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ALAA ALRAFAIHI 4 ROYA AMIGH 10 NEDKO BUCEV 16 RICHARD CARR 22 RALPH “rEN” DILLARD 28 NELSON ENRIQUEZ 34 WENJUN FU 40


MARTINA MARIE MANALO 46 NICHOLAS MAROUSSAS A.K.A. MOOSCHOOL 52 MASSIMO MEO 58 ZAHRA NAZARI 64 CLÁUDIA PERALTA 70 ALEXANDRA POSPELOVA 76 DAFNA STEINBERG 82


Alaa Alrafaihi Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

My project is about bringing awareness to women’s rights, and it will be for a particular group of people. My aim here is to grab the attention of how society perceives women and why. For my project I did some research on the history and a specific era, which is before Islam and after. Moreover, I’m presenting an historical story of women and how society in that era acted toward her. I’m doing this because I want to prove that women are equal to men even in Islam, but unfortunately culture and fake traditions affect the reaction toward women’s rights. The ideas that I’m exploring are beside the religious, psychological and historical aspects. Those aspects support the discoveries I’m making through the process of my work. Also I demonstrate my ideas through my feelings by expressing how some events have affected my personal life decisions


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Art Reveal Magazine

When, how and why started your art practice?

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

I dive to art world when I graduated from high school and decided to follow my ambition so I started my major in art education in 2007. From here I fall in love with making art. I make art for a few reasons I like expressing emotions based on my personal life and memories. Moreover, I think art is considered as a universal desire to connect with other people in some way.

Actually I prefer not to mention any one because I don’t like to compare myself to others. Because I think its make me overlooks to my own talent and stops my growth.

How would you describe the art scene in your area? Over time, the art world looked different from what already was. It was limited to a certain category. However, recently the last five or seven years the art world have been changed because of the social media which helps a lot our generation to present their work to the world more easily. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society? This is a very good question I think art is considered as the voice of artist toward society, culture, and political issues. More over, art creates another reality or the eye of the unseen truth. Art has their own language that lead to communicate several ideas that can help us understand our humanity.

What do you like/dislike about the art world? What I really like about art It’s a powerful language doesn’t need words it’s a universal way to touch the soul. What I dislike is when a society lacks involvement in Arts it begins to decline. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Don’t be afraid of expressing your self through your artwork What are your future plans as an artist? I will Keep doing my art with passion to be able to make the audience admire my work. Also I would like to do more projects that focus on beauty of culture and tradition.


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www.alaa-alrafaihi.com


Roya Amigh Boston, MA, USA

My work investigates the relationship between mindfulness and daydream: how presence of mind meets the imagination to yield a memory. My practice is based on revealing suspended moments of memory in order to realize the uncertain border between meditation and rumination. In some ways, my works resemble set pieces in invented epics. I start by rendering large numbers of small drawings. These drawings consist of lines that appear as if in relief, created by gluing and composing thread on paper. My imagery is based on Persian miniatures. I incorporate symbols from mythology that include beings such as Phoenix, Dragon, and Daeva as they appear in the writings of the Persian poets Rumi, Ferdowsi, and Hafez. By assembling line drawings, mixed-media such as bark or paper, and the physicality of the environment itself, I create a fragile structure that reflects the ephemeral quality of a memory suspended in space. All the pieces in the work collectively give rise to their own stories while also reflecting my own personal narratives. This allows the work to articulate a range of meanings and remain open to various interpretations.


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Art Reveal Magazine

When, how and why started your art practice? I was 13 when I realized I would take art as my path. I’ve always been interested in making things since I was very young. I remember during my childhood- especially when I was upset or frustrated; that I would crawl under my bedroom table with a pencil and paper and draw. At that age, I was very shy and didn’t like to share my work and drawing was a primary form of journaling to me. Over time, my under the table space helped me to understand what the studio space is about, the space I can feel free and careless. Do You Think Of Yourself as a Conceptual Artist? I’d like to make work, which investigates the relationship between mindfulness and daydream: how presence of mind meets the imagination to yield a memory. My practice is based on revealing suspended moments of memory in order to realize the uncertain border between meditation and rumination. How would you describe the art scene in your area? East coast has so many opportunities to take advantage of as an artist such as art schools, collections, galleries, lectures, and artist-In-residencies. The art scene is very

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divers in terms of concept and medium and I can see many creative and innovative art projects and it’s very inspiring. However, it is expensive to live here and hard to survive. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. There are so many artists who I admire and respect. But I think each artist has her/his own voice and vocabulary and I don’t like comparison. What are your future plans as an artist? Make persistent works- the ones would push me towards learning and exploring more. What do you Like/Dislike about the Art World? I like the art world I am living in, even with all the obstacles keep coming to you. I don’t look at art world in a romantic way. I cannot shut my studio door and keep myself isolated from the rest of it and just wait for the opportunities to come to me. I need to deal with all challenges like having part time jobs to pay my expenses and getting my art supplies, being my own art agent and looking for opportunities and watching out the deadlines. This way I have more difficulties but at the same time more freedom.


www.royaamigh.com


Nedko Bucev

Windermere, FL, USA My work should have purely aesthetic and hedonistic reading in a complete absence of any socio-political, didactic or moral interpretations. The paint objects I am creating could be defined, as “art for the art’s sake” because the only quality they meet is their form and color. My artistic credo is that art should be a constant exploration looking for inspiring discoveries and the artist should maintain himself at a safe distance from clichés, ideology, and commerce. The essence of the art I am working since 2013 is abstract. My belated interest on the abstract is consequences of the place I was born and raised- the communist Eastern Europe. During my student’s years in Bulgaria, the abstract art was banned by the cultural supremacy of the socialist realism and later at the University of Arts in Havana, where I studied in the 80s, the abstract was not part of the curriculum. I have the manner of perceiving things as any academically taught artist and it marks to any main artistic endeavors. When I saw the students in that studio of Iowa University painting live models from observation, everything was well known except that huge abstract masterpiece of Jackson Pollock in the wall behind the models. Then, I watched how the students were painting the body academically and how they were also reproducing by habit the abstract work of Pollack on the canvas as it was any other object in the back of that model. For me what I was experiencing in that Iowa studio was a mistake of the teachers and the. Based on that “mistake”, I started my first abstract works. First, I spilled on glass one large, about ten inches, paint stroke with oil paint. Then I started studying it with my photographic camera taking hundreds of pictures, changing the light and the points of view. Finally, I painted on canvas one position of the paint stroke enlarged twenty times with traditional method of painting from observation. The finished painted canvas looked abstract to other people but I knew it was the real image of that specific paint stroke. The best part of this experiment was that the models and the artworks on canvas were painted with the same paint pigment, which automatically classified them not as copies but as highly realistic originals. The unbelievable textures of the acrylic paint, its reflectiveness and softness make me rethink the function of the paint strokes models. I increased their size and made them look as sculptures made of paint.


