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Special Edition

CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW Biennial Edition Installation • Painting • Mixed media • Drawing • Performance • Public Art • Drawing • Video art • Fine Art Photography

Installation • Painting • Mixed media • Drawing • Performance • Public Art • Drawing • Video art • Fine Art Photography

PEDRO AMARO NATALIE CHRISTENSEN MARK YALE HARRIS BETTE RIDGEWAY GABRIEL EMBEHA TOMISLAV ZOVKO JENNIFER D. PRINTZ KARLA MATIAS LAURA SPLAN

Chaos, 2018, Installation A work by Mark Yale Harris (USA)


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Embodied Objects, 2016 computerized Jacquard loom woven cotton, 70”H x 53”W each electromyography data-driven patterns, http://www.laurasplan.com/emg-jacquard-woven-tapestries


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Lives and works in Brooklyn, NYC, USA

Jennifer D. Printz

Lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic

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Tomislav Zovko

lives and works in the United States

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Lives and works in Ĺ iroki Brijeg - Mostar, B & H

Gabriel Embeha

Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

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Nathalie Christensen

Lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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Natalie Christensen

Lives and works in the United States

Lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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Mark Yale Harris

Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Special thanks to: Michael Betancourt, Teresa Wells, Jared Schaffer, Jean-Claude Bise, Ashley Cassens, Hildy Maze, Karissa Hahn, Juliana Pepper, Jane Sheiko, Max Savold, Julia Ăœberreiter, Deborah Esses, Margaret Noble, Joseph Goddard, Nathalie Borowski, Marco Visch, Xavier Blondeau, J.D. Doria, Matthias Callay, Luiza Zimerman, Kristina Sereikaite, Scott D'Arcy, Kalli Kalde, Carla Forte, Mathieu Goussin, Evie Zimmer, Dorothee Zombronner, Olga Karyakina, Robert Hamilton, Isabel Becker, Clare Haxby, Carrie Alter, Jessica Bingham, Agnieszka Ewa Braun, Fabian Freese, Elodie Abergel, Ellen van der Schaaf, Courtney Henderson and Francine LeClercq

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Laura Splan Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York Ciy, USA

My work explores intersections of art, science, technology and craft. My conceptually based projects examine the material manifestations of our mutable relationship with the human body. I reconsider perceptions and representations of the corporeal with a range of traditional and new media techniques. I often combine the quotidian with the unfamiliar to interrogate culturally constructed notions of order and disorder, function and dysfunction. My frequent combination of textiles with technology challenges values of "the hand" in creative production and question notions of agency and chance in aesthetics. Much of my work is inspired by experimentation with materials and processes which I mine for their narrative implications and untapped potentials. My recent work uses biosensors (electromyography, electroencephalography) to create data-driven forms and patterns for digitally fabricated sculptures, weavings and works on paper as well as for movement in performances with sensor-actuated apparatus.

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator

Laura Splan: My artistic research is primarily driven by a desire to deconstruct what are considered to be stable or even autonomous systems (i.e. science, technology). I often employ the concepts and tools of the systems themselves to interrogate their veracity as well as research the historical context of their origins. Much of my work leverages the tactility and familiarity of textiles as a way to engage the viewer and evoke notions of interaction with domestic and quotidian objects. I often use the tools of technology or language of science to foil that familiarity. For my Embodied Objects series of computerized Jacquard loom woven tapestries, I was drawn to the process in its embodiment of the history of the computer itself. In 1837, computer pioneer Charles Babbage based his

peripheral.arteries@europe.com

Hello Laura and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production and we would like to invite our readers to visit http://www.laurasplan.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your multifaceted background. Are there any experiences that did particularly influence your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum as well as your current work as a lecturer at Stanford University, direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

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Material Expressions No. 2, 2016 ongoing, durational performances with heart rate sensor actuated motor and MIDI sound http://www.laurasplan.com/material-expressions-2


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analytical engine on Joseph Marie Jacquard’s 1804 loom invention. Both inventions revolutionized the role of the body and its labor in production. The series uses the labor and movement of the body as a means of producing the patterns for the weavings. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention of your insightful exploration of the intersections of art, science, technology and craft is the way it invites the viewers to reconsider the everchanging nature of the relationship with our body. When walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you consider the relationship between Technology and Art? Laura Splan: Technology has always been a primary art making tool for me since my early work with video and digital imaging. My engagement has been fueled in part by a love of learning new technological tools. But art also provides a crucial space in which we can defamiliarize the everyday technologies we take for granted. In a world in which technological imaging (screens, computer vision, AI) are becoming pervasive, artists are well poised to examine the sociopolitical implications of these devices, their use, and the power structures they create, embody and enforce. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, much of your work is inspired by experimentation with unconventional materials and processes, including blood, cosmetic facial peel, digital fabrication, that you sapiently mine for their narrative implications and untapped potentials. We’d love to ask you about the qualities of the

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Doilies (HIV), 2004 computerized machine embroidered lace, 8.5”H x 8.5”W, http://www.laurasplan.com/viral-doilies

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Doilies (SARS), 2004 computerized machine embroidered lace, 8.5”H x 8.5”W, http://www.laurasplan.com/viral-doilies

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materials that you include — or that you plan to include — in your artworks: contemporary practice has forged a new concept of art making involving such a wide and once unthinkable variety of materials and objects. In particular, photographer and sculptor Zoe Leonard once stated, "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological findings, they reveal so much about us": are you interested in the use found objects, too? Laura Splan: I heartily agree with Zoe Leonard’s notion of the artifact revealing more about us than say the function of the object itself. In much of my work I am fabricating “simulated artifacts” of sorts (i.e. heirloom artifacts, reimagined inventions) as a way to reexamine the artifacts around us. Removing the veil from what we thought we already understood can be an exercise that resonates in a generative way with the viewer. By calling one object into question, suddenly an entire array of artifacts is thrust under the magnifying glass. How does your everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? And how do you think your works respond to it in finding hidden, crystallised moments in the everyday? Laura Splan: I am generally preoccupied with the ecologies and apparatus that extend beyond seemingly autonomous objects or systems at hand. My artwork attempts to illuminate the meta-functions of objects and images to circumscribe, impose and even police belief systems particularly around the human body. The doily functions this way on many levels. This typically hand made object might be passed down through generations along with the values of domesticity, decorum and class that it embodies. They may even accumulate in a “viral” fashion in a drawer of

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Doilies (Herpes), 2004 computerized machine embroidered lace, 8.5�H x 8.5�W, http://www.laurasplan.com/viral-doilies


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Manifest (Installation View), 2015, laser sintered polyamide nylon, 8”H x 4.75”W x 4.75”D, electromyography

linens one never uses. Although doily patterns traditionally employ motifs from nature and geometry, the structure of a virus is a perceptible break from that tradition. As an object that may be used to camouflage a scratch on a table or stain on a chair, the form

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of my own doilies sculptures belie the more disturbing viral forms they depict such as HIV or SARS. Created with computerized machine embroidery, they also call into question values of labor and the hand in craft. In this and other projects I often try to create a situation that

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data-driven 3-D printed sculptures, www.laurasplan.com/manifest

compels and allows the viewer to navigate the layers of the work on their own terms. My Doilies can be looked at as merely decorative forms or they can be examined for their more complex or even unsettling implications as they relate to the body, science and technology. This

unstable and liminal experience can function as a rehearsal for how we experience objects of the everyday. An interesting aspect of your artistic research is related to the tension between the

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Embodied Objects, 2016 computerized Jacquard loom woven cotton, 70�H x 53�W each electromyography data-driven patterns, http://www.laurasplan.com/emg-jacquard-woven-tapestries


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Manifest (Blink Twice), 2015 laser sintered polyamide nylon 8”H x 4.75”W x 4.75”D electromyography data-driven 3-D printed sculptures www.laurasplan.com/manifest

Manifest (Blink Twice), 2015 laser sintered polyamide nylon 8”H x 4.75”W x 4.75”D electromyography data-driven 3-D printed sculptures www.laurasplan.com/manifest

quotidian with the unfamiliar, to interrogate culturally constructed notions of order and disorder, function and dysfunction. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "artists's role differs depending on which part of the world

they’re in": does your artistic research respond to a particular cultural moment? In particular, do you think that artists can raise awareness to an evergrowing audience on topical issues in our globalised age?

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Recursive Expressions (detail of Squint #1), 2016 archival pigment print on hot press cotton rag, 24" x 24�, electromyography data-driven pattern http://www.laurasplan.com/squint-emg-giclee-prin

Laura Splan: Absolutely. Art has the ability to reveal what is often systematically obscured within a culture. It has the power to materialize the invisible and to rematerialize what is familiar into something to be reconsidered.

Marked out with such unique asthetics, your artworks deeply struck us for the way they incite the viewer to make new personal associations. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of

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Embodied Objects (Undo), 2016

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http://www.laurasplan.com/emg-jacquard-woven-tapestries


Embodied Objects (detail of weaving), 2016, computerized Jacquard loom woven cotton, 70�H x 53�W, electromy


ography data-driven patterns, http://www.laurasplan.com/emg-jacquard-woven-tapestries


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Recursive Expressions (Squint #2), 2017 archival pigment print on hot press cotton rag, 24" x 24�, electromyography data-driven pattern http://www.laurasplan.com/squint-emg-giclee-print

providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal

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interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood? Laura Splan: I have my own very specific (often elaborate) narratives that drive the conceptual,

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Blank Stare #8, 2016 laser etchings on Arches Aquarelle watercolor paper, 30”H x 23”W, electroencephalography data-driven patter http://www.laurasplan.com/blank-stare-eeg-laser-etchings

technical, and aesthetic decisions I make in my work. However, I am always thrilled to hear completely different interpretations of a project that I would ever have imagined. As artists we are communicating in an organic

language of symbols that is always evolving. I not only welcome a viewer’s projected interpretation but also always await new meaning assigned to those symbols by our evolving culture. And to be clear, I consider

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Blank Stare #1, 2016 laser etchings on Arches Aquarelle watercolor paper, 30�H x 23�W, electroencephalography data-driven patter http://www.laurasplan.com/blank-stare-eeg-laser-etchings

the processes and technologies used to produce a project as part of the symbolic language of the finished work.

Embodied Objects reflects such a powerful synergy between hand and digital processes with traditional textiles and new media technologies. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art

We have particularly appreciated the way

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today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: how do you consider the balance between techniques from traditional heritage and cutting edge technology, playing within your artistic process? Laura Splan: I enjoy the confusion combinations of the old and new, high tech and low tech can make. When you call materiality into question, you bring into question the tools, technology, labor, and process used to make the material. In navigating those questions we are often negotiating culturally constructed notions of value—hand made/machine made, fast/slow, common/rare, etc. Hopefully the work brings those values into question as well. This destabilization of perception and understanding is a generative process with lasting effects. Over the years your artworks have been exhibited in several occasions, including your recent solo show Embodied Objects, at Occurrence Gallery, in Montréal and your current exhibition Stitching & Weaving in the Digital Age, in Santa Fe: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks? By the way, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to online platforms increases — as Instagram — how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience? Laura Splan: Art is the language in which I feel I best articulate myself for an audience or otherwise. My research and studio practice is also how I uniquely navigate and understand the world. I often create projects around histories or systems I want to learn more about. The finished work can reveal new

truths or ideas I never could have predicted. I’m always honored when I have the opportunity to present my work internationally and thrilled when the work translates with audiences coming from different perspectives, experiences and cultures. Meaning can be lost in translation but it can also be gained. We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Laura. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future? Laura Splan: I am currently immersed in a new body of work culminating from an artist residency at a biotech laboratory. During my discussions with scientists, I learned more about the use of non-human species to produce antibodies for human drug development. These discussions circuitously led to me receiving over 200 pounds (90kg) of raw wool from laboratory llamas and alpacas. The exhibition will include sculptures made from the hand-spun fiber along with other audio-visual sources created and collected during my residency. The exhibition opens October 17, 2019 at the Esther Klein Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. My accompanying artist book of photography, Needle In A Haystack, is available online and will also be on display in the exhibition. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator peripheral.arteries@europe.com


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Karla Matias Lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic

