone else’s photograph, and have it printed on archival paper or canvas. The image is then shipped to my studio where it goes on the wall for additional enhancements. I only plan roughly so to allow as many magical accidents as possible. Music enters the picture primarily when making film. The soundtrack of a film often comprises 50% of the work’s visceral impact. I can show you the same film with 100 different soundtracks, and your experience will be different in every viewing. Of course, there is always music playing in my studio regardless of what I’m working on... always. I mostly listen to Ambient Beat or Trance music, though I also love Classic Rock and Classical. I find music liberating; good music inspiring. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from your recent Phase One Portraits series, an extremely interesting project that I had the good fortune to discover and that our readers have already started to experience in the introductory pages of this article. (I would suggest our readers visit your website at http://www.metrov.org in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production.) In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us

Metrov something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

As mentioned, I’m particularly fascinated by the human form. For reasons I can’t explain, I usually focus on the body, or the face, but not both in the same work. Maybe it becomes too much to deal with when portraying both; too distracting; too much information to process in a succinct, artistic manner. For the Phase One Portrait Series (which btw represents the launching of Auto-Expressionism), I started by printing photos of faces and bodies I found interesting. Actually, the faces (even some of the nude bodies) in that series, belong to my wife and I. I then contemplate the image... usually for only a minute or two. Suddenly a vision comes into my head; a vision of the emotional and intuitive elements that belong to the work. I quickly make a rough sketch of this vision (which is always more beautiful than the final painting, btw.) It’s like automatic writing. I then tape the sketch next to my photograph for reference, and begin to paint. I can feel the emotion as I work. And the intuitive part comes when I get a sense that the work is complete. I work on the piece until it feels right. Don’t forget, the intellectual element has already been completed in choosing the initial photograph. I rarely work on a piece after achieving this feeling of completion. In the end, the painting tells me what its title is. I just write it down. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, these paintings suggest our human efforts are clumsy compared to Nature’s. I daresay that one of the themes of your creation infers the artist’s abstractive reflection on, and interpretation of, the natural world and phenomena... In particular, I have been impressed with the way your approach is capable of forcing the viewer to re-elaborate and to re-contextualize the idea of background, which in your paintings does not play a mere passive role... and I'm sort of convinced that some information & ideas are hidden, , or even


Amanda Mendiant

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#2402 – Portrait of the Artist’s Wife Forgiving Her Mother Only Moments Before the Woman Died.


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Metrov

"encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal the harmony underlying the boundary between Nature and our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

and the worlds without. Nuclear physicists say an

Automatic-Expressionism allows the artist’s subconscious to harmonize seemingly disparate elements of intellect, emotion, and intuition, e.g. a dog (intellectual label) invokes an (emotional) response though (intuitively) we understand it is simply the physical manifestation of a spiritual concept. Any other “statements” I make about the work come after they are finished... which may be somewhat backwards from the way Contemporary Artists normally work. I have to let the language of the Art do its own talking. Why should I try to force my intellectual rationalizations on the art? The Art is saying something far more profound than anything my brain could come up with. I will only say or write something about the art to provide a starting point for the viewer to look deeper; to allow something beyond his/her initial, knee-jerk reaction. If there are hidden symbols in the work, they have risen from the unconscious, and I don’t know what they mean. I’ll let an art critic or psychoanalyst come up with some explanation.

#2552 – A Fleeting Insight into the Mesmeric Properties of a Contemporary Market Society.

Other interesting works that have particularly impressed me are #1, #2, #3 and #4. What these pieces have mostly impacted on me is the way you are capable of challenging the perception of the real and the onirical dimension... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

atomic particle can appear in multiple places at once... enacting multiple probabilities at the same time... and the only probability that seems “real” is the one I’m looking at. This tells me my reality becomes whatever I focus on. Astrophysicists now say the Universe is resembling a gigantic, virtual reality software program. They say it’s constructed exactly the way we construct virtual realities in a computer; it’s simply the organization of energy into form. Both of these insights confirm what the ancient Hindu sages told us 5,000 years ago: We live in an illusion, a dream. Most people simply watch other people’s dreams. However, with practice and effort, we can each choose what to dream. We may fool ourselves that we’re being objective, but we are not. It’s impossible.

I don’t think it’s possible. I can only experience the Universe from my own unique perspective. The world is what I make it. I make it by how I translate and respond to its stimuli. Furthermore, my responses are generally based on data previously stored in my brain. I think a lot about Physics— Nuclear Physics & Astrophysics—the worlds within, 9


Gábor A. Nagy

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#2546 – He Decided to be Brave in the Face of Possible Annihilation by a Coronal Mass Ejection.

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Metrov

#2553 – She Danced That Way Until She Remembered. 7


Amanda Mendiant

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#2559 – A Discussion Regarding the Potential Difficulties of Intergalactic Cross-Breeding.


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Metrov

I have highly appreciated the nuance of red and blue tones in He Wonders if it Would Be Preferable to Play Golf or Teleport Himself to a Random Moon in the Pleiades, which creates an interesting synergy rather than a contrast and that gives a sense of dynamism to the canvas: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Yesterday, I was out riding my mountain bike at the nearby Ellwood Nature Reserve here in Santa Barbara. It’s 120 acres of beautiful, overgrown natural environment—trails, Eucalyptus groves, fields, the ocean, skies, wildflowers, animals. The colors are very earthy, and it was suddenly clear to me that my pallet comes from this natural landscapes that I enjoy daily. Typically I only use colors and color combinations that can be readily found in Nature. I may use concentrations of bright colors, but they are still earthy colors. Since my first teachers were the Italian Renaissance masters who also used natural, earthy colors, I’ve simply always felt more at home working in this range. As far as nuances are concerned, they happen automatically; not something I plan, so I’m unable to comment on them.

#2265 – He Wonders if it Would Be Preferable to Play Golf or Teleport Himself to a Random Moon in the Pleiades.

By an effective usage of irony and humour, your works are intrinsically challenging the viewer's perception: I daresay that there's a subtle sociopolitical criticism in this stimulating series: by the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I'm sort of convinced that Art these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion about socio political issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can even steer people's behavior... I would take this chance to ask your point about this. Do you think that it's an exaggeration? And what, in your opinion, is the role an artist can play in our society?

sensationalized drama so that corporations can sell us products we don’t really need. All that stuff derives from a society that is dominated by consumerism. My themes are always deeper, broader. I’m interested in spiritual realities, metaphysics, i.e. what’s truly going on behind the scenes. Most of us are captivated, indeed mesmerized, by the material world. Most people forget that beneath the surface of the material world is conscious, intelligent energy. I’m interested in the nature of this energy; where it comes from; how I can help myself and others work in harmony with it, rather than in opposition. Without human brains to translate energy into form, the universe is nothing but ephemeral clouds of light... spirit? I hope my art will influence people to establish, or I should say, “re-establish” a connection with Nature—Nature works in harmony with the Universe. If my work

Personally, I’m not interested in politics; it’s become ridiculously corrupt; democracy is a dying notion. I don’t watch the news; it’s slanted, unreal propaganda; designed to hook viewers on 13


Gábor A. Nagy

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#2404 – Portrait of the Artist’s Wife as Sphinx Contemplating the Undimensionality of Polka Dots Scattered Amongst Anti-matter.

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Metrov

#2607 – By Refusing to Wear Hawaiian Shirts, He Successfully Transmitted a Telepathic S.O.S. to a Passing Armada of Friendly Alien Starships.

#2274 – Selfie: The Thought of Eating a Soap Bar Stood his Hair on End.

is successful, the result is liberating, healing, cathartic, inspiring. My mission as an artist and a human being is to be of service to humanity. I believe I’m here to show people what beauty is because a lot of us have forgotten. It’s true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but real beauty comes from the natural rhythms that can be found in Nature. I’ll leave political statements for other artists. The most important thing we can do to save our species is to detach from materialistic illusions. Jeff Koons has said he’s showing us how beautiful our (materialistic) world is. This is great, brilliant... a lot of fun, even important in a historical context. But is it helping to save the world? Or hastening our demise? Koons and many others reflect our deconstruction. Artists will argue this is their job—to reflect the world. But can art do more than just reflect? Can art inspire? Stimulate?

Remind us of a greater reality? This is what classical art does. That’s why it remains important to us. When Contemporary Art begins to arouse something deep within the human spirit, then we will truly enter a New Renaissance. Now I would like to focus on the relationship with your audience: your paintings currently reside in dozens of collections worldwide and it goes without saying that positive feedback is capable of providing an artist an almost indespensable support: how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think about who will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? By the way, I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... and I sometimes 15


Metrov

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#2270 – What Happened to My Harmonica?

#2562 – Portrait of the Artist’s Wife Wondering Why Her Pantyhose were Eaten by Parasites.

wonder if there could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

could they? I hardly understand myself. There are artists who paint for an audience. And there are artists who paint within a historical context. The average person won’t understand the latter, and so the artist who’s working this way, the true original, may languish in obscurity. So be it. Look at it this way... if van Gogh or Picasso only painted what they thought would sell, they’d paint what others before them painted, and we’d not have their ingenius artistic breakthroughs. The great artists are always fearless in presenting truly original work whether it sells or not. They risk starvation. But if the work is really great, it’ll hold up in the long run. I paint what I feel I have to paint. It’s very personal. Warhol often asked people what he should paint. It should be noted, however, he didn’t ask them HOW to paint, he only asked WHAT to paint. Now his work has generated more revenue than any other artist in

My early work received a lot of positive attention; it was fairly easy for anyone to appreciate. But positive feedback on my later, more progressive work, usually only comes from people who are very knowledgeable about the history of art; people who know the language and have been following the “conversation.” It may be my shortcoming that I don’t paint to achieve a particular response from a particular audience. I would feel like a prostitute if I did that... (no offense to prostitutes). I believe I would be demeaning the Art; I’d be a fraud rather than a channel for some higher consciousness that wants to use me to deliver the Art. I’ve had to learn not to expect results or positive feedback. Most people don’t understand what I’m doing. How


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Metrov

Is it possible that art is ultimately about light, shape, and color, i.e. organized energy... and therefore it’s the techinique or style that achieves historical impact, not so much the subject matter even though subject matter is what we tend to focus on? Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Metrov. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I plan to create at least one painting series, and one film yearly for the rest of my life. I’ve also begun working with 3D software which will allow me to create sculpture in the computer which can then be emailed to a fabricator who can build out the piece 50 feet high if so desired. I’m sure I’ll write a few more books as well. I’ll follow this plan until I’m compelled to do something different or I kick the bucket. My goal is to see my work in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as well as a few other important museums and collections around the world. I’ll just keep working toward that. I am driven, and always have been, to leave an important artistic legacy. I don’t know where this drive comes from, except that I’m helpless to fight it. It’s almost like a curse. I would die if I didn’t create. I would shrivel into a burnt ember, and collapse into dust... blown away by the wind.


