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"An artwork doesn't communicate anything: it simply creates a mental space. Language, gestures, or rather a masterly brush-stroke of a painter are nothing but ways to invite us to explore our inner landscapes". Thirty years have passed since this Borgesean deep and at the same time provocative statement has been written by the fine Italian writer Giorgio Manganelli. Our net review presents a selection of artists whose works shows the invisible connection between mainstream art and new trends. We have focused on new trends in Contemporary Art, especially by encouraging young artists: anyway, the distinctive feature of our project is to discover creative potentials . Apart from stylistic differences and individual approaches to the art process, all of them share the vision that art is a slice of the world to be shared.
In this issue
“I believe an artist is a kind of scientist, exploring new concepts, testing theories. Visual art should be more than some color spread on a canvas” Meike Lohmann - o.T.
“I spent four years as an expatriate in Asia and now feel that I am much more of a mix of east & west. Which makes me more complex than before” M.Kazalia - Whirlygig
Pepa (Russia) “Art is one of the strongest things in the world. It expresses not only feelings of a singular person it expresses feelings of nations”
Pepa - She
“bursting from the bubble that contains us, and experiencing everything that is overwhelmingly beautiful , even in things and places that normally aren’t considered so” ”
Heidi Keyes - Taking Cover
Agata Nowosielska (Poland)
“Art needs to stay authentic. When an artist lies to himself or herself, indulges in self-deception, the artistic statement looses power and lacks sense” A.Nowosielska - Barbra Streisand
“Being an artist has allowed me to view American and Korean cultures with a more worldly vision and begin to understand, and appreciate, these various facets of my identity” Timothy H.Lee - Sincretive Skin
Aimee Hertog (USA)
“I make art about the chaos of contemporary existence, especially domestic chaos as I have experienced it. My work directly opposes the myth of domestic bliss that is propagated in the media” A.Hertog - Bluebeard the Sociopath's Closet
Kimi Hanauer (Germany) “art means a way of thinking where significance is assigned to ideas and objects that in other contexts probably wouldn't get that same amount of space”
Kimi Hanauer - Monument
Martina Miholic (Croatia)
“In my opinion if you would like to upgrade, redefined or if necessary, denied or opposed something, it is important to know the system inside out” M.Miholic - Giant, Dense, Sunlit Amorphous thing
Geoffrey Stein (USA) “My paintings explore the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen”
Geoffrey Stein - She
“I paint for many reasons, one of which is the phenomenon of surprise yourself. Some things take place outside thinking, and while I constantly ask myself though a whole bunch of questions”
P. Kotlicki - Suitcreatures
II submit your artworks to http://peripheralarteries.yolasite.com/contact-us.php
Timothy H. Lee
Meike Lohmann (Hungary/Germany) An artistâ€™s statement
â€œTime and memory are central aspects of my work. Memories are a jumble and never completely clear; they are subjective and solitary impressions. Memories travel with us throughout our lives, telling us stories about desire, doom, and prospective.
o.T. (2012) Acrylic/ egg-tempera on canvas / 50x70 cm
In an effort to tell these puzzling and fleeting stories, I work with a variety of medium, including egg-tempera, acrylics, colored crayons, and oil colors. I often incorporate old photographs, snapshots, newspaper clippings, sketches, and other visual images I have collected over the years.
The connecting edges remains visible, very delicate and light. The space between figure and ground disappears like an airy memory. I am not interested in what is popular in the contemporary art scene, nor am I interested in producing work for hire; it is more important for me to explore visual ideas I am interested in and see how I can translate those ideas into my visual language. I believe an artist is a kind of scientist, exploring new concepts, testing theories. Visual art should be more than some color spread on a canvas. (Meike Lohmann)
The magic in the paintings is not created by adding surrealistic effects, or by consciously metamorphosing found materials, or through a purpose-driven mystification. On the contrary: the concept of the paintings, as well as the technique, are remarkably plain and down-to-earth, while avoiding mannerism of any kind. The attitude stays tense and functional and gives the paintings a casual sincerity.
The process of work is an elementary part of my painting and supports the concept of time (for example: I painstakingly make as much pigment as possible, a very time consuming endeavor). Essential elements include artificial lines, dripping and liquid colors, scratched and overpainted textures. My latest work is painted on sheets of paper I glued together to create a larger work area.
fabric Acrylic/ egg-tempera/ colorcrayon on paper / 33x40cm (2012)
Meike Lohmann’s works have been exhibited at international exhibitions and Art Fairs and her work is in private and public collections.
Insel Mixed media on canvas/ 50x60cm (2012)
She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Budapest/ Hungary and at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg/Germany, graduating with honors as “Meisterschueler.” She lives and works in Germany.
(photo by Tobias Ziegler www.lumenator.de)
What in your opinion defines a work of art?
systems. I think it’s good to master different techniques and to make anatomic studies to learn how proportions do work. In Germany you can make more experiments and visit different workshops beyond your subject. That’s great to figure out if there is something else you can use to express yourself.
Art is at least an expression of life and an artist solves an issue in a creative, independent and reflected process. So far the interpretation of an artwork is very free, I think it should get a connection with someone and tell the idea behind it.
How has your art developed since you left school? How did you develop your style?
You have studied Fine Arts in Germany and in Hungary: how much in your opinion formal training influences art?
I’m using more playfully elements and the paintings have become more light and silkiness.The Feedback of other people (not still artists) helps me to reflect myself and to consider about my work. And I’ve started to read more theoretical books about the content of my pictures.
It’s an important basis. The studies in Germany are very free whereas in Hungary you have to absolve first of all a very traditional system. I’m glad that I had the chance to study in both
What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? And what progression or changes have you seen in your materials?
techniques to illustrate the process of time by scratching the colors, overpainted textures and using dripping paints whereas the realistic elements are still human witnesses of a time period.
I’ve painted a long time just with oil colors and mixed them with turpentine to get a liquid paint. It’s a big mess and it smells very strong so I started to paint with egg-tempera. I also mix it with different other paints like acrylics, crayons etc. and recently I experimented with collages.
Are your paintings of actual locations in the landscape or are they painted from your imagination? What is the significance of the landscape in your art?
They are not real. I don’t want that people can draw a comparison with a given landscape. But it’s very exciting that the most people start to interpret their own feelings and memories into my pictures. It’s more like an open dream and you can continue with your own thoughts.
In the first lines of your artist's statement we can read that memory is a crucial aspect of your work, moreover your paintings combine a beautiful mixture of abstract forms with realistic elements such as building structures, trees and boats. Can you talk about the development of your techniques and imagery? I always felt very enamored to the figure and early pictures had more tight and concrete elements. After I went more and more interested into the issue of time and memory I also changed my paintings and they became more abstract and airy. Memories are never completely clear and they are subject of changing and different influences. Sometimes we can just make out an abstract feeling about past events. So I searched for
Strandhaus Egg-tempera/ oil on canvas / 170x200cm (2011)
We loved how you used the metaphor of artist as a scientist: is there still a dichotomy between Art and Science?
Of course I don’t want to make a simile with a natural scientist who is developing new results for the medicine or something like this. But art and science are very close. There are a lot of meeting points in case of the research of cognition, sense of place, communication studies and even mathematics.
Dunkel Nord Mixed media on canvas/ 50x70cm (2012)
We read over and over again that "art should have an effect, should communicate something", but not all agree with this opinion. What's your point about this? Do you think art’s purpose is simply to provide a platform for an artist’s expression? Do you accept the metaphor of artist as a solo sailor? What role does the artist have in society?
You need that connections to have someone to speak about your work and there will be always the situation when you need another artist for some help or when you want to connect for an exhibition. Even my galleries asked me if I can recommend someone for a show. It would be the biggest fail to think you can go this way alone. People often ask me why I’m doing art and if it is really necessary and why I’m not doing another job where I can have a regular income.
My statement doesn’t mean that I always need a woohoo-effect with a deep content. But isn’t a special rhythm of elements or colors not a kind of communication too?It’s more that sometimes when I’m looking at an artwork and there happens absolutely nothing I’m just bored. Finally I don’t want to have an instruction to understand a piece.
Acrylic/ egg-tempera on canvas/ 165x195cm(2012)
They don’t realize that artists are an important part of society. There are other countries where artist have not a safe life and they are not free in doing what they want. Artists reflect a society and they have the possibility to approach issues in another way. They are an active part of culture. Visual artists influence other arts like music, fashion, movies, theater and so on. But it’s always a hard job to defend your ideals as artist.
Sandbank (2012) Acrylic/ egg-tempera on canvas/ 115x150cm (2012)
I really hope it’s for the most artists and their work a little bit more as just a kind of a platform for artist’s expression. For me it’s always a hard work and has nothing to do with a relaxing hobby.
Tell us something about your recent experience at the VCCA, Virginia, USA: how do residencies and travel influence your art?
I can’t agree with the metaphor of a solo sailor. Even when I’m working alone on my projects it’s necessary to have a network of different people
This was a great time. The residence helps me to break the routine in my work, find new ways in the procedural method of my paintings and even
get more input. Especially the difference of the surrounding area and the other language forces me to reorganize myself, gives me a lot of new inspiration and insights. An uninterrupted time for work without daily worries, collegial interaction and reflection spur on my work in new ways.
even more when you have too much routine and stop to reflect yourself which kills a good paint. Let's talk about the artworks that we have selected: in particular "Insel" has been realized with mixed technique: what was the inspiration for it? People often get back in their mind to visit nice memories when they feel bad. So I wanted to create an enchanted, intangible and unreal place with a hazy situation. An island is for me the perfect image to place desire or to keep moments of a lost and good moment. I had some pictures of palms and rocks in the background but finally it’s a very free work. Another artworks that we liked so much have been realized both in 2012 and are entitled "Nacht" and "o.T." respectively. They seems to have something in common...
Nacht Acrylic/ egg-tempera on canvas/ 120x155cm (2012)
By the way, how many paintings do you usually produce at the same time? Do you think that there's a kind of "channel of communication" between different works that have been conceived at the same time?
Tell us something about your recent experience at the VCCA, Virginia, USA: how do residencies and travel influence your art? This was a great time. The residence helps me to break the routine in my work, find new ways in the procedural method of my paintings and even get more input. Especially the difference of the surrounding area and the other language forces me to reorganize myself, gives me a lot of new inspiration and insights. An uninterrupted time for work without daily worries, collegial interaction and reflection spur on my work in new ways.
I never start my paintings unplanned. I prepare my work with a lot of scribbles and that implies that I have in fact that kind of communication between my pictures. And sometimes I start different works at the same time too. When I’m waiting that the first coat of a new canvas is drying I can paint another one. What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind ?
