No. 8 Dec/Jan 2013
Bye bye 2013! A note from the Team
As you recover from your Thanksgiving food coma, we bring you the last issue of 2013. As always its packed with art and music for your enjoyment including an interview of Bristish soul singer, Alice Russell. We hope the new year brings you wonderful adventures and great artistic discoveries. Make sure to include creativity in your new yearâ€™s resolution. Enjoy! -Artnois Team
Artnois Team Magda Becerra Artnois Co-Founder, loves anything creative, manages all artwork, and final editing. email@example.com Jesenia Meraz Artnois Co-Founder, brings music to your ears. Always looking for new music and artists to share with the world. firstname.lastname@example.org Carlos Rubio Journalist/ Photographer Tells it like it is. email@example.com Patty Nunez Design Assistant Thank her creative mind. Want to help the team? Email us!
Follow us! Visit us on Artnois.com 2 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
Issue 8 Dec 2013 /Jan 2013
Experimental artist from Denmark
Featured in Greyâ€™s Anatomy
Four piece band from London
a mile in the woods
Arthur Carillo Photo realism
Brett Stuart Wilson 3d painter
The Belle Game
Anthony Peregrine Chicago based poet
British soul from UK
Alexandra Gallagher Chilhood wonders & visual worlds
Bat and Ball
Polka Dot Pop from UK
Math, Science and Art?
Contacts: PO BOX 923082 SYLMAR,CA 91342, tel. 818.584.1868, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.artnois.com About ARTNOIS: ARTNOIS Magazine was started by two young female students, Magda and Jessy. While they both share common interests, Magda has a passion for art and Jessy has a passion for music. Seeing as neither one had the time nor the skills they wished they had to create jaw dropping art or inspiring music, they decided to make a magazine featuring all the great artists who do. Art and music is motivation for both to do something great. They hope this magazine will help do the same for you.
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Planet Ink#02 42 x 29.7 cm Print, limited edition of 50. Hand dyed paper, scanned textures, digitally processed
A mile in the woods by louise haugaard nielsen
Can you tell us a bit about your artistic background? I´d love to! My name is louise, I´m from Denmark and I have been drawing for the better part of 32 years. All of my grown up life, I´ve been interested in art, mainly as an observer of arts. At some point in my early 20´s, I decided to become an architect, and went through 5 years of architecture school and 2.5 years of working in an architectural office. And it was great, I love architecture! But something was a bit off. Through everything else, drawing and making artworks was constant, and I realized that I had to use my architectural eye, my art interest and my need to create to become an illustrative artist.
Is a mile in the woods your fulltime job? How do you balance your work time? Since February 2013 a mile in the
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When My Grandfather Was Young #002 30 x 40 cm Print, limited edition of 75. Scan of original 1930’s photograph, scan of different textures, digitally processed.
My work is somewhat controlled, but I always leave room for variables in my equation. There is magic in the outcomes we can´t predict...
woods has been my full time job, and I love it! It truly is a privilege to work with my passion. It´s also hard work. To have a successful business, one needs clients and paying customers, and I´m constantly trying to expand the flow of assignments. I define a mile in the woods as being a three legged chair: 1) the artwork that I do autonomously; I make what I want and sell it if I want to. 2) the illustrations I make for interior decoration stores and other client work, such as logos, graphic identity and other commission work. 3) the projects I participate in with others; such as pop-up shops, co-creations, doing all kinds of different art related assignments.
I love all three legs! I´m fascinated with both the self-directed work and working with and for clients, it´s different ways of channelling my artistic visions.
Your work is very unique as it is unlike what one usually sees. How did you get started with your current style of work? I´m so happy to hear that you think it´s unique! It´s good to stand out. My work dogma is pretty simple: use the craft of drawing to explore new ways of making visual artworks. Never stop experimenting! My work is often hybrids, combining methods, objects and expressions that don´t necessarily come together otherwise. And I think all 2D elements as part of a spatial composition (the architect never left, she is in there, all the time:) I´m fascinated by textures, zooming in, and using
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The Characters #003 42 x29.7 cm, 29.7 x 21 cm Print, limited edition of 50. Hand drawing.
Cabaret symĂŠtrie #003 70 x 50 cm, 42 x 29.7 cm, 29.7 x 21 cm Print, limited edition of 50. Hand drawing, scanned in and mirrored.
elements in other scales than they were intended. All of my work is based on visual storytelling.
The detail in your work keeps the eye constantly moving. As I reviewed your portfolio ,I was trying to figure out where and how each piece starts. What is the process usually like for your work? How do you start? How do you know when you are finished?
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Selected Originals #003 42 x 29.7 cm Hand drawing, ink, led + yarn
There is not one recipe that fits them all. But it always starts with some sort of fascination. Of a theme, of a story, of a method. And I often find myself revisiting an old idea or experiment, and bringing it to life in a way I couldnÂ´t have done when I had the idea the first time around. All the things I do and try, I carry around with me, and they turn into artworks when the time is right. Yes, it sounds weird, I know. And how do I know when a piece is finished? When I feel satisfied with the composition and the density. When I try to add more and realize that it was too much. And when drawing by
hand that realization can be devastating! :) But the errors contain valuable insight and experience too.
What is the longest time you have spent on any single piece? I made an 100x70cm original in the spring that I worked on for about a week, as in 12 hours a day, drawing by hand. But the time factor is tricky in my process of creating, because I often work on a piece for a while, move on to something else, still thinking about that first piece, and then I go back to try out other methods or adding new textures. So, what seems to be a pretty simple collage can be mentally processed and revisited for weeks!
I really enjoyed going through your website. You have a lot of interesting artwork up. One piece that particularly caught my attention was your post “don´t be an ignorant bully” which is a somewhat political piece in response to anti gay incidents in Russia. Have you ever considered focusing more on this type of work? Thank you, Magda:) “Don´t be an ignorant bully” was created in silent rage. What the Russian government did -and still does- infuriates me! I just can´t believe that kind of ignorance still exists. I´m not naive; I know that there will always be silly and sad people hating others, for no good reason, but our governments should be smarter than that; they should protect all members of a society. And if I can draw attention to injustice by drawing my opinions,
then I´d love to contribute in my own way. Of course I can only draw what I believe in, it has to be honest. Yes, I would do it again, and for other causes too!
What gave you the idea of creating collages with hand dyed paper? I started out by making these cardboard ornaments a while back, where I hand dyed every part. It is slow work; every piece has to be dyed, dry for a while, and be dyed again, and this rotation goes on until I´m satisfied. Like I said, slow work:) And then I realized that I could put in whole piece of water color paper, and make gradient areas. It´s mesmerizing to watch the gradual change in the paper. And then I tried scanning in the results -and that gave way to other possibilities! My work is somewhat controlled, but I always leave room for variables in my equation. There is magic in the outcomes we can´t predict...
Perfection #003 42 x 29.7 cm Hand drawing, ink, chalk, paint
It’s great to see artists who like to experiment with different mediums. What are some of the things you’ve used in your work? I love experimenting! Like I said earlier, it is a condition for a mile in the woods. I have used yarn, sewn into the paper, and I still paint with coffee because it stains in an amazing way. And for the Planet Ink-pieces, I poured ink onto a piece of glass, put glass on top, and let the ink work in between. And it turned out to be a variety of magical textures. I also build 3D illustrations, removing the glass from a frame and building cardboard models that sticks out from the wall. And
Silk map #001 100 x 70 cm Print, scan of fabric, digital drawing 7 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
Top Left: Planet Ink #02 42 x 29.7 cm or 40 x 30 cm Print, limited edition of 50. Hand dyed paper, scanned textures, digitally processed. Top Right: The Character #006 42 x 29.7 cm or 40 x 30 cm Print, limited edition of 50 Hand drawing, digitally processed . Left: Texture Map #002 42 x 29.7 cm or 40 x 30 cm Print, limited edition of 35. Scan of knitwear + digital drawing
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then there is the occasional scanning of sweaters and other clothing:)
What have you discovered in your process of art making? Is there anything your work has helped you learn about yourself? For me drawing has always been like writing a diary that no one else could read. It allows me to take time to think. Most of my work is time consuming, and it offers great periods of time to think. About everything. My work is a very tangible evidence of where I am in my life and what fills my mind. So being an illustrator taught me to record my stories in visual statements. It also taught me to be committed, to be brave and something even more important: when someone sees my work and connects with it, for what ever reason that person might have, we share that piece. We have an
intersection. And that make me so proud and grateful -and humble.
