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GRANT BERAN | MICHAEL BRUCE WESTON | MELISSA CHEN | BRIAN D. COHEN JAMIE COOPER | EDMOND DALPE | LASZLO VON DOHNANYI | MESSIAH JOSHUA SHERRY KARVER | AYTÜL KAYHAN | NIKOLAOS MANTZIARIS | MISHA NICHOLAS BENJAMIN NORDSMARK | PAOLA RICCI | KAMA ROSINSKA | JAN ZIEGLER

It’s Only

Words! By Edmund Dalpe

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FEATURED ARTIST: JAMIE COOPER 4 WHIRLPOOLS BY PETER BARTON 5 IT’S ONLY WORDS BY EDMUND DALPE 8 GRANT BERAN 12 MICHAEL BRUCE WESTON 18 MELISSA CHEN 24 BRIAN D. COHEN 30

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JAMIE COOPER 36 LASZLO VON DOHNANYI 42 MESSIAH JOSHUA 48 SHERRY KARVER 54 AYTÜL KAYHAN 60 NIKOLAOS MANTZIARIS 66 MISHA NICHOLAS 72 BENJAMIN NORDSMARK 78 KAMA ROSINSKA 84 JAN ZIEGLER 90


FEATURED

ARTIST JAMIE COOPER More at pages: 36-41

Working across a variety of mediums, Jamie Cooper creates immersive environments that mix sculptural objects with light. In the Future Relic series, he uses humour and language as mechanisms to provoke deeper critical engagement. Cooper uses creative writing to draw from a blend of source material such as science fiction films, sociopolitical concerns and philosophical ideas to construct theoretical “other places” from which new artworks can be generated. Artificial lights are often used to create uncanny objects that resemble cultural artifacts from the real world, invoking an alternative “art” reality.


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WHIRLPOOLS Paola Ricci’s mystical presences

by Peter Barton

If we imagine looking down from the ceiling of Grand Central Station we see a hodgepodge pattern of human behavior which can be defined in scientific terms as Chaos since each speck knows where it is going and moves with deliberate intention. If, on the other hand, someone were to yell “Fire!” then each speck would lose that original intentionality and scramble around helter-skelter, which in scientific terms is Random. Jackson Pollock died in 1956. I began art lessons in Greenwich Village, just a few blocks from his old studio in 1957. I was thirteen years old. Although driven by art throughout childhood I still understood nothing significant about it processes or motivations. Yet even that young I was able to grasp the inexplicable force that was Pollock in his era and could easily experience the hypnotic effect he had over his peers. His stigma filled the streets of the 10th Street art gallery scene in what was at that time known as The Lower East Side of New York City. It also took up all the oxygen in the tiny !0th Street Coffee House where the emerging next generation of artist gathered to discuss the demonstrably practical yet wholly abstract concept of the subject matter of new art activity. That was – and still remains – the issue of representational imagery on the one hand or the total absence of any visually recognizable forms on the other. It is often asked of that time when all the current painters ate and drank at the same watering holes – like Minetta Tavern, Cedar Tavern, Stanley’s Bar, Cafe San Remo and the handful of others willing to carry a tab for any artist on the G.I. Bill as was the case for most of them – what did they argue about and why were those discussions so heated and often escalated to fisticuffs and glasses thrown across the saloon in the predawn hours of the morning? While it is not my intention to link the drawings of Paola Ricci to those tumultuous times and bitter artist-to-artist disagreements, this artist’s handiwork lives whole heartedly within this endless dialogue which always erupted on the personal level but which was as equally debated and bandied about at the formal level of art exhibition and in particular had become embedded in art critique. This because the dogmas of which were not only under assault by art audiences and magazine editors, but the very struggle itself served as the justification for a crisis not in art alone but in critique and the nature of art criticism in its traditional framework. Art writers were under the selfsame pressure as the post war creators to come up with fresh approaches, new angles, innovative vocabulary and even going as far as combative posturing in order to defend the birth of a new dimension in art’s means of regenerating in a time of unbridled post war freedom and, by contrast, an unbounded furor to hold onto conservative values, a return to the old way of seeing the world and the artist’s place in it.


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While many decades removed from this tempestuous time in the continuum of western cultural tradition and from those decidedly macho barroom personas that inhabited it, Ricci’s intense yet also quite casual impetus and breathless flowing technique provide us with both the question and the resolution in a way that makes us wonder just what all the fuss was about, so natural does this artist’s production feel and so self confidently and unabashedly presented in almost humble terms; i.e., with simple (mostly) black strokes on white drawing pad paper. It feels exceptionally salient to me since this is exactly how I would imagine that Pollock himself went about a reexamination of his own output in his controversial later years at a time when he returned to representation in order to explore a possible escape hatch through what he increasing saw as a dead end or impasse in his own creative process; a process so lionized and set ablaze by his celebrity status and worse yet, constantly revalidated by so many genuflecting peers and stellar venues for his exhibitions worldwide, that he was incapable of anything innovative or ground breaking. Absent any hope of surprise of even controversy that he had nowhere to look other than by taking a step backwards, or perhaps more generously put, a step laterally in order to explore representation. And here is the point in Ricci’s creative spirit: having no baggage to carry she is able to step boldly right up to the blank page and let fly zephyrs of human endeavor the very unleashing of which in unbounded gestures and swirling, speedy motions gather and build into an eventual compilation of some figuration image that feels – no, actually is conjured rather than contrived, and a conjuring that comes from within her own psyche. What I mean by that is this coalescence does not sit outside of her in

some landscape that is external to her being, but definitely resides right inside her mind taking on its shape as well as taking up a presence on the page before her eyes and probably surprisingly so. There on the wall and I might even add as if flung there of its own momentum, a psychic automatism in the surrealistic sense of that term has clearly evolved into a mysterious phantom, but one not at all from any dream space but instead a space that is the dream or the simulacrum of a dream realm. This imagery is not an interpretation of something seen but the result of something directly experienced by the hand and mind – and true as well, the whirling spirit of the artist in action. The editor and critic Hilton Kramer deplored the intervention into abstract expressionism – or, as equally mis-termed “action painting” – the idea that this painterly activity was a “psychologically motivated” intentionality. This because it took away from this method of creating the most fundamental drive and the creating artist’s task of driving toward an esthetic result; and this notion of a psychological purpose robs the artist of his or her humanity in the drama of the creative spirit at work in spontaneous revels. Let me say here that before Ricci’s artful result manifests itself, that her moment of cessation of activity is clearly a moment we are able to share, that exact moment when the esthetic experience is rounded or full, when the drawing tells her and us that it is ready to present its completeness to the world which it is looking out at even as that world,. And from the outer world, that world of our own eyes, is in fact looking in at it with wonder as to its origin for being, its method of coming into existence, its purposeful or perhaps purposeless state which finds its


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in the Cedar Tavern – that de Kooning could not abandon the European crutch of keeping something realistic to grab onto now matter how aggressively he tried to hack it apart, a comment summed up when he said of one such Marilyn painting that it was not a portrait but “an autopsy”. In other terms, this notion of adding up strokes on a white plane or within a spatial void until something esthetic takes hold and it then can be considered “art” by way of that criteria for visual resonance or sensation. With those two processes in mind, let us look at a Ricci drawing and consider it as the latter case: a point flies around the page like a fly, seemingly random since we can but merely surmise that the fly has some logic to its movements even though we cannot grasp just what that reasoning is. Let’s just say that the bug is recconoitering. If by visualizing the trail that the insect leaves we find that in final result there appears for us some form of a creature, perhaps an elemental, or a demon or a phantom presence and at that instant we can see that by the additive process the hand of the creator has brought forth a unique being, not exactly human perhaps and certainly with no intention of an exact portrait, yet we have a result, a form generated by artistic behavior and furthermore such behavior that remains vividly in the abstract realm of a pure process. The creator’s meandering hand reconnoiters the void and mysteriously perhaps, or diligently seeking out form relationships in vivo. The swirling hand of the artist is in every sense random and expressively free other than for the unexpected fact that in conclusion there is a recognizable organic form, a being to relate to, a being meant to look back at us. We might say that the image exists someplace between random and chaos, in effect, held in stasis by the viewer’s appreciation of that form derived as the result of irrepressible activity. Oddly, that is not only enough to capture our attention but likewise enough for us to judge the entire presented material as clever, skilled and wildly creative – great stuff in other words and what in psychology is termed the “Aha!” moment. meaning in the viewer’s gaze back upon it,. It is that Lacanean quandary about symbol and sign, the mirror stage, that art assertion that both viewer and viewed identify each other, exist for each other – at least at that very moment of visual contact. Let me say it this way in order to clarify my own perception: there is no message in the image other than it’s own mystic presence and for the purpose of our being able to look up on it, or more to the point in at it. The intimacy is shared between artist an viewer because the process and the concluding image are symbiotic. It may be said that abstraction is derived by either of two means: in the first case, a process of deconstruction or subtractive reduction of something familiar; in the second case, and again conversely, a process of construction or an additive production towards the creator’s point of view. If we look at de Kooning in this light , by way of an example, we see that in his portrait of Marilyn Monroe he begins with a generally iterated image of the actress probably taken from a photograph. He then, in his slow and considered process, fragments that representational form and scatters it around the surface of the canvas dispensing in any photographic identity of the persona yet keeping only those elements that can be said to “represent” the character of the actress herself, those symbolic pieces of her easily discernible popular image. Jackson Pollock’s long running debate with de Kooning on this very point once prompted a punch-out

Willem de Kooning eventually had to let go of recognizable elements in his canvases since his cognitive faculties slowly began to abandon him. We can only wonder what Pollock would have thought about these works that were executed in the painter’s later years of aporia, perhaps taking the larger perspective of many critics that these later canvases are in fact his best output. We too can only guess what Pollock derived from his own hairpin turn leading him back to things like portrait heads and the more commonly identifiable subjects of the artist. It has been rumored that much of this late work was destroyed or deposited in the dark recesses of an art vault by people or forces unnamed in an effort to maintain the momentum, conscientiousness and – dare I mentioned? – the market price of his drip and splatter period. But I am given to consider that last and later art work of Pollock’s as less of a benchmark for a new style and merely as a process in transition for the means to open a gate in the back wall of a philosophical epiphany that had run its course and was turning up blank. Paola Ricci whirlpools display a bright and troubling absence of inhibition – in fact she revels in those qualities. She dives without hesitation right into the deepest part of the grander pool of an art universal that spans more than a half century of debate that made and ruined many an art career. Upon consideration of Ricci’s art production, this writer can only conclude that the great riddle has finally cooled its heels.