You seem to emphasize the sincerity and the freshness of artworks : do you think that too much technique may result in mannerism? Or mannerism may be caused by a misuse of technique?
I’m preparing for an art fair in Germany. My gallery has decided to give my artwork a bigger place this year. Apart from that I have to go on painting great pictures :-)
Well, it’s not the question about technique but
Marie Kazalia (USA)
contain color and language in-fluences from my 4 expatriate years in the Asian countries of Japan, India and China— primarily in the cities of Tokyo, Madras (now Chennai) and Hong Kong. As an American, born in Toledo, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Fines Arts degree from the California College of Arts in the San Francisco bay area, I studied Japanese at a private language school in Tokyo where I practiced speaking, reading and writing Japanese kanji, hiragana and katakana characters. Hiragana and katakana the more modern simplified characters most often used on the many large neon signs in the urban centers of Tokyo.
“I also traveled, lived and taught in India for one full year, then moved to Hong Kong and enrolled in a Mandarin language course at the Chinese University– studying conversation, reading, and writing Chinese characters. Being able to read hundreds of the most common Chinese characters made it easier for me when I traveled by train through mainland China to Beijing, then down to Shanghai, and back to Hong Kong, and during my one month stay in Taipei, Taiwan– I was able to read street signs, shop signs and advertisements in Chinese throughout the PRC & ROC and speak with the Chinese residents.
Plush Stick (2012) mixed media painting on Coventry Rag fine art paper (22 x 30 inches)
These Asian travel experiences, as well as months spent in Mexico re-emerge in color and form in my art in conjunction with the ever-changing (viewed since my childhood) colors and letters of advertisements of my native English language.”
Spot Series: this recent series of paintings has deep roots– tap roots going back to art school and long before my adulthood and encompassing many interests including repeating pattern and subverted pattern and the allowance of asymmetry within sacred geometry–all explored with a new color theory and palette I devised along the way. (Marie Kazalia)
Other Asian countries I visited for shorter periods– Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea– yet their language forms and color influences reemerge in new abstracted and combined forms.
Blow Ball (2012) mixed media on fine art paper, 22 x 30 inches Whirlygig (2012) painting on Coventry Rag fine art paper (22 x 30 inches)
Repressed memory wrapping paper (October 2012) oil painting on panel, 24 x 24 x 2
Marie Kazalia: an interview You have formal training: you have studied at California College of Arts where you received received a Bachelor of Fine Arts: how much in your opinion training influences art? And how has your art developed since you left school? MK: My art school emphasis was an Open major whereby I studied materials and techniques -paper making, photo-silkscreen techniques, metal and woodworking, sculpture, textiles, printmaking, painting--the works. It was important to me to understand how things are made -all things, origins and development. I got into large format photography, eventually video, later going full circle back to painting. Jumping back into painting I re-examined the basics. I started doing a lot of image transfer layers on my canvases as a way to start each painting. Image transfers incorporate aspects of film/printmaking/and even paper-making - in the paper pulp scrubbing-off part. Lots of work went into those initial layers that I mostly covered over with opaque paint. Now I skip the image transfer layer and go directly to work using paints.
Marie Kazaliaâ€™s studio
The symbolism a marvel-- combining male and female energies or powers. I even heard a woman yogi talk about ShivaShakti powers, that is, a combining of male and female energies in daily life -so the concept is still alive today and even in art images of Shiva(male) + Shakti(female) personi-fications. I'd never experienced anything like that in the US. While in India I also attended a free Philip Glass concert funded by the NEA. He and two others were in India on grants studying to understand and incorporate Indian concepts into their music. Many Eastern concepts can be difficult for Westerners to grasp and vice versa in the arts.
Do you find there is a difference between "European" art and Eastern art? MK: In Asia I usually heard the term *Western* used in reference to anything American or European, including Australian. Western art seemed to be a specific recognizable style or concept in Asia. A mu-seum in Tokyo was filled with Impressionist paintings -more than I have ever viewed in any US or European museum, plus they had a full-sized Rodin Gates of Hell I'd not seen elsewhere. The Western art collected was selected to a certain taste.
You have traveled quite a lot, and you have spent one full year in India, then you moved to China and Japan: what aspects of travel have influenced your artistic production? MK: Travel has both freed me and complicated me! I spent four years as an expatriate in Asia and now feel that I am much more of a mix of east & west. Which makes me more complex than before. Yet I feel free from many of the constraints of western art expectations that were put upon me in art school. Upon arriving in Japan I obtained a traditional paint set and noted unique standard color mixes -one, a tint of orange that seemed to match the often orange Tokyo sky, is a tint I continually find myself mixing using in my painting practice. I seem to have absorbed major influences of color and form on my travels.
It was a bit disappointing not to see a major museum exhibition of the art of the Gutai Movement, for example, such as the wonderful paintings of Atsuko Tanaka (February 10,1932 - December 3, 2005) who was a pioneering Japanese avant-garde artist. In India, I went to a major exhibition of Indian sculpture -all half-man half-woman sculptures from ancient traditional art practices.
What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? What is the difference between exhibiting, for example, in India and exhibiting in China, or Japan or in the USA?
So the painting is not about the meaning of a word, or even the sound of this character. In Japan I spent many months studying and learning to speak, write and read Japanese Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana characters. I attended conversational Japanese language courses in a private school for foreigners. Each day I'd see these amazing written forms on street signs and in giant neon characters at night burning an impression in my mind. Some of these written character forms appeal to me as shapes, and so flipping them or reversing them to obscure readability may be easier for me than it would be to a native speaker of the language. By reversing the written form I enter into Asemic art, which also appeals to me.
MK: There are many differences between exhibiting in India, China, Japan and in the USA. It's complicated and space does not allow me to justly recount any here. In Tokyo, besides the galleries and museums, you are likely to find art exhibits in smaller stores, as well as inside major department stores, and in large urban train stations--and I like that very much. Let's talk about your painting "No reversed": its title refers to a Japanese alphabet character No. What was your inspiration for this artwork?
Another interesting painting of yours that we have selected is entitled "Whirlygig": we would like to know something about the technique that you used: by the way, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work?
MK: No reversed does not = yes. Although it may seem like a bit of a conundrum. Japanese words are constructed of sounds that are usually translated as two letters.
MK: In Whirlygig I painted on Coventry Rag fine art paper using Flashe, gouache, inks, and synthetic polymer and pigments (aka acrylic paints), exploring the circle form, and overlapping, layering and stacking the form. I also had an interest in finding and exploring new ways of combining hard edges with soft edges. I used lots of layering of circles or spot forms and paint layers. There may be 20-30 layers of paint in many of my paintings on paper, including opaque and translucent paint layers. I find myself returning to explorations of soft edge vs hard edge. Ironically, painting repetitious spot patterns--and finding ways to break those patterns- in color explorations and the transparent and opaque, have all opened things up for me into what seem like infinite possibilities for further explorations. You're also an art teacher. How has this influenced your career as an artist? MK: I have not done any classroom teaching for some time. As someone pointed out, writing and publishing on a blog for the past 4 years is a form of teaching, as are the articles I write and publish elsewhere. My blog is basically a place to share my research with other artists. Assisting others spurs me onward to continue and expand, and thus locate new opportunities to show and sell my own art. What are you going to be working on next? MK: I'm gearing up to do a series of paintings on canvas working with oil paints and focusing on ideas that I have developed in my paintings on paper.
No reversed, painting on paper, 2012
An interview: What in your opinion defines a work of art? And what caused you to become an artist? In my opinion a work of art reflects the energy that you feel standing by the work, the energy which an artist puts in his or her work and in many cases itґs not important what is painted but you feel some magnetism and mystery and you can't help looking at this work of art because it is sincere and there is no lies, it expresses true feelings and life of the artist. That is why it is not so difficult to define what is really a great work of art or what is not. Energy defines everything! I think there is no cause to become an artist, you are just born to be one but sometimes you need to pass certain life stages to understand this like did Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Frida Khalo, Paul Gauguin and many others to have what to tell the world. As we can read in your CV, you have a formal training: do you think that artists with a formal education have an ad-vantage over self-taught artists? On the contrary, I am rather a self-taught artist. But I think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over self-taught artist because they know technics how to express this or that but the problem is that nowadays there are fewer and fewer real artists (most of them are superficial and I even can’t call them artists). Yes, this people studied drawing and painting, they know perfectly different technics but they donґt have anything to express, they can paint
and draw perfectly, their works are correct compositionally but their works are empty. As the great Russian artist Vasily Perov said "Of course, nobody would consider only the reflection of the exterior, even perfectly executed, as true art. Unfortunately, the public, amateurs, and sometimes even the artists themselves are greedy for these lures. Often they admire some hat painted so naturally that you want to spit on it!" I think it is not enough to be just a self-taught artist, this must be some kind of base for the ar-
tist which gives his or her works a special style or unique features but in any case besides self-learning (learning art movements, drawing, using a variety of ancillary materials) studying some professional secrets will do you good and will strengthen the expression of the artistґs feelings. That is why I try to absorb all that is possible. The artist is the best profession that has been created. It is so honest, so true, it is impossible to lie in the art because it is easy to notice and the art doesnґt have limits, it is infinite. You have a rich background: besides Art, you also studied foreign languages. Do you find that your degree in foreign languages plays a role in your creative process? One of the most important things for the artist is to be free. And besides the inner freedom without which artists just canґt live, I have the freedom in communication, I live without borders, I belong to the whole world! That is so inspiring! What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? What is the difference between exhibiting, for example, in Russia and exhibiting in Europe, or in the United States. For me it is a very good experience to exhibit in different countries,
Lili, 2012, Oil on canvas, 40x50
and I like it very much. I can't tell that there is a very big difference in the audience at the exhibitions. Yes, all these people have different cultural background but they are art lovers and they are interested in seeing new movements in modern art. And show rooms in galleries don’t differ much. I just can tell that there are differences in the level of development of art markets which depends on the government policy or economic situation in the country.
What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? When do you feel a painting is complete? I don’t focus on the technical aspects, I always focus on what my heart says and when I finish my work I just feel that is complete and it is impossible to add or delete something from it. Now let's talk about your recent series "Yours". We have selected the paintings entitled "Lili" and "Autumn": what was your inspiration for them? The series “Yours” preceded to the recent series "Searching for the truth" and now I started to work on the second part of the series “Yours” which is called “Circus”. I donґt know when I will exhibit it because it is so sincere and more personal in comparison with the series “Yours” and I am not ready now to open up my heart and my secret feelings so much. The meaning of the series “Yours” is the emotional attachment to somebody and in this series I tried to show how to tell a person “I am yours” so sincere, so sexy, vulnerable, so different but still yours. I find inspiration for my paintings in love, pain, passion, loneliness and other feelings and emotions.
