CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW
HILA LAZOVSKIDon't Break These Bones, Acrylic on Canvas, 44"x44"2017
HILA LAZOVSKIDon't Break These Bones, Acrylic on Canvas, 44"x44"2017
Be that as it may, this catalog or any portion there of may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without express written permission from Peripheral ARTeries and featured artists.
Lives and works in Karkur, Israel
Lives and works in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA
Lives and works Detroit, Michigan, USA
Lives and works in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Lives and works in Athens, Georgia, USA
Lives and works in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Lives and works in Guildford, United Kingdom
Lives and works in Bucarest, Romania
lives and works in Berlin, Germany
Special thanks to: Julia Überreiter, Deborah Esses, Margaret Noble, Nathalie Borowski, Marco Visch, Xavier Blondeau, J.D. Doria, Matthias Callay, Luiza Zimerman, Kristina Sereikaite, Scott D'Arcy, Kalli Kalde, Carla Forte, Mathieu Goussin, Dorothee Zombronner, Olga Karyakina, Robert Hamilton, Isabel Becker, Carrie Alter, Jessica Bingham, Fabian Freese, Elodie Abergel, Ellen van der Schaaf and Courtney Henderson
I’ve been creative since I can remember. In college I studied Software Engineering and worked as a web designer.
Meanwhile I kept looking for the right method that will combine all of my abilities together.
I studied jewelry and painted pictures, adding different metallic shapes. When I was visiting the Swarovski museum in Wattens, I stopped by a wall at the entrance glittering with thousands of crystals, and I knew I’d found what I was looking for. Back home I started to develop my methodology, a process that took almost two years. Only when I knew I have the perfect way to create the perfect artwork I could start my new way focusing on it. I bought Swarovski crystals catalog and started to explore each crystal by its color, shape, and the way it returns light. I also found a way to analyze it on the computer, so I will be able to know in advanced exactly how the finished artwork will look like and to calculate how many crystals in each color I should buy. When I'm working with 60000 crystals at around 55 different colors I must have as much information as I can before starting the process. I don't have the privilege to finish the work after 4 months and to be surprised.
My art divide in two kinds. The first one is painting on canvas and the crystals are added freestyle. The second one is realistic portraits based on real images.
My art is not limited to one kind of surface. I can crystallize almost every surface. It can be on ceramics, glass, furniture, bags, clothes…. I can do a view photo, members of the family photos, wedding photo....
I feel that all of my skills gathered to what I called “realistic mixed media art”. It combines my passion to beauty, glamour of jewelry and software knowledge. The outcome is always a captivating, sparkling piece of art.Starfish
Drawing inspiration from character from Pop Culture and imagery, artist Hila Lazovski's work provides the viewers with an intense, emotional visual experience: with a focus on the fascinating properties of Swarovski's crystals that she includes in her captivating pieces, her body of works that we'll be discussing in the following pages, successfully attempts to trigger the viewers' perceptual parameters walking them through the liminal area in which perceptual reality and the realm of imagination find a consistent point of convergence. One of the most impressive aspects of Lazovski's work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of questioning contemporary visualization practice, walking the viewers through the thin line between the “real” world and a world shaped by emotional perceptions: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production.
Hello Hila and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. We would start this interview with a couple of questions about your multifaceted background. You have been creative since early childhood and after your college's years, I studied jewelry and painted pictures, adding metallic shapes. Moreover, you also studied Software Engineering and worked as a web designer: how do these experiences did influence the way you currently conceive and produce your works?
Since I can remember, I have always tried to create mixed media art that
combines elements from different kind of materials. Early works of mine, for example, are penguins in the snow, where the snow was Styrofoam that I decomposed and glued to the canvas. Later on, I went to study jewelry in order to explore a way to combine different metals in my work. I then started to saw brass and apply it on canvas with my paintings.
Another example – I always loved to create wall paintings in children’s rooms. When I painted Nemo on my son’s wall, I bought few panoramic side mirrors of vehicles and used them as the bubbles. I always felt that my knowledge in software and computers can take me to another level of performance, I just
needed to figure out the correct path for me.
