Artist Talk Magazine Issue 2

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October 2017







ARTIST TALK MAGAZINE Welcome to the second edition of Artist Talk Magazine. This is a magazine for everyone and is written by artists. The main focus of the magazine is to showcase artists and to give them a chance to share more depth about the work they produce. This magazine aims to showcase a wide range of work, inspired by many different influences. The magazine originates from the United Kingdom but will feature artist from all across the globe. After successfully launching Artist Talk Magazine this Summer, I was extremely excited to announce that the second issue would be coming out this October. Once again, I am pleased to showcase more incredible artists from around the globe, hopefully this gives a great feel to the magazine with lots

of different voices and capturing many different styles of working. All the artists featured within this issue have given interesting in-depth honest accounts about themselves, their work, views and ideas. In addition to the amazing images of the work they produce, which I know you the reader, will enjoy and be inspired by. If you are a artist wanting to feature in the next issue, please email grantmilne@

artisttalkmagazine ArtistTalkMag artisttalkmagazine





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Mario Sughi was born in Cesena in 1961. His father was the artist Alberto Sughi and it was in his studio under his guidance that Mario started painting and drawing. Towards the end of the seventies in Rome he published his first cartoons and illustrations for Il Male and Zut, two popular satirical magazines of the time. In 1986 he graduated from La Sapienza Univesity with a degree in Art and History. Three years later he moved to Dublin where in 1995 he completed a PhD in Medieval History at Trinity College. In 1996 in Queen’s University, Belfast he prepared for the Irish Manuscripts Commission an edition of a Latin medieval text. On his return to Dublin he went back to his original occupation, working as an illustrator for

a commercial company of archaeolgists. It was during this time that he started to use digital techniques for his drawing. In 2007 he turned to producing his own art and illustration on a fulltime basis. In that year he had his first group exhibition in Dublin at the Loft Gallery in Lombard Street, followed by his first solo exhibitions, at the Green Room, in Manchester in 2010, and then at the Exchange Gallery in Temple Bar and The Complex Studios in Smithfield Square, in Dublin in 2011. His reputation has grown quickly and his work now features in both public and private collections, including the Municipal Gallery of Waterford, the Contemporary Art

Museum of Cassino (CAMUSAC), and the Absolute Art Collection. In 2011 he showed at the Italian Cultural Institute of Dublin as part of the 54th Venice Biennale. His works have been presented in solo exhibitions in different venues in Waterford (2012), Rome (2012), Vicenza (2013), Mannheim (2014 & 2015), Aberdeen (2016) and Turin (2016). His work has also been installed at Dublin Airport (2011), NHOW Hotel (Milan 2013), Grosby Park (Dublin 2015), and Raheny Public Library (Dublin 2016), and presented in the last six Annual Exhibitions at the RHA in Dublin. In 2017 Sughi’s work will be exhibited at the Luan Gallery, Athlone and at the Droichead Arts Center.


It’s like when you sit in a coffee shop and enjoy looking at the people passing by. Some of the people capture your attention. You follow them with your eyes and you reinvent their stories, yet the only thing you know about those people and their lives is their image standing in front of you. That is what you try to do when then you draw and paint: you try to capture and reproduce those interesting images. Nothing more nothing less, because the image seems already to have everything you need within it. I don’t know what I am doing in terms of meaning when I work. It’s not that interesting to me.

My interest is in colour, form, composition and light. If you create a nice image, that image will probably contain something interesting and something meaningful as well. But that will emerge only later, when the work is finished and you look at it on the wall. In retrospect when I look at my recent works, I think that the images I have created, at times modern (new), colourful and beautiful, at times a bit aggressive, depict a world that looks a lot like our contemporary society where the figures who take the scene seem to be searching for a moment of rest, separation, reflection.



I don’t think that was my intention when I started, and possibly somebody else looking at the works won’t see this but will see other things. Ultimately the work is about the image and the image is made by colours, lights and volumes. It seems to me that new mixed media & digital painting, so naturally adapted to working with primary colours, large backgrounds and flat surfaces, allows for the creation of very elegant images with a great sense of depth. At least, this is my expectation and vision. DISCOVER MORE





and objects are separated and then gathered together again according to a more precise criteria. Storing pictures and their associated information for my artwork is very important and this super organised system works, but it is only intended to act as a depository.


Kitty Shepherd is a highly regarded British ceramic artist with a career as a slipware potter spanning more than 30 years. Her creative training could be best described as an unorthodox path through further education, which began in the arts, but not specifically in ceramics. Her early passions were for the stage, studying primarily voice (Soprano) and drama. She was first introduced to clay as a minor subject during this two year course and it changed so much for Kitty; the result was two productive years of singing, acting and ceramics, which were the foundations of an artistic life filled with many significant turning points. In the end her affinity with ceramics dictated the direction of her future career. From these early beginnings to the current day, she continues to channel her passion for slipware into developing her own unique style. All my pots are intensely specific in their focus on a particular subject. Over time I have established a particular system for honing and cataloguing information; to classify

and impose order on those things that affect me. It is all intentional; there is nothing random in the selection of my source material everything is obsessively thought out. People who have visited me in my studio are probably surprised to see that as part of the beginnings of my creative process, I start with what can only be described as apparently random piles of paper, but that is because deep down I am a collector. For years, I have been filling books, boxes and folders with saved scraps of paper on subjects that interest me or tangentially touch on areas of personal interest. These may seem irrelevant at the time but it is the subject matter that is either contained within these papers or inspired by the images or words that eventually end up as the starting point for a new pot or collection of pots. Normally, in my ordered folders the subject matter is arranged in such a way as to suggest that some kind of lateral thinking is at play. Bicycles are placed with road markings and toy guns are to be found with water pistols and ray guns. However, a subcategorization then takes place

When the time comes and I actually need to do something with this archive, I need a bit of chaos to inject a certain amount of randomness. The images and scraps that I have gathered together for a particular topic can be interpreted as the ingredients for a recipe that need to mix and start talking to each other in order to spark a concept that can be worked on. I think it is at this point when the interest in any particular collected subject(s) becomes overpoweringly compulsive that I begin to move pieces from that pile to join another. This then begins a new, potentially explosive, mixture of ideas that I might work with. However if a mix doesn’t work out then everything gets separated back into their own folders for another time. Although this may sound complicated, I find that my internal thinking runs along several tracks simultaneously, all the time. An ability which has informed some of my more interesting work over the years. These mixed boxes of potentially inspirational content can remain ‘live’ or active in my studio or on my work bench for several months and even when it is exhausted a box is preserved for another time. Once I have worked with a photograph, so that I don’t spoil the original image, the original physical copies are substituted for digital line drawings so that they can be replicated and re-sized according to my requirements. The cuttings are then placed back in their folders and the archive is kept complete. It is a peculiar way of working that has evolved into the digital age from my early days of childhood scrapbook making.