My interest as an artist focuses in research of the female body as a subject. To deconstruct the idea of female body created by society and the mass media. Since I started my studies in art, I've done projects that aim to reveal the feminine identity. Discover the particularity of each female body. From this premise I am interested in inquire the female body, and know the private rituals of older women. Try to find a representation of real women, not idealized bodies. Search another look at the stereotypes that have been established in the course history of art, such as the idealization and objectification of the female body. Start thinking about a personal and real representation of the female body. How women feel your body, and how they interpret it. Unveiled as the body of the woman has ceased to be a "passive object�, to be cemented within a context of "subject". Women have appropriated their body and develop images, from their point of view. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator

would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.instagram.com/relatos_desde_ la_piel/ in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there any experiences that did particularly influence

peripheral.arteries@europe.com

Hello Karla and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production and we

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your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research? Hello, thank you very much for sharing my artistic production with your readers. Regarding the evolution I have had as an artist, I consider that my academic training is an experience that has determined my path. I grew up in a home surrounded by books, and my first approaches to art were precisely through these books. Books of great museums, of Italian Renaissance artists, full of great masterpieces; where I spent many hours a day appreciating drawings, sculptures and paintings, which hypnotized me completely. Since that moment, being just a girl I began to observe and delight with all these artistic images, which led me to feel great interest in the history of art in general. However, I started drawing very late, almost after turning 30, when I finally decided to study visual arts at the university, because until that moment I felt a great fear of drawing. Without a doubt in the university, I learned different artistic techniques, and I was able to face the fear that I had to draw, to find my own style in the drawing and to have the certainty that without a doubt through art I could express the concerns that were spinning in my head . As for my cultural background, my artistic career has always been based on artistic, musical and literary references. During my adolescence, a book by Salvador DalĂ­ came to my hands and for many years he was my favorite artist, I was attracted by each of his paintings where he came to create

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unexplainable dreams, in the same way I was very interested in the name of each of his works, such as "Honey is sweeter than blood", a phrase that will last forever in my memory. Later I discovered Letters to Theo, by Vicent Van Gogh, so I met Van Gogh through his sketches and diaries. It was at that moment that I realized that creative writing and image could go hand in hand in artistic creation. However, I did not feel completely identified with these artists, they were very far away from my artistic research. I admired many male artists, and until this moment the books I had only made reference to the masculine gender, as the great painters and sculptors of history. In fact, in my readings of Ernst Gombrich’s, The History of Art, I never read of any female artist. Therefore, to know this other story that was not written, nor appeared clearly in the various books of art history, it was necessary to conduct an exhaustive search. So I went to various libraries in Bogotå, and discovered that there had been women artists, who obviously did not appear in the fundamental books of art history. I read Linda Nochlin and her essay entitled "Why have there been no great Women Artists?", written in 1971, and from that moment I discovered a lot of artists like Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Carole Scheemann, Alice Neel, Barbara Kruger, Ana Mendieta, Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeois, Niki de Saint Phalle, Georgia O'Keeffe, who explored through different artistic techniques, subjects related to the body, and female identity. Undoubtedly discovering these artists determined my research and artistic creation, because these topics

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related to female identity, are what I am

You are a versatile artist the body of works that we have selected for this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries has at once impressed us of for the way you unveil the bond between the world of women and the

interested in developing in my artistic production.

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of my family, that I had my first approach to these crafts, due to in my childhood memories, I see my grandmother knit, in the little time that she was free, she began to weave covers for the beds of his grandchildren. Therefore, my learning of knitting and embroidery has been completely different from what I had of the other artistic techniques. It has been an empirical and intuitive learning process in which, on some occasions, I have learned on the wise advice of other women weavers and embroiderers.

different artistic techniques, like photography, drawing, knitting and embroidery: what does direct you to such captivating multidisciplinary practice? I think, it is a constant search to know and experiment with the different artistic techniques. Photography was the first technique for which I felt great interest. I find fascinating, the analogue process of this technique; I began to experiment in the dark room, to know the different possibilities that the photographic laboratory granted in the elaboration of an image. And I was realizing that the photographic image, as well as, the technique, interested me a lot. I was interested in knowing the meaning that will come to have that image and that could transmit to the viewer. At that time, I decided to start a scientific research, which led me to reconnect with the academy and start my Ph.D. studies, where I focused on the development of an investigation that allowed me to link the photographic image with the female body, which I titled "Representations of female body by Spanish female photographers: a feminist viewpoint�, this is the link for the paper: https://www.arteyciudad.com/revista/index .php/num1/article/view/203/315.

Likewise with the drawing, I have tried to find my own way. At the beginning I made several searches in reference to the materials that I was interested in using and I discovered that I love the sketchbook, which I have been transforming into a visual diary. From that moment, drawing became a habit for me, thus I try to make a drawing of a female character almost daily. Undoubtedly the multidisciplinary practice in my artistic process is fundamental. The techniques that I use, complement each other and allow me to establish, as you have expressed it in your question "the body" in my work. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your interest is focused on the creation and dissemination of images linked to female practice: how do you consider the role of women artists in our age? Do you think that your being a woman provides your artistic research with some special value?

When I finished this strict research process, I came back to find the embroidery and the knitting again. It's curious, but in my studies in visual arts, I never had any subject that taught these "techniques", because of in the visual arts schools, The knitting and embroidery, are considered a craft, which in most cases it is done by women. And it is precisely for the women

I considered that what happens now with women artists, is very interesting and

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rewarding. Throughout the history of art, we have always had the role of the muse, as a passive subject, and it was impossible to see women as artistic creators. For this reason the majority of women artists who existed from the Renaissance until the end of the 20th century, were completely unknown. However now, after many years of vindication and research by the women themselves, many of the artists that have been forgotten throughout the history of art are being recognized. At this time the general public can find books of different women artists, can visit large retrospectives dedicated to them in the most important museums and art galleries. In the same way, you can find the works of various women artists in the main auctions of the art market; although the prices of hers works do not match that of his male colleagues. Currently all these events are changing the situation of women in the art world, giving her the role of artistic creator, which was elusive for a long time. As to whether my status as a woman gives special value to my artistic research, I'm not sure if this happens. Neverthless, I am interested in developing a feminine issue in my works and it is something that I make evident in my statement. Even though, this premise of course refers to my personal opinion. However, I think that many artists are not interested at all in this type of topics related to being a woman or not, and in fact they do not like to be labeled as "women artists�; because of they feel that they are being pigeonholed in the world of feminist art, which seems to me a highly respectable position, owing to, the most interesting

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things in contemporary art and women's art happen in the territory of difference. We have appreciated the way Wool and needling crochet and especially Knittings bring attention to manual processes: when waling ur readers through yur usual setup and process, would you tell us how important is for you the physical aspect of your daily practice as an artist? Yes of course, the physical aspect is very important, in what refers to my artistic practice, and in this case I relate it completely to the knitting. When I started with it, I realized that the knitting, was a repetitive process that required a lot of time. The result that I was looking for, I was not going to get so fast. Therefore the knitting, is a technique that requires patience and time, and of course at the beginning also many mistakes are made regarding the stitches. On more than one time, I had to break the knitting and start over. You also have to develop a certain skill with the crochet needle, and discover little by little the manual process that means knitting. So apart from the artisan work that is beginning to develop, from the continuous and sometimes not so quick hand movements, the time for me began to stop. Nonetheless, I looked at the clock and it was not long before the day was over, which meant that I spent almost all day knitting without realizing it. At that moment I felt that the tissue merged with my body in an act of physical resistance. I felt tired, lasted all day, knitting, sitting in a chair, and only my hands moved constantly. However, I kept knitting, and I did not want to stop. Later I began to realize that I was very

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interested in achieving a knitting that could be seen as a sculpture. I wanted to weave a threedimensional object, but without doubt to achieve this goal, I needed to continue weaving for much longer, repeating the same movements manual with the needle again and again. And now, in that way the knitting has become an essential part of my artistic career. With their elaborated geometrical patterns, as well as with the unconventional editing of Putting on make up, your artworks seem to invite the viewers to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface. Austrian historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the audience to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the visual experience: how important is for you to trigger the viewer's imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal associations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood? The truth is that I am very interested in showing what not like about the female body in my works. I'm interested in textures, scars. Reveal what does not want to be seen. The stain. The grain. The wrinkle. The mole. The hair on the face. All those imperfections that you want to hide with makeup. Make the real skin perceptible. In the same way I'm interested in experimenting with scales, to expose different sizes of that imperfection in the skin that is almost diminutive but nevertheless annoying. Search with what or how you can relate that piece of skin. To poke the skin with the camera. And as Roland Barthes affirms in his book The Camera

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Lucida, when one is photographed knowingly, the following may occur: "I feel observed by the objective, everything changes; I am constituted in the act of "posing", I instantly build another body, I transform myself into an image in advance. I feel that Photography creates my body or mortifies it. As for the postulate of Ernst Gombrich, I consider it very valuable, and I completely agree with him, because from his History of Art, he always invited the viewer to see the works of art without much knowledge of it. In the words of Gombrich, "look at a painting with clean eyes". And in the same way, I am believe that the viewer can interpret my work from the personal creation of visual and sensory experience. I think, that more than the viewer understands or interprets my work, I am more interested in feeling it, that it generates some kind of feeling, that makes you want to touch it, feel it, smell it, go through it. However, I will always be open to all possible interpretations that the viewer wants to give to my work. Another interesting works that has particularly impressed us and that we would like to introduce to our readers is entitled Stories from the skin and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/jvI89zkRrQs. We have really appreciated its unsparing realism in order to create such a unique aesthetics: how does everyday life's experience fuel your artistic creativity? It is total, I think that from all points of view my artistic creativity feeds on everyday life as such, and everyday life that is related to the private rituals that women perform daily, as

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is the case of makeup. At that time, Stories from the skin, start from that observation to the women in my family, how they got up earlier to have enough time to put on makeup completely. I observed how makeup builds an ideal of feminine beauty. Longer eyelashes. Lips that shine. Eyelids full of color. Smooth cheekbones. Non-greasy and fresh skins. How it was covering a small part of the face. The makeup transfigures the face, until its purest essence disappears, it ceases to be a face; it becomes a fragment of imprecise skin that is disarticulated from the face. A face that is also dominated by the smell, because the smell of makeup cloaks the whole face. Finally, it's time to go out, to expose your new skin, your new face, hide your true complexion. Until the end of the day, the woman's face will be with this mask on her skin, and at the end of the day, "she will remove makeup." And the skin will be ready for the next day, when she starts to MAKE UP again. As one the most recognized pioneer of feminist art, Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi, Stories from the skin not fall prey to the emotional prettification of a beloved subject. In this sense, your artistic production is a genuine tribute to the issue of women's identity in our globalised still patriarchal and male oriented societies. How do you consider the role of women artists in our age? Evidently, the Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi, was a precursor of feminist art and a great defender of women as an

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exhibition, talks, and workshops that allow the artist to get feedback from his work by the public.

artistic creator, since she showed that the quality of her paintings were at the same level as those of the great Italian masters of her time.

In reference to the technosphere issue, I consider that platforms like Instagram are necessary and are changing the way art is seen too. From my personal experience and as an emerging artist, I believe is very positive, the use of this platform since I can show my work without any restrictions, and immediately. Also, as you mentioned through these platforms I have been able to create new links with different artists and audiences around the world.

As for female identity, women artists are currently interested in representations of the female body, from an intimate and personal level, and there is a search for female identity through visual language, which is based on a criticism of the model from patriarchal society, the consumer society, to the stereotypes of the female body created by the mass media. In the same way, women artists are interested in reflecting on often personal issues and feelings, and there is an interest in vindicating women of different cultures, in claiming domestic tasks. There is a rejection of the institutions that oppress the body and the traditional canons of representation; focusing on the creation of new visual proposals, where the female artist is changing the meaning of female identity seen from art.

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Karla. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Over the years you have exhibited your works in a number of art exhibitions and events: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? In particular, how do you consider the role of emerging online technosphere — and platforms as Instagram — in creating new links between artists and worldwide audience?

Thank you very much for this interesting interview. Well I like to work a lot in serie, therefore I will continue with my visual diary of Stories for the skin, and I will also continue embroidering and knitting. As for embroidery, there is a project that I am beginning that has to do with plants and their healing power. And I am also very interested in conducting research on the history of embroidery.

