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July 2014 July 2014 March 2014

Special Issue

GEMA HERRERO ULVI HAAGENSEN XAVIER BLONDEAU GABRI SOLERA BERTHOLDUS SIBUM TOM RAWLES ARD DOKO KALLI KALDE Marco Visch Alexzenia Davis, Make Me AGema Doorway, 2012 (Spain) Herrero

(Photo by Damien J.)


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July 2014 JD Doria

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My art is generative, at the junction between creativity and technology, where imagination†is stretched beyond constitutional constraints. Rather than composing, I ‘grow’ my images from the materials, surfaces and mediums I am using. Technology is my organ of apprehension through which I curate the generative capacity of the work.

Aivars Kisnics

"I don’t know what defines a work of art, but I do know when something that I’ve made is a work of art. My work of art! I see what I painted and it’s asking me questions. It’s also telling me not to add anything to it anymore."

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Nico Amortegui My work is full of color and is a product of expressed energy - meaning there are no sketches or previous drawings. I work solely from in-the-moment-energy and I transfer what I see and feel on to the canvas. The rawness of my work exemplifies how my realities were never perfect as the images I render are not either.

"In 1999 I retired and worked as a captain on a pilot boat in the port of Liepaja in Latvia. I was interested in art since school time - did participate in drawing as well as photography competitions and was awarded with state-wide certificates. Painting with oil on board I did begin around 2005."

Jesse Russell Brooks

Doortje van Ginneken

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Jesse Russell Brooks says his experimental film “Make Me A Doorway” focuses on memory, language and relationships—but, really, what in life doesn’t? Trying to be everything, however, can leave you with nothing.

Ingrid Leiter Art means a lot to me. It is not important to keep something in hand. Art begins in the mind. Freedom of heart and mind is the first step, and then you have to have the courage to implement it. It can be out loud, in words, in various actions, including to ‘paint’.

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Jamie Earnest

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All start with a choise you make, its a process of coincidencies and accepting the consequen ces of the choise you have made before.

Lucas Servera

Using prominently oil paint self-taught artist Tom Rawles creates worlds heavy on narrative whilst avoiding fixed messages or morals.Works address contemporary culture through renaissanceesque scenes, a modern world where halos are more bling than holy.

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"What defines art? Whoever is looking at something. Contemporary work seems to be anything created while living. And Tradition is the founder of the contemporary. Without an understanding of tradition, you aren’t creating anything contemporary, you are just scribbling."

David Wilde

Albert Varet Pascual

Jodie Woodcock would say my art is mostly abstract. I like different, always have. The way I create my work haschanged since I started painting, I have changed. I started painting in 2010 and for awhile I could hardly stop. My ideas and Visions just flowed out of me. I been into drawing since I was young.

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The process of creating and the presentation of art is a fundamental blessing and encouragement for human society that arises from the artists' ability to open to the primal elements of life's appearances. Feeling the heart of events and finding the freedom to express that in media and terms beyond the distortions of ego is a liberating thing that wakes people up to the natural benevolent vividness of circumstances.

Erin O’Malley “With digital macro photography I have been exploring the interaction of light with transparent and reflective surfaces. I consider my photography a series of experiments, a process of trial and error that builds upon past successes through the manipulation of variables”

Feel free to submit your artworks to our art review: just write to peripheral_arteries@dr.com III


From the Organic Creatures series 1


JD Doria An artist’s statement

My art is generative, at the junction between creativity and technology, where imagination†is stretched beyond constitutional constraints. Rather than composing, I ‘grow’ my images from the materials, surfaces and mediums I am using. Technology is my organ of apprehension through which I curate the generative capacity of the work. In this plasticity of production I find myself to be a multitude and art to be singular, yet, in a never ending becoming. My interest lies in the creative process, in undressing painting from its structural forms, and remaining in contact with its verb. To edit the creative process while exploring and accommodating a collaboration of different practices and different mediums is what I find aesthetically interesting. J.D. Doria

Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


J.D. Doria

Peripheral ARTeries

An interview with

J.D. Doria Hello and a welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?

The very power of art, in my eyes, lies in its capacity to reflect on one hand a fresh texture of being and on the other a corresponding new landscape of matter. Art brings both to the examination of the viewer, creating a junction between seemingly parallel domains, and when the meeting ‘happens’ and a new landscape conjoins with a new texture of being, that is when art affirms itself. Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

The contemporary, ‘locates’ this emerging junction an interview between a previously with unarticulated texture of being and a new landscape of matter. So in terms of new landscapes of matter, today much of the contemporary is being built within the intersection of the digital and the analogue, in the seams where the physical meets the net, web and clouds, where low-tech technologies meet high-tech technologies, and where the penetration into ‘matter’ yields new action-spaces (like, for example in synthetic biology and genetic engineering). Now, in terms of texture of being, the contemporary suggests the radical act of sublimation of current technology while voicing the extreme necessity in the human for an internal TAZ – temporal autonomous zone – from which to reconfigure future identities.

J.D. Doria (photo by Andrea De Liddo)

J. D. Doria, An interdisciplinary artist, works and lives in Tel Aviv and has exhibited his works internationally in Tel Aviv, Rome, Milan, Paris and Munich among others. His work explores through ‘matter’ the questions he deems fundamental in a human becoming, and matures at the intersections between art and technology, and between art and science. His background in cinema allows him to capture unexpected dynamic qualities in his works, which stem out from painting, and evolve through technology and photography into generative art. Among his exhibited projects, Painting as a multitude, Organic Memory and the Petri Dish Project.

Artists, I believe, have their share of responsibility in the enterprise that we call the contemporary. Art is a fast enough medium to expose a genuine correlation between the advancing state of matter (mostly as technology) and relevant textures of being. In relation to the transitional times we are 6


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This ‘dichotomy’ is the mark of evolution after all. Both traditions, as well as new technologies are edited and sublimated within a newer coherency. This is the ‘sound’ of the world these days. The wisdom of selection, pointing at which aspects of tradition to keep , which new technologies to empower, to use, is a very scarce substance and it will always be, because it is a real time selection event. So, for a serious answer to your big question, the contem-porary is the event in which tradition and radical new technologies are selected and edited into a new coherency. Art that succeeds to reflect, ex- pose and take a stance in this event is the art that is relevant for the now. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly influenced you and that impacted on the way you currently produce your Art? By the way, what's your point on formal training? I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

Cinema is my background and initial corridor into art, and it definitely influences the way I understand art, aesthetics and the scope of being an artist. It is technology that enables the emergence of Cinema and its product is always an outcome of an ensemble of masters working together. The interesting element of cinema is that the product, the movie, is done through stations that blur the times of the process: script, shooting and then editing. Cinema is a malleable substance that can profoundly mutate via the coordination of multiple stations of making. I believe that it is possible to see this pattern in my current work - the Petri Dish Project, where the use of technology together with painting, and collaborative work create multiple stations of making, along which the images are formed almost independently from the ‘natural sequence of time’.

in now, the contemporariness of art lies in the path finding it offers to the current human and its urgent existential riddles. Do you think that there's still an inner dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Given the above I believe that a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness is inevitable. Take for example the ‘New Aesthetic’ kind of manifesto, in which the attention is redirected to the perception of the ‘machine’. Current forms of beauty do not exhibit an extreme fidelity to canonical traditions of beauty, but rather they reflect an Aesthetic expansion into ambiguous forms and structures.

Concerning your question about formal training, I believe there really are no rules here. It depends, for some the non-formal and self-taught procedures are the best and for some the formal education serves as a corridor into mining potentialities and style. I believe that the difference lies in whether it serves as priming or as conditioning. 7


Peripheral ARTeries

J.D. Doria

an interview with

mediums) the composition in the Petri dish becomes active and generates chaotic processes, out of which a ‘colony’ of images emerges. This is where the camera and a photographer enter the scene and capture the dynamics in time. Images are then digitally enlarged and enter a process of selection till a set is chosen. Each ‘work’ is composed by a circular image that captures the initial stages of the reaction and by the ‘multitude’ of images extracted from the process. " (J.D. Doria)

The Petri – Dish Project "In this work I use a glass container as Medium – very similar to a laboratory Petri - Dish. It comes to replace the canvas and the paper. It is placed on a light-table and above it there is a digital camera, positioned on a moving crane, for high resolution close ups. Within the Petri dish I am “growing” images using different mélanges of liquid colors and materials. By agency of the materials (colors and Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much pre-

paration and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

The most important aspect of my work is the experimentation phase in the studio. This is where I meet new materials and pair them into interac#196 Winter 8


J.D. Doria

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with From the The Petri – Dish Project

From the The Petri – Dish Project

tions, searching for emergent properties that can lead my imagination into new realms. During this period I enjoy the freedom from specific intent and immerse my self in the doing of things that carry no useful end in the immediacy. It is very similar to a meditation method and it operates through soft intention, which enables a space of mind and intensity that I describe as ‘far from equilibrium’.

The art I love usually embodies a living bridge between realms, which are separated by categories. My experimentation phases range between one to three months, after which the actual creation of a project is done in an intense and short period of time. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your Petri Dish serie that our readers have started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest them to visit http://jd-doria.com/the_petri_dish_series.html in order to get a wider idea of this stimulating project... in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

The experimentation phase is about two parallel processes both presenting the feature of being far from equilibrium, the interaction of the materials and my states of mind, the moments of alignment of both realms are basically what I am after. I find out along my practice that art is a bridging phenomenon, and differently from philosophy, which brings a reflective event into articulation, art bridges between the reflective and the world of actions.

I would say that metaphorically my cultivation of the images relates to something similar to how bacteria are grown in the laboratory, viewed as the relocation Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 9


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From the The Petri – Dish Project, detail

of the growing organism into an artificially designed environment that emulates life. This is paralleled by the relocation of the cultivation of the image from the historical medium of paint, paper and canvas, into the Petri-dish, where the medium is the very interaction between the colors and the shape of the the container with which the artist ‘cultivates the image’. But the analogy extends further, in the sense that the capturing of the images parallels in a way the act of measurement that scientists perform in the laboratory. It gauges the particulars of the image as it reacts in the Petri dish. The experimental growth of bacteria in a Petri dish is done to allow a measurement that might carry rele-

vant consequences. Similarly the capturing of the image is a discrete ‘measurement’ of the generative environment as it emerges in the intricate life-like reaction.If, to be bold, the Petri Dish project is a symbol, it reflects ‘us’ in the Petri Dish. All the growing tech- nologies of the 21st-century suggest that radical modifications are taking place. Soon we will be able to play with our ‘inner codes’; we might have a pro- gramming power extending to the deeper folds of our selves. This is dramatic and it is happening ex- tremely fast. The Petri Dish project has led me to contemplate and reflect upon the importance that aesthetics may assume in the transition, when aesthetics is read as curation of

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From the The Petri – Dish Project, detail nal medium (Canvas and paper). In my expe-rience this allows painting to become an open set of verbs and actions that can thus incorporate ‘other’ mediums and means. For me this experience has pointed to a new zone of artistic emergence: the soft. In it new forms of relation between mediums and genres of artistic expressions are constantly in articulation.

becoming. The Petri Dish looks to the process in which the human becomes a significant partner in the process of designing himself, raising the question of ‘what is it that we want to become?’ And, on the same breath, focusing upon the sterile notions of observation, pertaining to our science and technology and currently invading our methods of inquiry, it makes me ask, are they the relevant medium for us to inquire into such questions?