It is interesting to see how this early “hard wiring” of the personality is still central to the way I interpret and manage all the “stuff” that is out there. Once things are in my scrapbook, box or folder they are mine and I can lay claim to them. Many of the objects I am attracted to now have been with me all my life as physical memory and by collecting them I am sorting them out. It would be accurate to say that they are quite literally the fabric of who I am. Ironically, in the end, the true collection of all these artefacts and data is what remains in my mind. The pieces of paper survive, but it can take years for the process to throw them up again. It would be tempting to say that my collections seek a form of selfenclosure where history is replaced by some form of classification and the collection is a form of art involving the reframing of these historical artefacts within a world of constant manipulation. Like other forms of art, its function is the creation of a new context, a context standing in a metaphorical relationship to everyday life. For me the collection is a continuation, an intrinsic part of my life. This archive ensures that I begin all new work with a huge amount of material and ideas. The best ideas come from literally months of thinking and planning. I build my pot with one eye open taking in the fall of a plumb line and a profile. Once the pot is made, I only have a relatively short window of time to complete the surface painting before the damp clay dries out. I try and hold this back for as long as possible with plastic and Clingfilm covers in order to not only extend the creative window but to prevent faults and cracking. In the intense dry heat during the spring and summer months, maintaining an adequate level of humidity for the



work is a time consuming task in itself and ensures focus. As each pot can take as long as a month to decorate and complete prior to firing, there is ample time to reflect on what is being created. Sometimes at the end I can look at what I have done in surprise and have no idea how I did it, which is usually a good sign. For the past 10 years my workshop has been in my house in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, south of Granada in Spain. I am surrounded by the cool of the mountains and breath-taking views. I feel I have time travelled to this place, 3,000 feet above sea level where children are still allowed to play like children and horses and donkeys live in the houses with their owners. In the winter, pigs are slaughtered in their owners’ garages and the strings of homemade sausages and chorizo can be seen hanging from the balconies and the rafters of upstairs rooms and the women have fire tinged cheeks from cooking in the open hearths of their garages. Despite its attractions and obvious benefits to health and sanity, this timeless idyll is beginning to disappear. There is the inevitable clash of culture as modern western consumerism encroaches on this world. The farmers now have modern tractors and mobile phones, their children drive Audi’s and their wives have more cleaning products for their Neff hobs than you could stuff into one cupboard and yet they still prefer the hearth. It is a very traditional agricultural Spanish community of only 900, still poised on the edge of the 21st century and I have been fascinated by this simple way of life. By circumstance, I work very much alone, linguistically stranded. I have a wi-fi radio tuned in to Radio 4 or 6, but with 12,000 other stations to listen to I can switch to radio city Delhi for a

thrilling change of mood if the whim takes me. Although I miss my shared studio in Sussex and the chat, building the Spanish workshop and working in it has been hard, but creatively inspiring. I am surrounded by breath-taking examples of traditional Andalucian pottery derived from early Moorish influences, which serve as a constant reminder of how this cultural diversity moves art and civilization forward. I return to England every month. It is always beneficial to have a break from this solitary simple life and to briefly reconnect with my roots in Sussex. The contrast never fails to spark another flash of creativity. It is this example of a blatant contradiction of time and space which is so central to the work of a potter. I am currently working on the combination of fragile flowers and crudely drawn words that proclaim passion and rage which is so thrilling. Putting words on pots is an overt move for me. I have to come out from behind the slippery shadows of pictures, to proclaim a kind of certainty that I think will work. DISCOVER MORE



My name is Charlotte Posner, I am 30 years old. I am currently typing this up on the plane coming home form a month in Italy where I have been inspired by the local scenery to broaden my creative horizons. I am creative and addicted to making and creating art. I first started drawing and painting as a very small child. My earliest memories are of moving my parents furniture around to create different space in the lounge. When they went out for dinner it was my mission to push and pull the furniture round, so when they returned they saw a different room. In the same way I create space with in a painting or on canvas. I create different visions in each of my paintings, using shape and form and colour in unusual and unexpected ways.

At the beginning of a project I think of the subject I am going to paint, I then sketch it out in pencil, then add the paint first. Previously I used to draw in pen and ink first, but I found that when I drew in ink first then painted over the top, I used to have to go over the ink again as the paint would cover some of the solid ink marks. So now I paint the colour in first. I work very freely and paint as I go, using my instinct with colours, shape and forms. Then I outline with dip pen and ink, wait for it to dry and rub the remaining pencil marks out. I should mention that this ink is so extremely strong and dense, I have learnt that one tiny drop is almost impossible to remove. So the difference between beautiful clean paper and the ink is a total contrast. I have to be very careful that my hands do not smudge the wet ink and that my pen doesn’t leak. I even remove my jewellery and wear short sleeves so nothing drags or smudges the paper.

When working on large paintings I use spray paint, oil paint, drawing materials and house paint. It’s a totally different head space and feeling to paint on paper than it is to paint on canvas. After art school I applied to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition which resulted in my work being exhibited there in 2013. The following year I was approached by the BBC Culture Show who requested an opportunity to follow the process of exhibiting. I was filmed by them for a month and the resulting programme was screened on BBC2 the week the 2014 Exhibition opened. Following this programme the Dean of the Royal Academy Lord Mervyn Davies and his wife Lady Jeanne Davies contacted me to arrange a meeting, with regard to purchasing some of my work. Ultimately I sold them several important pieces from my collection and they have become my patrons, giving me an enormous amount of support for which I am extremely grateful.

For my recent bodies of work I get inspiration by everything and anything around me. From people to places to objects. My head is always filled with new ideas and thoughts and I find the more I create the more I’m compelled to create. I was trained in oils at secondary school by a fantastic teacher Mr Jepson. From the age of 14 I used oil paint at school, so oils became my favourite medium with which to paint. To create my Pop Dolls I use acrylics which I started using three years ago and found to be the perfect medium due to their quick drying properties and non toxic odours.




I started painting my Pop Dolls as I wanted to have a specific theme to my work. I wanted to develop a statement style that would be recognisable specifically to me. Throughout the years at art school, university and afterwards I always tried to experiment with different themes in lots of different styles. I was continuously thinking about forming a certain style. The first Pop Doll I created had an ice cream theme. I took a photo of my work and posted it on social media; the response was incredible! I had the most ‘likes’ I have ever had. I was inundated with commissions in this style and also with other suggestions of further themes. The Magnum Pop Dolls theme was featured heavily across the company’s social media campaign for the summer season and subsequently the Pop Dolls have gone from strength to strength. For the past three years I have collaborated with high profile companies such as Disney, Walls



Ice Cream, Coca Cola, Andrew Martin Interiors, Little Miss books, Warner Music Productions, Hilton Hotels, Havana Club, Louis Vuitton and many others. Naturally my style is not to everyone’s liking. People can be very critical. In the early years I would listen to them and take on board their criticism but now I am far more confident and secure in what I do. I was approached in 2014 by Paint Jam to do a public project outside Kings Cross Station. The idea was that I should paint a black and white skyline 5 metres long on canvas and then members of the public came and filled in their own interpretations of the city. I have also travelled the world producing street art in major cities such as Los Angeles, Lisbon, New York, Tel Aviv and London amongst others. I have been involved in

community projects such as a local synagogue, where I produced eight stained glass windows depicting the eight main festivals. Other projects in the pipeline are a mural for Waltham Forest District Council, a collaboration with a fashion designer in Los Angeles next month and a digital installation at the headquarters of Andrew Martin Interior Designers main showroom in London’s West End.


My website now sells my own design of accessories such as jewellery, bags, leather jackets, hats and stationery.


