Peripheral ARTeries // Contemporary Art Review // Special Edition

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CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW Feuer und flamme, Acrylic on Canvas, 44"x44"2017 A work by Gerdi Möller-Jansen Installation • Painting • Mixed media • Drawing • Performance • Public Art • Drawing • Video art • Fine Art Photography Special Edition Anniversary Edition ANDREA RIBA VALENTIN GONZÁLEZ ESTHER DE VLAM MARCEL HARRISON MICHAELA MACPHERSON BARBARA SIMCOE ANGELINA DAMENIA CORA MARIN GERDI MÖLLER-JANSEN

Peripheral eries

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.

CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW

Lives and works in Lübeck, Germany

Lives and works in Tblisi, Georgia

Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York City, USA

Lives and works in Omaha, NE, USA

Lives and works in Berlin and in Barcelona

Lives and works in Daleville, Alabama USA

Lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Lives and works in Madrid, Spain

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

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Contents
Special Issue
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Francine LeClerque I Am Your Labyrinth, Installation Hila Lazovski, David Bowie, work in process Photo by Meital Zikri http://www.lazovski-art.com
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Shai Jossef Jungle

Gerdi Möller-Jansen

Lives and works in Lübeck, Germany

Both brain hemispheres need to be fed equally. And that's maybe the reason why I started painting (and dealing with other areas of art like screenprinting, photography, illustration) already during and parallel to my successful career as a graduate in business information technology.

Having started as a an autodidact I developed my techniques by attending seminars and courses with renowned artists and institutions. In 2013 I decided to focus more on my right brain side and started working as a free artist in my own studio.

I am not dedicated to a specific style or techniques but like experimenting:

from acryl to pastel, from white to garish, from abstract to figurative, from painting to fractals

Almost everything is inspiration to me. Exiting and boring books. The beauty of nature and maltreated environment. Traveling the world and relaxing at the home beach.

Most of my works are abstract today. They usually develop in an informal process and first and foremost I am guided by my gut feeling. I do not look for perfection, however, to work as an artist is such as strong motivation for me as it allows me to work completely independently.

Painting does not just mean creating to me – but often it means finding. Finding those fascinating moments and imaginations. Something that has been covered for so long and I hope that the beholder or viewer of my works can feel and see those characteristic situations or places.

Peripheral ARTeries meets

Gerdi Möller-Jansen

Lives and works in Lübeck, Germany

Drawing inspiration from beauty of nature and maltreated environment, traveling the world and relaxing at the home beach, German artist Gerdi Möller-Jansen's work provides the viewers with an intense, immersive visual experience: 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 Möller-Jansen's work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of questioning contemporary visualization practice in reference to Contemporary Abstract art movement: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production.

Hello Gerdi and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your multifaceted background. You started as an autodidact and you later had the chance to developed your techniques by attending seminars with renowned artists, as Alfred Hansl, Volker Altenhof and Ines Hildur: how did these experiences 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 and to the notion of beauty?

In fact, each of these artists has given completely different and valuable impulses for my own work. Thus, e.g. Altenhof's aesthetic play with the colour raised already pretty early the desire to create moods exclusively by means of colours and to create something spontaneously and unconsciously (for example, „fire and flame“).

In contrast, I was influenced by the reduced, achromatic works of Hildur discover and tap the

unusual techniques and materials, such as incorporation of marble dust and bitumen (so called dust technology) for my artworks. This influence can be seen in my work cycle "Mental State" and "Zen"

However, the desire or perhaps even the necessity to express myself artistically was not so much the influence of my teachers but has already been set in my parents' house. Critical thinking, a sense for social responsibility, and above all respect for our environment are values that have been passed down to me and hence needed be reflected in some form. However, it sometimes takes time to find the appropriate means. Though I knew already at an early stage these means must be art, I made a career information technologies. Perhaps or maybe just because of that sidestep I could see it even more clearly.

In regard to what beauty means to my work, I believe that the ratio of form and content determines the substance of a picture. And exactly this constellation is important - not just the formal beauty. It is not so important for me to create pleasant art that appeals to the sensations, but, if possible, to convey or to create knowledge. So I am quite with Kant.

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An interview by Josh Ryders, curator and Melissa C. Hilborn, curator peripheral.arteries@europe.com
deep water horizon

As an example I would like to mention two different works. First one is a digital works: "Just wanna play" A little beauty – no doubt - but also completely dolled up. Beauty contests where 12year-old girls in evening robes and make-up are trying to outshine their competitors. I think we don't need that.