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When, how and why started your art practice? September 2016 would be 40 years since my first drawings, paintings, and sculptures. In 1976 after admission exams I was accepted in one of the high schools of arts in Bulgaria. I went to study art at the age of 15 with the clear conviction to make a living as a professional artist. The well “organized” lines and colors always had a magic power over me. I believe that art is a divine privilege God conceived to man as a sign of His own existence. Do You Think Of Yourself as a Conceptual Artist? In the 80s it happened during the morning I attended Suarez Tajonera’s aesthetic lessons at Havana’s University of Arts and in the afternoon I was one of Joseph Kosuth student assistants at “Rene Portocarrero” print shop. The first one, was saying that beauty is a point of interconnection between the human perception and the object, and the second one, that there’s not need of beauty but just the idea about it … So, I’m in between Tajonera and Kosuth. For me beauty is the main generic concept for all art, but on the other hand, the artwork should not be a just illustration of... (See my last project PAINT (2016) at Terrace Gallery of Orlando.) What art do you most identify with? I receive inspiration from living artists like Richard Serra and Pierre Soulages. I like their focus on a single element and their consistence to explore it deeply. I learn also a lot from the American abstract expressionists. Inside my generation, I identify with artists like Eric Aho , Karabadjakov and from younger artists I like Cory Arcangel . Artists, who are buying, for example, “rights of use” colors or are half-dissident-half- millionaires, are not my favorite type. In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? The problem is that everything could be art and everybody could be an artist today. Mainstream culture tendentiously avoids creation of values in the audience. Contemporary art museums and galleries are reiterative and boring in comparison with the smart-phone applications. In schools, art is not a core discipline and less and

less young people are choosing art careers in college. Sadly, art is not anymore an escape for talented people. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Is it possible to compare somehow Bulgaria, Cuba, and the US? I’m not considering myself an artist who identifies with these three places. I was not considered by the three places as “their” representative artist either. I’m an alien in Florida, “un estranjero” in Cuba, and “странник” in Bulgaria. I maintain only connections with these three countries and their cultures. It’s the way I am and from this position only I can answer the question. I’ve been working and living in Gotha, Florida for six years. Gotha is a small village founded by a German printmaker in the 19th century. People are calm and life is slow. The climate is excellent and I could work in my open-air studio [it’s only mosquito screened] during the entire year. From here I’ve been traveling to almost every corner of the state of Florida. Here I worked on some important for me art projects. Florida is a global vacation destination. The contemporary art here is after Mickey Mouse and ”Shamu- the killer whale”. The collections in the art museums [all of them are near the beaches] are overflowed with second-hand 19th and 20th-century European art. Most of them are donations of rich Floridians. The only important contemporary art event in Florida is Art Basel Miami. It presents and sells world artists to world collectors for few days of December and then follows one year of complete art silence at the peninsula. Commercial art galleries do not exist in the area of Orlando. I had to drive five hours to Miami to make my contacts. Another obstacle is that the collectors only make a stop to Miami to buy Cuban and Latin American art. The local art scene is in development for many decades without reaching an out-of-state importance. Cuban-American art and culture are popular among the diaspora in Miami. The nostalgia, anti-Castro activism, Afro-Cuban and Caribbean traditions are the dominant elements. All though the majority of the Cuban artists are graduated from ISA around or later of the 1980s, nothing can be compared with the power of Havana’s art of those times. Hundreds of them immigrated to the US with the hope to but made their way to the museums, galleries, and private collections but only very few could


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make a living as professional artists. Cuban artists who live on the island and contemporary Cuban art are under a total state control. The rules are without exceptions. Artists are allowed to sell internationally only if the state takes part of the artist income. Thanks to the low living standard in Cuba and the corruption, an artist who sells abroad could live better than many Cuban artists in the US. In order to clean its international image, the government declares internationally acclaimed Cuban artists and their art as “cultural achievement of the Revolution” and considers some liberties inside of the rules.

Bulgarian contemporary art market doesn’t exist. Important artifacts from the euphoric 80s and 90s were lost or destroyed. Bulgarian art after 1989 is not reflected in the art history. The performance, conceptualism, land art, minimalism, neo-pop, video art, multimedia, activism had important manifestations at those years but today everything is mainly personal memory of the participants. Bulgarian presence at the European art scene is close to zero. Sadly, today’s country culture is in a steep downward plunge substituted by imitations and surrogates.

My “Bulgarian connection” has been getting more and more complicated with the years. I’ve been witnessing all the cultural transformations since 1989. Nevertheless, it seems a democratic country and is a member of EU; the Bulgarian government controls totally the art and culture. Art museums, major galleries, and collections depend totally on the money from the ministry of culture. Curators and gallery directors are hired or fired by the cultural minister. He approves educational programs for the art schools and art universities. The biggest art projects are financed by the state budget and approved also by him. These total control and dependence generate a lot of corruption. Usurping Bulgarian culture today did not differ much from the communist era.

I enjoy the chaotic movement of the current art world with the exception of some cynical acts and words of few artists from the mainstream, which I would not comment.

What do you Like/Dislike about the Art World?

What are your futures plans as an artist? I’m about to leave Florida in August. My immediate plans are to organize my new studio in Carlstadt, NJ (in front of Manhattan). I would like during 2017- 18 to end up the project PAINT and prepare three shows. First one will be in a New York gallery, next in Havana and the last one in Sofia. As the project includes performance art, video art, new paintings, and sculptures, I think, I’ll be pretty busy during the next two years.