I see my future as an expansion of my current position with exciting projects with greater diversity. I want to expand my repertoire to include solo exhibitions abroad, a larger product range of luxury goods and generally more diverse projects. I am open to collaborations and opportunities that are fresh and exciting and feel that these are just around the corner for me. I am on the brink of the most important time in my career and I cant wait to see what the future holds for me in the years to come. DISCOVER MORE






A.L.L. Seashore Druidry Sensing the Seashell

allseashoredruidry.asp and then contact me for more information.

By The Seashore Druid

Back to the drawing board as they say.

Before I take a walk with you along the seashore so that you can choose your seashell I will briefly introduce myself. I am a Seashore Druid, Irish, creative and love walking along the seashore. (You can not get any briefer than that, she says laughingly). If you do want to know more about me you can take a leisurely seashore stroll along my website – www. – for the rest of what I do. Now let us make a start and get creative and do some seashell drawing. Let us pretend – unless you are at the seaside, then you can do it for “real”. Why “real” and not real? Well that is another story far to long to tell here but you can take a look at

It is a lovely sunny day with a slight cool breeze, you are appropriately dressed for the walk and you have topped it off with a sun hat, sun glasses and an eco friendly bag with water and a tiny bit of fruit. Have you left a note to say where you are going? (Yes we have to cover health and safety in your imagination too). Oops nearly forgot the canvas soled shoes to protect you from the rough rocks and the broken glass. The latter being left on the seashore by someone who comes from a careless throw-away society. Having checked the weather and tide times, let us set out on our quest for that seashell to draw. What a gorgeous day for it. Not a cloud in sight and the sky is a glorious sky blue. It is still quite

early so there is not a soul about and all you can hear are the waves gently caressing the shoreline and the liquid rippling cry of the curlew. Take a deep breath of that crisp salty air. Mmmmm lovely... Can you see the beginning of the trail of the seashells just ahead? Let your eyes/mind wander further along the seashore. If they have not yet come into sight they soon will. Wow they are so diverse and so many to choose from. Which one do you feel most drawn to? Go over and pick it up. Wait! Just before you do, take a look at where it has been lying. Capture the scene of where you found your shell. Make a mental note of the pretty green seaweed entangled around it framed by golden sand and blue ragged fishing rope, and hold it in your mind for later. Or if you want to be high tech, imagine your Canon IXUS taking a picture of it.


do not have all your five senses but hopefully you will get my drift. Putting it under different shades of light, look at it from every angle, touch it, smell it, taste it and then put it to your ears to listen to it. Make mental notes on all you find. Are the colours glossy or matt? Is the pattern intricate and reoccurring? Does it taste salty and gritty or maybe with a bit of sweetness? Can you hear the sound of the far away oceans? Can you smell the sea air lingering in the shell?


Whilst you were choosing yours I walked on further to the rock pool and picked up a periwinkle – a dark brown mollusc that feeds on algae growing on the rock surface. What is your chosen seashell? Not sure what they call it - then you can check it out in your shell book or on the internet when you get back home. Put your chosen seashell carefully into your pocket and take a wee stroll along the seashore until you feel it is the right time to return home. Or you could stay a wee bit longer and do a wee meditation. (Remembering of course your tide times!) This would put you in a relaxed state of mind which would help you absorb the details that you would need to recall for your drawing later. Not sure how to meditate? Well here is a wee simple version to start you off. Choose a safe place and smooth the sand into shape so that you can lie down and be comfortable – try not to fall asleep though! Close



your eyes and take seven deep breaths – breathing in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds and then breathe out through your mouth. After the deep breathing let your breath settle back down to its normal rhythm. Gently push the racing routine thoughts away and replace them with the thought of the golden sun gently kissing your body, sound of the sea blue waves caressing the shore and the gently wafting of the cool breeze making your skin tingle with anticipation. Just lie back and enjoy the sensations. When you feel that the time is right gently return your thoughts to everyday things and then eat some of that fruit you brought with you – this will ground you. Now retrace your steps back home – sit at your drawing desk or at anywhere that is your favourite place in which to do your drawing. It is time to “sense your seashell” before you begin to draw it. I have the use of all my five senses so you may go about this differently if you

Finally imagine where it came from and what might have happened to it before you chose it. Was it just going through its normal life cycle? Or had it been used as an adornment for a sandcastle or part of a Mermaid’s tail or in one of her tales? With all that stored in your mind settle down to draw. Remember drawing is all about creativity and reliving the moment and not perfectionism.


To the drawing itself. The sensing of the seashell is mainly to inspire you to draw it but if you want to put all that detailed sensing into the drawing then that is fine. It is your drawing.

The sensing for me is just to inspire me, so in my case the drawing is the inspiration combined with my simple life style frame of mind. If I have trouble getting the shape of the shell to make me happy then I may look out a photo of it and copy it. I would use the photograph from the reference book and take a piece of baking paper/ parchment paper (from my food cupboard) and use it to trace the outline. It is still not about being perfect, it is just about making me feel happy about the way it looks. If the shell that I collect is misshapen or chipped I would include that in my drawing too. I just use the photograph to get the right proportions. To colour it in I prefer to use my wee box of coloured pencils (this brings back memories of my happy childhood and allows me to daydream as well as draw – multi tasking going on here) not expensive and only a wee selection of colours. As you can see from the photographs my style of drawing and use of colour follow the path of simplicity. Keeping to the simple life and being creative reduces the bad stress that tries to invade my life every so often. Colour and the use of it is an important factor in our creative life. It dominates and permeates every aspect of our life. Every day, every hour, every second we are bombarded by colour. We use it for attraction, for health and for survival and so on... The colour green “sparks” creativity so you could surround yourself with some green colour – plants, green crystals, hint of green light or sit in a green room. Or maybe you would rather work in a relaxed and calm state and therefore work around the seashore colour of blue. Blue is the colour of soothing, cooling, calming, relaxing, peace, and tranquillity.


You can just keep your drawing as a memento of your trip to the seashore or you can use it for many other things too. I use mine to make into cards, postcards, bookmarks or attach them to my letters. People still love to receive handmade cards and postcards as it shows that a lot of thought and effort went into the communication. If cards and letters are not your thing then you can scan them and put them into your e-mails. It will add that uniqueness to the e-mail and may inspire them too.

the seashell you have chosen and why. You can contact me through my feedback page at: http://www. and if you wish me to use your story please say so too. Thank you for joining me on my seashore walk. DISCOVER MORE

You will also find my drawings in my A.L.L. Seashore Druidry coursework. Quite a big part of the coursework involves creativity and inspiring creativity. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words – in this case a photo of a drawing. I hope you enjoyed the walk with me and “Sensing the Seashell”. I would love to know more about



ANTHONY Lister is in a rush. He’s always in a rush. With a paintroller in one hand, a cigarette in the other and a phone wedged under his ear, he marches into position and examines the giant canvas in front of him. All two stories of it, at the back of a shopping mall in Sydney. It’s a strange kind of genius that looks at this and sees art, but whatever it is Lister is it. Raised in a broken home in suburban Brisbane, he is today among the world’s most collectable artists.


convinced however, least of all the maintenance man.