Another interesting series of yours that has particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled "Impossible Creature"s: in particular, I highly appreciated the way the works from this stimu-lating project -although marked with a clear ab- stract feelingare capable of establishing a presence and such

A different and important aspect for me of this project is the move of disconnecting the Gordian knot between painting and its ‘natural’ or traditio-

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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J.D. Doria

an interview with

Talos, from the Impossible Creatures series

Lunar Hare, from the Impossible Creatures series

an atmosphere of memories, using just little reminders of human existence... I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespen-sable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

This allows to guide perception from the meanings attached to a correctly detailed shape and contour, to the inner atmosphere and ambience of a system, exposing the very ‘flesh’ of 'a creature'. This I believe suggests a different reading to life and a sense of intimacy that awakes in interaction with the unfamiliar.

That is a really interesting question! First, I like very much your description of impossible creatures. For me they represent a kind of ‘upturning the table’ event. What makes an impossible creature impossible is that it transforms ‘content’ to a ‘form’ while the ‘shape’ loses its defining contour.

Now to your question. The relation between creative process and personal experience, I see as ambiguous. By which I mean that the personal experience does not frame creativity, but it provides a network of moments, objects, memories, sensations, states and much more, all of which can beco#196 Winter 12


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By the way, I would like to stop for a moment to consider the way you have been effectively capable of re-contextualizing the idea of the perception of the images suggested by your work: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive background... and I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

The emergent patterns of the Petri Dish are neither pure abstract nor pure figurative, as it is not about tapping into the ultimate pattern nor upon the exact view of the world, but it brings the event, the non-dualistic event between matter and pattern, medium and form, being and becoming, as if captured within the Petri Dish. Working with generative environments declares origination to be an immanent part of matter and not residing in the ultimate hand of god or of any other exclusive point of beginning (big-bang). This is for me the “unexpected side of Nature, especially of our inner Nature” as you put it, the non-dualistic event that is nature and us. The role of the artist I see as exposing that non-duality, to bring us closer not to the truth, but rather to the sense of tangibility with all of its impossible sides and turns. Works of art bring the two sides of duality closer, opening the moments where the terms mind and body, stuff and immateriality touch each other and become an ambiguous form.

Lunar Hare, from the Impossible Creatures series

It is not an easy time for the arts, not that there ever was such a time, but in a manner of speaking art is moving to the peripheries, while the central stage is being occupied by science and technology. Once we accept this change of ‘status’ a new action space opens in front of the arts. It is a time of transition and we need an out-post station to experiment with the ‘stuff’, which is our selves and the new landscape of ‘matter’ which is emerging. Art might be a good candidate for this job…

me a ground for the operation of creativity. It is similar to dreaming, in the sense that it uses all sorts of materials and composes itself in unexpected and amazing ways. So on one hand personal experience is a critical milieu of ‘perceptions’ that enables creative procedures to bring into presence unexpected patterns, forms and images, and by that to fertilize the mind, the experience and the field of knowledge. Creativity I think is about the personal, but also about new ways, corridors, relations and connections through which the ‘personal’ re-emerges.

As you have remarked and as it is clearly revealed by your pieces, as the ones from your interesting Organic Memory series, Technology or I should Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 better say, the manipulation of the concept of 13


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The Qualia of my Tongue, from the Organic Memory Project, detail

technology, plays a crucial role in producing the creative synergy that marks your art practice. So I would ask you: do you think that nowadays there still exists a dichotomy between art and technology? By the way, I would go as far as to say that in a way Technology is assimilating Art and viceversa... what's your point about this?

It is critical to discover that the ability to affect (of the instruments) is different from the effect they produce. By ‘ability to affect’, I mean that each instrument adds dimensionality to the phase-space of possibilities to be explored by the creative procedure, while the effect is measured in terms of ‘style’ of the Form (image) that emerges. In different terms I would say that from within the creative process my Body changes. It now includes technological organs together with biological ones. Thus, there is no difference between the hands and the camera in terms of accessibility and operation. At least for that instance, I am a Cyborg. The interaction and inclusion of technology into the

From the point of view of the creative process, I do not see a difference between the ‘hand’ and technology. Both are instruments. The difference between the artist’s hand and technology lies in how they change the phase-space of possibilities, and the way the development of the images is influenced via the coalitions between the instruments. 14


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Is this bio art?, detail rent disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Allow me to say that I am really enjoying your line of questions; I find them extremely and accurately penetrative. In short I do agree with the insight you articulate here, there are no pure mediums, no pure objects, no pure states, there are however emerging complex organisms in which distinctions are nesting together to form stable interactions. A form is a unique composition of interconnectedness, so that the synergy between disciplines, as you put it, is that which enables something to exist and to re-express it self.

The Qualia of my Tongue, detail

bowels of the creative process provides me with the ability to capture the dimensionality hidden at different scales and in the folds of time. Through this, the nature of the designed con-straints changes and, with it, perception and vision follow. With technology the liquid nature of the medium becomes abundant. This I believe to be a critical function of technology at large, and the reason we are so keen in symbiotically embedding it in our life, is that it stretches constraints turning them into possibilities. By the way, while crossing the borders of different and not only "artistic" fields, have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between diffe15

I suggest the dimension of the ‘Soft’, understood as the ‘middle’ between all and everything, to serve as an open-ended medium through which ‘sexuality’ in the sense of the inter-subjective event of swapping DNA is explored. Letting oneself into the “middle”, the solid concre-teness of restrictions is re-examined anew and projected into possible tensions that generate change. In a soft and active matter there is no privileged identity, neither an a-priori privileged moment, nor a single-privileged image. There is a famous painting of Gauguin - Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? It is possible to use those questions as a blueprint for being or in order to break with the constructed architecture and to walk the infinitesimal distance to the zone of liminality and ambiguity. The ‘machine’ is going to know all of this and we need to migrate into where language cannot catch us. Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Peripheral ARTeries

J.D. Doria

an interview with

Lunar Hare, from the Impossible Creatures series

And since I'm absolutely fascinated with the cooperation that artists establish together, I couldn't do without mentioning Painting as Multitude, an artistic collaboration with Shaw (Gadi Raz) as a Photographer... I do believe that such collaborations today are an ever growing force in Art and that that most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy? By the way, Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two prac- tices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work de-

monstrates communication between two artists?

The (creative) line that I walk upon tries to cast away the fixed boundaries of authorship. Whether it is confined to the organic quality of the liquid that ‘dictates’ what forms emerge, or to the artist’s manipulation that leads towards a specific image, it is essential for me to present a creative process, which is simultaneously local and distributed (across multiple agencies and mediums). And not because I believe in the equal importance of all that partake in the creative process, not at all, but because the notion of Authorship is too simplistic to my understanding. It is a notion that excludes, for the purpose of control, instead of including for the purpose of evolution. #196 Winter 17


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Unwelt

I think it might be wise to introduce to the notion of authorship a contextual fluidity, which points to the complex interactions that can redefine the grounds of authorship without it loosing its geometry of importance. After all, without, at least, the intention of the artist the whole creative process would not happen at all.

that a new ‘organism’ can emerge. That ‘organism’ made of the collaborative medium is an extension of imagination, capabilities and intelligence and when it works there is an inflation of creativity and possibilities to mind. I have been working with Shaw (Gadi Raz) for almost a decade, and it took many years of practice and contact till we reached a situation in which the collaboration yields an augmentation of the work. And the mastery of each of us grows with it. For me, the moment his camera begins to capture images, i acquire an amplified sight of my work.

So in this sense I do believe that two are better than one, but not in all cases. 99 instances of collaboration will not yield “that which one alone could not”. Collaboration, good and interesting collaboration, is something that demands in-direct understanding, because I believe that collaboration creates a mediation between individuals so

Throughout this collaboration, it is the mediation between the mediums painting and photography Vanishing Point, Mixedofmedia trid.piece, 2012 18


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that is being cultivated. There is a deep similarity between sight, perception and thinking to photography. A snap shot acts as if it is tearing a piece from an organic whole, separating it from its habitual context and enveloping it with a new context. Painting in contrast is about including the beholder in the world: painting, as if, opens a corridor into the participation of the world in us and of us in the world. Combining these two mediums into a new medium and continuum allows us to conceive a mode of mind in which the separation between the kinds of verbs is bridged. While language suggests perceiving through categories, this move allows to expose a potential synaptic world. During these years your artworks have been exhibited in several important occasions both in your country and abroad and you recently had four solos in Italy... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, encoura-ging him: I was just wondering if an award -or even the expectation of positive feedbacks- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

In the mythology of art there is and should be a hard distinction between the creative process and feedback of any sort and kind. This does not mean that acknowled-gement is not important, it is so, by all means. It can become a critical gear for passing thresholds in the process and work, and it can become a disruptive element in one’s life as well. But the creative process, in whatever medium, is also after that which is not been acknowledged. When I began this path I discovered the importance and the meaning of future acknowledgments and positive feedback loops, and on the same token I realized that I must change my mind in order to empty my motives from these elements. First because those are short terms motives and in most cases they lead to dead end zones, and secondly I understood intuitively that the locality of motives is a ‘wrong’ direction and the more my motives can shift into non-local kind of structures, the more the creative process can be without an end.Your questions for example carry the acknowled-gement that I crave for, yet they are composed in a fashion that allows me to use them as a vehicle of further penetration and under19

From the Petri Dish series


J.D. Doria

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Organ of Humanness

standing. In this sense there is no art without an audience exactly as there is no art purely for one self, art is a bridging inter-active and active process. Similarly we do not exist without each other and this is not a metaphor. Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your thoughts. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

I am planning in these days my next exhibition in Rome. It unfolds a new design for an exhibition and it will involve a real time multiple interpretation (in collaboration with a few photographers) of the Petri-Dish process, so that the products of those collabo-rations will be curated, while the whole event is occurring, and mounted on the walls of the gallery in real time. I am planning a few more surprises for the event and it might give the creators, the audience and us all a new and exciting medium of interaction and conversation. Thank you again for the very interesting interview.

an interview by Dario Rutigliano peripheral_arteries@dr.com


Doortje van Ginneken

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Exploits STORMRighteous - 2008 - oil on canvas performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Doortje van Ginneken

An interview with

Hello Doortje, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?

