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HOUDA BAKKALI | JEFF BARTELS | BIANCA BERENDS | JASON B BERNARD | JAN BERNSTEIN EMMA COYLE | MIKE FULLARTON | WASIM ZAID HABASHNEH | KIP HARRIS | CECILIA MARTINEZ PHILLIP MCCONNELL | SLAWOMIR MILEWSKI | THEKLA PAPADOPOULOU | BETTE RIDGEWAY EMILY ROBARDS | WALID SAIDI | XUNZHI SUN | BOB TOMOLILLO | ANITA ZOTKINA

Paul Pouvreau

The Magazine of Daily Life

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FEATURED ARTIST:

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PAUL POUVREAU THE MAGAZINE OF DAILY LIFE

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HOUDA BAKKALI

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JEFF BARTELS

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BIANCA BERENDS

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JASON B BERNARD

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JAN BERNSTEIN

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EMMA COYLE

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MIKE FULLARTON

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WASIM ZAID HABASHNEH

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KIP HARRIS

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CECILIA MARTINEZ

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PHILLIP MCCONNELL

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SLAWOMIR MILEWSKI

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THEKLA PAPADOPOULOU

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BETTE RIDGEWAY

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EMILY ROBARDS

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WALID SAIDI

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XUNZHI SUN

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BOB TOMOLILLO

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ANITA ZOTKINA

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Coming from an architectural background I’ve always had great admiration for art and conceptual thinking processes involved in it. Therefore, I try to reflect that impact in my previous and upcoming work. My aim is to create a tangible yet conceptual artwork & designs. Wasim Zaid Habashneh

On the cover: CRITICALMASS, Wasim Zaid Habashneh, 2018

FEATURED ARTIST WASIM ZAID HABASHNEH

More at pages: 48-53


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Art Reveal Magazine

Paul Pouvreau

The Magazine of Daily Life

Exhibition from January 20 to April 14 2019

Curators : Paul Pouvreau & Nathalie Giraudeau Ten years after his participation in the Île de Morel group exhibition, Paul Pouvreau is the subject of a monographic show at the CPIF. This exhibition will endeavour to explore the oeuvre of one of the most exciting artists of his generation, combining old images with more recent ones especially produced for the event. Paul Pouvreau uses everyday materials, household utensils, dust, cardboard packaging, plastic bags and advertising posters to construct poetic spaces and moments in time. He creates incidents that stand out in a daily life made up of dreary signs by illuminating it with meaning and little visual pleasures.

Part of his work, which places architectural, sculptural, performance-related, graphical and photographical gestures on an equal footing, could be considered burlesque. The latter is a genre that makes use of catastrophes and détournement, blurring the hierarchy of values in order to challenge the established order. In this form of comedy, man wrestles with elements – generated here by the consumer ideal – in a profusion of signs like so much “visual detritus”*. “The enchanting of the trivial was what Pop was all about, followed by the Conceptual transformation of consumer items into the compulsive fetishisation of series, collections, classification and so on. Cutting free of these legacies, Pouvreau takes pleasure in creating new bearings in the twilight of the commodity.” wrote Michel Poivert.** * Antonia Birnbaum, in Le Monde à plat, Éditions Loco, 2017. ** Michel Poivert, in Seasonal variations, Édition Galerie municipale Jean Collet, 2016.

Paul Pouvreau was born in 1956 in Aulnay-sous-Bois (in the suburbs of Paris) and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bourges (France). His photos have been the subject of numerous exhibitions both in France and abroad and are part of various public and private collections. He has been teaching at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles since 2010. info: Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France (CPIF) - www.cpif.net


Houda Bakkali Barcelona, Spain

This series, based on digital illustration, is a tribute to the African woman. A tribute to her power, her beauty, her intelligence, her dynamism, her transgressive spirit, her passion for freedom, her rebellious nature, her subtlety, her desire to conquer the world, her attachment to happiness, her enthusiasm, her passion for life and her solidarity. This is a tribute to one of the women with more strength, brilliance, love and beauty I have ever known. A unique woman, an eternal woman. A woman who fought in the anonymity for the freedom and equality of African women. Mom, this is my tribute. I love you.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I have had the opportunity to grew up in Madrid in one of the most legendary neighborhoods in the capital, the Lavapiés neighborhood. It was and is a unique, alternative and cosmopolitan place where there is no lack of symbiosis between arts and cultures. Maybe this was my best inspiration. Throughout my life, I traveled a lot and had the opportunity to live in different cities and gain experience as a graphic designer working with different teams. My creative process and my experience combining a variety of techniques and areas such as digital illustration, digital collage, motion graphics or multimedia design. My first artwork was published in 2008. It is about Africa and it is a tribute to my origins. The series “Africa, sweet and pop” is based on digital collage, and is a tribute to an Africa seen through a pop and optimistic prism, which claims looks forward to a better future, more cheerful, full of hope. An Africa that fights for the time of happiness it deserves.