Paola Ricci is a interdisciplinary artist who works in Venice, Italy. She studied at Urbino College of Industrial Arts, Italy, and has a degree in Graphic Design. She held a Master Class in Visual Arts and Design at the Venice Biennale. Ricci has taught Abstract Art, Mixed Techniques and Visual Communications at the International School of Graphics in Venice. She is using a teaching method to activate artistic fantasy through poetry and art.

paolaricci.com


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It’s Only Words! _ By Edmund Dalpe, MFA., © 2018

ILL-0: PLF, (Programmed Life Forms). Dalpe © 2018

Breve:

An epistemological satire from the Stone-Age to the present day characterized as a riposte to the one bad-guy that every creative type loves to hate, an academic (PLF)! When the dust finally settles, and all is said and done, academia is stripped down to its skivvies, language is restored to its rightful owners, art is reinstated to its socially germane status, and the earth once again spins true on its axis … Yup, that’s how the world works (see title).

A Silly Academic Story; 1, 2, 3:

From kindergarten to graduate school, every educator’s lecture I endured, the one thing they all professed, with the exception of a few I didn’t understand due to unusual oratory styles and mumbling, was that language’s spoken aspect holds meaning, and that it’s a consensual thing. You know, 3” is not 9” -standardization. Strangely, when it came to explaining its origin and authorship, their logic got real fuzzy, I mean down right spooky, which immediately moved my thinking to critical mode... pointy pencils up! How was the beast born is usually the first order of business to an inquisitive mind. And what better way to answer that question than with one of the first examples of language from the Stone-Age, which BTW contradicts all three of the foundational canons in their silly story; 1) speech holds meaning, 2) it’s a consensual thing, and 3) spooky origins! The cave at Altamira for example, among many of its other social accomplishments, is a detailed analysis of the galactic cycle; what we call a Great-Age (Dalpe, 2018)1. Yes, I just cited myself --deal with it! It’s what artists do, we tread new ground. As Paul Klee suggested, “Art does not reproduce the visible (that is, citations, peer reviews and what is known); rather, it makes visible” (Klee, circa 1900s)2. Nevertheless, I will also cite the Titans that created Altamira with their visual communications from almost 40,000 years ago (Illustration 1). However, we are going to have to spend a bit of time in their domain, what we might call art. And as a picture is worth a thousand words, PLFs should be able to handle it. Yet, to be on the safe-side, I added call-outs, exploded views, and diagrams to guide them in the right direction, so they don’t wander off into strange thinking, like bison worship and secret messages from the Stone-Age. (HINT: as there are more than a baker’s dozen bison, they had a damn good reason for illustrating each. Thus, what they were saying was metaphorically inferred between the bison (lines), as it were!) As those visual ideas from so long ago are understood today (if you can figure out what they were saying, beyond establishing a Great-Age), it proves language is not a consensual process, nor is it spoken. Because that’s how knowledge is passed down through the millenniums of time - visually; that’s its primary function. The spoken aspect of language is incidental, because it’s only a sonic symbol. It’s an expedient social system, that’s all. It allows us to walk and communicate at the same time, that is, to express something more intelligent than an emotional


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outburst. Strangely, there are some among us that still haven’t figured that out after millenniums. My partner for example, has a propensity of stopping dead in her tracks whenever she has something to say; regardless of how great or small. I can’t explain it to her, because she would make us late, and I only think of it when we are on the run! Yup, that’s called a catch-22, and explains the lag in the tech. Hopefully, some day though… Nevertheless, when academia teaches an adolescent to believe a sonic symbol holds meaning, that’s the Religious-Thing, because to memorize is to be trained like a parrot to make the visual association. The fact that there are as many ways to say BS as there are cultures should be a clue, and as there is only one way to step in it, that should be a clue as well. That is, they weren’t doing the Visual Thing (Discover, 1993)3. Such pious mind training cultivates a generational cognitive systematic bias that keeps us in the Dark for Ages, ‘cause we all know ya don’t argue with the religion! For example, when I correct an academic on such matters, that is, the Visual-Thing, by their reaction, you would think that I stepped on their damn tail. They go through the initial stages of grief; shock, denial, and rage, quicker than one can fall off a log in Pookaville. The shock comes from being challenged. Their denial is in the form of a trick procedural question, “What word-smith ever, I wonda, can you cite to back-up ye claims? Nair-one I have ever heard of!” Which is really an authoritative statement posing as an innocent question. I mean come on. How does one challenge academia by citing an academic? Is it possible they can be that dumb? (I’m sorry, did I say that aloud?) When their, “authoritative statement posing as a innocent question” doesn’t have the desired effect, that is, your’s truly walking away with my tail between my legs, they become unbalanced with rage. However, as they were also trained to be gracious when dialogging, they begin to simmer, and it’s only a matter of time before they come to a full boil and blow a gasket. Usually their venting takes

ILL-1: Cave of Altamira, i.e., the Cave of Ages. 38,500 YBP. Dalpe © 2018

the form of calumny, like, “Did’ya know how unfeelin’ the Visual-Thing sounds to a blind person?” From which they build an elaborate character assassination theme, which is followed by the inevitable cabaret of removing their words from my mouth. With absolute certainty, the one thing they will never do is address the issue, because their mind was trained in the Religious-Thing. And as I said, you don’t question religious beliefs. Hence, round and round we go, gen after gen. Nope, that’s not a catch-22. That’s the infamous tail chase. We run into the catch when we try to stop the merry go round. The only way to do that is to explain what language is. But to explain it to an academic, you have to go round and round. Hence the catch, (read the last few paragraphs again, again and again…). PLF logic is full of it, ... uh, I mean them, conundrums that is. What perplexes me is, did their mind-training make them that way, or were they always thus? Nope, that’s not a catch-22, that’s the chicken ‘n egg scenario. The difference between them is subtle in this particular case, because the scenario is wrapped in an enigma, that is, as everybody is trained, we will never know which came first. Hence, it’s a combo, a 22 chicken ‘n egg catch.

The Horse Latitudes:

So far, two of the three foundational canons in their silly story, 1) speech holds meaning, and 2) it’s a consensual thing, are now moot points! However cannon 3), spooky origins, although no longer creditable, let’s put that pooka out to pasture permanently.

As Cro-Magnon was no where on the European continent during the first 8 millenniums when Altamira was conceived and framed, and as there is no prior evidence of Cro-Meandering’s basic social developmental skills necessary to convey such complex ideas socially, they could not possibility have been its author. Nor could they have contributed in any meaningful way when they finally did arrive, excluding hand print graffiti, because that’s just monkey see monkey do without a clue. I mean you need to learn how to crawl before you can walk, much less hit the ground running to socially develop a unified theory of the galactic cycle. Such a social feat demands untold generations of observations and recordings to be able to apperceive such a thing; not to even mention a self awareness of how the human mind naturally speaks so as to be able to visually communicate such complex theories socially across the ages (archetypes), both of which were established at Chauvet (Dalpe, 2018)4 (yes, I know, I cited myslef again, don’t dwell). And to be absolutely clear, by its author, I mean language itself. Because the Altamira cave is one of the earliest instances of the virtualization of the human mind of theoretical ideas expressed in a timeless social context.


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Likewise, we can dismiss academia’s spooky story as to whom we give credit for its creation. That’s right, our Neanderthal brothers and sisters were/are the more intelligent of the two genus, which explains why sapiens don’t understand the mind-tech; it’s not theirs! It’s like installing Debian-9 in an old 486, which makes a sapiens’ mind go completely loopy, and has remained so for the last 40,000 years! With such a keen eye for detail, and like the razor sharp instincts of Chief Inspector Clouseau of the Surete, instead of reading the dates written on the cave walls, … wait for it, introductory music please: ( da dum, da dum-- da dum, da dum, da dum- da dum, du-waaaa-- da da duu zaaaa!) Cro-Academia sent legions of their brightest and best descending into the cave of Altamira with their magnifying glasses to analyze the calcium build up on the paint to determine the age of the so called art (SERP, 2012)5. From such a farcical academic Shot in the Dark, the “massage” becomes clear, the academic mind is as chaotic as a bison worshiper’s. The latter sees things that are not there, while the former doesn’t see what is, which is not a surprise, because both blur the line between science and faith. As I said, they’re religious learners with a systematic bias. It’s just a matter of degrees in training as to which way they go. Too much training is tantamount to receiving a rather large “beump” on the head, while just a touch of it, and their belfry teams with little flying “meuths”! Hence, academia will faithfully sail for another thousand leagues in the wrong direction before they figure out they sailed into the horse latitudes. Meanwhile, down on the farm in Pookaville, they’re just wandering in circles and falling into one rabbit hole after the next. To read the various dates the Mousterians were recording, simply look at the direction and elevation of a bison’s front legs. And if they did something funky with the leg that is farthest from us, they were referring to a date range. That is, they were speaking of an age. For example, the top bison in illustration-2 spoke of the first

ILL-2: Excerpt of Altamira. 38,500 YBP. Dalpe © 2018

five millenniums of the previous Great Age, 36,500-31,500 BC. Illustration-2 is a detail of three of the bison from illustration-1 from the right lower side. Again, I added lots of visual aids to prevent silly thinking from occurring, like academia claiming the triangles to be “claviform symbols” (SERP, 2012)6, when the Mousterians didn’t do the systematically trained mind’s symbolic thing! What the Mousterians were doing was recording when glaciation occurred during a Great-Age for posterity, which they metaphorically stated on the far left side of the mural with the hind and emaciated bison. If that’s not called a historic record, during the so called prehistoric era, somebody needs to pinch me quick to wake me from this unending social nightmare of religious learners! I mean, what would you call living in a culture of humans where none speak the lingo?


Trollin’, Over-Sharin’ an’ Scientific Methods: Obviously, it’s completely irrelevant when speaking to a Cro-Academic on such matters of linguistic clarity. Because their mind is trained vis-a-vis a belief mind-system, which for all intents and purposes becomes a virtual machine. That makes them virtually smart, but for anything outside of that virtual reality, that is, what is not known to them (Altamira), they’re serendipitous at best! And when we understand that everything we know or will ever know is built upon language, which is what a Cro-Academic least understands, you begin to grasp the gravity of the situation, because language, art, or whatever you want to call it, is our legacy! Nor can I appeal to the masses in Pookaville, because their mind is in self-censoring-mode. Therefore, the target audience is limited to those under 20, because their mind is not yet petrified (WIKI, 2016)7. However, the latest generation of sapiens (Cro-Virtual) don’t inspire much optimism, because if their teacher’s hair caught on fire, I doubt they would notice in their virtual world of perpetual over-sharing. Nevertheless, I do try to see the good in all things. No, not the crispy teacher. What’s hopeful is, they are not listening to academic sermons! So, considering all of the above strategies, or the lack of a clearly definable one, as the way to clear the linguistic fog from our collective field of vision, so as to ground our imagination in reality, I decided on an over-sharing post to a language site about their linguistic Achilles heel, with the understanding of the full range of ad-hominem responses that would follow. Call it a morbid curiosity, or my silly optimism, that possibly today would be the dawn of a new day. Following that fleeting moment of foolishness, I planted my two feet firmly on the ground and decided I was willing to settle for anything of value that might fall from the tree of civilized knowledge. Nope, Nada, Zip, Not a damn thing aside from the expected histrionics. And yes, academia called my over-sharing post trolling. Hence, their raster of shit. However, that’s also called the scientific method. Everyone has the right, dare I say the obligation, to challenge a silly academic story. Even an artist has that right. Otherwise, that’s not called science, that’s called religion!