Introduced to art by his orphaned grandmother, it wasn’t until he suffered a complete mental breakdown courtesy of the powerful hallucinogenic, datura, that art became his sole pursuit. “I came out of it and I didn’t know who I was. I completely forgot every trace of my identity except for the fact I had some drawings on the walls and I went, ‘oh I draw, so that’s when I decided that’s what I’m gonna do,” he says. He’s sold out shows in every of the world’s major art hubs — from Milan to London, New York and of course here in Australia. His work can be found on the walls of everyone from Geoffrey Rush to Pink and Hugh Jackman, but at around $10,000 to 15,000 a piece they don’t come cheap — unless you’re a member of the Australian public, in which case you get all of his best stuff for free because Lister is a street artist. The day I meet him he’s painting a piece for the Broadway Shopping Center group, signalling a new stage in his career: big money corporate gigs. Not everyone’s

“I usually spend all day painting your sh*t off the walls,” he snaps at Lister. Lister grins nervously. Truth be told he’s not that into tagging, though he has had his share of tussles with the law. Over the course of his career he’s travelled the country replacing bus shelter advertisements with his own art; dropped a car crushed by a giant boulder painted with signature Lister effect, in the middle of a roundabout in Sydney’s exclusive Rocks district (after many months it was discovered that no one had actually authorised the installation and Lister was ordered to pay $1400 dollars to have it removed); and painted dozens of walls — both legally and illegally around the country. Last May he became the centre of a public furore after he was sort on vandalism charges for painting a garage roller-door in a grimy Brisbane back alley. The piece, which could be conservatively valued at around $15,000, was not authorised by the garage door owner. The police were called and Lister fled the state. “You know, I don’t wanna encourage anyone to go around ripping my art from the walls and selling it but if you look at how much my stuff sells for in galleries …” says Lister. While Lister escaped, his friend was

nabbed by police and threatened with being an accessory to wilful damage of property unless he rolled on Lister.


Lister came out swinging, even appearing on the breakfast television show Sunrise, to plead his case. “There I am on TV and the guy from the Price Is Right or some s*** is saying how pretty it all looks and (my friend) is under house arrest. I felt terrible,” he said. The artwork was promptly painted over by authorities in what is but one of a dozen or so examples of Lister’s work being buffed around the country.




For over 20 years the various state and regional governments of Australia have waged war on illegal street art and graffiti to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Most of it is spent on eradication and prevention programs, programs Lister calls akin to “cultural genocide.” Yet, despite this Australia has still managed to become arguably the world’s street art capital. The practice itself, meanwhile, is considered one of the greatest domestic art movements in the nation’s history. “It was a convict settlement and if you look at the way Australian icons that people love a lot of they are people like Ned Kelly, Chopper Read, you know?,” says Andy Mac, co-curator of the National Art Galleries 2010 street art collection Space Invaders and the widely hailed ‘godfather’ of Australian street art. “Australia has a long standing fascination with people that live outside the boundaries or who are willing to say something, despite the fact the authorities might not necessarily agree with it or want you to do it,” he says. Lister’s dad ran out on the family when he was six, condemning them to a harsh subsistence lifestyle and Lister to a never-ending list of menial jobs. He remains estranged from his father today though did recently find his first ever painting for sale on his father’s eBay account. The asking price was $200. “I couldn’t believe he did it. It was just a jerk thing to do. I don’t mind if I gave it (to him), you know, but you usually run that past your son before you sell it. It was the first time I ever put paint down and mixed them around!” he says. Lister was taught to paint by his late grandmother, an orphan who was beaten by Catholic nuns into painting right-handed despite the fact she was left. It was at her house he was introduced to the works of Brett Whitely and Arthur



Streeton, two artists who’ve had a resounding affect on his career. “She’d have Arthur Streeton’s paintings on place mats and she’d always have a Calendar of Masters, so I’d always be looking at traditional Australian expressionists,” he says. The ‘burbs’ in Brisbane could be a tough place to grow up. Boredom gave way to destruction, which gave way to violence, which often gave way to long stints in juvenile detention and later prison for many of his friends. Lister too struggled with destructive bouts as a teenager. “It’s stifling to come from such a sterile environment. To live in one you don’t understand how beautiful things can be, you know … It was just as fun for me to squish up clay and throw it at walls or just completely destroy classrooms, ‘cos there is an angst that goes with growing up in a place like that. “When you can’t be creative you find other ways to do it and it’s often either destructive or violent,” he says. Hailing from working class stock and with a natural distrust of authority, courtesy of his early dealings with police, Lister became immersed in Australia’s long and colourful outlaw history, particularly the legendary bushranger tales of Ned Kelly and his gang.

One of his first ever drawings was of a bushranger, while later in 2006, he sought out career criminal Chopper Read as a subject for the Archibald; an experience he describes as not overwhelmingly positive though enriching nonetheless. “I was kind of naive to a lot of things … He borrowed a sizeable amount of money off me, which took a long time to get back and when I got it back he was a bit funny about it,” he says, though adds, “It was a rewarding experience just to nut him out. I’m attracted to criminal activity when it’s so public. I’m attracted to scoundrels and larrikins and the undercurrent of society. Coming from Brisbane it’s given me that language as well … I guess I’m interested in how people weave around the system,” he says. The pair would spend months trading letters and paintings, many of Chopper’s occupying pride of place in Lister’s collection and many of Lister’s occupying pride of place on Chopper’s eBay account. “I’m not bothered by it,” he chuckles. Lister’s tangles with the law go back a long way. As a 19-year-old back in 1999 it was the Brisbane City Council that gave him his first job as an artist, after he won a competition to paint the city’s electrical boxes, many of which had been covered in tags and



graffiti. He earned ten thousand dollars for the job, which he used to get himself to New York and into a fine art residency under the great New Zealand artist, Max Gimblett. The council’s initiative meanwhile, went down as one of most celebrated in their history. Though it wasn’t all good news especially for Lister.


You don’t just go around painting over other people’s tags in graffiti community. It’s the single most disrespectful thing you can do. Lister had painted over half the Brisbane graffiti community in one go and after leaving a pool hall one night, having spent the day painting it, he found his beloved car, the one he’d bought with his new wealth and which he’d painted with his unmistakable style, “turned inside out.” “Four dudes had been on the roof just stomping it,” he says. “They knew which car it was.” In 2010 the Brisbane City Council turned on Lister, buffing one of his works in a vacant lot despite it having been approved by the property’s owner. The loss to the community was estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, prompting Brisbane City Councillor David Hinchcliffe, the man who originally gave Lister the job painting the electrical boxes, to break ranks and criticise his own staff. “This is a very heavy-handed approach by council to a sensitive issue. I can’t understand why council would leave tags that are on public property and yet go into private property without the owner’s permission, without any contact with the owner and remove something that is clearly not a tag but a work of art,” he said. There is no one set of laws for dealing with street art and graffiti in Australia. In Sydney it’s illegal for graffiti — defined as “defacing, writing, scratching or drawing on property so that the marks can’t be removed easily with a dry cloth. This includes stencil art and engraving” — to exist in any space viewable by the public, regardless of whether the owner has given the artist permission or not. The same laws apply in Queensland though Victoria is slightly more lax, allowing property owners to commission street art so long as the contents are not deemed offensive to a “reasonable person.” Viewed in this context, Lister’s

approach to street art has been cunning. For an artist who, since the age of 22, has used his discipline to provide for three children and a partner, there’s no question that exhibiting in public has been an effective way to create hype. “His street art and his commercial practice developed side by side but they feed each other,” says Andy Mac. “Having an exhibition is one thing but putting your work on the street, there is no other way you can get more people looking at your art than putting it in a public place,” he says.