With regard to art exhibitions and events, I consider that the relationship with the public is quite distant, and it is difficult to know the true reactions of the general public in an art exhibition. For this reason it is important to organize with the

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An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator peripheral.arteries@europe.com

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Peripheral ARTeries meets

Jennifer D. Printz Lives and works in the United States

There is something about me that makes me wonder about the imperceptible quality of stars in the noonday sun, what forces hold clouds up in the sky, and what arranges the sundry of the universe. This work is about the relationship of these and many other unknown things and a faith in their existence that is strong enough to try to visualize and recreate them. It is about working towards understanding in both a tangible physical way and a subtler spiritual one. Through a progressive buildup of graphite, my hand delicately asserts itself over photographs I have taken of the sky over my Southwestern Virginia home. Drawing is, to me, a loving process of focused attention and deliberate mark making as well as a meditative means of creating that reflects my visceral energies into the finished work through many hours of prolonged touch. The work then contains within it an intersection of humanity and nature, as well as a vast sense of intrinsic history.

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator peripheral.arteries@europe.com

your evolution as an artist? In particular, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

Hello Jennifer and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production and we would like to invite our readers to www.jenniferprintz.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your multifaceted background. You have a solid formal training: after having earned your BFA from the East Tennessee State University, you nurtured your education with an MFA that your received from the University of Georgia, Athens: how did those formative years — along with your recent residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts, in Paris — influence

Jennifer D. Printz: I grew up in a small rural town surrounded by the lush beauty of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and in a time period where children spent a lot of time out of doors. My curiosity of the natural world begin there as did my collection of pine cones, dried leaves, and other magical things found while walking across my grandfather’s farm or through a dry creek bed. I also come from a spiritual tradition where songs and books told me the universe was divinely created. I have always sought for signs of that design in the world around me. The bold cyan of a robin’s egg was an indicator of God’s presence to me as much as anything else. Surely these are the seeds of much the of my creative work. My

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desire to work with democratic or easily accessible materials like the ubiquitous graphite pencil is thanks to the economy of my childhood that demanded my family made due with what we had.

that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once captured our attention for the way you sapiently highlighted the elusive point of convergence between the physical dimension and the spiritual one: when walking our readers through your usual setup and process, would you tell us how do you usually develop the initial ideas for your artworks? In particular, how important is for you the spiritual aspect of your practice?

My college experience taught me the importance of discipline and hard work. Due to my status as an honors student, I shared a space with older and more mature graduate students and quickly adapted their work ethic spending many long nights in the studio. More importantly I studied under professors who implanted the idea of professional practice and being part of a larger community of artists into my, then and now, understanding of what it means to be an artist. A few of them had amazing careers both as artists and educators and for someone who was a first generation college student, they served as example of what is possible.

Jennifer D. Printz: In order for my work to be successful, it needs to be honest. To do that, I must bring everything to my practice and so my spiritual practice infuses my art and my art making is part of my spiritual practice. Making is the ultimate exchange as energy through action meets the idea to make something new. Kierkegaard stated “prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” In a similar way, I make something to offer to others and that changes the nature of who I am, and gives me a richer experience of life.

Residencies offer an unparalleled opportunity to break away from the cares of daily life and focus on practice and the best ones do so while also letting you engage with a new community of artists. These experiences have always been inspiring to me, for what I can do in a short focused amount of time and for what I can learn from the working manner and thought processes of others. At the Cité, I was in a community of artists from around the world and had invigorating conversations and exposure to their work. I tried to take in as many of the cultural amenities of Paris as possible from Foucault’s pendulum to the Louvre, to the contemporary art galleries and art fairs. It was a stimulating experience and ideas were constantly flowing while I was there. I am still digesting the experience and I am confident it will continue to impact my work for some time.

Initial ideas for my work are often in response to something I have read, researched or seen. One series was in response to images from the Nuremberg Chronicle and another from a colleague’s lecture on quantum mechanics. Most recently my work has been inspired by Lucretius’ first century epic poem “De Rerum Natura” written to illustrate that natural phenomena can be explained through empirical observation and not the intervention of mercurial gods. I have read and reread the evocative phrases as “the first beginnings of things cannot be distinguished by the eye” and “conversely you cannot see what objects lose by the wastage of age.” Studying these phases, image ideas typically just arise on their own, to be recorded and then acted upon. Is that subconscious, higher

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries and

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come that get executed in a quiet, meditative manner.

self, or divine intervention? I’m not sure, but I have a faithful and trusting relationship with it. And I have found those ideas come more readily

I define the way I work as both as a loving process. To create the smooth gradated tones of these drawings, I have to enter a zone of focus and concentration. To give something your

when I allow more tranquility in my life. It has become cyclical; as I work in a quiet and meditative manner I am open for more ideas to

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singular attention like that is to me a loving and generous act. It takes time and I feel that as I work a surface and touch it over and over again, I am imparting my energy, myself if you will, into the work. It is for me another way, a spiritual way, of considering the artist hand.

own kind. From there I respond to what has been printed, sometimes cutting it into new forms and while at others I just jump into drawing directly on the photograph. It is a childlike question to ask what holds the clouds in the sky, but that is exactly where this work began. It was something that I took for granted, but once I started exploring it, I wanted to know more. I don’t pretend to be a scientist, but I use art to envision and relate to scientific ideas. For example, obscuring portions of photographs with mirror-like passages of graphite is a metaphor for the small portion of light and movement that the human eye can actually see. Several of the pieces in this body of work were inspired by the reality that the universe is expanding at a greater and greater speed, which means that at some point in time the night sky will be devoid of stars. That idea is hauntingly poetic to me. As we look out at the constellations named by Ancient Greeks, we take it for granted that they will be a constant presence. The night sky is as temporal and fleeting as anything else, just at a scale remarkably different from our lives. But there is the paradox; the sky which we want to be universally constant, it is also in a state of constant flux. The photographs I take and use in these works are one captured moment, each detail and feature quickly preserved before the sky changes, to never again present itself in the same way. Drawing is a recording of the choices I make for each mark and movement of the pencil. So, the drawings are in many ways a collection of captured moments, universal and personal. I have been mesmerized with this physical aspect of drawing. These subtle marks of graphite on paper are not unlike the traces of meteor crossing the sky or the subtle trace of passage that carbon based life leaves on the earth. There is in this for a me a profound reality that all is changing.

Your artworks are marked out with geometric patterns, that you sapiently combine with unique variety of tones, that provide your works with a unique aesthetic identity. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: as an artist whose do you create your works gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes? In particular, how do you consider the relation between the nature of the concepts that you explore in your artistic research and the physical aspect of your daily practice as an artist? Jennifer D. Printz: My working process is an instinctual one and has become a ritual of listening ever closer to my internal self. The means, ways, and ideas for my work are always there to be heard. Honoring them is respecting my self. For me, this way of working is a perfect parallel to what my work is about. If I am wondering about the underpinnings of the universe and the structure of everything in my work, should I not tap into the universe within me? How can I know anything, if I don’t know myself? With that said my practice has multiple stages and processes. I photograph the natural world and especially when at home try to keep my camera at hand to act in response to watch is happening around me. I may easily run out the door to capture the glimmer of light coming through after an afternoon rain shower. Time is then spent processing these images and outputting them which takes a patience of its

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Marked out with such unique visual identity, what has particulary deeply struck us of the narrative aspect of your artworks is way they incite the viewer to make new personal associations. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your artworks to be understood? Jennifer D. Printz: As humans, we often want things to be concrete, fixed, and definable or what we consider to be “known.” I feel that we need to question those tendencies and become more curious. With this in mind, I have no interest in being prescriptive and actually welcome open interpretations of my work. Although I am happy to share my motives, I strongly believe in what DuChamp said, “the viewer completed the piece.” I make from my own concerns and cultural conditioning and the viewer brings their’s to the seeing and understanding of the work. More and more my goal is to create work that is generous and in order to be generous the work needs to give the ample space for the viewer to projects ruminate, and develop their own meaning. The passages of white or negative space in many of my pieces literally serve that purpose as a meditative open space. It is also a crucial formal device giving the work a clean quality. Elegance and a refined simplicity are something I strive towards in my work. Many of the artists I am most inspired by push their work towards minimalism and in doing so delve into spiritual concepts and concerns. The drawings of Agnes Martin, the lyrical landscapes of Yves Tanguy, and the merging of art and the meditative experience in the work of Mark Rothko are a few that immediately come to

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mind. I am also influenced by the work of Hilma af Klint and Emma Kunz who were early pioneers in abstraction which they blended with their own mystical practices. A revelatory moment occurred when I first saw the collection of Tantric paintings collected by

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French poet Franck AndrĂŠ Jamme and published in the book Tantra Song. The paintings are direct descendants of ancient Hindu meditative and mantra practices. Their visual power and history just dumbfounded me as did the egoless practice of making these pieces. I go back to

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these works regularly for visual inspiration and as a reminder of the importance of having a loving reverence in the creation of artwork.

creates a visceral engagement and knowing of the concept. That is important to me and my work as I try to get an clear sense of theorems from physics and even mystical ideas. Making creates meaning. My solutions, although fabricated, present my truth.

We really appreciate the way your artistic research question our relationship with nature and the tension with our surroundings, to invite the viewers to explore the blurry boundary between the figurative and the abstract: how do you consider the relationship between the real and the imagined playing within your artistic research?

We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances that mark out your artworks, and we like the way they show that vivacious tones are not indespensable to create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in a specific artwork and in particular, how do you develop a texture?

Jennifer D. Printz: The interplay of real and imagined my most notably comes through in my work in the way drawing and photography combine to create a unified statement. In fact, that has always been a clear goal—to make sure the drawing seamlessly merge with the photograph. It is easy to label the photograph as real as the camera dutifully captures what is in front of it and the drawing as imaginative. However, I see both processes as a way of seeing. The way I use photography is as a quicker mechanized way of seeing the world around me. It is a documentation to be printed, responded to and built upon. While drawing is a slower and deeper way of seeing. It is about defining space and form by transposing them with my hand. Both are ways of finding meaning and both could be either real or imagined.

Jennifer D. Printz: My work has a neutral palette inspired by nature most directly through photographic elements. I intentionally combine colorful areas taken from the natural environment with carefully rendered passage of monochromatic graphite. The palette of color represents how as humans we see the world while the modulated tones of grey are not part of our normal viewing experience and produce a sense of introspection and alertness. The real and imagined enter in again. Many of the decisions about my work changed when I started researching feng shui and gave greater consideration to how the images in my home influenced my mood and mental state. I quickly began to consider the same principles in the work I create. Soon after, I let my work become dominated with blue and white. Colors with connotations of calm, serenity and compassion and faith, grace, and purity. These are the emotions and concepts I want more of in my life and hope to share with others.

Drawing, however, is always a play with abstraction. Even a highly representational drawing is only an signifier of something. It can never be the object it represents. Although replete with symbolic meaning, a drawing at its most base level is an accumulation of marks on paper. That tension and play on meaning become more complex when the work deals with concepts that are hard to convey in words. Then drawing may represent an understanding of something largely through the embodiment of the idea and the physical process of drawing

I draw in way that is a slow and methodical buildup of material, but that suits me and my

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Similar to the engagement of my senses in the natural world, I consider the physicality of how I make my work. Drawing is a tactile process and I am aware of how the pencil moves across a surface. I have been experimenting with drawing digitally, but find it not as satisfying as the physical drag of graphite on paper. I select high quality cotton paper to work on for how beautifully it accepts inkjet and pencil, and also because it is a gorgeous object that reflects its making in feel and appearance. The physical nature of the paper, the photograph, and the drawing have an aura that is uniquely their own and, to reference Walter Benjamin, that aura cannot be reproduced in media.

personality well. I can easily sit for hours and draw, not wanting to get up or give up my focus on the work. Working with complex textures allows me to engage with a great depth in the work. Twyla Tharp suggests in her book “The Creative Habit” that each creative find the working manner that best fits their needs and working with a delicate and deliberate focus fits me to a tee. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your works contain an intersection of humanity and nature, as well as a vast sense of intrinsic history: how do you consider the tension between the media driven quality that affect our contemporary age and the realm of Nature?

Over the years your artwork has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the United States and abroad, including your show at the Taubman Museum of Art and your recent participation to your recent show at the Barnhart Gallery, in Lexington: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks?

Jennifer D. Printz: In our media driven age, we are so removed from the realm of nature. We have no idea of our impact on it and are only now starting to understand the impact of nature on us - as individuals and as a collective whole. Interestingly nature took a greater part in my work only after I removed myself from it. As someone who grew up in a very rural environment, for most of my life nature was not a consideration of mine. It was something I took for granted. But after living in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles and now moving to Miami, the environment is a large part of my practice and research.