The results of your artistic inquiry convey a coherent sense of unity that rejects any conventional classification. We would suggest to our readers that they visit http://www.lazovski-art.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work. While walking our readers through your usual process and setup, can you tell them something about the evolution of your style? Would you tell us your sources of inspiration? And how did you select your subjects?
My art is divided to two styles: First one is Painting on canvas and adding crystals free style. I mostly inspired by nature. I love to combine colors as the perfect way the nature combines them. I always look at the shapes and colors of flowers, animals, sea creatures etc.. and later try to imitate them in my art.
The second kind is creating realistic portraits based on real images. This is a totally different process, which requires precise preparations, and can take up to 4 months. It starts with the image selection (Including acquiring of the copyrights). The subject I select should be something or someone artistic, vivid, and beautiful, something I’ll feel I want to hang on the wall in my own house. After I choose a subject, I look at videos, photos, interviews, and try to identify the
expression, the look, the eyes, anything that make this person so special. Based on the method I developed, I perform image processing, until I am satisfied with the result. Then the stage of applying the crystals one by one, on a background that I painted in advanced.
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 artistic research is the way you provided the visual results of your analysis with autonomous aesthetics: do you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist? In particular, do you think that your being a woman provides your artistic research with some special value?
I think that a central idea is vivid colors and sharp objects. When I think of an idea I must feel it and connect to it. After that, I start thinking about the color palette that I will work with and the way I should use it in order to take advantage of the beautiful Swarovski’s glamour touch.
On the artworks that are not based on a photo I always change things in the middle of the work so the first plan is just the basic for further changes, till the final result.
As a big fan of Feng Shui theory, I believe that art should provide the right energy for the place it is in. Either if it I a s living room, a children’s room or even the kitchen… I believe that art should be everywhere. I can tell that when children see the shiny pictures that are made for children rooms they are getting fascinated with them. They just stand in front of it and provide me with the most pure and charming comments I can get. I am making art that makes me excited and feel the right energy. Maybe being a woman related to the subjects of the art but the fact that my art involves something else make everyone that sees it respond to it and ask a lot of questions...
You are a versatile artist and a crucial aspect of your work is the effective way your artworks convey the power of crystals from Swarovski: what are the properties of Swarovski's crystals that fascinate you? Why did you decide to include them in your works?
When I was visiting the Swarovski museum in Wattens, Austria, I stopped by a wall at the entrance glittering with thousands of crystals, and I immediately understood that I must use this crystals in my art. They are perfect for me, as they are coming in many colors and sizes. The ability to use so many colors (more than 50) in my art enables me to reach
high quality sharpness, and in fact, if you look at my art from few steps away, it will look like a painting or a printed
poster. The crystals reflect beautifully lights, and you just need to nod your head a bit to see the sparkling effect.
Another aspect of the crystals is the feeling. I love it when the first instinct of people who see my work is to touch it,
and wonder how it was made. Your debut piece was a picture of a mother tiger embracing her cub, an interesting work that you created just
after the birth of your third child. How much importance does play direct life's experience in your creative process? In particular, how much importance does
play spontaneity in your work? Do you conceive you works instinctively or do you methodically elaborate your pieces? Generally, every artwork I do is
connected to my personal life. First, I need to feel deep inside that I am choosing a subject that is closed to my heart. I created my debut work of the
mother tiger embracing her cub, after I gave birth to my third child, in a very emotional time for me. Also, as a kid I spent few years of my childhood in Africa, so all of my first works revolved around wild nature. As a child I painted elephants, lions and other wild animals I met while traveling in the Safari.
Other works created in parallel with my life experience, and my inspiration at that time. The ballerina was inspired by my daughter dancing, The flowers with the words “Live-LoveLough” gave me power and created at the time I decided to live my work and focusing art.
A central theme of your artistic production is David Bowie, a multifaceted artist who, as you have remarked once, has always inspired you both with his music and with his approach to culture. Do you happen to discover unexpected aspects of your idea of David Bowie in the process of creating a piece of art inspired to him?