Name artists you’d like to be compared to. This is a really difficult question. I would not like to be thought vain or arrogant. Let the audience judge… How would you describe the art scene in your area? Spain has tremendous artistic potential. Day by day Madrid and Barcelona, which are the cities I know best and where I spend the longest, represent the most representative capitals of art and culture worldwide. Urban art and contemporary artistic manifestations coexist with a legacy difficult to overcome. Madrid this year celebrates the anniversary of one of the most important museums in the world, the Prado Museum. Barcelona is the world capital of Modernism, and some of the best artworks signed by Gaudí, Dalí, Miró and Picasso coexist in a framework characterized by the uniqueness of Gothic architecture. Both cities represent a commitment to art and both are exceptional places to enjoy the latest avant-garde and tradition. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received?

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

Work hard. Work with passion. Work without fear.

To have the idea clear and work hard. Every day new artists emerge, fantastic artists emerge. In all jobs there is a lot of competition, but this reality must not stop us. The world is very big and there is space for everyone. Another challenge is to work without fear of failure and fight for dreams, this will be the rule. The road is not easy, but working hard there is always a reward.

What are your future plans as an artist?

Tell us more about the “Beautiful African Woman” series. This series is a tribute to the African woman and it’s inspired in my mother, A woman who fought in the anonymity for the freedom and equality of African and Arab women. This artwork wants to convey a message to women so that they feel free. Always free. We have to feel free in our ideas, our creations and our feelings. Not afraid of failure, there is no absolute failure. We must fight for our dreams. We have to be clear with the idea that each woman is unique and extraordinarily strong. We have to believe in ourselves. We must love each other and fight for our dreams, our rights and our future. Let’s fight together because together we are much stronger. This artwork is based on digital illustration and some pieces are created in combination with digital collage. I like to use color as an impact element and simple lines, almost imperceptible, as the basis of the compositions. Each work seeks attention by its own personality. Respecting the essence of the protagonist: simple but strong. “Beautiful African Woman” was awarded with two international prizes: The New Talent Award at Festival International Artistes du Monde in Cannes, (September, 2018). This award is the recognition of a select jury to the new artistic talent. A prize of one of the most international art show on the French Riviera. And the Silver Award in the Graphis Advertising Annual 2019 in New York (October, 2018). Graphis is one of the most prestigious international publisher of communication, design, advertising and illustration books. Based in New York, is considered one of the greatest bastions of design and contemporary art. It is A recognition of my artwork and the recognition of digital techniques as a tool for creating art.

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During December I will exhibit in Barcelona at NauArt Club. It will be a great opportunity to show some pieces from “Beautiful African Woman”. Likewise, I’m working on the series “Follow Me”. This artwork is about the dehumanization that social networks can provoke.


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Jeff Bartels Toronto, Canada

My work combines elements of hyperrealism with aspects of surrealism and abstraction. My highly detailed oil paintings have evolved over the years into this unique combination of seemingly contradictory styles. The result is a balance between highly technical painting and emotional impact. There is often an underlying social commentary in my artwork that is not always evident when first viewed. This is the case in my latest series of paintings which is entitled Alternative Artifacts. The collection explores what it means to live in the post-truth era, where facts are no longer seen as absolute, by looking to a past that never existed. Each painting features a strange antique that blurs the lines between what is real and what is not. The hyperreal style of the paintings asks the viewer to ignore the absurdity of the object and believe what is clearly not true. This manipulation mirrors the misinformation found on the internet, spread on social media, amplified by fringe news outlets and trumpeted by extremist governments.

Canadian artist Jeff Bartels was born in Montreal, Quebec and currently lives and works in the Toronto area. His highly detailed paintings are done with oil on linen that often combine elements of hyperrealism with surrealism. Jeff studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto in the mid 1990’s. His work has been featured in galleries and museums all over the world including Canada, Europe and South Korea.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I was born in Montreal and grew up in the Toronto area. I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember and have always been fascinated by art history. I’ve also always had a keen interest in science, specifically physics, which might explain why I gravitated to a more technical style of painting. I studied art at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto but most of what I do is self-taught. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Time is always a challenge for me. My paintings take a long time to complete because of the amount of detail so I am painting pretty much all day, every day. It also took many years of trying and failing (in my mind anyway) for me to get to this level of technical proficiency. There really aren’t any shortcuts, the more you paint, the better you will be and that takes a lot of time. Also, for a long time, I was working on larger canvases and was frustrated with how few paintings I was able to complete each year.