I don’t know what defines a work of art, but I do know when something that I’ve made is a work of art. My work of art! I see what I painted and it’s asking me questions. It’s also telling me not to add anything to it anymore. By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

The contemporariness of my work of art is demonstrated by the urgency of the questions that it’s asking me at this particular moment in my life. Would you like to tell us something about your an interview with background? You graduated at The Hague Royal Academy of Fine Arts, specializing in drawing, painting and etching: how has this experience impacted on the way you currenly produce your artworks? Doortje van Ginneken

The Royal Academy taught me a lot of technique and showed me different ways of looking at art. After I graduated all this knowledge became part of my artistic personality which will never ever come to graduation.

was educated at the The Hague Royal Academy of Fine Arts, specializing in drawing, painting and etching.

By the way, I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... as a wide experienced teacher, what's your point about this?

She had exhibitions in Pulchri Studio, Arti et Amicitae, Haagse kunstkring and other art galleries. As she had no studio for 5 years, her production consisted only of commissions mainly through the 'Koorenhuis, centrum voor kust en cultuur Den Haag'. Since februari 2006 she has her own studio at Westeinde 79A. Here she started a new series of paintings. She gives painting courses and workshops. Feel free to make an appointment to see her paintings in the studio.

Nonsense, the more knowledge and technique you’ve mastered the more freedom you have. This also goes for other art disciplines such as music. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what tech22


Doortje van Ginneken

Peripheral ARTeries

Human body - mixed techniques on paper 2002

nical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

suggest our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.atelierwesteinde.nl/ in order to get a wider idea of your work: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of the project behind these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

I usually start with a small sketch that I blow up and outline on a large canvas. Layer by layer I add thin layers of oilpaint in combination with oil pastels. Drawing is an essential feature of my works of art. I want the onlooker to see the original drawing through the paint. Each painting will demand its own process, so I cannot generalize.

The origins of this tryptich lie in a botanical garden in Costa Rica. While visiting this colourful paradise I was struck by the shapes and living organisms which surrounded me. Filled with these impressions I travelled to Oxford, Leiden and Amsterdam which have magnificent botanical gardens as well. At home in The Hague I worked these impressions into these three allied paintings.

Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with Botanische triptiek that our readers can admire in these pages and I would 23


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Botanic garden Oxford August 2013 - oil on canvas 2014

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Doortje van Ginneken

Botanic garden Costa Rica July 2013 - oil on cotton 2014

Japanse tuin Den Haag May 2014 - oil on cotton 2014

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Doortje van Ginneken

an interview with

Without title - oil on canvas 2010

In your paintings you employ imagery along with a host of abundant associations: life and regeneration; erosion and decay; danger; the unknown; and the spiritual, as I can clearly notice in many of your works... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

stuff that horoscopes want us to believe in. Nature as it is, in all its shapes, scents, colours and sounds, has an infinite variety of depths that fascinates me. If you call this phenomenon spiritual, okay! Of course you cannot disconnect the creative process from direct experience. Just as you cannot disconnect nature from art. By the way, do you visualize your works before creating? Do you know what it will look like before you begin? #196 Winter No, the colours and shapes direct me which way

I agree but I am not concerned with spirituality in the sense of ‘there is more in heaven and earth’ and 26


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Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

Without title - oil on canvas 2010

and intense emotions... I can recognize such interesting feature also in Movement... By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

the painting will go. Starting on a new project means a new adventure, a new exploration and I have no idea where it will lead me and what wonder lie in store for me.

You’re right about the struggle that you’ve discovered in Tempest. A death in the family boosted the tempestuous process.

Another work of yours on which I would like to spend some words are Tempest and JosĂŠ: one of the features of these pieces that have mostly impacted on me is the effective mix between dark background and the bright tones, which creates a synergy rather than a contrast: it seems to reveal such a struggle, a deep tension

Each new painting dictates the palette, so I cannot say that there is an evolution in palettes going on. Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 27


Peripheral ARTeries

Doortje van Ginneken


Doortje van Ginneken

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Botanic garden Leiden September 2013 - mixed techniques 2013


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Doortje van Ginneken

Botanic garden Oxford August 2013 - oil on cotton 2014

So far your works have been exhibited in several occasions at Pulchri Studio, Arti et Amicitae, Haagse Kunstkring and other art galleries... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

The canvas, the brushes, the pencils and paints and I are on our own and completely isolated from the world while the creative process is taking its course. Not one second is wasted on anticipating what the result will be and how people will react to it. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Doortje. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Creating a work of art has nothing to do with the aftermath of exhibitions, art critics, buyers, spectators, etcetera.

I really enjoy working on multidisciplinary projects. In the past I have made paintings which were used

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Doortje van Ginneken

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Diptich Human Body - oil on canvas 2011

during the performance of Haydn’s “Schöpfung”. Not as illustrations but as autonomous works of art which tell the story of evolution and progress in the world of nature. My next project will be a diptych for a surgeon of the academic hospital in Leiden. These two paintings will reflect the two worlds of those who are recuperating and those who are instrumental in that process. Nature has always been my first and most prominent muse and I will continue to give its wonderful riches a living space within my work. Botanic garden Costa Rica juni 2013 Oil on cotton

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Aivars Kisnics (Latvia) An artist’s statement

I was born on 16th of November, 1955 in Madona, Latvia. Since 1956 I am living in Liepaja. My mother was a dressmaker, but father was a technitian on a ship. After the graduation of the school I did join a Maritime College in Liepaja. In 1975 I did get a profession of a Navigator. I did develop my career further into a captain of the fishing ship on 1980 and the main working area was the Baltic Sea. In 1999 I retired and worked as a captain on a pilot boat in the port of Liepaja in Latvia. I was interested in art since school time - did participate in drawing as well as photography competitions and was awarded with state-wide certificates. Painting with oil on board I did begin around 2005.

#196 Winter


Without Title 656 oil canvas 100x70 cm 2013 Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 33


Peripheral ARTeries

Aivars Kisnics

An interview with

Aivars Kisnics Hello Aivars, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

First of all I would like to say thank you for noticing me and inviting to the interview. Let me start my story with a fact, that I do not have an art education. I do have only marine education. If I have to give my comments on what is an artwork, abstraction and my artworks in particular, then I would say the following – it is a result of my conscious or more often unconscious action with an interview with paints on canvas, that arise different reactions such as interest, excitement or anger. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on the way you currenly produce your artworks? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... as a self-taught artist, what's your point about this?

Aivars Kisnics

I have been lucky enough to spend my free time at the city museum since the early childhood, because my aunt was working there. Because of my interest in arts the following years I kept in touch with renovator Girts Kulbergs.

work was not good enough, I painted over new layers of paint and unwittingly the abstraction in my life was born. I found it very interesting and started to experiment on colors and paints, what I am doing until this present moment.

He “introduced” me to the artists from Liepaja of 70’s and 90’s. Since I remember myself, I have been painting with pencils, watercolors and gouache and around the year of 2005 I started to work with oil paints. With oil paints I painted nudes, flowers, landscapes, sea views and once when I felt that my

I think, if I would have an art education, I would stick to particular rules and therefore would never be brave enough to make experiments like this. Before starting to elaborate about your produc-

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Aivars Kisnics

Peripheral ARTeries

In each of my paintings there are from ten to thirty layers of paint. It is quite often when after month I remake the already finished painting just because there is something I do not like in it. There are paintings that were made in two hours and there are some I spent twenty four hours on. If we talk about technical aspects for me much of an importance is the consistence of paint and its drying time. Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with #1 and #2 that our readers can admire in these pages and I would suggest our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.aivarskisnics.com/gallery/ in order to get a wider idea of your work: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the

duction, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

The creation of painting cannot be put in any production frames. When I start to paint, I never know what will be the result.

Detail from new painting

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Aivars Kisnics

Agua Estancada

an interview with 9 Km. al suroeste de South City

Without Title 662 oil canvas 100x70 cm 2013

genesis of the project behind these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

in #3, #4 and especially in #5, which I have to admit is one of my favourite pieces of you... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Regarding the paintings Nr.1 and Nr.2 creation process it is impossible to give concrete comments because I make my works spontaneously depending on my mood and color themes that are close to my heart at that moment.

In my 30 year captain position on fishing ships in the Baltic Sea I have experienced hurricane-force huge waves - there were moments when sea was completely white with foam, visibility is reduced and you do not know if the ship will get back on a wave or get straight keel of the vessel after 45

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, employs water-like imagery along with a host of abundant associations: life and regeneration; erosion and decay; danger; the unknown; and the spiritual, as I can clearly notice

#196 Winter 36


Aivars Kisnics

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

Without Title 648 oil canvas 100x70 cm 2013

degrees of heel. There were also enjoyable moments with sunny time and beautifully calm sea. All of this has been lied in my brain and is often reflected in my works. Literally breaks out on the canvas. Because of that I truly believe that my work experience is closely linked to the creative processes.

Without Title 658 oil canvas 100x70 cm 2013

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 37


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Aivars Kisnics

Detail from Without Title 656

Detail from new painting 8x5 cm 2014

Now let's deal with the tones of your pieces: I would focus on #6 and in particular on #7: far from being the usual deep red that we should expect to see in a painting with such title, it's a thoughtful nuance of red... and what has mostly impressed me is that it is capable of establishing such a dialogue, a synergy with all the other tones instead of a contrast, even in the extremely interesting #8, when red saturates the canvas... By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

good mood. It is too early for me to speak about the palette change during the time, because I am painting abstraction for not so long time. Being strictly connected to the chance to create a deep interaction, your artworks - as the ones from your extremely stimulating and recent one #9- are capable of communicating a wide variety of states of mind: have you ever happened to discover something that you didn't previously plan and that you didn't even think about before? I'm sort of convinced that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal hidden sides of life and nature... what's your opinion about this?

Color palette changes when I am in thoughts in the sea that is the so called “blue period�. Yellow and red palette without explanation, probably I was in

Working with paints in my style in 2012 in the 38


Aivars Kisnics

Peripheral ARTeries

Details from new paintings,

Details from new paintings,

details size 11x8 cm oil canvas 2014

details size 11x8 cm oil canvas 2014

Agora Gallery Angela Di Bello said to me, that I am creating abstract expressionism works. In each of my paintings I find unplanned moments, especially when I take off the upper paint layer and the middle layer appears, where the colors have created their own palette not depending on me.

scendent concepts: the space that you create, besides a merely physical dimensions, has a more symbolic meaning, it can be a metaphor for emotions and associations...

I have never tried to use any kind of symbols, because at that moment the abstraction disappears. But if this kind of questions comes up in your mind, I am glad, because it means that the painting has reached its objective. The goal is reached, colors affect your imagination.