She, 2012, Oil on canvas, 40x50
The inspiration to paint “Lili” came spontaneously, the feeling appeared after emotional upheaval but I prefer people to guess themselves what feelings guide me in my paintings. The painting “Autumn” was created at the same period but is not a part of the series. It has another meaning compared to the series “Yours”. In the painting “Autumn” the nature dies. But how does it die? It resists, boils and wiggles trying to survive and to be more beautiful and stronger
Ararat. Genocide of Armenians, 2012 Oil on canvas, 60x40
sky but still doesnt find the truth. Then came “Duplicity”, “Reflection”, “Fled leaving the place, things and the heart”, “Together II”, “Crowd” and then I painted “Ararat. Genocide of Armenians” to understand just one thing “WHY?”. You have sold lots of painting: who is your audience? What constituency buys your work? I don’t have specific audience, my paintings are so different because every day my feelings are different and I can’t repeat them as well as my paintings. I express my feelings and feelings of other people, that is why my paintings attract very different audience. Sometimes I say that I paint souls. Some of your recent paintings seems to be permeated by historical arguments. Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? And what role does the artist have in society? Art is one of the strongest things in the world. It expresses not only feelings of a singular person it expresses feelings of nations. This ability of art to unite the world gives the possibility to transmit emotions, knowledge and expertise among people of different nations and cultures. Works of art can inspire, invigorate, protect, expose, open eyes on the things you wouldn’t notice otherwise, they give freedom, even save towns from military entrance. That is why the role of an artist is to be honest and to be strong and to inspire people all over the world.
African in the rainy day, 2012, Oil on canvas, 35x45
In 2012 your realized another interesting series entitled "Searching for the truth". Could you talk us about this stimulating series of paintings? What you are trying to achieve with them? I found the stimulation for this series in misunderstanding, pain, love and mystery of life. I am only trying to understand why everything happens this or that way. That is why in my first painting of the serie "Searching for the truth” women wander searching for the truth beneath their feet. Then I show that it is, for sure, impossible to find the truth there and I painted “Sowing” where one person is looking up to the
What s next for Pepa? Are there any new projects on the horizon? Yes, I have a lot of new projects and hope to realize them soon, the information about it you will find in the nearest future on my web site www.pepartist.com.
Heidi Keyes (USA)
An artist’s statement
my past life as an artist, I was caught up in the excruciating details. I insisted on perfection; I obsessed over the unrealistic notion of how I was convinced things should be. I found that over time, this caused a loss of creativity. Art became hard. I have always loved blind contour drawing, and one day, in a fit of frustration, I began to draw wildly with a paintbrush, with an emphasis on technique rather than end result. I was pleased and surprised at the level of sophistication achieved through the use of simplistic lines and connected forms. The figures I created were uncertain, unsure, and often pensive, but my lines were confident and bold.
“While I do still work realistically at times, I now prefer to experiment with exaggeration of form and the superfluity of line. I have always been captivated by adventure and experienced an advanced degree of wanderlust, so several years ago I became a flight attendant for an international charter company. My profession allowed me to experience a wealth of different cities and cultures throughout the world, and as a result, I began painting landscapes as well as the human figure. I believe my sense of adventure and my free spirit are captured in the paintings that I create. The way I look at painting is the way I view my life– nothing is ever certain, and often the best results come from mistakes.
Where the train tracks go - Laramie, Wyoming
In my current work, I depict various situations and locations of the world’s landscape– bustling urban cities, jagged mountains, abandoned cemeteries in Europe, small Midwest homesteads on rolling plains. These images are selected to express the incompleteness of humanity, a continuous search for truer answers. I look to the moment when one finds oneself on the precipice of a life-altering decision, reluctant to continue, but too far gone to turn back– the past and the future expressed in a single brush stroke of delicious uncertainty.
The world unfolds before us and has so much to offer, and the basis of my work is that to experience this journey, even in the smallest and most insignificant moments– as an individual, that is what makes one alive. I use washes to achieve an effect of impermanence, and allow my paint to drip freely down the canvas, embracing spontaneity in my work, as in my life. My art– it is about bursting from the bubble that contains us, sucking in a deep, staggering breath, and experiencing everything that is overwhelmingly colorful and beautiful and bright, even in things and places that normally aren’t considered so. I currently live and work as an artist in Denver, Colorado. I take time to breathe deeply, travel often, and paint daily” (Heidi Keyes)
Taking cover (2012) Budapest, Hungary
Waking up with mountains in my eyes
Golden, CO (2012) Acrylic on canvas -
Heidi Keyes: an interview What in your opinon defines a work of art? I think a work of art is defined by the emotion(s) the artist was grappling with when he or she created it, and by the feeling a person is overcome with when experiencing a piece for the first time. It’s not so much the technical details of a piece, but the confidence, the stress, the fear, the love, the challenge, the overwhelming gratitude that becomes evident in the execution You have formal training, and you have he received BFA degree in 2009: how has your art developed since you left school? I completed my undergraduate by attending 5 different schools, both in Wisconsin and California, and I believe that my work morphed a bit each time I moved and changed, lived in different places, met new people and learned under different professors. I worked primarily in a very realistic format using pencils and graphite until the very end of my undergrad, when I became frustrated with the tedious-ness of such detail and felt that I needed to be, in a sense, freed. My work, and my life, changed drastically after that. I started painting in a very free-flowing manner using bright washes of acrylic and wild, connected lines, working in a gestural fashion. I started a job as an international flight attendant, which also forced me to grow both personally and creatively. My work continues to evolve constantly towards a manner that is vibrant, bright, free-flowing, even fun, always enjoyable. I paint the way I live my life now—sometimes the best results come from mistakes. What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? I use a great deal of vibrant color, applied first with washes which are allowed to drip as they please down
Heidi Keyes (photo by Matt Woods)
the canvas, and later apply texture in some areas. The juxtaposition of different colors and textures, with a linear and contour quality, is a prominent aspect of my work and my style. Are your paintings of actual locations in the landscape or are they painted from your imagination? I paint places that I’ve been in a way that can only be experienced in dreams. Having the opportunity to have seen the world from Costa Rica to Japan to Kyrgyzstan to Dubai has opened my eyes not only to different landscapes and cultures, but to the beauty that exists everywhere if you simply open your eyes to it. My landscapes are representative of actual places but also of feelings, memories, times past and present and future. I just try to portray them in a different fashion. Your paintings have a very relevant feel in relation to contemporary art sensibilities. They often incorporate complex color schemes: what is the significance of the landscape in your art? The landscape is the world is consciousness is life is (as I say in my artist statement): ‘bursting from the bubble that contains us, sucking in a deep, staggering breath, and experiencing everything that is overwhelmingly colorful and beautiful and bright, even in things and places that normally aren’t considered so. >>>
>>> As you have stated, you have experienced a wealth of different cities and cultures throughout the world: how much this has influenced your inspiration?
What are you going to be working on next? This past fall, I spent a month traveling around Europe with my boyfriend, who is a folk musician and was on tour. We tooks trains and buses through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria, and I sketched and took photographs the entire way.
Ultimately and completely. Although I do paint primarily abstract and colorful landscapes, I believe that the main influence travel has had on my work is how it changed me and the way I view my life.
I recently started a series from these photographs and sketches, tentatively now called “the walls we hide behind”. It’s an architecturally-based series of windows, doors, alleys, courtyards behind gates, curtains, keys and locks —things people use to keep other people from knowing what goes on behind their barriers, and who they truly are.
There is so much to see: so much beauty, so much sadness, so much laughter, so much solace in times of pain, so much emotion in general. I just want to see it all.. I want to paint it all. Does spontaneity play an important role in your art?
Other than that: exhibitions, travel, hiking in the mountains, drinking mediocre wine and eating good cheese. Painting, always painting.
Absolutely. I try to have a canvas ready to rock at all times so that when I feel I must paint, then I paint. I don’t wait around for inspiration to hit me though.. sometimes you must force yourself into a creative mood and see what happens. Sometimes what happens isn’t at all what I had planned.
Distance, 2012 (I-70 Freeway in Colorado)
Agata Nowosielska (Poland) An artist statement
Art needs to stay authentic. When an artist lies to himself or herself, indulges in self-deception, the artistic statement looses power and lacks sense. Duchamp made life harder for the audience! After all, he is the father of bricolage, a mix of contemporary forms and meanings. I really do admire Nicolas Bourriaud’s view on art – the artist is like a DJ and art is an infinite process of reconnection while “the artist turns cultural nomad”.
“Today we live in a global village and we can mix and remix the influences which reach us. The theme of fear and sexuality is an important subject of my artwork.
From the Domino series “Me” (2012) oil on canvas
I compose themes which serve as a symbol of my personal feelings and my subconsciousness. My art may – but not necessarily fit into Luc Tuymans’ concept of new figuration, although I find Caravaggio’s temperament closer to my heart. My paintings illustrate my inner fear, the anxiety I try to bottle up. I often reach out to motifs used in film (Bergman, Kubrick) as
The Domino project is based on fairy tales influences as well as popular culture figures such as Barbra Streisand. In my body of work there are uncanny motivs. There comes Judy Garland full of fears; there is fear of growing up, of sexual life. Fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood entering the dark forest or young girl in Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin spring show us the innocence meeting evil. The phallic motivs appear dressed up as Elephant. According to Nicholas Bourriaud the Domino is a bricolage of meanings.
An interview with
Agata Nowosielska You have a formal training: you have studied both in Poland and in Germany: how much do you think that this have influenced your art? And how has your art developed since you left school?
Students in Germany don’t paint still life… The student/tutor relationship there is based on partnership, while in Poland the relationship is more of a master/disciple kind, a very formal and strict. There is not impact put on discussing theory either. My art has been strongly influenced by my travelling and the change of surroundings. Throughout all these years I struggled to get rid of the academic influences – the great subject, the great narration characteristic for the Modernist period. I had to undergo a revolutionary change… I met Yuji Takeoka in Germany – he always emphasized that you need to create good art. Perhaps, it sounds like a truism, but nevertheless, it is a multi-layered concept which puts quality before quantity.
Do you think that nowadays still exists a kind of "dichotomy" between tradition and contemporary?
We live in a world after the world. Tradition is still alive – just to mention the New Year’s Eve concert in Vienna or Christmas celebrations. Contemporary times are more about a different way of thinking.
Agata Nowosielska’s studio
For some it is enough to flow with the spirit of change. However, contemporary – means being able to notice the changes, being a global village, remixing meanings, a patchwork, collage, searching for the origin of meanings, life after postmodernism. 24
What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work?
I like oil. It is a very flexible tool; it is possible to achieve a whole spectrum of effects with it. An interesting and recent work that we have had the chance to get to know is entitled "Me", realized in 2012. Could you tell us something about the inspiration between your creations?