The other example is an acrylic painting: "femme fatale" I wonder what kind of characteristics “beauty” needs. I'm showing a woman, which can't be considered as a beauty in a common sense, but doesn't she attract even more attention by her lasciviousness?

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.gerdi-jansen.de 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? In particular, are your works painted gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes from paper to canvas?

I observe my environment and at some point a picture is formed inside my head. The work is then produced in fast-sketched image in the smallest format. Then, after the decision, the painting develops in pretty slow process. The painting process itself is then pushed forward in a dialogue between consciousness and the unconscious. But there are also these works, which do not need any sketch, because there are already final pictures, which are deeply burned to my soul and then just want to become visible.

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?

The red thread is actually two red threads. One, as already mentioned, is a sense of responsibility and respect for our environment. And that's because the integration into nature is an elementary

commonality of all human beings. This aspect can for example be found in my work series "Have nice holidays in Anthropocene", which deals with our environmental responsibility. But this respect can also be reflected in still lives from nature, which should bring their whole beauty into the light

In a second thread I continually take up various states of mind (work series “mental state”), which are the expression of a life situation or a life section. These are stories of loving, suffering, hating, moving. And are not my stories yours too? Art is sensuality and, for my understanding, has much to do with the narrative of experiences. We share not only one world, but also our feelings.

For this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries we have selected Deep water horizon and Zen, 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: when walking our readers through the genesis of Deep water horizon and Zen would you tell us your sources of inspiration? And how did you select your subjects?

Do you remember the 20th of April 2010? Eleven workers were killed in the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon oil rig. The oil leakage led to tremendous oil spills into the Gulf of Mexico, the most severe environmental catastrophe of its kind in history. This event happened so far away, but it was so close. Maybe despite or precisely because of this almost outrageous disregard of responsibility and flippancy in regard to nature, I could not get this topic out of my head.

The painting process is then always something that brings these scenarios back to life and I try to paint against rage and helplessness. After that, my subjects have to become more quiet in order to find my balance back again. The series "Zen" is an example: By reducing the form and the deliberate use of achromatic colours as a means of

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Gerdi

expression, I return to rationality and plainness and can soothe my troubled feelings.

You are a versatile artist and as you remarked once, you are not dedicated to a specific style but you like experimenting with all kind of styles and techniques: what draws you to such cross disciplinary approach? And in particular, when do you recognize that one of the mediums has exhausted it expressive potential to self?

I see freedom (also artistic) as a chance to grow. I therefore take the liberty to try out and discover and to playfully approach my work. And isn't playfulness something very human. If discovering and playing would have been expelled from art, it would be something that could not bring joy.

So I express myself with different techniques and styles, e.g. with a cycle of digital portraits that exemplify how urban citizens can be trapped in their (“Faces”) spiritual isolation, but also youthful beauty, which is not diminished by the fact that this beauty sometimes consists only of skin and bones (“Skin and bones”), up to the faces of old people and their lines of life (some call it crinkles) which can enchant the viewer very much (“Life Lines ”)

But also experimenting with different materials, e.g. the use of marble dust, bitumen, corrugated cardboard (see "out of the blue") or paper chips (see "heart at the right place") is a way for me to create new insights.

Painting, digital works, fractals or illustrations: everything has its time. Each method is laid aside, but then revived when an idea demands for it.

We can recognize a subtle sociopolitical criticism in how Forgotten items and Deep water horizons question our abused oceans and nature, in our technology driven age. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "the artist’s role differs depending on which part of the world you’re in. It depends on the political system you’re living under". Not to mention that almost everything,

ranging from Caravaggio's Inspiration of Saint Matthew to Joep van Lieshout's works, could be considered political, what could be in your opinion the role of Art in the contemporary age?

For sure, "Forgotten items" and "deep water horizons" have a sociopolitical and critical message or meaning. Compared to science, art is allowed to criticise and to interpret and I like to take that as a chance. But I do not completely agree with Gabriel Orozco, because no matter what political system or part of the earth we live in - we have only one common planet. It does not matter if we carelessly waste our plastic in Europe, Asia or the USA. These forgotten items form already huge islands which definitely do not belong to any country, drift around the world and pollute our seas and make animals miserably perish. Therefore our environment, regardless political systems or geographic regions, must play a role - I would even say a more important role in art.