I can say – paints live their own life and change until the moment when the painting gets dry und covered by varnish. And here is the answer about the artist role to uncover the secrets of nature and life. Another interesting pieces of yours that have particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are #10 and #11: mitological elements are recurrently mixed tra-

So far your works have been exhibited in several occasions and I think it's important to mention that you participated in drawing as well as photography competitions and you were 39

Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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Aivars Kisnics

awarded as well... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

Already in the last century in 1969 I was awarded for 2nd place in the SSR Latvian Republic 7th Student photo show for the work called "Combination". It was a black and white photo, 1mx1m sized, taken with SLR cam at night on the town bridge in the movement. I was also participating in the drawing competitions. In 1971 I had a choice to make where to go after the secondary school – either to art school or to marine school. I went in the footsteps of my father who was a sailor for many years. I think that any reward - a moral or material encourage individuals to achieve even higher success. Is recognition affecting my process? I would say that not because nothing really changes, if only I would start to work with a larger format paintings or use more paint layers, so everything is still to come. Of course, the audience's opinion is important to me.

Detail from new painting oil canvas 2014

#196 Winter 5


Aivars Kisnics

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 6


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Aivars Kisnics

Without Title 670 oil canvas 100x70 cm 2013

Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Aivars. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

In recent years, my works have been exhibited in New York, London, Moscow, Taipei and Barcelona. Located in the collections of New York and Boston. For future plans – as a self-taught it would be really difficult to be one of the 5 million professional artists, but if I succeeded,

Detail from new painting oil canvas 2014

I would be very glad. Art Society will benefit one more artist - professional captain. 42


Aivars Kisnics

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Peripheral ARTeries

Nico Amortegui (Colombia / USA)

a.k.a.

Malo

An artist’s statement

Throughout my art practice, I aim to depict the perpetual changing direction of my country – a country where growing up with car bombs and kidnappings on the news everyday was the norm. I paint as a means of describing a childhood where the violence of that time and the people that were directly and indirectly affected were revolving in such a way that it created a menagerie of ‘normal’. As an immigrant, I became cognizant of the transaction between two “allied” countries and of my encounters in a place we had always referred to as the American Dream. Through my art, I seek to relay glimpses into the life of a young Colombian in the late 80s, a teenaged immigrant in the US in the 90s, and highlight the endless struggles of an immigrant with-out-papers. My work is full of color and is a product of expressed energy meaning there are no sketches or previous drawings. I work solely from in-the-moment-energy and I transfer what I see and feel on to the canvas. The rawness of my work exemplifies how my realities were never perfect as the images I render are not either. Nico Amortegui http://nicoarte.tumblr.com/ #196 Winter 44


Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Nico Amortegui

An interview with

Nico Amortegui Hello Nico, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Anything that can create a conversation - from a nose job to a kid’s drawing – it’s the product of skill, talent, practice and individual expression. We are surrounded by art and artwork does not necessarily have to be framed or hanging on a wall. I think contemporary art just means in the now, but could still trace its roots from older time periods. I’m sure decades from the “now” it will no longer equate an interview contemporary and itwith will be given a new term to describe the time period. Would you like to tell us something about your background? I have read that you grew up surrounded by artists and your learnt carpentry, photography, interior design, and painting along the way: how has this impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? And why Throughout your 20s did you choose to focus on photography. By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

Nico Amortegui, with Free Colombia

Some artists are able to get amazing skills by going to school, but I tend to ‘zone out’ in that setting. I learn by studying art books - examining how the works are made and their composition.

I grew up in a very small artist community outside of Bogot·. I watched my uncle paint at very young age and so, I wanted to be a painter, but didn’t think I was ever any good at it. I focused on artistic photography and held a lot of different jobs that without knowing at the time would end up shaping my current art practice. My background in interior design, construction and marketing are a huge foundation in how my artwork is created and promoted.

For me, that is the best way since I can grab ideas from artists that I admire and not be subjected to what someone else thinks is better for me. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what Nico Amortegui technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do 46


Nico Amortegui

Peripheral ARTeries

create the piece. The eyes tell stories and that is what I am trying to do with my art. My process is a lot about lines and balance as I see it. I do research a lot of history first when it’s a topic I don’t have first-hand experience with. Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with Defining MALO and Self that our readers can admire in these pages and I would suggest our readers to visit your website directly at http://nicoarte.com/paintings/ in order to get a wider idea of your work: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of the project behind these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

Like I mentioned before, I have no idea how the image will appear in the end, but I realize that something had affected me, someone said something about my signature and that created Defining MALO. It was a rebellion on what I “should do” according to others. Self was a bit different. I saw myself in the painting once it was done. It was me at that time; everything that I was feeling was

you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I love to go for a drive in the car and blast the music before I start working – it’s like pumping yourself up for a fight! Most of the time, I don’t have any clue what the image is going to be. I let the paint drive my hand. It’s a feeling of letting go and there is nothing like it. Once I start adding paint, a figure will come out and then the subject will speak to me. If I cannot connect with the artwork, I just walk away and work on something else. I don’t waste time or materials, so if it’s not making sense to me, I’ll come back to it later. The first part though is always the eyes - they are what

Self, Mixed media 47


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Nico Amortegui

Love Math

in front of me even though it didn’t look like me at all. That’s why it’s called SELF - it’s like looking at a photo of you, but you don’t recognize yourself and deep inside you know that is you whether you like it or not.

sations"... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Another interesting pieces of yours that have particularly impacted on me and on which I would like to spend some words are Piedad and Love Math... As I was said once "the moment when the painting is leaving its role of pure reproduction of reality it allows an adventure around several axes to highlight messages, sen-

I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to paint about personal experience, although it makes for interesting conversation. In my case, I try to tell a story, my personal experience is part of the artwork, and if it hasn’t affected me I probably wouldn’t create it. When there is a history behind #196 Winterin my opinion. it, it becomes more powerful 48


Nico Amortegui

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012

Piedad

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Nico Amortegui

Jackson Pollock, acryl/oil sticks, 48x48

Now let's deal with the tones of your pieces: I would focus on Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo: I noticed that red is a very recurrent tone and I definitely love its nuances... I daresay that it's such a thoughtful red... and what has mostly impressed me is that it is capable of establishing such a dialogue, a synergy with all the other tones instead of a contrast, as in Kenya... By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

I started working with very bright colors. Red, blue and black had always been a part of them. I come from a country that is very passionate and I think red is a huge representation of that. My color palette is evolving into a more straightforward, in-your-face color with darker tones taking over the work‌ I think it’s because I am maturing as an artist. I want my pieces to speak loud and red with black have a very powerful impact on the viewer. I still use pastel colors, but only to tone down the message of the artwork so you can see the beauty in the subject perhaps before you understand the message.

Frida Kahlo, acryl/oil sticks, 48x48

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Nico Amortegui

I can recognize a subtle but deep social criticism in your artworks, as in The Banker and in 222 and also in Devil Wears Prada, which I have to admit is one of my favourite pieces of yours: as you once stated, many of your images illustrate the strenght that you have witnessed from people living off the streets in your country... I'm sort of convinced that Art these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion, but I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can steer people's behavior... what's your point about this?

Well art has been used to steer people in a direction for a very long time. An example that comes to mind is tobacco company ads with beautifully painted classy women smoking. I don’t know that my intention is necessarily to steer behavior or opinion, but rather stir an emotion that evokes conversation or at least a second thought toward a topic.

The Banker, acryl/oil sticks, 48x48

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Amore, Mixed media


Piedad, Mixed media


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Nico Amortegui

Devil Wears Prada, Mixed media, 84x96

By the way, you now focus on painting and sculpting and woodworking with found objects, and we can admire an example of this in Free Colombia and in The Birth... Not to mention that usage of "found” materials is nowadays a very common practice, and I often wondered about the personal contribution of the artist, in such case... it goes without saying that also white canvas, acryls tube and pencil, they are all material that already exists... while roaming and scavenging through "found" material -personal materials, as well- might lead an artist to discover unexpected sides of the world, maybe of our inner world... what's you point about this?

When you don’t have money for a canvas, you tend to find ways to create on a budget! That was why I originally began working with found materials. Now it’s a little bit different as I do it as a way to learn new techniques. Painting is amazing, but I have a construction background and building things

The Birth, Mixed media #196 Winter

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Nico Amortegui

Peripheral ARTeries

My Art for your Love

an interview with

tist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

El Che, Acrylic, Olil Stick, 48x72

I try not to expect anything of any show no matter where it is. I don’t set myself up to be disappointed due to poor turn out or lack of sales, instead I look at every show as a good way for exposure. You are always going to have someone that loves it and someone that hates it or doesn’t get it and that’s fine. I don’t put too much thought into comments or compliments. At the end of the day, the best compliment you can get is when someone buys your artwork. Money might not be the reason you created the piece, but it keeps you working. I don’t paint for anyone or anyone’s taste - I do it because I have something to tell.

keeps me sharp. On a construction site, you learn to salvage and repurpose. I have in my head a construction process for the canvas. There is no better brain exercise than to create something with a bunch of things that most people would consider trash.

Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts, Nico. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

During these years your artworks have been exhibited in several occasion and you have recently had your Malo Solo Pop up Show at the Union EAV... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an ar-

I am going to have a solo show in NY and another one in August in Charlotte, everything will be up in the website soon. an interview by Dario Rutigliano

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012

peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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Erika Ewing, Make Me A Doorway, 2012

#196 Winter 1


Jesse Russell Brooks (USA)

Jesse Russell Brooks says his experimental film “Make Me A Doorway” focuses on memory, language and relationships—but, really, what in life doesn’t? Trying to be everything, however, can leave you with nothing. Or, when it succeeds, it can represent all. “Doorway,” an intensely personal film for everyone involved, also functions as an archetype. The personal can be political. Intensely specific and deeply universal, it represents the best of what experimental film - a medium always teetering on the edge of self-parody – can accomplish. “Doorway,” like doorways, is a Jungian archetype, the possibility of revealing the hidden, of leaving one life behind and entering into something new. But the type of door – its frame, its knob, its paint – is Freudingly personal, with full-length mirrors often hanging on the back of the doors. Memory, language and relationships existing within and behind the scenes, they function as a vibrant means of understand this work.


Peripheral ARTeries

Jesse Russell Brooks

an interview with Alexzenia Davis, Make Me A Doorway, 2012

A (MIS)REMBRANCE

Briefly: Three visually distinctive women consider lost love during a rush of mixed media footage, from Super-8 film in the early 1990s New York to Super-HD in present day Los Angeles. Never talking on camera, these women allow the poetry of Alexzenia Davis to speak on their hearts’ behalf.

teen years of age, Brooks began experimenting with his camera, capturing actress and model Erika Ewing in a series of poses and locations around New York City. (“Different ideas,” Brooks says, “loan themselves to be captured with particular cameras.”) Brooks showed his footage to poet Davis, then the two widened their memento-scope viewing similar to what the “Doorway” viewer does - to photos and videos of past friends, family and lovers. Flickering through Davis’ mind as “Doorway” flickers past our eyes (the film is also a metaphor for creativity,) it unbolted her creativity and she crafted three poems in response.