This art work belongs to the DOMINO series. It is about revealing sexuality in a very innocent way. A child, unintentionally, or as Freud would put it, consciously makes a sexual gesture. When you part your legs, you give a sexual signal. It is a coquettish, but unintentionally provocative gesture. I have a photo of me and my school friends when I was in a Catholic Primary School. I am parting my legs in this photo. What a scandal! He from the Domino series (2012)
You know that Catholic hypocrisy is blossoming in my county. My paintings are inspired by life as it is. My hidden fear. My obsessions.
Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work?
I have been contemplating art since childhood. The Ermitage catalogue helped me finish up my breakfast. I have been influenced by film (Markus Schinwald) and Duchamp’s conceptual sculpture style to a large extent.
Barbra Streisand from the Domino series (2012)
Some say that Luc Tuymans’ concept of new figuration or Wilhelm Sasnal’s art is close to my heart. I believe that I have learnt a lot from these artists. I like Matthias Weischer’s paintings, Dana Schutz and Michel Majerus. And the great masters, of course: Goya, Caravaggio and Van Eyck. 25
from the Domino series: Based on Peter Weir's Picnic at the Hanging Rock
In 2010-2011 your realized an interesting series entitled "PRZYJACIELE ", which is the polish word for "friends". Could you talk us about this stimulating series of paintings? What you are trying to achieve with them?
Red Army, the Nazis. Even Eva Braun as the alter ego of Sleeping Beuty was there. A friend of mine said, “These are murderers, I’m not going to hang this on the wall”. I slowly withdrew.
I am not trying to achieve anything with these paintings. It was an impulse – to talk about harm and war. A social need. War criminals were portrayed in the cycle: Milosevic, the
In some works of yours, in particular in the aforementioned "PRZYJACIELE", we can recognize a reference to classical iconography and in the same time there's a clear
art could play an important role also in facing social questions?
Art remains autonomous. Some try to prove that art may only be political. But a social theme is always present in art. I think that the theme of participation is still significant. There is an interesting book about this subject called Participation by Claire Bishop. For art to work or act â€“ a spectator is needed.
You are a versatile artist. Besides painting, you 're also a curator and an essayst. What is the importance of this type of artistic activities in relation to your work as a painter? She from the Domino series (2012)
In Poland you have to work and paint if you wish to paint at all. I like to wrote. I am a curator and this enables me to gain the inside knowledge and to meet people who love art. I have met many new friends during my study years in Cracow and we keep in touch on a regular basis. After graduation from the Fine Arts Academy people go in different directions, they dissolve and â€Ś in order to make ends meet. There are no social benefits here, you either work or you have a big problem.
Eva Braun from the Friends series (2010) reference to militarism, isn't it? By the way, can you talk about the development of your imagery?
from the Friends series (2009)
I juxtaposed fairy tale characters with anonymous soldiers, war perpetrators. Contrasting images. The development of imagery? Intuition. A sort of found-footage. It's not hard to recognize an anthropological analysis in your works: do you think that
From the Siding series (2008-2009)
How many paintings do you usually produce at the same time? Do you think that there's a "channel of communication" between different works produced at the same time?
Many neglect their talent just to pay the rent. To be a curator in a small gallery with a low budget gives you a lot of satisfaction. I can make other artists happy when I am able to promote them. It is like generating warmth.
Yes, of course. There is a channel of communication between the paintings. I am currently working on four. But in different time slots.
Art plays a social role â€“ it integrates people. 28
Agata Nowosielska is an artist, essaist and curator. She lives and works in Gdansk, Poland. In 1994 she has won the II prize ‘Bilder retten Bucher’ National Library, Vienna educational background Hochschule fur Kunste Bremen Klasse Yuji Takeoka, Freie Kunst –Fine Arts. Academy of Fine Arts- Painting Department, Gdansk. Postgraduate studies in Curating Jagiellonian University, Cracow. Professional work 2009 - Practice (Centre for Contemp. Art Laznia, Gdansk) 2010 - Website Administrator (Centre for Contemporary Art. Laznia, Gdansk) 2011 - Curator (Zak Club) Selected solo exhibitions How to paint? (2011-2012)
2012 Humans, Warzywniak Galeria, Gdansk.
Here’s a cliché question, but one that it's always interested in hearing the answer to: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
2011 Gender Trouble, Galeria Ral9010, Warsaw
The biggest satisfaction is when I see that my painting works. This means that it has an effect on me and my spectators.
2007 Panoptikum,KUBO Bremen,
2010 ‘Adieu’ Galeria Gablotka, Gdansk 2009 ‘Przyjaciele’ Galeria Klub Zak, Gdansk
2006 Art+Art=Art, PGR ART Stocznia Gdanska/ 2006 NIKEPROJEKT Bremen
What’s next for Agata Nowosielska? Are there any new projects on the horizon?
First Pomeranian Art Triennal, an individual show of the DOMINO cycle in a tiny private gallery, doing my PhD in Art, other projects are yet to come.
Stypendium Kulturalne Miasta Gdanska 2010 Bremerkunststipendium 2007 Stypendium Prezydenta Miasta Gdanska 2006
(Special thanks to Dagmara Glowa)
Timothy H. Lee
Timothy H. Lee (Korea - USA)
Issues of identity and self-exploration serve as the groundwork for my artistic endeavors. Although I tend to work on multiple, often tangential, projects in any given time, they are all united under major themes involving my identity as a Korean-American, and as an individual suffering from a psychological disorder – obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrating to the United States with my family at an early age, my identity as a kyopo, or a Korean-in-between, has largely shaped the way I view the world around me. As a child, I recall being bullied about the shape of my eyes, or the unusual intonations of my words, despite feeling as “American” as the other students in my class. Moreover, I was unable to understand and heed the advice of my parents, often dismissing them as archaic Korean proverbs inapplicable to my American lifestyle. As an adult, I have now reconciled these two conflicting cultures: those of my parent’s and that which I grew up in; however, my identity as a “ghost” was advantageous in allowing me to have a uniquely shaped perspective about my environment. Specifically, I am able to view the two facets of my life, my Korean and American backgrounds, through the lens of the other, unapologetically confronting and exploring both worlds of thought. In the process, I strive to highlight the moments when their respective political and social ideologies coalesce and break away from one another. Even now, I often feel a pressure from my environment to conform to a particular role, as dictated by societal expectations and stereotypes of being Asian. As such, my work manifests from my frustrations that Korean-Americans, and Asian
Secretive Skin - detail installation
Although the traditionally conservative views of Korean culture clashes with those of America with regards to religion and social issues, one topic that particularly compels me are psychological disorders. As an individual who suffers from OCD, I had to hide my illness from my parents, whose Korean upbringings reinforced in them traditional notions of psychological disorders as being taboo. In particular, many Koreans believe that such disorders are mental, rather than neurobiological, and the afflicted individuals are seen as weak and shameful. >>>
Timothy H. Lee
>>> This social stigma contrasts with the transparency and openness with which America confronts psychological disorders. Exploring my OCD through art allows me to take my disorder, thought as a sign of vulnerability in Korea, and create powerful and tangible works with it. By creating works about OCD, and psychological disorders in general, I am regaining a part of my identity that has haunted me since childhood.
Secretive Skin - detail
Within this curse, however, was a blessing – my obsessive nature allowed me to immerse myself into a locus of interest, which I found in art, and enter a new world of thought. Fully engaged with my reality and disengaged with their reality, my relentless neurosis allows me to sit for hours, even nights, at my table working. My background in cytology and immunohistochemistry serves as a vector for the exploration of my obsessive-compulsiveness. I use my condition to render thousands of diamond-like “cells” that are reminiscent of Yayoi Kusama’s dot works. Each cell is hand-painted, with over four layers of watercolor, and the composition of the accumulation of these cells are not pre-meditated – the forms occur as a result of what I feel is “right” during my working process. The results are abstract, amorphous shapes that serve as mappings of my thought process. Thus, by making these works, I hope to investigate my unconscious and regain control of what has controlled me since childhood. Because of my educational background involves a degree in Neuroscience, I am interested in seeing the resulting images that form purely from following my tics and compulsions – a cartography of my psychopathology.
Secretive Skin installation
In elementary school, I remember learning how to write cursive script. Even though we were encouraged to work through our mistakes and go against our desire to write in print, I could not bring myself to curl and connect my letters. Every time I tried, a feeling of restlessness overtook me; I could not explain it, but something didn’t “feel right.” Since that incident, my obsessive-compulsive disorder has taken control over arbitrary facets of my life: having to rewrite a word if I was not satisfied with “how it felt,” or cleaning my glasses until it “felt good.”
Timothy H. Lee
Timothy H. Lee: an interview You recently graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University and you have a fascinating multidisciplinary background: what is the importance of this in relation to your work or art career? Although I have some personal resentments against Wesleyan, one of the things I cannot deny is that it was an amazingly creative and open environment where I was able to explore both of my interests in the life sciences and the fine arts. I think that having a multidisciplinary background was very important for my development as an artist: it gave me the ability tocritically analyze my works and ideas from a more objective point of view. My creative process has also been heavily influenced by the scientific method of research, hypothesis, experimentation, and execution – without it, my works have a tendency to become too literal, which is something I inadvertently do if I am unclear about the concept behind my works. As we can read in your CV, you have also a scientific background: you worked in a neural stem cell laboratory for two years. Do you think there still exists a dichotomy between Art and Science?
Timothy H. Lee You were born in Seoul, South Korea, but raised in New York City.
I believe that most people separate art from the sciences as a dichotomy only because each subject requires a slightly different approach tounderstanding, and appreciating, its complexities – I believe that, instead, art and science exists as the ends of a spectrum, with a significant amount of overlap. Working in a neural stem cell laboratory with a fine arts background allowed me to pick up subtle nuances in shape and color that most people would have difficulty distinguishing – and in performing and analyzing immunohistochemical stainings, which is what I primarily did, this skill becomes critical. Likewise, the importance of observation in scientific research mirrors what is taught in many foundation art classes.