Gábor A. Nagy

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The artist with large-scale, Mobile-Relief version of "#2404 – Portrait of the Artist’s Wife as Sphinx Contemplating the Undimensionality of Polka Dots Scattered Amongst Anti-matter.

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Alan Singer (USA)

Alan Singer is an artist, writer, and Professor, in the School of Art, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. “The support I received from my family was a critical part of establishing myself as an artist I come from a family of artists, and i learned the most from watching them create their work at home.” Alan Singer’s art has been featured in exhibitions at The Smithsonian in Washington D.C., The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY with numerous gallery shows primarily in the eastern U.S. In 1982, he designed and illustrated an award winning series of U.S. postage stamps honoring the 50 State Birds and Flowers with his father, noted wildlife artist, Arthur Singer. Alan Singer’s writing has appeared in Arts Magazine, American Artist, Step-byStep Graphics, American Ceramics, and Bookpress as well as his blog called “The Visual Artworker”. “Slice of Life”, a new book about his art, paintings and prints from the past decade, with an essay by Anne C. Coon, has just been published.

Alan Singer is on the web at: http://www.singerarts.com/ Check out his blog at: http://thevisualartworker.blogspot.com/

“An Auslander”, 2009 watercolor and digital transfer monoprint on Fabriano paper. A swirl of grids, knots, and flying forms in a western setting – all mathematical visualizations in one composition.


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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

from Esprit de Femme


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Alan Singer

An interview with

Alan Singer Hello Alan, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what would be in your opinion the features that make an artwork a piece of Contemporary Art?

Desire and intent are keys to the process of making art. I will add to that – freedom – and the knowledge that many other people are at work with this same goal in mind : to communicate through an emphasis on a visual potential. . A community (across the globe) is at work making something, and I share in that endeavor in my studio. What begins to define a work of art for me is a concept taken to the next level- a manifestation of brain-eye-hand coordination that reflects a personal aesthetic- which is a kind of testing out of lesser and greater possibilities within your own life experience. In my own experience as an artist, I act like a filter and a transformer – taking traditional materials such as paints, paper and canvas, and giving them new life – as in an image of a wave, or a net, or a vector. I think contemporary art is a blending of forces, and in light of today it seems to have a social and scientific or mathematical perspective. There is no shared style that once dominated art like abstract expressionism, or impressionism, so there are few hang-ups that artists have to acknowledge through their artworks. It is also up to the individual to make a convincing argument through their artwork that will stand the test of time: will it be relevant beyond this particular moment? That is something that the best artwork from the past through the present seems to share – longevity. I don’t need to be moved by every work of art I see, or that I make for myself, but I

Alan Singer at The Arts & Cultural Council, Rochester, New York Photo: Sue Weisler do believe that every work of art tells us something and tries to touch us in profound ways which may be revealed in time. I am not sure that there is any proponent in contemporary art that has a lust for wide popular acclaim such as one might find in Pop Art, although there is the influence of graffiti and even tattoo. In my own art the digital medium has begun to change the look of what I produce, because the computer allows me to do things I never would have imagined before.


Alan Singer

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“Around the Hell Gate”, 2011 watercolor and digital monoprint on Fabriano paper. A virtual space under theatrical lighting. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You grew up in a family of artists and designers and moreover you graduated from the prestigious Cornell University. How have these experiences influenced your development as an artist and the way you currently produce your artwork?

For me, art should have the basics – color and structure, but in saying that I realize that these facets of art come from my training – most of my teachers were students of Hans Hofmann in the mid

20th century. My formal education in art may have started at home ( my family were all working artists ) but I continued by going to The Art Students League on weekends, and then to the Cooper Union School of Art & Architecture, both in New York City. I earned scholarships to Yale University and Boston University through their summer programs and in addition I spent some time in Maine, at The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Throughout all of that college work I would say it was all beneficial,


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improved my art and my social network. At Cornell University during my years in Ithaca getting my MFA, my artwork went through a turning point mostly through my contact with Friedl Dzubas who was teaching painting there in the early 1970’s. I began to see and later experiment with, a blending of figurative art with abstraction and I would say that this is still what occupies me. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell our readers something about your process and set up for making your artwork? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? How much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

My process for making art has continuity at the center: one thing leads to another, and the biggest change – that of using the computer as a drawing tool – happened incrementally. I did not own a computer until the early 1990s, and before that the most elaborate tool I used would have been my Nikon camera. I made many experiments in cutting and using stencils when I needed something with a hard edge, and I could either use paint or pastels with them. The fact that I wanted a hard edge for a line or a shape gradually meant that I employed my computer to help me draw geometric shapes. What also changed in the early 1990’s was that I went to teach in a university setting at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I had been living the free-lance life, illustrating books, and doing design work in New York City. When I moved upstate to Rochester, I began to see the results of what a computer could do, and I learned Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator along with other programs which work by creating virtual 3-D spaces ( Strata and Cinema 4D ).

“Inner Harbor”, 2012, watercolor and digital transfer monoprint on Fabriano paper


Gรกbor A. Nagy

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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012


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Alan Singer

Before, when I was living in New York City, I would go to all the art galleries, and I practiced painting on a very large scale. When I moved upstate my studio was smaller, and I had to change my format to include a lot more printmaking , so then I could create works on paper. I have been showing my art since the early 1970’s, and this week I have a show that opened in Rochester, at The Spectrum Gallery with 30 new works. Today a print might take two or three weeks to develop, while a painting may be in the works for months. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Auslander and In The Imagination Of The Parent that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit yur website directly at http://singerarts.com in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these works? What was your initial inspiration?

In recent years I have discovered how the use of mathematics can change the look of my artwork. There are now sites where you can download free programs that can help you visualize mathematical formulae. 3-D XplorMath is one program and another is called Cinderella. User defined forms can give you unexpected results. I create shapes for prints like “An Auslander” and “Red Rock Story” by writing a bit of code or an equation that can be plotted out in color. The inspiration for this work comes from the process itself – no one ever told me before that I could make such terrific visual art just by using some of the forms I learned about in geometry class. There are amazing apps that you can find and put to use in a creative way –and maybe they weren’t intended for people to make art ( the right brain / left brain conundrum ) but I put them to use anyway. The mathematical forms I made that you see in these prints either relate to forms in a landscape, or else they have a figurative place in each one of these compositions I don’t think when you see these prints that your first reaction is

going to be about mathematics, and by working this way I hope to attract your attention! One of the features of Event Horizon and Goods and Service a couple of pieces from your Abstract series that has impacted on me is the way you effectively challenge the dichotomy between the perception of the real and the oniric dimension...so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Paintings like “Event Horizon” and “Goods and Services” had their start as prints that I made on my etching press. I have perfected a transfer technique that allows me to make very colorful detailed artwork first on paper – a kind of testing ground – before I commit to the labor-intensive painting process. As far as the subject matter is concerned, I am interested in cosmology and physics, and my imagination runs wild considering all the possibilities ( I read a wonderful book called “Art & Physics” by Leonard Shlain ). Sometimes I quote from other artwork, as in the painting “Goods and Services” which also has a sub-title – 20th Century Legacy. These paintings are a result of my study in collage, that is- taking elements that formally did not belong together and making a new composition with them. They are not thrown together – they are selected for the very qualities they can exhibit, and the sum hopefully, is more than its parts. So my process for many of my compositions starts with discreet elements and I build a composition piece by piece, though it is not quite as direct as putting a quilt together! Many of my compositions are made in virtual 3-D


Amanda Mendiant

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“Goods and Services� A 20th Century Legacy A Popish take on some visual arts milestones in the 20th Century Oil on linen, 16" h x 16" w, completed in summer 2005

Summer at the Potomac


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Amanda Mendiant


Gábor A. Nagy

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“Event Horizon”, 2005, oil painting on linen


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Alan Singer

“Crystal Monument”, 2010-2011

“Headlands”, 2011

watercolor and digital transfer monoprint

watercolor and digital transfer monoprint

And many of the pieces are visualized using a computer program to draw the shape, and I write the code to instruct the computer on what I want (some people call this processing). You might say that this method starts out as indirect and reflects much more intent on my part as I get going, as I get into it.

interesting synergy rather than a contrast, as in the extremely interesting Crystal Monument, which I have to admit is one of my favourite pieces of yours: by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Many of my compositions are made in virtual 3-D space, so that on my computer monitor I can read them from any angle I want before I commit to using a particular view or perspective. By the way, my practice on the computer is directly affected by my ongoing work as a pleinair painter – the two may seem like opposites, but I learn a lot from being outside and being in direct contact with my subject ( I am in it ). Two other interesting pieces of yours which I would like to spend some time discussing are”Red Rock Story” and “Headlands”. A feature that has struck me is their dynamicity the sense of movement that you have been capable of impressing on the canvas... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of intense tones which creates an

I am interested in movement, though it is hard to show that in a print or painting and maybe that comes from my love for modern dance. It is true that many of my works show parts of compositions that do not seem rooted to the ground, and I would also say that it comes from my observation of characters like angels that float in works from the master painters of the past ( the Italian Renaissance and so forth ). Besides producing your stimulating artworks, you have also gained a wide experience as a teacher, and you currently hold the position of professor of art in the School of Art, College of Imaging Arts & Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology: I would like to ask if this experience informs your process... moroever, have you ever happened to draw inspiration from the works of your students?


Amanda Mendiant

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“Red Rock Story�, 2009, watercolor and digital transfer monoprint on Fabriano paper. These are mathematical visualizations of implicit surfaces. By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?