Ph.D. José Orlando Suárez Tajonera (1928-2008) was professor of aesthetics of ISA (University of Arts, Havana, Cuba). Joseph Kosuth is an American conceptual artist b. 1945 in Toledo, Ohio. Kosuth was invited at the Second Biennial of Havana in 1986. He met with art students and teachers at ISA and offered several talks about his art. Kosuth’s ideas influenced many Cuban artists in the 1980s. 3 Screen-printing workshop “Rene Portocarrero” was created by Cuban Ministry of Culture around the Fist Biennial of Havana in 1984. It was the art hottest spot in Havana during the 80s where art students were meeting and assisting international artists during the printing of their original serigraphy editions. 4 Eric Aho -b. 1966, Melrose, MA, www http://ericaho.com/ 5 Krasimir Karabadjakov is a Bulgarian contemporary painter b. 1961, Sliven, Bulgaria. 6 Cory Arcangel – b. 1978, is a Brooklyn, New York post-conceptual artist who makes work in many different media, including drawing, music, video, performance art, and video game modifications. 1 2


www.nedkobucev.com


Richard Carr Dublin, Ireland

Working predominantly with the medium of sound my practice enquires into and around notions of listening as a critical practice. While my work has manifested itself in many ways, when exhibited it hovers between notions of installation, the sculptural and participatory, straddling a range of intersecting formal, spatial, sonic and art historical interests. Combining a visceral sense of space, time, aurality and motion with a precise economy of materials, my work process is relatively primitive; an intuitive process of listening and making sound simultaneously. Utilising combinations of my voice, multiple recording methodologies, alongside contemporary audio technologies, my practice aims to draw out the relatively silent and various histories of sound-making that often become dominated by the dialectics of the eye. As my practice increasingly puts more trust in the ‘sonic’ I do not intend for it to be a call for anti-materialism or anti-realism, quite the contrary. In its shadow-less world, it occupies real space, and has the ability to be as brutally present as any visual material/object, or as quietly unobtrusive as the image. For me, it’s not a material of clarity or purity, but of the gritty, mucky substances of being.


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When, how and why did you start your art practice? I really began my art practice back in secondary school; it was one of the few subjects I got excited about and it kept me attending school every day. However the secondary school art curriculum in Ireland is really limited. We spent two years practicing how to draw a poster so we could re-create something similar during our practical exam for the leaving cert. At this time I was already looking at and researching more contemporary art practices and luckily I had a teacher who supported me to continue doing this and advised I apply to art school. This was at the same time my career guidance tutor kept telling me I was

good at maths and accounting and should follow this route. Thankfully I didn’t! In 2005 I got accepted onto my BFA (Hons) in Art at IT Carlow in Wexford Town, Ireland. This was a four year degree and during this time I worked across both the painting and sculpture departments. I had really good lecturers who believed that having a good knowledge of Art History was really important and this I feel has benefited me over the years. After completing my BFA (Hons) in 2009 I took a year off to gather myself and critically evaluate my practice. While I had a good knowledge of Art History I felt that the dominant histories didn’t deal well with works that utilised sound. From

my experience it approached the use of sound as an add-on or supplement to a visual art practice and attempted to draw its meanings/understandings back to an a priori visual source/event. As my own practice dealt with working with sound as a central component I took a year out to really experiment and push the potentials of my practice while broadening my knowledge into the history of music, noise, silence and listening as a critical practice. My MFA then began in 2011 at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin where I gained two years to focus solely on my work within a supportive, challenging and critical environment. This was a positive experience for me as I got to immerse myself in the Dub-


Art Reveal Magazine

lin art scene and meet a fantastic team of Artists, Students and Staff. I graduated with my MFA in 2013. To continue to sustain my practice after graduating I have moved back to my hometown of Gorey where rent is cheaper to live and work and is only a one hour drive from the capital. Do You Think Of Yourself as a Conceptual Artist? I have never really considered myself a conceptual artist and wouldn’t be inclined to describe myself as a conceptual artist. I suppose it is a term I am not too comfortable with. Of course I am aware of its histories and theoretical underpinnings however I believe that working with sound and listening as a critical practice requires the inclusion of a more intuitive and present process while developing the work. This in my opinion is a process that is often much more conceptually demanding. It is however a term that is quite regularly put on the work by people I meet and believe this is primarily due to the way the work presents itself visually within a space rather than a response to the its’ immersive and present engagements. What art do you most identify with? I definitely like experiencing all different types of Art and am delighted that people spend the time making what they do. However I think I identify most with the practice of painting, I spent most of my years through college living with painters and completed my MFA in NCAD within the painting department. Painting and Sound-making also have a long, interesting and entangled history both psychologically and physiologically. According to the research of

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Iegor Reznikoff it can be traced back to it is easy to travel to Dublin, Wexford, the Palaeolithic era where he discov- Waterford and Kilkenny for some culered relationships between the early tural invigoration. cave paintings, both their image and position, to the resonance of the cave. What do you Like/Dislike about the Art World? In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? When thinking of the ‘art world’, most things I think of are positive. However This is a difficult one! I think it is some- I approach tentatively keeping one foot thing different for each and every one in and one foot out. In Ireland the ‘Art of us. This being said however I feel World’ is quite small and centrally lothat whatever it is, it is important for cated and you will see the same people society and is central for the contin- over and over again. This I suppose ued growth of contemporary culture. can be viewed simultaneously as both For me I think the best way to describe positive and negative. Of course from what art might mean is to say it is an an artist’s point of view there are many approach, a way of thinking and a pro- aspects of the ‘Art World’ that feel quite cess that could greatly benefit and en- alien to me and in my own opinion it rich many other sectors of life if it was can sometimes be more beneficial to further embraced and trusted. wander off the beaten track every now and then to the smaller artist run shows How would you describe the art where you often stumble upon much scene in your area? more challenging, demanding and interesting work. The art scene in my current area is a complicated one. Gorey is a relatively small town of c.10,000 people and What are your future plans as an is situated one hour from Dublin. It’s artist? a lively town and has a big population of both visual artists and musicians. My future plans are really to continue It also has its own college of art that working on making my practice more runs courses in further education but sustainable. This I suppose could hapnot third level. However the art scene pen in many different ways, possibly here is not supported at all well by lo- begin working from home, look for cal government; there is no dedicated better job opportunities, gallery repworkspaces for artists and no dedicat- resentation etc. Whatever happens ed centre to showcase work, so most however, I do hope that I am as excited things would take place on a voluntary about the work I am developing then basis and produced by artists them- as I am towards the work I am making selves. To be honest this is a complete now. In the short term I have just beshame for the town as it has a history gun working on a couple of new works as being the first town outside of the based around some histories and concapital to run a successful arts cen- nections between Ireland and Iceland. I tre and festival for many years. In the have recently returned from a research years following, as arts centres devel- trip to Iceland and have gathered some oped around the country, unfortunately sonic material to begin working with, Gorey lost its own. However Gorey is so I am excited to get back into the stuwell positioned, with good transport so dio and see where it takes me.


www.richardcarr.ie


Ralph “rEN” Dillard Atlanta, GA, USA

The subject matter of my work originates from the same place most artist creative endeavors bubble up from. In many of my pieces, I am led to wrestle with certain perceptions adopted in my past, but also a variety of ideas about the future. Painting has always been about aligning myself with what seems to come natural to me. The philosopher and scholar Joseph Campbell sums it up this way: “Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.” — Joseph Campbell My aim is to effectively communicate this idea to the viewer. With that being said, I am not particularly creative as an individual, rather there is a field of creativity that exist independently, all on its own. All we can do as artist is tap into it. I began painting in the German-town section of Philadelphia, PA in 2006. With more than 2,800 murals, Philly boasts more impressive large scale public paintings than any other city in the world. Living and interacting with the people of that community for over four years heavily impacted my visual style. I am a ferociously quick study and I have always had a passion for understanding the true nature of things. This type of insight is the driving element behind my work. I use oil paint primarily although I dabble in some mixed media and photography. I like the feeling of maneuvering the thick, pungent, colors over the canvas – which is something I have so far found exclusive to oil paint. Using a wide variety of rich colors, I attempt to communicate the typically over-looked meanings underneath sometimes very simple images. I am six-foot seven inches tall so I appreciate working on a large canvas. I also enjoy working quickly with large brushes. The intent of most of my subject matter is to suggest that the viewer seek the true meaning(s) of life…within. rEN 2016


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you.