ILL-3: Over Sharin’ Dalpe © 2018

A Back-Door to Your Tech:

So, there you have it, the language system may be consensual, but language is most definitely not, nor is Cro-Eclectic its creator. It’s meaning has nothing to do with its spoken aspect, because it’s a Visual-Thing. Most importantly, being aware of the nature of Neanderthal’s mind-tech, we become immune to its manipulation; that is, just because PLF logic deduces a fabled cliff, doesn’t mean you have to jump off. That’s on your head for believing in silly stories. However, sometimes I wonder if Neanderthal used their mind-tech to control the child-like intellect of hoards migrating into their territory. Because with an intuitive understanding of the mind-tech, you can get Cro-Conundrum to believe anything. I mean any damn thing at all, which brings into question all of their history --everything. Because their fabled history is built on someone else’s mind-tech, a kind of back-door to their software, I mean real soft! I’m talkin’ Pudd’nhead Wilson soft (Twain, 1894)8!

Edmund Dalpe, MFA., © 2018

Ed’s creativity is based on conceptual art making that’s rigorous, with a tenacity and endurance. He studied art foundation at Pratt Institute and completed his BA and MFA at Goddard College. In his latest work, Dream Duet9, Dalpe traverses the evolution of the social mind from the dawn of self awareness and the creative expressions of the Stone-Age to mathematics, and he does so in terms of our somatic sub-language and syntax. It’s a road-map of our sub-MOJO!

linguistic-determinism-art-language.blogspot.com ) Edmund Dalpe Dream Duet https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Duet-Edmund-Dalpe-MFA/ dp/1986742164/ 2018 1, 4, 9

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) Discover Magazine The Visual Thing. http://discovermagazine.com/1993/jun/thevisionthingma227 1993

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) SERP University of Barcelona, Spain. http://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/menu_eines/noticies/2012/06/045. html 2012

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) Paul Klee Abstract German-Swiss Artist from the last century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Klee 1900s 2

)WIKI Synaptic Pruning https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaptic_pruning 2016 ) Mark Twain Pudd’nhead Wilson! Charles L. Webster and Company 1894


Grant Beran

Whangarei, New Zealand For the last 32 years, I have been exhibiting photography based work in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Paris, London, Japan, Australia and here in New Zealand where I live by the beach. Over these years, I’ve tried to take the chemigram or what I call the photochemical drawing into new directions, in which I draw and paint with photographic chemicals and ink onto light sensitive black and white analogue photographic paper. I don’t use a darkroom. They’re all made in natural light. My pictures are meditations on memories, their associated images and the way we understand them. Using photography as a base from which to move forward it incorporates text, portraits and snatches from arts recent and ancient histories. Surfaces are drawn onto, scratched and exposed; images are fixed and solvent. It is about photography as an object as much as an image. It creates a series of layers in which all these things are mixed to present an image in flux in which the future, the present and the past are unfixed - seeming to be a part of the surface of the work or floating above it like something to be captured or pinned down.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. Soccer, pop music and fashion is what first got me into photography and painting. As a teenager, growing up in small town New Zealand in the 1980s, these interests were fuelled by high quality magazines like “the Face” and “Arena” which had brilliant features on art, fashion, music, other cultures, subcultures and soccer with reference to the way these areas overlapped and influenced one another. These features would send me off on pre-internet searches to find out more about the people, ideas and concepts they were talking about. This was, in many ways, the beginning of my art and culture education. This overlapping and cross referencing continues to be the fuel that fires my work. There is a similar kind of overlapping and cross referencing in terms of the mediums of photography, drawing and painting I’ve been fusing together in my work for the last 26 years. In the early 1990s,

I had been working with photography for around ten years and was frustrated at being in a situation of not having access to a darkroom. Wanting to continue my exploration of this medium I began painting abstract images directly onto black and white, light sensitive photo paper, in natural light, using the photochemicals you use to develop black and white prints. The photo developer created black marks on the photo paper and the fixer made white. Being light-sensitive paper the images began appearing before my eyes as I painted and drew onto it with the chemicals. It was magic and took the word photography literally; to draw or write with light. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Avoiding that isolating feeling that you’re talking to yourself. My aim is to try and make work that connects with people and makes some difference for good, in some small way, to their lives. This is a good challenge which continually makes me reflect on why I make work, who is it for and what can it do in a person’s life? In my most recent exhibition - “The Present Perfect” - my brief to myself was to create a body of work that would uplift people, make them smile, make their own connections with and that they might go back into the world and hopefully enjoy it in a fresh, new way. The exhibition has just finished and it’s been so heartening and humbling having people come up to me and say, I really loved it or I had a chuckle or I connected with this or that work. That kind of feedback makes my day. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I’m not sure about compared, but artists who I look to for inspiration are painter, Elizabeth Peyton in terms of the gorgeous painterly beauty of her work. I’m continually drawn to the quirky humour of Ed Ruscha, the inspiration of graphic designer Peter Saville in the way he continually questions the medium he is working in and finally, pop artist Peter Blake in his desire to paint pictures that affect people in the same way pop songs do. That’s definitely something I’m after. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Eclectically lively. I live in Whangarei Heads in New Zealand. It’s a beautiful

place overlooking the sea. Possibly because of this beauty, there’s a strong interest in photography with people here questioning the medium in beautiful ways. All the other mediums are alive and well here, with a very cool gallery, called Megan Dickinson Gallery which has brought many of these eclectic elements together in one place. This has helped centre much of what’s going on. The relaxed, coastal environment here is definitely conducive to making, thinking and pushing ideas further. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? It was something I read. Artist, Michael Craig Martin, who was a tutor for a number of the YBA’s including Gary Hume and Damien Hirst, wrote in his book “On Being an Artist”, that in his time as a teacher, he noticed that the secret work a student was often doing at home but were too embarrassed to bring in to show because they were worried it was uncool, too obvious, too strange, too basic was invariably better than the ‘serious’ work they were comfortable showing others. He says the reason for this was because in this work there was a ‘’passionate engagement the other work lacked.” Essentially, he was saying, do the work that comes most naturally to you. It sounds so simple, but hearing this, articulated so well, continues to really help and reaffirm me in what I’m doing. Back when I started working on my photochemical drawings most people weren’t interested, as what I was doing didn’t seem to fit into a clearly defined box of painting, photography or drawing as it was all of these things. But times change and such issues seem to have just blown to the wind and aren’t even talked about in these post-post-modern pluralistic interdisciplinary times. So stick with what is true to you and your work will find an audience, even if they’re not born yet! What are your future plans as an artist? I love living in New Zealand. It’s amazing here, but it’s a very long way to pretty much everywhere, with a very small population. I would love to have the opportunity to share my work with a bigger audience in Europe, particularly in London. My wife is English, so it would be nice to go there and show my work in a city so teeming with art galleries and museums and with such a big audience for art. To see my work connect with an audience there would be very, very special.


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facebook.com/GJBeran


Michael Bruce Weston Dublin, Ireland

Born in Lima, PerĂş. Living in Dublin, Ireland. Studied Architecture in Lima to degree level, worked as an Architect both in Lima and Dublin, and have been doing own personal art work in tandem since college years. I was part of the Art Collective OTROSOMOS in Lima between 2001-2004, also working as a freelance photographer during the same years. After this, I worked as an architect and independent artist, and started to do art workshops in a psychiatric hospital, which lead me to study art therapy, and lately engaging with community through art projects. Currently working as an Architect, Art Facilitator and studying Art Therapy in Dublin.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I studied architecture in Lima, Peru, at the same time I was working with artists towards the end of my college years, both with the art collective OTROSOMOS, and on my own. I was also doing a lot of photographic work at that time, street/urban photography, photographing underground bands, gigs and venues in Lima city centre, as well as recycling photographic paper from studios-before they went digital-and using it as material to draw on. I also worked in psychiatric hospitals both in Peru and Ireland, working as a nurse assistant in Lima, as an arts facilitator in Dublin. I currently work as an architect, I also work in two addiction centres doing art as therapy sessions and visit prisoners in a local prison in Dublin, Ireland, apart from working in my studio. What is the most challenging part of working interdisciplinary? I believe it is figuring out the way other people think, why they do it in a certain way, as it challenges your own way of thinking, which brings about a huge learning. Thus, negotiating is not as easy task but it is/or can be quite enriching as you encounter different ways of tackling a problem, various reactions and solutions to a certain situation. The fact of working in different places, an architects office, the addiction centres, psychiatric hospital, prison, etc., has been quite enlightening and has also helped me to learn new ways to work, to find more freedoms. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I hold admiration for the artists tagged as “outsider artists”, the ones who are self-taught, individuals in a psychiatric hospitals, prisoners, random people working away or detached from the art circuit, etc. There is an raw honesty about what they do; they tend to work in very restrained conditions (both in terms of access to materials and work space) which makes the work fascinating to me. Furthermore, the fact that they are not “academically trained” gives them a certain freedom and, I find, sets them apart from the rest; they pour themselves on the work and hide nothing. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Far from it. There is never a concept (not that I’m aware of at least) in my work. I have always seen art as a platform to deal with personal issues, trusting my instinct and going with the flow; it is more a physiological necessity to me. The materials I work with are always cheap/recycled and have always worked within those limitations, or possibilities if you prefer, depending on your politics. Space exploration and improvisation have been and still are a big part of the work, specially the psychological and absurd side which I tend to explore and/or play with. The image/work gradually unfolds as it is worked on; the end result is always a mystery. I feed a lot from the art I encounter first hand; from the people in the addiction centres and prisons, from their short stories, paintings, sculptures, glassworks, etc., and also from fellow artists around me in the art centre where I am based. There is a lot of architectural input in my work, the interest and exploration of spatial dimensions. On the other hand it is a step away from it as I find freedoms when not working with gravity, a program or deadline, regulations, etc. The work can fall, collapse, be delayed, etc., and that is perfectly fine. As opposed to working as an architect, where you always have a context, facing a blank (as in spotless) surface is very challenging and hard to tackle. Technical and materials aspects are very important in my work to the point that, at times, a material I want to work with comes to mind and then I develop the work or works around it. When facing surface, I randomly define certain lines and take it from there; there is no idea or preconception