Lister admits he is more of “a fine artist who paints on the street,” than a graffiti artist, also telling me that for the most part he’s hated by the underground graffiti sub culture. “I don’t paint trains and I don’t claim to, but I speak passionately about graffiti being this final frontier of artistic integrity … there’s true beauty in the abstract formation of letters and I support it fully,” he says. So where does he stand? “I don’t stand, I’m floating in an ambiguous bubble of contradictions, because on one side I’m being celebrated, paid, put up in fancy motels and meeting celebrities for painting a wall that, the same wall, in the same environment in a different city, I’m being chased down by the police for, they’re knocking on my ex-wife’s door. “The school that suspended me up until the last week of year 12 has a photo of me in their office under ‘successful students.’ The irony is just paramount,” he said. DISCOVER MORE




Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. Born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother, Taylor graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998 with a BA Honours in Sculpture. His permanent site-specific works span several continents and predominately explore submerged and tidal marine environments. His multi-disciplinarily sculptural works explore modern themes of conservation and environmental activism; Over the past 10 years Taylor has created several largescale underwater “Museums” and “Sculpture Parks”, with collections of over 850 life-size public works. A prolific sculptor, he became the first of a new generation of artists to shift the concepts of the Land art movement into the realm of the marine environment. He gained international notoriety in 2006 with the creation of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, situated off the west coast of Grenada in the

West Indies. Now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic the park was instrumental in the government declaring the site a National Marine Protected Area. This was followed in 2009 when he co-founded MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte), a vast collection of over 500 of his sculptural works, installed between Cancun and Isla Mujeres in Mexico. Other major projects include Museo Atlantico (2016), a collection over 300 submerged sculptures and architectural forms in Lanzarote, Spain, the first of its kind in European waters. The Rising Tide (2016 Thames London) and Ocean Atlas a monumental 60-ton single sculpture located in the Bahamas. The works are constructed using pH neutral materials to instigate natural growth and the subsequent changes intended to explore the aesthetics of decay, rebirth and metamorphosis. His pioneering public art projects are not only examples of successful marine

conservation, but works of art that seek to encourage environmental awareness, instigate social change and lead us to appreciate the breathtaking natural beauty of the underwater world. He has received numerous sculpture and photography awards and was awarded 2014 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, described as the Jacque Cousteau of the Art world.



In 1968, the Virginia Dwan Gallery in New York hosted a ground breaking exhibition called EARTH WORKS that redefined the art world as it was known. This exhibition took art into new fields of materials, locations and scale, as the artworks it exhibited were built in and from the natural environment, but it did not necessarily include environmentalist responsibility. This came to be known as Earthworks or Land Art. The introduction of art that engages with, and addresses social issues such as poverty, addiction, capitalism or equal rights (to name a very few) brought forward another new field of artistic expression, where art has become a form of activism. We currently exist in a time of great environmental damage, where the destructive activities of industry and the daily consumptive habits of individuals, wreak environmental havoc on our planet. Each day, habitats are destroyed, whole species are lost and climate change alters the living conditions across the world. Small changes can be made that can ultimately have a big impact, the first step of which is bringing about environmental awareness of the conditions of the various ecosystems around the globe. Environment, Art and Activism




In this current heightened climate of global environmental awareness, a new form of art that maintains aesthetics (in a traditional sense) but is also conceptually-based, aims to raise awareness of the broad health of the environment or highlight specific concerns. Building on the foundations laid out by the Land Artists, a new generation of artists has emerged that place environmentalism at the forefront of their practice. Each with unique concerns and ways of addressing these concerns to draw the attention of the viewer. The art of Jason deCaires Taylor is situated

within this emerging environmental paradigm of art, taking the viewer to the depths of the ocean. Among the many strengths of art, is the ability to introduce the viewer to new ideas and thoughts. However, to be an artwork that is active in bringing about positive change, it must be more than thought provoking. Taylor’s installations provide wide reaching benefits on many levels. They are infused with complex concepts and social commentary while working with and enhancing the marine environments they are placed in. Whole coral reefs are subject to bleaching through rising sea water temperatures, changes in acidity, pollution from agricultural chemicals and removal of key species by over fishing, resulting in the destruction of entire marine habitats, and prompting initiatives like artificial reefs to be produced. Taylor’s artworks are essentially artificial reefs, formed of carefully manufactured sculptures installed at various locations around the world. Each sculpture is created using non-toxic, pH neutral marine grade cement, free from harmful pollutants, becoming an integral part of the local ecosystem. The cement is highly durable, with a rough texture that encourages coral larvae to attach and thrive, while nooks and dark cubbyholes formed of folds of clothing provide homes for fish and crustaceans. The timing of installation is significant to ensure they are in place downstream before the larval coral spawning occurs, yet not so early that other sea life colonises it before the coral can take hold. The placement of sculptures is further carefully considered to maximise positive environmental impact. In many cases deCaires Taylor’s sculptures are placed away from existing reefs often in areas of barren sandbanks to boost diversity, but also to draw tourists away from the delicate ecosystems and fragile

corals of existing reefs, where divers may do more harm than good with their well-intentioned curiosity. All of these careful considerations go into each of deCaires Taylor sculptural installations, yet there are further benefits to his artificially created sculptural reefs, as while each work is produced in consultation with marine scientists to maximise their impact, the scientists themselves can study and monitor the development of a functioning ecosystem from its very beginning through to becoming well established. There are also economic benefits as they can provide alternative employment for local fisherman working as museum guides to bring visitors to the underwater galleries either deep sea diving, snorkelling or in glass-bottomed boats. Entrance fees to the sculpture parks also provide crucial funding for further marine conservation efforts and coastal patrols to enforce protective laws. An Underwater Art Museum Visiting deCaires Taylor’s underwater museums allows visitors the opportunity to broaden their minds and educate themselves on fields that are outside their daily lives, and experience samples of worlds beyond their own in a safe and non-destructive manner. For marine ecologies, this is a significant benefit as they are an environment that most people will only experience briefly while holidaying, if at all. Describing these collections of underwater sculptures as a museum highlights another conceptual layer of Taylor’s works. Museums house collections of objects that the everyday person may not usually see in their lifetime, yet behind the scenes museums involve research into different cultures and preservation

of objects from ages past or foreign lands. In this way, the underwater museums are no different, as Taylor states: “We call it a museum for a very important reason. Museums are places of preservation, conservation and education. They’re places where we keep objects of great value to us, where we value them simply for being themselves.” Ted Talk As deCaires Taylor describes, in both the conservation and preservation of marine ecologies and in the ability to educate the world about the health of the oceans, his underwater museums have an essential role to play in fostering care and understanding of marine ecologies. Because of the brevity of most people’s exposure to our ocean environments, the concerns of the oceans fall from the forethought of people’s minds. Therefore, exposure of a wider audience to marine ecologies combined with the educative function of galleries, encourages prolonged thought on the condition of the environment and the role that humans can play in ensuring its continued health, or indeed its destruction. Over the past few decades, we have lost over 40% of our natural coral reefs. The World Resources Institute projects that 90% of coral reefs will be in danger by 2030, and all of them by 2050. The significance of these museums is highlighted in the creation of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, which was founded and constructed by deCaires Taylor in 2006 and is recognised as one of the top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. DISCOVER MORE