Jennifer D. Printz: I hope to give my audience is a beautiful quiet moment - a pause in their otherwise busy day. Many viewers of my work may take away questions rather than answers, but ultimately that is how I want it to be. I often think of my work in terms of poetry and like a poem they have a quality that is too complex to directly articulate in words. However, it can give a sensory experience for the viewer who is interested.

The photography within my work began as a response to my renewed awe with the natural world. A simple documentation of gorgeous skies slowly changed the entire way in which I work. Now, I search out time to be in the natural world and use it as an opportunity to reflect on the meeting of earth, water, and sky—all elements present in this work. It is also ideal pause for me before returning to the hustle of daily life; a healing balm for my soul.

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I clue my viewers into this with titles that are evocative and hold a multitude of meanings for example the title of a recent exhibition of my work was “An Almost Unnoticed Quietus” The word quietus means a resolution or a period of rest or something that quiets a word that I selected to reflect on what motivates me as an

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media. It cannot do justice to some nuanced surfaces or complex presentations. Platforms such as Instagram if overused can drown out our instincts and intuition as we listen more to the number of likes an image receives than our objective judgment of it. I am as addicted to it as any one else, but I am also hopeful that artists can find balance and seek the best parts of social media as they engage online.

artist. There is much that can be missed in the haste of life unless we allow ourselves to become quiet. It is hard even to know ourselves unless we become still and listen to our heart and mind. This work is an invitation to the viewer to recognize and seek the importance of solace. It can be appreciated in a meditative manner and serve as an opportunity to be quiet for at least a moment. Pairing quietus with “almost unnoticed” references the practice of meditation and mindfulness. There is a depth to the world and our emotional responses, but we often interact with it on a cursory level. Meditation has taught me to relax and understand that great things can happen right after the moment we almost give up and walk away.

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Jennifer. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Direct relationship with the audience in a physical way is definetely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm increases: how do you consider the role of emerging online technosphere technosphere — and platforms as Instagram — creating new links between artists and worldwide audience?

Jennifer D. Printz: Currently I am pursuing a collaborative endeavor as a means to open my process and engage my conceptual concerns in new ways. I am excited to be working with a dear friend whose creative process is very unlike mine on an installation titled “The Parable of the Demise of Our Time” that combines drawing with video projections. We have been writing and developing the idea and will begin the active creation process very soon.

Jennifer D. Printz: Social media is a great democratizer as any artist can share their work regardless of education, location, or representation. It is also a great platform for artists, especially those who live in rural or remote locations, to interact with other creatives and wider audiences. From that stand point social media and other online platforms are amazing and are cultivating new communities and dialogue.

Individually, I am continuing to develop my mixed media drawings. One series has a focus on images based in crystallography. At heart this is a play both with formal structure and arrangement and the suggestion that reductionism just does not work - so little in our world can be broken down to the suite of its parts everything is much more rich and engaging than that. I was also given a collection of lenses from old theater lights and love the idea of drawing on that surface so the image can be magnified and altered by light. It is clear, pencils will continue to be in life for a long long time.

However, the platform is limited. Consider the square layout of Instagram that forces artists to post their images in a format they rarely use and to compensate artist post portions of their work or specific images made just for social

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Peripheral ARTeries meets

Tomislav Zovko Lives and works in Široki Brijeg - Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tomislav Zovko was born in Mostar in 1986 and currently lives in Široki Brijeg (BiH). He graduated „fra. Domink Mandic“grammar school in Široki Brijeg in 2005. In 2012 he magistrates painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Široki Brijeg in the class of professor Ante Kajini . He is currently attending the doctoral studies „Ars Sacra“, at the abovementioned academy, under the supervision of professor Antun Boris Šveljak. He attended various art colonies. So far he attended 70 group exhibitions and organized 11 solo exhibitions. He is the member of Croatian Association of Artists in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2012. He is member of the Association of Artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2013. Currently working as a lecturer at the college "Logos Center" in Mostar (BiH). Prizes and awards : First Prize for the Work " Burden of change ", Exhibition of Croatian Association of Artists in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016.

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator

Tomislav Zovko: After painting cycle called "The global siliconizing", in which I processed the problem of the man's alienation in modern informatic civilization thematising virtual reality, synthetic feelings and the deatachment from the organic nature,it appeared the need for something new. Then I started thinking about the new cycle. The initial idea was to refine and placate my pictorial manuscript by minimizing the picture. As I was entering in a new, more peaceful phase of my life so my paintings were becoming like that. I felt as I was in some kind of transition. The first three paintings originated in 2016 were the imaginary, abstract constructions of the bridges which simbolised that transition. So,

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Hello Tomislav and welcome back to Peripheral ARTeries: we already got the chance to introduce our readers to your artworks in a previous edition and we are now particularly pleased to discover the development of your artistic production. For this special edition, we have selected Transgressus, a stimulating project that our readers have already had the chance to get to know in the introductory pges of this article. When walking us through the genesis of Transgressus, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea?

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I named them in that way : "Life is only bridge", The bridge above all", "The bridge

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above the depth". After that it came an idea of whole cycle under the name Transgressus.

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This cycle counts about 30 paintings and is still developing.

The series of paintings from the Transgressus cycle are imaginary and

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spiritual landscapes with representation of abstract bridges which symbolizes more or less successful transition from one state to the other, or from one situation to the another. To transist over something or somewhere is an

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eternal struggle in a hartland of every individual and whole society. the paintings were done in a manners of abstract expressionism with dripping technique which is opposed to the almost figurative geometric


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and in the conture sharper and firmer elements. In a specific way we can explicate the compositions as the dualism of the worlds, organic, natural and free shapes as opposed to inorganic and geometric. The

theme problematize the position of the man and nature opposed to the modern, industrialized and technological satiated world.

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What has at once impressed us of Transgressus is the way you sapiently combined element from reality with captivating abstract sensitiveness, to provide the viewers with such a multilayered visual experience. Transgressus is marked out with such a rigorous sense of geometry, to create such a coherent combination between sense of freedom and unique aesthetics: do you conceived it instinctively or did you methodically elaborate your pieces? In particular, how importance does spontaneity play in your work? Tomislav Zovko: The stratification and the processof painting is very impotrant part of my creativity and I am very happy when the viewers notice that. In the process of painting I try to reconcile two extremes or two polarities, the organic, natural part which seems soft and foggy as in some cosmic landscape and the other , geometric, firm and interrupted which seems more solid and limited. The spontaneity is very important in the first phase of the work and it is usually uncontrolled or minimally controlled. After that comes the rational phase in which I try to refine the composition and to strengthen the lines of abstract figure which is the main event in trhe composition. The process is often intertwined and it is never sure what it is going to be at the end. I rarely make the sketches for my works. Eventually, I make some hard drawing of an composition on a simple piece of paper from which I could develop the painting. Everything else appears at the moment of the painting and that is the pleasure of the creation.

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We like the way Transgressus conveys such a stimulating abstract feeling to creates such an oniric atmosphere: how would you consider the relationship between abstraction and figurative in your practice? In particular, how does

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representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?

imortant what does it shows but the way on which it is shown. Fade awayed cosmicspirutal landscapes are actually the backgrounds of all my works. No matter if they are more or less abstract or figurative, in

Tomislav Zovko: The atsmophere of the painting is my main aim , and it is not

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the essence they are link and the factor which makes the unity of the composition and the authenticity of pictorial expression. The tendency to the abstraction comes from the pure emotion and the pure intellect which

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search for some higher states and worlds which are not so visible nor tangible in the real world. The best way to manifest the aspiration for

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abstraction of the painting till the pointlessness,but that is gradual process and something which I am ought to achieve through my researches. Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impressed us and that we are glad to introduce to our readers is entitled The burden of change. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, an emphasis has been put on the encompassing a change as a state of spirit, consciousness and physical state. With your sapient use of such evokative and symbolically charged tone of red, The burden of change connects with the viewers to awake strong emotions. How did you structure your process on a technical aspect, in order to achieve such brilliant results? Tomislav Zovko: Concerning the technical aspect this work comes from the classical aspects of easel painting but on the other hand it is connected to the same. The painting is a diptych and it hasn't be one, it's a painting but it is also and an object or spatial installation. A canvas that connects two frames by its stretching it provides exactly that burden of change. From left to right (or reverse) the canvas isn't smooth nor classically tighten, which is the symbol of all snatchings, turbulences, incovenienceses, brokennesses and obstacles which come from certain change. It is rolled up in a way as we want to wring out the liquid from the certain canvas. It is intervened only with various tones of red on the canvas , with dripping techniques which by itself brings the change of the rhytm and unpredictability of the movement. In the end the painting isn't completely fixed and it varies with its dimension and looks, so the intervene

the transendence is through the abstraction. The figuration is there only when is necessarily needed and then the compromise and the reconcilation between these two worlds are made. The thing I aspire the most is complete

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of the author with every new intallation is needed. So it is made in a way that itself also has the tendency and necessity of change. With The burden of change you seem to push the envelope of abstraction even more you have before: in this sense, we daresay that your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception. How important is for you to invite the viewers to elaborate personal meanings? And in particular, how open would you like your artworks to be understood? Tomislav Zovko: In my opinion the work The burden of change has succeed completely aestheticly and symbolically. The aim was to present the theme with very little visual arts. In my process of creating I always start of myself and my feelings. I try to manifest that as much efficiently as I can in a visual art work. In the process itself I think about the ultimate result and the way in which that idea is presented in reality. When I finished I ask myself what would it look like in different spaces and how would the audience could react because we still create art in order to be consumed. However, it is always interesting for me to hear different opinions from different people about my work, no matter if they are people from the proffesion, art historians or ordinary layman. Sometimes , something is hidden from me in my work and I am also surprised when someone indicate on some segment to me because many art elements come from our subconsciousness. I am always pleased

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when someone guesses the core of my work. But, I don'l like when someone interprets my work literally because the story always comes in layers and I will never tell it to the end. The mystical dose is always present. Actually, every work in itself, in its deepest core, has some hidden meaning. Marked out with such a powerful narrative drive on the visual aspect, your recent body of works, that includes Krist Kralj, Isus i Marija and Bijeg u Egipa, draws a lot from the imagery belonging to Christian culture: how does this aspect of your cultural substratum direct your artistic research and fuel your creative process? Tomislav Zovko: The sacral themes have always been a challange for me and I access to it with a dose of caution and respect. As I have been raised in a christian spirit I have always admired masterpieces which were produced through the whole history of art and they are situated in the churches and encouraged by sacral themes. The sacral art has a special place in my creativity and it is always produced in some more intimate, more special atmosphere and I try ,everytime, to empathize or to identify myself with the shown scene or at least give my vision of that scene. Currently , the sacral themes are only figurative themes in my creativity, all other themes which are my concerns go to the abstraction. I have to say that my access to the figurative and the atmosphere in sacral work doesn't go further away from my elementary base, some unique pictorial manuscript. So I try to access in producing my creativity in a simillar or in a same way in my each work no matter what is the theme, and my ultimate aim is recognition. I

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consider that building your own pictorial or artistic manuscript is always giving more value to the author. We have really appreciated the vibrancy of the delicate nuances of that mark out your artistic production: in particular, we like the way your artworks show that vivacious tones are not indespensable in order to create tension and dynamics: how does your own psychological makeup determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in a specific artwork in order to achieve such brilliant results? Tomislav Zovko: That's a strange thing, but I can say that some colours found me.I have always loved stong contrasts of colours which gives which gives special dramma and expression in art language.In some my previous works the colours were even more crude and dramatic. Currently I am trying to make my own colour palette which is going to be recognised together with my artistic manuscript. Besides the strong achromatic contrasts I include the warmcold relationships, which are not so dominant, but they contribute to the composition in its more or less pervasion through the painting. Almost inevitably I use the tones of the red, purple and lately blue and turquoise in my paintings. I came to these colours in a gradable and careful way but maybe my subconscious favor for these colours gave its part. I my abstract works I use colours according my feelings, but when we are talking about figurative

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themes(mainly sacral themes)I use colours which are the best represenatatives of the atmosphere of the motive itself. As time was passing I begun painting more and more colour layers and with

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that I got more subtly and refined tones which give liveliness and dynamics to the picture.

qualities: how do you how do you consider the relation between the abstract nature of your creative process and the physical aspect of your daily practice as an artist?