Spending my time teaching, I find inspiration in the energy and positive attitudes of the students at R.I.T. There have been gifted students in my classes who will go on to make a name for themselves, and also share their great talents

with the world, and I can always learn from that experience. I enjoy in depth conversations about their art, and their focus and dedication sustains me. Your point about a formal training that could stifle a student would come from a teacher who knew how things had to be done, but I am not that kind of teacher. If a student is dedicated,


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Amanda Mendiant

“Fine Fandango”, 2008 watercolor and digital transfer monoprint on Fabriano paper. Gold forms, and shell shapes and more – on the dance floor!

they will use their creativity no matter what. I leave the door open for many kinds of experience in my studio classrooms. Maybe because I have a scientific background, Rosario rebus and Fine Fandango have suggested to me the concept that some informations & ideas are "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a certain sense- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Actually in response to your observation, I have a print called “Inner Harbor” which relates to this

idea, that there are things that the artist can hint at but it remains for the viewer to decipher what the artist is driving at. A famous etching by Albrecht Durer titled “Melancholia “ is a good representation of this concept. His enigmatic etching is one of my favorites and has that feeling that there is a lot more to the art than what is shown. Both “Fine Fandango” and “ Rosario Rebus” make that kind of connection. Another aspect of this for me is that I am beginning to shape forms from mathematical equations that actually can convey a startling emotion, or a quizzical look , and I think that entices me down a path of a completely new


Amanda Mendiant

ARTiculAction

“Rosario Rebus�, 2010 watercolor and digital transfer monoprint on Fabriano paper. Summer at the Potomac Broken patterns, knots, and puzzling faces. 12


A corner of The Spectrum Gallery, at Lumiere Photo, Rochester, New York. Alan Singer’s 2014 exhibition titled: “My Visual Life”


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“Tropic Anna”, 2004

“Family Matters”, 2006

oil on linen in two parts, 72” x 74”

oil on linen in two parts, 72” x 74”

experience. Shaping forms is part of the artist’s job, and of course a lot of the emotion behind any composition comes from the intent of the artist. A rebus is a kind of puzzle where there are pictures that substitute for words. “Rosario Rebus” presents a collage of images – all of which are touched by mathematical functions.

perhaps the new work will find its own niche. As I gain in my experience I am stronger in my commitment to my art. I also have no blanket statement to offer on the expectations of positive feedback. When I go into the studio I do not think of the “audience” out there, I just concentrate on what is in front of me. If I am true to my vision, that is enough affirmation for me.

During your decades-long career your works have been shown in several occasions: you had over 20 solo exhibitions and you have been featured in museums such as the Everson in Syracuse, and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.. Feedbacks and awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... do you take the audience into account when you are creating a piece?

I make a distinction between the artwork I have created where a deliberate attempt to approach a mass audience was made and the artwork I have created primarily to satisfy my own curiosity. Both kinds of work are valid, and the things I have learned from doing both allow me to dare to try something entirely new, and

Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts, Alan. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you?

I have a new book out about my art called “Slice of Life” which I am beginning to sell through my web site, and I have a new print which is circulating in shows held by the worldclass Printmaking organization Southern Graphics Counsel. I would love to find new gallery situations – preferably in the eastern U.S. that would show some of my new work, I continue to paint and make prints and enjoy the quiet intensity of my studio practice.


Gábor A. Nagy

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“ Bury the Bullets “, 2006, watercolor and digital transfer monoprint on paper . The title says it all.


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Michel Guy (France / Canada)

Art for me is taking a personal position, an act of rebellion against the standards by society on aesthetics and the definition of beauty. Popular culture highly publicizes attempts to influence and indoctrinate the look and a vision of beauty that is often restricted. This is a formatted view in what appears to resemble idealism and hostage taking of the eyes and the mind. Whereas I like to observe features as the passage of time, the memory of a life experience, painful or not, strong features, pronounced and caused by the vagaries of life. These same traits, which sometimes can remove and disturb.€€ In my research I’m interested in exploring the nature of what appears to be a distortion, a social disability, often defined as unsightly when in fact this reality is just different from the forced standards of beauty. I absolutely do not want sensationalism, neither do I wear a voyeuristic gaze to simply create an effect, a visual attraction.€€ I dig into this universe to draw from it’s immense beauty and humanity. I don't aspire to force similarity of form, I would rather focus on the character, emotion and atmosphere.€ I want to make sense and a real existence in the logic of form over the plastic universe that is forced onto many of us.€ To me, beauty is abstract, elusive and very objective! In my paintings, it is revealed in the authenticity of the intent and the means used to make it real.

MG


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Michel Guy

An interview with

Michel Guy Hello Michel, and welcome to ARTiculAction. to start this interview I would pose my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? In particular, although in these recent years we have assisted to the progressive meeting between concepts from Contemporariness and Traditional techniques, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Hello and thank you for choosing me to talk about my work, it is a great pleasure for me to share with you and your readers! Apart from the act of painting, it allowed me to take the time to ask myself and think more about my creative process! I do not think there is a kind of dichotomy between Contemporary Art and tradition, all depends on the motivation. Art offers this possibility to tap into different areas of knowledge that can become sources of inspiration. The Contemporary Art in all its diversity is manifest that freedom. The return to tradition can be part of this quest for knowledge and enrich this vast landscape of creation. The risk is that this desire to return to the tradition transforms the form of doctrine and enlisted art in one form of valid recognized expression. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid formal training and you have graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Quebec, in Montreal: after a career in performing arts and cinema, you moved to France, where you are currently based, devolving yourself to your impressive painting... I would like to ask you how much these different experiences have impacted on

Michel Guy

your artistic approach and on your evolution as an artist, and especially how you were introduced to painting.

To begin, I am a graduate (Bachelor of Art) in fine arts from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada. During my studies I was interested mainly in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and video. At the end of these


Michel Guy

studies, a few years I made short intensive training in the field such as video creation dance, animation and film. I always felt this need to learn and experience different techniques other than art and the feeling of learning is still very important today and I think to evolve. I had the opportunity to make video dance creations that have been presented in

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any video festivals and films in Canada and Europe. An interesting approach in which I had to relate the notions of dance / movement (in cooperation with professional dancers) and its relation to the image, DIGITAL CORPS ET GRAPHIC is one of my most explicit videos about it. Subsequently, the cinema was for several years an environment in which I evolved professionally in the departments of the


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Michel Guy

decorations and unit. The various film productions in which I worked in Canada, I have learned and discovered with talented and inventive people this way of working with materials and create the illusion of a desired effect for the needs of the subject. After several years in this lucrative industry, I decided to return to my creation. This return was motivated by the lack of personal creation that I lived for a long time and need to assert and to compare me to approach in a more

intimate and lonely. Despite the fear or feeling of insecurity that I lived with that decision to return to a personal journey, the steps I have taken in recent years have allowed me to regain some freedom and confidence in the act of painting .dropoff window The paint was during all these years omnipresent in my mind as if I had abandoned a fundamental aspect of my life, similar to a feeling of guilt. Now I live in France and I give myself entirely to this process of going


Michel Guy

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time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

to the essential in what I'm looking creation. My experience has become an important ally in my determination to achieve it.

I have a different work methodology for each painting project. It's a new experience every time, I have no single process. I try to remain attentive to the mishaps that may be revealing and inspiring for another project or the current project, chance may haveGold, a role(background to play in the detail) creative process. Each painting its running time,

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and

Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

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Portraits Series 1a

Portraits Series 1b

some creations can be realized in a few days and some require several weeks of work, it depends on several factors such as the level of technical difficulty I try to rise steadily, and the knowledge of the subject. But more often, I make sketches, collages using photos and mixed media, painting, photography before starting painting project.

meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this project?

Yes! I would be very happy to share with your readers the Gray's Art Gallery site, both to help increase it’s visibility and allow you to discover the other artists who are involved.

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from your Portrait series an extremely interesting body of works that our readers can admire in these pages: and I would suggest them to visit your wesbite directly at http://www.graysartgallery.com/ArtistList/MG-Michel-Guy/ in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the

Gray's Art Gallery initiated by Lisa Gray is a virtual art gallery and its premier goal is to create greater visibility of contemporary art, and to bridge the gap between artists, art lovers and collectors. Lisa wants to actively support emerging and mid-career artists both online and through exhibitions and collaborations. Meeting with Lisa has allowed me a permanent diffusion of my work and to participate in the FLUX


Amanda Mendiant

Portraits Series 1c

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exhibitions (a biannual event for contemporary art) presented by Gray’s Art Gallery the first of which will be held in February at The Rag Factory, just off Brick Lane in London. I immediately liked Gray's Art Gallery, because it extends beyond the virtual world and initiates and organizes exhibitions of concrete projects, such as FLUX. The net is an interesting tool like all social networks, but it is not an end in itself! There must be a suite, an extension of this virtual activity. An exhibition is a concrete example and essential to art lovers to be able to appreciate our work. By exploiting the resources of the net, as an artist we can build relationships with people of professional and artistic wealth and have the same desire to present work collaborating actively in the creation of events. I absolutely agree with you when you state that "art is taking a personal position, an act of rebellion against the standards by society on aesthetics and the definition of beauty": and I would go as far as to state that -especially these days, when we are continuously exposed to a mediatic pressure that forces us to accept a stereotyped and often artificial idea of beauty- artists could play a crucial role in order to free people from this modern kind of tyranny... Maybe it's a bit exaggerated to consider an artist as a kind of savior, but I daresay that a good brushstroke could tell us more about beauty than hours and hours of Photoshop... what's your point about this?

Whatever type of instrument or technique the artist uses to create, the key is to make an idea !! Today, some artists make art digital and have a serious approach, it is a question of meaning brought to him and also sensitivity and affinity. I do not exclude the use of this medium in some of my future accomplishments, the question is why this technique instead of another, it must make sense. Another interesting work of yours that have particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled

Veil

Veil... By the way, I can recognize that one of the possible ideas underlying this work is to unfold a compositional potential in the seemingly random structure of the space we


Michel Guy

live in... The backgrounds of most of your

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suggests the solitude of the subject... Do they have such meaning? Gold, (background detail) Currently my approach to the design of the space Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

paintings are quite neutral. Some of them remind the idea of "no landscape" which

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Untitled

Dripping Face

of my paintings remains suggestive, informal, and is at a sensory level, it shows primarily a state, the expression of an emotion of the subject and its psychological dimension. I would not say that my space is synonymous with emptiness or nothingness, devoid of emotion, I think they are inhabited, with their appearance devoid of all forms or other formal or symbolic features, and by the relationship dimension of the structure to the character.

the abstract quality of images from daily imagery making them seem a bit ethereal... As in all of your recent paintings, these works consist of three different layers which stratify on a dark background: could you tell us something about your choice of such deep darkness that pervades the space of your canvas? by the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

Now I would like to deal with the tones of your artworks; in particular, I would like to linger on the works from your Untitled series that are from my favourite ones of your recent production. I can recognize that the stimulating juxtaposition of layers emphasizes

I have a conflicted relationship with color, it usually comes down to brawl hours! Like any formal element that constitutes a picture! the color should be meaningless and will not be applied to a strictly aesthetic reason. Color as the line and form, plays a key role in building 11


Amanda Mendiant

Hiroshima

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the character and in the direction to be taken by the image. I strongly believe in the psychological aspect of color. Actually I have a strong attraction to dark backgrounds, this is currently part of a process. Currently I am preparing a series of paintings that will further highlight this relationship I want justaposĂŠe between color and black but this time working whole bodies and on concepts such as tension, the rupture, the opposition .dropoff window to be continued! What has mostly impacted on me of your approach is the way you have been capable of creating a bridge between the an image connected to a certain idea and the truth about what actually stays behind it, this inner investigation brings a new and often unsuspected level of significance and I would state that it forces the viewer to explorate, and in a certain sense to challenge the usual way we perceive reality... I would go as far as to state that your works, rather than simply describing something, pose us questions...