Do you have any interest in Korean art? What does the art scene in Korea currently look like? After graduating from Wesleyan in the summer of 2012, I actually spent two months in Korea investigating what Korean contemporary art has evolved into. When most people think of the East Asian contemporary art scene, a lot of focus is given generally to Japanese and Chinese artists – the names Yayoi Kusama, Ai Wei Wei, and Takashi Murakami have almost reached a brand-label status in the current art scene. However, what surprised me was that Korean art has developed into a complex movement of its own that is uniquely >>>
Timothy H. Lee
mplex phenomenon as two conflicting cultures coalescing; that being said, my artworks strive to explore, and interpret, these two identities at successively deeper levels as I develop more works. Art was, and still is, a powerful vehicle for investigating social, political, and economic issues, and while it may not necessarily free us from social stereotypes, I think it can start paving the path for understanding them. You have recognized that you have now reconciled these two conflicting cultures: do you think that art has played an important role in this? I won’t go too deep into this topic, since a satisfactory answer to this question would be a few pages long, but in the root of it all, art has served as the backbone of every endeavor and ambition that I have pursued. Being an artist has allowed me to view American and Korean cultures with a more worldly vision and begin to understand, and appreciate, these various facets of my identity. Artists are lucky in that our profession requires that we constantly readand research different artists, both past and present, as sources of inspiration. As a result, I have become more culturally aware of different countries, and from the artworks produced from those regions, learn more about their customs and traditions. Making art that is influenced by both Korean and American ideologies have allowed me to understand each culture better, and lead me closer to reconciling the two.
Secretive Skin (detail) Korean and not influenced as much by its neighboring countries. There was recently a group exhibition of leading Korean contemporary artists at the Saatchi Gallery in London called “The Korean Eye,” which clearly shows the impressive direction that Korean contemporary art is heading towards.
Do you think that your cultural variety is a richness? Is syncretism a utopian ideal? I definitely think being culturally diverse is a positive attribute of myself; that being said, I believe that syncretism as it applies to Korean and American cultures is still a utopian ideal –and I’m not saying that to be cynical! Korea and America just exist in two different hemispheres of thought, and there can never be a perfect overlap between the two unless their ideologies agree completely – and I think this can apply to any two cultures, and not just my specific circumstances. Although I will never fully understand my KoreanAmerican identity, I am glad about it. That way, I can never take it for granted, since I will always be surprised in years to come.
As we can read in your Bio and in your Artist's Statement, being a Korean immigrant in the United States had an huge impact and deep consequences on your early life. Do you think that Art could contribute to understanding social themes, and even interpret a such complex phenomenon? Do you think art can free us from social stereotypes? Ultimately, art cannot fully encapsulate such a co-
Timothy H. Lee
Now let's talk about your art production. We have been impressed by your recent and interesting artwork entitled "secretive skin".
In your opinion, is it an exaggeration to say that art can have a curative effect? Does creating works about OCD help you to overcome your disorder, or at least confront it?
What was the inspiration for it?
In particular, do you think that a disease could be a source of inspiration?
The brainstorming, and making, of secretive skin was definitely an interesting period of time for me. It stemmed from observations I made throughout high school and college, where people (whether intentionally or unknowingly) assumed I would fulfill certain societal expectations because of my ethnicity.
Making art is both cathartic and stressful for me. When I am deeply focused on my artworks, I develop a deep psychological attachment to it, to the point where I can have visceral reactions that mirror my creative process. Sometimes in the heat of confronting a problem, I often burn up with a fever that is only remedied by finding a visual solution to my obstacles – my relationship with my artwork often reminds me of an excerpt of Cellini’s autobiography, where he describes the intense fever that overtook him when he was casting his famous Perseus with the head of Medusa. But as much as art is stressful, it is a unique outlet for me that no other activity could substitute. In particular, psychological disorders are still very enigmatic despite a plethora of knowledge about the biochemistry and neurobiology of such diseases.
But because many Asians, myself included, were brought up to emulate these standards of excellence, we inevitably locked ourselves into a self-fulfilling pro-phecy and become enslaved by these social costraints. I grew up most of my life thinking I wanted to become a doctor not because of any genuine interest in the profession, but because that was the same goal for many of my Asian peers and the expectations of their families. It was only when I realized that my true passions lay in art that my artworks truly transformed. In gookeyes, I used eyes as vectors for my narrative because they can express so many different emotions without presenting it in an overtly literal way: the volatile nature of the expressions ensures that each person responds in a unique way to the installation. In addition, the centerpiece of my show, a 24-foot long paper sculpture called Transcension, was riddled with over ten thousand dots that I spent many weeks meticulouslycustomizing, and was the launching point for my next series of works.
The individual experience of someone who suffers from a psychological disorder is hard to quantify, and even harder to describe exactly. Making art about my disorder allows me to take something intangible and make it tangible, and in the process, allows me to understand myself better. One of the reasons that compelled me to start this series of works was seeing people all around me taking OCD so lightly. I would often hear people casually throwing around the word in college, referring to OCD to describe their neat notes, work ethics, or clean room,without any real understanding of what it really means to suffer from the disorder – to feel the wave of anxiety overtake me simply because of some arbitrary stimulus, and having to indulge in compulsions to relieve the unpleasant sensations.
Over the years, I have learned to use my creative process to redirect my OCD in a productive way. My most recent works involve channeling the tics that manifest from my OCD into amorphous and organic shapes whose compositions are only dictated by my compulsions – my pieces are not premeditated. Essentially, I am mapping out how my brain responds to various tics, and I am very excited to see the resulting cartography of my psychopathology.
Timothy H. Lee
You have written that you like to work on many different projects at once: how many paintings do you usually produce at the same time? Do you think that there's a "channel of communication" between different works that have been produced at the same time? I generally work on 4-5 different pieces at once, most of them being very large paintings or expanses of watercolor paper. I do this because it allows me reprieve whenever I get “stuck” on one of my pieces – I can just walk away and work on something else in the meantime. In a way, this kind of practice allows me to establish a stronger connection between my works, since I am working on them with a consistent mindset instead of working piece by piece, where my ideas can get lost or foggy over time. In that sense, there is definitely a “channel of communication” that occurs between works that were produced within a similar time frame.
Secretive Skin (detail)
What are your upcoming projects? I am currently working on a series of large watercolor paintings for my upcoming solo exhibition from 4/4-4/30 at Wook & Lattuada Gallery, located in New York City. Although I’m not going to say much about it so that I don’t ruin the surprise, it will deal significantly with my OCD, and the clashing stances that Korean and American societies have about it. It will be an interesting mix of paintings, sculptures, and installations, and I’m really excited about it. To keep updated on my works, I would recommend you subscribe to my facebook page, or go to my website at timothyhlee.com!
Besides producing art, you also teach: you are an art instructor at Oogie Art Academy, in Manhattan: how has this influenced your career as an artist? Well first and foremost, Oogie Art Academy holds a special place in my heart because it was an insti-tution that I used to attend as a high school student, and a place where I now teach. The school really cultivated my interest in art, and helped me develop an artistic direction that I followed throughout college. Now, as an artist, working at Oogie Art is an extremely rewarding experience where I get to learn as much as I teach. Whenever I teach my students about tonal ranges, or composition, I am reinforcing these techniques and theories in myself. Helping students understand complex concepts such as color theory requires that I have a solid knowledge in it as well, and giving seminars in art history gives me a reason to constantly refresh my knowledge of different artists and styles.
Aimee Hertog (USA) An artist’s statement
“In my initial artistic endeavors I did not understand the value of using found objects. After becoming a mother, however, I was forced to employ more material items in my daily life. I began recycling utilitarian objects into my art, creating sculptural forms from discarded clothing, kitchenware and other commonplace materials. I was influenced by Joseph Cornell’s work with found objects and frequent viewings of Alexander Calder’s Circus, responding to its gritty playfulness. Ultimately I realized the importance of aligning the content of my art with the materials used to construct it.
“I make art
about the chaos of contemporary existence, especially domestic chaos as I have experienced it. My work directly opposes the myth of domestic bliss that is propagated in the media as the dream of young women. The energetic construction of my sculptures mirrors my interior chaos and the exterior turmoil of my life.
Bluebeard the Sociopath's Closet, detail Installation
tions, reflect the struggle women face in constructing and retaining their identities within a stringent cultural climate. Concurrently with my sculptures, I create digital photographs in which my sculptures are placed into a two-dimensional landscape where they clearly look out of place. My sculptures become actors in narratives involving friendly visitors or slightly perturbed outsiders. At other times their roles are those of victim or aggressor. With these photos, I record the dysfunction of contemporary society with particular emphasis on the exploration of female identity. (Aimee Hertog)
A rabid mix of colors and forms creates a domestic stew that includes the visceral aspects of childhood: baby puke, peanut butter, broken toys. I often use bright colors in an ironic manner, since the seemingly cheerful household objects I employ become grotesque creature-like forms. Some objects are transformed with paint or deconstructed. Others are left in their raw state, such as pieces of fabric, dead flowers and broken glass. My most recent sculptures, pairing feminine tropes alongside violent visual distor-
Strung Along (2011) Mixed Media
Aimee Chappell Hertog was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She received a B.A. from Bennington College and recently completed her MFA degree at Montclair State University. She won Best in Show at "Wide Open 2" at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists' Coalition for which Nathan Trotman of the Guggenheim Museum was juror.
Aimee also had two pieces selected from the several thousand entries in the NYU Small Works competition. She has been in several exhibitions in the New York City area including two one-person shows with Chashama. Her work is in the collection of the Newark Public Library, among other organizations.
Aimee Hertog: an interview What in your opinion defines a work of art? Art is something that takes people outside of the daily routine and makes them reflect but is also nice to look at. You have a formal training: you received B.A. from Bennington College and you completed your MFA degree at Montclair State University: how much training influences art? Training influences art in that it makes artists think about steps they taking in completing art. Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? Calder influenced my work because of his sense of humor and fun, particularly in his Circus piece. A lot of art I see these days is not humorous at all.
Aimee Hertog Let's talk about one of the artworks that we have selected it's entiled "Strung Along" and it's very interesting. And very big: What was your inspiration for this work? Strung Along was influenced by a realization that people, in particular women, are not supported by the institutions they are affiliated with, the very institutions in which communities are supposed to be based. Your materials are very specific, do you have a reason for choosing them? I use materials that are part of the common household â€“ mops, sponges, discarded toys, to call the viewersâ€™ attention to the materiality of our daily lives.
Red Bridesmaid 2 2011 Mixed media sculpture
Bluebeard the Sociopath's Closet, details
Bluebeard the Sociopath's Closet
Dresses, dolls, stuffed animal, drape, Hula Hoop, tiki torches, lace,scarf, boa, rope, string, mop tops, ribbon, fishing wire, resin, glue, pigment, fake jewels, fake and real flowers Dimensions variable; as installed 120" x 72" x 72." Installation at Sideshow Gallery for "We Are We Make," MFA thesis show, 2011.
Kimi Hanauer (Germany) My Paradox, an artist’s statement “Nietzsche once said that “a living thing can be healthy, strong, and fruitful only when bounded by a horizon.” What he means by this is that no creature can orient itself within its own world, and therefore survive, without having some sort of boundary or schema that defines the structure and limitations of its world. A “horizon” is just that thing which enables us to bring to light the aspects of our personal and communal lives that matter to us and to darken those things that do not. The horizon determines what is in focus and what is out of focus within our lives.