“Make Me A Doorway” originated with a door that could have been lost to the filmmaker’s memory. The oldest mental entrance unlocked in the film – the 80s Super-8 footage – is the one that unlocked the artist to a future in experimental film: seven-

“Poetry is sacred,” Brooks says, “it’s gotten me through life.” “Doorway” opens the viewer to that possibility. Brooks seems to live a life of poetry, when he emails, he puts in “/” as if transcribing a poem:

Experimental Film Maker Jesse Russell Brooks by Josh Herman

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Jesse Russell Brooks

Peripheral ARTeries

Liala Petrone, Make Me A Doorway, 2012

“I had known that the piece called for three women/ though I did not know when or how it would be crafted into the work. (Laila Petrone, who is the women applying lipstick, was added near the final stages.)” In a published piece Poet Laureate Erica Goss wrote for the literary publication Connotation Press, it is evident as well: “I would give anything to brush by myself in a crowd. To look into my life at some public event in just the same way that I have looked into these strangers’ lives. At some social well-to-do event/ just so I can hear what comes out of my mouth.” Through dialogue echoed in the editing, Brooks developed a more intimate relationship with Davis’ words. “[Davis] and I do not have a similar approach to art or poetry,” Brooks has said. “I think it is safe to say that we have different crea-

tive philosophies all together.” He’s quick to add that they used conversation to find a synergy, “to speak the same language visually and poetically.” “Doorway” ultimately became a complication of three of Davis’ poems, “Make Me,” “My Silhouette,” and “A Lady’s Psyche.” (Davis, also co-starring in the piece, never mouths her words.) Surprisingly, the poems are quite literal, without the flowery language that's a boon to experimental film-makers; though based on visual images, especially those of Erika Ewing, the poem itself contains few images. Davis’ voice is distinct and the words of her poetry exact. Involved in the process of invoking the poems, Brooks could have coerced Davis into crafting florid language that would have made his directing easier, but instead he made the more interesting choice of construc-

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Jesse Russell Brooks

ting the visual landscape via directing and editing, creating images that condensate or rain down in support of, or in opposition to, the words. The space left between the two adds a deeper layer resplendent in repeat viewing: though “Doorway” works as a whole, listening, or looking, at the sum of its parts creates a profounder gestalt. It’s something he may have picked up while working as video artist Bill Viola’s assistant. “I always remember Bill saying things like ‘You must not master every little thing in your work or cross examine every little detail of how you feel. The constant presence of the unknown is always part of us. Art is not complete on its own. It is the viewer who completes it.’” This “viewer” may be us, but could just as easily be Brooks. Seemingly bereft of a male presence, “Doorway” is as much an exploration of Brooks’ memory, language and relationships as the female leads’. That a male is directing – shooting - three females isn’t missed by Brooks, and he’s aware of The Male Gaze. When the narrator says “you wanted to know me, I could feel you piercing, devouring my lips with your lens” is she referring to the unseen person looking at the door or Brooks? She continues, excoriating her ex-lover as much as her now-director: “Shift into my scene and see what you see. But don’t go after what you’ve seen and then twenty years later just assume that you’ll open a container of wellpreserved memories.”

Still image from the film Make Me A Doorway, 2012

I watch men and women while they look and paintings and objects...” Zooming on their minutia – how they hold a newspaper, sip from the water fountain, wear socks or not – Brooks becomes a collector of images—and moments. “I enjoy the moments of others.”

“The video shows,” Brooks says, “both the strength of the women, their beauty and intelligence—and their vulnerability.” But, just as the film strives to, Brooks’ gaze transcends stereotypes. Brooks will tell you that he often goes to the library or museum not to read or study paintings, but to contemplate the people doing both. “I used to bring a tablet to sketch them,” he said in an interview, “But that really was an excuse. I don’t know how to draw well.

“Doorway,” then, is also about sharing his with us. Sentences flow like auditory news-station ticker, summoning to mind the staccato rhythm of “Now we think when we fuck”, the poetry film performan60


Jesse Russell Brooks

Peripheral ARTeries

Liala Petrone, Make Me A Doorway, 2012

sense or narrative.) “Doorway,” at times, doesn’t feel like video-poetry but video-psychoanalysis. As Davis lyricizes: “Memories degrade me like film reels, so the real story comes out missing details, and all that you have left to show is an image.” Proto-film theorist Hugo Munsterberg, writing in 1916, said “Memory looks toward the past, expectation and imagination to the future.” Brooks, writing in 2014, said “The aspect that I enjoy most about my work is reflecting.”

MEMORY ces of American poet and activist Essex Hemphill. The film Tongues Untied directed by the late Marlon Riggs explores the issues of homosexuality and AIDS in the African American community, questioning gender in a poetry documentary style; “Doorway,” which explores issues of gender in the poetic style of the experimental - mirroring the language, or logic, of dreams - is more visceral. (Though all films operate on Oneiric, dream logic – I’m here, now I’m suddenly here, now cut to: somewhere else – experimental film seems borne from the deepest of REM. It can use authentic personal footage and, like a Benadryl-induced nightmare, doesn’t require sen-

Fast-forwarding through Brooks’ biography reveals a visual- montage: we open with 8mm film and VHS video on the streets of New York. “I’ve had a desire to shoot film and make video art far before I was working and living in Manhattan,” Brooks says, “but the films I created I remember more as my ‘journals’ rather than ‘projects.’” These New York sketchbooks sometimes led to small screenings at parties or "long-forgotten salons or pop up galleries" you'd find in the meatpacking district in the early and mid 90's." 61


Peripheral ARTeries

Jesse Russell Brooks

Intercut with this is Brooks’ work as a stage manager, assistant director and producer with recognized clips from Walt Disney’s The Lion King, Jesus in a Beehive, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Who’s Tommy and a succession of tours and concerts, including a literal dropping of the ball. In 1999, Brooks was invited to work as a technical assistant with the production team responsible for the 1 Times Square New Year’s party. “I am not sure I will see that many people at one time from that perspective ever again,” he says of the experience, which, of course, he documented on 35mm and 8mm film. Our montage continues, with the fps slowing for a turning point in our protagonist’s life: Brooks’ residency with Bill Viola. Working on a number of the award-winning video artists’ pieces, the most memorable for Brooks was “Oceans Without A Shore.” Combining HD technology and vintage 1970s black and white surveillance footage, the project was created in Long Beach, CA and exhibited in the Church of San Gallo in Venice, Italy. Speaking of his studio assistantship, however, Brooks focuses not on the theoretical, but the flesh-and-blood: “With Viola, the concept always comes first; how he influences the artists, models, actors, etc., around him during his process is by remaining genuine and uncalculated. †It is the human experience that is of the most - I cannot stress this enough - the absolute most important.” He could be speaking of “Doorways” when he lionizes the filmmaker: “The vulnerability and honesty that Viola cultivates must never be mistaken for weakness. †It is strength. The calmness of his work must never be mistaken for acceptance. It is being. †His work is knowing without knowing.”

Still image from the film Make Me A Doorway, 2012

lations did he appreciate just how much insight he’d absorbed: “The most important thing that I learned, which I didn’t realize, while working in theater was the poetics of space,” Brooks says. Along with the tutelage Rex Bruce, head curator for LACDA, it forced the filmmaker to re-evaluate his theater experiences, “as a tool to not only create video art, but as a way to create a gallery space.”

Any analog footage in our visual mosaic becomes purely digital in Brooks’ recent history as an assistant curator for the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA.) Though he’d sweated at some first-rate theaters, only when assisting on art instal-

Turning on a live-cam reveals the expected—Brooks shooting film. By the end of 2014, he expects to complete two new works, one of which will be a second poetry film.

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ve picked each woman – as none speak on camera – for their dissimilar, unique, presence. Davis’ muscles transcend her forearms, you sense she’s equally strong in her psyche; Ewing seems lithe, lost and fixated; Petrone broken but annealing. Each woman also represents a place in time: Ewing the past, the scars of lost-love still raw; Laila, in the present, slowly heals; Davis, with her poems, reflects from the future on the scabs. A filmic doorway begins the action. A flickering frame of black, then white, then black – as though a camera were dropped, or picked up, while filming, then in a center square appears the 8mm footage of Ewing, from chin up, on the streets of New York while Davis stoically pleads “Make me illegal…Make me reasonable…” Cut to: Davis herself, in a green tank-top, contemplating in contemporary LA… “Make me matter…” Cut to: Petrone, near an open window, contemplating something else…“Make me a hurry…” Cut to: stairs leading to an open doorway…“Make me a figure-8…”…then Davis appears in the door’s center. “Make me infinity,” she says in voice-over, and up comes our title, white on black, centered top to bottom and left to right: “Make Me a Doorway.” LANGUAGE

These first eighteen seconds set the tone, characters and theme of “Doorway,” motifs that will repeat and evolve over the next 3:16. Doors, closed, commence the second section, tied together by the opening-of-Lolita-esque, “Devouring my lips with your lens.”

The three-minute, thirty-six second film combines the aforementioned 8mm film with standard definition video. Three seems to be a theme of the piece, with Davis’ three poems – “Make Me,” “My Silhouette” and “A Lady’s Psyche” – rambling over a triptych of women: Ewing, Davis and Laila Petrone (Brooks says that though he knew the piece required three women, Petrone was only added near the final stages.) Brooks seems to ha-

Brooks understands rhythm, and just when the abundance of doors and ways seem on the verge of repetitiveness, the filmmaker interrupts both diegetic image, and our complacency, with a hand, black, rapping on a door. An exclamation point among the comma of the piece, it extends gender

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Jesse Russell Brooks

relations to the permutations on memory. In another example of Brooks’ editing prowess, or appreciation of that summer camp ditty “Miss Susie” (“…and when she went to Heaven, her tugboat went to Hell—o operator…”) Davis stares off from some L.A. rooftop and says, in voice-over, “Why do I buy time posing with my hands on my hips, and gazing around as if I don’t give a—” and before she can get out the “fuck,” the scene quickly fades to black then flashes back on – now we’re with Petrone – as Davis continues, “Shift into my scene and see what you see.” Some images are clearly charged, a single finger withdrawing from the purple shade of lipstick Patrone’s been wearing—the smeared finger sexual, violent and uterine with allusions to either sexual congress or menstruation. Or maybe all of the above. Working with images of doors open and closing, if what we expected behind each one – literally and metaphorically – was what we received it would be a letdown. Brooks makes the correct choice in that the majority of the footage bares only a tenuous relationship to the words: “Make me medicinal” over Patrone brushing on eyeshadow. “I went to bed last night and I didn’t care to think about tomorrow” over a walking shadow. “Sew me to your fabric and wrap me instantly” over a head-shot of Ewing staring to the left. When he matches words and images there’s good reason: “Trying to creep into my vision” is harmonized with the pensive Petrone (the alliteration is contagious) in a triptych mirror;


Jesse Russell Brooks

Peripheral ARTeries

and too good to pass up, Davis in a rare moment of joy, smiles large, equally joyful in her voice: “I just smiled. I knew you would say something to make me feel this way.” What way? Memory is pliable, and the staccato images here genuflect to clipped words, flashed into being over black: “Feel the way I feel when I/Love the way I feel when I…” Walking a tight-rope between themes of the memory of love, photographs and Captions misremembrances, language and silence, it would have been easy for Brooks to fall off. But in the last few seconds of the piece Davis’ words, Brooks’ filmmaking and Patrone and Ewing’s acting ensures a safe crossing: “..And all you have left to show is an image…” Cut to: Ewing in front of Grecian columns on New York… “an image that you will take and imagine that, if you had the chance to have this happen again, you’d remember it better…” Cut to: Davis? Patrone? Walking towards a tinted-by-sun gold road, sunspots visible… “But you didn’t. You see?” Is she talking to us, her lover, herself, the three women? The final words – and haunting final moment (I won’t give it away) – may not make us see, but it certainly makes us feel. Erika Ewing, Make Me A Doorway, 2012


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go away your, determine the color itself!