Is there anything in particular that you have been really challenged by creatively? Perhaps not so much creatively. I feel pretty confident in my artistic, experimenting language. The biggest challenge with running a business, fueled by passion, is to make it just that: a business. I had to dig deep to find a side of me that could take care of the financial aspects of a mile in the woods. But when I found that in me, I also found a sales person and to my surprise; I actually don´t mind the occasional adding and subtracting! Running a company by myself means playing many different roles, not just making art. And it feels great to be in control, being my own boss. It is 24 hours a day, and I enjoy every minute of it! And of course I am not completely alone: I have a very supportive boyfriend, a great family and a fantastic network of friends and business partners -no (wo)man is an island! :)
Asking where you get inspiration from is a pretty general question as generally artists find inspiration in a multitude of places but what would you say attracts you the most? Inspiration is indeed omnipresent. I try to remember as many things as I can, because the most trivial everyday experiences contains a story. I have lived in New York, Berlin, Copenhagen, travelled in Spain for 5 months, and gone to many other places, and I try to combine all of that with everyday life. I use music to kickstart ideas, it is a permanent setting in my life. I also listen to other people´s stories (like “Here the thing” with Alec Baldwin, This american life and The Moth Podcast). For me, there are always hidden treasures in stories. I see a lot of art, watch a lot of movies, read a lot of books. And I go through my grandfather´s old photographs every now and again. I take in as many visual impression as I can, and then I let my brain work through it, select certain topics
and ideas, and then I interpret and make hybrids -a la a mile in the woods.
Is there anything your work is trying to convey to its audience? I hope that my work will leave people with a story. It doesn´t have to be the same story as mine. As I interpret the world, my audience is invited to interpret on my work. And hopefully they will add my artwork with their own story and get a third option; person + work by a mile in the woods = __x__ story. I wish that my work, in the hands of someone else, results in a hybrid that none of us could anticipate.
Lastly, can you tell us what your favorite piece is and why?
woods! And please get in touch, or go see my other work online. I thank you for your time. And thanks to you, Magda, for finding me, I´m very grateful!
Favorite piece of my own work? That´s cruel! I will sound so selfcentered :) Hmm… I have a special love for theCharacters#008, the drawing with the small girls wearing plague masks. I think I made a great hybrid with that drawing, combining a scary object with tiny, skinny girls. There is something so frightening yet quiet about that piece. There is room for stories in that drawing. And to level out all this talking about a mile in the woods, I will mention one of my favorite piece of art NOT made by me: The Cremaster Cycle by Matthew Barney. A continuous source of stories and inspiration.
Anything else you would like to share? If you made it all the way down here: Thank you for listening! I hope you enjoyed the tale of a mile in the
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Mi Mami/ My Mom 11 x 14 in Acrylic on canvas
Uncertainty 12 x 16 in Acrylic on canvas
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Arthur, can you give us a quick overview of your artistic background? In school I was always a little more advanced in my skills than the rest. I was always recognized for my abilities and winning awards. Growing up, and up until high school, everything I did was mostly pencil, pen and marker. After high school I took about a 15 year break from creating anything. About 7 years ago I went back to school and started painting for the first time. I haven’t looked back
Arthur, when I first looked at your artwork I was a bit confused. It took me a while to
realize that I wasn’t looking at actual photographs but rather realistic paintings. Can you tell us about how you settled on realism over other styles? A lot of my inspiration came from what I saw in real life, like semi trucks, motorcycles, skaters, horses. So as I grew, I eventually wanted to create work that resembled life. That’s where I left off in high school. I remember doing a few drawings from photos. I drew the picture of Dr. Dre standing by an Impala from the Chronic album. I did a picture of a good friend of mine and gave it to her. That’s as close to realistic that I would come to at that time. I remember wondering if I could ever create artwork that just looked real.
Sunday Mass II 18 x 24 in Acrylic on canvas
spend on a painting? Depends on the size of the canvas and how much detail, but lately I’ve been finishing pieces that are anywhere from 11x14 in. to 22x28 n. in about 3 weeks.
How do you go about choosing your subject? Is there a particular focus? I try to focus on life in immigrant American communities. Anything from gang life to the kids at church, the good, the bad and everything in between. Many of my paintings are just life as we see it and when it is a simple image of a tattooed
I didn’t know about realism and photo realism at the time.
Have you ever tried any other styles? If so, which and how did you feel about that type of work? I’ve tried different styles while is school for class projects, like abstract, cubism and surrealism. I did like the cubist piece I did. Realism is just a lot more challenging to paint, and that is just what I really like. Every time I go to a museum and see classic realism, something inside me jumps. No other work makes me feel that way.
What is the average time you
“I guess I’m less about art for arts sake and more about art for the peoples sake.”
mother and child or some musicians walking down Olvera Street, then I try to chose difficult images to paint. Meaning something that is probably filled with detail. I want other artists to know that I am not lazy. I like to push myself. What I really want to create are paintings with a little more meaning. For example, the one with the gang member having a brew with his neighbor with the American flag in the background is that type of painting. While in art school, an instructor and I touched upon the subject of gangs, specifically cholos. She mentioned that she always believed that they migrated over
from Mexico. That really caught me off guard. I’m sure that many people would love to believe that all bad things come from somewhere else. “Gangs” or groups of people that get together to do bad things have always existed, but these types of “cholo” gangs I’m pretty sure are American. Think about it, they have names that connect them to areas in the U.S. Maravilla is an area not to far from where I live which is the name of one of these types of gangs. Others are East LA 13, Evergreen, VNE, 18 St., 38 St., Rivera 13, El Monte Flores. All names of streets or areas in California. I’ve also asked my grandparents and people who are older that 11 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
As American As Apple Pie 12 x 16 in Acrylic on canvas
have come from Mexico or other countries and they all say that they didn’t grow up with people like this. They say now it’s a problem or that gang members are also part of their community. I remember seeing the the head of the Sheriffs department from Orange county on TV a few years ago, and he himself acknowledged that we, the U.S., were exporting the gang problem to other countries through deportation. I am currently working on pieces that have to do with domestic violence and old fashioned customs. Like parents beating on kids, fathers beating on mothers, dysfunctional families and the notion that the woman’s role is to serve her husband and take care of the kids. I guess I’m less about art for arts sake and more about art for the peoples sake.
What is your favorite piece and why? Honestly, I really like all my pieces, but If I have to choose one that I really really wanted to paint, It would have to be “Adelante”. When I saw that image, I just felt that it 12 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
American Entreprenuer 12 x 16 in Acrylic on canvas
would make a beautiful painting because of the lighting, the contrast from the light and shadows and the warm colors in the painting. That is a very beautiful piece. I currently have another one on hold that I started a few years ago but have put off. That one was also taken at Olvera Street and is full of color. When that one is done, that one will probably replace “Adelante”.
As far as painting, what has been the most challenging piece? The most challenging piece is an almost forgotten piece. It’s an untitled 22x28 in. painting of 2 roses with a background of stems, thorns and leaves. It’s a multilayered painting with a lot of depth. It was one of my first paintings and until that one I had really only done paintings with basically 2 or 3 layers of depth. Something sharp in the foreground and something blurred out in the back. Really easy and simple way to get that 3-D effect in a painting. When I realized that, I thought “WEAK! This is pretty easy. I need to do something with a lot of depth.” So I chose this image that proved
to be a little too much for me. Just a lot of blurred blending. Things closer would be more of a sharper blur, if that makes sense. The further back you get, the blurrier the stem or leaf you are painting gets. On top of that, things are overlapping. Technically, it was just a very difficult painting to execute. I took a break, did 3 small 10x10 in. to get practice and jumped back on that painting and finished it. It turned out really nice.