At the beginning of 2018 I decided to scale down some of my pieces (although some still ended up being fairly large) and that made a huge difference. I’ll have about 20 paintings completed this year which is a big improvement for me. Then, of course, there is the business end of art which also takes a lot of time that I just don’t have. That’s why it’s nice to just send the work to galleries or museums and let them handle that part. So, because of all that, being an artist can quickly consume your entire existence. You really have to work hard to make time for other things in your life. Tell us more about the “Alternative artifact” series. Alternative Artifacts is a series of hyper real oil paintings depicting strange antiques that never existed. The collection examines the often confusing and deceptive “post-truth era” we live in where facts are no longer seen as absolute; they are malleable and can be manipulated to push an agenda or opinion. Each object in the series stretches and bends the truth about our past in order to bring a focus on the deceptions going on in our world

today. The old and worn out objects have a surreal quality that are meticulously painted which causes the viewer to question the authenticity of what they are seeing. The artifacts appear to be absurd but they are presented with such precise detail that their stories can almost be believed. This blurring of lines between what is real and what is not reflects our present day where extremist governments gaslight their own people, propaganda outlets pose as news organizations and social media networks spread conspiracy theories. Each antique is surrounded by a deep black background, removing any point of reference for the viewer to hold on to. This singular focus on the object and nothing else mirrors the practice of cherry picking facts in order to push a falsehood. The meaning behind the series is purposefully opaque when initially viewing the paintings. The viewer isn’t aware that the whole point of the collection is to mislead them. The objects vary from silly and nonsensical like a diving helmet wearing headphones or a motorcycle powered by a French horn to darker and more disturbing like a corkscrew syringe


Art Reveal Magazine

or tattoo drill. The one thing they all have in common is that none of them are real, they are all fake. In your opinion what does painting mean in contemporary culture? That’s a tough question to answer because we really are living in a digital age. Because of that, some people might think of painting as something from the past that is not relevant in our modern world. However, if you look at the number

of incredible artists working today, one could make the argument that painting is as relevant and dynamic an art form as it’s ever been. Perhaps its because of our digital reality that people are looking for something that is more than just pixels on a screen. In a weird way, the time consuming, painstaking practice of painting seems like the perfect way to comment on our fast paced digital world. An artist can use painting to slow things down and force the viewer to contemplate what we are all experiencing.

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How would you describe the art scene in your area? Toronto has a vibrant art scene with lots of galleries and museums that show both local and international artists. Most of the interest in my work, however, has come from outside of Canada. The largest exhibitions I’ve been a part of recently have been in places like South Korea and Europe. I’m hoping to show again in Toronto sometime soon but right now I’m just going where the interest is.


jeffbartels.com


Bianca Berends

Willemstad, Curacao


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create, it will suck you into a downward spiral and you create the same problem. On the other hand, you have to accept that not everybody likes your art. I learned early on that once a painting was done, it really didn’t matter what other people thought of it, that the most important thing was that I was happy with the result. This requires a lot of confidence, something you really need to develop as an artist. Some people might find working alone to be challenging, but interestingly enough I really enjoy that. I worked in an office a long time ago and quickly found out that I’m not a team player and I like to do things my way! My art studio is on the first floor of our house and I’m lucky that my husband also has his office here (he is a software developer), so there is always someone to chat with. Tell us more about your painting series.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I was born in The Netherlands but until the age of 11, I lived abroad with my parents and two sisters. That experience really had a large impact on the rest of my life. I’ve traveled a lot with my husband, whom I met when we were 16. Every summer break we would pack our backpack and go to a different continent for a few months. We also lived in Peru and Surinam for a few years and are currently living on Curacao, a Caribbean Island. I think my background contributed to my interest in other people and cultures and has always expressed itself in my artwork one

way or another. For example in my current series Beach Life, I use a lot of postcards and portray children from different cultures and background. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? On the one hand that you have to be your own critic. One of the most important lessons I learned when going the Academy for Arts in Maastricht in The Netherlands. If you can’t critique your own artwork you will never be able to develop as an artist. But is is a fine line, because if you are overly critical and never happy with what you