I always thought David Bowie is a great singer and performer. He had a big part in my childhood sound track and I was very sad when he passed away.
A pearl in a Shell
Only after I started my research about him, I discovered his passion to art. He had a very big art collection and he also painted by himself. The photo that I decided to crystallize is “Aladdin sane with eyes open”. Although this is the picture that is most identified with Bowie, you can stare at his eyes forever. After crystalizing it, I was very happy
with the result as I managed to keep the look in his eyes exactly as in the original image.
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: while clear references to perceptual reality, some of your paintings as A shell with Swarovsky sparkeling pearl reject an explicit explanatory strategy: the tones you combine seem to be the tip of the iceberg of the emotions that you are really attempting to communicate. How would you define the relationship between abstraction and figurative in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?
As a Gemini, I have two different sides. Usually I prefer the more figurative subjects. I love to see how an image is coming to life in my art. In “A Shell with Swarovski pearl”, I tried to show my two sides – I painted the shell on a black background, as it is in the depth of the ocean with minimal light. However, the pearl inside is shining, and the power of the pearl spread light on the shell.
Your style is very personal and conveys both rigorous geometry and vivacious
abstract feature: what influences outside the visual arts inspire and impact your approach to making work? Moreover, do you pay attention to the work of your contemporaries? If so, is there anyone in particular you feel inspired by?
Artworks that I love to see and read about are visual works that leaves me stunned regarding the time and effort that were invested in it and the unique
Bambi and Thumper made of 16,00 Swarovski crystals.
Photo: Ori Livney
method of the artist. I get a lot of inspiration from artists who make sculptures from pencils for example or from the carving a pencil tip. Also, photographers who know how to catch the moment, sit for hours to capture a
drop of rain that falls in the right second. I can see such an amazing artwork and think about it days after. I am excited from the ideas, from the determination till the amazing result, and from the unusual final products. I get inspired from people who did a huge change in their life and proved that when you do things that you love, you can reach amazing results, even if it look weird at the beginning. I’m saving articles about such people and enjoy reading them from time to time.
One of the hallmarks of your work is its ability to create a direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language you use in a particular context?
When I make art I think first about my connection to it. I should feel it and I should imagine if it will look great on my wall and gives me the right energy. I think that when you do something that you believe in, then it will be shown on
the result no matter what the subject is, because the outcome will touched with love and enthusiasm. 11) Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Hila. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?
I am now focused on trying to present my art to the public in a gallery. For the near future, I see my art developed in so many directions. I'm wishing to crystallize a wedding photo. It can be a unique everlasting memory from the wedding day to the couple. I want to cooperate with designers in crystalizing bags, tappets, furniture or any other crazy project they can think of.
I wish to get hotel project of making a glamour whole lobby. I want to cooperate with professionals who will give their touch to the work, such as light specialists, carpenters, sculptors to crystalize 3D elements etc…
Art tells a story. Whether that story lasts a moment in time or an eon, there it is for you to respond to. There it is for you to interpret and make it your own. I think art asks you to cozy up close for a minute and listen. And you will. You’ll listen to the ones that catch your attention. Maybe you’ll think of them next week or next year and realize how they imprinted on you. There’s art in your life, and there’s a reason you have it. It adds something to your existence! Another dimension. Maybe a smile or a laugh, perhaps a sense of beauty or horror or joy. It can give you exactly what you need. My paintings are meant to be whimsical and kind of quirky despite the sometimes-desperate cry for help they really are. I need to twist up my dark world into something colorful, comfortable and safe. Work I can laugh at and ultimately make peace with. The titles are often integral to understanding the work. My characters, the birds, cats, fish – whatever, are typically self-portraits or family members, and they help tell the stories. I believe my style of painting stems from a wish for a bit of control over an out of control life. In an effort to wrangle in the anxiety of wide-open spaces, I investigate the not-so-negative space for both its similarities and uniqueness. Layers of brush strokes build upon each other like mesmerizing little geometric color studies hoping eventually to land on a harmonious color scheme that either eases or adds to the tension. I use a nearly dry brush technique in order to have the most control over the paint.