Kimi Hanauer (credits by Katie Krulock)
My horizon, therefore, does not only enable me to live, but it can also constrain me from living. It limits my views and experiences just as much as it provides them with their substance. It pains me just as much as it undergirds anything that brings me joy. What I aim to do in my work is to find a middle ground in this conflict between memory and forgetfulness. I aim to find a resolution to something that I know is irresolvable. This conflict is also echoed within my actual art-making. In one sense making work is something that brings me meaning and happiness but in another sense it is something that brings me pain by putting me in touch with memories and ideas that are traumatic.
My horizon is the Holocaust, and this poses a strong contradiction in my life. Having been born and raised in Israel, and growing up in a family that consists of Holocaust survivors, my connection to the Holocaust exists in multiple ways. It is personal, cultural, national, and political. It is the horizon of my life. It is through this lens that I am able to orient myself within the world. It is what brings meaning to my world, and how I make meaning out of my world. But the holocaust is a trauma. It is like a wound that can never heal, a tragedy that I carry with me everywhere. It is something I must constantly cope with and constantly think about. The paradox here is that, although the Holocaust is a trauma, it has also greatly nourished my life. It has played a huge role in the construction of my personal identity, it has been the basis and subject of my artistic pursuits, and it has brought sharply into focus the significance of family relations and the importance of moral responsibility. Nietzsche says that “forgetfulness is essential to action of any kind. […] There is a degree of the historical sense that is harmful and ultimately fatal to a living thing, whether this living thing be a man or a people or a culture.”
It is something that I feel I have to do even though I usually don’t want to. That is why so much of my work is dependent on its process and materials. Not only is this paradox the basis of my work but the actual process that I undertake in creating the work is paradoxical as well. In my work, I reconcile between the pain, absurdity, and senselessness of the Holocaust and the life-sustaining, valuable, and world-reorienting elements that I, paradoxically, find within the Holocaust as the horizon of my life. (Kimi Hanauer)
What in your opinion defines a work of art? I think something can become a work of art when it is treated as a work of art, whether it is one person or a community of people who address it in that way.To define something as a work of art is just another way of assigning significance and relevance to ideas, objects, actions, performances, etc. Do you have formal training, or are you selftaught? I am currently a sculpture major with a concentration in printmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.
Looking back through your career, when did you realize you were an artist? I dislike the stigmas that accompany the label of an “artist”. I feel like the label is strongly associated with an elitist attitude and persona. But in any case, I don't think I ever really had a moment; making things is something that has always been integral to my life. I only seriously started to pursue it when I realized how important it was in my life, and how important it is to dedicate time to the people and things you love. I always feel like there is never enough time.
Have you a particular approach in conceiving your art? Usually I just get this strong feeling that I have to make this certain image exist, it is impulsive at first but through working I end up understanding and making sense of the meaning that lies behind making the work and the purpose of the project; that is when the ideas can become more complex and rich. A lot of my work is just process based; so basically I feel that I want to do something and that is what informs and determines what the work ultimately looks like. It's usually a really stressful and miserable process. Nietzsche has this quote “(the artist) is only the precondition of his work, the womb, the soil, sometimes the dung and manure, out of which (the artwork) grows.” He’s basically saying that the artist is just the horse-shit-manure that beautiful things can emerge from.
Where do you get your ideas for a painting: where does your imagery come from? I go through phases where I can’t get a certain image or collection of specific images out of my head. I feel this need to recreate the images again and again in all different forms. The source of the imagery is internal but obviously is affected by my everyday life, my experiences and the things that occupy my mind. I think maybe I just create imagery in my head in order to understand things. Ultimately, all the different images that I conceive within a certain period of time end up relating to each other and therefore the imagery continues to build off of itself. That can become very stressful because I start to feel this need to bring all of these things into existence simultaneously. That is usually why I paint. Painting is so much more quickly accessible and faster than building sculptures can be for me.
In your artwork "Untitled", you have used "unconventional materials": let's talk about this stimulating artwork... do you think that in time art will definetely got over the apparent dichotomy between "conventional" and "unconventional" materials? I think it is unlikely that art, or the “art world” will ever get rid of the dichotomous distinction between the“conven-tional” and the “unconventional.” This is just because it matters to them too much. In one sense, the distinction is exactly what allows for >>>
>>> artists to make interesting weird work and come up with new ideas, while at the same time, the distinction enables critics to recognize this interesting work and new ideas. What would Duchamp’s Fountain be, if there were no recognizable aesthetic conventions that we could say it was breaking? Obviously, the distinction has changed over time. In today’s world I feel like there are much less distinct genres of art (i.e. sculpture, painting, printmaking, performance, etc). All of these different ways of working have been modified or combined and this allows for the distinction to seem much more flexible; although in reality to me it seems that it is just all relative. The distinction still exists – it’s the ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ that have developed and changed. The value that we assign to works like Duchamp’s Fountain is almost completely dependent on the existence of a difference between the normal, expected, “conventional” and the abnormal, unexpected,and “unconventional.” Even if the distinction is mostly artificial, it is un-likely that artists will ever get over it, because it is one of the central benchmarks for determining the “value” of works of art (whether musical, literary, visual, or whatever), especially in contemporary western life and culture, where the search for “authenticity” and “individuality” is such a major motive behind so many of our goals and activities.
In your interesting series "Monument / Family Portrait" that we have selected for this issue we can see an apparent a contrast between colours, which end to harmonize one to each other. Can you tell us your inspiration and your connection to these images? These two works and the rest of this series are monuments for my family. The fences have some openness to them, they are fence posts but they are also gravestones, they are monuments, they are people and family members, etc. One of the things that drew me to fence posts is the excessiveness of them; you can have so many, piled on top of one another. Sometimes, like in these two works, the posts are just so heavy; that is partially why I used color in this way. The pink flowers started as a sarcastic gesture. I wanted to make fun of this otherwise dramatic imagery. But to be honest, the flowers aren’t totally sarcastic. They are also genuinely hopeful. That is what makes this work paradoxical.
Do you paint every day? Not really. Mostly I only paint when I can’t make sculptures. Besides painting and sculpting, you have a multidisciplinary approach to art: in particular, we have found very interesting your installations: have you a particular approach in conceiving your installations? Since I usually work on a few pieces at one time the installations sort of come up naturally since all the pieces already relate to each other. Sometimes my ideas for them do come from the location or history of the location and/or objects though.
What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind? At the end of February my friend Audrey Gair and I have an opening in Baltimore that is also part of a new collective we have started along with our friend Ale Nunez. In this opening we are creating an installation within Audrey’s small Baltimore apartment. I kind of dislike gallery settings, I think they are too alien and foreign to normal life. So in this opening we decided to show how our work fits into our lives through use of this apartment as an installation space. Apart from this opening, I have been working with an art recycling company called FAR (For Art Repur-posing) based out of Brooklyn. We hold events all over the U.S. bringing unique building and art materials recycled from high production events such as NYC’s seasonal fashion week to whoever wants them. (Check it out – www.far-nyc.com) I will be busy with this in February as well.
Family Portrait (details)
Martina Miholic (Croatia)
“I am Martina Miholic Croatian, UK London based visual artist.
In my work use the method of personal bareness and dismantling of a subject position in order to thematize the way in which stereotypes, prejudices and communication junctions are formed. I am interested in an analytic approach in recreating ones one identity, it is confrontation and reflection in a never static social environment. In this way I create a platform in order to question the system, language and codes we use to define our own or someone else’s identity. But if I should describe my work just in two words, than I would say process and communication. I have interest in that kind of art that doesn't preach but normally communicate with the other people. To speak about any of my works from last few years would be almost impossible without mentioning 'Tagbox/Pride and Prejudice' from 2008. http://martinamiholic.com/works/prejudiceand-stereotypes-tagbox.html In Tagbox/Pride and Prejudice I subjected myself to an experiment by sending an electronic questionnaire to my close and distant milieu of acquaintances with a pattern of questions like: “quote a dozen of character features that would describe me”, or In the instructions, I gave to the questioned, was specifically stated that 44
Am I? (I am, Something Drives Me) Installation (2011)
have no discretion limits, and should speak freely of any kind of character liking or disliking. Driven by a desire to analyze and deconstruct our outer shield that could simultaneously attract or reject us from the others , confronting with myself in the eyes of other people, I created a box which splits multiple perspectives and communication nods of You and Me relations, and reveals contradictions that are contained within. In that process I am more than aware of a fact in what measure we are subject to a marketing image and various fashions (especially a female), archetype heritage and a lack of quality time. Tagbox/Pride and Prejudice lied base for many other of my works such as Dogmas / 'Photoshooting', my degree show work from Central Saint Martins.