Realism requires a lot of patience. Do you think this style of painting is in any way reflective of your personality? It definitely is. My girlfriends daughter has said that I do have a lot of patience. Due to family issues, I had to raise 3 of my nephews for close to 2 years. My dad was really busy with work and was just really busy at the time. I had a part time job at the time, so I really spent the most time with them. They were 2, 3 and 4 years old. I remember teaching them table manners. No one had taught them how to eat, so when they sat down to eat, food was EVERYWHERE. Drinks were spilled, half of the food was on the
Superman 18 x 20 in Acrylic on canvas
“Sometimes we are criticized because our work is not avant garde. It’s all a personal choice, don’t worry about it.” plate the other half all over them and on the table. I remember it took me a week to teach them how to eat without making a mess. We started off with no TV while eating, no talking, just eating. Eventually, as they progressed, they could talk and eat. By the end of the week they were able to eat, talk to each other and watch TV without creating a disaster at the table. I wasn’t a tyrant, they were kids, I expected a certain level of messiness, but I was truly impressed with these little guys. I truly learned patience with them and that patience meant taking time to teach and do things over and over no matter how long it took.
What are some of the things you have learned in your journey as an artist? I’ve learned to listen and respect. I’ve learned that every artist has their own personal reasons and experiences that shape them and what they create. Respect that, especially if the expression is true. Sometimes we are criticized because our work is not avant garde. It’s all a personal choice, don’t worry about it. More opportunity for the artist that is trying to come up with a new style. I think people are more important than styles or trying to figure out a new way to present things. That’s just
me, and I have that right to exercise as an artist if that’s what I decide.
What is your favorite subject to paint? What is your least favorite? My favorite subject is people. I love painting gestures, the wrinkles in the clothing, the faces, the facial expressions. That can bring a lot of emotion to a piece. My least favorite so far would be trees and shrubs. That stuff is hard. It’s just really hard to get all the depth in certain trees and bushes. It kind of drives me crazy sometimes. But that’s why I try to choose images with nature. I want to get better at it.
From start to finish, what is the process like for your work? Well first I decide what it is I want to paint. Then I’ll take my camera, go out and take as many photos as I can or until I feel I’ve got the right shot of the subject I want to paint. This may take some driving around to different areas and maybe a few days of taking pictures.
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Then I choose the canvas size, create a document the same size of the canvas in Photoshop. Size the image onto the document to a size that makes the image interesting to me. Most of the times, about 30 percent of the original image is left out. I decide if I need to add people or things from other photos or remove things. Some of my paintings are a combination of 5 different elements, but all from the same photo shoot of that same place and day. Maybe I liked the facial expression from one person from one image and the standing position of the other person from another image. So I will cut and paste to get what I want then just make it look good in the painting. Next I’ll grid the image in Photoshop. Grid the canvas. Sketch the image onto the canvas and start painting. Eventually in about 2 to 3 weeks I’ll be done.
Do you currently work as a designer too? If not how come?
No, I do not work as a designer. It’s been 2 years since I’ve graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Graphic design. At the time of my graduation, I was working for a small moms and pops company. I asked them to give me 3 months to find a job. These months were slow, so it wouldn’t have been a problem if I just left. After the 3 months, it was going to get really busy and they needed an honest commitment and I consider myself a fair person. I didn’t find a job within those 3 months and ended up keeping my word. I went a whole year without trying to look for work and from what I hear, a degree also has a shelf life. The industry is always evolving and it seems that graphic designers now need to know a little bit of everything, not just print skills. Employers want you to have some knowledge of web design, motion graphics, things like that that were barely being incorporated into the
Gracielas Beach 30 x 40 in Acrylic on canvas
Gracielas Beach 30 x 40 in Acrylic on canvas
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graphic design program when I graduated. It’s all good, because going back to school got me back into creating artwork, and that’s the real reason why I went back, to get those creative juices flowing again. It worked.
Do you think painting will remain your main focus? I think so, but you never know. I’m not going to say how old I am, but I’m still young and I don’t know what the future holds. I think that the brush and paints will always be my medium of choice. Styles may change. Ideas have certainly changed.
Adelante 11 x 14 in. Acrylic on canvas
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I enjoy making portraits unconventionally, demonstrating the imperfections and strengths of all artists. I think that in order to be true to yourself, you have to take chances and perhaps it may change the path of art or music and continue to be exciting.
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Brett, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background with art?
Jamie for relaxation and I’m still striving to become better at everything I do.
I’m a visual artist that documents Maverick Musicians by making Unconventional Portraits. I’ve been making art for over 40 years. I have 7 years of higher art education that started off in Printmaking: primarily etchings and over the years morphed into the Built-Out paintings that I make today. I’ve taught art foundation, drawing, painting and etching at VCU for some years, fronted several Blues bands and a myriad of other things. I love art and music simultaneously; they’ve always been in my life and I am driven to combine the two. I ride and maintain a 1947 and a 1939 Indian Motorcycle with sidecar with my wife
From looking at pictures of your work I can tell they’re three dimensional. What materials do you use to create this effect? They are, in the sense that they are built out and semisculptural. I start with a platform of wood and wire and then layer acrylics with muslin, hemp, paper, paint and found objects. The acrylic makes it all highly durable.
What is the process like for your work? The dimension is achieved by building up the surface area with attachments and layering various materials. I am constantly manipulating the surface until I reach a place that
works; a rough outline so to speak and then start painting. The longer I can keep the painting “open” the richer it gets. As I move things around and residue builds up, it allows for the unexpected moments to happen. It’s kind of in the same manner as the abstract expressionists except that I’m still dealing with an objective approach. I use a number of photographs when available as reference material so there’s no formula. I work in a very adlib way, not divisive and each piece dictates a different strategy. The portraits are really a hybrid of painting and sculpture. In some areas the view is based on 2 dimensions that give the illusion of depth which may be adjacent to an actual built out area, creating surface tension. Like most portraits, they are intended to be viewed from the
Left Page: Ray Charles 26”wide x 36”high x 11 ½” deep, mixed media, Top Left: Little Walter Jacobs, 25” wide x 36” high x 9” deep Top Right: Jimi Hendrix, 65” High x 45” Wide x 14” Deep
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“I think if you have a passion for something, then anything you create reflects that.”
Nina Simone, 33”wide x 39”high x 10 1/2”deep, mixed media
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HellHounds, 31”W x 41”H x 12”D, mixed media
front; the sides are simply the by-product of the process.
How did you arrive at this style of working versus the traditional painting? Where did you get inspiration to work this way? In the early 70’s, I was working on my Masters of Art at the Univ of Wisconsin, Madison focusing on Printmaking. I began experimenting with building small environments out of found objects, paper and wax, photographed it and then would make hand colored photo engravings. It was a process of ideas that
fed off of one another. As a result I began to be more interested in the direct use of the materials themselves so I started to make non-objective 3-D Abstractions that really radiated off the wall. In the late 70’s after I finished my MFA from VCU, I morphed all of that into one of the oldest art forms in history; portraits. Because I’m such a music history buff also, I put my two loves together. Giving homage to some of our most influential musicians.
What is the average amount of time you spend working on each piece? Approximately +/- 100
Sid Vicious, 30”wide x 39”high x 9”deep
hours, sometimes more if it’s a larger piece or if it’s just not happening.