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

Primarily self-taught, I like to say that I graduated from the prestigious university of blood, sweat, and tears! The focus of my studies have always been on communicating ideas that challenge people to be curious about their own internal nature. My major visual influences are Salvador Dali, Alex Gray, Remedios Varo, and Jean Michel Basquiat. Fame and fortune have eluded countless great artist so my concentration has never been on either. I simply love to create! I feel like this is what I have been put here to do. I would like for people to see themselves in my paintings. They are as much about you as they are about me.

I live in atlanta Georgia. Atlanta is at the steering wheel of popular culture right now. I am a Georgia native so I take pride in Atlanta and my sliver of influence in the art community here. The underground art community here is bubbling hot. Atlanta is where New York was in the early 80’s in the visual arts arena. I would not be surprised to see some of the underground visual artists here begin to really make some national noise very soon. It is just too high a concentration of dope artist living and working in this area for a natural progression to not take place. I kind of feel like I am somehow in the right place at just the right time.... We will see.

In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture?

What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts?

Right now in contemporary culture artists are forced to compete with a host of glowing attention grabbing rectangles. This is probably the first time in history artists have had this particular dilemma. It’s important for art to say something quickly to a viewers with ever shortening patience bandwidth. Doing this while preserving one’s creative integrity is no small feat! I am interested in how we can flip the problem on its head and use the circumstance to push the envelope somehow.

My advice is simple. Be authentic. I think every artist goes through various stages. We begin with a desire to simply learn how to create art. From that stage we set out on a course to learn as much as it takes for us to consider ourselves basic visual artist. This is where things get interesting! After learning HOW to create the artist must figure out what to SAY with their work. That is if they indeed want to say anything at all. Making an artistic statement of some kind is not necassarily a requirement. Although one could make the argument that not making a statement is a statement in and of itself. I do believe that every artist has an obligation to bring something unique and specific to their psycological/ phenomenal experience creatively into the world. That is the essential task for a true artist.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. To be quite honest I would not like to be compared to any other artist living or dead. To me, artistic expression is totally unique to the individual. To compare your work to some other artists is in a way self defeating. That type of thought process puts an artist in a vibration that is more analyitical than creative. I have been meditating for the past 9 years of my life on and off. One thing meditation has taught me is to value just BEING. While other people plan and strategize on their next moves, I do my best to dig ever deeper into THIS moment! This type of awareness requires unrelenting presence. The more presence I can squeeze out of each and every waking hour, the more I can channel that creative energy into my work.

What are your future plans? I have a lot of projects that I am working to keep me busy for a long time. My creative plans are simple. What I am really focused on more than anything else is my spiritual evolution. I am extremely curious about the fundamental nature of reality. One philosopher put it (I forgot his name) like this : “Instead of going to heaven, I am more interested in how the heavens GO.” That is a colossal shift in perspective. In the future, I want to continue to unlearn all of things that no longer serve my spiritual growth.


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www.renswork.com


Nelson Enriquez Oakland, CA, USA

His current project, titled “No Status,” is a series of paintings exploring the artists journey as an immigrant. The works are a representation of the basic human act of looking to the sky for guidance, drawing from and informed by different ways of knowledge, from geographical, psychological, philosophical, spiritual and religious perspectives. For the artist, the sky is a part of the cosmogony of the human mind, an extension of the human psyche. Nelson Enriquez has exhibited widely in Cuba, Germany, and the U.S. in both personal and collective exhibitions. He has received international awards from “Europa Abierta” and the Cuban National Festival of Ephemeral Sculpture. Nelson currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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When, how and why started your art practice? The 90’s in Cuba were one of those particular moments that define my life. Russia was the spine of the socialist world but they had a program of reforms call Perestroika during the 80’s that weakened the power of the socialist Party. By the end of the 80’s, the communist party lost its power affecting all Eastern Europe and Cuba. The Cuban economy plummeted without Socialist support and the remains of cold war against the USA and any other capitalist country (basically with the whole world). The former President of Cuba decided we should suffer one of the most traumatic periods in my country’s history, “the Special Period”. The government was not able to provide us neither food, electricity, public transportation nor house basis besides it became common to watch people trying to flee Cuba using raft or any kind rustic floating tool. That was too much information for a young teenager with many questions which must not be done either written or verbally because the speech freedom is a felony in Cuba so the silence shape my path to look for other codes for expressing myself. In the early 2000 I change my major from Electronic engineering to art. Art have been an intrinsic part of my life, being an artist had define myself since then. Do You Think Of Yourself as a Conceptual Artist? Yes, I consider my work psychological. I like to explore the limit between the psyche and the physical spaces using myself as the main character of my stories so sometimes I take my life to the edge in order to understand how it feels something in particular. For example my current project, titled “No Status,” is a series of paintings exploring my journey as an immigrant in the United States. The works are a representation of the basic human act of looking to the sky for guidance, drawing from and informed by different ways of knowledge, from geographical, psychological, philosophical, spiritual and religious perspectives. For me, the sky is a part of the cosmogony of the human mind, an extension of the human psyche.