My relationship with painting is like a dialogue without words, but emotions, sometimes harmonious and sometimes not. Sometimes I feel that impression to speak a deeply rooted in a form of silence, I believe that this imaginary dialogue is associated with the desire to give a real dimension to my subject. I am not looking to achieve absolute realism, but to find logic in the architecture of the character (if part of the face is missing and replaced with a recess in which the gaze penetrates and travel and it provides a reflection, a feeling, an emotion, then that character comes to life.) Art is a dialogue, as I dialogue with painting, so the viewer is challenged to turn in a dialogue that is personal. Your art practice is based on an insightful exploration of the nature of what appears to be a distortion and it is strictly connected to establish a deep, intense involvement with your audience, both on an intellectual aspect and - I daresay - on a physical one, as in Hiroshima, an extremely stimulating piece that effectively mixes anguish with the impulse of


Amanda Mendiant

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Skull

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Captions

Self Portrait

Untitled

investigation that pervades all your works... So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process both for creating a piece and in order to snatch the spirit of it...Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

social position, the artist looks at a subject by expressing it in visual form in a plastic language. This look is basically powered by experience, thought, reflection, and the world of emotions. My painting Hiroshima is one example, this painting is the result of research on this subject, this human tragedy. During my research on the effects of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, I saw several pictures and a photo exhibition on artefatcs of this tragedy, clothing, objects, toys for children, but some images have affected me more than these shadows (in human form) printed on wall surfaces, as if a moment of life remained and printed. This is what I wanted with Hiroshima and expressed both the pain we can feel the face of this madness.

I do not believe that personal experience is completely disconnected from the act of creating and I do not believe that personal experience must necessarily be represented. For cons, I believe that personal experience directs and influences choices, either intellectual or emotional. Creation is a lifestyle choice, a


Amanda Mendiant

Hand

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Mutism


Untitled


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Michel Guy

How much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

For me it is very important to hear someone speak honestly with respect to my work. I am not looking complacent, I like criticism. Whether negative or positive, each reflection becomes a source of reflection and inspiration. I think that criticism can be very constructive, the key is not to be disorienting and generate a doubt that could cripple the act of creating. But to be destabilized by a reflection, be put in a position of imbalance, it can have beneficial consequences in work. I believe that this dimension is essential in the work of the artist. A will that's comfortable and reassuring, but sometimes it is important to be confronted to continue even further and question it. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Michel. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Yes of course! In February I will participate in the FLUX exhibitions (a biannual event for contemporary art) presented by Gray’s Art Gallery the first of which will be held in February at The Rag Factory, just off Brick Lane in London. Currently I am working with the collaboration of a poet Belgian collective "Mots de passe" in the city of Brussels to create an event that connects poetry and painting! In summary, this collective of poets speak at the opening to declaim before a painting, a poem written in connection with it. This event will bring together a dozen painters and poets. I will make an official announcement through the FB social network to inform in detail about this. I encourage your readers to subscribe to my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MG/149092304 1158910 to follow all my activities and both see my different creations in painting. The year 2015 promises to be a dynamic year for different collaborations and exhibitions, other projects are being currently discussed. I want to thank the

whole team for your professionalism, patience and passion for artists! This moment of writing, for me was very revealing, it allowed me to put in the light of the day, my ideas, my artistic situation and especially, it allowed me to consider a new paint production with precise parameters and I will not hide my impatience to begin! You were talking earlier experience of life! it influences you the artist in his creation? At present, I would say yes! this reflection and writing will certainly have a direct impact in my next paintings! Thank you very much! and thank you and your readers!


Amanda Mendiant

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Gold, (background detail) Captions Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

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Thero Monteiro (Brazil)

Geometric and mathematical layer in harmony and depth , with a three dimensional visual effect , in perfect synch with the optical art, fractal, exactness, perfection in space, structures , shapes, visual elements, optical space, light and color. Perfection. A close perspective causes a sensation of movement, triggering the imagination, creativity and perception, order, precision and patience. Each layer is painted in complete harmony and a perfect symmetry in relation to the drawing. Absolute control of the technical details in scale, balance, geometric abstract painting, numbers and degree, resolution of shapes with three-dimensional movements; in a nutshell: the color. Brasilian self-taught artist.


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Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas 120 x 90 2013 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

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Thero Monteiro

An interview with

Thero Monteiro Hello Thero, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

First of all, I would like to thank the opportunity. I am honored and I congratulate the work and the initiative to open doors for artists and their creations. Being a self-taught artist, not possessing any theoretical training about arts, my settings are totally intuitive, expressing my pure feeling. I consider it a work of art the creation performed instinctively, without interference, where the artist expresses his inner self and feelings and when the observer can absorb or understand the feelings her exposed and expressed, thus becoming a unique work of art. Following this line of thought, contemporary art is the unimaginable, the surprise, the why, the how, the incredible ... Is the cause, whether in that sense is: admiration, amazement, doubt, revulsion..

Thero Monteiro

In my view the contemporary art is the art in movement and mutation, the art of experiment and creation.

Brazil. Currently resides in the seaside town of Guarapari in the State of Espirito Santo. I didn't have a traditional family, father unknown, was delivered by my mother to be raised by other families. By not counting references, family life has always been a fight without truce against all the difficulties that a country like Brazil showed us.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that impacted on your artistic approach and on your evolution as an artist? By the way, as a self-taught artist, I would like to ask your point about formal training: do you think that it could in a certain sense stifle an artist's creativity?

After all, I have nothing to complain about. Life has been fair with me! But, turned me into an introspective person and methodical. The events of my life, turned me into someone who is

I was born in 1961 in the city of Petr贸polis, mountain region of the State of Rio de Janeiro,

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Here I made two individual exhibitions and participated in group three, being the last in 1991. Hence forward life led me to work responsibilities, house building and the art was left out, mainly for does not exist at the time (and still today) spaces to artists eou galleries, whereupon, I once got 32 frames that I had and made a fire, burned all my tables and passed 18 years I by existential necessity I resumed my career: in 2009 produced 12 paintings, including a series on Jupiter, stopping for over 2 years, in 2011 I resumed production again. Now more matured and feeling exactly that art is a part of me, me is required in the form of life and expression of my being. I believe that for an artist who has the gift, formal training is detrimental to your creativity. Because the thought is to interfere with the free creation and becomes talent. Can't get gift, talent is conquered. The biggest challenge for an artist's blank canvas, empty, where you look and see nothing. Being a trained artist, starts the work prepared in technique and talent. In my view the result can be spectacular, but it's cold. When working with the free creation, where his artistic commands, the result may not be spectacular, but he's full of feelings. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

observant, where always prefer to listen than talk. My talk is through the shapes and colors of my art. When still living in Rio de Janeiro and began to devote to art in the early 80, that discovery occurred without me having to explain. I started participating in various exhibitions in various cities, receiving some awards and having been my last solo exhibition in the city of Petr贸polis in 1989 voted best exhibition of the year and this year I moved to the State of Espirito Santo.

In the early 80 discovered gift who possessed with geometric art, playing with rulers, protractors, French curve. At first used as a base cardboard and corrugated cardboard. Color pencil and hydrographic pens to compose my work. People always admired with shapes and

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Thero Monteiro

Geometric Abstraction, Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60, 2013

colors composition. Over time, I've been seeking in new techniques and new materials development for my style. Today I can say that using acrylic paint on canvas Panel model, have all the resources they need to dare even more. All these discoveries of materials and techniques were through research and observation. And the discoveries gave me personal satisfaction and freedom.

My biggest challenge is the blank canvas. It all starts with the marking of central and lateral points, after beginning with observation and imagination of how to start drawing. The earliest forms are of fundamental importance for the drawing has an integration and 3D effect. I use all kinds of rulers, protractors, French curves, rulers of tailor's ... Everything is calculated during the execution of the design, such as measurements and angles. I don't have the picture formed in my


Thero Monteiro

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Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from your Fractal series, an extremely interesting body of works that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest them to visit your wesbite directly at http://www.artwanted.com/artist.cfm?ArtID=45 528 in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of these works?

My art is a combination of fractal art, geometric abstraction, optical art (op art), in three dimensions, creating optical illusion of deep space. Through the pictorial techniques: light, color, depth, space, perfectly geometric plan in harmony with a 3-d visual effect, with balance of light and volumes in chromatic color palette.

Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas 100 x 100 2013

head, a search form and will be integrating until it gets to the point that I say: that is, the drawing is ready! I can't describe how and why I come to this conclusion because in many drawings could still many ways being docked. The preparation of this work, demands a large geometric concentration and a mild spirit, where I have to be detached from anything external until the noises of everyday life get in the way and to stifle those noises and stay focused, using the music and sound packing all my creation is good old rock 'n roll (incredible as it may seem) which runs from Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, I can't work without music. The execution of a work, has no given time, can take at least 15 days until the time it took me to complete that were 13 months. But on average for a screen of 1.00 x 1.00 are 50 working days. Of course I can't work every day for various reasons and the main of them is the lack of tranquility and peace.

The intention is to provoke a feeling of movement, enabling the imagination, creativity and exercise caution, order, precision and patience. Where each plane is painted in total harmony and symmetry in perfect relationship with the drawing. Looking to have the absolute control of the technique, with details on scale and balance, numbers and measures, seeking the resolution of forms with three-dimensional movements that is translated into color. I can recognize that one of the possible ideas underlying this work is to unfold a compositional potential in the seemingly random structure of the space we live in... Even though I am aware that this might sound a bit na誰f, I am wondering if one of the hidden aims of Art could be to search the missing significance... I am sort of convinced that some information and ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them, as you seem to suggest in the perfect geometry of yout creations... It has reminded me the wll-known Einstein's quote "God does not play dice with the universe". Maybe that one of the roles of an Gold, (background detail) artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

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Thero Monteiro

Geometric Abstraction, Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60, 2013 Nature, especially of our inner Nature... What is your point about this?

on the contrary, the image does not cease to reconstitute before the eyes of the beholder.

Assuming: “geometry is the art of thinking�.

The painting (acrylic), seems machined (digital), the personal work of the brush does not exist, the color is flat, bright and orderly and the tensions created by the shapes and colors are very subtle.

I explore the geometry to perfection and balance in composition, with strokes that break the conventional style, harmonizing smooth lines with extreme angles and colors.