I am, Serbian artist, Djoi Nije Za Svakoga, (name given at birth Dragan Djordjevic). I am expressing myself through photography, figurative and abstract digital work. My first experiences with digital realm was before eighteen –nineteen years ago. On first sight I knew that I could do it and that I would do it. My Early Work was to try to do some impressions. My later work was to try to do one continuous, unpredictable story. In the mean time I was experimenting, with African aesthetics, making copies of African masks and sculptures. African sculptures are deep and honest. For a few years after that I was sculpting with wires, gypsum, wood and other materials. That was great training for third dimension. For eight years I was working creatively on a TV station, along with teaching courses on photography software and digital

photography. Before and after that period, I was doing a million other things to make a living. Digital work being always there. I was born in a communist country. Life was not simple and easy for me, it was a bumpy road and probably that is visible within my work. It took approximately two years before, I decided to make my art Facebook page. I spent a whole day choosing what to publish on the page and what I didn’t like there. At the end of that day, I was ready to forget all my ideas. I felt it was too dark and that nobody would be interested in it. Despite my original thoughts, I began to do the page and it was well received by my friends and artists. After a few months I received an invitation from Mr.Giuseppe Carnevale to participate in the Picasso Memorial Exhibition in Marbella. The exhibition contained

the works of Picasso, along with work from contemporary artists. I had exhibited my work before but again I thought this would be a good opportunity. The deadline was short and sadly my work was not displayed. This made me aware of what I wanted to do more than ever. I did however, manage to receive many invitations to exhibit my work. I exhibited in Toledo, Spain, Entresilos contemporary art and in Philadelphia at the end of that year. I was also included in Starry Nights book “Artist too look out 3” with 107 promising artists for 2017. I think the task of every artist is to find something new in art or to die trying. With my abstract work I am trying to reach other dimensions, other air to breathe, other water to dive in, other earth to walk, different fire, different life… Abstract work has to destroy some


boundaries, not only to say: I am angry, I am angry, I am tired and it is boring‌ Art has to be a tool of life, to reach some unconventional and new things. Djoi, is my nick name. Nije Za Svakoga in Serbian means not for everyone and that is from my deepest conviction that art is not for everyone, like sport is not for everyone. Some people need only one look or one word to understand what you like to say. Other people may need more time or a description to allow them to understand my work. The viewer may think they understand what I am saying through my work or have their own interpretation of it. That is what art is all about, trying to see what the artist is saying or what a piece of work means to you. My freedom is in art but I am exposing myself to everyday risks of my life with my other job. Doing

this however, is feeding my need for adrenaline, feeding my family and providing freedom through my work. I can say to myself if no one has to like me or understand my work and I do not have succeed in the art world but I am proud to say this is me. I am confident this is what I want to say through my work. Personally digital medium is the next step for me to demonstrate traditional techniques. I do not feel that art has to be created from the beginning or that we have to reinvent it but I believe digital art is the next step and will exist parallel with traditional art. Just like paintings and photography, TV and radio. I don’t think that digital work is for comics or fantasy worlds only. Digital art is an upgrade for analog art and the only important thing is the message you would like to say. Digital medium is not used enough. What is style in traditional art in




digital is repetition. In digital art, you have to explore all the time, software, hardware, your inner world, to give your best, to watch everybody else works, analog and digital, and to be in touch with all other artists. Digital art is not using plug- ins and to be self content because you made some effect. It needs much, much, more.... On many pieces of my work you can recognise an echo of traditional techniques. I do believe however, that it is always challenging and brave to do something different, after all there is nothing stopping you. I write my ideas down into a notebook. Some of my ideas being outdated by the time I revisit them, so do not get used. I do create ideas over time that i use, each day bringing new things to write into my notebook, generated by inspirational thoughts. I try not to give up on any piece of work. I

strongly believe that playing with light is an important aspect, like in photography. Digital approaches give me an enormous opportunity. An interesting thing is that my abstractive on so many occasions find their way to figurative work. Little by little from abstract appears a face or figure or situation. Colours are products of my feelings and situation in the moment of creation. My emotions are mainly strong, my passion is strong. When I love, it is with all my heart. When I hate, it is with all my heart. I like using strong colours, black being my subconsciousness, appearing and disappearing within my work. I very often make a list of things when I feel ‘dark’ and then slowly something imaginative appears. My belief is when at a certain age the black colour is deeper, darkness is bigger and more feelings, emotions are then visible to me. All my work goes towards catharsis, Catharsis not being achievable but desirable.

colour blending and feelings I try to portray to others. Through my work I tell jokes, secrets, my sadness and perceived sadness of others. I do see art as being a big puzzle, putting pieces together to unravel a story, it could be mine or that of someone else life account. The future is uncertain for me that is the best and worst thing. I do have in my planner and mind some new exhibitions but do not like to talk about them until it actually happens. I have to make many portraits, lots of abstract work, figurative work and digital sculpting. This is a time where I work, work, work. How do I see my work evolving? The answer is I am planning to live a good fifty years more, giving me plenty of time to be creative. Can you imagine how technology will evolve within the fifty years and all the possibilities that will go with it. I am going to print your dreams in 3d… I am kidding - or am I? I would

like to keep the youthful spark that I believe I have and not become cynical like that of an older person. I will try to avoid story telling that starts with “When I was young” and hope to catch the impossible with my work. I take this opportunity to thank you for taking time and interest. DISCOVER MORE


I work intuitively when it comes to balancing colour balancing colour in my work, which for me is self exploration. The other side of colour is light, which I see as independent entity within my work. I put my work near a window to see how the light dances and creates shadows for a deeper meaning. Sometimes incorporating this into the piece of art. This allows me to see an recognise faces, figures. This then encourages me to draw, paint use intensive colours and shadow to attempt to allow the viewer of my work see what I have seen. My intention is to capture viewers with millions of detail, simplicity, naming my work or making it tell a story. My art is not made to be viewed in a hurried fashion but to stay and truly get into the piece of creativity. if hurried I feel tiny things may be missed, which could be the focal point of my work. I would appreciate the viewer to really look deeply and see the




high-end brands. The emptiness also led to drug use as an escape from his regular life. Through personal introspection and work he has been able to overcome these shortcomings and create his new art series, The Brand Pharmacy. How do you select your subject matter?