#196 Winter


Ingrid Leiter (Germany)

Ingrid Leiter, born in 1976, after school education (marketing / advertising) drawn because of personal reasons to hamburg(germany) 2009 and since then an artist / photographer with provocation Direct, open, but friendly to all who try to hide their opinion.

Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Ingrid Leiter

An interview with

Ingrid Leiter What, in your opinion, defines a work of art? And, moreover, what are the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork? Do you think there is a quiet dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Art means a lot to me. It is not important to keep something in hand. Art begins in the mind. Freedom of heart and mind is the first step, and then you have to have the courage to implement it. It can be out loud, in words, in various actions, including to ‘paint’. But the greatest art is already in oneself – namely, insight. I do not like the word ‘tradition’ because it is like a compulsion. Many traditions captivate people. Killing diversity of art should have no place! Art should be timeless and without limits. You see, life imitates art! You can see it in everyday life: someone HAS an idea, an interview but others talk about with this idea or say it is bad to do that, what others are doing well, because they call it ‘modern’.

Ingrid Leiter

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly impacted the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I read that you have been photographing children for days, so I would like to ask you about formal training... Sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of training could even stifle an artist's creativity...

"most men would rather stay in their labor to small cabinet, next to the pinup posters, as besides the boring woman in the big bed, at home!- but what man says the public?!"

I try to make the best of every situation, but it's hard because life doesn’t always afford us the freedom to do this. I cannot always use my conviction.

Mostly being forced begins internally. It has a name: ‘pig–dog’. One can go unnoticed and one often breeds a whole pack of them, without you noticing. Often it is oneself getting in the way.

The vocational does not always gives me, the artist, the freedom to do what I want with confidence; there are time pressures and colour. Humanity is lost. Art means to do something positive and to use the negative and turn it into the light. Art should not be forced – being forced creates a dictatorship.

One must have the courage to ‘jump over the shadow’. A ‘wish list’ should conquer humanity! It is important to listen to oneself; this saves a lot of negative experiences. Just relax and implement it as if you only have one day to live. Today I know this to be true – believe me, try it!

(Ingrid Leiter)

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is in every living stone

I think it is important that you can hear this gut feeling – it is the best consultant in the first place. Believe me, if I had listened to my advisor sooner, I think then I would have had a much less negative experience. Today I use life experience as a lesson. As a small child I had so many ideas but I could not implement them because I used to hear things like: ‘What are the others thinking?’ Or ‘That doesn’t suit you!’

their back was so great that I always liked to do it. That was, and is today, my confirmation. I painted the wallpaper at home, cut my hair myself or sometimes took the flashbulbs off my father’s camera. I could not afford a camera of my own at the time. I was about four years old and I had only sweets as a reward as a camera made of plastic was not enough for me. My grandfather gave me a very old camera and I photographed animals – that was a great sensation for me! But I hid the camera in the woodpile when I went home, so that no one could take it – it was MY camera! No one dared to go in there – just me,

If I secretly converted an idea into action and got caught, there was a lot of trouble with my parents or other people, but the secret praise I got behind 69


Peripheral ARTeries

Ingrid Leiter

because I have no fear of spiders. Unfortunately, my grandpa is now dead. Today I take photographs of what is spontaneous and what I like, and I paint when I want to – planning is a bad thing! I let my imagination decide. I do not need a lot of materials; everything I need, I have at home. I try with certain images to evoke a situation, which is great fun for me! I have only painted for a short time. And it’s great fun! I prefer to paint at night, when my inspiration is running at full speed. I do not paint the wallpapers on; I take screens and other materials if there is nothing suitable to hand. What I then create is different. My mood shows me the way. Often, a situation is just right for an image. I paint step-by-step and I just get closer to the goal or the goal seems to get closer to me. But the best part is that my gut feeling tells me whether something is good or bad; it gives me direction. When people try to dissuade me, it just inspires me more – and the result looks very good! There are no standards and no law for this guidance – that's the best way! For the implementation of my ideas, I often just need an evening, a night or a weekend! I originally trained in the food trade and marketing, but only because it was free and women often had few or no educational opportunities. Again, because of tradition, many said: ‘This is not a profession for women! Women can only dream of art, cooking, philosophy or writing books.’ Childbearing was number one! An arrangement – for the sake of tradition!

hobby in the water

cozy wall

#196 Winter 70


Ingrid Leiter

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my new friend

an interview with Today I know that it's just a title on a piece of paper. You can do anything without this piece of paper! In many ways I hid my ‘gut feeling’ and was therefore often sad. But a few years ago I started to understand my gut instinct again and to hide nothing, and it has had a positive impact. Before starting to elaborate on your production, would you like to tell our readers something about your process and set-up for creating your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in beforehand and in the process of creating a piece? Captions

I’m not a friend of technology; I like the simple things in life. I love old things, which are often more durable and easier... they make the photos give me paint-based materials and ideas, and – most important of all – the conviction. I have private rooms to paint: the basement, my kitchen or among nature. Everywhere! When I am sad or angry I have good ideas. I also write lyrics under my pictures and the feeling frees me. For the imple-mentation of my ideas, I often just need an evening, a night or a weekend! Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with the pieces that our readers have started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest 71


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Ingrid Leiter

to our readers to visit your Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IngridLeiterPhotoArt in order to get an idea of your productions... In the meantime could you take us through your creative process when starting a new work?

The entire planet is ‘Blue’; it is communication (view full-size piece) and it’s addictive; one has to educate each other and ADAPT to the circumstances. You want to know something about my future plans? Are you serious? I don’t wish to make plans; only this much can I tell you: I do what my gut feeling tells me and I always do what others do not expect! But if I had one wish, I would like to open a gallery in my previous city, perhaps together with another artist? So you could advise and help maybe. I now live in Hamburg, Germany, and the distance is too great to look for something. And I love Hamburg and the ‘Elbe’ subway and so much more... This city has so much to offer. But I miss my friends (most I have been friends with for over thirty years) and family, but I maintain contact with them. This is very, very important for me! I noticed that elements of the environment are very recurrent in your artistic production, and besides a merely physical dimension, space seems to have a more symbolic meaning; it can be a metaphor for emotions and associations...

I love the outdoors, that’s right! Many things are gray so we can paint colourful things; we can draw our life!

every step is a fantom?

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Ingrid Leiter

Birthday flowers at home with me

Maybe someone can help? We humans should not hide our emotions – they distract us! We therefore need to draw them rather than hide them.

Picasso always and everywhere is alive!

As you remarked once, ‘Art, in which form it is lived, is the “gate to the world”, and the express train for what many do not say with the mouth’. I absolutely agree with this and I'm sort of convinced that some information and ideas are hidden, or even ‘encrypted’ in the environment we live in, so we need – in a way – to decipher them. 73

Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Peripheral ARTeries

Ingrid Leiter

Maybe one of the roles of the inner artist could be to reveal the unexpected sides of nature, especially of nature... what are your thoughts on this?

This is precisely the point! ‘Art, as it looks, is the gateway to the world.’ It tells us what we cannot say with the mouth and what we feel and think – we understand this language! If there is something we do not want to believe, our feelings will always tell us the truth. If we face a work of art, then we start to feel and think about it... our gut feeling tells us in this moment how to convey this message. Sometimes we look in more detail and then again maybe do not want to believe what ‘struck’ us in the first instance. Some say: ‘No, no, this must not be!’ But STILL! This gut feeling says this very second right!

Black stairs in Hamburg

Light wash over Hamburg

Caption 3

#196 Winter 74


Ingrid Leiter

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

angles in the light

Now, after a long time, I have learned one thing: ‘If your head and abdomen (emotion) make you smile, then follow your heart in the matter!’

Captions

Your works are capable of establishing a deep involvement with the audience, both on an intellectual and, dare I say, physical level... So I would like to ask if, in your opinion, personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of the creative process, both for conceiving artwork and in order to enjoy it... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience? Caption 4

There is a sentence that says: ‘The best stories are written by life.’ Now I do not know who said that, but life also has its 75


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Ingrid Leiter

My First Picture art in acrylic

It goes without saying that positive feedback is capable of providing an artist with special support... I was just wondering if the expectation of positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how important for you is feedback from your audience? Do you ever think about it when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if there could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and art...

downsides, whether in politics, society, or other traditional thinking; but if there were not this gray colour then you would not attempt the colourful world of painting – in any form! I would NOT condemn those who preferred this colour; I would like to encourage people to switch sides, so everyone experiences a piece of the others and can judge how the other side really is. So you can best mix your own colours! Everyone should be able to make his or her own art out of it and to mix their own colours in a variety of ways! A change in life can help you to jump over your own shadow.

You make a good point! Business and art belong together! Art makes us all feel HUNGRY! It is a 76


Ingrid Leiter

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Wood eyes

Internally color profess-in acrylic

relief for many art lovers to know this, if you buy a piece of art for money, because this artwork reminded you of what was intended only and must not be spoken aloud. Art reflects the desires in people's lives. Often a person must convert something into words so that other people can understand it. In objective art there are millions of pounds worth – you see – priceless! This form of feedback is often incomprehensible! Can we then say ‘money makes us happy’? Art lovers like to pay in money; you have to take a deep breath – the amounts can be in the millions. But I say this: ‘If one understands art, one need not award the note!’ There may be problems about the art appealing but why can they not exchange if it has so much MONETARY VALUE? Many artists see ONLY the money and art has therefore lost much appreciation and TRUE value. An artist who draws inspiration from money, NOT who is loved and appreciated, can they show joy when business and art are dependent on each other? ‘Positivity’ is different. Is it really ALWAYS positive feedback that supports an artist? I'm sure that's not the case! Of course, positive feedback is good, if it is distributed in measured quantities, and it begs the question of who always responds positively. Do you talk badly to someone behind their back about their Caption 7 art? Do you speak frankly or not?