We sometimes tend to ignore the fact that a work of art is a physical artefact with tactile

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Tomislav Zovko: The creative process is by itself a mixture of several segments such as finding the idea, inspiration, thinking about the process, feelings and the intuition through the process of creativity, certain coincidences and at last the final realisation. All these segments are somewhere "in the air" utill we catch them nad put them into a physical form. Every part of this process is infallible in order to make a piece of art with its aesthetic and visual qualities. In my opinion the creative process by itself it the main segment of the art in general. But the greatest pleasure for the author is that physical realisation when we can have a piece of work in our hands or put it in some adequate space and watch it or even taktile it and feel the texture ot its surface and analyse how much did it work.

relationship with the audience and exposing in art galleries where the viewer immediately views the certain art work is the best way to experience art. Still, it seems that there is less interest and less time for people to visit art galleries, so art moved to the streets and on diffenent online platforms in order to come to its audience. I don't mind , I like to see good and quality street art or interesting authors on social networks.

Direct relationship with the audience in a physical is definetely the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of Art. However, as the move of Art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and especially to the online realm increases: how would in your opinion change the relationship with a globalised audience?

Tomislav Zovko: In my creativity I like to research , to experiment and to develop new and different ideas. I have a lot of new ideas, which I am writing down on a piece of a paper, considering and elaborating.Currently, I am still working on my Transgressus cycle and I am trying to present it in more different galleries. Besides that I have in plan to do doctoral thesis with supporting exhibition. I'm doing my best do be active as time and other obligations allow me.

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Tomislav. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

Tomislav Zovko: In today's modern time , time of the internet and floads of the social networks we have more opportunities in presenting our art works to the weider audiences on a global level. On the same way we can reach more information about galleries, different artists, art competitions and some news relating arts etc. I think that these are positive things if we know how to use it in a proper way and to select what is imortant for us.

It's very important to have a certain continuity in work because that is the best way for some new and quality things to happen. But I cannot plan so far in the future because the time has its own changes. I am pleased that I could present myself through your magazine and come closer to new and wider audience. Thank you for the coverstation and the opportunity.

As you have mentioned, the direct

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Peripheral ARTeries meets

Gabriel Embeha Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Through a continual, mixed media interweaving of acrylic, graphite, digital imagery, performance, film, and writing Gabriel Embeha engages a diverse range of persons, places, things and ideas involved in different forms of disability and violence. His process involves an ongoing series of interrelated sacrificial acts and quasi-ethnographic confrontations with scientific representation, the state, conscience, and futility.

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator

made up of about a 70/30 mix of people with professional theater experience in New York and elsewhere, and persons with none who were interested in studying types of performance in different cultural settings for a wide variety of interesting reasons. My own cultural setting was West Africa, and Nigeria’s Niger Delta region in particular. I was given an amazingly generous introduction to masquerade performance and its related devotional performance for ancestors and elders in this part of Africa by both James Ndukaku Amankulor at NYU and by the Nigerian writer and director Henry Bell-Gam, as well as others. I also had some great experiences with local water spirit healers.

peripheral.arteries@europe.com

Hello Gabriel and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would invite to our readers to visit http://www.gabrielembeha.com in order to get a synoptic idea about your works and we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. You have a solid formal training and after having earned your MA in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, you nurtured your education with a PhD in Cultural Anthropology, that you received from the prestigious Columbia University: how did those formative years influence your evolution as an artist and help you to develop your attitude to experiment? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum and your apprenticeship with anthropologist and physician Michael Taussig as well as your part in the Detroit punk scene direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

Unfortunately, the politics of funding and military occupation of the area kept me from spending a much time there as I had intended. The courses of writer/director/guru Richard Schechner at NYU were full of knowledge and connections between performance forms, especially in relation to Asia. I moved with Michael Taussig to Columbia with a mandate to help create a new kind of anthropology department, open to new forms of writing and theatrical forms of presentation. The idea was to keep doing things similar to what was possible downtown at the Tisch School, but

Both the faculty and students at in Performance Studies at the Tisch School were, I would say,

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without NYU’s need to justify Performance Studies as a job-oriented, academic discipline.

instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes? In particular, what importance does spontaneity have in your daily routine?

At that time, in the early 90s, the people in Anthropology were very much opposed to anything new, and especially the mix of theatrical performance and the traditional reading-of-written-papers-aloud genre. What I was doing, and what Taussig was supporting, was a kind of experimentation that had for years seemed normal to me. This way of doing things was a part the Detroit punk scene I knew when I was a teenager in Michigan 1980 and 81. We were all trying to do something different that was not just music or rock. The best creations of punk in this time and place came in reaction to those who wanted to tell us what being an artist or musician “really was.” Most all of us appreciated that what we were doing was actually art, theater, serious play. An everpresent part of this was collage and a Dada-like form of social critique. Most all of the anthropology people really did not like that either.

Recently, I was flattered when a former student of Josef Albers was unexpectedly enthusiastic about my recent work. I was happy that it could reach across traditions in that way. The geometry involved is mostly rectangles imposing upon and within one another, amounting to the layering you mention. My use of geometry in this sense is less method and more feel. In some of my work there are frames out of frame, so to speak—photographic images, often of paintings or drawings, whose borders are unseen, that extend beyond the image you see against the wall or onscreen. The geometric element that exists within all frames, figure-ground, image-onwall or screen, is something I play with a great deal. It’s a kind of serious play. When it comes to conceptual language, I sometimes see what I am doing as quite modernist, in the sense that my conceptual base is in a kind of realism whose own base is in old masters. You will see a lot of portraiture and posed scenes in my work, as well as the old play with darkness and lighting. In modernism, much of the latter was restricted to surrealist work. I see this part of what I am doing as unusual in the sense that in many ways I am repeating the conceptual language that was there from the 16�� through the 19�� centuries.

Looking back, I remember my first term paper for Taussig as an undergrad at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor was a series of photomontage images and distorted, cut-out quotes from texts that I made with photocopy machines. Your artworks often display such a rigorous sense of geometry and symmetry to create such a coherent combination between sense of freedom and unique aesthetics. The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article has at once impressed us for the way you provide the viewers with such a multilayered visual experience. New York City based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: do you create your works gesturally,

We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances that mark out your artworks, and we like the way they create tension and dynamics: how did you come about settling on your color palette? And how does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in a specific artwork and in particular, how do you develop your textures? Working with so many found objects and photography as part of my mixed media process,

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much of what do is dependent on how I perceive and choose objects based on the colors, textures and arrangements as I am directly confronted with them. In flea markets, for example, I will actually take digital photos of objects I find and these images themselves sometimes become a second step in deciding whether it has a place in my work or not. My palette has odd influences—some of them long-standing, such as oranges. These tones have an origin in an old store on Canal Street in New York’s Soho area where I lived in the 1980s and early 90s. It sold thousands of mostly translucent plastic objects for artists, designers, jewelry makers and the like. Their translucent oranges bedazzled me. The rest of my palette grew out of this. The colors of East German socialist design are also important. In terms of composition, it’s mostly pre1870s, but in a mother tongue that is modernist. Using photography in mixed media presents as many frustrations as possibilities when it comes to getting the textural elements I can live with. I often paint canvases just to create textures, photograph them in different ways, and incorporate them into what I do. Textures are a constant source of worry for me. They bother me, and I want them to be right above all else. Without a fetishistic element of texture, I feel I am missing so much of what I need. From spending so much time people suffering from neurological illness, I appreciate how texture is itself can be a form of anxiety and contemplation. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once remarked that "artists' role differs depending on which part of the world they’re in. It depends on the political system they are living under": as an artist particularly interested in exploring the social and cultural aspects of truth and reality, how do you consider the role of artists in our globalised and media driven contemporary age? Moreover, do you think that your artistic research responds to a particular historical moment? I would agree with this statement by Orozco, but only in a way that appreciates what these entities we call political systems are and what these persons, places, and things called “governments,”

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elected representatives, and powerful people actually do and do not, as well as can and cannot do. A political system is usually another term for a particular state. A government or an executive leader of a state is often a metonym of that particular state. When, for example, someone says “Trump” is doing this or that in terms of policy and implementation, one is talking about something bigger. “Trump” is a metonym for what the US state is doing it, or a people are doing, collectively, and the economics of what is being done is state-driven. It is money and influence being arranged by the money the government is taking in and giving out, and the kind of state-supportive behaviors expected when using that money. So, in this sense, the artist’s role in Orozco’s formulation would differ depending on how a state is handing out money and influence and what is expected in return from those benefiting. Much of the investment-driven narratives of the contemporary art world are actually engaging the current political system in this way, blending supposed artist lifestyles with neighborhood urban real estate investment. I see the state itself as a metonym for humanity and not a political system defined by the borders of a country or region. Therefore, my work proceeds from an understanding that as human beings we all live within the same “political system.” The key is to make “the political system” work for artists and help artists help others coming from all social and geographic or historical strata. More artists should be tied into open professions, like nursing, programming, or engineering for example. These professions could ensure a source of financial stability, even if only by contract or part-time work. It could place artists in positions of collective influence. The light-flooded loft space that artists are supposed to live in needs to be made real through professional organization and the resources that come from it. Educational systems should help make this possible, instead of leaving the dreams and hopes of so many wonderful

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people to whither into a kind of resentment where the worst of people start to make sense to them. These professions could greatly benefit from being populated by artists. Their labor could do so much more that simply pay their bills.

I see historical moments as little more than parts of historical strata or markers of value. So much history is about levels of extractable worth or promise of certain parts of humanity, often referred to as peoples, classes, and nations. It is a

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kind of narrative that tells complex, just-so stories in terms of just-so dates, people, and things. The fact of history’s ties to peoples in comparison to one another has been recognized in philosophy since at least the early 19�� century. The old story telling how sometimes a people (or nation, or whatever) is up and sometimes down has never been true. No people or nation was ever one or the other. If anything, they are just more or less open to such fake narratives being put on them, often according to state systems of financial allocation—sometimes in the form of colonialism and imperialism, sometimes as the result of

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conflict, and so on. This includes periods of general illness and health crisis, as well as their devastating effects on the overall wellbeing of families. This has been expressed in my work on what I call “the Ruins.” The media moment of contemporary world history has to do with the historical status of “political systems” “nations,” or “peoples” in places like China, Russia, the EU, and the US. It is about the levels of extractable worth or promise of the peoples living within these regions. Beside this is a global political system, the one state called

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“humanity.” This state we call humanity, and not that called peoples, nations and the like, should be the serious play space of art, as it long has been and still is for many artists.

kind of somewhat free-standing, pedestrian mythology. These stories and figures exist within a kind of theater whose players can be seen in my film Masks in the Sun as well as in other video and written work. It can be seen in the incorporation of stills and other images related to them. This myth-like base has nothing to do with heroes, tragedies, and similar expressions of mythic beings. It has a great deal to do with families and similar, everyday social relationships. There are many interesting aspects to how appropriations of ancient Roman, Egyptian/African, Mexican, and Greek religion— and of other societies since then and right up until recently in Anthropology—have been so limited and limiting to artists. One of these aspects has to do with an almost exclusive focus on Olympian-type gods and all that comes with them, while ignoring a vast set of sacred practices and stories seen in every home, and business, and other areas of ancient life. My world has much more to do with ancient kitchen and living room spirits than some all-powerful Jupiter or Zeus living large. Interpretation of my work could be done through an honest and nottoo-obscure comparative anthropology of family, professions, trades, hobbies, and general worklife.

Marked out with such unique lyrical beauty on the visual aspect, your artworks deeply struck us for the way they incite the viewer to make new personal associations. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood? The visual make-up of the pieces themselves, especially the drawn aspects, makes it possible for the viewers to actively participate in what they can see and discuss. While this kind of appreciation is primarily what I intend, I am also aware of how art history and related critical approaches tend to work. I am especially aware of the fact that because my work also involves film and writing, as well as a great deal of participation and observation of many things, it can lend itself quite well to biographical approaches to interpretation. With this in mind, my work has a specific goal of diverting if not subverting biographical interpretations.

You are a versatile artist and your multidisciplinary mixed media practice involves acrylic, graphite and digital imagery, as well as performance and film. We’d love to ask you about the qualities of the materials that you include—or that you plan to include—in your artworks: contemporary practice has forged a new concept of art making involving such a wide and once unthinkable variety of materials and objects. In particular, photographer and sculptor Zoe Leonard once stated, "the objects that we leave behind hold the marks and the sign of our use: like archeological findings, they reveal so much about us": are you interested in the use found objects, too?