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as to what will come out or an “end result”. Or I could have an idea-a very vague one-, mainly in the shape of an image and try to materialise it but again, the end result will always be unexpected, which I believe is the beauty of the creative endeavour; to be surprised, for the better or the worse, at what unfolds… the image/idea is only a trigger to get started; thereafter expect the unexpected… How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in Dublin as I see it is very mixed, at the same time bubbly and dormant. There is a lot of enthusiasm from people to work and create but at the same time property prices are galloping and it is not easy to find cheap/affordable spaces to work in (as in a studio for example), or to show your work; it is very difficult as it is to find a place to live so to actually have a studio or workspace is a luxury of some sort. The mainstream commercial gallery spaces are too worried to make ends meet /a profit, and the non commercial ones generally charge rent (which is generally payed by the artist) but hardly manage to last long enough, unless there is some kind of funding but then again, the amount of money destined to it is limited, so not many places get enough funds to last long. What are your future plans as an artist? I never thought of art a a “career”, nor do I think it is now; if it will be in the future I do not know. I never sold a piece or made money out of it and this is the first time my work has been considered (so far) for publication in a magazine, which came to me as a surprise. As you can gather there are no “plans” or rather, the plan remains the same, I will keep working and exploring, thus I will encounter unexpected forks on the way, and will see what happens…


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Melissa Chen

London UK / Canada

My paintings and films are based on how the natural world can reflect not only our humanity, but also the more personal theme of identity. These ideas are shown through surreal imagery that blends animal and human characteristics as well as natural and man-made surroundings. My conceptual process of painting is similar to the process of plotting a story before it is written. All of the creatures, people and objects in my paintings have meanings and are occasionally metaphors. All of these things are placed in the artwork thoughtfully. They take their places like characters in a scene, each with its unique purpose and physical appearance. To create my art, I collect bits of information and imagery from numerous sources and allow it to evolve, meld together and grow before allowing the idea to take shape on canvas. Each work becomes a reflection of my views on unusual human behaviour and an exploration of my identity.


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around the world. Looking at these works, I tend to be drawn to and inspired by a specific kind of aesthetic quality that has vibrant colours, smooth curving lines with a lot of attention to detail. These qualities appear in both my paintings and films. What is the most challenging part of working interdisciplinary? It is interesting being a painter and filmmaker because these two jobs require different ways of thinking. There are many different technical aspects of painting and filmmaking that I must know when I’m doing either of them. Both require me to learn continuously through research and hands on experience because of advances in technology. There may be a better way of priming a painting canvas or a different camera lens might work well for a project if I test it and learn more about it. It’s important and challenging to try to be familiar with as many options as possible in order to make the best decision for a project. However, it’s easy to borrow from painting when setting up a shot for a film in regards to colour, composition and lighting. The end product made by combining new and old knowledge is always worth the challenge. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. It changes, but for now I’ll say filmmaker Sally Potter for her way of depicting femininity and the sense of humour in her films. The late costume designer Eiko Ishioka for her incredibly transformative costumes and the way in which she uses the colour red. I love the colour red on clothing when the designs are simple, elegant and strong. I also enjoy looking at work by surrealist René Magritte because his paintings are always fascinating and amusing. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist?

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I’m a Canadian painter and filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada. Visually, I am very much inspired by the nature in Canada. I am currently trying to incorporate more shades of green and blue from plants into my paintings, although my films are already quite saturated with those colours. My work frequently depicts scenes that take place in natural settings. I received my BFA from the School of the Art Insti-

tute of Chicago. When I was there, I took a large variety of classes and learned about filmmaking, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking and fashion. Some thought I was a bit odd for taking so many different classes but now, years later, learning to do a variety of things has helped my filmmaking greatly because film combines different forms of art. After my bachelor’s degree, I moved to London for my MA in painting at the Royal College of Art. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to see and study work by many artists

No, I don’t think of myself as a conceptual artist. I think I am too preoccupied with creating narrative stories in my work to be a conceptual artist. Tell us more about “The Caterpillar Knight” short movie. The Caterpillar Knight is an eleven minute short film about a caterpillar who falls for a sleeping knight. Unfortunately, her friend the bird is not happy about this new-found infatuation. It is a drama, a fantasy and an art film shot on Super 16mm film. It was filmed in London, England in mid July


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2017, during my time at the Royal College of Art. The short film was inspired by the sleeping heroes who are found in many myths and legends across numerous cultures. The caterpillar and the bird are played by the ethereal Molly Moody and Lynsey Balloch. The music was composed by a talented Canadian composer named Jonathan Kawchuk. I took on the role of costume designer, conceptualizing and making the costumes over several months. I also ended up doing the cinematography after I was unable to find a suitable cinematographer. It was tough because the camera was quite cumbersome but doing the cinematography myself ended up being a very rewarding experience. I think I may do the cinematography again for my next film. There is something nice about having a similar kind of direct contact with the images in my films as I do with my paintings. What is the best book you’ve recently read? Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. Although I really wish I had read it before watching the film. I usually prefer reading books before watching the film versions because it’s nice to imagine how the characters

look, sound and move with only the words on the page. I used to live in house with a large apricot tree in a corner the yard. We spent many summers eating sun ripened apricot after apricot. There are scenes in the book that are wonderful because they bring back certain memories. What are your future plans as an artist? At the moment, everything feels a bit up in the air and displaced because I’m just about to graduate from the Royal College of Art. After graduation, I’m planning on painting a new series of oil paintings. I’ve also written a new film that I’m thinking about making. I’ve painted both oil and watercolour paintings for the past year but I’m looking to focus on oil paintings again. I prefer the way oil paint behaves on canvas compared to watercolour on paper. I should also get more of my work framed for exhibitions. I have stacks of silverpoint drawings, watercolours and copperplate etching prints in storage that have never been shown before. *Melissa Chen wishes to thank The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation for its financial support.

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Brian D. Cohen Westmoreland, NH, USA

Brian D. Cohen is a printmaker, painter, educator, and writer. In 1989 he founded Bridge Press to further the association and integration of visual image, original text, and book structure. Artist’s books and prints by Brian D. Cohen have been shown in over forty individual exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Fresno Art Museum, and in over 200 group shows. Cohen’s books and etchings are held by major private and public collections throughout the country. He was first-place winner of major international print competitions in San Diego, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. His essays on the arts and education are a feature of Art in Print magazine and the Arts and Culture section of the Huffington Post.


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Etching and watercolor painting come from opposite sides. I’m happy to work in color again, and to work broadly and freely, but I still like the illusion of control that etchings offers, at least until you see what you’ve got when you print. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I find the inevitable, unavoidable interruptions to the process of seeing through ideas to their fruition because of the exigencies of work, family, and the lawn, etc. to be my greatest challenge. I generally take a long view, but the shorter term can be frustrating, especially when I’m ready to make things happen. Name artists you’d like to be compared to.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I had the great good fortune to be born to two artist parents; a father who is a noted aviation illustrator, and a mother was quite a fine printmaker early in life. I grew up next to my father’s drawing table, building model airplanes, drawing, and learning to shape things with my hands. I was an excellent student, something of a drawback at school, as public schools wanted to define and narrow your skills and interests, and being serious about art was not compatible with scholarship, nor was it equally respected. I chose a competitive academic college, and my art education may have suffered, though I later went on to obtain a graduate degree in painting. I entered teaching and learned that I was expected to teach printmaking, about which I knew just enough to get myself into trouble. I learned by doing and fell in love with etching, began collecting prints and studying their history, and stopped painting. I began to work in series of etchings linked by theme, which I later bound together with text into books. Visual books offered me new possibilities for the continuity, connection, and unfolding of my prints, each image complete in itself, yet linked to every other through the structure of the book. In 1989 I founded Bridge Press to publish

limited edition artist’s books and etchings. For a while, I was a letterpress printer, printing text to accompany my images. I am as often inspired by what I read or listen to as by what I see. I look back at images from old postcards, photographs, prints, and books. I embrace themes of loss, futility, destruction, and unexpected, redemptive beauty, themes tied to the tradition of printmaking, whose imagery has always tended toward critical commentary and serious contemplation, and often toward humor and irony as well. I had been working in black and white etching for over twenty years before returning to my earlier infatuation with color around ten years ago. All my watercolor paintings are done on site, in immediate response to where I happen to be. I simplify or obscure detail in favor of larger forms and the broader swell of color, aiming for a color chord or harmony (Cézanne refers to the “irradiation and glory of color”) that speaks of topography, light, and distance all at once. I wet the paper before starting and complete a painting within the time it takes for the paper to dry, usually in less than ten minutes, timing the drying of the paper as I lay in new washes of color. I use a big brush, which helps things go quickly. As the pigment is laid into wet paper, it will do what it wants, so there are incidental and unmanageable drips, spills, and bleeds.

I would not presume to answer this question except in my imagination, but will state the artists I most admire: Hiroshige, Giorgio Morandi, Piranesi, Goya, Dürer, Emil Nolde, Max Klinger, Charles Meryon, Käthe Kollwitz, Jacob Lawrence, Hercules Segers, Peter Milton, François Dupuis, Jim Dine. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in a small town in rural New England, and furthermore I’m a bit reclusive, but I am friendly with a number of very fine painters in the area. My community, as I see it, is within the geographical world (and I mean “world”, thanks to Facebook) of fellow printmakers who speak the language of prints. I would further wholeheartedly include dead artists in my community, odd as it sounds (I remember a quote from the artist Ivan Albright: “Art is a gift from tomorrow’s dead to tomorrow’s living”). What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Do something every day, even if it’s cleaning the studio. This remains aspirational for me, but I live in my studio, so cleaning the house accomplishes the same thing. What are your future plans as an artist? A friend was dying, and his minister asked what he would do if he had more time. He responded: “More of same.” So more of same, deferred a bit until retirement. I have work to do, but I’ve gotten a start.


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bridge-press.com


Jamie Cooper Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Jamie Cooper has shown public art works as part of the British Council interdisciplinary ‘Cityscapers’ project in 2008, this project was installed beside the Glasgow and Edinburgh trainline and documentation was toured by British Council to London, Sydney and Singapore. He has also contributed public artwork to Glasgow International in 2010. Several of his video works have been shown in Glasgow and Berlin as part of the Solid State cinema, Youthitude DIY festival and at Mojito Kino. In 2013 Jamie was the recipient of both Creative Scotland and Arts trust Scotland professional Development funding. Jamie has had many self initiated projects in Glasgow including Modern World, Zerode and Vomit Apocalypse group shows and is the editor of the art and theory publication Zerozine.