I neither want to present a normative expectation to art, nor do I think that art has ever driven social changes. I tend to say thank goodness. When I think of the communist agitprop art or the futuristic manifest 100 years ago, it was fortunate that it failed. But I would love to see that art can have a greater impact on the soul again - as music does - and not by exhibited Brillo boxes or a sliced beef inserted in formaldehyde, but by subtle depictions and compositions.

Your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface: we like the way Deep water horizons, 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?

What happens to us when we hear of catastrophes. We are scared and forget the

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Heart at the right place

incident pretty fast. It takes only a short time until the disaster has disappeared from the media world-wide. A kind of mass amnesia. With millions of liter of chemicals BP let the oil spill disappear -

but only from the screens. And the press cheers: Tourism is booming. The environment on the Gulf has recovered. The water is turquoise and clear. The beaches are clean – And on the

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horizon you can see the dark blue of the deep water. Happy Holidays ! What a false summery conclusion!

The danger now lurks beneath the surface. And no one talks about the aftereffects And I wonder what lessons we've learned from such tragedies?

I don't think that pictures on such themes necessarily have to show the reality in full brutality, it is more important to me that I can create an association, memory and reflection with the spectator through colours and structures. There must be no consensus to the sensation, but if the viewer feels touched in some way or was influenced I am really satisfied.

We have really appreciated the vibrancy of thoughtful nuances of the pieces as feuer und flamme and elbe, that show that vivacious tones are not striclty indespensable 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 develope a texture?

I do not leave the choice of the colours to chance – the choice is inevitable. My objective is to develop inner tensions, friction points and harmonies by colour and texture. However, the way and scope of the transformation depends on my actual life circumstances. In times of great professional pressure but also during private blows the dark, earthy tones were pushing to the fore. But in the recent years, my colour palette almost unintentionally changed. Bright, lively, sometimes even pastel tones reflect a generally relaxed life.

It also does not bother me when deep cracks reveal how the paint has dried. Together with a thick layer of paint and manual interventions such as scratches, porous structures are created. They are sometimes reminding of dried out walls in abandoned buildings (e.g. "out of the blue"). If there is such an approximation to a natural image,

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Boats on a foggy morning

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Forgotten items

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it is almost automatically perceived associatively by the viewer. With "Elbe 1", e.g. it was my

intention to give an idea of a water landscape with a fire ship through horizontal monochrome

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areas, interspersed with vertical colour traces. A fire boat that signals to me: You are at home.

Another interesting work that has particularly impressed and that we would like to discuss is

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Feuer und flamme
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Spielen

entitled Am seidenen Faden (dangling on a string) and is from your "mental state" series, reflecting your personal situation at the time of creation: How 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?

"Am seidenen Faden" (hanging by a thread or hangling a string) is a relatively new work. It really worries me that the world is ruled by certain people and is in a bad state. Terrorism, environmental destruction, wars, hunger catastrophes. It seems to me as if the world could come undone at any moment, because everything seems to hang by a thread. This, I believe, has nothing to do with "German Angst", but rather questioning whether mankind is using its brain.

Abstract painting is breaking with the realityrelated representation and is limited to colour, form, structure, pattern and line. But exactly those object-related associations, which are eliminated in the abstract painting, are dedicated to show a rigid or too narrow picture and reflect exclusively the artist's view. But his stylistic means of the abstract art allow sufficient leeway for my fantasies and thus possibilities of association for the viewer.This compares with the stylistic means of the abstract art as they allow sufficient leeway for my fantasies and thus possibilities of association for the viewer.

Not only peace, prosperity and the environment depend on the silk thread, but also cultures, progress and humanity. Great themes are hanging by a thread or in other words: large shapes are hanging by a thin line.

How would you define the relationship between abstraction and representation in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?

We are flooded with horror images in the news. And the tendency to look away is quite a danger. The pictures become suppressed. Abstraction, however, allows me, as said, to make the essentials even more visible by leaving out the details or simplifying and so the chance is there to become rediscovered.

This is quite different in my figurative works. Here it is important for me to find quiet moments, to take a deep breath, to look very closely, to recognize, do discover and to capture. Very often the motifs are personal perceptions, e.g. the somewhat ruffled, yet impressive personality of a raven that seems to be watching me (“Nevermore spoke the raven”) or the beautiful colours of an artichoke blossom (“artichoke”) And that is why both - abstraction and figurative painting – not only have a reason for co-existence but also equality.

Over these years you have had numerous solo and group shows, including your participation to ain't no limits - Kunstforingen Humlebaek, in Denmark. 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?