Walking the viewers through the liminal area where representation and imagination find a point of convergence, artist Donna Howard's work provides the viewers with an intense, immersive visual experience: her body of works that we'll be discussing in the following pages, tells stories and successfully attempts to trigger the viewers' perceptual parameters. One of the most impressive aspects of Howard's work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of questioning contemporary visualization practice: we are very pleased to introduce
our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Donna and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and you degreed from the UMass Amherst in Fine Art: how did this experience influence the way you currently conceive your works? And in particular, how does your cultural substratum inform the way you relate yourself to art making?
Hello, thanks for the invitation to chat. I’m flattered to be included in your Biennial edition and hope that I have the right words to help you and your readers get a look inside my work and my head.
I don’t know if I’d call my art education “solid formal training” as I tried my damndest to poke holes in the “formal” part. I was a horrible painter in college. Painting portraits and landscapes and Still Life was just no fun and as a result I was bad at it. As a matter of fact my advisor told me that my work had no “depth” and I think he meant it in a global sense. So instead of the painting classes I was supposed to be taking, I learned to throw pots, to weld metal, to pour bronze in the foundry. I took Calligraphy, Block Printing and Poetry. I had a terrific education but no real focus and absolutely no faith in my artistic ability. It would be 25 years until I had the courage to pick up a paintbrush again and this time it was on my terms.
Your works convey a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.donnahoward.com in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about what you once defined as the joyful anticipation of the challenges each new blank canvas present? What is your usual process and set up?
To me a blank canvas is like a brand new toy every single time. A brand new toy that was ripped open with great anticipation and the directions were lost. There’s a second of initial panic, until you remember how much you hate people telling you what to do and the thrill returns. I have 3 or 4 sketchbooks
that I scribble in every day leaving me with about a bazillion images to choose from. It’s not unusual for me to have a few paintings going at the same time. I don’t use an easel. I hold the canvas in my left hand and rest it against a table or my lap. I keep the canvas moving all the time, spinning it so I can reach the right spots. Because of this my largest canvasses end at about 36”. So far. You comment that my work rejects any conventional classification and I think that’s an important layer to my story. Along with everything I had to contend with as a kid I somehow grew up with an authority problem as well.
I don’t believe most of what I hear and only about half of what I see. I don’t like people telling me what to do, how to think, who to worship, what to love, where to lie my loyalty or how to paint. I try and avoid labeling myself as more than just another earthling who’d be really pleased that in a world where there are enough resources for everyone that everyone would have enough. I knew too young that it’s ultimately people in authority that are fucking the whole situation up.
How do you select your subjects? In particular, do you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist?
My subjects are all the people, places, pets and phobias in my life. The faces have been changed to protect the innocent. My paintings are incredibly personal yet the feelings I’m trying to convey are quite universal. Childhood anxiety informs all of
my work. I compare what I attempt to portray to a Bugs Bunny cartoon, all “bright and happy” on the surface for the kiddies but as an adult you’re in on the back-story that life can be brutal as well as hysterical.
Do you like spontaneity? In particular, are your works painted gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes from paper to canvas?
I love spontaneity! At first, the painting
evolves according to my knowledge of composition and the entire canvas grows as a unit. Here the arrangement is fleshed out, the atmosphere is determined and it starts to take shape. Once the composition and the painting’s story are clear in my head
(and mostly on the canvas) I seem to switch to a more intuitive approach – It’s time to explain the story’s deepest meaning through the emotion I coax out of the negative space. I like my images simple because the real focus is trying to convey the movement or music or sensation in the environment that envelops them. To help explain my process, lets look at this small series showing how The Swamp Out Back Our House evolved. I had another kid in the painting at first but it was a distraction. The painting is my best friend Sheryl and me. Back when kids played outside all day without parental supervision, the swamp out back was a place you could escape to and explore for hours. Catching pollywogs while trying to keep our shoes dry was always fun. It was a quiet place. It was a safe place. It was a place we could talk about our fears and our dreams while we blazed trails, built forts and picked blueberries. I’ve tried to give it an overall feeling of calm and safety. The water is quiet and the sun is starting to go down. It’s been a long day and mom is screaming out the back door for everyone to come home for dinner. We’re in no hurry, but it’s time to go in.