Shawn Kolodny (born 1971) is an American artist, living and working in Manhattan, New York and Miami, Florida. Kolodny received his Bachelor of Industrial Design from Syracuse University in 1994 and his MBA from Stern School of Business in 2010. Kolodny paints a series of serigraphs about society’s addiction to consumerism. Narcissism and our need to display status, wealth and class has devolved into dependence. Culturally we can’t help but acquire more goods to fill the emptiness in our lives, as an addict needs his next fix. Juxtaposing the most sought after brands onto the most addictive drugs, Kolodny creates powerful pop images. The direct placement forces the viewer to consider the addictive quality of the brands we hold in the highest regard. What is the real reason we choose to acquire a brand? To fill a void, to make ourselves feel superior, a little dopamine hit. We can’t help ourselves. It is this addictive quality of brand that attracts Kolodny’s

collector, the brand conscious who understand and value conspicuous consumption. They seek status through these objects, a feeling of superiority and the validation that comes with it. Needing their brand fix jumps genres, from fashion, sports and music, to art. These images are shaped by Kolodny’s personal battles with status seeking and drugs. He lived many years with an emptiness that he attempted to fill with material goods. Seeking validation through others’ perception of his “success”. Expressed by covering himself in

I was an entrepreneur, and used to own lots of fancy nightclubs around the world. During those years, I was in constant search of validation. I had an emptiness inside me and I needed to prove my worth to people, who in hindsight, didn’t care much about me at all. To impress these people I made lots of bad life choices. I spent too much time with “party people,” and did drugs, avoiding the emptiness by partying and “having fun.” I would spend money I didn’t have on fancy clothes. To impress people I that didn’t care about me. Somehow at the time these choices made me feel better about myself. I became addicted to the extrinsic validation that came from all the superficial crap in my life. My Gucci shoes and my Dolce & Gabbana suits, all to fill an emptiness. No self-worth, needing others to validate me, always worrying about perception. I was addicted to it. It was easier to get my fix than to work on myself. It all felt so good. I use these memories as a basis for my new works.




Did you begin with this style or was it an evolution? Everything is an evolution. I discover through making. The creation process itself helps me uncover the style of work. Over my career I have focused my time on several series. They originate with an idea, a visual or overarching concept. I often carry the idea around with me for months or years before I have the courage to do anything about it. At some point the burden becomes too strong and I have to get the idea out of my head. I achieve that catharsis through the physical creation process. I simply start. I attempt to physically manifest the image in my head. After that comes the failure and lots of it. Trial and error begins. Endless iterations followed, attempting to get closer to the “perfect” idea. Some iterations are great; some are awful. I experiment with technique and materials, failing and learning along the way. As a series progresses and matures, I attempt to take from my mistakes and failures. Many times “mistakes” lead me in new directions, to new techniques and processes. Over time, the work builds and, hopefully, magic



happens. Iterations often take on a life of their own, moving away from the original concept to something interesting and new. The key is realizing that my brain thinks it’s a mistake doesn’t mean it is. I take risks, stay consistent with my process, and always keep the work moving forward. How do you create your works? Most of my work is serigraph. I am involved in all the stages of the process. I am still at the point where I am creating all the work myself. When first thinking about the work, I focus on which brands fit with which drugs. Often times looking for correlations between the images and the brand. For example; Lanvin has been in continuous operation since 1891. I chose to impose their logo on a morphine bottle from the same period.


Discovering powerful images, that make a statement, takes some time. Then pairing the drug image with a brand that is the most appropriate. Locating clean versions of the logos. Then lots and lots of photoshop work. Image editing can be simple or complex depending on the image and the logo placement. I create halftones of the images and print them on large format velum. I shoot (develop) the screens, prep the screens and then pull all the prints by hand. I do the majority of my work on canvas, usually creating one off images. Occasionally, I make short edition series. Once the work is dry, I often hand finish and paint the works, rather than creating additional screens for each color. What inspires your creativity? I have learned not to be inspired. Or, as Stephen king famously says, “I get creative at 6am every morning.” He has a routine and process for creating work. I have found that this is the more effective way to work. I am less focused on inspiration and more concerned with creating habits and disciplines around my creation process. I find taking action and

doing the work leads to creativity. I start whether I feel like it or not. Sometimes everything sucks (more often than not). Sometimes magic happens. But the more I work the more I create. The more opportunities for failure (growth) develop. I create more interesting combinations, increasing the chances for that spark. If I waited for inspiration to strike, I might be waiting weeks or months…. I don’t have that kind of time to spare. What pressures do you feel as an artist? It’s funny; I used to be an entrepreneur. The stress and pressures are very similar. One needs to worry about more than creating work (production). The creation process is important, iterating and learning. Creating until I find work that captures and inspires and sells (product market fit). Though most artists don’t like to admit it, art is a business. Cash flow gives me the freedom to create more. I take more chances, try more materials etc. As an artist I need to worry about all aspects of the business. Marketing. Where do I find my customers? Do I control that process? How do I let people know about my work? What are the sales channels for my work? How do I determine my pricing? Accounting. I must keep track of sales, costs

of production and marketing, commissions, galley payouts etc. etc. At some point, I, as an artist, can’t handle all aspects of the business and still have time to create art. So, similar to a start up, building a team is necessary, which I am now in the process of doing. Understanding that I am responsible for all parts of the business can be intimidating. But necessary to achieve the output that I want. Being an artist is so much more than putting brush to canvas. The pressure to create is only a small part of the pressure I feel as an artist. But I use it to drive me and my work forward. How did your education help you become an artist? I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design from Syracuse University, which I called “sculpture with purpose.” It was actually a compromise; I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be an engineer or an artist. Industrial Design was right in the middle, an advanced degree in creative problem solving with an artistic bent. The skills I learned prepared me for the practical parts of being an artist. I learned about materials, production techniques, form and function, design etc. Much later in life, I received an

MBA from NYU Stern School of business. That education gave me a stronger understanding of the business world. It also taught me time management. I discovered that I had more time in every day, if scheduled. How has social media affected your work? I put effort into sharing my work. Often times before it is ready. Like most artists I seek validation and feedback, both positive and negative. Always curious about how my work influences and affects people. My main distribution channels are Instagram and Facebook. I find them to be very effective discovery channels. They allow my work to find an audience. I can get directly to my customer, bypassing the gallery system. I can share my techniques and let my audience into my creative process. People seem to enjoy that more than seeing the final work. It lets them be a voyeur. The best part is that social media has been a great driver for sales. I guess that Instagram is the biggest art gallery out there. I plan to be more aggressive in my use of social media in the weeks and months ahead. DISCOVER MORE X RATED



One of my first languages or ability to communicate was art. Whether it was clutching a crayon and drawing swans or patterns on a wall as a child, or breaking the tension in a room of strangers by sketching cartoon-style portraits of them. I have found that the one unifying quality I have has always been art – that is what I love about it to this day, it unites people to see the world as the artist does and yet each artist sees it all so differently. Born in London, UK, my journey to art school seemed set: numerous school prizes for art and design and a passion for illustration and art editing of school publications. The passion was clear and I developed a growing portfolio of still life and figurative works in watercolour, oils and pencil work. My interest was always people and zooming in on intricacies of everyday life. But it was not to be. Instead I was nudged towards forging an academic career which lead me to my present field of public

law, which is an art form in itself – painting a verbal picture of legal parameters and obligations for general consumption and effective application takes some imagination but I really do enjoy it. Yet my father was always clear that art would always be a friend who would stand by me through my lifetime – so years later when he passed and I was subsequently struck with a pang of mortality, after experiencing an air-pocket during a flight to Berlin, I decided that I would take the entirely apt nickname he gave me as a child and deliver it as the vehicle through which my artwork would speak, with one main addition: photography. My husband had given me a clever little apparatus as a birthday gift, which was able to lift one colour out of black and white images and with random analysis, I found I could more quickly capture the sensitivities, humour and solitude of those moments my paintings laboured to achieve and with grittier effect.