When many compliments are paid but nothing else happens, I ALWAYS consider it to be critical. Negative criticism always has a positive impact for me in terms of thinking about the situation, and it is fun to play with these points – perhaps to improve or provoke? Often there is much positive (secret) pronounced feedback, which is harder than (secret) negative feedback. One should not rely on the word ‘positive’. Many people stay silent and consequently have headaches. Art should be free! Thank for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us, Ingrid. What's next for you? Is there anything coming up for you that you would like readers to be aware of?

I try not to plan, where possible, because my experience shows that often with spontaneity the plan can come to you and this lasts a long time! I’m not sure there’s a definition for the word! But let's see if the world still needs a gallery. My wish for people is that they can listen to their sense as this is the best advisor. I say this as a woman, as a mother, as a human being. I am convinced that art needs no coercion and believe me – THE WHOLE OF LIFE IS ART! I am extremely grateful for the open and honest conversation and would like to thank ‘Unker.de’ for the editing, who helped me with the grammar in the text. 77

Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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Jamie Earnest (USA)

An artist’s statement

I wish to create work that will emit visual stimulation of experiences of architectural space through simplistic imagery. I aim to use color as a tool of depth and space. My subject matter will be representative of observational artistic practice with some distortion and abstraction through simple line work. I wish to attune an interior power within myself as I’m creating, as well as in my viewers with the final product. Therefore, I wish to bring about an interior order of the perception of spatial imagery; that is to say, a legitimate repercussion of exterior impressions upon human perception, so that the forces that organize this perception are not thwarted but receive somewhat spiritual impulsions from my spatial imagery. Within my artistic process, I create a visual experience of space through 2D imagery and react to this space through abstraction. When I state that I ‘react’ to a space that I create, this is referring to a state of subconscious that is activated when I create the initial space, whether it is through paint or collage, my reactionary gestures are seen as abnormal abstractions in the space, particularly through line work. It is as much of a conscious process as it is a subconscious process. When making work, I try to channel both states of mind. My reactions tend to mirror elements of the space such as the line of a doorframe, or the angle of a corner. These are shown as abstracted line work overtop and within the initial space I created. This work derives from experiences I have of architectural space around me. Such as the moment when glass blocks reflect light onto a wall or a ceiling in that sort of wave pattern. I am also inspired not only by light but by interesting perceptions of color and form. For example, it is interesting when the doorframe of a door and the wall are painted the same color. When viewing the door frame, it creates a visual blur with the wall due to the color similarities and they are on a similar plane. The only difference in color might be cause by the shadows of embellishments on the door frame. With this perception, the frame and the wall are seen as one while the door opposite. What if the door was also the same color? All of these instances help me pose questions and situations that are present within my work dealing with the perception of spatial experiences.

Jamie Earnest #196 Winter 78


Captions 1, details

Righteous Exploits A still from Interaction, video performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Jamie Earnest

An interview with

Jamie Earnest Hello Jamie and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. To start this interview I would like to ask you something about your background? You are currently pursuing your MFA at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art, so I would ask how this experience is impacting on the way you conceive your artworks...

Carnegie Mellon is a top research and liberal arts university. Therefore, this school exceeds in all fields and majors. I feel that being in such a driven, successful environment allows me to have access to important resources such as academia that are of high quality. Easy access to fantastic programs, classes, and

an interview with is a good thing for an professors across all majors

art major to have, it allows academia to have a strong influence in your college career as well, which can influence artwork in return. By the way, even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naive, I'm such of convinced that one can never stop learning... so I would like to ask what's your point about formal training in Art an especially if in your opinion a formal training -or better, a certain kind of formal training- could even stifle an artist's creativity...

Jamie Earnest

I think formal training, in the technical sense, is essential for every artist. An artist is one who observes their surroundings, and take in the information from this observation and translate it as a message, concept, theory or idea through visual communication.

Though upon the invention of the camera, the role and techniques of art making changed. Artists today face more challenges of pushing the con-ceptual realm of art. Without a technical training, an artist is unable to fully visually understand their surroundings, and how their artistic voice and their skills of relaying observations through visuals interact with techni-cal skill and conceptual skill.

Therefore, I think that technical training is important because it allows you to really see objects, situations, and people in this world. 80


Jamie Earnest

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A still from Interaction, video

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Most of my work at the moment are oil paintings particularly of simple interior spaces. I do not really sketch my ideas, I do not sketch too much. I tend to write my thoughts and ideas and it allows me to organize my artistic intentions more easily. A painting can take me several weeks, depending on the size and different obstacles I may face while working on it, such as deciding to change aspects of the composition or color.

I experience my work on a daily basis, I deal with the experience of space as shaped by interior architecture. I try to understand how different visual restrictions and relations occur in interiors spaces through variables such as light and color.

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Nature of Architecture, that our readers can admire in these pages. Would you tell us something about the genesis of this in81


A still from Nature of Architecture, video


ARTiculAction

Jamie Earnest

A still from Nature of Architecture, video

teresting piece? What was your initial inspiration?

I was initially inspired of how corners and different planes of walls melt into each other when painted white. I was interested in how their lines and planes melted together because of the phenomenon of light and color. You work have been shown in several cities, both in your home state Alabama and around the USA... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or just the expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

Yes, an award and continued positivity and interest in ones work does influence the way artists work. It depends on how an artist takes this praise and attention; the artist can both accept it with pride and not allow the attention to obstruct their artmaking in a negative, egocentric way, or the artist can continue the thing that is gaining he/she the praise. Thus if the artist chooses the latter, they will never grow as an artist if they continue to do the same thing. Art is always changing, and so are the artists. Exploration and humbleness is key in being an artist, not just a successful one. 84

Jennifer Sims


Jamie Earnest

ARTiculAction

A still from Nature of Architecture, video

Jennifer Sims

A still from Nature of Architecture, video 85


ARTiculAction

Jamie Earnest

I have been impressed with your conceptual work Relation... By the way, interdisciplinary is a crucial element of your art practice: as you have remarked, you tend to relate science, psychology, and philosophy into your work... work while crossing the borders of different artistic fields. Have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Yes, I agree with this statement. I think it is important to see how many disciplines bleed into each other and inspire each other in our society. Not only with art and other fields, but fields such as technology and medicine commonly blend into one another and help the other grow and discover more. By the way, I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

I believe there can be a genuine relationship, but it takes effort and dedication from the artist to stay true to themselves, their work, and other artists in a corporate world. It can and has been done. Thanks for sharing your thoughts , Jamie. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

This summer I will be studying architecture in Germany, and I am very excited. Thank you for the interview!

A still from Relation, video

Jennifer Sims 86


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Alberto Varet Pas An artist’s statement

What is cinema? Or, at least, what is cinema today? When everything seems to be devaluated I ask myself for the value of the image. That is the reason I have abandoned the use of the screenplay in my lasts works. Because I want to get some inspiring moments far from the slavery of a text. I work this way because I have discovered that is the best one to bring out something real from our life. The best one to shoot its beauty, capable of justify our existence, and bring back its lost sense to the images. Because, like Picasso, I prefer to finding instead of looking for. In free spirits like his I have found the inspiration for my work. I mean artists like BuĂąuel, Malick or Pedro Costa, who have guided my steps. Without them I had not been able to build a cinema that says without talking. Because I really feel that there is where the truly freedom rests in the contemporary audiovisual: in the spaces far from noise and obviousness.

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cual

Righteous Exploits A still from Agua Estancada, video performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Alberto Varet Pascual

An interview with

Alberto Varet Pascual Hello Alberto, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, as a contemporary film maker, do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Thank you for this interview. For me art is related to mystery. In cinema, for example, Bresson explained it quite well when he said, more or less, that cinema was about ‘bringing out an invisible stuff from the visible stuff’. So cinema can’t be ‘telling stories’, like the most of the filmakers say. You can choose making a narrative movie or not. You can choose telling a story or not.

an interview with But the most important thing is just bringing out the mystery. John Ford is not John Ford because he was good at telling stories, but because he was able to take out something moving from each scene. And this last sentence can ask your last question: yes, there is a dichotomy or link between the great masters of the past and the new ones. Between Ford and Straub, for example.

Alberto Varet Pascual

Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have studied Universidad San Pablo-CEU, where you degreed in Audiovisuals: how have this experience impacted on the way you currently produce your films? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?

It is funny because he hates oriental authors, but, without his help, I could not get to all this cinema. So he was a good teacher because he gave me something to make my own way. Like a hint to start. Then, I chose my preferences. I started to go to Filmoteca Española and to read books and cinema reviews and I got to the point I am right now. So I would say that a have had no masters... unless we call master to the forementioned teacher or to the moviemakers I adore.

Yes, I agree with you but my career couldn’t stifle anything. It was so flat and nule... So, what can I say about my past? I almost did not learn anything at university, but I had a good teacher that made me know some masters of documentary.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for 90


Alberto Varet Pascual

Peripheral ARTeries

than narrative. The way of working was very different in my two last movies for several reasons. For example, I started to make the movies by my own. In 9 Km. al suroeste de South City I had the support of some friends but Agua estancada is a ‘solitaire work’. I have shot it with a small camera and I have edited it alone because when I edited 9 km... with a friend I found that my way of shooting and editing is not narrative and I needed time to know what I wanted to mean. Another reason is that I have left (at least momently) the fiction to shoot documentaries. However, 9 km... was nailed by a science fiction story and now I am preparing another work called Tren suburbano (Invierno) that is also a documentary bathed by a fiction story. Something that Herzog made quite fine in his wonderful Lessons of Darkness. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Agua Estancada, an extremely interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest them to visit your vimeo page at https://vimeo.com/88442363 in order to get a wider idea of it. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this film?

That is another thing that has changed since Agua

making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a film?

It is hard to say because, unless I shot my first short when I was 18, I have made few movies, and in each one I have worked in a different way. For example, in my first work, called Nido de huérfanos (that I want to retake to make a new version), I worked with some friends. We wrote a script and made some pictures of the shots. The curious thing is that, finally, our short was shot in long takes and it was much more contemplative 91


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Alberto Varet Pascual

Agua Estancada

estancada. In my first movie I used a script that was not very useful at the end. In 9 km... I did not anscript interview use but a poeticwith text and some drawings. And now I don’t use anything. I started to go out with a camera and when I saw something interesting I shot it. And it is a good exercise because a lot of things that are poetic in a paper, are not in the real life; and a lot of things that are poetical in real life, don’t have to be so through the lense. So it helps you to awake in order to get that mystery hidden in the world, in the life that surrounds us.