For this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries we have selected My Descent and Celebrate, a couple of interesting works that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your artistic research is the way you provided the visual results of your analysis with autonomous aesthetics. You once remarked that your characters are typically self-
portraits or family members: when walking our readers through the genesis of My Descent and Celebrate would you tell us your sources of inspiration? In particular, how much do you draw from everyday life's experience?
The subject of both of these paintings is me. They are essentially about a physically and emotionally broken little girl. They don’t seem so scary on the surface – quite the opposite, but the child in there was suffering.
Allow me to give you the Back-stories to these two paintings. Celebrate – I was born a little broken. My legs were crooked, so I had full casts on them for my first 6 months of life.
There was humiliation to follow when I couldn’t keep up with the activities of the neighborhood pack of kids. But when I dream, my legs are strong and straight. I'm still heavy, but I can dance. This piece celebrates dreams. If I never dreamed, I would never have known the feeling of lithe
movement. I never dance alone in my dreams. I dance with sisters, friends and other random people who skip through my night stories.
My Descent – This is the family I was born into. The rest of the siblings came later.
First comes Dad with his feet on the ground. Mom next and then sister Sue. I of course have begun the free-fall that would inform most of my existence. I think it was around the time my brother Eddie was born. That puts me around 4. I began a
lifetime living with anxiety and depression. I picture it as being a drastic fall into a less than adequate vessel.
We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of the pieces as The
Swamp Out Back Our House and A Splinter of Siblings, that show that vivacious tones are not strictly indispensable to create tension and dynamics. How did you come about settling on your color palette? And how much does your own psychological
make-up determine the nuances of tones you decide to use in a piece and in particular, how do you develop a texture?
My color choices are made in the moment. I do have a vision in my mind of the “finished”
palette, but my mood plays a big part in how I get there. A Splinter of Siblings is the full compliment of kids. I have an older Sister, a younger sister and two younger brothers. We were nothing like “The Waltons”. The chaos in my little life wasn’t so much vivacious, as it was viscous. I was stuck in it and that is the mood I’m trying to recreate. The sky is dark and the earth feels unfinished, and unstable under my feet. I use a bit of a different color palette and a tighter atmosphere for another sibling piece, Wait Til Your Father Gets Home. The mood is still one of disorder with a little panic thrown in. Here the colors want to collide with each other rather than play nice. It helps add that little bit of vibrancy and noise. My dad wasn't that scary but when threatened with him we knew mom meant business.
Your works have a seductive beauty on their surfaces: at the same time we daresay that your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface: we like the way Busy Purple, rather than attempting to establish any univocal sense seems to urge the viewers to elaborate personal associations: when discussing about the role of randomness in your process, would you tell us how much important is for you that the spectatorship rethink the concepts you convey in your pieces, elaborating personal meanings?
I think that a close personal connection to a piece is why people buy art. I don’t think it’s necessary to find a deep personal
meaning in my work to appreciate what it’s trying to say. Any empathetic soul should be able to feel the point I’m trying to make. I Was a Little Chicken is the first painting in a series of childhood memories. In it I‘ve turned all of my people into chickens to keep the story consistent. I was fond of my Nana; that might be the source of my chicken connection. Or it might be the fact that I saw myself as a Little Chicken afraid of my own shadow. I learned chickens have many sides though. They’re tough. They'll chase you right down and peck you if they feel the need. So a little chicken has the potential to grow up and be unafraid and I find that comforting.
I like that you chose Busy Purple to discuss. It’s one of only a few abstracts I’ve done and it’s actually a working title for this one. I haven’t quite figured out how much information I wanted to give out about it’s origin for the exact reason you state; should I sway the observer toward what I want them to see? You be the judge. Busy Purple is my response to Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie. I always felt the music in the simplicity of his series of geometric shapes. I wanted to see if I could cajole a little music out of an abstract cityscape. I used the idea of Boston as my city, an impossible city to navigate in a car. I crammed all the streets and buildings together gave it a Deep Purple feel and hope that someone will hear the storied rock and roll music of my youth. Should I rename the piece?