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What art do you most identify with? I am a multidisciplinary artist, I don’t like to be labeled. Although I love painting and video animation, I am not biased to any technique. Actually I change from one technique to another depending of the idea I am working on. If I should choose what kind of art I identify with, I would choose good art. I don’t have an established preference neither of artistic periods nor techniques. It is like music sometimes I can enjoy contemporary but sometimes I am more into the classic. As long it is good and I like it, I can enjoy any particular kind of art. In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is communication, and we need a lot of it at this time when things are going far too crazy. Art is more than shape and colors, it is a critical space in which the artist can reflect and put in crisis the human nature. For me, an artist has the capacity to perceive and make meaning of the many layers and facets of society and how they interact with one another. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Diverse is the word that better describe the Bay Area art community. It is interesting that you can find a lot of artist with different backgrounds and I love to be part of that diversity. There are many interesting things happening, especially by young artist. There are many artist focused on video art installations, paintings etc. People are also creating works that focuses on very sociological themes like gentrification, race and politics. What do you Like/Dislike about the Art World? Market, I love it and I hate it. What are your future plans as an artist? Keep working. My next solo show will be in Cuba at the end of this year or next, it depends of how fast I can work in the next months.


www.nelsonenriquez.org


Wenjun Fu Chongqing, China

Approaching from the perspective of the relations existing in a multi-image reconstruction and semiotics, with the use of the contradiction and the connection among various cultural nodes, Fu Wenjun builds up his own cognitive fields on the culture and the history. The creation language of the artist is abstract; the combination of images, the transformation of figures, the crossover of the manifestation patterns make the meaning of the picture not to be determined just by words and thematic source materials, but they also graft the medium used during the creation, the data output forms, the ideas on the image reconstruction and the post processing pattern.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I am a contemporary artist from China. I work with multiple art forms, like oil painting, conceptual photography, installation art, to express my artistic thinking. Since my beginning as an artist after the graduation from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, I have being paying close attention to the complex issues of history, culture and humanity in the Eastern and Western world, and being trying to express my thinking and reflection with my works of art. I think the culture is directly related to the human beings and the times; no matter the classic culture or the present culture, only they relate us, they worth our profound study. All history in the world developing to the present time is a global process lasting hundreds of years. In this process, the cultures are enormously influenced, because no one has a stable formality, each one is under reconstruction by the interaction with the others. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The sky is the limit. I think, an artist should always surpass himself, challenge himself to be the best, to have his own unique art style and artistic expressive way. What art do you most identify with? I create quite a lot works of art with the medium of photography, especially conceptual photography. For me, the camera, beside of recording the reality, can also be used to express an artist’s ideas and thoughts of the world. Installation is another art discipline that I use to present my artistic expression. An installation is usually a three dimensional work of art. In its creation, I should know how to balance the relationship of my concepts, the material and the environment. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Salvatore DalÏ. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I work and live in Chongqing, one of the major cities in the Southwest China, where there is an important art university --- Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Numerous artists, curators, art professionals live in this city. Many people was born, grow up, live in such a city with strong art atmosphere, including me. My studio is located at 501 Art Base, the only original art base in Chongqing and China, without too much commercial atmosphere. Chongqing is a very vivid city of art. In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is a part of culture. Art is a new presentation of contemporary culture in a multiple, multi-structural, multi-angular, and multi-formal way. Thanks to the public communication, culture will make people feel and understand the endless charm produced by the interaction of art and culture. What are your future plans as an artist? Stay with art in all my lifetime.


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http://en.fuwenjun.com/


Martina Marie Manalo

Tung chung, Hong Kong

I see beauty in the things that are minimal but avant-garde, deep but subtle, the nostalgic, melancholic, but full of angst--contradicting but by bits and pieces they are different, and will always be mysterious. That I think is what make things beautiful.


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When, how and why started your art practice? My first ever art practice began when I was 3 years old. But this was for performing art, as a ballet dancer; faling in love with “The Nutcracker” on television. This is still continued, until present. Meanwhile, slipping in to visual art at the age of 23. Coming from a family of artists, where my mother was very much inclined into the art world growing up, and having two brothers who are both successful visual artists I believe that being an artist runs in the blood, so then I tried to start painting at 23. My works then turned out to be contemporary mixed-media. And having my first exhibition with my brother, Michael Vincent Manalo, and a guest artist from Zurich, Myriam Gamperli at the “Kulay Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art” (which is now my representing gallery). As time went on, I have been more curious in visual art, (and secretly wanting to be like my brothers). Soon, I moved to Hong Kong at the age of 25, for work. And one day, my mother visits me from her trip to New Zealand where my eldest brother lives. I recieved a package from

him, which was his old DSLR camera. I then found it very useful, and soon started to go around the city on my days off to take photos of whatever stuff I found. This has been the beginning of my journey in photography. My love for art has grown so much that at the moment I am still discovering so much for photography, and painting and aiming to be so much better. Not having any proper education for visual art; and mainly self taught. With this, I am quite proud of myself, but not to be bragging. For there is definitely so much more to learn, and discover from this exploration of talent. Mainly, being in the said art fields, I’ve done all these, and still am doing because of passion and solely because of my love for art. Do You Think Of Yourself as a Conceptual Artist? I would like to think that I am, however I don’t see my works fallling into this genre. What art do you most identify with? The art I’d intentify myself with would be performing arts. I am in love with both visual and performing art,


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but dancing has been my first love and I have spent almost my whole life dancing.

ists are introducing art to society in sort of a commercial way---outreach programs, television, concerts; in this case I think it is helpful, because people who In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary seem to be not in the know are getting a little taste culture? of what, how art looks like, and in its differrent forms. On disliking, however,I despise how the government Art falling into contemporary culture, is more of the of certain countries are not able to support artists, “now” which I believe means a lot to society and and their art. And how some people, could trash and artists. For me, this seems that society is welcoming have no respect for someone’s art. Clearly a lack art into the daily scene, however falling into a slight- of knowledge and cultural background it is. ly mediocre approach to an audience which is more of “in-the-now”. Nevertheless, I believe it has to be introduced to them. For instance, the incident in China where kids have broHow would you describe the art scene in your area? ken a lego art piece and parents didn’t seem to care. Art scene here in Hong Kong, seems to be very much alive and appreciated. Although, it seems to be divided in a subtle way. For instance, the traditional Chinese art, and modern art. This, however seems to be most welcomed and kept alive by both artists and it’s audience in the daily scene. What do you Like/Dislike about the Art World? What I absolutely like about the art world, is how art-

What are your future plans as an artist? As an artist, I would love to share not only my work to the world, but share my talent and knowledge to society about everything I know in my field of art---be an inspiration to the new generation of artists. Conduct workshops, especially to provincial areas with no knowledge about art. Introduce it to them, and teach kids or even people of any age.


www.martinamanalo.com


Nicholas Maroussas a.k.a.