Do you play any instruments? If so which? How does your music connect with your paintings? Yes, I play the harmonica in all keys, amplified and acoustic. I use vintage Fender amps from the ‘50’s and dispatch style mics. I’ve actually recorded a Blues CD but my playing is once again for fun with my art in the forefront. It’s an interesting story of how my music connects to the art. When I started making these portraits, already a music enthusiast, I became so engrossed
with my subject matter that I wanted to make music also. I jumped headfirst into teaching myself how to play harmonica from as many sources as possible. The pieces you’ve created are of very soulful artists. Would you say these artists are representative of your personal mindset? I think if you have a passion for something, then anything you create reflects that. I would say that I’m soulful, certainly in the sense that I deeply love music and I want to make an artistic contribution to keep it alive. I enjoy making portraits unconventionally,
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Jerry Lee Lewis, 31”wide x 36”high x 10”deep
demonstrating the imperfections and strengths of all artists. I think that in order to be true to yourself, you have to take chances and perhaps it may change the path of art or music and continue to be exciting.
not. For art costing over $1000.00 that is more likely to happen in big metropolitan cities like NY or LA. I’ve learned that if you don’t value your work and the time invested, no one else will either.
Thelonious Monk, 26”wide x 37 1/2”high x 9 1/2”deep, mixed media
are added up. Yes it’s a passion but it’s also a business. Ask someone else with a Masters or even no education, if they’re willing to work for free. Some people will love your work, some will
How does your everyday life impact your work? What have you learned in your journey as an artist? I’m going to start off by answering both questions at one time; it’s f-ing hard. I would need to go on ad nauseam to answer that in full, I’m pretty sure you don’t want me to. Getting your work seen is the biggest challenge. This is key; it must be seen in places or locations with a more concentrated population that truly appreciate art and are excited about buying it because they value it. Seems elementary but it’s 20 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
like bas-relief? Why: because it’s art. Don’t take it personally just like different choices of music, clothes, food and life.
What do you miss most about the art and music scene in Vicenza? What do you like most about the scene in the states? I was 16 when I left Vicenza but what I can say about that is; art in Italy is ever-present, wherever you go art is important and each city is proud and educated about what they have. I left there and made decisions about my life believing that an artist was a much respected skill.
You can’t give your work away or set yourself up for being viewed as frivolous by charging below minimum wage when all of the external expenses
hate it, and some simply won’t get it. I will continue fielding questions like why his forehead flat, why is his left eye lower, and why isn’t it symmetrical
I can’t really comment on the contemporary music of Italy but I do know that the US has a prolific music scene and if you’re good enough to land a managing group
you have a good possibility of getting your music out there. One huge advantage is listener supported radio stations that promote Indy, underground or whatever genre of music. That wasn’t happening very often back then so today a variety of new emerging music is more accessible. I just finished having a 3 month art show at such a radio station WTMD 89.7. The art scene in this country waxes and wanes but there will always be places that will see the merit in your artwork because of our diverse culture. A culture that is very capable of reinventing itself over & over.
What do you think is different from the present day music scene to that of when you were sneaking into NCO clubs to hear Motown tunes? Besides the shark-skin suits and choreographed dance moves, laugh. The music scene changed overnight! It became an avalanche of counter-culture music that spread like wildfire. I was fortunate enough to be a child of the 60’s witnessing a barrage of life altering tunes. I think you can still hear a beautiful essence of those Motown tunes in some of today’s music but the present day maverick musicians are changing it up, breaking it down, digitalizing the melodies and so on.
Any additional information you would like to share? I guess as far as art I think it’s important to mention my influences. I was lucky enough to attend some top notch art universities; VCU & U of Wisconsin where I was afforded the opportunity to experiment and
learn about a history of ideas. I must say that I have a special place in my heart for California Expressionist painters of the 50’s & 60’s such as Richard Diebenkorn, the Funk Art Movement including Assemblage Art of Ed Kienholts, Bob Arneson, H.C. Westerman, and from Chicago “The Hairy Who Movement” including Jim Nutt and Gladys Nielson. I have tremendous respect for artists William de Kooning, Jackson Pollack and Hans Hoffman. All of these painters and sculptors have contributed to influencing everything I do today in some shape or form.
Johnny Rotten, 32”wide x 35”high x 9”deep, mixed media
www.brettstuartwilson.com 21 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
Oliver Sin th DPR Korea 30 July 2014 (2009)
Our Wise Leader (2013)
Paul Erdős Guitar – nd 2 Fibenare Guitars Co. & Oliver Sin Collaboration Guitar (2013)
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“I see math like other painter see women. Primes are really sexy.”
Planetary Resources (2012)
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Can you tell us a bit about your beginnings as an artist? I started creating, painting at a very young age. Simply I played more with the pencils and paints, than with the ball. It was natural, I’m not a product of the formal artist making school systems.
You seem to like using guitars as a canvas. Does this mean you also play guitar? What kind of music do you create?
Green-Tao Theorem With Endre Szemeredi (2012)
I started to play the guitar 15 years ago. I started to paint on guitars, after once I ran out of canvases and had too much guitars. … What kind of music I create? It’s a hard question to answer. Mostly instrumental-experimental music.
In your biography you talk about how your family doubted you had talent as little boy and how that actually made you start painting. Now that you are older and have experienced the art scene, do you still believe talent doesn’t exist? I still believe in the strength of persistence and patience.
You also mentioned you try to paint as unconsciously as possible? Can you elaborate on that? It means that thinking about art doesn’t really help me to make better art. I separate practicing and creating. The process of creating art has to be instinctive.
Vision Begins With Photoisomeritation Of The Retinal (2013)
.Do you paint with background music? What genre? How does that affect the unconscious state you are trying to achieve? Hiram Bullock is my favorite muse now and his music makes my art funkier.
“Making art is the same as speaking, just using colors and shapes instead of sounds,” is a beautiful way of describing art. What are some of the thoughts you’ve tried to communicate through your work? Maybe political beliefs? I paint about non-visual concepts, depict what I feel. Science through an artist brain.
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st 1 Fibenare – Sin Collaboration + Universe
It can be understood how science can be regarded as fun, but personally, math has never been a topic of interest. What made you combine math, science and art? It’s not really a common combination. I see math like other painter see women. Primes are really sexy.
Felix Baumgartner’s jump really was impressive. The human potential can be truly amazing and inspiring. It really is great that artist such as yourself can recognize that and appreciate it. What other events, people have influenced your work?
( www.fibenare-guitars.com ) which will be exhibited at the NAMM Show 2014.
Do you see yourself heading in any other direction? Is there any other project, style, medium you would like to explore? I like to paint in bigger size like on a Boeing 747.
Lately I inspired by Paul Erdős and I got the opportunity to make magical the Paul Erdős Guitar for his 100th anniversary collaborating with the Fibenare Guitars Co. 25 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
The Belle Game Meet the band! You might have heard their song “Tradition “ in a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy. How did you all meet? I (Adam), met Alex in Kindergarden and Andrea in grade 8, so we've been friends for a long while. Katrina responded to a Musicians Craigslist ad I posted while living in Montreal. When we met for the first time, we realized we had actually known each other for months (I used to go into a restaurant she worked at every weekend for breakfast). 26 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
Rob also responded to a Craigslist ad when the band was operating out of Vancouver. I guess the rule is: if you want to be in The Belle Game, you have to either had to go to school with one of us or be really good at writing responses to craigslist ads.
When did you know that you wanted to create music together? I don't know if there
was a specific moment that stands out. It was something that we have always just felt compelled to continue pursuing. That being said, we recently did a short residency at the Banff Centre to begin working on new material… While we were there we really began to lock into each-other creatively. It takes a long time to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses as a band and I think we're really starting to
discover what they are. It's a really wonderful feeling when you can get on the same wavelength with each other.
Did you always know you wanted to create music? Music has been a part of all of our lives in some form or another. What I like about our band is that we all get something different out of writing and performing.
What does the band name The Belle Game mean to you? When the band first started, the mandate was to work within an aesthetic that fell somewhere between romance and sadness. To me, the band name gives off that feeling.