Your artworks show clear references to realistic subjects, as birds, cats, fish and flowers, but at the same time they are pervaded with stimulating abstract feature: would you define the relationship between abstraction and imagination in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?
To feel safe I need to fill up the negative space around me without becoming closed in completely. To me there’s nothing empty about negative space. It’s packed with hope and colors and anxiety and music. It vibrates. It deserves my attention. Out there in the negative space is life and so far it looks a
little geometric, but work evolves so I’m curious to see its evolution. We can compare the two paintings here. I tried to make Edna’s atmosphere “giggle”. Edna was my dad's aunt. Edna was big and loud! She had the best HAHAHA laugh. It made you laugh just to hear it. One thing I
remember about Edna was her elaborate bathing caps. White, skintight rubber helmets bursting with vibrant flora. I want the abstraction in this painting to help you feel that energy around her laugh and her great caps. He Never Said Goodbye is a more somber piece. It was 1968. I woke in
He never said goodbye
the morning to my family sitting together. No dad. Dad had left us. I wondered what would become of us. Too much for my 5 year old head. So the abstraction or the “negative space” in this case is more appropriately solemn. It doesn’t shimmy like Edna. To me it resonates as a low hum, seemingly quiet on the surface but it runs deep with a dark presence.
The theme of family is quite recurring in your imagery: do you think that your being a woman provides your artistic research with some special value?
I don’t think that in this case being a woman is what informs the work as much as being tuned into your inner kid does. I seem to connect with men my age as well as women so I think anyone who was an overly observant little kid can relate to the family issues that come up in my paintings. I was never a real “girly girl”. I didn’t play with dolls or make-up. And I never had children of my own. Seeing my mother struggle day in and day out with the rest of the mothers in the neighborhood left me devoid of any kind of maternal longing. I adore my family even though I have to hold them all directly responsible for my oncedebilitating anxiety. There were 5 little personalities vying for attention in our house. Mom was overwhelmed with us all and threatened to run away pretty often. Dad was always gone. I knew we had money problems and I knew there was no Santa Claus before I was even tall enough
to see over the dining room table. I understood way too much about adult situations at too young an age and what I didn’t quite understand was just fodder for my imagination to take me to dark places. Life was scary.
Over the years your works have been showcased in several occasions, including your recent participation to Earth Mother, Gallery Z. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?
I have learned that I can’t paint for anyone else but me. I want the viewer to have their own experience with the work but I also want them to know everything I can possibly share about its truth. When I can, my stories accompany my work in the gallery. The titles of my paintings are like the hook in a song. I try really hard to give you a lot of information in a few words, as a jumping off point to the secret I’m trying to tell you. I think the language I use needs to be brutally honest if I want to convey my idea whittled down to its essence. Naturally I’d knock off the cursing if I was
showing my work to children but I’m a curser. Cursing is honest. And it’s funny and adds color. And I really don’t mean to offend anyone. The closer my paintings are to nicking my and/or your childhood psyche, the more successful they seem to be. I think it’s because they are relatable and basically funny in their authenticity.
Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Donna. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?
By exposing pieces of my past to myself I’ve been able to go through this incredible healing process. I’m figuring out the source of my anxieties and that knowledge seems to be all the power I needed to make peace with some of those demons. I’d love to use my art and my own personal journey to reach the little insecure kids of today and help them realize that they’re not alone in these feelings.
I’d like to reach the little kid inside so many adults as well. Show them that while their anxieties may have deep, old, craggy roots, there’s peace out there too and it’s within reach. Or I’m going to allow myself to snap completely over the political chaos in my country and join my fellow artists in exposing the Buffoon and his court of jesters in the white house. Either way I’m looking forward to the ride.