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When/how did your art practice start? I have this childhood memory of being given a book to read at school, the teacher must have been quite the subversive as the book affected me deeply. The story was written in the first person and went a little like this...you and your friends enter a large abandoned house with many compartment like rooms, its a maze of different rooms and you are soon alone, lost and separated from your friends. There is a palpable sense of fear in the story... you are aware that you are being hunted. You aren’t sure who or what is hunting you, but there IS a hunter, and it IS hunting you. One by one your friends are bumped off by the hunter, your fear and anxiety builds throughout the story until you reach the final room. By this time all your friends are dead, its only now that the story reveals that it is you that has been the hunter the whole time. Just how can you have done this when you were completely terrified the whole time? Now you can read a lot of things into a story like that right? As an adult pondering its affect, I can see

how it made me more self concious and questioning about who is Jamie Cooper. But more significantly I think it maybe made me critically aware at a young age. I’m pretty sure this was the beginnings of my misguided journey into art. I still have no idea what the book’s title was or the author, I’m guessing it was an H P Lovecraft, but to be honest, I don’t really want to know as I like the memory of the story just how it is. What do you like/dislike about art? I quite like ‘bad art’ I’m not an elitist about art at all and view art as an as yet not fully realized thing. The idea that certain boxes need to be ticked in order for a work to be elevated to the status of ‘high art’ I find quite offensive. Who decides on the criteria for this? Don’t you think that is a lot of power that you have handed over to that person or gatekeeper by subscribing to their system of legitimizing art? I am aware that I am a deluded optimist in as much as I think art can do anything. Jonathon Meese propagandizes for an ‘Art Reality - Art future’ and I like this a lot, I think I want something similar. Although as a white middle aged male figure, am not

happy to propagandize for my version of things and think now in this Trump, Brexit, Tory reality, its more important than ever to hear from previously marginalized voices. I choose to trust in people and am more interested in activation, in critical thinking and in what other folks might have to say. For me personally, learning to think critically is the most liberating aspect of becoming an artist. What do you like about making art in Glasgow? There’s no real ‘Art Market’ in Glasgow, so the idea of making salable work is quite an alien concept here. I think folks make work more out of necessity than anything else, at least I know that is what drives me. So I guess you could say the upside of this is that artists are really sincere and informed about their work, about art in general and about contemporary culture etc. Maybe the downside, if there is one, is that it can be quite nepotistic, with friends of friends doing shows all the time. Its understandable given Glasgow has such a strong DIY art ethic, you just end up thinking screw it, I’ll just organize my own show/ collective/event/zine etc which is cool! There’s a whole load of love for art, for mu-


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sic, for culture here. Most Glaswegians are very supportive of artists and art students alike and whatever crazy project they are trying to make happen. I really love Glasgow, but I probably see the city through rose tinted specs.

study has found that this ‘Junk DNA’ actually contains language, 80% of the surplus human genome serves some unknown purpose, I find this fascinating. I’m going to be buried away in the studio for the foreseeable future working on several ‘Totemic Threshold’ lights sculptures that feature Junk DNA Language, after this, who knows.

Future Plans?

Its hard enough to function as an artist, so be gentle towards each other.

My art practice is currently centered around the concept of ‘Junk DNA’ Language, its an anti-logic art language made whilst dancing in the studio to EDM and making gestural drawings, then using William Seymore Burroughs and Byron Gysin’s technique of the ‘Cut-UP’ to randomly generate hieroglyph-like symbols. I have finished the Junk DNA alphabet and am in the process of developing the spoken sounds to be associated with each symbol along with a phonetics style video tutorial so you can learn to speak it. I really like the idea of maybe when you speak it, you are invoking something into the world in a hauntological sense. I am also really interested in what Junk DNA actually is and what it says about us, so I guess I’m appropriating the terminology and running with it to see where it goes. Junk DNA is the surplus Gene information that’s not part of our ‘DNA double helix’ coding, and has up until recently been viewed as junk. The ENCODE project’s 10 year

Best tip for artists?


jamie-cooper.org


Photo by Robert Sutter


László von Dohnányi Berlin, Germany

Since time immemorial, man and machine have exerted a reciprocal influence in point of form and function on one another. When medical imaging technologies evolve and generate new images, these novel images then also have a transformative effect on the perception of the ‘genuine’ human body. The figures in my work are depicted ‘life sized’ and set in abstract spaces. Just as their simple axial nature recalls the spatial designs of early computer animations based on three-dimensional coordinate systems, so the human bodies appear in technical ‘translation’. These bodies being complete neither in their form nor in their exterior, show themselves as mutations and fragments in the cross-sections and phantom views that originate from medical-imaging technologies such as MRI, CT or X-ray scans. The transparent body collages of brains, blood-vessels and bones are based on templates which, after being designed, edited and cut with the help of a computer, are finally filled out on a number of mutually interpenetrating levels with lino-print inks. In the drawings, the mediation of the view by the medium is still emphasized by the fact that the horizontal lines in their interplay with the frottage-technique suggest technical disturbances of malfunctioning imaging equipment. By contrast, the vigorous loud colours of the paintings accord, rather, with the unmediated view of dissected bodies and that of anatomical diagrams.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I am originally from Hamburg, Germany, where I lived until I moved to the UK at age 16. I ended up staying in the UK for a total of 8 years, in which I received a degree in Fine Art from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford (2012), and a BSc in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (2015). After my studies I decided to relocate to Berlin, where I still work and live today. In my work I explore the relationship, reciprocity and influences between ‘man’ and machine. My work deals with notions of the reformation of the human image through the machine, in particular how the images generated by visualising technologies, mostly from the field of

medical imaging, affect and transform the idea of the genuine human form. My practice revolves mostly around drawing and painting. The bodies in my work show themselves as mutations and fragments in the cross-sections and phantom views familiar from medical imaging technologies such as MRI, CT and X-Ray scans. The transparent body collages of brains, blood-vessels and bones are based on templates which, designed, edited and cut with the help of a computer, are finally filled out on a number of mutually interpenetrating levels using foam rollers and linocut ink. What is the most challenging part of working as an artist? For me currently the biggest challenge is to do with time management issues. I am still in a situation where I am depend-

ent on other sources of income besides my art practice, and striking the right balance between the different types of work, is a challenge to organise. You have to set it up in a way so that it allows you to generate enough income, but it cant happen at the expense of too much studio time. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Well it depends a little on the intention behind the question. I know it’s very common for most artists to refer to themselves as a painter, sculptor or performance artist etc, and conceptual art is one of those subcategories by which artists refer to their medium in order to distinguish themselves. I have no problem with defining boundaries of medium but I find it jarring when, for example, painters refer to themselves as painters first and


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artists second. I am a painter because I paint, and I don’t sculpt, but I would also say that referring to myself as a painter is more of a reference to the specific medium that I work in rather then a separate category of its own. I don’t believe that in this day and age one can be an artist that isn’t conceptual. Even if an artist creates a piece of work with little to no conceptual motive behind it, the work would inevitably be seen, read and interpreted, by others, in conceptual terms. I think of myself as an artist, all art is conceptual and my medium is painting. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. That’s a difficult one, I would rather become known as my own thing really. I feel that this would be preferable to people being reminded of other artists when they look at my work. However, of course there are artists that I look at and admire and that therefore inevitably shape and inform certain things in my work. If I had to give a name though, I have always enjoyed the work of artists who had an innovative and unconventional approach to painting and picture making, that have explored idea of mark making through playful use of unconventional tools and methods. One of the artists that I admire most in that regard is Sigmar Polke, for his innovative use of materials and his original attitude towards picture

making. If anyone would look at my work and was reminded of his attitude, that would be humbling I guess. How would you describe the art scene in your area? In Berlin there is a very active gallery scene, which is great as it gives you the opportunity to see openings regularly and frequently if you wish to. It also attracts young artists from all over the world to come here and make work. Berlin is in comparison to other big cities in Europe still relatively cheap, which allows artists to be free enough to have the time to create work. Although truth be told its rapidly getting more expensive and as a result more difficult for young artists to find spaces to live and/or work in. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? When I was still in University, one of my tutors forewarned me about the potential isolation and the feeling of being lost that he himself experienced when he got his first solo studio. For some reason I always remembered that conversation and when I finally moved into my first studio that didn’t have any other artists working in there, I straight away decided to circumvent this happening to me. So me and two other friends set up weekly studio visits and crits in

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order to give each other feedback on our work and offer advice. These studio crits ultimately turned into a project space (called Cypher Space) that we started in the attic of a fellow artist’s larger studio complex. What are your future plans as an artist? So far this year I have spent a lot of time rethinking and experimenting with my work. I have been trying to introduce new elements to the work and thought about those that are maybe less successful that can be dismissed. As a result I have created a new series of smaller drawings that I am fairly happy with. However, the most time has been spent on the development of a new series of paintings, in which I have switched up the medium they are done in. My work for a few years now has been done on large sheets of paper or occasionally on wooden boards, the new work looks like it will be done on canvas with oils. Up until recently much of the paintings were done in lino-print colours, the kind used in woodcut printing, as they stayed wet on the foam rollers and pallets for prolonged periods of time. However there was a limit to the subtlety of the colours, that I have found increasingly frustrating. So far the oils seem to work fine so I am quite optimistic about the work. The paintings are meant for a show, but I wont say too much at this point.


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Messiah Joshua New York, NY, USA Messiah Joshua Is A Conceptual Artist, Song Writer, And Music Producer. Born (1991, New York, NY). Messiah Is Engaged With Contemporary Strategies Addressing The Psychological State And Multi-Belief Systems Of The American Society. Messiah Is Interested In Captivating The Viewer In A Way That Grants Them Partial Insight Into The Human Mind; Allowing Them To Examine How Politics, Education, And Advertising Play A Role On The Things They Find To Be Truthful. He Works With Non-Objective Art That Would Not Only Serve As A Representation Of The World, But Shift The Mind Inside To Voice A Subjective Experience. Applying Paints, Objects, And Physical Actions In Each Piece, He Creates An Abstract Vivid Universe That Allows Color And Form To Live By Their Own Enigma. His Paintings And Objects Exhibit A Fixation With Material And Experimentation. He Experiments With The Materials And Techniques That Influence His Thinking At A Particular Time. In His Work, He Engages Also With The 3 Dimensional Space In Which His Objects Are Exhibited, Working Within Numerous Disciplines To Establish An Individual Body Of Work With An Instinctive And Minimal Aesthetic.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I started my art practice 10 years ago. I was working primarily with music. I transitioned into visual art in the year of 2013. Painting presented new challenges for me that I felt would push me as an artist. Allowing me to express my experience in a language that was universally understood. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Right now on social media the art world is thriving. There are so many creatives making connections: artists, curators, writers, musicians, etc. This is something that is relatively new and really good for artists. I love the exposure and feel of an online community now that our world is so digitally based. How would you describe the art scene in your area? There are so many artists in my area it’s really amazing. I often have many visitors over the studio and we sit and talk about the art scene for hours, comparing the New York scene now to what it used to be. There are many art galleries and pop-ups always in rotation, so there is no shortage of great art to see. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? To get out of the studio. Spending time outside of the studio makes all the difference sometimes. What are your future plans as an artist? I’m beginning a new series of artwork inspired by whistleblowers over the last 5 years. Heroes who put themselves at risk to spread truth. I want to highlight the importance of them while also showing how easy it is to ignore them because of the mass media society we live in. My intentions are for the viewer to re-evaluate their connection with the world and establish a subconscious awareness. Differentiating what is real and what is artificial has become a challenge for this society, all generations included. While our society seems to be moving at a faster pace than we can catch up, I feel that art has the power to slow things down for a minute and actually allow for a stimulated thought process that is not rushed and allows for non-subjective ideas. For a while I tried to avoid creating art that was political but I feel it’s a responsibility of mine to be honest about my experience here on earth.