Your latest album Ritual Tradition Habit seems a bit different than your earliest EP, Inventing Letters. How did you evolve into your latest sound? I think the sound and mood of Ritual is a lot closer to what we had always intended on making. Inventing Letters was our first time writing and recording as a (somewhat) serious band, so we don't always know how to actualize what we imagined in our minds. With some experience behind us, those intentions became a lot easier to realize. That being said, the writing and recording process of that album spanned over an entire year. It was probably wasn't until the last month that it all started to feel cohesive to us. The overwhelming thing about a debut (if you over-think things like we tend to), is that you're deciding what type of band you're going to be, at least for the near future. We made sure to take a lot of time to make sure we were accurately portraying the music we wanted to make.
Band Members: Andrea Lo - Vocals Katrina Jones - Keys, Synth, Vocals Adam Nanji – Guitar Alex Andrew – Guitar Rob Chursinoff - Drums
Listen Who has been you biggest musical influence? I don't think there's one band or artist that I can pinpoint. Any music that dabbles in experimentation as much as it does tradition. Great pop acts especially. I think it's so strange when people say music has to be a certain way to be popular. The under 3 minutes rule, or verse, chorus structure. A lot of the biggest "hits" in popular have been based on experimentation. We've been listening to a lot "Rock With You" era Michael Jackson on this tour, I think that's a great example of music pop as much as it is experimental.
Who came up with the concept to your music video for “Wait Up For You”? The story portrayed struck me as a serious situation; what does it represent? (http://youtu.be/ dNyRFpnXQl0) A lot of the songs on the album propose this idea that your personality, beliefs and behaviours are the result of the people around you and are not an inherent part of you. We wanted the video to depict that in a few ways; there's the family that's left something behind to find a new way of living and there's the girl that's trying to escape the "cult" for the same reasons. It was very much a collaboration between 27 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
â€œA lot of the songs on the album propose this idea that your personality, beliefs and behaviours are the result of the people around you and are not an inherent part of you.â€? 28 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
us and the director (Kheaven Lewandowski), who also did our new video for 'River'.
What was your experience like being part of the Live in Bellwoods Great Heart Festival? It seems like a great concept to have a music festival in a park! It is a great concept! A lot of being in a band has very little to do with playing music, so it feels good to strip it back down to basics every now and then. A nice setting, a small audience and some songs. Simple.
Are you trying to accomplish anything in specific with your album, Ritual Tradition Habit? There were a lot of thoughts put into this album, but at the end of the day, I really wanted to make an album that felt intimate. One of those records you listen to in your bedroom on your own. I don't know if that's what we accomplished, but I hope that's the case for someone out there.
Do you feel a connection to any of the songs in particular the most? I think we all feel pretty strongly about 'River' and 'Bruises to Ash'. Those two songs represent when we began to understand what type of music we wanted to make. In our minds, they were a step up from our previous work.
Video been pretty lucky so far. I think it's important to stay motivated and make sure you're doing everything you can to help yourself. Whether that's spending a few extra hours rehearsing or making sure your website is up to date, it's important to make sure all your bases are covered.
What has been your most memorable experience while opening up for bands like Gotye, Karkwa, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Born Ruffians, Bahamas?
What have been some of your major struggles in the music business?
Those are all very talented people. It became very clear why they're successful after seeing them live. Those experience really help us stay motivated.
It's a funny industry but I can't complain. I'm sure everyone wishes it were easier to navigate, but we've
Only in North America but we're about to head off to Europe in the next few weeks. Touring has a
lot of highs and lows but overall I find it very rewarding. Recording and rehearsing is usually done in isolation, so it feels good when the band can get out and connect with people.
What has been one of the most valuable lessons while opening with these bands? We can get anxious pretty easily. A lot of these bands have been at it for awhile and you see how calm and collected they are when performing. The most valuable lesson we've learned is to not over think it.
Do you plan to collaborate with anyone in the future? We've got some people on our list for sure. We'll leave it at that for now. :)
thebellegame.com 29 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
From Chicago, poems by
AnthonyPeregrine Untitled It took me 22 years to notice the evening light is different It took me 17 more to realize that I am alive At 73 I first heard music and at
107 I touched electricity with two of the fingers on my right hand
When I turned I turned to my neighbor and told a good joke Having lived so long I had realized the importance of taking time to laugh. 10 years later the last car had totally disintegrated into rusty lovely dust I have lived 13 million years. I have seen the whole story. I have had time to listen to every song. I managed to talk to every mother and I have collected one seed from every plant. I have lived
13 million years.
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Untitled I want there to be a pillow That smells like you and I want you to leave for a few months
you until e k i l ell
m s that pillow to me o t k c You a b come
Wait, no, I want there to be seven glaciers Recarving the North American continent Into seven giant hearts that each Have a major city in them Or, okay, I want tomorrows forever I want the sun to be green and Oregano instead of firewood I want 10 yards worth of Silly Putty wrapped around my bed I want 10 more chickens I want to look you in the eyes and say “Good morning.” I want to be woven into grapeleave wreathes I want literally every star in my pocket I want to ask ‘where you goin?’ and you to say ‘none ya’ and stick out your tongue And dang I want 10 babies to find 10 other babies in the sand haha. I want to have a pillow that smells like you I want to have a you that smells like you and I want to say ‘good morning’ while I am looking in your eyes.
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Untitled I am on your rooftop looking out and I can see the Empire State Building but first I saw the Chrysler Building and I am Coming to grips with my -- with the fact that I am a part of this system too I grew up drinking the same Coca Cola syrups and smoked those same cigarettes I waged the Viet Nam war I voted for George Bush I passed out small pox blankets I hammered the Empire Stateâ€™s foundation into its infinity permanence I can see the lights from here, powered by the mountains that I ordered removed and I light the same Gas-lit stove in the Lower Eastside Clanking
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Clanking chains Clanking Clanking chains I wore them too Untitled I am THE UNITED STATES I am its grievances its victims its dictators I am THE UNITED STATES and ohio too The fire escape ladder down from visionary roof has 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 rungs then 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 steps then through screen window I am the united states of america, 12, 13 I am Empire State 12 - 13, I am too -I am the first love not written on this continent and I will be the last kiss shared here I am the Empire State like I am heart beating I am Empire State Chrysler infinity, you are too 12 13
23 4 5 7 6
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A MURALIST RECLAIMING PACOIMA FOR THE ARTS
What is your full name and where are you from?
I’m Levi Ponce of Pacoima, CA (USA).
What was your experience like growing up? (I grew up in) Pacoima; at a time my street had the highest murder count in Los Angeles. I haven’t grown up just yet... It’s what makes my work possible... (When school wasn’t in session) I would go to work with my father in the streets of PicoUnion, McArthur Park, Rampart, K-town, and Pacoima. I painted beside my father for over a decade. We’d paint signs on entire strips of plazas and business fronts. As I grew older my tasks grew more complex: in elementary school I painted walls with rollers, by middle school I could do lettering, 34 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
and in high school I could paint anything. I would paint anything that local business needed and that ability paid for my college education (and still continues to... damn loans). I never really painted for myself; however, I always painted for others commercial work. Which is artistic and holds it’s own merits but it isn’t my work.... Until December 2011.
Did anything in your childhood in gear you toward the path you chose to take in art? My father.
How did you know you wanted to make murals? Well, painting isn’t easy... Painters spend hours, days, weeks, and sometimes years painting their pieces... I’ve always been a fast painter. My
speed allowed for me to create more intricate pieces or larger pieces in shorter amounts of time. It grew from there.
What lead you to become a mural artist? It wasn’t really a decision... It just happened. One day your painting portraits, the next day murals, the next day Artnois calls you about an interview. It all happens so fast.