The current series I’m working on is called Beach Life. It is a theme that was 10/15 years in the making during a time I painted mostly commissioned portraits. Everything I created in those years that wasn’t a commission fits under this umbrella. For this series I create contemporary colorful paintings featuring children. It is a serie I started about 2 years ago. My goal was not to think about the end result but give the creative process central stage. I started out just painting abstract shapes, I used glass plates to print the paint on paper, scrapped with carton over the paint, used the back of brushes to create textures, pushed wrapping plastic over the paint, created textures through the plastic, used textured rolling pins to create designs etc. I noticed that once I started something, a new idea would pop into my head and when I gave that idea a try it would again lead to something new. It was very interesting to experience that just by working and experimenting with paint and all kinds of materials new ideas would keep on coming. Eventually figurative elements came into play, but they surfaced only as part of this organic creative process. Looking back I think at this point in my career it has been one of the best decisions to start this painting process, to start from scratch, without expectations, without preconceived ideas and just see where it would take me. With all the technical experience that I have, the ease with which I can draw and paint, it has given me the opportunity to really explore materials, experiment, try new things. It has taken my paintings to a new level.


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Name artists you’d like to be compared to. There are quite a few contemporary artists I follow, but I wouldn’t say I compare myself to them. I love Jenny Saville’s work (how cool is it that one of her paintings was sold at auction for 9 million dollars, a first for a living female artist), her brushwork is amazing. I enjoy LaChapelle’s over the top art, it really triggers my imagination, same goes for Hundertwasser and Rauschenberg. I check out their art regularly, they inspire me and push me creatively. A big hero of mine is Sorolla, painter of light. His paintings are amazing and often a GoTo to study his technique and use of color. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live on a Caribbean Island and surprisingly the art scene is flourishing and getting bigger every year. There is a lot of wonderful street art, we have an Artist in Residency program, there are soms great artists who live and work here, but exhibit all over the world. We have open studio weekends and even a Plein Air painting festival each year. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best advise I got was from a teacher at the Academy I attended: ‘creating art requires 1% talent and 99% blood, sweat and tears, so be prepared to work hard’. The best tip: invest in brushes and quality paint, it will take your work to the next level. What are your future plans as an artist? First and foremost keep on painting and continuing with this series. Just this year I’ve started my own online store, selling limited edition art prints of my paintings. I’m also in the process of writing a book about my creative process, maybe to inspire other artists to experiment and give more people a chance to take a look in an artist’s kitchen and see that what it takes to create a series of paintings. Furthermore I’m working on a limited edition high quality beach bag featuring my art. It is a really interesting process which involves working with other creatives, something I really enjoy. I’m also in the process of finding a gallery in the US or the Netherlands that is interested in exhibiting my paintings, my first solo exhibit (in 2014) here on Curacao sold out quite quickly so it would be great to expand my audience this way.


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Jason B Bernard

Torrevieja, Spain

My work encompasses various media, including the use of neon / light boxes / books and ephemera. The aim is to generate a compelling narrative around work based on political and humanist issues, to explore and dissect our innate understanding of subjects portrayed, and to promote dialogue. The power of language / words are intrinsic to my artworks in that they can trigger powerful responses and take the viewer / reader on a trajectory of increasing questioning, or to further understand the intricacies and shine a light on a plethora of subjects from a totally new perspective and to question at every opportunity what is presented. I am committed to producing work that is inclusive / accessible, and explores ‘otherness’, and human behaviour at it’s most primal. Jason B Bernard, born July 5th 1971 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Moved to Wimbledon, London in 1977. Attended Rutlish School for Boys, where I obtained the Louisa Bennett art prize and an A in O Level Art. Between 1988 and 1990 I undertook a 2-year BTEC Graphic Design course. In 1994 I was offered a place at the Surrey Institute in Farnham to study BA (Hons) Fine Art, where in 1997 I gained a 2:1. Since this time I have been honing my skills, and defining / perfecting my visual art.