In “Everything You Need to Know about Me from A to Z” I took myself as the main subject of observations. Searching for my own definition in the never static environment I started from reverse position. Collected associations concerning myself, the terms and words I was described with in my previous opus (Tagbox) I fed into an Internet searcher and encounters strings of unexpected combinations and contradicting associations relating to a searched for term. With such process, I was measuring the power of symbols, pictures, the term of association, determination according to learned patterns and questions a kaleidoscope of positions, perspectives, and values that we are being determined by. I do not try to give an instant answer to the question “How to be closer to someone?”, but to evoke and provoke a question concerning complexity of interrelations, perceptions, and string of factors influencing interpersonal relationships. It was ten in the morning, July 2012, and already it was 35 °C. We were supposed to meet at Gallery SC to talk about exhibition which was intended as an homage to our Professor Kuduz. On the way to theater &td we could hear the clinking of bottles in someone’s bag, and Igor said: “Martina didn’t you have enough of those yesterday night?” To which I replied: “They’re not mine, they’re Tonka’s. Those are her jam jars.” Igor went on: “Yeah, and I’m Claude Jean Van Damme and this story of a friend carrying your ‘materials’ wouldn’t even work with the Pink Panther.” The jars were in fact Tonka’s jam jars, but the fact was that I had had “more than enough” the night before, and in the three weeks before that as well. I remember hardly being able to sit in a chair at &td theatre, drinking my fifth glass of water (it didn’t help), trying to form a coherent sentence. It didn’t work. My brain just kept dragging from one side to the other, like a pink bubblegum. But at least it was matched to my hair color, which appeared to be its only function at the time. Everyone laughed and said, ok, Martina, you’ll figure it out. That was the moment when my work 'Giant, Dense, Sunlit, Amorphous, Semitransparent, Pink Mass With a Thin
Membrane which Measured 35°C, Was Called Failure and Wasn't Satisfied With Herself at the Time' has happened. That something my brain was trying to articulate was a thought about the decision making process, about movement and stopping and the situations which influence them. And I’m not talking about situations which are agreeable and which we keep under control, but those which we would call an objectification of our own failure. I thought about the relationship between and our perception and understanding of success and failure, the ego, movements and pauses and an almost arrogant attitude of the culture we live in. The culture where everything that can’t be measured, which doesn’t grow, which isn’t potent, productive in an active, visible way is considered a pause, a break, a failure, something which needs to be buried deep within us, kept hidden from everyone, even ourselves, because it is a reflection of our weakness and impotence. Looking back on those periods, it seems like I learned to appreciate the sense of failure in a weird way, but not masochistically, because as a rule these pauses would in the end spur on movement. Because after a pause nothing else can happen but movement. (Martina Miholic) Am I? (I am, Something Drives Me) Installation (2011)
Martina Miholic: an interview What in your opinion defines a work of art? Back in high school we had discussion upon originality in someones work and our teacher said: "What do you expect? You live in the same city, in the same country, you are grasping a fairly similar information, listen to the same music... There is most likely some aspects of your work, well both, your expression and problems that will be subjects of your concerns will be more or less similar or at least they will have a common points. Because some a general pattern that created you, and the context in which you grew up was relatively similar. You were immersed in similar or same political, socio-economical, cultural and historical framework. If we take into account the art historical periods and consider the context of the time and their links with politics, viewpoint, ideals, science of that period, it will be clear why that kind of artworks has happened exactly at that moment. Later on I was lecturing history of art in one high school. To me it was important if students would understand analogy between art and circumstance within it was created. Recently I attended lecture entitled 'The Politics of the Archive' in Raven Raw Gallery. Somewhere throughout conversation we come across to the long term project National Life Stories National Life Stories (formerly the National Life Stories Collection) was established in 1987 and its mission is: 'To record first-hand experiences of as wide a cross-section of society as possible, to preserve the recordings, to make them publicly available. Alongside the British Library oral history collections, which stretch back to the beginning of the 20th century, National Life Stories' recordings form a unique and invaluable record of people’s lives in Britain today. Interesting detail they reviled was information that duration of most interviews is seven hours while artists interviews last for thirty hours. Explanation was that they are trying to grasp as much information and circumstance that might have had impact on artists work of art.
Martina Miholic immersed in the old system. To the certain extension I was and still am aware of possible traps even a presence of some negative aspects that I listed above. What was the reason for establishing MM platform within Test! festival. The aim was to encourage students to step out of at that time still quite rigid system, to unleash themselves and to start collaborating within other educational institutions, organisations, collectives and to find out other and alternative ways of creating their works. But in my opinion within the standard system of art education it is most likely you would get systematized sum of some knowledge and framework relevant to the field you are interested in. In my opinion if you would like to upgrade, redefined or if necessary, denied or opposed something, it is important to know the system inside out. Such approach would give solid arguments to your claims. Somebody could say revolutions and progressive cuts are formless and just burst spontaneously. What is a truth in a way, but I would add yes, but always coming from inside, knowing structure. When you want to improvise, first you must be a virtuoso in handling initial structure and form. It's not that I am trying to say how the self-taught artists can not achieve the same kind of awareness or to get same information. The only thing I am trying to point out is that through the lets call it traditional education system it might be faster and easier to accomplish it. The life of an artist there is enough freedom and on the other side uncertainty and instability, so bit of a solid framework at least in my case it doesn't hurt. Just as a little tip. At my UK uni we had a seminar and little collaboration with sculptural artist Katarina Palmer, related to her book 'The Dark Object.' The book was targeting problem, better to say state of being art student. She was subjecting and locating sculpture’s awkward relationship with concept of "dematerialization" of the art object, in the paranoid pseudo-conceptual ideology of a notional institution art school that has banned objects.
You have a formal training in Art. You received a MA degree in graphic in Croatia, which is your native country, and a MA degree in Fine Arts in London, where you are based. How much in your opinion training influences art? Do you think that artists with a formal education have an advantage over self-taught artists? I was frequently asked that question, especially few years ago, still back in Zagreb when I was directing international student theatre and multimedia festival Test! Each time the question was directed, it would be doubtlessly colored with underpinning statement, how artistic creation protected by certain educational institutions can not be innovative, enough progressive, and how it can just become complacent,
How has your art developed since you left school? Now I am going to sound as our candidate for Miss of the World from, I think 90', when on question what does she think about part of the competition in swimming costumes, she answered:'It's OK.' In the same manner I will just for now say: 'It's developing, or at least I think so.'
discussing, working on the new projects and what is most important mutually supporting. There was a loads of things we learned from each other. BTW, I was always interested how does musicians create their songs, compositions. In your statements you have mentioned Professor Ante Kuduz: as you have underlined "being a part of Kuduz’s class is not merely a line in the biographies of an artist": can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? When question about influences is asked I have feeling people are always looking for particular well known name, artist, philosopher, something they could easily relate you with, and fair enough to the certain extensions it make sense, but than I would rather call it reference than influence. Mentioning prof. Kuduz, yes I could say he was one of the biggest influence in my art and life, not just to me but to all of his students. He was tutor and artist himself, but he was
Could you take us through your creative process when starting a new project? Creative process certainly varies from project to project. It will be clearer when I will speak about concrete projects. It often happens that projects are connected one to each other and arise spontaneously out of each other. So to me, it is a bit hard to clearly define starting point for some of them. Sometimes they just click in a moment. But more often, I perceive a certain not articulated or partially articulated problem, a thought that craves for form or dissolve, something that bothers you. Then I sit down and count and mark down all elements associated with that par-
Stills from Giant, Dense, Sunlit, Amorphous ticular problem. At this stage, the easiest way handling it is by creating numerous mental maps. To me it is easier to bind all those elements, connect and bring them into correlation in this way. There from I conduct further research of each one. On one occasion I made such a huge and detailed mind map in digital format that my teacher thought it was already finished work. Since I live in London I spend much time on the tube. It is a time I use for thinking. I always have a little notepad with myself and scribble down some ideas that come across my mind. In the further process I am trying to analyze all these elements. I am looking for references. I am trying to define them, and at the same time take care of how they interfere one another. The process consists of theoretical and practical research. Most of my works and their process are interactive. As a method of conducting them I use interviews, surveys, e-mail correspondences... Once I collect enough information I start to think how to channel them, form again, balance, tune them, transform, and find the best way they will resonate together. And there is always problem of technical execution, how to find founds for all that… Conversations are very important to me too. Not as to received confirmation of my standpoints and decisions about my work but as a playground and fertile field for the emergence of new ideas, new questions and conclusions. I was a member of the artist collective Projekt6. For years we were, meeting regularly,
more than that. Beyond everything he was a person. He had that specific intrinsic sense for communication. Even when he wouldn't say anything we would understand each other, it would have meaning, not negative one, but significant one. Years after we finished uni, almost all of his students were still meeting him. He was sophisticated story teller. With his seemingly unrelated stories, he would take us on a journey to the core of a problem. He taught us how to observe and how to approach the work, communication, ideas, problems, like it was a living organism. He taught us how to ask questions correctly, and how to make your own decisions. He allowed himself not to know everything and admit it, he allowed us to surprise him with our artistic explorations, he would often say how he was learning from us, learning in his 70'. He would never force us or giving us final solutions that we had to adopt, what some other tutors from their egoistical stands would have. Speaking further about influences, to me influence or better to say inspiration, is something I was emerged in, everydays situation, social context, my friends, people in general I was in contact with, going outs, trips, conversations, some specific situations I would find myself in, especially situations. It is always coming from a real life. And of course all the shows I watched, all the music I listened all the books I read..., but all in package. I can not draw a clean line and say this artist has influenced me, exactly than and for this or that reason.
This would always come in a synergistic package. Once I start to aware a problem then I begin research and a search for the existing referential points in the theory. It helps me in better articulation, relating, understanding, and to position myself with something more known and maybe already articulated.
Few days ago I red a great article titled 'Art Works that Have Changed Society', written as a review on the art flows in the past few years, from which I would select: multimedia artist from Sisak, whose work over the past few years was focused on activist action, interventions and a sharp comment of political affairs. In his work, he deals with the phenomenon on of the bankrupt steel mill and its impact on economically dependent wider local community, the problem of unremoved bombs in the river Kupa, forgotten sculptures of the city (where I would use term induced forgetfulness and conscious attempt to remove certain unsuitable narratives). It is particularly interesting how with his works succeeded to make a change in society and cause a reaction - after the publicizing of the underwater city in the media, a series of photographs that present fishes, bombs and cultural heritage in the Kupa river, police had removed most of the explosive devices from the river, and the phenomenon of the steel marked the beginning of its cycle, the possibility of resistance.
Not to mention that art should have an effect, should communicate something. Do you think that art could change people's behavior? Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? Only one who can change people's behaviour are people themselves. But art should have and in my opinion have important role in it, in a term of scanning, articulating and tirelessly promoting detected problems. That is what should be arts core utility. It is hard to say that one man can change the world (depending on the capacity of person and artists) but it should definitely take an effort in raising awareness and creating a climate in which change can happen. In this question I would like to refer to the very active and socio-politically engaged art scene in my home country. Country faced with a turbulent past, denying the past, problems of recreating her identity, thunderous economics drop-down, a country where the ex Prime Minister was accused of war profiterism, where the Catholic Church handing out leaflets in large shopping malls and trade centres that are interfering in secular matters and rights of citizens, demonstrating their power and aggressively trying to ban the program of health education in schools while at the same time remains immune to the problems of unemployment right to a dignified wage for work, or about the right to health insurance, country where unfortunately still among most population the term and concept of anti-fascism is equalised with 'damned communists and partisans', as preached by almost twenty years empowered pseudo-democratic and in fact quite right orientated and dictatorially minded regime. As working on this interview I am witnessing turbulent reaction, controversy and support to banned of improper poster, created for the show 'Fine Dead Girls' by Olivra
Everything you need to know about me from a to z
in Croatia and its most shameful episodes in substantially different way than the official national historiography and the opinions and feelings of the majority of citizens of the country (including the Catholic Church). Main protagonists of the moot poster made by studio Cuculic are ceramic figure of the Virgin Marry in hugs with some other saint, with printed show title over it. Just a minute ago I have spoken with my housemate also Croatian who stated: 'Every time I speak whoever with back from home, seems to have normal stands. I don't know where from those reactions come from.' Banning was initiated by catholic organisations and executed by the current mayor. So it seem as there is still much work left to be done.
Another organisation and project I would like to mention is [BLOK] with one of his programs Urban Festival. [BLOK] is a curatorial collective based in Zagreb, Croatia, established as a non-profit organization in 2001, which acts in the interspace between art, urbanism and activism.Their interest lies in the matters of the public space and the creation of common spaces, as well as a space to receive and reflect on the artistic practices responsive to social circumstances and the production conditions in which they originate. They has also initiated and participated in the public debate/struggle concerning the transformation of the public space.