Fats and the Raven: Back in the 1970’s a very young Anthony Hopkins starred in a
movie called “Magic”. In a nutshell, a down and out ventriloquist rents remote cottage and begins a journey into insanity courtesy of his overactive imagination – oh and Anne Margaret didn’t help. This is a painting of Fats, Hopkins’ dummy, the inanimate object attached to the psyche. As for the Raven? Check out the eyebrow.
Wait til your father gets home
My art takes a journey into the powerful energy of abstraction through shapes, lines and color. My process starts with deciding on what shape canvas I want to construct, and my theme always starts with a color combination. I began all of my paintings on a wood canvas with several layers of paint. My abstract paintings are inspired by kinetic energy and indigenous culture particularly tribal face paintings and ancient African mask sculptures, I primarily use acrylic, enamel, spray paint, paper, sand and resin in any combination, while I paint I work out ideas without attempting to control the works destiny, the painting itself takes over. Creation starts in the mind which is manifested from a simple thought to a more complex form.
Experimenting with a wide variety of materials to inquire into the notion of kinetic energy and indigenous culture, Detroit based artist Ozie 's work rejects any conventional classification regarding its style, to address the viewers to a multilayered visual experience. In his body of works that we'll be discussing in the following pages, he successfully attempts to trigger the spectatorship's perceptual parameters. One of the most impressive aspects of Ozie's work is the way it accomplishes the difficult
task of inquiring into the liminal area where the abstract and the figurative find an unexpected still consistent point of convergence: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to his stimulating and multifaceted artistic production.
Hello Ozie and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. Are there any experiences that did influence the way you currently conceive your works? How did your studies in carpentry at the Detroit Carpenters Apprenticeship School influenced the evolution of your artistic research?
Once I discovered my artistic ability, I began studying art history and how the art industry operates, I soon realized a successful artist has to have something unique about their art in order to separate styles from other artists,that motivated me to create my own style. My carpentry studies allowed me to apply what I learned in various classes to my work particularly wood construction, geometry and blueprint reading where I learned to draw or layout like an architect which is heavily influenced in my works Solar Mystery and X power.
Your works convey a coherent sense of unity, that rejects any conventional classification. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit https://www.saatchiart.com/ozie in order to get a synoptic view of your work: in the meanwhile, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up?
First thing I decide is whether the painting will be non- figurative or figurative, from this point I decide on the shape of the wood support/canvas and I always start with a color combination followed by multiple layers of paint and texture before the final colors are applied.
How do you select your subjects? In particular, do you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist?
I usually select figurative subjects from ancient tribal face paintings or African mask sculptures and I kind of combine the two ideas, my non-figurative abstract paintings are best described as an artistic birth, each painting has its own characteristics and I work out ideas without attempting to control the destiny, the painting itself takes over and leads me to the conclusion. The multiple layers of vibrant colors moving in a mass sequence is what connects all my work to one central idea.
For this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries we have selected Solar mystery, an interesting work that our readers have already started to got to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your artistic inquiry int the notion of kinetic energy is the way you provided the visual results of your analysis with autonomous aesthetics: when walking our readers through the genesis of Solar mystery would you tell us your sources of inspiration?
Solar Mystery started with the idea that I could create something with symbols being the subject, so I decided to start
with the triangle which has so many different meanings depending on the time in history, for this triangle I depicted the Eye of Providence found on the back of the dollar bill, all the straight lines represent time lines in history and the revolving lines represent all the stories, secrets and symbolism that follows this controversial symbol. I wanted to create an artwork that needed to be decoded which was the inspiration behind Solar Mystery.
Stormy Munday is an excellent piece of art that unveils the connection between the dreamlike dimension and our perceptual reality. How do you view the concepts of the real and the imagined playing out within your works? How would you define the relationship between abstraction and representation in your practice?
Art is my first love but second would be music, Stormy Munday is a popular blues song that I wanted to bring to life, we all know the storms of life can bring us down but if the rain is gold that will change the outlook of a storm since gold is royalty, wealth and power. I’m finding that my abstraction is a formof representation based on the fact that its manifesting from a place of reality which is my mind.