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When, how and why started your art practice? There isn’t an exact point in time when I started to ‘practice’ art, it was more a natural progression given my upbringing in an urban middle-class suburb of London, which in and of itself encouraged self-expression over ‘traditional’ childish play. My family were also prodigiously artistic, enabling me to develop my burgeoning interest. Dad was a Designer and Illustrator, who greatly encouraged my sincere and earnest early dabbling’s, which included drawing / painting, and the creation of almost ritualistic ‘sculptures’ in natural environments. My uncle Michael, who is still a practicing artist, was also a defining factor, and several cousins / antecedents attended art college, so ‘art’ in all its variance was conceivably instinctual. I was told later in life that at the age of 3 (after a near fatal accident involving a lift in Amsterdam!), I amazed doctors, who had never seen anyone as young draw a recognizable object - in this case, a car, which for some inexplicable reason I was obsessed with. I continuously ‘doodled, or drew abstract figures, and encouraged by positive feedback from art teachers, I started to take creativity more seriously at school, often to the detriment of my other studies. In my teens I began to feel more of a pull towards art as a vocation, rather than purely a diversion. It was familial encouragement that acted as the catalyst for me to enroll onto a Design course, which I would rapidly regret. Design and its machinations, in the sense of its prioritisation of aesthetics over emotional response (and my naive presumption of rigidity at the time), proved to not be a path I wanted to tread, despite my parent’s disapproval and despite paradoxically, my actual interest in typography and design. I desired something more cerebral, experimental and ultimately meaningful. Thus, after some ‘wilderness’ years, during which I was employed in various roles, including two years in a design studio (becoming ‘efficient in drawing straight lines’), and a brief stint at the Royal Academy of Art, I returned to further education, a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art. This suited, relatively speaking, my need for freer expression. Recently I have determined my subjects of discussion as being predominately about human rights through political discourse and the complexity of the human condition. Vitam Impendere Vero – ‘Dedicate your life to truth.’ What is the most challenging part of being an artist? When working in the field of conceptualism, simply coming up with the final visual ‘product’ is invariably the hardest part. It can require an intense degree of research into the subject matter, a continual breaking down of the concept into its constituent parts, to derive the ‘ne plus ultra’. Transforming an idea into an object / construction / or other physical manifestation can be a cognitive ordeal, but ultimately of the greatest reward. Another challenge is that of self-belief, intrinsically linked to self-promotion. The ability to actually appreciate my own work, and to ‘persuade’ others to


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believe in it too doesn’t come easily, particularly as appreciation of art will invariably be subjective. Critique can be an egotist’s ultimate nightmare, or a modest person’s gift. Art is without doubt an incredibly hard vocation to master, and one that often leads to disappointment.

I’m hoping to start developing relationships with local artists and curators in order to fully take advantage of any art discussion, ideas and spaces, whether through a traditional gallery-based setting, or through exploring other presentational contexts within non-traditional locations.

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

A friend recently introduced me to Brian Eno’s ‘Oblique Strategies (subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas) which is a card-based method for promoting creativity, jointly created by  Brian Eno  and  Peter Schmidt, first published in 1975. Physically, it takes the form of a deck 7-by-9-centimetre (2.8 in × 3.5 in) printed cards in a black box. Each card offers a challenging constraint intended to help artists (and musicians) break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. I have found it, rather beneficial even if the ‘answers’ seem a little ambiguous or ‘oblique’! Definitely Recommended.

The ‘Art World’ is often exclusive, and this exclusivity is perpetuated by mainstream media who tend to only talk about artists and their work if they have shock value or sell for millions at one of the world’s most prestigious auction houses. With regard to major galleries, there is a tendency for them to exhibit art by more well-known artists that have the ability to attract a larger number of visitors, and with financial backing already in situ. In this sense, curation can become driven more by financial gain and footfall (which is perhaps exemplified by the ‘ubiquitous’ exhibition catalogue, which can be an extortionate price), than perhaps exhibiting something more experimental or progressive. It is unfortunate that it is left to the smaller less well funded galleries to push the boundaries of contemporary art, and to encourage emerging artists. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Having been in the area for less than a year I am still exploring the creative underbelly of the country / region, and the current town I reside in. Historically, there has always been an affiliation with the creative arts in the area, and a stream of important artists and revolutionaries have seemed to emerge from every corner of Spain, often having a direct and profound effect on the art movements of their time. I have also found there to be a burgeoning, underground movement of visual artists and performers, especially in the nearby city of Murcia.

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

What are your future plans as an artist? My future plans are ultimately to further explore my chosen subject matter and to be inspired to conceive a larger body of work. Also, to be able to exhibit as a solo artist or to participate in more group exhibitions (where the subject / theme fits my agenda), whether locally or internationally. I also hope to expand my creative output into other media, perhaps film, installation, publications and ephemera, whilst retaining my need to keep my work minimalist but striking in nature.