The stories behind it are fictional and alternatereality-game-like. I seek to have interpretation get lost in these stories and play set-ups. I have come to see this as something like mythology, in the sense that the stories are about human beings doing things under the sometimes curious and playful eye of, and with ambiguous interference from, non- or half-human forces. Instead of working with and alluding to the forces found in the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians/Africans, Mexicans, Romans, the Bible, or other sources—as has been very common at least since the Renaissance—I have built my own

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I seek out and include found objects in a great deal of my work. My relation to such objects, including old snapshot photos of persons, is basically one of total appropriation. I choose them and use them without any real concern for their previous places in the homes or decorative lives of others. I make them a part of the pedestrian story world I was just talking about. My subjects are unheroic, local theater actors, government workers, a clerk, a cemetery groundskeeper, investigators, a judge, and so on. For some time now, I have strategized combining found objects and writing or film, making such objects into something like keys to other stories or parts of stories. This would have to involve linking these objects to systems of information that are currently in common use, but probably not be in some future time before or after I die. The fetish nature of an object would need to be seriously altered by me for me to consider it worth keeping and using in such a way. But I also know from experience that there is some direct connection to the making of kitsch in doing this. Altering the mass-produced is a key element of kitsch over the past few decades, and something so-called “folk artists” have been doing worldwide. I do have plans to infuse found objects with information through artistic manipulation. Let’s just leave it at that. The exercise in making art through which one lives on after death is a kind of personal challenge to take vanity seriously—as a problem. I tend to agree with so many Dutch still life, vanitas paintings, in that we should try our best to meet this challenge and accept the fleeting nature of our own persons, places and things. Primarily figurative and marked out with such a powerful narrative drive, your artworks feature such effective combination between reminders to reality and captivating abstract feeling, whose background create such an oneiric atmosphere: how would you consider the tension between abstraction and figurative in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a


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tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work? When it comes to persons, places, and things, many people tend to still want to say there are real depictions and abstract images of persons, places and things that can be determined through a kind of memory or naming test. When we ask who, what or where a picture is of, and a great many relevant people can at least name the types of person, place or things in it, then it is figurative, I suppose. They either make (or name, or remember) an association between their own physically-present experiences of the type of person, place or thing, or with other images they have seen of such persons or things. My hope is that push-pull between abstract and figurative in my work leaves one to have to accept that there are no pure figures in my work. In fleamarket snapshots you can basically forget judging how well the figures are rendered. In images of actors from my films, and of myself or family, you would also need to prove that there are true persons, places or things there to which you could do a memory or naming test. The authenticity or quality of rendering these persons, places and things are not things you can judge, so it is all abstract in this sense. Few people know me, my family, my actors, or snapshot people intimately, and you need this knowledge to truly say what is abstractly and figuratively real. Seeing the original photographic and other images of persons, places and things I work with will also not get you there. I believe that abstract feeling you mention might be the result of this lack of intimacy, and I believe there is truth in this. There is always some need in art criticism to want to know intimate details of persons, places and things seen in artwork. So many want to know who or what the person in the work of art is or was to the person who made it. Too often, however, this truth has more to do with the artists’ fetishizing the persons, places, or things in works of art they create by creating a fetish object. This fetish object was or is supposed to be a symbolically or allegorically figurative or abstract rendering “of� a real series of encounters with a

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real person, place or thing/idea. The problem is that the fetish objects the artist creates too often get pushed out of frame, so to speak, and the quasi-photographic, real, memory-and-naming-test content “takes center stage” alongside the supporting cast of allegorical, historical, biographical, and symbolic content. Whether in the 16��-century or today, artworks that one can potentially touch, including actors on a stage, and maybe scenes from films, are things whose main value and appeal is as fetish objects and not as the personal, mantelpiece possessions of figurative or abstract depictions of any intimate person, place or thing that once belonged to the artist. Although a paint-stained jacket owned by Lee Krasner gains value in such a way, her individual paintings have so much more to offer any collector or viewer. In fact, why not just admit that we have no honest and true, always complex, contradictory, nuanced, knowledge of any intimacy concerning any painter at all. I think this may be more liberating to art historians and critics. Instead of what she was doing when, where and with whom, what novels she was really reading, why not what if she was a Russian spy, alien, or fastfood entrepreneur? If biographical and historical reality is the game we are playing, then alternate reality or historical fiction should also be valid approaches. A story about Abraham Lincoln as a vampire killer stands to convey as much about whoever, whatever and wherever Abraham Lincoln “was” as could a ten-hour documentary. Either film would—figuratively or abstractly—be “about” other pictures and stories that bear no honestly intimate truth about some human being whose body was buried in 1865. History or biography do not ensure their subjects any more dignity than art. Like so many humans, Lee Krasner’s dignity now lies in the preservation of her grave (for a time) and the fetishes or artworks she created. These artworks, even if destroyed, would still be a part of her dignity. People talk about dignity and think they have a grasp of it, but I can tell you after working with the old and disabled for years that

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designers or portrait photographers. I just work pics, textures, standard filtering, and light balance into, out of, and back into frames without doctoring things for the sake of clarity or realistic enhancement. Finally, when you look at and compare within the vast scope of “figurative art” done by humans in time, place, and subject, it may be misleading to consider any photography as purely figurative. Photography is a relatively new art form, and digital manipulation is a part of it. If anything, maybe the kind of digital work I am doing, if considered as photography, makes photography figurative.

most people do not truly appreciate what it takes to ensure human dignity. Manipulation in visual arts is not new, but digital technology has extended the range of possibilities and the line between straight and manipulated photographs is increasingly blurry. How do you consider the role of digital technology playing within your artistic practice? In particular, how does your skills in digital editing inform your practice as a visual artist, in general? If you qualify the snapshot as a kind of intimate moment, then I am kind of a ghoul, some kind of character from Gothic fiction. I think it is more complicated and that our “true” faces and intimate moments do not exist in the public sphere into which photos cannot help but be absorbed. All of my faces are masked or masks anyway. If all you are left with are pics of those you loved and who are now deceased, that is so sad. So many classical, painted images “were people.” Yet, this is not a pipe. These images are not these people and do not contain their souls, or something similar. Most depictions of persons, places and things are manipulations of whatever the brush, pencil, pastel, machine and person controlling the tool produced. To further this process by further manipulation is just more of the same. Again, I would say it all has to do with some idea that the user of the tool has “the eye,” “the ear,” “the sense” to somehow convey the essence of something beautiful, sublime, campy, and so on, and that post-capture manipulation is there to make the buyer or viewer feel the real. There are some people who are stuck on the notion that there is a magical trick element in art photos or figurative work in other media, and that digital manipulation either takes away the magic or is the product of someone who has not paid their dues as an apprentice. I myself have been happy with the interest in my work from persons who identify as photographers and from curators of this art form. I really do not think I have editing skills when it comes to photos, skills akin to

Over the years your artworks have been shown widely in several occasions, including your recent participation to the group exhibition, CTAO Exhibition Room, in Lavagna, Italy: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? And what do you hope your audience take away from your artworks? In particular, how do you consider the role of emerging online technosphere in creating new links between artists and worldwide audience? I hope people take away a lingering, positive and curious feeling—nothing more really. I would hope they would want to view it again. I also hope some might approach the work as a whole as something like an alternate reality game, a playful series of meditations that are as real as formal, philosophical, scientific, and political discussions usually are. When it comes to the online technosphere, I often am saddened by the fact that some of the most skilled and open-minded promoters within this sphere are promoting the worst or banal people, place and things humanity has to offer. Artists are left to the side as impractical and too long-term in regards to payoff. I spent a good deal of time among transmedia gurus a few years ago and all wanted to be taken up by Hollywood or massive tech concerns. Art was never an interest in what they were doing; it was just there to give the real feel of a big budget picture or digital game. Many

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people want to change definitions of art to enhance their own financial and career status. On one hand, this involves the idea that everyone online is doing art and, on the other, that artists and art critics are little less than annoying people from some bygone era. With this in mind, my art and its pedestrian, genre-like stories of technosphere absurdity, banality, and offensiveness are a kind of direct confrontation with these people. I am currently working on a sister-story to my film Masks in the Sun that fits the definition of a “techno thriller.” We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Gabriel. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future? The techno thriller story I just mentioned is now called “The State: A User’s Guide.” It involves hundreds of pages of text and hundreds of mixed media pieces. It brings together what are often thought of as two disparate realms—the military industrial complex and the long-term care industry. While much of my mixed media work has centered on the state’s role in arranging and maintaining the fixity of persons, places and things, it has equally focused on reality in senses of unfixity that stand in contrast to this maintenance of fixity. The unfixity shown to us by various groups, from those with PTSD, to those with Alzheimer’s is presented as a challenge to begin to see and appreciate how an essential unfixity that is an important aspect of reality is being fought against on a global scale. The State: A User’s Guide stems from the story in my film and theatrical vehicle Masks in the Sun. It takes the very local political and spiritual or religious world and its characters depicted in the film into wider, global arenas, where the local actions of these characters have unknown and uncontrollable

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effects on international affairs and violent conflict on a global scale. The story involves such diverse things as high-altitude drones, US veterans on hallucinogenic

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camping trips in Columbia, nursing home funding schemes, homegrown US militia groups, military intelligence, local theater groups, the use of

algorithms in military operations and criminal investigations, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, and psychological conflicts within medicine and nursing.

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Bette Ridgeway Bette Ridgeway is best known for her large-scale, luminous poured canvases that push the boundaries of light, color and design. Her youth spent in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and her extensive global travel filled have informed her colorful palette. For the past two decades, the high desert light of Santa Fe, NM has fueled Ridgeway’s art practice. Her three decades of mentorship by the acclaimed Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins set her on her lifetime journey of non-objective painting on large canvas. She explores the interrelation and change of color in various conditions and on a variety of surfaces. Her artistic foundations in line drawing, watercolor, graphic design, and oils gave way to acrylics, which she found to be more versatile for her layering technique. Ridgeway has spent the last 30 years developing her signature technique, called “layering light,” in which she uses many layers of thin, transparent acrylics on linen and canvas to produce a fluidity and viscosity similar to traditional watercolor. Delving further, Ridgeway expanded her work into 3D, joining paint and resin to aluminum and steel with sculptures of minimal towers. Ridgeway depicts movement in her work, sometimes kinetic and full of emotion, sometimes bold and masterful, sometimes languid and tentative. She sees herself as the channel, the work coming it comes through her but it is not hers. It goes out into the world – it has a life of its own.

An interview by Matthew Anderson, curator and Katherine Williams, curator peripheral.arteries@europe.com

New Mexico-based artist Bette Ridgeway kindly took some time this week to discuss her art and her creative process, and we are

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particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her unique craftsmanship and passion that marks out her exploration of contemporary Abstract Expressionism. Hello Bette and a warm welcome to this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries. Trained as a watercolorist, your artistic


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journey began in the sweatshop of Reuben Donnelley Advertising as a young graphic artist: how does your multifaceted cultural substratum direct your current artistic research?

For artists, everything in our lives shows up in our art. Fortunately, my many decades of experiencing many cultures and the continuing study of art and art history have shaped my artistic pursuits. Time is our friend. Our toolboxes of ideas and methods become very valuable as we dig deeper into our work. New York City-based artist Lydia Dona once stated that in order to make art today one has to reevaluate the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making itself: Do you create your works gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes? In particular, how do you consider the relation between the nature of the concepts that you explore in your artistic research and the physical aspect of your daily practice as an artist?

I went to the exhibition “Conceptual Abstraction” at Sidney Janis in NYC in 1991, of which Lydia Dona was a part. It was an exciting and inspiring show. Critics had declared that abstract art was out of fashion, and here was a show of new abstract painting. Well, that certainly stirred up a flurry of articles and criticism. The truth is, no particular art school ever dies….it just seems to be overtaken by the school of the moment. It has a lot to do

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Along the Reef, 44x60", 2017

with the marketplace and the amount of press that is being issued forth. For now, conceptual art seems to be in the spotlight.


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I remember attending the official opening of SITE Santa Fe in 1995 with my dear friend, Arlene LewAllen, who passed in 2002.