Of course, the audience reaction has an influence. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that it affects the language decision-making process in a particular context. I see it as an influence in both directions. From the viewer towards me and vice versa – a give and take, so to speak. The influence to the soul of the viewer and on his memories, however, should not be manipulative, how could I allow this to myself? But it is my

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intention to help to overcome cognitive dissonances, which are nagging especially people

today and which are always an unpleasant circumstance such as fear of decision making,

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Elbe

shame on wrong decisions or purely successoriented action against one's own conviction. As far as the influence from the viewer is concerned, especially my solo exhibition "ain't no limits" has shown to me that the positive and constructive reflection of the audience on the works can also be an encouragement to maintain the diversity and to look at it self-consciously as a characteristic of my visual language.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Gerdi. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects?

How do you see your work evolving?

I am sure that not only that what is going on in Europe and Western societies will provide a lot of material. The strengthening or decay already stands out as a new project with many ideas. So it

will probably be a search and interpretation of common cultural stories and experiences. Figuration or abstraction - between these two poles I will probably continue to move, because this contrasting way of working has a natural causality for me and I would like to give the viewer food for reflection.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to give you and your readers hereby a bit closer look at my work.

peripheral.arteries@europe.com

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ausheiteremhimmel nevermore 3

Angelina Damenia

Lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia

Artist Angelina Damenia's work provides the viewers with an intense, immersive visual experience: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 Damenia's work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of questioning contemporary visualization practice in reference to Contemporary Abstract art movement: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production.

Hello Angelina and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your multifaceted background. You have a solid formal training and you degreeded in Fine Arts History and Theory from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts: how did this experiences 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 and to the notion of beauty?

For me a great honor and joy to provide information on me and my creativity on pages of your edition.

Several words about history of my education:

in 1989 the Ministry of Culture of Georgia has created the special commission which has examined my works and has made the unprecedented decision in view of special endowments I was admitted to Academy of Arts without entrance examinations and defined on theoretical faculty that external practical influence didn't influence natural development of my own style and didn't prevent me to be created independently. Therefore my achievements in the sphere of painting are reached without the management and control. Theoretical preparation has helped me to be realistic about my direction. I determine the style by the term Intensivism. Pure abstraction not figurative art, interaction of the line and color which I have complemented with a form and internal contents; it includes some moment of conceptualism. Art for me life, beauty

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her form and content.

Your works convey coherent sense of visual unity, capable of providing the viewers with intense, multilayered visual experience. Before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit http://www.damenia-philauri.com 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? In particular, are your works painted gesturally, instinctively? Or do you methodically transpose geometric schemes from paper to canvas?

I never do preliminary sketches on paper. To transfer the ready processed composition to a canvas for me uninteresting repetition. Before to start a picture, I anew represent it generally complete, and only then I begin to work with directly oil paints.

Of course, during process there are improvisation moments, but these are already details. Considering of a subject and its decision takes me more time, than execution of the work. My pictures are born and come to the end directly on a canvas.

How did you develope your style? In particular, do you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist?

I don't resist internal images and I try not to complicate the solution of a subject. Just I so see the world, it is my reality which I want to share with all.

For this special edition of Peripheral ARTeries we have Christmas morning, an interesting work 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: when walking our readers through the genesis of Christmas morning would you tell us your sources of inspiration? Do your works come from imagination or do you draw a lot from personal experience?

My pictures in general and, in particular, are gathered Christmas morning from personal experience which is complemented with imagination, and this synthesis a creativity source. Christmas morning is reflections of the morning sun on a snow surface, and it is only a small part of reality.

We have really appreciated the vibrancy of intense nuances of red featured in Eruption, that creates such harmonious combination between 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 develope a texture?

My color palette is a display of mood, subjective transmission of emotions and internal logic. Very often color requires volume and depth, there is hidden the main content. I achieve the relief of the surface with the help of a palette knife, when this is not enough - I modify it with my hands. I do not wait for the paint layer to dry up to continue working. The pictures begin and end without stopping, in one breath, so that there is no dissonance. The same method performed the picture Eruption. This can be read as a volcanic eruption, and as the liberation of the depths of the soul, you can draw many parallels. The picture is always

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modified by the viewer in his perception. Another interesting work that has particularly impressed and that we would like to discuss is entitled Landscape of Sakdrisi: how would you define the relationship between abstraction and imagination in your practice? In particular, how does representation and a marked tendency towards abstraction find their balance in your work?