Do you endeavor in other types of art? Yes, Murals are a hobby. I make a living as a Visual Effects artist in the film industry, working on both digital and practical effects. I work with programs like Maya, Nuke, AfterEffects, Z Brush, Photoshop (and more). I sculpt, build, construct, and paint. I also find myself doing some acting on TV, attending a casting call from time to time. I didn’t set out to be
“Budweiser wanted me to be in a commercial painting, then Converse, then a string of reality TV shows. (Now) I’m being paid as “talent” on shows, fun stuff.” 35 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
an actor, it just happened through being a muralist. Budweiser wanted me to be in a commercial painting, then Converse, then a string of reality TV shows. (Now) I’m being paid as “talent” on shows, fun stuff. My favorite art is painting, for sure. That’s why I do it for free, I love it. All my public art is free for the community, property owner, etc. I couldn’t think of getting paid for public art because it would corrupt it by turning it into work. Gross. I have
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enough work already. Lately though I’ve been dreaming of making money off murals, BUT ONLY SO I CAN PAINT MORE MURALS!
Who have been your most influential people? My father, Hector Ponce, Kent Twitchell, DaVinci, Michelangelo, Dali, Dali again, and El Mac (that guy is awesome).
What are some cities where you have painted murals?
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“there has always been art in Pacoima, but no one knew about Pacoima or about murals there until this mural.” Los Angeles (all of Cali), Las Vegas, Nashville, and New York.
Tell us about your most meaningful or memorable experience in creating a mural. My most meaningful mural was my Pacoimeras mural in Pacoima, California (10335 Laurel Canyon). It brought so much good to Pacoima! It brought positive national attention to my home town, not to mention major media coverage all over SoCal. There has always been art in Pacoima, but no one knew about Pacoima or about murals there until this mural. 38 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
There were a few minor articles written about Pacoima’s “Mural Mile” but nothing significant at all. When Pacoimeras (Pacoima Neighborhood Mural) launched it blew up. (It was covered on) FOX, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Azteca TV , CNN, Daily News, LA Times, La Opinion, Huntington Post, and many more! It gave so many people something to be proud of when they spoke of being from Pacoima. They could finally say something positive about Pacoima, which unfortunately can be difficult at times. The 1% of bad people in Pacoima give the rest of us a bad name. I think murals are helping change our neighborhood’s
image... It’s a good start... I wanted to raise the bar. I guess I succeeded. Art levels are through the roof in Pacoima right now.
Why did you choose to do most of your murals on Van Nuys Boulevard? I grew up on Van Nuys Blvd. Alongside the drunks, the homeless, the gang-bangers, the cops, the dogs, and (the hard workers too). It’s home. There’s not much there, so I wanted to put something there. Why continue to saturate overly-saturated areas with art? Pacoima is just as cool and hip and grimy as the Downtown Arts District - I would say
- that’s why the media covered Pacoima when they spoke about the mural ordinance changing in LA... we’re the hot spot right now.
How do you go about choosing what to paint? Whatever inspired me. I’ve changed entire sections on the fly based on jokes being told in real time. Why not? If I take it too seriously it’ll stop being fun.
What is the Pacoima Art Revolution? After painting murals there for 6 months, in my opinion, Pacoima’s Art
Revolution started when I dubbed it so in a Daily News article in June 2012 (http://www.dailynews. com/20120610/losangeles-artists-bringingback-mural-culture). There have always been murals in Pacoima, but it was never professional, or organized, or given much recognition - I changed that. The revolution started with that article. It motivated all the artists in the area to continue working even harder than before. It brought out old artists and created new ones. But most importantly it brought us all together. We formed a solid East-Valley network
of artists that could paint as a unit or individually. We didn’t compete like other neighborhoods did. We didn’t fight over differences. We were in it for the greater good of Pacoima.
Who is part of the Pacoima Art revolution? Everyone is a part of the Reviolution. Artists, teachers, police officers and chiefs, parents, children, drunks, prostitutes, drug addicts, junk-yard dogs, DJs, gays, politicians, transvestites, musicians - ALL MADE IT HAPPEN - I saw it first
hand, front seat. They all got paint on their hands.
How do you go about in choosing who will help out with your murals? I don’t! I let everyone help out. On site, there is a level of respect unlike any I’ve ever seen before.
What do murals mean to you? My public art makes me feel alive. So much better than watching Jerry Springer (Nothing but love, Jerry! Ha!)
What is your ultimate goal in regards to art and murals? My ultimate goal is to do whatever I have to do to keep painting. Art saves lives, I’ve seen it. It changes lives for the better and the world needs that right now.
Would you say you have a particular style of artwork? No... I just do my best to paint what I see, both literally and metaphorically.
www.leviponce.com 39 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
Bat and Ball A Polka Dot Pop Duo from the UK
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Abi and I had started writing and recording a few songs before we started universityjust the two of us. We recorded a demo of We Prefer it in the Dark back home in Plymouth. It only took a day. It was an experiment. We always wanted to make the songs come alive and that would never work just the two of us. We met some incredible musicians at Goldsmiths so the decision to
it’s balanced and if you squint it’s nearly symmetrical.
The E.P took a few months to do. It was a wonderfully creative experience and our sound engineer was amazing. We sampled ancient synths and sang through rare soviet microphones. The recording process was a wonderful way to cement all the hard work we’d put into the live show and see how far we could push the
start the band was obvious.
What ties you all together to create music?
Out of all four tracks, is there one in particular that you can relate to the most?
The intense enjoyment of playing live. Beaming our head off and bouncing around on stage. There is a huge range of influences within the band- everyone comes from a completely different musical background. This diversity actually keeps things stimulating and constantly moving.
Who chose to the name of your band Bat and Ball? Abi and I chose the name. In fact the name probably came before anything else. What does it mean? It’s a metaphor,
You recently released an EP with four tracks, what was it like creating it?
Through the collaborative writing process, we know each songs means something different to each person in the band, so its hard to say. Everyone adds a huge amount of emotion and intention to what they do. We Prefer it in the Dark (which is the single) seems to get people riled up about it’s meaning; the lyrics particularly. But, it’s nice to retain some mystery in what
Chris, Ed and me are originally from the West Country. Jamie from Southampton and Harri from Wales.
I noticed you categorized your music under the genre, polka-dotpop. What are characteristics of this genre? I like to think it’s because we can change our spots. We also like ‘Multi Pop’, as we are a mixed pot of people and genre.
Where are you all from originally?
How did you develop this style of music? Chris and me had ideas at the beginning of what we wanted our sound to be – lots of space and hopefully good songs to be very important. But it was only really the skeleton of it. Meeting the rest of the band at Goldsmiths really developed and cemented our sound.
biggest obsessions when I started writing songs was Ryan Adams.
Some bands/artists create music with the hope that their audience can dance, relax, reflect, or simply enjoy creative tunes and polyphonic melodies/tunes. What do you wish your audience gain from your music? We want people to enjoy it on a few different levels I think. Hearing the recording and seeing us live is quite a different experience. Live we want there to be energy and hopefully some dancing. On the recordings people can hear the lyrics better, there’s space to hear the songs. And for us that’s really important.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates? Sunday 8th Dec @ Hoxton Bar & Grill
Who has been you biggest musical influence?
Monday 16th Dec @ The Old Blue Last - Rape Crisis Charity
I have so many. And all of Bat and Ball have their own influences, with a huge variety. But personally one of my
Friday 20th Dec @ Tooting Tram
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I understand you all attended Godlsmiths University of London; how did you make the decision to create music together?
Where are you right now? What are you surrounded by? What do you hear? Right now I’m sitting in bed drinking coffee with my dog who is lying next to me. it’s early morning so it’s pretty quiet. What is your favorite type of atmosphere? 42 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
I’m not sure I have a favorite, but I love the feeling of standing on top of a mountain somewhere in the Lake District.
What is your current top track at the moment? I’ve just been listening to
Pale Shadows by Laura Groves. It’s a beautiful song.
If you could teach someone one lesson, what would it be? I’m not sure I would want the pressure of teaching anyone anything... Maybe patience though.
Where are you all from? We’re all from Kendal except Josh who is originally from Warrington. How did you meet? My brother and I went to school with Nick, and we
met Josh through a friend.