Mooschool

London, UK

There’s a lot of infuences I’ve drawn from graffiti or street art over the years but I’ve realised my fasination with it is how it develops spaces over time, by accident really. Throw-ups, tags, stickers or paste-ups applied over one another, getting ripped off and weathered, over time creates these amazing compositions. It’s man-made and yet it’s evolved in a very natural way. Heavily layered and partially erased, my work is infuenced not only by the character logos or tags of graffiti and street art but also this natural by-product of an art form where nothing is precious.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I draw characters, well, a character, but only ever the face. Maybe a tiny bit of shoulder. I draw it over and over again. I mess around with it; paint over, draw over, rip bits off, stick bits on. I always end up somewhere different. I still haven’t decided whether it’s a self-portrait. I suppose it must be really, at least sometimes. The handsome ones probably. Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I was really into hip-hop music when I was younger. In fact, I’ve always liked ‘underground’ music, something with a bit of an edge, a bit of attitude. Of course, that interest flowed naturally into discovering graffiti art and then years later, around 2004, into street art. But it’s that attitude I love, that confidence. I think my work’s got a bit of a ‘screwface’ about it, you know? A bit of front. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Although of course it’s inevitable, I’m not sure any artist wants to be compared to another artist. This is just a personal thing but I don’t find it that interesting hearing artists reel off a list of other artists. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in London - I don’t really need to give a tour guide to the London art scene and I’m not a part of it.

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In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? I’m not even sure what that questions means! I know that art is incredibly important to society, even more so in times of economic austerity. I’m saying this as someone who sympathises with the Government’s austerity cuts; I believe in living within our means and that the state grew too big during the Blair years. But without a strong arts scene, we’re just surviving. Art can educate people. It reflects our multi-cultural and international community and creates discussion but I wish the art world wouldn’t engage in such opaque language. That’s a big turn-off for some people. We need to be more confident of simple ideas and stop hiding them behind jargon-filled guff. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? I’m just starting out in the arts myself so I’m the one in need of advice! What are your future plans? I’ve recently re-discovered lino-printing. My intention was to create a series of prints that I could sell at a more accessible price but typically I’ve managed to bastardise the process into something even more labour-intensive! I’m developing a series of embellished ‘replica’ prints. Each embellishment is, in turn, replicated on each print. You end up with quite complex replicas which are inevitably different and unique. Something really appeals to me about this and I’ll definitely be taking it further over the coming months.


www.mooschooldraws.co.uk


Massimo Meo Montreal, Canada

My name is Massimo Meo and I am a Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist working primarily in the fields of painting and film. I am self-taught and hold a BFA of Film Studies from Concordia University. Through much experimentation, I have cultivated techniques that utilize a variety of mediums. Mediums include, but not limited to inks, watercolor, and acrylic to achieve the desired effect. Impulse seems to be the reoccurring source of my inventiveness. Subconsciously, I may create according to a particular mood; however, I never force intention with any distinct theme. This evolution is part reactionary; the colours and configurations attempt to provide an understanding, a momentary insight into what urges captivated me in that instance. Working with various methods until the desired effect is attained, I feel that inspiration can sometimes be discovered through the work itself. The basic framework of an idea will be laid out, but the finished piece itself will be altered and reinvented an innumerable amount of times until it is “found.� Colors are laced with so many subtle yet deeply complex feelings, triggered by both memory and instinct. Perhaps the color blue evokes a sense of sadness, but to another eye it may arouse ideas of purity. And if purity is what the viewer may see, then purity is what it is. To keep it simple, my art is exactly what you see. The process has always been an escape and in many ways it is a controlled experiment.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

Creativity has always been a constant in my life. I would not be able to pinpoint the exact moment, but from drawing, painting, writing and inventing, it is all I can ever remember doing as a child. Even now, this still holds true. I would say that I began my professional practice at the age of 18. It was during that time in which I feel I found imaginative rhythm and my niche. There is no greater privilege then being able to create art out of pure enjoyment and to have an individual appreciate my work objectively is all the more gratifying. Most of my work is created as a guilty pleasure, so in the end, if there was no profit to be made selling my art, I would still be painting.

I consider my style to be the result of a synergetic trial and error, so I will rarely compare my work to that of other artists. That being said, there are many individuals which I carry great admiration for: artists like Cleon Peterson, Jeremy Gedes, and George Raftopoulos, to name a few. My goal is not to have my work be discussed in the same context of the artists mentioned above, since their styles are rather different from my own, but I am aesthetically attracted to their work, on both explicit style and technical achievement.

How would you describe the art scene in your area? Montreal is a great city; it comes with great culture and opportunity but still with an overall intimate feeling.

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Create because you love the process, but never get trapped thinking the process you have found is the one you should keep.


www.massimomeo.com


Zahra Nazari

New York, USA

Archaeological excavations were the surroundings of my upbringing in Hamadan, Iran. My constant awareness of these archaic structures and ancient artifacts stimulated my curiosity towards different types of architecture and their adjacent landscapes. Traveling throughout the world revealed to me the intensity of modern architecture’s shifting elusiveness among urban spaces. Spatial ambiguity over the course of cultural change is the explored theme in my large-scale installations and paintings. Structures both ancient and contemporary are merged into abstract and organic forms. This unification is represented with both laws and chaos to convey the sensations of disillusion caused by the transitions between different cultures. Deconstructive architecture is the main inspiration of my most recent work. It commonly employs twisted metal and physical manipulations to represent new and inventive forms that draw upon the well of ancient and contemporary bodies. My goal is to make installations that close the gap of abstraction between dream-like visions of Deconstructivism and the physical structures of the real world. This is done by combining the innovative imagery of old and new and using combined mediums of aluminum, wood, and canvas.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

What themes do you pursue?

I was born in one of the oldest cities in Iran, Hamedan. My father, a hobbyist treasure hunter of antiquities, often took me along with him to archeological sites and museums. This was my earliest exposure to ancient art and architecture. These ruins of historical sites had a large impact on me and stimulated my artistic vision. At fourteen, I started my mature series of paintings - influenced by memory of those sites. I painted dream-like space and structures, images of tarps and artifacts in a surrealistic style with usage of earth-toned colors. My artwork largely focused on themes of time, erosion, and degradation while living in Iran. It was this early series in which I realized the significance that architecture had for both me and my work.