Sakdrisi is a concrete historical area in Georgia, in the region of Kvemo Kartli, the most ancient in the world the gold mine, a cultural monument. Now it is already destroyed, and the picture Sakdrisi is a reminiscence, the abstracted reality covered with sunset beams of nostalgia.

Your artistic practice seems to aim to look inside of what appear to be seen, rather than its surface: we like the way your artworks seem to urge the viewers to elaborate personal associations: how much important is for you to address the viewers to elaborate personal meanings?

Each my picture bears semantic loading, has internal contents which isn't always known to the viewer. Search of value gives rise to new images. This process is very important for me as the picture in subjective perception of each new viewer continues to develop thematically, and it is very interesting. Perception of the work of art is art too.

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?

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Any external influence can induce me to create a picture; In parallel with current events as a cinematic tape, the inner plot is treated before the eyes, it is like a dialogue between reality and a dream in reality, a very exciting process. Each event is a new interesting possibility of its abstract transmission.

Of course, throughout the years I was inspired by different artists, I will not list them, since the path of the history of art is long and in every epoch, in the sources of each direction there were great masters and their works illuminated the way for the seekers; But now I want to mention the artist, along with whom I go along the path of lifethis is my husband, Gela Philauri. The methods of work are different, but the goal is one - serving the arts, and in this great balance and harmony.

An aspect of your artworks that particularly appeal us is their luminosity that seem to reach the viewer's eyes out of your canvas: can you talk about the surface of your paintings and your approach to colors in order to generate luminosity?

The surface of my paintings is bold, with the change of lighting creates a visibility of movement, it is dynamic and interesting. Luminosity is my fluid, the part of my soul that I put into every my work; This I look out of the picture and smile, becauseIf I don't burn, And if you don't burn, And if we don't burn, Then who will disperse the darkness? :)

How do you go about naming your works? In particular, is important for you to tell something that might walk the viewers through their visual experience?

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Angelina Damenia

I give each work a title, but this is only an arrow, a direction where it is necessary to search for a conceived topic.

Sometimes you can find something completely different, but the main thing is always inside.

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Over the years your works have been showcased in several occasion: you have six solos and you participated to a number

group shows, including your recent participation to THE ARTBOX GALLERY in Switzerland. One of the hallmarks of your

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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

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of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decisionmaking process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

Each picture is a dialogue with the viewer. The language of communication is associative perception.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Angelina. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Of course, I have big plans for the future, new ideas and solutions, but I do not want to rush to share them, as this will not be a surprise, but the viewer should always be surprised and pleased. I want to wish all the best to all! Thank you!

interview by

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Angelina Damenia

Peripheral ARTeries meets

Michaela MacPherson

Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Rejecting any conventional classification regarding its unique style, Michaela MacPherson's work draws the viewers through a multilayered visual experience. The central theme of her work is the theme of loss and in her body of works that we'll be discussing in the following pages she accomplishes the difficult task of exciting the observers to motivate their imagination to create personal associations: we are very pleased to introduce our readers to her stimulating and multifaceted artistic production.

Hello Michaela 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 hold a BFA of Illustration that you received from the prestigious Massachusetts College of Art and Design. How does this experience influence the way you currently conceive and produce your works?

Hello, thank you so much for having me! Attending MassArt really gave me a direction to take my work. When I arrived I focused a lot more on making my drawings as realistic as possible, and I only worked in pencil and in black and white. They changed the way I look at art, changed what I see as being

“good” art, and ultimately changed my entire art making process. Now, I usually just start with a drawing, but end up adding to it digitally, collaging on it, doing acrylic transfers of it, painting; I asked for a power sander last Christmas so I could use that in my work as well. I really just don’t want to limit myself anymore in my use of materials. I pretty much have my professor Bob Maloney to thank for that. He encouraged me to take risks, and use more unconventional methods to develop a really different style that is all my own. I think I would be a lot more conventional and boring if it weren’t for MassArt.

The results of your artistic inquiry reject any conventional classification, still convey a consistent sense of unity: before starting to elaborate about your production, we would suggest to our readers to visit

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Music, mixed media
Eleven, mixed media

http://www.michaelamacpherson.com in order to get a synoptic view of your multifaceted artistic production: while walking our readers through your process, we would like to ask you if you think that there is a central idea that connects all of your work as an artist.