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Sherry Karver Oakland, CA, USA

Pushing traditional boundaries of oil painting, photography, and text, I have combined them to create a unique hybrid that confronts today’s individual and societal issues so rampant in our fast-paced, impersonal metropolitan areas: alienation, loneliness, loss of identity, history, memory, self-image, and how others view us. My mixed media, photo-based work originates from photographs I have taken on city streets in San Francisco, New York, Paris, Milan, and in iconic buildings such as Grand Central Terminal and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY. These are one-of-a-kind works, not photo editions, and all of the color is hand-painted with oils. I began writing text over some of the figures in my photos as a way to personalize or individualize them, and make them stand out from the crowd. These brief narratives about the people are from my imagination, based solely on their appearance or stance. By using text in my work, it adds another layer, and gives the viewer a chance to “experience” the artwork, and become part of the process by reading it. There is a light humor to my work but I ask the spectator to go further and deeper. I superimpose these ”biographies” on top of the individuals, almost as if they are wearing their stories like an article of clothing. I give a little bit of fictional history about the person; where they are from, their age, what they do, their hopes, their dreams and aspirations, and often something personal that they would rather not have revealed. The figures are often caught in movement, conveying our individual journeys, where we are all “collectively alone”. I see a connection between photography and history, sometimes combining vintage B&W photos with my contemporary shots, and incorporating ‘ghost-like apparitions’. These figures represent the passage of time – all the people that have been in the exact same place but at a different moment – maybe only five minutes before, or ten years in the future. We are all connected in this time continuum, even if we aren’t aware of it. My work embraces the contemporary non-linear view of time with its randomness, spontaneity, and chance occurrences. The concept of juxtaposing the past and the present, has led to my interest in photographing people among the ancient sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum, including giving anthropomorphic qualities to the sculptures themselves. In my work the documentary nature of the B&W photograph merges with the painterly qualities of oil, establishing a dialogue between the two. I mount my black & white images on top of 2” deep wood panels, and hand paint them with numerous layers of oil glazes to build up the color. The final surface has a glossy UV resin coating so the viewer can see their own reflection, and become ‘part’ of the photo-based work. Sometimes I put my images into light boxes, which are illuminated from behind, bringing them to life.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I was born and raised in Chicago, and was always into art making and being creative when I was young. Being an only child, I had to amuse myself, so I drew a lot, made paper dolls, and arranged stones and seashells into sculptures. My mother worked for a company that made the little squares of color samples for paint charts, and would bring home any left over ones for me.

I loved those little colored squares and was probably the only six year old who knew what aubergine was! I took Saturday classes for kids at the Art Institute of Chicago, and that probably had the most influence on me. This was before the days of tight security, and kids could walk through the entire Art Institute alone, before it opened to the public, and go downstairs to the school. Walking through those cool semi-dark halls before the lights were

fully on, surrounded by famous artworks was magical for me. I would pull open an obscure door hidden in the back of one of the great halls downstairs and enter the school section. The smell of oil paint hit me immediately and it was delicious! I got sidetracked from art when I went to college, and received my B.A. degree in sociology from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, but I did discover ceramics during my senior year and became hooked


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on clay. I opened a pottery shop with a business partner in Chicago, making functional items for the next four years until I decided to go back to school and get an M.F.A. degree in ceramics from the Newcomb School of Art at Tulane University in New Orleans. My work developed into ceramic wall sculpture that I did for the next twenty years, while also teaching ceramics part-time at different colleges until recently. I will always have a great love for ceramics, as well as teaching it, but around 2000 my own work moved into painting and photography, which is what I am doing today. Although it might seem like a big departure from ceramic sculpture, it really wasn’t since I was already working two-dimensionally on the wall, and painting the ceramics. Switching mediums after working and exhibiting my ceramics for a long time was a bold move, but I am glad I took the chance as it has opened up many new possibilities for me. My “Urban/City series with narrative text”, has been an ongoing project for me. I have always been a people watcher, and maybe now my sociology background is seeping into my work. Pushing traditional boundaries of photography & oil painting, I have combined them with text and a resin surface on wood panels to create a unique hybrid. My work deals with issues that confront the individual in our fast-paced, impersonal contemporary society: alienation, loneliness, loss of identity, the passage of time, memory, and how others view us. I have super-imposed imagined text upon some of my photographed figures as a way to give people their own voice, since we each have a unique story to tell. In these fictional bios I give a little bit of history about where I think the person is from, what they do for a living, their hopes, dreams, aspirations, and often something embarrassing they wouldn’t want others to know. I never interview people and always photograph in public spaces, my favorites being Grand Central Station and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. By incorporating text it adds another layer and asks the viewer to stop for a moment to ‘experience’ the work, becoming part of my process by reading it. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? There are many challenges to being an artist today, but for me, being a mid-career artist,

the hardest part is getting my work into the right galleries and in front of museum curators and art critics. I am very serious about making art and not ‘romantic’ about it. It is important to get my work shown and recognized as well as sold. I know that for some artists it is enough just to have the time to make art, and that is fine, but for me I really want more. I am not making it just for myself and don’t want to stack it up in the attic. This is not a hobby! What do you like/dislike about the art world? What I like most about the art world is that I have the freedom and ability to create and be a full-time artist. I like making something out of nothing. There are always great museums and galleries to visit wherever we travel. What I dislike about the art world is that it’s a relatively small, closed society, with ageism and sexism still rampant. (Yes, it’s better than back in the 80’s, but still has a long, long, way to go.) It is all about who you know, not about the quality of the art. The one line that is really upsetting which appears on many gallery websites is: “This gallery does not accept any unsolicited submissions”. I understand that galleries are inundated with artists trying to show their work, I get it, but if one lives in a different city it becomes virtually impossible to make a gallery aware of your work if they are unwilling to look at ‘unsolicited submissions’. How does one get them to ‘solicit’ a submission? It is a close-minded attitude on the gallery’s part, and they are probably missing out on finding some great artists. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I’ve been for the past thirty years, but from my perspective the art scene is not that great. The area is probably better known for music, theater, and dance, rather than the visual arts. Yes, we have some good museums, but many San Francisco galleries lost their downtown spaces when the dot.com industry came in, forcing them to move to outlying areas or close down altogether. The galleries in the Bay Area tend to like ‘their own’, meaning they mainly handle artists who have come out of the M.F.A. programs from one of the local art schools. Since I did not get my M.F.A from a local school I never made those important contacts that are vital to being part of the

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‘art scene’ here. Although I have gallery representation in other parts of the country, and have exhibited nationally and internationally, it has been virtually impossible to get a San Francisco gallery to come over for a studio visit. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. There are many artists whose work I greatly admire, but I really don’t want to be compared to anyone else. I don’t let other people’s artwork influence what I do and my work does not neatly fit into any of the ‘isms’. I try to always follow my own voice and be as original as possible. What are your future plans as an artist? My future plan as an artist is to continue developing and growing, and to always keep my eyes wide open, looking for something new and fresh to bring to my work. Currently I have a solo exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art in California, and I want to have more museum shows in the future, and get representation by major galleries both in the U.S. and abroad. I have given up teaching so I can devote myself full time to expanding my career. Recently I started a new series of photography called “Digital Distortion/ Movement Interrupted”, which I am having printed in small editions as dye sublimation on metal. It seems that we are in a difficult period in our history, where things are disintegrating and falling apart, which is what this new series reflects. At the same time I try to see the beauty and hopefulness in the uncertainty. Embracing chance, serendipity and random occurrences as the basis of my new photography, I am ‘capturing’ images off of a TV monitor. I intentionally wait and photograph when the screen becomes ‘pixelated’ and broken-up due to uneven reception. The images become deconstructed, stretching the colors, lines, and shapes into a new format, from recognizable to totally abstract. (These images are Not created manually in Photoshop or by any other computer means). This new work, (which I am doing concurrently with my previous Urban/City series), allows me much more freedom, and is exciting because it is almost like magic, where I am surrendering control, allowing fortuitous happenings, and being open to the possibilities of the universe entering the picture.


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AytĂźl Kayhan Ankara, Turkey


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Briefly describe the work you do. I like to work with different media and learn new techniques. My work here consists of pattern/repetition/rhythm where the pattern is hand drawn and rhythm and repetition are done digitally. They are like musical compositions for me only visual. Rhythm in music and art can be similar where in music there are repetitions of notes in art there are repetitions of color and shape in patterns.

Who or what has lasting influence on your art practice. Sometimes nothing sometimes anything and everything can have an influence on me, so I think it comes from within, from my desire to create art. How would you describe the art scene in your area. I live in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Compared back to the 60s there has been quite an increase in the number of galleries and art museums. There many events going on and exhibitions from contemporary to clas-

sic, mostly local artists. Turkey’s art scene mostly revolves around İstanbul the biggest city. Although there has been an increase in the number of galleries and museums, artists can be restricted in exhibiting their work because of political/social reasons. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture. Art has no limits in contemporary culture. It is used to cover a very broad spectrum that anything can be called art. It is a universal language for expressing emotions, ideas, beliefs and values. Art can have many roles from pleasing people with


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beauty to transforming societies using variety of media from watercolor to iPhone. Art also has become interdisciplinary containing various disciplines and transdisciplinary blending various disciplines and artists role has become less crafty and more intellectual. What do you like/dislike about the artworld. I like the accessibility of art you can visit many museums and galleries online.

I think artists low income and status are what I dislike about the artworld which are international issues. Name three artist you admire. This is a hard question to answer I don’t know maybe interdisciplinary artists. What are your future plans. Continue practicing art and exploring new media.

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Nikolaos Mantziaris Thessaloniki, Greece


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When, how and why started your art practice? I studied Dentistry but since a kid, I always had a passion for creating art. At that time I had no idea the things I was doing could be art. I just called them decoration items and sketches. As a dental student later I filled all my walls with some type of wall art, collages, paintings, mixed media etc. Then I stopped for a while as I started working as a dentist, but after two years I started studying dental technician school and this entire art thing stroke me back again. I started using the dental technicians laboratory and the related materials to create art besides dental prosthetics. Then my imagination grew bigger and wanted to design a big art piece made from dental materials, for my wall. Something only for me and my guests. I started designing the project on computer with the purpose of then making it 3D with dental alloy castings and dental porcelain and place it on the wall. It took me almost 3 months to complete my first piece and it is by far my favorite till this day. When I finished it and looked at it, I said

to myself “This must be art man”. And then called it Ethan’s Cow symbolically. But unfortunately due to high cost I could not afford to proceed with the construction so I just printed it on fine art paper. And this is more or less how I started. I believe it matured inside me and the right time came to express it. As soon as I made my first one I couldn’t stop from doing more. One and half year later I had completed 24 artworks , divided into 3 bodies of work and designed around 100 more projects on notebooks. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I believe the most challenging part is to create art without being influenced by others opinions and judgment. What I want to say by this is that an artist should really deposit his soul into that and create what his heart tells him. Not what others want to see or buy, but what he believes expresses his perception of beauty, esthetics and his beliefs.