Through work, I seek to make tangible and visible inside and imagination, without imitating or represent external reality or reality whether or not inspiration. Want the theme may or may not be

The works generate a sense of movement and volume. The frames do not have an obvious meaning, and seem only intended to provoke visual illusion, not leading to total disintegration, 7


Thero Monteiro

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Geometric Abstraction, Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60, 2013 of pieces that are from your stimulating: Spring in Jupiter series, in which I daresay that you have focused on the abstract quality of images making them seem ethereal... These works consist of three different layers which stratify on a dark background: could you tell us something about your choice of such bright colors that pervade the space of your canvas?Any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

deciphered, seeking the conviction that color and form has its intrinsic artistic value. And the final intention is to make the viewer think and leave to absorb for the work and from there what he sees happening to merge before your eyes, giving you the feeling of movement and depth in a mutant and stimulating work to decipher the secret of each work. Now let's deal with the tones of your artworks; in particular, I would like to linger on a couple

On Jupiter appeared in 1987, when I received 8


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Thero Monteiro

Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas 80 x 60 2013

an invitation to attend an arts Salon of Sociedade Brasileira de Belas Artes, in Rio de Janeiro and the theme was the spring. Participated with two works and how my work does not have an obvious meaning, in one of the papers put the name "spring in Jupiter, received an honorable mention and to this day I believe it was more by name than by the work, despite having been a heck of a job.

In 2009 I decided to make a series of works 4 called spring in Jupiter, four distinct designs that fit, and may become the 4 one work. This was a serious objective, entitled produced and that it should be forwarded to the subject and the background colors and shapes were seeking land and the connection. The works produced in 2009 all were sold.


Thero Monteiro

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Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas

Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas

70 x 70, 2014

70 x 70, 2011

I really like the monochrome effect and degrade the hot and cold colors blend that help give a sense of movement and lightness.

filled....I will dare to say that Art and Science are going to assimilate one to each other... what’s your point about this?

The dark background highlights the work, plays the off-screen drawing and it is requested the attention of the Viewer. I don't like a lot of clear funds as it creates the opposite effect, drawing gets stuck to the screen, and the visual effect compromised.

The science is in everything and would not change with the art. Science discovers and creates art.

My colors were changing as I was developing the work with new techniques and create colors is a wonderful feeling. What has mostly impacted on me of your works is the perfect synergy that you have created between the perception of beauty and such a secret order behind things, revealing the mathematical harmony on which our Nature is grounded... and maybe because I have a scientific background, I definitely love the way you create this proficient symbiosis: by the way, I’m sort of convinced that soon or later the dichotomy between Art and Science will be

I somehow seek to represent the fragmented world we live in and pass the inner beauty of the pure sciences, mathematical and geometric, is the most obvious manifestation in the formalized geometric, there is beauty. Representing the totality of reality, the unity of nature, with a dynamic entity of geometric art, to form a unit and expansion within the aesthetic identity in a proposal for a single geometric art. Your art practice strictly connected to establish a deep, intense involvement with your audience, both on an intellectual aspect and - I daresay - on a physical one, as you force the viewer to follow the juxtaposition of layers that effectively mixes emotional sense with the impulse of knowledge that pervades all your Gold, (background detail) works... So I would like to ask you if in your Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011


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Thero Monteiro

Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas 90 x 60 2013

opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process both for creating a piece and in order to "enjoy" it...Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

satisfaction was when entered a spectator (many come look and don't see), but the Viewer is different he swayed, travels within the work, feel the sensations proposals, integrates.

Placement for the question is exactly the result we seek with my art, make the viewer think and be thrilled.

It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of supporting an artist: I sometimes happen to wonder if the expectation of a positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist, especially when the creations itself is tied to the involvement of the audience... By the way, how much important is

In 1989 did an exhibition in a gallery where I took my stuff and kept and getting people, drawing / painting so that they could see how the whole process develops authoring and my greatest

A work of art has to make some kind of sense, if not, turns out to be only a visual art, cold.


Thero Monteiro

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Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas 90 x 70 2014

for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

The hand feeds the soul of the artist and the critic does reflect.

My works don't have a targeted audience and don't even think about working in this line. The artwork I produce are for all people, comments and questions to me are valid, add me and stimulate. I work for the soul, for the feelings, to fill the eyes of beauty, a beauty that is solved and that causes a feeling of well-being.


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Thero Monteiro

Spring in Jupiter 1/4 series Geometric Abstraction Acrylic on canvas 70 x 70 2009

My work is conditioned by my personality and the

the work becomes independent of the artist and

viewer has the free interpretation and from there

its own history.


Thero Monteiro

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Spring in Jupiter4/4 seriesGeometric AbstractionAcrylic on canvas70 x 70in 2009

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your

your future plans: what's next for you? Gold, (background detail) Anything coming up for you professionally that Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

thoughts, Thero. My last question deals with

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Spring in Jupiter3/4 seriesGeometric AbstractionAcrylic on canvas70 x 70in 2009

you would like readers to be aware of?

The gratitude and honor are mine!

Future!? My wish is to be able to devote myself


Thero Monteiro

exclusively to the art and life of the gift that God gave me. I am aware that I make a differentiated work, rare and visual impact. Work done with feelings, dedication and precision, translating: work of art! The dream of every artist is recognition, but regardless, my satisfaction is to produce a work in

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which expressed my insides and put the challenge the Viewer to try to unravel the mysteries embedded in each work. I leave my thanks to all who admire and encourage my work.


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(United Kingdom)

I am a self taught artist with some formal training. I studied for a few years at the Staub Art Studio in Catonsville, MD. Influenced by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, I love vibrant color, texture and movement in my work and paint mainly in oil and oil pastel. Painting is like writing poetry to me. My paintings have specific themes and emotional content.

Jennifer Ryan


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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

from Esprit de Femme

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Jennifer Ryan

An interview with

Jennifer Ryan Hello Jennifer, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Hi ARTiculAction and thank you. In answer to your first question, what defines a work of art is perhaps in modern times become the impossible question to answer. I believe Aristotle came close when he stated; ‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance’. I also believe Nietzsche offers an interesting opinion on a definition of art when he said; ‘art is essentially the affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence’, I like that and relate to that statement. Sometimes I believe art is a thought experiment made visual, sometimes I don’t. As for, what are the features that mark an artwork as a piece of contemporary art? Well in my opinion it is everything opposite to the concept that ‘everything is art and everybody is an artist’, I think this concept is utter rubbish and has proved to be damaging. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have studied for a few years at the Staub Art Studio in Catonsville, but you are basically a self-taught artist: how has formal training impacted on your developement as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I would take this occasion to ask your point about formal training, I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

My background as an artist began through encouragement from my mother to draw, paint

Jennifer Ryan (photo by Wanda Kramer, Precious Memories 4Ever Photography)

and make sculpture out of cardboard and tape, I will be eternally grateful to my mother for these experiences. I remember fondly memories of long concentrate periods of time immersed in the process and wonder of making things. Of key significance was practicing as a graffiti artist which began in my early teenage years which was incredibly exciting, and when I first began to consider formal qualities of painting, composition, colour, line etc. My academic training of course was vital to my practice. Firstly on my BA I was lucky enough to go to one of the last traditional in the UK which specialised in traditional art practices, for example oil painting methods and techniques, stone carving, printmaking, colour theory etc. This gave me a solid grounding in


Jennifer Ryan

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process. My MA at Winchester school of art was invaluable as it developed my conceptual and ideological approach to my work; it was there where I firstly really became interested in philosophy and science theory at a much deep level. However the most significant life experiences which have impacted on my practice and me as a human being were the darkest times in my life of which I am lucky to have survived. I believe I had a profound spiritual experience which completely changed my life. Since this time my practice has been reignited with vigour and purpose. After this experience I knew what the purpose of my life was. Yes I do lecture in art and art theory and this is an incredibly rewarding process and definitely a two way exchange for both me and the students. As to whether I think formal training can stifle a young artist, I believe there are many variables, such as the lecturers, facilities, curriculum, institution etc. But young artists with willingness and desire will make it happen despite of these things or with these things will make it happen anyway. I do think formal academic training is important, the dialogue and discourse and exchange of ideas between staff and students can be astoundingly creative. I believe; if I want to be a doctor I need to study medicine, therefore if I want to be an artist I need to study art. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I as mentioned my work is based on a ‘thought experiments that are made visual’, all my work is based on philosophy this is my starting point. The technical aspects of making my work vary immensely depending on what I am making. All

processes of making from the materials utilised and manner of application have been developed of years of study and experimentation. I have many established processes which have been polished through the years. This however does not mean I have ceased experimentation, on the contrary I continue to experiment with new materials. I believe the materials and subject matter have to reflect the times I live in. Making art is not easy and not full of joy, most of the time it’s like going to war. I used to fight in muay Thai and its uncanny how many of the qualities I used in the boxing ring I now use in making art. I take much from the artists of the past, for example many compositional theories of the renaissance in particular those of Piero Della Francesca and also the constructivist artists like Malevich I reuse in my work. Turner, Matisse etc for colour and many other artists I either borrow or reinterpret their ideas, imagery and processes. As for preparation time, some works can be made in two to three days others can take up to a year; I have a portrait that I have been working on for four years so it can be extremely varied. I always work on multiple artworks at the same time this way there is always something to do and avoids becoming stale on one piece. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Flowers of Versi and Emerging, that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit yur website directly at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/5-jenniferryan.html in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of these works? What was your initial inspiration?

The ‘Is it safe; everything and nothing’ series or project had a bizarre origin. I will never forget the incident. I was in a Skype lecture in a university with a high ratio of Chinese students. At the end of the lecture when it came to the question and answers section, not a single Chinese student would speak. The lecture finished and before


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everybody left another lecturer asked the Chinese students ‘why are you so silent?’ After persistence by the lecturers one of the Chinese students spoke, and said ‘we could be being watched’. They all genuinely thought that there were hidden cameras watching them placed by the Chinese government. This conceptually profoundly affected me. The concept of being watched by some ‘big other’. I researched into philosophy on this concept. I then began the series of work ‘Is it safe; everything and nothing’ and it expanded into the concept of begin watched by ‘the big other’ whether human, mechanical/technological, spiritual (deity). I

continue to work on these themes today. Much of these works are in a triptych format, relating to the philosophical, spiritual and psychological theories based on the significant and importance of the number three. For example in psychology Lacan’s – real/ symbolic/ imaginary, in the spiritual – mind/body/soul, and in philosophical a number of systems of ontology derived on the concept of 3. Another interesting works of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are Azaleas in Bloom, Summer at the Potomac and Disarray: I have 7


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highly appreciated the way your approach investigates about the concept of landscape, challenging the viewer's perception, establishing a deep involvement with the viewers, both on an intellectual aspect and - I daresay- on a physical one... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

The work has to have that uncanny or odd presence to represent or evoke the feeling one has when being watched. I intend to create an uncertainty. I intend with the large work to evoke the present and emotions one has when visiting a religious site or object of pilgrimage. The work encourages viewer interaction, as in the works change as you move closer and further away. At a distance the work looks organic and soft, the closer you get to the work the detail of a multitude of dots and pixelated quality is revealed suggesting a machine or mechanical quality. The boundaries between organic and machine are blurred. You mentioned the term ‘contaminated’ and ‘dichotomy’ in reference to humanity and technology; I believe there is no dichotomy and no contamination. We live in a transitional age, the borders and boundaries between these things have fractured and blurred. I believe this is the evolutionary process, the bonding or joining with man and his tools, it will push man and technology towards the next evolutionary step; the technological singularity. I make art about these things and the philosophical posits that arise. Much of the science I see explained on computer screens to me is art and many of the theories in science have a beauty and poetic quality, take for example the multi-verse theorems, wonderful. So therefore again there is no boundary, border or separation all is one. By the way, many contemporary landscape artists such as Edward Burtynsky or Michael Light have some form of environmental or even political message in their works: do you

consider that your images could have such a political connotation in this way or do you seek to maintain a neutral approach?