To date, the majority of my work still has architectural themes; some more abstract than others. I’ve found that my new urban surroundings are also strongly influential. In that, for the last few years, I have been creating site-specific installations that are based on the imagery of a combination of modern and ancient architecture. This blending came about in my immigration to the US and the environments it has presented me. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society? Artists are the creators, as their urge to create is greater than most. In whatever format the art is, whether it evokes joy, pain, creativity, or beauty, they have the


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ability to bring awareness and perspective to a subject. personal friction. It’s not all bad, though; such competiArtwork has the ability to question contemporary issues tion also promotes exceptional talent. in an intelligent and effective way. I believe artists can bring attention to aspects of life that everyone might not What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? see, or might easily ignore. Be true to yourself and it will come through your art. How would you describe the art scene in your area? What are your future plans as an artist? I have the privilege of living in New York City. I would, as would many, consider it to be one of the most major My goal is to always expand on my personal style. art scenes in the world. There are numerous art fairs, gallery openings, and open studios in large artist stu- For instance: The past few years my site-specific instaldio complexes. Public art projects: in train stations, bill- lations have used different materials for different aesboards, and sculptures in the parks and squares makes thetic purposes. I experimented with wood struts to jut art part of the daily life. canvas in ways that mirrored the paint on them; Then I shaped industrial-grade aluminum to reflect my impresWhat do you like/dislike about the art world? sions from the Morphosis Cooper Union building. New materials I’ve become interested in using are canvas What I like about the art world is its diversity. The in- shaped by metal frame and paint on warped balsa wood. fluence of different cultures and background in the art I’m also planning collaborations with 3D designers and community is very inspirational. The art world is ex- architects for a material that is executed less organicalceptionally competitive. This often creates business and ly, but with the opposite approach to its surface design.


www.zahranazari.com


ClĂĄudia Peralta Lisbon, Portugal

My Drawing emerge from a impulsive and obsessive way of drawing everything and everyone, in some small way to capture and record the essence of the place or environment around me. This drawings are born in a format the book, the diary, Why? There’s a continued and progression in this pages from 2013 to the present, from figuration to extremes of a raw expressionism, personal nature, an introspective language that have common all of us, the transience everyday life. Exploring figure, composition, color and materials there’s experimental intention which ultimately influence others medias that i explore, Photography, Printmaking, Painting and recently Ceramics.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

Well, a started to draw in my fifhteen years, this connection draw from a early age, escaleted wildy to a every day drawing habit, the more a draw the more a wanted to, also a great deal of curiosity was born with my drawing, i became quite interested in learning all about Art history. I think there is something very brillint in creating by superposition of layers of color and several strokes from a pencil or pen.

Well in live near a small village there is rarely any cultural events, but in my years in college and after a stayed in Caldas da rainha, a relocated to here to live and its a city of suprising Culturaly, historically linked ceramics, today is a place where the Art students, of ESAD-CR, create several cultural events, like na anually three day event that promotes, culture, performance in the streets, street Art, Visual arts, concerts, all over the city and the houses of the students ande ex-students open to show a year of artistic production and personal work.

Do You Think Of Yourself as a Conceptual Artist? No, I see myself was a expressionist , a seeker of color, human emotion. my artwork comes from a very impulsive and primitive place .Doesn’t come from a concept on the contrary , arrives from observation and an obsession with drawing, Drawing my reality. What art do you most identify with? I am very influence mostly by Painting, and have great admiration by the greatest masters of color, and expressionism, i admire all Artwork that comes from within , from the primitive, and impulsive art, Van gogh, Guaguin, Les nabis, Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko, Picasso, Kirchner, Matisse, in a succient way all that favors Painting , color, expression. Another Artists that influence me, are the ones that work the mundane world, the voyuerism perspective, the human nature , Edward Hopper, Helmut Newton, Lucian Freud, Sorolla. In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? Seeing today’s Contemporary world that is globalize, all the visual informacion in a reach of a click , i think change greatly, the contemporary art scene,, is caracterize by a plurality of artistic languagens and miscelânea works, don’t focus in one artistisc expression, in a way this is a big reflex of the World today, fields of between design and Painting, and Video and perfomance, and anothers fields have no limits, there is no more rescritions in the world of Art, in my personaly opinion Art is very subjective, and its to me between the line of extraordinary and the Absurd. Like life.

Another of the events also created are a one day a week cycle of expositions at night in several places around the city. What do you Like/Dislike about the Art World? Like the comunnication between the artist and the public, this relation is to me very difficulty but extremily importante, resuming my work is very personal and intima, therefore some difficulty in open up to the general public. One of the think that i dislike is all the fake relations and “recommedatoions” from friends, and people you know. It still is a niche of small people that know each other and favor those they want. There is no etical aprooch to a new work, just good work, hard investment in your pratice and talent doesn’t get you there, its need the “right “ people. We are still very closed to the old ways. What are your future plans as an artist? The future is always very uncertain, but my goal is to continue my education , taking my Master’s degree, probably in Drawing, focusing on the evolution and pratice of my Painting, create more connections between different fields, ceramics, Photography, Artist Book, printmaking and others artistic expressions. We should never limit ourself to just one field. There is something very wonderfull in linking different medias togetther. Thinking about the future, i recently discover Video , and interconnets beautifully Drawing and sound. This is a small step that could led to instalation.


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http://www.saatchiart.com/account/profile/843276


Alexandra Pospelova New York, USA

I believe that for art to be effective, it should reflect skills and knowledge, communicate by inspiring feelings, and possess a sense of beauty. Without communication, art loses its purpose and makes it nonsensical to share with others. Therefore, my work focuses on the role of art in the modern world and what art should represent as a truly creative form. It takes a personal view on determining what art and an artist is at the present time. As my subject matter, I start with human forms, sometimes derived from classical sculptures. My distinct voice is in finding hidden forms that all living things especially those not seen with the naked eye. I want the viewers to pause and make them attentive to the things that need more attention in order to be fully discovered. When people view my work I want them to understand this comparison and force an awareness of how important it is to acknowledge traditions and to be able to take a new look at these traditions in order to create a modern masterpiece. I believe that an artist should not forget tradition while breaking new ground.


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When, how and why started your practice? When I was fourteen, my parents sent my twin sister and I to one of the best art lyceums in Russia. Along with studying fine arts in the lyceum, I enrolled in a photo course at Saint-Petersburg Palace of Youth and Creativity. I would spend my “afterschool evenings” in the darkroom developing photographs. My father is the reason for my passion in photography. He was interested in this practice since he was young, but a career of a photographer was just an unrealistic dream of a young boy living in Communist Russia. His skills, knowledge and passion inspired me so much that I decided to pick up photography as a minor in college. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I think of myself as just an artist who tries to make an artwork with the hope of creating an emotional response in the viewer. I believe that for art to be effective, it should communicate by inspiring feelings. Without communication, art loses its purpose and makes it nonsensical to share with others. Contemporary art, for the most part, is too conceptual; it requires written statements in order to explain the premise or idea, instead of the ability to reproduce what would speak directly to the spectator. Often, people appreciate the work of art when it turns into a treatise; for example when people look at it only as a matter of an intellectual reflection. I believe art should be understood in order to be valuable. The audience in art is very important because art cannot exist without mutual understanding of an artist and the viewer. Thus, without the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of art, art loses its purpose, because art is created to be shared with others and convey a hidden message. There would be no museums and galleries, if not the idea of art being a tool of communication. Therefore, my goal as an artist is to make a work of art that would speak to people’s minds and evoke emotions. What art do you most identify with? I most identify with a living art that speaks to people’s hearts and evokes emotions, whether it is laughter, screeching, or tears. In addition, when people view my work I want them to understand this comparison and