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What do you like/dislike about the art world?

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received?

What I like the most is the freedom it gives you to express yourself and create whatever you want however you want it. It is pure freedom inside a context of communication without using language but with creating objects and pictures that when seen by others can touch their heart and feelings. What I dislike is the way the art world is structured and gives opportunities only to very few talented artists, when there are also many more out there who deserve to be heard.

I guess it was this one: “Never believe your art is unique. There are so many million artists and artworks out there, and so many of them are beautiful. Just try to find someone out there who likes your shit and finds it interesting. And even consider yourself lucky if you manage to do that in this Jungle at world”.

How would you describe the art scene in your area? To be honest I am not very familiar with the art scene in Thessaloniki - Greece, but things are pretty dead here. Very few galleries and even less art buyers exist. Art events are not really common and most artists seek to find a gallery for representation abroad.

What are your future plans as an artist? I think my best option, as a plan, would be to find a descend art gallery who likes my work and would be interested to represent it. This would give me the chance to bring more of my projects to life. As I already mentioned I have many more projects and pieces designed in notes and I intend to create them as soon as I can.


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Misha Nicholas Rome, Italy / USA

As a 22-year-old student in Rome, the concept of life is somewhat narrowed down to a 9 to 5 outcome. Instead of viewing life as a never ending matrix of work, I wanted to show the flip side of my college years in Rome and in Malta. I mix college-styled work with a little bit of sass and flair, and this initiates my style to be pretty mixed. Each photo symbolizes a time in my life where a concept has swept my mind. For example, the girl drinking her drink symbolizes the very essence of the word “sip my tea.� When drama evolves into something even greater, people will just stand in the corner and just watch the event unfold.


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When, how and why started your art practice? At the age of 16, I had always envisioned cool pictures to take, the problem was that I did not have a camera until Christmas came. My father bought me a camera as a present and ever since then, I have taken pictures with the same perspective that I had before my camera. From a young age, I had always pictured different perspectives, and explored the different ways that a photo could be taken. And from the time I was 17, I developed a motto. You don’t need to have lessons in order to be a photographer and this is still something that I still follow. With lessons it will only improve your skills, however at the same time there are many artists out there who simply do not have a vision. That is why it is more important than ever to understand the concept of envisioning your artwork before taking a snapshot of it. That is why with every photo that I capture, I try to envision a story behind the

photo. The main reason why I started my art practice is because of my passion for capturing events. I also have a mix of different photography that I do. On one hand, I like the street photography approach but on the other hand, I like classical photography. The goal for all of my pictures is to have the audience members think about a narrative that goes along with the photo. Each photo that I have taken tells the story of the atmosphere or of the person during the time in which I took the photo. Different pictures trigger different outcomes, however what is great about this perspective is that mainly the audience members will have different opinions about the different scenarios that occur in each photo. The possibilities are endless; therefore it is even more important than ever for the audience members to see my work. This is because the audience members can produce even more ideas about what the picture is about and can explain their perspective of each picture that I have taken.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The most challenging part about being an artist is getting your work out there for sure. I remember all of the rejection e-mails I had received. But you now what? Failure is a blessing in disguise because it allows you to really allows you to keep on trying until you can get to what you are looking for. So also, here is a tip. Never give up because in the art world, you will have failures but let failure be motivation to push you towards your goal. What do you like/dislike about the art world? What I like about the art world is the sense of support that can be received. If you have social media, you can connect with other artists that have the same passion as you do. The dislike is the fact that in the art world, there is still a sense of trend. If your art does not fit the trend (somewhat), then it is harder for your art to get noticed (this


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does not pertain to everyone). How would you describe the art scene in your area? I would describe the art scene as a place where ideas are made and dreams are tested. I only say this because for me, the art scene revolves around different age groups, different artists from different demographics and also artists who can create a creative hub and share their ideas with others. Originally, in Rome the art scene has only be revolved around emerging artists my age. This is a beautiful thing because for me I get to see artists who are trying to explore and break the barriers of the art world. Now, I am in a creative hub in Portugal with different artists of different ages can come together and express their ideas in what they want to do. To me, this concept is very important to me because without the sharing of ideas, artists can’t get inspired by others, instead they keep their ideas to themselves, and they’ll never know the effect that their artwork could

have on someone. The goal is to inspire others to pursue their ideas, not to keep your work to yourself. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best art tip I have ever received has come from believe it or not, someone’s profile page. An artist on his social media page described himself as a colour-blind artist. He is an amazing photographer, and he taught himself how to become a photographer. For me, this was already a good tip because in order to become something, you do not need to pay to get lessons on how to become something, instead you can figure things out for yourself. This is not just a life lesson for photographers, this is a life lesson for everybody to learn because people think that you need to pay someone else to become a master of something. This statement is not true. You can do anything, you just need a plan. If the plan fails and you still do not know the skill, then try harder. Practice makes

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perfect, and this is a valuable life lesson that I feel like everyone should follow in life, not just artists but everyone. Also, tip that I had received came from my friend and it is “at the end of the day, I am you.” This applies to art because when I gain inspiration from a particular artist for example, and I implement their work onto mine, I am that given artist. Their work that I have implemented allows me to channel his work and implement mine with theirs. What are your future plans as an artist? I plan to pursue photography part-time, but I will eventually pursue it full-time. I am at the moment a full-time student who is pursuing her degree, but photography is a passion that I will one-day make a full-time profession. I am currently a multi-media artist that is exploring different fields of digital art. I am currently exploring videography, and graphic design. My plan is to explore as many things as possible so I can produce more artwork that is abstract .


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Benjamin Nordsmark New York City, NY, USA / Copenhagen, Denmark

My main focus is to create ludic representations and conceptual juxtapositions  of ordinary objects and furniture, changing their context and functionality in a fusion of extraordinary craftsmanship, powerful ideas and attention to detail. Through my works I aim to reach an impressive result of compelling uniqueness and evocative simplicity, generating a thought-provoking and strong visual impact that challenges the viewer to perceive things from another perspective, taking the audience out of the comfort zone to face the absurdity of certain actions and preconceived thoughts.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Since I was fourteen years old I knew that I would be working in the creative field, and from very early on I was determed to learn the techniques and design behind furniture making in Denmark .I then took a aprentienceship as cabinetmaker and went on to study furniture design at the Danish Design school. After studying furniture design for several years I started to get a little bit bored of the limitations that lies behind furniture design, and the fact that it seem very hard to move out of the traditional way of thinking in Denmark. Doing my bachelor I gave myself the task to build four chairs inspired by four famous artists and that project had a huge influence on my future approach to design, and my chairs developed more into sculptural pieces instead of functional objects. After finished my MFA I knew that I wanted to find my own way into the art world so to build up more knowledge and to get inspired I worked together with a range of different artist, and I graditily developed my own identity when it comes to creating art.

My creations can be considered as juxtapostion between art and design and I strongly believe that my background in solving problems in design and the understanding of manufacturing, have had a significant influence on my approach to the kind of art I am creating these days. With my art I am trying to make objects that not only consist of a strong visual appearance but at the same time can provoke and potentially create attention to a politican or social issues in our sociaty that I like to touch.

first to present a briliant new idea. With the enormous source of informations and competition we are exposed to from the social media these days it is not enough to be creative and building great things. You need to wear a lot of hats at the same time and understand how important it is to promote your creations and have a clear vision of your profile and how you want the world to perceive your work.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

Having this old romantic image of being an artist spending all your time in your studio building new sculptures, you wish that would be enough. But this is rarely the case when you are a young artist trying to make a living from your work, when you are not coming from eighter a rich background or have an establish connections in the art world. You have to be good at branding yourself and build a good amount of attention through the social medias that these days has a important role in our communication with each other. And you have to attend several shows in which you are

Because of the field I working in with juxtaposition art I am rarely making the same thing twice and therefore it is very challenging to constantly come up with new ideas that haven’t been made before. And I need to be quick at fabricate them at get them out to the world before someone else is doing the same thing. I also have to do a lot of research before I start up on a new idea to avoid copying others. So I consider myself as a kind of inventor that is in a never ending race against time to be the

What do you like/dislike about the art world?


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not only showing your creations but at the same time have to socialize with other artist and build new connections that can have a important impact on your future opportunities. This is something that feels a little bit overwelming and unatural to me, but when you push yourself out of the comfort zone and see the impact it might have on other peoples life and their appreciation of the artwork it makes all the challenges you went throught to get there completely worth it. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Living in New York you’re daily exposed to a good amount of artwork and you have the opportunity in this city to experience a variaty of new artforms that you might not have been exposed to earler on. This makes it very inspirering to be here and provides you with energy to explore new areas of the art world a inspire me to develop new items that are out of my ordinary vocabulary. Unfortunately a lot of this artwork can also seem a litlle bit empty to me because it might be missing the eye to the details, or are badly fabricated. Especially two factors defines what good art is to me.. One is to have an originally idea behind the artwork and the other one is a high standard of craftsmanship behind the work. If the artwork I am looking at does not contain eighter of these, my interest and aprpreciation is on a low scale. But on the other hand if the art work contains both things it will for me be a perfect example of what good artwork should be like. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Working with a variaty of different artist in my life I have learn from them that one of the most essential things as an artist is to have a very clear identity for your profile and your artwork, so everything you do is well connected and in line with the image you want to present of you. You have to be good at promoting yourself so it is important that your pictures and videos of your work is looking really professional and that the description of your work is very precise. Because if they are badly produced it can be very hard to get magazines and websites to publish them even if they might be interested in the project. It is also very important to understand the business side of being an artist be-

cause it is actually a big part of having success with what you are doing, and it some cases you need to seperate the personal life from the professional side so peolpe percieve you in a serious matter. What are your future plans as an artist? My creations are usually smaller items that can easierly be installed inside, so in the near future I would like to move up in scale and be able to make public art installations and pieces that people potentially could interact with. At the same time I want to be extremely productive and make as many new pieces as posiible, and try to experiment with new materilas and techniques to grow my knowl-

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edge and craftsmanship in areas I havent explore yet. I also want to depend less on other people in the future when it comes to things like photography and video making of my creations. Because I usually have a very clear idea about how I want my works to be precented in photos and videos and it can often be difficult to visualize this to other people and get them to understand the message I want to get out through my works. Therefore I am currently doing classes in video making and phtography so I barely need to depend on other peolpe, or at least I have better understanding of how these things works so it would hopefully be easier for me to descripe what I am looking for.