Do I think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience, yes it can. However to have value and integrity, depth and meaningfulness then personal experience is vital. So much of art made since the 1990s lacks these qualities and is vacuous and only significant by its monetary value. So much of art in modern times has lost its “soul “or as Walter Benjamin put it “aura“. It would be like me trying to make art about Inuit tribal women in Alaska, I have no experience of this I have no experience of this and my work would contain no integrity. A recent Turner prize winner in the UK made art about working class struggles and he was educated in


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way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

the best schools in the UK, how can he possible relate to his subject matter, rubbish and lies. Cheap tricks, teenage irony, disgust, pointlessness etc have replaced the value of experience. So yes it is possible but in my opinion it valueless and shallow.

My choice of colour is dictated to an extent by the conceptual theme of the work. Colour and lack of colour and its power to evoke feeling and meaning is an important formal quality in my work. Again I look back to the past to reuse theories and ideas of the artists who came before me. Currently I am looking at Rothko, Hokusai, Monet, Dondi White, and 1950s horror movie posters. So yes it changes over time but always dictated by conceptual intention.

One of the feature of your works that has mostly struck on me is the dynamicity, the sense of movement that you have been capable of impressing on your works... and I have highly appreciated the nuance of intense tones which creates an interesting synergy rather than a contrast between such bright tones, as in the extemely interesting Window to Soul... by the

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Mortality, and especially River Walk In Monet's Garden, which I have to admit is on of my favourite work of yours ... I would daresay that these works eloquently succeed in conveying the feeling of serenity and harmony: moreover, I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the landscape suggested by this stimulating series: it has suggested me the concept that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point?

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Hidden and encrypted meaning intrigues and fascinates me I enjoy this process when it is evident in other works of art, similar to that pleasure one gets when deciphering a puzzle. It is an element I often incorporate into my work. Hidden and encrypted meaning add layers of information, or pathways in a labyrinth that can engage differences of time or suggest other dimensions or realities, and provide wonder and amazement. Hidden and encrypted meaning can provoke thought in the viewer or experience-er of the work of art, encouraging them to wake up.I don’t believe the role of the artist is to reveal or answer questions, I believe the role of the artist is Summer at the Potomac 12


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similar to that of the philosopher, that is one who questions but never provides answers. Only through questioning can we make sense of the world around us and the continuous changes that occur.

years to formulate my practice and as such I believe in what I do. I do however have a small group of artists who are friends who I discuss and debate art practice with, this feedback I find this invaluable and integral to my practice.

This series of work is my most current, and in this series I have broadened my art processes and mediums. As well as painting, I have also utilised digital photography, CGI, and sculpture. The work is concerned with questioning and exploring what happens to expression in art in the digital age of repetition and mass indexicality. Much of the work is begun from the starting point that art has no ‘aura’ or soul in modern times, as many have suggested. In some of the work in this series for example I have intended to reintroduce ‘aura’ or ‘soul’ back into the very essence and materials of the artworks. I have attempted this through a similar process to that of the Hindu practice of ‘Antyesti’, burning of the dead to carry the soul to join the abode of the ancestors. I burn multiple prints of artworks (indexical images) to form an ash which I bond into pigment with oil and mix this into paint. I then use this mixture to form paintings that evoke the artworks based on the burnt prints, thus I reintroduce the aura/soul back into art through this process – rebirth.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Jennifer. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I someteimes wonder if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

Any award I deeply appreciated and consider it an honour. The impressions I received from the shows and awards has been positive. I feel tremendously honoured, inspired and affirmed. However this does not at any point influence my processes or outcomes of what I make, if it did I would be painting psuedo post pop art style portraits! The feedback from shows and awards never influences my practice and neither do I consider the audiences or market when I make my work. It has taken many

Firstly I would like to thank all staff at Articulaction for your help and hard work in making this interview happen, and I would like to express my deep gratitude for this opportunity. What you do is valued and extremely important for the arts.

Next for me is an exhibition from the 16th of January 2015 at the Abbey Life building in Bournemouth where I will be exhibiting works from the series ‘History of shit’ (look out for press releases). Also look out for my work on show in February Brick lane Galleries in London 2015. I would also like to make readers aware of a special show for me in 2015 an installation of paintings at the resurrection chapel St Peters church in Bournemouth. I would like to make readers aware that my work will be on show throughout the UK in 2015, all details can be found on my website and social media platforms. Many wonderful blessing to you all.


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Francis Charlton (United Kingdom)

Francis has been an artist, or as he describes it 'an image-maker,' for over forty years. From spraying simple stencil outlines of vapourised families and their pets on walls of buildings in the West End of London, in the late '70s, to the fly-post bombing of 'Warhol is Over' on the day Andy Warhol died, in February '87, on walls in London's Soho, referencing John Lennon's iconic 'War is Over' poster campaign of '71, which he revisited during the Gulf War(s) as 'Jihad is Over' in a postcard drop in collaboration with 'Don't Panic' magazine, to exhibiting canvas and Bristol board work in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. The corpus of his work has a political and satirical edge to it, often commenting on current issues. [see his 'Bones for Drones,' and 'Walt's World,' series] And his journey continues... He is, and always has been reluctant, to talk about his work, saying 'the art should speak for itself,' or paraphrasing Andy Warhol, 'scratch the surface of my paintings and you'll find me.' Francis is also the author of a number of books which satirise the contemporary London art scene. His new book 'Adventures of a London Boulevardier. Excerpts from an Artist's (so-called) life,' continues the story of Dave, an artist, and chronicles his exploits and those of his peers; graffiti artist Wanksta©, Nine Mil Phil©, AK SE1© and others as they boulevard London's streets, stencilling images and making satirical comments on the prevailing socio-political and contemporary art. [see his author page at Amazon books]


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Gold, (background detail) Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed Media, 2011

from Esprit de Femme

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An interview with

Francis Charlton Hello Francis, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Perhaps the impact the work has at the time it was created, its subsequent longevity, and its continuing interest for a mass audience rather than the obsession of the so-called art critics and broadsheet art columnists who believe the average person needs to be patronised by an explanation of the work.

Francis Charlton your developement as an artist and on the way you currently produce your artworks?

I believe that Contemporary Art has by its very nature a 'seen by date.' The popularisation of Contemporary Art through The Turner Prize and through the Public Relations industry, and the influence of Curators is more about the commercial aspects than it is about the work itself.

Erm...I suppose as a young person growing up outside of London, in an articulate family, where art galleries were to a certain degree, playgrounds for my imagination, my interest in culture particularly in art and literature, was fuelled by the emerging socio-political content of of much of the Pop culture. Listening to Bob Dylan, the Beatles, specifically John Lennon's 'Working Class Hero,' 'Give Peace a Chance.' And especially the impact of Lennon's 'War is Over' poster campaign reinforced my emerging need to create art that was more than nondescript wallpaper.

One can also suggest that probably the interest in contemporary art, at least in this country, is London biased, requiring the art's media to elucidate to the mass audience the reasoning behind the work. The best example being the YBAs (Young British Artists) in the 80s, specifically the work of the Chapman brothers, with its nihilism and, in many ways, surreal content is an ironic discourse impacting the Zeitgeist. The Chapman brothers' work is current and I believe will stand the test of time.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Would you like to tell us something about your background? By the way, are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on

I, as I've intimated, try to avoid talking about

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Barbed Wire Portrait #9

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period of 6 to 12 months, 'from conception to exhibition' as it were.

my work, wishing to avoid pretension and accusations of hyperbole, preferring to let art speak for itself. Viz. The theme-matisation of my series, are emblematic of my praxis. Which is a synthesis of my gnosis, which can range from satire, nihilism to appropriationism and the requisite irony.

The subject matter usually dictates the medium. Recent work has included watercolours, inks and the expeditious use of spray-paint.

I'm influenced by daily life, and through my holistic attitude to perceived reality. My inspiration comes, via what I refer to as my muse, if I may describe her as such. May I?

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Barbed Wire that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit yur website directly at http://www.francischarlton.co.uk/# in order to get a wider idea of it... In the meanwhile, would you like to tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

I channel ideas, often in the early hours of the morning, and formulate, usually a series over a

I tend to make copious notes and thumb nail sketches. The preparatory work for my latest


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series, 'Barbed Wire Portraits', involved a dialogue with each sitter, getting to understand their psyche to enable me to create a portrait of them. The angel device was usually a found image that I integrated with the sitter. Colour was dictated by the individual sitters presentation, clothes etc. By, if I may suggest t their aura, the colours they exuded. The symbolic placing of the barbed wire, was, again, dictated by their presentation of self. Careful observation of the portraits will reveal that one of them does not contain barbed wire. I used Winsor and Newton water colour markers on Bockingford to create this series. I usually work on two pieces simultaneously, painting the background of one and while that dries working,

perhaps, on the foreground of another, as well as sketching out the next one. One of the features of this interesting series that has impacted on me is the way it effectively challenges the dichotomy between the perception of the real and the onirical dimension... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I believe my muse (see above) inspires my creativity and I don't second guess where


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she leads me. With the Barbed Wire series, there was a compromise from a graphic, often pragmatic style of my work, to a more lyrical style. Which I believed worked, but I don't think would have been possible without an emphatic awareness of the individuals concerned. Personal experience is essential, I believe, to the process of creating. Dave, the artist, my semi-fictional anti-hero from the Boulevardier series of novels, wouldn't paint someone without sleeping with them first, I remember an artist friend who would paint his drug fuelled surreal dreams, he claimed the drug kickstarted his imagination. Another interesting project of yours on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Walt's World... by the way, multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your

art practice: and I have been asked to sum up in a single word your artistic production, I would say that it's kaledoiscopic... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

'Kaleidoscopic ' Now that's an interesting summation, as I've said, (see above) the theme of a series dictates the medium as well as the style. The 'Walt's World' series was, essentially, graffiti images on canvas, a spontaneous collection of geo- and sociopolitical comments and observations on the then political climate. Incidentally, another aspect of working on canvas rather than a wall in the Metropolis is


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From the Msk Series

From the Msk Series

there is no CCTV recording your every movement. There's no need to to wear a disguise or have a lookout on every corner of the street in case The Old Bill (Police) try and apprehend you.

contemporary masterpiece. But, if the comment, had said, 'the subversion of this allAmerican icon, from family friendly, to nihilistic commentator on society, calls into question the acceptance of this symbol of the American Dream and its unrealistic notion of permanent happiness. But at what cost, this dream?' Now would have have been an interesting perspective.