What made you decide to embark in this music project? I don’t really know, it just happened. It wasn’t really a conscious decision. It evolved naturally and then slowly started overtaking our lives, probably without us really recognizing it for a while.
How long have you been working on this project? That is difficult to pinpoint. Since we could talk and first heard a record probably.
Were you aiming to accomplish any particular style/mood when first beginning this project? We didn’t go into it with any cemented plans of how we wanted to do things. It’s been an exercise in patience and allowing mistakes to happen, but largely trying to do it behind closed doors until we’re in a good place with it. We try to experiment a lot with songs before deciding exactly how it should sound, so it’s a bit like a process of elimination.
What goals do you have as a band? To be able to show our kids something in 20 years and not be embarrassed by it.
What is one of your most memorable experiences while touring?
We’re still pretty young in the touring world, our experiences have left us hungry for more though. A good show is such a buzz... It’s been the people we have met that have really made the experiences. You know some fans have travelled quite far to see us and it is these people that make it incredible.
On your website you provide reading posts; what is the purpose of this? To share our world. People forget that we aren’t only musicians, we have lots of other interests too. So the reading section of our website is a conscious effort to communicate something about ourselves as individuals. Also, my brother and I began a book club last year which made us think that it would be nice to share some of the texts we were reading.
are in black and white, but we like the aesthetic.
Who came up with the concept for your music video “To the End” (http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=4x1OzVibsOo)? It was shot and directed by Laurence Hamburger and Oliver Chanarin in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was an idea they had to film two gymnasts, and we think it is beautiful. Your music video “Dancing in the Dark”, which is a cover of the original song by Bruce Springsteen, is quite humorous. Who came up with the idea? (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=KTcimJAhu88) It was a friend of ours, Sam Bailey, who is a video editor. After we put the song online he just edited it for fun and we loved it. It’s genius.
I’ve noticed there is a lot of black and white artwork representing your music. Why is this so?
It’s a song we’ve always loved and I think we all just wanted to play it as it has so many connotations in our lives already.
All our artwork comes from old self help manuals from all over Europe, and is the result of an ongoing collaboration with Oliver Chanarin (broombergchanarin.com). The concept begun by stumbling across old photographs from women’s self-defense manuals and policing handbooks which we found in second-hand bookstores and have now amassed quite a collection. We thought that the concept of physical self defense paired with our music, which at times refers to a kind of emotional self defense and vulnerability, was a nice way to juxtapose the two. It just so happens that all of these images
When can we expect a full album release? I feel that 2014 will be an important year for us.
Do you plan to collaborate with anyone in the future? We are working on a couple of exciting projects with other people, I don’t want to say too much though because I don’t want to put any pressure or expectation on a collaboration. It’s just fun that we get opportunities to create with interesting people.
www.womanshour.co.uk 43 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
“It just makes sense that you want to find out what’s going on with people that you adore, people like Bjork and Beck; real taste makers and pioneers of things. They’re going out there into the wilderness and doing something new...”
by Carlos Rubio During the Smorgasbord of music known as Culture Collide I had the opportunity to watch and photograph several upcoming and established artists including the Ravonettes, Like Swimming, and Moby. But by far my favorite experience had to have been the time I got to share with Alice Russell (http://www.alicerussell. com), a British soul singer whose music is very reminiscent of Adele, Duffy, and the late Amy Whinehouse. Her voice is powerful and edgy 44 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
but her demeanor could not be sweeter or more charming. I sat down with her a few hours before her jam-packed set to discuss her latest album To Dust, her cello Aurelius, and who she was excited to catch at the festival. AN: How does it feel to be in L.A.? AR: It feels good; it’s nice and warm. Back home (England) it’s raining. AN: Where are you coming from?
AR: We came in today from San Francisco AN: How’s the tour so far? AR: Well we’re sort of half way through now; this will be the fifth of this leg (North American tour); then we do one in Pomona tomorrow and we go off to Chicago and Minneapolis and places like that. AN: How has the reception been? AR: It’s been really cool;
you never know who’s going to come. We’ve been doing some bigger venues, like the Howard Theater in D.C., and it’s been really lively audiences from the start and you never, never know what to expect…it’s been wicked! AN: What venue have you been looking forward to playing? AR: That the thing…I’m kinda of looking forward to tonight because it looks like a naughty sweat box (The Echo). We’ve been
doing a lot of theaters, which are beautiful, don’t get me wrong; we did Yoshi’s (music theater in San Francisco) which is like a second home for us but they’re sort of sit down venues and for this set it’s kind of good for people to get up so I’m kinda looking forward to tonight actually. Cause it just the stage and people will be standing up from the get go so it’s easier for them to relax and start dancing instead of me having to tell them ‘c’mon get up.’
far, as in peoples radar; a lot of people are coming up to us at the shows and saying it’s their favorite one so far… so it feels good. We’ve had a nice bit of radio support from KCRW over here and BBC 6 in the U.K. so it feels like there’s been a bit more support than the last one, you know what I mean, so it’s growing a bit more…that feels good.
AN: How has the new album been received?
AR: It’s different…I feel like here it’s bubbling up a bit more actually. But we’ve had some great support back at home as well as in Europe; we have a good following in France,
AR: It seems to have got a bit further than the other albums so
AN: Do you find you have better support here in the States or back at home?
which I love because I love their wine! (laughing) AN: And that’s the second half of your tour right? You do the North American tour and then you head over to Europe right? AR: Yeah, I get four days at home and then I go off to Switzerland; we’re doing Sweden, Germany, France…yeah, it’s going to be cool. AN: How did you hear about Culture Collide and why did you accept the invitation? AR: Well we got asked to do it and I know Filter Magazine (festival sponsor) as well and it just sounded 45 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
like a cool thing to do in L.A. instead of doing a stand-alone show. I like to be part of a festival whenever I can. I want to try to catch Rhye tonight and get to see other people...it’s kind of more exciting to be involved in those things, I think. I wish I had longer though; this is the last day isn’t it? I wish we would have had another day to come and maybe enjoy other stuff but we’ve got tonight so it’s cool. AN: So you’ll be out there with all the other fans
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checking out the bands? AR: Yeah! The problem is Rhye are on right around 10 and we finish at 10… realistically we’re probably going to catch the last bit of their set but I’ve really wanted to see them live for a long time so we’re going to go check them out. AN: So who are your influences? AR: There’s so many! From back in the day there was Aretha and Chaka Khan and a lot of
gospel stuff; Prince I was obsessed with. A lot of hip-hop stuff; Kate Bush, Tom Waits…there’s so many people and I’m still discovering artists. I’ve just discovered Connan Mockasin…artists like that really get you excited about music and doing stuff. AN: So give me an influence that people wouldn’t expect. A lot of times people hear someone’s genre and think only because they sing like it all your influences must be from
them. Screw what people think! Give me an influence that you listen to and think “damn that’s a great band or a great singer!” AR: Yeah! Ooh (pondering over her answer)…I like the Fleetwood Foxes, I love those guys. If you came to my house and checked out my record collection you’d see all sorts of stuff. There’s so many different genres in there. I find it very strange (people being into only one genre); you wouldn’t eat the same
dish everyday so why would you listen to the same music? I haven’t found a genre where I couldn’t find a song that I didn’t like you know what I mean? So that’s my vibe, I like a bit of everything. AN: You’ve done a few covers now, Crazy by Gnarles Barkley and Seven Nation Army by White Stripes, which have been very popular. Is there another song out there that you would like to cover? AR: That’s tough cause I’ve done a couple of the ones I did want to do. Lately we’ve been talking about doing another one but there isn’t anything I feel compelled to at this time. And sometimes there are songs that you adore but that you shouldn’t cover, you know what I mean? There’s a lot of ones that I think I’d love to do but don’t. I love Dracula’s Wedding by Andre 3000; I did try it with the band once…I’m kind of waiting for a new artist to spring something on me that I really want to try, so I’m still waiting. AN: If you could sing with anybody who would it be? AR: Oh my god! I really dig Thundercat; I’m loving his voice and how it’s developing with his new album; I really dig that and actually Connan Mockasin I’d love to work with him and Beck, I love Beck! AN: You know he lives in this neighborhood right? AR: Yeah! I’d love to work with someone like that. I love how all of his albums are different and the latest thing he’s done, where he’s released his music so everyone can do a recording of his composition. AN: So you’re heavy into music in the sense that you like a lot of artists and actively pursue them?