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force awareness of how important it is to acknowledge traditions and to be able to take a new look at these traditions in order to create a modern masterpiece. I believe that an artist should not forget tradition while breaking new ground. In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? Some of contemporary art has moved from creating artistic value to market value; art nowadays is an ingenious marketing stroke. It does not refer to the development, and progress anymore, but decadence. I have observed that the majority of contemporary artists are trying to move away from the appropriate “language” of art, the language that represents morality, a code of conduct, roughly speaking, thus, pushing away the audience from appreciating this beautiful way of expressing oneself. What do you Like/Dislike about the Art World? Art became very provocative, vulgar, and aggressive, with no limits of self-control; it became disgusting. It disturbs the ear when one says so. These two words “art” and “disgust,” should not exist together. However, when people enter a museum and see an enormous photograph of a nude woman with fully extended legs or a photo-mosaic of a nun composed out of 5,000 to 10,000 pictures of nude women’s butts, they probably feel consternation. What is the museum, first of all? The word “museum” derives from a Greek phrase “Institution of the Muses,” which clearly means something that inspires, not something that makes people frightened and disgusted. I appreciate newness and things before never done, but they should not go beyond morality in order to be considered art. People, in order to grow as intellectual beings, should have certain restrictions that would help them to achieve a high degree of self-being. Without the restriction, human beings will sink in their desires that will lead them to impairment. An artist needs freedom in order to free oneself from emotional destructions; however, everyone should know its limits. Gustave Courbet, a French painter who led the Realist movement in the 19th-century, and who will be discussed further in a later section, “…did not believe that man was born free, rather that he became free only through work. Work, including art, could lead to freedom; only if


it is also improves the condition of society.” Ironically speaking, contemporary art had never altered in terms of its subject matter; the subject matter was, is, and will always be the same, and that is the reflection of the way people look at the world and how they see it. Contemporary art does communicate, it does possess beauty, and what is more, it does narrate morality. One just has to ask him/herself what is morality nowadays, and what is beauty? What changed were the representation and the execution. Other than that, art has been always a mirror that reflects the human experience, human history, and human condition in general. Art was never corrupted, but terribly truthful. What are your future plans as an artist? I want to realize my father’s dream of becoming a photojournalist. Two years ago I happened to watch “Beyond,” an exclusive documentary, featuring photographer Joey L. set in Varanasi, India. The powerful set of photographs of India’s holy men, Indian rich culture and its spirituality, and of course, my father’s influence on photography, inspired me to work hard on my dream. I am very interested in Asia, India in particular, and planning to visit this country of contrasts in the near future. This trip should be a step forward for achieving my goal, and should bring some great outcomes and inspirations.


www.alexandrapo.com


Dafna Steinberg Washington, D.C., USA I’m “Willing” To Lie About How We Met stems from my own personal experience using the dating app Tinder. It is a project that examines the differences between the superficial hopes of romantic love, the stark reality found on dating sites and trying to reconcile the two while combating the misogyny of “hook up” culture. It uses real opening lines men sent me in personal messages on the app against a back drop of romantic imagery from advertising, romance novels, and fashion editorials found in vintage magazines and books. While this project started out with a focus on masculinity, it has evolved into one about the way in which women experience the “male gaze” when using Tinder. I am exploring how anonymity and the app’s perceived promise of sexual encounters allow men to treat women as objects meant to satisfy their needs. I also include my own voice pushing back, through wit and irony, against the sexual intrusions.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Since childhood, I’ve always been surrounded by art and encouraged to make my own. When I went to college and grad school, my main focus was in photography. A few years ago, I began to feel a bit burnt out. I’d made some emotionally intense bodies of photo works, so I wanted to explore other ideas and mediums. I’d experimented with mixed media and collage work before, but this time, I really dove into it. To me, it was still a photographic art practice because I was using images of my own in a different way as well as appropriating found images into a new context. That’s more or less where I’ve been since about 2011. Do You Think Of Yourself as a Conceptual Artist? This was a difficult question to answer, because what is a conceptual artist? My work is based on a concept that is current and political, but I wouldn’t say that the final project is itself conceptual. Tell us more about “I’m Willing To Lie About How We Met” series I’m Willing To Lie About How We Met didn’t start out as an art project. Two years ago, a friend of mine told me about Tinder. She mentioned it was good for a laugh. Being single, I figured it would be a good distraction, so I joined it and started matching with guys pretty quickly. Not all, but a large number of the messages I started receiving were pretty raunchy and disturbing. Because I’m super snarky, I started responding to some of them with deadpan responses. The interactions became quite amusing, so I started taking screenshots and sharing them on my Instagram account. The guys’ identities were never in the screenshot as it was never my intention to out or try to shame them. I just found them quite enter-

taining. Eventually, after some conversations with friends and other female artists, I got the idea to collage the conversations with romance novel covers and vintage advertising. The contrast of the “romantic” couples with the lurid messages was an interesting clash between the contemporary way we communicate anonymously to find intimate connections (both physical and emotional) and the forced perceptions of what love is as portrayed by corporate media. This concept was something I wanted to explore more in depth, which is how the final project came together. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Washington, D.C. which has a very interesting albeit somewhat small art scene. There are a lot of artists, making it a pretty tight nit community. One of the great things about living in DC is that you have access to the art museums in the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art. Since they are government-funded museums, they are free to the public, making them all a fantastic resource. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. 1.

Martha Rosler

2.

Barbara Kruger

3.

TIE: Nan Goldin/Joseph Cornell

What are your future plans as an artist? I’m currently at the Vermont Studio Center for an Artist Residency. When I return home, I am hoping to move on to a new body of work that will focus on the actual act of dating as a performance piece. My general overall plan, however, is to just keep making work.


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www.dafnasteinberg.com


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Profile for Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine no. 19  

Artists: Alaa Alrafaihi, Roya Amigh, Nedko Bucev, Richard Carr, Ralph “rEN” Dillard, Nelson Enriquez, Wenjun Fu, Martina Marie Manalo, Nich...

Art Reveal Magazine no. 19  

Artists: Alaa Alrafaihi, Roya Amigh, Nedko Bucev, Richard Carr, Ralph “rEN” Dillard, Nelson Enriquez, Wenjun Fu, Martina Marie Manalo, Nich...

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