The influence of the 'Disneynification' of culture by the 'Mouse' was a subject I wanted to subvert. Mickey as graffiti artist. The original illustration for this series is shown here for the first time. An American critic (?) made a comment on the painting of Mickey, dressed in a white robe, spray-painting Barack Obama white, with a caption that reads (subverting the campaign slogan) 'Yes We Klan' calling it a

And I couldn't do without mentioning your Mask Gas series, which I have to admit is one of my favourite project of yours: I have highly appreciated the sociopolitical criticism in stimulating series: by the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a


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From the Msk Series

bit na誰f, I'm sort of convinced that Art in these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion about socio political issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can even steer people's behavior... I would take this chance to ask your point about this. Do you think that it's an exaggeration? And what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in our society?

Actually the 'Gas Mask' series is another example of a project that was intended as a comment on sexual politics and the role of women in society. Which, I believe, worked on an intellectual level. The feedback I received

From the Msk Series

was overwhelmingly positive, and on an aesthetic level 99% of the prints were sold were purchased by women. Again feedback suggested they were purchased for personal use, for partners and boyfriends, to 'steer' behaviour towards a sexual encounter in rubber! It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... and I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art... By the way, how much important is for


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From the Msk Series


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you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

Yep! Feedback is important, particularly so when the concept is understood and supported both intellectually, and through sales. But apart from the encouragement to continue following my muse I'm not really interested in critical comment, it doesn't impact the creative

process, which is to create work that excites and sells. But it's the economic values that dictate the art marketplace. And if the artwork does sell the only winner is the gallery and the dealer. Perhaps the American example of employing artists to create art. The best example being the 'Public Works Art Project ' initiated during the 30s. This was a Federal programme to support the arts nationally against the


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deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I'm currently completing a series of illustrations for a book by Brazilian author Raphael Tate, 'Mist of Streams' to be published Spring 2015 background of the Great Depression. The Federal Government considered art essential to maintaining America's spirit. The project paid artists to produce. See for instance Diego Riviera’s murals from this period. Perhaps the concept is something we should re-consider. Local government setting aside a portion of their budget to employ artists to create murals for buildings. Enabling the community to participate in the aesthetic, would greatly reduce the initial negative response. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Francis. My last question

I'm working with Cliff Chapman, the actor, to complete his audio CD of my first book (Clean Up in aisle 7). About the exploits of London graffiti artist Wanksta© and his team of taggers, blaggers and slackers. He's currently putting together a short one-act play to be premièred Spring 2015 , to launch the Audio CD nd and the 2 edition of the book. After that I have a show in the North of England of illustrations of people in formal situations avoiding pro-social behaviour, and subsequently my London show of new work. And I'm writing the third instalment of The London Boulevardier books.


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Svetlin Velchev (The Netherlands)

Svetlin Velchev is an independent performer/choreographer based in The Netherlands. His current residency is Rotterdam,after an extensive dance education in NUTI Sofia and CODARTS Rotterdam. Since 2008 he has been part of Cultural Centre OT301 Amsterdam where he is still working till nowadays. At the moment he is also involved with the dance organization CIRCLE Rotterdam as well as with the development and coherency of his personal work. In 2012 Svetlin founded MANIFEST Dance Company, which has a mission to extend arm to broad audiences, inspire other artists, provoke interest in young or non-pro auditorium and provide cognitive understanding for dance in the ordinary public.


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Svetlin Velchev, photographer Theo van Prooijen

Gold, (background detail) Svetlin Velchev, Mixed Media on canvas, 2012 Business & Pleasure 7 Mixed 2011 photographer TheoMedia, van Prooijen

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An interview with

Svetlin Velchev Hello Svetlin, and welcome to ARTiculAction. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? By the way, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Hello there! Thank you for the kind invitation as I am feeling thrilled by your interest in my work and to talk about art with me! To tell you honestly - find it difficult to define what contemporary art is, especially nowadays when so many subjects, concepts and ideas has been explored in many ways and repeatedly used as an inspiration and theme. Even for a trained eye of an expert is not easy to understand what the current state of art is actually about. I know it must have certain qualities and social functions, but still very often they are simply not there or just hard to notice.The audience have seen so much stuff that its getting harder for an artist to be innovative and original, but luckily not impossible of course. Generally it is not certain anymore whether life imitates art or art imitates life. Art can be everything and nothing. Sometimes we have so much art flowing around us outside on the street and on the other hand a lack of it inside the museums and the theaters. Most important for an artwork perhaps would be the strong coherence by which is executed. It just has to make sense even if it is only in the imagination of the artist. Another important aspect would be I guess the means of expression and if that fits to the context of what you want to communicate across to the public. Clarity and personal signature for me plays major role in an

Svetlin Velchev, photographer Theo van Prooijen

artwork and that is what makes it significant, memorizable and recognizable. When I look at art I do not really judge, but need to feel the power of it and what kind of vibe it has. To accept it I somehow have to relate to it, try to understand why am I watching this and what the message would be about. I do not think there should be any actual dichotomy between the traditions and the contemporariness - the one can only support the other. Besides if you want to create good contemporary art you should be familiar with the art history and traditions even if you decide that they should remain obscure. One cannot only invent , one may as well recycle or remake and that has to do with the past and what has been established by recognized artists before. If you’re unaware you


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Monologues, Contemporary Dance Platform DI U&A, photographer Richard Beukelaar

might trap yourself at doing something already done, thinking that you are discovering when actually you are just repeating what is already existing. I guess what makes an artwork contemporary is the intention behind it, the social or political charge of it and how that resemblance to our daily life literarily - something that can easily connect to everyone at this moment of time. Something that the society is going through right now, contemporary art would reflect on.

Our decade is way different from what it was in the 90’s, technology develops rapidly and values are changing constantly, therefore is very easy that one stays behind with criteria, tendencies and approach to his creation. Would you like to tell us something about your background? After studying contemporary dance at the NUTI National School of Dance Art Sofia, you moved to the Netherlands where you are currently based and you studied at the CODARTS Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Rotterdam: how have these


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experiences -and especially moving from Bulgaria to the Netherlands- impacted on the way you currently create your pieces?

I am born and raised at Sofia, Bulgaria. Being involved with theatre, art and performance from the age of ten when I started studying in my secondary school, which was profiled with animation, puppetry and drama by Small Puppet Theatre “SLON”. After a couple of productions with them I was genuinely directed towards what I was found to be good at - movement and dance. That is how when I became 13 years old I got into a professional ballet / contemporary dance school NUTI. The follow up was an engagement with the National Ballet of Sofia for three seasons by the time I’ve graduated from my education. By 18 I was sure that I will not continue with the classical ballet as it was completely not of an interest for me. I knew it is a strong foundation for my further experience in dance so I appreciated it, but did not want to be focused on. I had friends dancers, which were also eager to discover the modern dance, which was not yet introduced that much to the Bulgarian art scene, so we’ve end up as a small collective chasing a common dream, all curious in the same direction and as a fellowship we’ve created several experimental performances like ‘Something else’ and ‘Metamorph’ under the umbrella of Dance Lab ‘Elea’, which was founded by the Bulgarian choreographer Elissaveta Iordanova together with us. A short while after that I had as well some very enlightening exchange with European companies from abroad like the Cypriot ‘Amfidromo’’, the Italian ‘Fabrica Europa’ or the Swiss ‘Cie Linga’’, which I think contributed to shaping my taste and opinion about what contemporary dance is and could be, seeing so different and super inspiring examples of it wherever I went. When our young experimental company ‘Elea’ separated I had some time to reconsider what do I want to do and should out of my dance career further on and since there are not much

opportunities for such an artists in Bulgaria, the question was really if I want to continue doing it there or somewhere else, where I could get the sufficient amount of information and knowledge in order to grow. All I needed was a possibility for implementation. Meanwhile figuring that out, solution was on its way. I was working for two seasons at the National Musical Theatre of Sofia, dancing at Miss Saigon and Czardasz Queen. We went on a European tour for few months, after which I didn’t return to Sofia, but left to Amsterdam, where eventually I stayed and organized my life for good. Coming to live in The Netherlands has a deep impact just as much as a turning point in my life and really think it changed my future. I got a chance to seek for what I mostly wanted - art, freedom, independence and knowledge. Quickly became part of an art collective, named OT301, where I am till nowadays and where in the embrace of my colleagues and the building’s strong statement and ideology, I found support and understanding. Two years later, after quite intense search of the right school and unsuccessful auditions, at 2009 I was accepted and followed the Choreography Studies of the Rotterdam Dance Academy CODARTS, where I’ve graduated successfully in 2011. Even though I have never considered myself a good student as I was quite rebellious, I have managed to finish it. I had the urge to express and was always interested in making my own pieces not realizing I took it less seriously in the beginning of it all, but very soon after I knew why I want to do it and what I wanted to share. And you can see somewhat that in my creations now - they always has to expose free spirit and will. I only needed back then clearer vision and style. Since my years at CODARTS I am getting closer to the essence of my art. Surrounded by inspiration and access to plenty of data sources everywhere really gave me a push in a proper direction and I just became more literate and


Breaking Habits, 24UUR Cultuur Rotterdam, photographer Max van Pelt


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Svetlin Velchev

Dialogues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

could easily put my ideas into exploitation. Trying to highlight the qualities I have and enhance everything I have created. While still being a student at Rotterdam had to cover my living expenses and education, so I worked parallel as a tech for the quite known Bulgarian performance artist Ivo Dimchev. We toured on some of the best festivals across Europe where I have seen some very fascinating performances including his own ‘Som Faves’ and ‘Lily Handel’. I would need another interview to tell you all about that experience as it was tremendous. Next time.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

My artwork is a fusion from light, sound and bodies in space and its all about creating a movement or moving image out of those elements, under a specific theme or concept. Rarely using text or speech in my performances. We were once singing in my performance Serenity


Svetlin Velchev

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Monologues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

from the program Mind in Motion, but that was one-time case. I am much more intrigued by the symbiosis between the design of the lights, the choreography and the music, merged together and used to achieve powerful visual effect and specific atmosphere, which carries symbolic, metaphoric or personal values. Sometimes I can be elaborating with props or stage-set, but that varies by the different occasions. The performances I make are rather abstract and open for interpretation. If I choose to be using narrative it is most likely to be an absurd work as one of my shows All is everywhere was. In terms of being diverse I try to

reinvent myself with each next project, using different types of media from photography/video to installations, projections, dance on location or the traditional stage performance. You might as well refer glimpses of the underground subculture and the hip-hop street culture in my creations. To start up a creation always happens I think in a way that it is mostly depending on what the assignment is, what is the initial inspiration, how much time there is to prepare it, how long the final result should be and what all the rest of the circumstances would be regarding performers, rehearsal space and deliverance. These are factors which would influence my idea and decisions.