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Kama Rosinska

Warsaw, Poland

“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go.” In my work I always steer in the direction of shadowy spheres of the psyche and the reality -shadowy not necessarily in the negative sense, but hidden, less known and for that reason considered weird, dangerous or eerie. I am strongly inspired by depth psychology and, what follows, by the Greek and Celtic mythologies, the occult and alchemic symbolism, as well as by the natural world. I look for the living symbol, connections between psyche and matter and the expression of one in the other: an image that makes the heart beat faster. I believe in non-intellectual reception of art and that any true artistic expression starts from within. The core of my work can by summed up by de Chirico’s “What shall I love if not the enigma” - and from this assumption my areas of interest stem almost naturally: the feminine, interaction of cultures, freedom in the sense of crossing artificially established borders, mystery as the essence of things. My media of choice are photography (in the form of a technique of my own design involving analogue photography, collage, chemical and manual manipulation and digital photography), drawing and painting both pure and mixed. Kama Rosinska was born in 1976 in Lublin, Poland. She graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland (BFA in Photography, 2004) and University of Arts in Poznan, Poland, Faculty of Multimedia Communication (MFA in Photography, 2006). She considers 2014 as her actual debut year with solo exhibitions at Cultural Centre on Goree, Dakar, and Dakar Biennale OFF. Among others, she presented her works at X Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art, Italy (2015), Young Art group exhibition at historic Galeria Pod Baranami in Cracow, Poland (2015, 2016), twice at the post-contest exhibition at International Contest of Digital Photo Creation, where she was awarded the President of Jury’s Honorable Mention in 2016.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I hold MFA in Photography from University of Arts in Poznan, Poland, and Diploma in Film Directing from Academy of Film and TV in Warsaw, Poland. But, oddly enough, I primarily see myself as a draughtsman and painter – it was the first thing I remember doing as a child and for many years these activities have been central to my life - and I tend to carry over the perception and manner of expression related to these disciplines to other media. Another influencing force is dance/ music. I started dancing as a child, and, at some point, the love for dance took me to West Africa, principally to Senegal, where I lived for 3 years, but also to Mali and Guinea, to study traditional dances of the region. I’ve always been a great admirer of African art and form, too. My other great passions are cultural anthropology and depth psychology (with its relation to alchemy, transformation and the occult) – I’m considering pursuing a degree, in fact, to then work towards a PhD combining art and psychology. In many ways, they are two sides of the same coin for me: a look into the soul. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Nowadays, it’s not enough to be dedicated to the message and quality of you art, but, above all, you need to be a business person,

effective seller and marketer; you need to have the facility of networking, but only as long as you make the “right” contacts – these things are a bit out of my depth as I’m a hopeless case of humanist. Another thing, as an occasional sale doesn’t change much in the financial area, you need to support yourself and your art, usually by means of a day job, and that consumes quite a lot of time which otherwise could be used to improve your skills and be more productive. On the psychological level, rejection is a tough one, and you’re likely to get a lot of it, statistically. Also, the inner critic and doubts and struggles you experience with regard to your creations. All in all, there’re a lot of (sometimes I think that too many) social and economic factors to balance constantly. With all that (and a few more), maintaining your inspiration and motivation can be a real challenge. But on the other hand, art is a reward unto itself. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. There are plenty of artists I admire, am inspired by and see as my family in spirit – but I’d rather not compare myself to them, as things are. In my view, the essential part of creating is to find your own unique voice. As mentioned before, when I think about my inspirations, the first names that come to my mind are painters’: Witkacy (S.I. Witkiewicz), Jacek Malczewski, Franz von Stuck, Paul Gauguin, Soly Cisse (a Senegalese contemporary painter),

Frida Kahlo, Rene Magritte, Gustav Klimt, Maxfield Parrish for his use of colour, Sasha Schneider, Joao Ruas and Sam Wolfe (contemporaries, too), Odilon Redon, Austin Osman Spare, Leonor Fini, Georgio de Chirico, William Blake, Ernst Fuchs, the symbolists... I suppose I could easily fill five pages, haha. Photography-wise, I admire image that speaks through form, as in the case of Edward Weston’s or Anselm Adams’ work, or is capable of getting through to darkness and mystery, like Sally Mann’s or Cindy Sherman’s works. I adore Robert Mapplethorpe’s oeuvre and the painterly lightness of Tomek Sikora’s photographs: the list can go on! How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live a pretty nomadic life, so I’m not sure which area is really “mine”. I spent the last year in Scotland, still before – a few years in Senegal, and right now I’m virtually in the middle of a forest so, practically, I’m the only “art scene” here, haha. My traveling may actually be – among other things - my looking for a place with such an art scene as can accommodate and inspire myself, I’m not sure. What I notice globally is that there exists a certain dictatorship of conceptualism-gone-astray, to a worrying degree. It seems that the trend has boiled down to “you name it art so it’s art” with kilometre-long essays to explain what basically should be expressed in the work, and which seems


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to applied to virtually almost anything. I sometimes recall Witkacy’s words: “Anybody may create whatever they like and has the right to be content with it as long as they are dishonest in what they do, and manage to find someone who, equally deceitfully, will admire it.” I’d rather go with John Fowles: ““If an artist is not his own sternest judge, he is not fit to be an artist”. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Funnily enough, not to compare myself to anybody, as every creative path is one of a kind, just like the person behind it. I think the creative process is possibly the most independent process there is. If your work is to have any weight, it should be aligned with your internal, personal truth, the “gut feeling”. In my mind, J. Cocteau described it perfectly: “All of us contain in ourselves a night we scarcely know or do not know at all. That night tries to emerge from us, yet resists emerging. That is the drama of art, a real struggle between Jacob and the Angel.” It is a continuous development and a quest to “deepen the mystery” and, perceived in that way, makes any comparisons pointless, as every artist struggles to express their own truth. What are your future plans as an artist? I’m about to start preparing a new cycle of works, using a slightly evolved tech-

nique of my design, for an exhibition in Wrocław, Poland, which is to take place at the end of summer, so I’m looking forward to this. Then I’ll go discovering

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Amsterdam, most probably, and maybe back to Senegal in winter to do a project on lion-men, the core of Senegalese identity. Fingers crossed!


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Jan Ziegler Berlin, Germany

Jan Ziegler was born in southern Germany in 1974. Today he lives and works in Berlin. Since completing his design studies in 2000, he has worked for well-known international fashion and lifestyle brands. Jan Ziegler’s experienced flair for design is also reflected in his work as a freelance artist. His abstracted landscapes and portrait positions are characterized by a unique exploration of free forms of expression. As a visual kind of person, Jan Ziegler began exploring art and design at an early age. In 2011, he began working on his independent artist profile and using the medium of painting to turn snapshots of human emotions into something tangible. His abstract works intuitively appeal to the viewer’s unconscious perception, while primarily male portraits fascinate through their mysterious presence. In his painterly works, Jan Ziegler pursues a concept of subtle beauty that is beyond established ideals. In his works, he often uses researched photographs as templates, but also afterimages of random encounters, the mood of which he projects on canvas with acrylic paint. Landscapes seem to be vacuous and hermetic, male faces appear magically lost in reverie, sometimes near stereotypical with their facial features merely hinted at, leaving room for the observer’s individual associations. Jan Zieger’s work has been on display in international exhibitions and can be found in private collections throughout Europe and the United States.


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A further challenge while following my own artistic path is stopping comparing my work with other artists, beeing honest to my self as well as independet on the opinion of others. There is situations where I have even learned to ignore my own superficial judgement on my work, as I have experienced that some paintings need some time to develop in my own perception, for me to perceive their quality and adopt them as ready. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The art world is multifacetted and not all parts of this field are only likeable. Envy, arrogance and greed are part of the art world as much they can be found in other human and professional life worlds. I absolutely dislike when the art market ignores the core values of art, which in my eyes is a way of emotional exchange and I am disgusted by the instrumentalization of art as bare decoration, entertainment or social event. Passion is the most powerful energy within the art world and amazing things are realized by the pursuit of visual expression of beauty, ephemerality and emotions. Art is a globally valid form of communication and I appreciate artistic expression for beeing a way of exchange and connection beyond words. Art is stimulation of human curiosity, as long there is untold stories, art will remain relevant in our culture. How would you describe the art scene in your area?

When, how and why started your art practice My creative side has already been revealed in highschools art class, when my fascination for the field of art was inflamed. Having graduated from design studies in 2000, I have been working for numerous renowned and international fashion and lifestyle brands since then. Since my work as a designer is a permanent creative process but always determined by an organizational framework and market-oriented parameters, I was looking for ways of more emotion-driven creative outlets. The medium of painting seemed suitable for me to express my own gaze on (sometimes uncommon) beauty, and subtle sensuality. I started experimenting with abstract acrylic studies in 2011 and much has happend since then. I have attended summer courses tutored by inspiring contemporary artists, got in touch with fellow painters, started to exhibit my work in group shows and organized several exhibitions with my artist friends. I feel lucky having found collectors giving attention to my work and I keep on developing my own visual language steadily. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? When starting with my painting works I was soon confronted with the doubts of finding an authentic position in the huge and multifacetted art world. Up to today, it is an ongoing demand to work on my ideas without getting distracted by influences I am confronted within the art scene. My most challenging learning part of beeing an artist is probably working within a process of open results. As a routined designer, I am accustomed to a very structured and forward thinking work flow, but I have soon learned that for my paintings opposite energies are required.

As I live in Berlin, I am confronted with the art scene nearly every singel day. So many artists are working in this city, a huge number of galleries and artspaces as well as museums and institutions give a tremendous weight on art in the daily culture of Berlin. By contrast, I often discover on my travels that in places with a lower density of artistic culture, higher attention, appreciation and exceptional position are given to an individual artist or an exhibition than in a place like Berlin, where one can at least attend five exhibition openings every night. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received Forget everything you know, get rid of too much conceptional thinking and the pursuit of always making sense,,,,these might be the best advices I got on my path as an artist. I have learned, that my best works arise without me even thinking about their final outcome nor having a too much defined concept for them in advance. My art is a lot about the experience of following unconscious feelings, intuitive decisions and about catching random moments full of chance. Trusting the process, doing one step after the other and allowing the uncontrolled happen. This is so contrary to my work as a designer but at the same time such an enrichment of my process of creation, as well as my whole life. And it just feels as the beginning.


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Profile for Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine np. 40  

Grant Beran, Michael Bruce Weston, Melissa Chen, Brian Cohen, Jamie Cooper, Edmond Dalpe, Laszlo von Dohnanyi, Messiah Joshua, Sherry Karver...

Art Reveal Magazine np. 40  

Grant Beran, Michael Bruce Weston, Melissa Chen, Brian Cohen, Jamie Cooper, Edmond Dalpe, Laszlo von Dohnanyi, Messiah Joshua, Sherry Karver...

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