She was a true patron of the arts, meaning that when she took on artists in her gallery, she helped develop their careers.

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Silence, 57x80", 2019


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Blue Sun, 58x97" 2018

There was an engaging conceptual art piece that we both loved: a video (one of four of them around the perimeter of a room) of a clown sitting on a toilet

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reading a newspaper, pants around his ankles – jumping up and down at intervals. This repeated on a loop every half a

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We looked around and the room was filled with young people sitting on the floor, entranced by the experience. Doesn’t this speak to the heart of the conceptual language behind the mechanism of art making? What is it we wish to say? For me, the interest is in the simple act of putting paint on canvas. No gimmicks, just pure unadulterated color (with no additives for special effects) on pristine double-primed canvas. My work is a combination of both instinct and methodic planning. Often a work will begin in a very instinctive way. The paint is poured on the canvas. No brushes! Many layers. It is then photographed and studied. Options for various ways to develop the piece are looked at. This process goes on until the painting is complete. The goal for me, simply put, is to express myself with a language of light and color. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your work is how you process life and find your balance: how does your daily life fuel your creativity?

minute. I asked her, “What about this stuff. Will it survive?” She responded by saying, “Time is the test. Ask yourself ‘Where will this be in 50 years’?”

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It has taken a lifetime to figure out the balance that works for me. Now studio time comes first, and all else is planned around this. Family and friends time, opportunities for rest and rejuvenation don’t come second, they are simply

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Flying Dreams, 52x80", 2018


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planned so that there is ample time to make art. Life supports art and art supports life! With their unique visual identity, your paintings seem to invite the viewers to look inside of what appears to be seen, rather than the surface, providing the spectatorship with freedom to realize their own perception. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked on the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to open them up to elaborate personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?

I cannot pretend to guess how my work is seen. I do love to see the reactions, however. My hope is that the viewer is drawn into the piece, takes the time to explore and conjure up his/her own response. A piece is successful that inspires the viewer to have new experiences or perhaps see new things over a long period of time. I think that is the requisite of any good work of art. It's important to mention that you also explore digital design and that the computer and the studio bring you balance and reward. Manipulation in visual arts is not new, but digital technology and especially the online realm have extended the range of expressive possibilities. How do you consider the role of digital technology playing within your artistic practice?

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Serendipity, 50x64", 2018

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Opposites Attract, 42x46", 2019

Digital technology is a huge part of my practice. I am not only a painter, but a graphic and web designer. Marketing globally is now so essential and a large part of any successful business. I enjoy every part of producing visual images.

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My painting practice is very singular, in contrast to working with clients to develop their corporate image – logos, websites, etc. This is a great balance with social interaction that keeps me from becoming a total hermit!

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Romantica, 52x58", 2013

We have appreciated the wide variety of materials - some of them particularly unconventional, as resin and plexiglass - that you join to pursue the vivacious nuances

that marks out your artworks. Beginning with drawing and graphic design, you have pushed the boundaries of your artistic experimentation more and more: what

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Ballet du Jardin, 44x60", 2016


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Nocturne, 56x132", 2017

directs you to explore different techniques and materials?

artists to try different techniques and materials as they develop their own unique style. Let’s face it – everything HAS been done. In order to be successful, we need our own particular

I really believe that exploring new things keeps the work fresh. I encourage young

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the interesting Aquarius and Origins, and such unique abstract feeling: how do you consider the tension between reality and abstraction playing within your artistic research?

twist. Something that defines us. That is every artist’s challenge. Your artworks feature such stimulating combinations of reminders of reality, as in

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Whispers, 50x76", 2019


Temperatures Rising, 34x72", 2017


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This tension is what makes a successful painting. I must admit that a percentage of my work does not get seen. It gets thrown into a pile of NG’s (no goods!). My objective is to create a feeling with the color and composition, rather than an object that can be recognized. When something recognizable appears in the work I paint over it or turn the canvas and obliterate it with another layer of color. I am working now to create a body of very minimal work. Ectopic Anatomy combines references to human body and a surreal ambience, to invite the viewers to explore the point of convergence between the figurative and the abstract, to challenge the viewers to explore realms of the imagination: how do you consider the relationship between the real and the imagined playing within your artistic research?

When you speak of ectopic anatomy, I think of Heather Beardsley, who has made some incredible work based upon this topic. In my work, it is up to the viewer to experience the areas between the real and the imagined. We all see my work differently, which I think gives it longevity. I hope. It goes without saying that a direct relationship with the audience in a physical way is the most important one, in order to snatch the spirit of a work of art. However, as the move of art from traditional gallery spaces, to street and SPECIAL ISSUE

Tango, 46x76", 2019

especially to online platforms, such as Instagram, increases, how would you change

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the relationship between artist and an ever-

I wouldn’t change a thing. The evolution to art online is completely natural. The

growing globalized audience?

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Crescendo, 52x70", 2019


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Spectral Journey, 82x52", 2017

challenge for artists is to span the physical space to the ether. Millions of artists are on the web, which is a

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blessing and a curse. Instagram is the current hotspot. The competition is unbelievable. Yet the internet is very

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The challenge is to drive people to your website, or to a physical gallery. This takes time. And as I always say, time is our friend. I love working with social media but must maintain the discipline to create the art and then share the art with audiences. We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Bette. What projects are you currently working on, and what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

I am working on a coffee-table book of my work spanning 50 years. It is fun to see the progress of the work and the consistent theme of color throughout. Soon I will be starting on a sculpture commission. My Trilogy sculpture, in a set of three pieces, will be created for the entrance to a contemporary home being built in the hills of Santa Fe with a beautiful view. The entry has a glass bridge over an arroyo (a ditch) and Trilogy will be off to one side on a rise. The sculpture pieces will be fountains. They are hand-colored triangular towers in differing heights. With proper lighting, they will be stunning in this setting. Through all of the above I keep the studio painting going. That is the work that feeds the soul.

democratic. We can ALL have our portfolios there. The trick is to build our own audiences, which can be done.

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Mark Yale Harris Mark Yale Harris realized his true passion in the Southwest. Stone carving became his life’s work, as Santa Fe became his home in the late 1990s. He dedicated himself to creating in 1996, and with much to learn, the artist chose a mentor whom he had long admired to assist with honing his burgeoning artistic skills, sculptor Bill Prokopiof (Aleut, 1944-1999). In the spirit of the nation’s most recognized Native American artist, Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache, 1915-1994), Prokopiof and sculptor Doug Hyde (Nez Perce) took Harris under their wings and generously shared their immense knowledge, talent, and vision. Inspired by the geographical region and grounded in the wisdom of his teachers, he began feverishly creating sculpture. Transitioning into the life of a full-time artist required Harris’s passion to become his profession as well. Prior to developing as an artist, Harris spent many years in the area of sustainable urban development (specifically real estate and hotels), a conventional career in which he was quite successful, but not fully satisfied. The transition into a wholly fulfilling trade, was both challenging and exciting. The artistic passion that had existed just beneath the surface of Harris’s long- established business persona was finally able to present itself in tangible form. He accessed the invaluable experience of his mentors, along with his own vision, to create an evolving body of work in alabaster, marble, limestone, and bronze, often combining different elements to bring forth a duality through creation.

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Over the past fifteen years Harris has continued to challenge himself as a sculptor, finding it important to continue learning and teaching. Several intensive workshops, including studies with Terry Allen, Jo Harvey and James Surls, have expanded his understanding immensely. Harris’s charitable endeavors have been numerous; he cites his work with Fine Art for Children and Teens (FACT) in Santa Fe, New Mexico as especially gratifying. Harris’s sculpture has been included in 80+ solo, museum and international exhibitions out of the 250+ exhibitions outlineds on his resume. One Hundred+ publications have featured his sculpture (books, maga- zines, newspapers) in the past 10 years. In addition, ARTWORKinternational Inc. Press published Mark Yale Harris: Figurative Abstractions in 2010 and Mark Yale Harris: Untamed in 2011 as part of their Acclaimed Artist Series. As well, Mark Yale Harris, A Retrospective was published in 2006, updated and reissued in 2013. All three books document the important works created thus far in this sculptor’s career. Exhibition highlights include: the Royal Academy of London; Marin MOCA; National Museum of Wildlife Art; Orange County Center for Contemorary Art; the Royal Scottish Academy; Monmouth Museum; La Grange Art Museum; National Sculpture Society; Roswell Museum of Art, Millicent Rodgers Museum; The Wildlife Experience Museum; Peach Arch Park International; Museum of the Southwest; Holter Museum; Masur Museum; Las Cruces Museum of Art; Chesterwood Museum;

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Palm Springs Art Museum and Austin Museum of

Seasons Hotel - Chicago, Illinois; and City of

Art.

Roanoke Historic District - Roanoke, Virginia. Furthermore, Harris’s sculpture has recently been

Current works can be found in many permanent

featured at the Open Air Museum - Ube, Japan;

public collections, including: Hilton Hotels; Booth

Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art - Biloxi, Mississippi;

Western Art Museum - Cartersville, Georgia; Rock

Polk Museum of Art - Lakeland, Florida, and The

Resorts: La Posada Hotel - Santa Fe, New Mexico;

Village Green Sculpture Park - Cashiers, North

Herman Memorial Hospital - Houston, Texas; State

Carolina. Harris’s sculpture is represented by

of New Mexico - Ruidoso, New Mexico; Four

twenty galleries in the US and UK.

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The purpose of my artwork is to invoke an awakening of the sensual. Stimulating a perceptual, internal, and intellectual response for the viewer: a visual that speaks to life's experiences. Creating symbols of universal connection underscores the relationship that one has to another and to nature. Art conveys my nonverbal view of life. An ongoing portrayal of myself, my behavior, adventure, exploration, risk taking, and non-acceptance of convention and the status quo. Constantly in search of the new and different - I am fascinated with the unconventional. Life has a hard, aggressive side, as does much of my work, represented by rigid, angular lines. However, the soft side is also apparent, visible as curves and soft forms. Using the invaluable experience of the mentorship of Bill Prokopiof and Doug Hyde, along with my own vision, I have created an evolving body of work in alabaster, marble, limestone, and bronze. Combining different elements, I bring forth a duality in the sculptures that I create.

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Half Eaten Apple


Sweet Whispers


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Natalie Christensen Natalie Christensen is a photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has shown work in the U.S. and internationally, including London, Dusseldorf, New York and Los Angeles. She was one of five invited photographers for the exhibition The National 2018: Best of Contemporary Photography at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and has recently been named one of "Ten Photographers to Watch" by the Los Angeles Center of Digital Art. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the University of Texas at Tyler. In addition to pursuing her interests in art and design, Natalie worked as a psychotherapist for over 25 years and was particularly influenced by the work of depth psychologist Carl Jung. This influence is evidenced in her photographs, as shadows and psychological metaphors are favored subjects. Natalie is represented by Turner Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Susan Spiritus Gallery in Newport Beach, California. SPECIAL ISSUE

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In 2014, I moved from the state of Kentucky to New Mexico, leaving my lifelong home and my 25-year career as a psychotherapist behind. While it was an exciting moment, it was also a time of questioning and reflection. Like many artists who have come to New Mexico, I was immediately drawn to the distinctive Southwestern light. The beauty of the natural environment is evident to most people; however, my interest was to explore the more banal peripheral landscapes that often go unnoticed by the casual observer.

these isolated moments in the suburban landscape were rich with metaphor. Closed and open doors, empty parking lots and forgotten swimming pools drew me to scenes; yet it was my reactions to these objects and spaces that elicited interpretation and projection. As a psychotherapist, I learned the art of asking the question – in many ways these photographs are an extension of that work. The symbols and spaces in my images are an invitation to explore a rich world that is concealed from consciousness. And the scenes are an enticement to contemplate narratives that have no remarkable life or history yet tap into something deeply familiar to our experience; often disturbing, sometimes amusing‌ unquestionably present.

I began by photographing color fields and geometric shapes. I was interested in the way light and shadow could spark complex narratives, and I quickly became aware that 11

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Pedro Amaro Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Studying architecture taught me how to paint in a different way. Instead of seating in front of an easel with me and my mind, I wander around my studio collecting information and clues about something a could build. Like a construction, I try to find a structure that binds all those fragments together. It starts usually with a piece of paper, often an already existing, unfinished draw or collage stumbled upon. Parts of one work are cut and added on another. Therefore, there is no original format or orientation to dictate any conditions. If something is incomplete, I glue in additional surfaces. So the painting grows as more and more elements are added. It is hard to know how big the next piece is going to become. Then, I found that horizontal compositions make the eyes to better wander across the surfaces and to notice the chain of different materials.

your education with a Master's Degree in Architecture, that you received from the Lisbon University Institute: how did those formative experiences influence your evolution as an artist and help you to develop your attitude to experiment? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum due to your Portugues roots and your current life in Berlin direct the trajectory of your current artistic research?