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Svetlin Velchev

Dialogues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

In many cases the period of preparing the actual piece is short, which can either make the work more exciting or tough to complete. However from the moment of having an idea to the moment of really getting onto making it and how might take some time so that really evolves first in my head until it seems ready to come out. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Monologues / Dialogues (2014), an extremely interesting project that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest them to visit your

website directly at http://www.svetlinvelchev.com in order to get a wider idea of it. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this project?

Monologues / Dialogues is a spectacular show in two parts with a bunch of incredible artists participating - a result of the initiative ‘The Boiler Room’ by Contemporary Dance Platform DI U&A which is organized on a monthly basis at Utrecht, The Netherlands. It is a project, which has already statutory terms and conditions for making it. The artistic director


Svetlin Velchev

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Breaking Habits, 24UUR Cultuur Rotterdam, photographer Max van Pelt

Iris van Peppen invited me in December 2013 after one of their shows to participate and create one of the next editions so that is how I got to present it in May when the premiere took place. This rather alternative project is almost considered as a curatorial - it is an art experiment of improvisational meetings between musicians and dancers where they share skills and contribute to an unconventional ways of expression and performance experience. So I decided to invite a group of vibrant artists dancers, musicians, dramaturges, a photographer and a graphic designer to come

together and create the work. I came up with a principal idea,structure and frame for the show, so that I put it all into a certain context. And that was explicitly the theme of Contradictions as a nature of reality. Monologues / Dialogues is the two sides to every story. Containing and opposing each other at the same time, both of the perspectives which neither one of them exclude the other - they eventually contradict each other. So you can as well see that in the complete stylizing of the work - in the flyer design , in the show construction, in the artists cast - that there are


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Svetlin Velchev

Breaking Habits, 24UUR Cultuur Rotterdam, photographer Max van Pelt

always two meanings and it is not said, which is right or wrong, because we need both for balance. Monologues / Dialogues has been officially selected to be presented during the next edition of Baku Biennial ‘Aluminium’ in December 2014, which was the greatest accomplishment for this creation so far. Another interesting piece of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is Breaking Habits: by the way, Choreography is intrinsically based on artistic cooperation, and I do believe that this is today is an ever

growing force in Art and that that 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 effective synergy? By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between several artists?

Breaking Habits was last year CIRCLE production for Breaking Waves Festival Bergen and later on


Svetlin Velchev

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Breaking Habits, Breaking Waves Festival Bergen, photographer Max van Pelt

presented during 24 UUR Cultuur Rotterdam in September 2013. The official first performance was taking place on the beach at Bergen during sunset. Inspired by the title and the theme of the festival, Breaking Habits is symbolizing the urge to let go of old unconscious patterns and explore one's self-awareness.This dance piece has an architectonic composition based on choreographed improv. Full of meandering spirit, the essence of the work is defined by the habitual actions of the dancers, which are struggling to overcome these, forming different spatial structures through beautiful movement sequences. Wanted to express strong emotional

intelligence leaving everything behind and look ahead to new horizons, challenging myself to take different approaches and risks - something we shouldn’t be afraid to do. Peter Tabor said it well - I was completely influenced by the collaboration with the performers and their affiliation, as they brought the piece to its final destination. The right synergy was there. One of my main responsibilities is of course not only to guide and direct, but also to listen and perceive anything that could perhaps suits the process., the idea and the piece.I really prefer to share responsibilities and evoke


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Svetlin Velchev

Street Fighters, photography Svetlin Velchev

conversation with the artists I am working with, so that we all leave our footprints at the creation. Each of my works is practically characterized by the people participating at it and this is very important to me - to give the freedom of one’s artistic talent and personality. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your art practice: and I have been asked to sum up in a single word your artistic production, I would say that it's kaledoiscopic In particular, I have highly appreciated the way you are capable of establishing a so deep symbiosis between Art and Choreography... while

crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

It is indeed and I like your comparison to Kaleidoscopic. Also because of the geometry of it, which is so inspiring to me and a visible feature of my work.This is very much an image, which is tangible to my creations and my attempts to perpetuate several layers to complete a visual artwork. For me in our contemporary times multitasking and


Svetlin Velchev

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Street Fighters, photography Svetlin Velchev

multidisciplinary are keywords to art. If we say that these disciplines are options supporting the quality and resonance of my show then they must be by any means used. As an artist I am trying to bring excitement and complexity too, through the integration of each aspect bulging the concept of the piece. Dance is only one of the elements as the rest of the equally important ones - costumes, light and sound to fulfill the bigger picture. Not to be misunderstood though the best way I create is to first have plenty and afterwards subtract of what is unnecessary or too much, keeping it simple, accessible and pure.

And I couldn't do without mentioning Street Fighters, a dance video that you captured in the streets of Sofia: I have highly appreciated the way it reveals the freshness happiness of people who, as you have remarked once, are still doing what they love and happy with what they have... maybe I'm going wrong but I can recognize such a subtle sociopolitical criticism in this: I mean a constructive criticism... and although I'm aware that this might sound a bit exaggerated and naive, I'm sort of convinced that Art could play an active role in moving people awareness... what's your point?


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Svetlin Velchev

Street Fighters, photography Svetlin Velchev

Street Fighters is a very spontaneous video project pulled up completely out of the circumstances surrounding it - the places and the people, which consist of. Inspired by the street underground culture, I have even a little bit of a sentimental attachment to it as it was filmed out of the blue in my home town Sofia with close friends, which I know well and spend long time with. I was impressed by their persistence to do what they want and are good at, which I as well admire very much. I was visiting Sofia during the Christmas holidays and for some reason had a revelation - I

remember how striking the struggle of the youth was, how powerful the instinct for survival, the absence of justice, the beauty of uncertainty, the specific street sights of the city and the typical atmosphere were, which you might even sense through watching the video. And still on many levels people remain warm-hearted, empathetic and compassionate. So I felt like capturing and sharing this so special and unique spirit. And as you said above, there is a touch of a criticism that non of that is ever revealed in any way - there are not only negative sides of a poor country to focus on - there are as well talent, strength, love and


Svetlin Velchev

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Dialogues, Het Huis Utrecht, photographer Richard Beukelaar

dedication, which no one seem to notice. And that is a shame. Nah, you are not exaggerating - I absolutely share the opinion that good art can affect the publics opinion, broadening their views and open their minds and hearts. Your performances are strictly connected to establish a deep, intense involvement with your audience, both on an intellectual aspect and - I daresay - on a physical one, as in the extremely stimulating Fresques. So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part

of a creative process both for creating a piece and in order to "enjoy" it...Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I believe so and completely agree on providing an intense inner involvement of the audience. No matter what situation I put the audience at to observe and perceive, its very valid that their imagination should be activated. I cannot say that there is much interaction with the public or provocation of any kind during my shows, but the connection is most certainly established. And I hope that everyone can enjoy his personal journey


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Svetlin Velchev

Limitation Sky BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias, photographer Rita Szili-Torok

watching my stuff. I only wish anybody can find and recognize himself for a moment in my world. I mean there must be something about my art that should resemble to anything in the life of the artists I work with or the audience attending the performance to be able to touch their hearts and minds. It is all an ongoing process. I want to energize the viewer. The creativity and the direct experience are walking hand in hand, depending on each other.

Cartagena... It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of supporting an artist: I sometimes happen to wonder if the expectation of a positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist, especially when the creations itself is tied to the involvement of the audience... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

During these years your creations have been shown in several occasions, in many different countries and I think it's important to mention your recent participation at the BIACI 1st Biennial of Contemporary Art

Yeah! I am very glad for the chances I got and grateful for the experience last couple of years the times right after I’ve finished my studies at 2011. See The Netherlands is in a transition period of the cultural sector since then and for


Svetlin Velchev

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Fragment #3 BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias, photography BIACI Colombia archive

quite sometime already as that started exactly the same time of my graduation. So hasn’t been fun all the time and ain’t much easier earning a living either, but I guess that was all worth - in the end beliefs, effort and constancy pay off. On a small land as Holland with so many good artists the aim is not to be just good, but to be better. Been part of small to big scale events, made shows at remarkable venues, presented work on some of the well known local festivals like Fringe, Balkan Snapshots and State-X New Forms. My previous dance video Breathe On got to be presented in Honk-Kong, L.A. and Berlin. And last, but not least my recent exhibit of both of my solo works Fragment #3 and Limitation Sky

during BIACI 1st Contemporary Art Biennial Cartagena De Indias at Colombia. Feedback and constructive criticism are best for me. In fact I can’t really deal without them. I learn to listen to the valuable opinions and expertise of people without prejudices. Sometimes people just judge for the sake of it, but I believe only in the honesty and good intention of somebodies objective remarks. I easily compromise in the name of the perfect solution and not afraid of change. I also believe in the power of mistakes as I think mistakes like anything else happens for a reason to tell us something right. For every artist is important what the public thinks or feels. Communication is a teacher for the artist, because creating a


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Svetlin Velchev

Fragment #3 BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias, photography Makers Magazine New York

dialogue can be very helpful. And each work can be oriented towards specific target group or either reach to a wider range of audience, which I most definitely prefer. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Svetlin. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Thank you too, the pleasure was all mine! Hope you get to hear more from me in the near future.

So after the launch of my latest work Monologues / Dialogues in May, I have been invited to perform it during the next issue of Baku Biennial at Azerbaijan upcoming December. 2014 was a prominent year for me and looking towards even a better one in 2015.

an interview by Dario Rutigliano, Curator


Svetlin Velchev

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Fragment #3 BIACI 1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art Cartagena de Indias photography Barbara Krulik

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ARTiculAction Art Review December 2014  
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