In my more editorial work, the idea behind them is usually just to convey the point of the article they are illustrating. However, for my personal and gallery work, there is always some kind of thought process, some kind of message that I not only want people to relate to, but use to get a little insight into what I’m feeling. I feel like I never say things quite right, and usually end up saying too much or too little. when you look at some of the work I’ve created, you’re really looking at my best attempt to express what I’m feeling. People are so insensitive to someone struggling with themselves but for whatever reason, when they see their pain of their triumph in the form of artistic expression, suddenly its beautiful. For “Loss” I wanted to make an image that was relatable to everyone; depicting a child weeping over lost teeth was a kind of indirect way to get across the pain and sadness that is associated with loss without pinpointing an exact situation, that maybe only some people would relate to. Everyone loses teeth, everyone feels pain and sadness. I think you get all those emotions through this artwork. Much of my other work does the same;

they use narrative imagery to convey an emotion or feeling, without naming a specific situation those feelings might be felt. It’s really just a coping mechanism.

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 for the way you have provided the results of your artistic inquiry into the themes of loss in art with autonomous aesthetics: when walking our readers through your usual process and set up? In particular, how much everyday life's experience does fuel your creativity?

My process is a bit eccentric, but I have it almost to a science at this point. I draw the focus of my image on a piece of paper, in full detail and exquisitely rendered. I then scan the image and bring it into photoshop, where I color it in with usually between 1-3 colors. Keeping it simple. At this point the image is printed, and I will either collage it onto a piece of masonite or do an acrylic transfer of it, meaning that I extract the ink from the paper using acrylic medium for painters to get it right on the masonite. Then I paint around the image, keeping shapes simple and bright. Nothing else about the piece gets rendered with as much detail as the initial drawn portion. Here I’ll start adding textures, bringing that power

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sander I mentioned earlier into play. I use some white gel pen to outline and make things really pop, and everything is sprayed to fix. Don’t get me wrong, its a long and lengthy process, but I have it so down pat and perfected that my work time is usually under ten or so hours… which for me isn’t a lot haha.

I think these days I’m generally a much happier person than I used to be, so I’m not dwelling on my sadness as much or trying to find imagery to capture my really intense feelings. At this point what I find myself constantly looking for are clever images and narratives. I do a lot of editorial work these days, so clever plays on words and that kind of stuff is what really excites me. Our current political climate in the states has influenced probably the most emotional work that I’ve been putting out these days. As a gay woman, coming from a family of immigrants and surrounded by friends of all different ethnicities and orientations and backgrounds, I am overwhelmed a lot by what the people in my life are being told about their own worth, and as of late that frustration has become very present in my personal and often times professional work.

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, your work is fairly experimental: How much importance does play spontaneity in your work? In particular, do you conceive you works

instinctively or do you methodically elaborate your pieces?

I have fully adopted the idea that there are no mistakes. if you have a strong idea or a

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Bronson, mixed media

strong narrative, don’t abandon it because the piece isn’t taking form the way you imagined. I literally make myself finished just about every piece I start, unless there is a really pressing deadline. I

have a general formulae of how my pieces are put together, but I vary from it all the time. I have had to make myself put aside the idea of “This is how I make work, and I have to follow these steps,”

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and adopt the mentality of “What would make this piece look the best it possibly could?” Sometimes its hard to make myself step out of my comfort zone but being adventurous and committed to

getting the best result possible in that exact situation usually pays off.

While referring to reality, your works as Getting You to See, conveys such

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Danny Devito, mixed media
The Women of Science, mixed media

Burning Up the Atmosphere, mixed media

Mice Party, mixed media

captivating abstract feeling: how do you view the concepts of the real and the

imagined playing out within your works?

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Michaela MacPherson

As I said, I just want my work to be relatable. If I sat here and painted the exact scenario where I was trying to convince someone of something and they weren’t listening, to me that wouldn’t be an interesting image. What I want to come across is that emotion, that pain and frustration. I’m sure most people have been in a situation where they felt they were pulling teeth trying to explain something to a person who was completely blind to the matter. In my personal stuff, I always try to be relatable without being specific.

Your artwork are pervaded with images rich with symbolic features, as your recurrent referencs to symbolism behind teeth : German multidisciplinary artist Thomas Demand once stated that "nowadays art can no longer rely so much on symbolic strategies and has to probe psychological, narrative elements within the medium instead". What is your opinion about it? Morever, how would you describe your personal iconography and what is the importance of symbols in your imagery?

I don’t totally agree with that sentiment. For me, especially if I’m trying to be so indirect, I rely on symbolism heavily to get my point across. I feel like to abide by that kind of thinking you’d have to have experience in the field; like maybe a fellow artist could look at your handling of a medium and understand

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Special Edition agazine Contemporary Art Peripheral eries