An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator peripheral.arteries@europe.com

Hello Pedro and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. Before starting to elaborate about your artistic production we would like to invite our readers to visit https://www.pedroamaroartist.com in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production and we would start this interview with a couple of introductory questions. You have a solid formal training and after your studies in Visual Arts at the Padre Alberto Neto School, you nurtured

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Hello, I have always been interested in painting and drawing since I was a kid. I was raised in a non artistic environment, trying to draw something was more about

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Portrait photo by Drago Goranov InstaGram - Abstralphoto . FaceBook - Abstral


Terrain. 97 x 131 cm. Acrylic paint and collage on Paper, cardboard and rattan mesh


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experimentation, trial and error than a structured learning process. Without orientation, my attention was turned to illustrations or pictures in books. I was absurdly naive, when trying, for instance, to get oil painting results using water colours. About papers and support I knew nothing either. Frustrated, I comforted myself just observing, understanding how shadows work, finding out new details, learning the perspective and so on. It is curious that I remember these episodes of frustration much more clearly than any specific drawing I have done in those days.

architecture knowledge and references. So when I dived into painting again, it wasn’t just painting like before, it was a mishmash of architecture, philosophy, working process, model building and typical existential doubts. It was hard to conciliate all those new interests at once, I mixed up everything and that actually caused my performance, as student, to dropped off. Looking back, I start to slowly understand at which extent architecture is influencing me but I keep realizing new things all the time. One year after being finished with my studies, I went to Berlin. I was looking more for a personal improvement than specifically artistic insight and I didn't paint much in the first months despite being into the art scene. But then, for the second time, I suddenly wanted to paint all the time and experimenting more than ever, this time a bit obsessively. For two years, I left other things behind and stayed inside most of the time. I didn’t enjoy that city as I should. Surely, it would be good to find a balance.

Still, today, experimenting and observing is still a major part of my process. I spend a lot of time planning, taking notes about the next step or thinking about what I could do in this or that old painting if it was today. Usually I take action when I get scared and accept that the possibilities are infinite, and it is better to just do it. Sometimes I organize a sort of archive gathering all the notes and sketches of the most relevant works. Studying art provided to me new techniques, materials and artistic culture. It became much more self-aware of what I was doing. It is very important when we finally get the right words to describe our work. I always take ages.

The body of works that we have selected for this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries and that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, has at once captured our attention of your insightful exploration of the relationship between architectural structure and the mechanism of perception is the way you you sapiently combined element from reality with captivating subtle surrealistic sensitiveness, to provide the viewers with

When I started in the University, my artistic production slowed down. But after the 3rd year, I started, suddenly, to paint again every day and being much more into study art theory. That was a turning point. At that time, I had already acquired some new

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such a multilayered visual experience: when walking our readers through your usual workflow and process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all your works. I think there is something of surrealist in my approach. I have always liked mystery, including the mystery of my own work. The more notes I take of my process, the more I see how superficial they are. It is nice to open my folder and find sketches or paintings that I don’t remember anything about or what brought me to those shapes but, somehow, keep working on them. I like to mess up with the central idea of my work, reinventing it all the time to every new step. The collage technique makes it clear that new things are constantly being brought in and adding new layers of meaning. I use to cut some parts off form one painting and used them in new fresh ones. I like that patch-work effect. But the criteria for how and which ones to put together are sill hard to tell. Geometrical configurations, obviously from architecture influences, is sometimes the way to go. However, it doesn't always work, geometry can give consistency to the composition. It gives a structure to the painting but if it does’t contain anything else than that, I rather try something else. For me, It is a very common mistake in the collage technique, when the composition of the different pieces is guided by a formal/geometric order instead of a more poetic interpretation of the content. Geometry can be a big trap for those who are into geometric painting or architecture. It can easily become an addiction rather than a tool.

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Holes In A Bunker. 142 x 77 cm . Collage, ink and acrylic pai

With its unique visual identity, Caves Paths features such effective geometric quality and figurative art: how would you consider the relationship between abstraction and figurative in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a tendency towards


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nt on paper

abstraction find their balance in your work?

attention is easily drawn to the eyes. Something that small can have a huge impact in the whole picture due to the emotional charge associated with it. In abstraction the different hierarchies are achieved only by formal mechanisms.

For me, the difference between an abstract and figurative piece is the way our eyes and brain organize the several forms of the composition. In portraits, for instance, our

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Still Life Jar on Table. 152,5 x 45,5 cm . Collage, acrylic paint and ink on paper

One day I was looking at one of Frans Hals’ group portraits. They were all using those black Dutch costumes, in which the white sleeves and hands float in all the darkness given by the costume’s bodies. At some extent, it is easy to see the hands and heads

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separated from the bodies, having their own rhythm and becoming abstract. I realized that we have some sort of switch, which can change our vision mode from abstract to figurative and vice versa. From then on, I tend to intertwine the two languages always

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of the black square. At the centre things get a bit more spacial and the characters inspired, in part, by kathe kollwitz, help in the depth of the blue field. It seems that there is a narrative, some story is being told. However, it is represented by fragments, there are gaps between one panel and the next including some dark areas where nothing is seen. I remember thinking about Jarmusch, the movie director, or Goddard. When I saw them for the first time, I loved the black frames they added in-between the scenes. As if they were constantly reminding us that there are things we don't see, and we have to be ok with that. In Caves Paths the idea was creating a fragmented rhythm punctuated with narrative signs. How do you consider the role of memory playing within your artistic research? And how does everyday life's experience fuel your creative process? My painting doesn’t demand much from the outside world. I can work at any time and I don’t think my everyday life makes a difference. My process is self sustainable, I like to immerse myself in my art for that to happen. I always work on two or three pieces at the same time and hang, on the walls, all the fragments of papers from previous collages. Ideas come to my mind when I combine them. I need to first create my own micro chaos to start creating. Sometimes painting and tiding up my studio are the same thing.

thinking about composition and Dutch group portraits. In Caves Paths, the figurative elements help the composition. On the right, the little picture of a tomb accentuates the heaviness

Marked out with such a powerful narrative drive, your artworks, as the interesting Still

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Nose Landscape. 103 x 48 cm. Collage, ink and charcoal on paper

symbols playing within your artistic research?

Life Head and Cats, are pervaded with symbolically charged images that provide your artwork with such a stimulating allegorical quality. How do you consider the importance of

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My interest in Still Lives came very recently. What I like is the idea of bringing different objects together for the sake of anything the artist wants. I label with Still life any

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traditionally, a table, which holds everything has its own qualities. The table makes it more human. It makes us feel that the arrangement, whatever it means, was made by a character who we

composition that has a sort of base where the objects rest on. Most of what I do, is a patch work of different things without a defined space/background. However, a solid plan,

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Lake from Above. 150 x 60 cm . Collage, acrilic paint and ink on paper

can't see. I like when still lives make me imagine some narrative.

and Cats, The head and table cloth give some depth and everything on the green background still looks to be in the same pictorial space. Things get more confused as we move away from that centre. At the ends, only an abstract grid is left. It might resemble, or not, the initial table cloth. I don't know if this work can be considered a still life, at its all

My work is different though, in the means that the arrangement is motivated by the process of collage itself rather than a figure allegedly living inside the painting. It was those thoughts that brought up Still Life Head

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extent, or just a painting that contains a still life in it. I was into creating this doubts when I was making it and, answering to your question, working with symbolic elements requires to be playful with the composition. They have to be in the right places and dialogue to each others in order to suggest something behind them. Otherwise, we might

end up with a catalogue of symbols instead of an artwork. Your artworks deeply struck us for the way they incite the viewer to make new personal associations. Austrian Art historian Ernst Gombrich once remarked the importance of providing a space for the viewers to project

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Still Life Cats Head. 164 x 55 cm . Collage and acrylic paint on paper and MDF board

onto, so that they can actively participate in the creation of the illusion: how important is for you to trigger the viewers' imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal interpretations? In particular, how open would you like your works to be understood?

as artists, can have our own language and change it how many times we want. It challenges us, all the time to change the way of approach things. There are no common rules that allow artists to have the pretentiousness of showing a polished final version of their thoughts. I always thought that art belongs more to the chaotic ungraspable reality than the world of ideals and concept.

I am totally open to new interpretations. Painting is also a very silent art form and I can't aim to talk too loud or giving many solutions. The reason I like and art is that we,

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We have really appreciated the vibrancy of the thoughtful nuances of acrylic paint, to show that vivacious tones are not indespensable in order to create tension and dynamics: how does your own psychological make-up determine the nuances of tones that you decide to include in your artworks in order to achieve such brilliant results?

colours. At start, is given more importance to the surface and texture of what I am going to work on than colours. Black or white is always what I start with. The fact that I am colour-blind might play a role in the way colours are used. I became accustomed to prepare the colours with my hands instead of my eyes. If I what an abrupt change in my painting I grab another colour and mix a huge amount of it with the colour I

It is very rare to define which colours to use beforehand, i don't think much in terms of

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still life table

have been using. If I want things to look smooth, just ad bits of colours here and there. Most of the times, I work with thin brushes even on big surfaces to be sure I have control over the whole surface.

to the exhibition space, in order to provide your artworks with such a surrounding quality? I don't think in terms of providing an immersive visual experience. I see my paintings almost as long unfolded papyrus scrolls. I still like my compositions closed within a frame, away from the outside world.

As you have remarked once, you found that horizontal compositions make the eye travel easier across the surfaces and to notice the chain of different materials: your works are structured in order to provide the viewers with an immersive visual experience: what were you aesthetic decisions in relationship

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These very horizontal formats have indeed brought me some artistic a logistical complications. In small galleries, 3 paintings don't fit side by side and there is a lot of empty space left below and above them.

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Therefore, hanging 2 or 3 paintings on top on each others is a good solution. It is interesting how their geometries contaminate each others, bringing up different interpretations. For instance Caves Paths and 3 Levels were once the same painting (that is why they have the same width) and it makes sense, in exhibition, to restore that relationship.

would like to show this range of materiality making this pieces available from all its sides. You are an established artist, and over the years your works have been exhibited extensively in several occasions, including your recent solo Pieces of Paper at ORI GALERIE, in Berlin: how do you consider the nature of your relationship with your audience? In particular, how do you consider the role of emerging online technosphere — and platforms as Instagram — in creating new links between artists and worldwide audience?

One other thing I often consider, but didn't have the chance to do, is to hang them by cables from the ceiling. Most of my paintings combine different supports: MDF, all sorts of paper, cardboard; and, in some of them, I

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3 Levels. 171,5 x 60 cm . Paper glued on MDF board

I keep my website and social media updated. It is a great way to show our work.

what are some of the ideas that you hope to explore in the future?

I see it as something one has to do these days but it is not much related with my art itself.

I am planning to show a new series I am still working on and it is more directly related with architecture. I have been dissembling my old architecture models than had been stored since years ago. Sometimes, I make collages with the model pieces, sometimes I reinterpretate the projects represented by the model itself. It has brought several new experiences.

We have really appreciated the multifaceted nature of your artistic research and before leaving this stimulating conversation we would like to thank you for chatting with us and for sharing your thoughts, Pedro. What projects are you currently working on, and

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Pedro Amaro

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So, The intention here is not so much to make things more spatial or anything that is usually related with architecture. Architectural elements are, instead, used as signs to inspire different approaches.

Terrain is one of those works. I covered most of the surface with rattan mesh, which despite being an organic material, its geometric arrangement has some architecture qualities. Then, it was used as background for some shapes and a trace of a building at the top. Another one I am working on is Derain, in which I combine different materials. Here the architecture hard PVC piece on the left contrasts with the thin and fragile paper. Colours are, then, used to make this differences more visible.

I was also a pleasure for me to have this interview with you, Thank you. An interview by Josh Ryder, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator peripheral.arteries@europe.com

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Peripheral ARTeries, Special Edition  

Peripheral ARTeries, Special Edition  

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