9 Km. al suroeste de South City

Even when you try to avoid that, your inconscence is going to do a good job (check out Hitchcock’s movies, for instance). And that could be this case because, as I have said, I just shot some images that I found interesting, beautiful, funny, weird... Then I took them to the edition process to give them infinite senses, because I wanted to make something opened.

One of the feature of this interesting piece that has particularly impacted on me is the way you have been capable of establishing a deep involvement with the audience, with an effective usage of water as metaphor... so I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Like Tarkovsky, I prefer to express myself metaphorically than symbolically because a symbol contains within itself a definite meaning but a metaphor is an image, indefinite in meaning. So, as you say, for me it is much more important the atmosphere than any story. In fact, I really think that cinema is in this point nowadays.

I have recently watched an interview with Gabriel García Márquez where he said, more or less, that ‘you always write about what you know’. And I agree. It is impossible to separate your life from your creation.

Another aspect that I can recognize in your work is the perception of reality and the challenging of it in order create a new multitude #196 to Winter 92


Alberto Varet Pascual

Peripheral ARTeries

production, and the gif animations that can be viewed on this web site are a medium I have only recently begun exploring.

an interview with

I titled the worIn my opinion it is much better to generate an atmosphere where everything counts and leave the audience to choose than guide this audience to a point. So I fight to get an abstraction of the reality in order to reveal the mystery... even the truth, if it exists.

your artistic production: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspof points of view... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need -in a way- to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... so, as a specialist of communication, I would like to ask your point about this...

Agua Estacada has reminded me some of the works of the well-known italian director Ermanno

Yes, I agree. As I told before, cinema is about bringing the mystery to life. We live in a complex world so we can’t pretend just to tell a story. We need to fight for that mystery. That’s the work of an artist. And, about the capacity to create new multitude points of view, it’s something answered in the forementioned Tarkovsky’s sentence.

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 93


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Tren suburbano (Primavera)

Olmi, and in particular his The Tree of Wooden Clogs, where - in a certain sense- he got rid of the usual practice of spoken word, in order to bring more value to the images... and, as you have remarked in your artist's statement, you have abandoned the use of the screenplay in your lasts works. because youwant to get some inspiring moments far from the slavery of a text...

However, my direct (or non hidden) influences are, for example, Pedro Costa, Tarkovsky (in the mystic So far your works have received a good feedback, both in your country and a broad... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or or just the expectation of positive feedbackscould even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could

Really? It is funny. I would have never thought that. I like Olmi and I appreciate very much that movie but I don’t think that it is an inspiration for me. Maybe it is a ‘hidden’ inspiration. I mean, those movies that you don’t think about quite often but remain in you silently. 94


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Tren suburbano (Invierno)

Tren suburbano (Primavera)

ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

ney they want to receive for a movie I really feel that they don’t deserve to make cinema. Victor Erice said once something like ‘if I hadn’t want to suffer I would have worked in an office’. That is the spirit. But there are artists that are obviously influenced by the audience. Almodóvar, for example, has not made an interesting movie in the last 20-25 years. Or what can we say about Haneke, the bad guy has been transformed in all he rejected (violent movies perfectly digested by a stunned audience).

I do not care about the audience. It is funny, because the most of the people who watch movies want to see always the same kind of movie. But it is not my case. I prefer those moviemakers that give the back to the audience. In Spain we called them ‘francotiradores’ (shooters). Like, for example, Val del Omar, a hero for me. He didn’t know the success in almost his entire life but the important thing is his work. Like Kafka or Van Gogh. So, when people suffer because of the audience or the mo-

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Alberto. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Yes, you have always to be in movement. I have got some good shots that I need to edit. The reality is that I don’t know how to start but I will find an end. The project will reflect the life during the four seasons. In each one I will do a diferent thing. In the winter, for example, I will tell a science fiction story, and for the spring I have thought in a dialogue between the city and the countryside. The four seasons are going to be nailed by the figure of a suburban train. The name of the huge project is Tren suburbano. Tren suburbano (Invierno)

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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#196 Winter 1


Lucas Servera (USA)

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Lucas Servera

An interview with

Lucas Servera Hello Lucas, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork? Do you think that there is still a dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness?

What defines art? Whoever is looking at something. Contemporary work seems to be anything created while living. And Tradition is the founder of the contemporary. Without an understanding of tradition, you aren’t creating anything contemporary, you are just scribbling. Would you like to tell us something about your

an interview with background? As for your formal training, you are

currently pursuing your degree at Portland State University School of Art & Design: how does this experience, along with your previous ones, impact on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I would like to ask your point about formal training... Sometimes I ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle an artist's creativity...

Lucas Servera

area is a haven for the creative-minded. I’m not really sure where I stand concerning formal training. Arshile Gorky believed that in order to create something new, you must master the styles of previous groundbreakers before you can create something new. He spent much of his early career imitating cubists before developing his more recognizable works. Formal training and having a sense of art history creates a foundation for someone to explore their work with context, which is also a beautiful defense against the tired and silly “my child could Nicostatements. Amortegui do that”

I actually began a BFA in 2000 at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia, focusing on Painting and Printmaking. Three years into my studies, I left school to pursue a career in Film and TV, working on productions in New York City and Baltimore, Maryland. During that time, I battled severe depression and ultimately had to leave that profession. There’s no greater influence on your work than life’s journey and learning lessons the hard way. Attending Portland State University has been great. It is an up and coming art school, and the Portland

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sites, maybe eat an apple, and focus on something non-art related. I believe it is important to not over-think what marks you plan on making, so that the outcome of the piece is not pre-determined. Once I’ve begun working, there is no stopping and then continuing another day. I will work continuously throughout the night, taking breaks to focus on something non-art again (YouTube, comedy podcasts). It sounds silly I know, but sometimes I can get too much in to my head, and this type of activity keeps things a little lighter. Through experience, I know that becoming too involved in my artwork, which can be heavy material, can mess with my head. So watching comedy videos or reading video game reviews act as some sort of escape from the anxiety of artmaking. Just last month I created a new series of drawings (Spiral, Sphere, Window, and Cave). Each piece took between six to ten hours and were made in consecutive nights. I would come back the next day to the studio to pick up where I left off the previous session but found no purpose in adding any new marks. The piece felt complete and to add more to it felt like marking for the sake of marking. So being “in the moment” is a critical part of my art-making currently.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I can be quite anxious when approaching a new work, and ritual has become a part of that. I’ll usually set up my canvas, usually on the wall or the floor, then sit around and visit my usual web99


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Lucas Servera

Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with the interesting Vassal and Sphere, an extremely stimulating work that our readers have started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest to view your visual artist's statement directly at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g976kNne2 SA&noredirect=1 ... in the meanwhile, could you take us through your creative process when starting this work?

I always prefer talking about more recent works, and “Sphere” is one of the freshest pieces I have. I took a class at Portland State this past Spring that focused on creating, critiquing, and writing about your own work. It had been nearly ten years since I’ve seriously made any art, so there was quite a bit of energy to be released once I unrolled the watercolor paper. I really try and not have a shape or object in mind when beginning my mark making, and the first marks I make usually never make it through the four or five transformations this piece took. Ultimately, I was really going for big, unnerving, and physical. Another interesting work of yours on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Window and Tire which I have to admit have really impressed me: elements of the environment are very recurrent in your artistic production, and besides a merely physical dimensions, space has a more symbolic meaning, it can be a metaphor for emotions and associations, as in Look Through... as an artist that I happened to interview few months ago, there are places where it seems to predominate apparently forgotten memories of the past on the present...

Vassal, 2005, 39 x 59 inches, watercolor and charcoal on paper

I’m really interested in windows recently, maybe it’s the functional element of them, or how they allow natural light into the dirtiest of places. Like tapping into another dimension, I love those moments!

I think observation and inner dialogue help stir up these forgotten memories you mention. For me, my head is buzzing with a flurry of seven or eight main ideas/ observations rotating at the same time.

The tire element of the piece is a play on materials; for me, it is crazy to consider how something like a tire will never dissolve. Those things burn for decades, and these wonderful flower blossoms are a phenomenon that appear and deteriorate in a month; a snap of the finger. That’s quite an imprint! #196 Winter

When someone is truly engaged in their craft, doesn’t even have to be art, we can get lost and create our own world. But placing a window on the floor is kind of a nod to those occurrences.

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an interview with

Sphere, 2014 51 x 51 in. charcoal and eraser on paper

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 101


Window and Tire , 2014 Mixed Media, found objects


Lucas Servera

Peripheral ARTeries

Ransom Room, 2004 44 x 60 in.

Family Chair, 2008

watercolor and charcoal on paper

22 x 30 in.

created in Cusco, Peru

watercolor and charcoal on paper

Your works are capable of establishing a deep involvement with the audience, both on intellectual side and on a physical aspect, as in Ransom Room, an extremely stimulating work that challenges our perception and in a certain sense forces us to fill the "drop-out" what we see… So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process, both for conceiving an artwork and in order to enjoy it... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

overtop the Temple of Moon and Stars creates scope and understanding of the attempts by the Spaniards to erase thousands of years of “pagan” history. Actually the title “Ransom Room” is a reference to the purported location where the last Incan king, Atahualpa, was murdered by the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro. Atahualpa offered to fill this room with gold, but was still killed, leading to the unraveling of the Incan empire. Having Spanish lineage myself created guilt within me that led to the artwork. So you can’t sit in a studio and be awestruck by something you’ve never seen before. Expressing your personal experiences in a work is the only way to create authentic art, and should be the ultimate goal of a serious-minded artist.

Well, Ransom Room would not have been created without travelling to Peru, and seeing the physical evidence of the Conquistadors domination of the Incans. Seeing a fantastic Catholic church erected 105


5 Look Through, mixed media 2014


Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 6


Spiral, 2014 Mixed Media


Hidden Power , 2014 Mixed Media


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Lucas Servera

It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of a special support... I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

How many times have we seen a young band create original and inspired music in their first few albums, then once success is experienced, that band continues to recreate the exact sound that gained them success? Recreating that sound becomes less and less interesting. I applaud those who alter their style to create something new and less recognizable. I think that is the main difference between fine artists and commercial artists. Artists like Julian Schnaebel had the best of both worlds; complete freedom of expression with unlimited resources. I would like that. Thanks for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Lucas. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Thank you! I’m glad my work spoke to you. Well I haven’t made any art in nearly ten years until just recently, so I am working on producing new art first and foremost. It has been essential for me to work out new ideas and materials, while still keeping my voice. I have begun to apply to art shows, and also created an online portfolio: http://lucasserve.carbonmade.com I would really love to work with some of Portland’s art galleries and artists. This is just the beginning!

Look Through, mixed media 2014

Pat Scan, 2014 30 x 30 in. CT scan on old paper

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Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 6


Peripheral ARTeries Art Review July 2014