AR: Yeah. Sometimes I think I’m not finding out as much as I can because I’m just doing so many other things but yeah definitely. It just makes sense that you want to find out what’s going on with people that you adore, people like Bjork and Beck; real taste makers and pioneers of things. They’re going out there into the wilderness and doing something new; I find it really important to follow and check them out. AN: I read that you used to play the cello when you were a kid. Outside of singing do you still play any instruments? AR: Yeah, I’m still playing him. I call him Aurelius. It’s a guy because he’s quite a big one; a big cello for a cello, he’s not small, and I’m actually trying to find more time to play him because I’m usually on tour and bringing a cello on a tour does not really vibe, so one of my new years resolution, even before it’s even started, is to play my cello a lot more. And I’ve just treated myself to a Celtic harp, which is just two octaves and I’m determined to learn that. And I play a little piano but only to write; I wouldn’t get out and put that on anyone (laughing) that’s private, private time. AN: If you weren’t singing what would you be doing?
AR: Yeah hopefully! I’ll give you my right side, my best side! AN: Anything you’d like to add or tell our readers that they’d find interesting? AR: Uuummm…that’s tough; that such an open-ended question I don’t know. I think just go and check the music out. That’s best way to understand what I ‘m about. The other best way to check me out is come see me live I think, cause it’s a very different feeling. A lot of people have commented on that. It’s when you get to see what I’m about. AN: One last question, your favorite track on the new album? AR: It changes all the time. At the moment it’s, For A While; it was, To Dust, for a while because it’s quite an angry song. It’s like my therapy song so I was really getting into that but since I’ve been singing it a lot that anger is sort of dissipating a bit so I’m jumping back onto, For A While, which is a bit more of a playful song. AN: So the therapy is over? AR: It’s nearly there; I think it’s never over (laughing), it’s ongoing for everyone!
AR: Oh my god that’s tough! Maybe I’d be learning to teach yoga, I like that idea. Going off and learning something like that, or I’d love to do wildlife photography or be like David Attenbourough’s right hand girl, come and help him out. I think that would be amazing.! A lot of waiting around but when you capture something, that would be cool. AN: Hopefully I’ll be able to capture so good images of you today.
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False Fleet of a Pseudopod
Evolution of Camouflage
Alexandra Gallagher How would our virtual worlds look like in real life? Here is an artist who allows her imagination to run in any creative direction. Most recently she has embarked in a creative journey to discover what our world would look like if we actually lived our virtual lives.
Back Street Flamingo
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Are you a full time painter or is painting your balance to something else? I balance being an artist with being a stay-athome mum. I’m really lucky to be able to concentrate on my art most of the time, it’s just about being flexible… Or having a child sat on your lap while working on something.
Where did creative work start for you? I’ve always been creative. For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an artist, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
“Childhood is when the world is full of magic and endless possibilities. I try to reflect the loneliness of childhood and the fear - as well as the adventure and amazement of everything.”
How long have you been painting? Do you do any other type of creative work? I used to paint portraiture when I left college, but for the past 3-4 years I’ve been concentrating more on my own stuff. Exploring different ways of creating pieces. I love using digital media to create art and often use it to sketch out ideas before I use a more traditional medium such as paint. I’ve found it to be a really useful tool and something I’ve grown into.
As an artist who likes to play with different styles and themes, what are some of the things you have learned about yourself in this creative journey? Come and Play
The main thing I have learned about myself is that I like to try new things. I’m always
amazed when I find a new way of doing something and get engrossed in it for quite a while. For me I feel it’s a good thing to try new concepts and ways of executing new ideas. Although this can have the effect of people not being able to instantly recognize my work. I was once told at an exhibition that my work gave the impression that lots of different artists had produced that particular body of work and that I should try to find my ‘thing’. Which is true, but I get frustrated sticking to one thing. I don’t like to limit myself to a particular medium or style, it all depends on what I am trying to achieve. I’m still on the journey to finding my ‘thing’.
What are some of the topics you have addressed creatively? My main concepts are to do with childhood and growing up. Childhood is when the world is full of magic and endless possibilities. I try to reflect the loneliness of childhood and the fear as well as the adventure and amazement of everything. I also reflect on what it’s like to be a female growing up and the expectations put on as women by society. I am currently working on series of landscape collages based on how a lot of us now live our lives through the internet, whether it’s banking, shopping, social networking, hobby or porn we seem to be spending an increasing amount of time in a virtual world. I want to explore what this virtual world looked like if we could see it physically? 49 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
Back Street Play
Under the Ocean
Mr & Mrs Matey
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Back Street Dreams
In which intelligence is widely distributed across the landscape. Where you can be anything or anyone. How would the “Global Village” look in the physical world? We put up so much of ourselves onto the internet without really thinking. We give more of ourselves up than we would normally face to face and everyone starts out on a level playing field. Our religion, our ethnic background, our wealth, successes, our sexuality, how we look, our gender, our politics do not matter and there is something for everyone, even the darkest and the most twisted. The psychology of humanity in general interests me greatly.
Is there anything you stay away from as far as exploring?
No I don’t think there would be, but I don’t want to produce anything just for shock value. I see a trend at the moment for paintings that looks like figurative glamour modeling and porn. It’s like the ‘men’s magazine’ of figurative painting. There’s nothing of value to a painting of a women on her knees with her fake boobs out. It’s far sexier to be more subtle. It’s the same with things that are horrific or taboo. Subtly is far scarier and plays on the mind more. What is left to the viewers imagination can have more of an impact.
Can you tell us a bit about how the Back Street series came about? The Back Street series 51 ARTNOIS No 8, Dec 2013
In the Light of My Eye
In the Light of My Eye
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was an evolution of a concept I had about the differences between growing up in the North of England or the South. I did both. Britain is a small island, but because there is so much history, different places all have their own little quirks and ways of doing things embedded into them. Even accents are slightly different when you just go a couple of miles to another town. This concept changed into more of a personal thing and started to be more about my own childhood and the way I saw things growing up. Your photography portrays kids in eerie places; what is the idea behind this setting? Until the age of seven I grew up in Lancashire,
where many of the towns are industrial. I remember playing in the ‘Back Streets’ and that being a world of limitless adventure. I wanted to show, through the setting, that something ordinary, like the street where you live, to a child can be another world full of fairy tales.
At the moment I’ve been working mostly on commissions, but I have a few ideas for new concepts that I would like to work on once I’ve finished.
What is your personal favorite piece and why?
Unfortunately I have never been to L.A. I would love to visit one day though - it’s on my list!
Wow! That’s a hard one to answer! Hmm… maybe “Back Street Play” because it was the start of a whole new direction in my work.
Are you currently working on a new series? Where did this series stem from?
Have you ever traveled to Los Angeles? How do you think the art scene differs from your?
I had to ask an artist friend of mine who lives between here and L.A. about this. He told me that in L.A. they encourage new artists a lot more than they do here, that L.A. has been creating an art scene to compare with New York
and that it has a great underground scene. From my own personal experience I get a lot of interest from people living in L.A. They seem more accepting of art that is surreal or a little off beat and quirky.
Do you have any type of music you like to listen to you while you work? Any favorite artists we should check out? I love music of nearly every genre and I can’t stand working in silence. This week I’ve been mostly listening to a lot of Deep Valley, Sky Valley Mistress, Pixies and Jurassic 5. It changes all the time though.
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Published on Nov 29, 2013
Last Artnois, art and music magazine of 2013. Includes an interview of Alice Russell, The Belle Game, Bat and Ball and Woman's Hour. Also fe...