The concept behind my photography is to seek to extract the art of aesthetic from the quotidian by highlighting a particular colour or perspective as a nod to an artistic moment, which could otherwise be lost if one failed to drop the shutter in one’s mind on it. The concept behind that is that the daily grind can be awash with hidden art treasures waiting to be noticed if one looks close enough or changes the way one looks at the same old thing. In 2014 I was delighted to have two debut exhibitions at the Brick Lane Gallery in London, in both their Photography Now and Landscape v Rural, then at the Really Affordable Art Fair hosted by Ginger White Space. This year I was invited to and did participate in the Amsterdam International Art Fair and am looking forward to continuing to participate in such events. I have also been approached by the PAKS Gallery in Vienna, from whom I just accepted an offer to represent me during 2018.



I think the image of which I am most proud has to be “Venezia.” Hard as it may be to believe, I was literally running across a pier trying to keep up with my husband whilst on a trip to Venice and I had my camera on a rich black and white setting, when I spied this Gondolier and snapped him there and then – the result even surprised me as I was testing out various techniques of “rush” photography versus more intensely focused photography. “Venezia” probably best captures the purpose of my photography: it shows the moments during the day which, if freeze-framed, can be considered works of art if life was not so rushed.

I think this concept itself came from my fascination with mosaics. Studying aspects of geometry, arabesque and calligraphy as part of an Oxford University’s Islamic Art and Architecture (Online) course which I took, intensified my interest and appreciation of this concept and technique. I took a series of photographs in Marrakech and the Alhambra of intricate tile work, both mosaic and geometrical. I loved seeing how each individual piece, beautiful in itself, made up the whole – and sought to photograph a series of such “pieces” which if one zooms out, actually comprise and ultimately get lost in their “whole.”

Ultimately I am focusing on photography at the moment, which I kept up particularly during travelling through Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Germany, the UK and the USA. In all those vibrant places awash with picture-perfect images, I wanted to go behind the obvious and try to capture “closed moments” by extracting one particular detail from a wider scene. I developed a particular interest in capturing light itself, whether natural or bursting through various types of lamps or lanterns.


Such is my swing of thought, my photography often leaps between intense black and white to abstract-style colour, all magnified moments of everyday life or objects. My hope is people will look at these images and think: “did I see that? Where was that? I walk past that every day and never saw it I only just recognise it…”




I think using photography has been a safe but experimental way of fast-tracking what I want to achieve through my painting but through a medium I never thought would appeal to me and having had such a long break from painting, I want to be able to use my photography experiences to cultivate a new era of works in oils. My earlier oil paintings reflected abiding images or emotions from my life at the material time; more

a way of immortalising what I saw or felt. My new project in oils intends to demonstrate what I have learnt since those earlier years and be more interpretational, homing in on simpler images where the real story lies in the detail – a look, wrinkles, the use of space as more powerful than the clutter of still life compositions. Perhaps I feel that my “training” years of testing my technique can be better applied now, to produce more striking commentaries rather than just images. Ultimately, I am still that little girl with her crayon which was seen as a magic wand; to me art and photography is still the best way to get people together, to listen to different points of view uncontentiously and to examine details not otherwise seen, which hopefully evoke peacefulness and images which people would want to keep with them. DISCOVER MORE






Established 2009, Beast has produced more than 200 urban installations in more than 20 cities across Europe, United States and Japan. With his ironic and provocative collages, Beast deconstructs wellknown faces of politics and the world of entertainment, recreating scenarios to the limit of veracity, visual traps that can make us smile and reflect at the same time. His distinguished mash-ups, framed in gold and freely placed on the streets, have quickly attracted the attention of media, challenging the urban audience to question the

truthfulness of the information, in a continuous play of references between the real world and the ideal world proposed by the artist. Beast brings new life to famous and other forgotten images in the photographic repertoire of our history. Extending the horizons of street art in the folds between the political commentary and a sheer form of art. His true obsession for the icons of our time explores a variety of strategies to define the complexity of the political world, his “open-air galleries� promote

an idea of democratic art, forcing the boundaries between the overwhelming vandalism and the urgency of the artistic expression. Beast transforms our streets into his own personal museum, a sincere homage offered to the city and its inhabitants through silent night-time interventions, returning to the early morning lights a humanized version of the indigenous reality. DISCOVER MORE







My name is Marina Alaeva and I am from Izhevsk, an industrial town in Russia. I’ve been painting from my early childhood, thus my parents sent me to art school. I remember my excitement at the first lesson there; I thought that was like a secret society for very particular and gifted children — but they were just kids and a school like any other. That place sealed my fate and influenced my choice of future profession. I graduated from the Faculty of Industrial Design at the Udmurt State University, where I studied academic painting and drawing as well as design fundamentals. It must have been the first place where I realised my passion for painting. I then graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering. Architecture seemed to be profitable and helpful for both myself and society — a career I have been involved in for 12 years. I am grateful to the heavens for this experience. I am sure that this experience has been successful however, it does not succeed in allowing me to fully release my creative energies; I could not get enough artistic freedom in architecture — I couldn’t get enough colour in that. Exactly colour has great influence on my world-view. Just colour appears in my artworks as my response to the outer world. People know one of Goethe’s most famous quotes about music and architecture. I would rephrase it but for painting. Painting is music that you can see and music is painting that you could hear. I quite seldom create my pictures in silence, as I need music to set inspiration and selfconfidence.




After a long interruption in my creative work, I made “Cabbage”. It was supposed to be a decorative piece for the interior of our house and the painting was like a process of meditation. However, creativity is brilliant just because you can never predict how it will evolve. My abstention from painting was quite suffering, and maybe because of this “Cabbage” came out emotional and thus even more effective. For me, it became some kind of sedative and a symbol of my inner freedom — the beginning of my new life. The next step became an equally emotional



picture “In Front of Horizon”. In such a surrealistic way, the picture reflected all my fears of the unknown life. My exciting journey inside myself began with these two artworks. In my student years, I preferred gouache, rather than watercolour, because of its capacity for sharp contrasts and an effect of mural (it can look like a fresco or a mosaic). Some of my first mature pictures were created with gouache, but then I began to paint with acrylic. People say my manner reminds them of a kaleidoscope: my brush

strokes seem like coloured pieces of glass. I am always interested in visual effects and the visual perception of solid and spatial shapes. Every physical object, in my view, is a battlefield of light and shadow. I get excited with shadows; they contain a rich palette of raging colours, in contrary to academic art. I never use green, brown, black, and violet colours that were made in a factory — I feel they only make a picture become dull and blind.

My preferences are pretty conventional: still life, portrait, and landscape painting. The important criterion for choosing an object to be represented in my paintings is its exceptional character, even though at first glance it may look ordinary. My artworks are emotionally autobiographical and strongly inspired by my subconscious as well as nature. I have been an independent artist for three years, nevertheless I have only recently revealed this through social networks. Being an artist has exceeded my expectations, and today I am an eager participant of several art projects. DISCOVER MORE







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