What are you going to be working on next? For my last birthday my parents wished me to find a good job and a nice and handsome boyfriend. I was delighted by this underpinning feminist moment. So what he can be just nice and handsome and I have to toil too. But well... This year Nov/Dec I will be in Paris where I would like to continue working on Defining project within Cite International artist in residence program. It is is a longterm project I started at Central Saint Martins MA course, imagined as a social lab platform that starts with a list of short, one question proposals such as: attend bizarre parties with me, be loyal to me, experiment with me, make career with me, etc...
At the moment I am working on a bit silly, pink, flashy work that will be presented as a part of actually club night 'NO' at Power Lunches, Dalston, London. I was invited to M-art project, that has collected five Martina artist. The concept is to think about ourselves in a context of something like contemporary female artist warrior. In March I should present some work of a performative nature in a half public doorway-gallery Liberspace (space for provoking ephemeral forms) in Zagreb. There is a wish for enrolling PhD, but I prefer not to talk much about wishes and plans until they become truth. I rather work on them
Geoffrey Stein (USA) An artist statement
“I am a figurative painter
who prefers to work from life when possible. I paint to find out what I think about the world; to discover the things I do not have words for. I savor the slips of the hand that express one's unconscious feelings. I am interested in the tension between abstraction and realism. I do not want to make an academic copy of the model or a photorealistic illustration. My paintings explore the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen.
“In my studio practice I utilize collage as a formal element; a way of putting down tone or erasing previous marks. There is a randomness in collage, a secondary meaning in the text or image, that becomes an important part of the finished work.
Collage provides a method of capturing the fast-paced, often fragmented moving images of our 21st Century postmodern culture. It brings together multiple images and text from multiple sources into a final portrait. Collage is a way of capturing time that allows me to layer multiple images over the scaffolding of a drawing.
People were being buffeted by forces beyond their control that they could not understand. Scary times. I started the portraits of actors involved in the credit crunch by gathering and collaging material from the subjects' worlds. For Madoff, the legal complaints against him, and text from the Wall Street Journal for Greenspan, Geithner, and Bernake. When the Dodd-Frank Act was passed, I returned to the series from a new perspective, using text from the bill to create a portrait of Elizabeth Warren.(Geoffrey Stein)
“I began my
“Irrational Exuberance” portrait series in 2009 when the US economy seemed to be in danger of shutting down.
Cerulean Dreams Artist Biography Geoff Stein is a recovering lawyer, who has been painting full-time since 2000. He received an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Stein lives and paints in New York City. His work can be seen at www.geoffreystein.com.
What in your opinion defines a work of art? I don't know what “art” is or what will be called “art” in 50 years. In terms of the visual arts, for me a work of art involves the creation of a visual metaphor for an experience or idea. Marie Kazalia’s studio
You have formal training: you have studied in London and in USA: in your opinion, how much does formal training influence art? I worry that formal art education is steering artists towards making work that is more theoretically than visually compelling; that drawing and seeing are being lost in the postmodern muddle.
How did your early work differ from what you're doing now?
Guardian Self Portrait
My older work was more concerned with learning how to make marks and achieve a likeness. My recent work is more concerned with formal structure and the tension between the figure and ground of the canvas.
ings of Richard Diebenkorn. I am drawn to the intensity of looking in Lucian Freud's portraits and the massive flesh in Jenny Saville's paintings.
Have other artists influenced your work?
What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work?
Yes. I have been influenced by numerous visual artists from Rembrandt to Milton Glaser. I remember being excited by the mark making of the Abstract Expressionists. Later I became fascinated by the mid-career figurative paintings and mixed media draw-
Lately I find myself focusing on the formal relationship of the image/figure to the edges of the canvas/ground. I'm interested in exploring how I can crop the image to focus attention on the subject of the painting.
Your portrait series "Irrational Exuberance" was inspired by the economic context of 2009. A recurrent characteristic of many of your artworks is experience as starting point of artistic production: in your opinion, is experience an absolutely necessary part of creative process?
Another interesting painting of yours is entitled "After Van Gogh", that you have realized in 2003. The ears of wheat are pictured as strips of a newspaper. This seems to becomes doubly metaphorical... My collage, “After Van Gogh,” is a transcription of Van Gogh's “Wheatfield with Crows.” Using collage materials and acrylic paint, I investigated the structure and color in Van Gogh's painting. The wheat in my work is made from pieces of a Cheerio's box. While I was primarily concerned with the formal issue of color in the collage material, perhaps some viewers can see a metaphor in this. I love the potential for secondary meaning in
Yes. Life experiences, the bumps and bruises of the work-a-day world, provide material that is essential for making art. As you have written in your personal statement, "My paintings explore the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen": do you think that art plays an important role in revealing hidden aspects of society? Could art change people's behavior? At it's best, art provides a glimpse into the artist's unconsciousness and thus, perhaps, the hidden issues that impact society. Art may eventually change the way we view the world, but I am less optimistic about art's ability to change behavior. We have selected a recent artwork entitled "She". We have found it very interesting: it combines a beautiful mixture of abstract forms with realistic elements: what was the inspiration behind this painting?
After Van Gogh Collage and acrylics on canvas (2003) - 24x48 inch
What are your upcoming projects? I am working on a series of large portraits of artist friends and a written history of life drawing at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. The history explores the school's Life Room, where students could draw from live models, and includes interviews I did with former Slade students and instructors.
“She” is one of a series of portraits of Piper, a talented photographer, who I met at art school. This painting explored the tension between the figure and the ground, the seen and the unseen, while trying to get a likeness.
Piotr Kotlicki (Poland) An interview What in your opinion defines a work of art?
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There is no definition agreed within the meaning of all, what is a work of art. There are, of course, attempts to establish such definitions, but the ones that come to my attention most sincerely treat, which together have not a lot in common.The first comes from the fact that art does not develop - but, regardless of time and place in which it originates, it has some attributes that are close to that of the recipient "feelings on the edge" (the "true reality", the "truth" to "pure feeling" - variously defined "something"!). Artworks are usually formed as the result of the genius of the artist; affect our emotions, feelings, leading to irrational passion, or metaphysical peace.
Piotr Kotlicki credits to Aleksandra Chciuk
There is no division of the discipline, there is also irrelevant whether something is new or repeated a million times already.The second concept I mentioned comes from Theodor Adorno, who believes that the key to art is not so much natural born talent of the artist, but his consciousness.Development of art is emerging from faith in the form of timeless value and is, of course, a false light. Patterns formed in antiquity or the Middle Ages, to which later artists can only approach should be abandoned and instead develop new critical ones, based on consciousness. Although these two positions are often not compatible, it's my practical sense - as far as I am able to describe itself - alternately propped up either the first or the second of these (depending, of what I'm dealing with).
Suitcreature 33x41cm oil on canvas (2010)
Do you have formal training, or are you self-taught? Yes, I have formal academic training and I hope it did not spoil me. Where does the idea from your works come from? Oh, and this is another long chapter, which I could talk for hours. I do not understand how what takes? I paint, I think, for many reasons, one of which is the phenomenon of surprise yourself. Some things take place outside thinking, and while I constantly ask myself though a whole bunch of questions, you still do not know what "it all" is all about.I do the experiments on myself to search: is the intellect helps or hinders in imaging of reality?
Suitcreature (2010) oil on canvas 68x46cm lead somewhere? That time in my studio, on the occasion of renovating room, were hanging plastic foil to protect furniture. I started to paint it, but I stood up the way to having it on my back. I turned to look at plastic drapery, but before I signed on the canvas, my observation became in the majority my imagination. With this feeling that something black "sitting" on the back of my right .... It made me a strange atmosphere.
suitcreature oil on carton (2011) Such a living example of what I mean, it is a series of "draperies". It started with the fact that next to the "conscious" of the painting I made in 2010, I wanted to paint something without assumptions, instinctively. I wanted to see if there is a dead end, or maybe it
What would you say about though?
In 2010 I’ve painted a painting called later Suitcreature. Starting from that time I had many thinks with that figure about. I've written a novel about man pulled into a crowd and being pulled up on the top of heads of the others. Next years I painted more works from that cycle. In 2011 I made a ephemeral performance in a park in cooperation with a people leaving in Wroclaw. After this experience I have an idea to built a “something” bigger. Mass of people evoking voices like a choir. I hope to realize this project in Hamburg in August 2013. Suitecreatures (2011, oil on canvas)
So… I’m a painter in my soul- even working with installations, performances or movies. I don’t know if we can say that any art- field is stronger that the other? Though I like enter new areas and search how I feel in there. Many times they are seems to be new, but they are not at all. For example I started to do videos recently but I was photographer for many years. Or, I do performances using sounds but in the past I was a musician in a rock band (for 5 years). I built simple electronics systems for an installations but my secondary school was electrotechnician What artists have inspired your work? Oh many! Masters are changing depending on time.When I was a student I loved to watch F.Bacon, M.A. Caravaggio, Rembrandt, A.Kiefer.
Singing Scientists (2011) Your art production is not limited to painting, but also includes installations: do you think that effectiveness of painting in expressing some ideas is not as strong as other art media?
Today I like XI-XIV century paintings, I like movies by Roy Andersson and music by Gyorgy Ligeti and Krzysztof Pendrecki and many others I like.
I like paintings. I can work in different areas but I fell I’m a painter. Everybody has some roots. Some people emigrate, settle down in a different country, but after years of speaking of a different language, they still fill some birth connection.
Two days ago I discovered Cecilia Bartoli. Her “Gelido Ogni Vena” I listen permanently. Everything influent us consciously or sub-consciously.
â€œProbably a phenomenon of the surprise myself
pink something (2013) oil 27x33cm
is one of reasons I do art at all. Some things are held apart from the thinking, and even though I think incessantly, although I am setting myself the entire slew of questions and still I don't know â€Ś "where everything aims to? Is reality cognizable? What it is? What is an effective method in reaching to for one border? Is transcendence touchable at all? Whether if
I'm interested in cognoscence the most (The range of what one can know or understand.) All my paintings struggle with it. Paintings always are the mixture of this what I want to show in it with this what I don't even thinking about. I believe in the mind, however I believe in the intuition, instinct as impulse to create something. (Piotr Kotlicki )
not for the inevitability of death, whether we would like to get to know?
"An artwork doesn't communicate anything: it simply creates a mental space. Language, gestures, or rather a masterly brush-stroke of a paint...
Published on Feb 10, 2013
"An artwork doesn't communicate anything: it simply creates a mental space. Language, gestures, or rather a masterly brush-stroke of a paint...