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Jan Bernstein

Berlin, Germany

Jan Bernstein´s artistic expression mainly focuses on the combination of technical construction with creative work. During his studies at the Burg Giebichenstein in Halle an der Saale in industrial design he created the first mechanical-moving works, which represent the change from design to fine art. After first exhibition projects, inter alia at the Museum of Modern Art in Istanbul and the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, he founded the artist collective Quadrature in 2013, which was dedicated to the connection between the analogue and digital world. Quadrature participated in various festivals, received international prizes and invitations to residencies. Since Bernstein´s withdrawal of Quadrature in 2016, he began to work as an independent artist with the focus on analogue work. The confrontation of Jan Bernstein with the temporality of humans and objects can be found in his entire oeuvre. It is evident in the technical implementation as well as in the content alignment of the artworks. The work of Bernstein is designed for the idea of eternity – a task is potentially followed infinitely. He deliberately renounces the integration of programming and focuses on an analogue implementation of his ideas. This approach is linked to the aspect of temporality, since digital works require continuous care, which makes them inherently transient. In contrast to digital works, analogue works operate without the artist´s involvement. The analogue works set against the torrential flood of a blind disposable culture in which each object is only produced with perspective on a rapid loss of function. The artist reverts to the elegance of precision mechanics, the poetry of concentrating on the essentials and the appreciation of the functioning object.


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When, how and why started your art practice? My fascination for artistic work originated around the turn of the century during my technical education and work in a photo lab in Berlin. As a result, I decided not to study engineering but instead industrial design at an art school. This allowed me to combine my affinity for art and technology which is expressed today in my analogue and digital installations and sculptures. My artistic expression mainly focuses on the combination of technical construction with creative work. During my studies in industrial design I created my first art work in 2004, which was completely detached from a function. My first mechanical-moving object thus represented the change from design to fine art. The fascination for research and the resulting developments are still an essential part of my artistic work and are expressed in the analogous kinetic installations and sculptures.

tial for my artistic work. The contrast between the fineness of nature and the human made machinery inspires and influences my art practice significantly. In a sense my artwork is implemented in the same way. The technique or rather the construction of my installations and sculptures are visible for the observer and were not hide behind a constructed facade. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The most challenging part was the disentanglement from design to fine arts and the initially uncertain career perspective. In the course of my studies, I already familiarised myself with the unusual terrain and were able to gain some insights into the non-transparent structures of the art market. The final step was the most challenging part, but it was a necessary consequence to give my artworks the necessary tension between clear mechanics and emotional depth.

Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice?

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

My art is essential influenced by the research and development in the field of science and technology. From the beginning of my artistic work I tried to express the interface between technical development and fine art. My inspiration are daily things such as living in a metropolis as well as exploring the nature. When you grow up in a big city where everything is architecturally constructed you look for a retreat that offers you a contrast to your daily life. My retreat was a silent place away from the bustle of the town and traffic. I spent my weekends in the garden of my parents in the periphery and was impressed by the beauty and diversity of the nature. On the other hand, the metropolis reflects the incredible urge of development, new technologies and the idea of innovation that is essen-

The eccentric Berlin have a magnetic impact on artists and creative individuals, who shape the atmosphere of the city significantly. The cultural extravagance of Berlin is mainly created by the tremendous variety of different scenes and subcultures, who have settled there since the mid-nineties. As opposed to other art metropolis, the artists in Berlin do not work in an agglomeration but rather scattered in barely manageable subs in various neighbourhoods in the city. The thriving Berlin art scene offers artists an excellent infrastructure and the typical Berlin vibe allows a versatile exploration of art and the art scene in the city. Nevertheless, the artists are also affected by the increasing gentrification of the city and finding affordable studios will become increasingly difficult.


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What is the best book you’ve recently read? The best book I have recently read was “The World Without Us” published in 2007 by the American author Alan Weisman. The author´s approach on the matter has impressed me deeply and makes me reflect about the topic. The hypothetical starting point of the disappearance of all humans on the planet from one moment to the other is a common thread in the book. There is neither a concrete cause nor an announcement in the thought experiment. All systems sustained and created by mankind continue to exist and interact with their environment as it corresponds to their regulatory mechanisms. The original approach to questions the impact of humanity on the planet, the collapse of infrastructure and the disappearance of human presence are today more relevant than ever. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best tip I have ever received my not fall in the category art tip. During my traineeship in Vienna, the head of the company admonished me after being unpunctual and remarked that he knows only a few people who are at the same time successful and unpunctual. I have heard only a few sentences in my life that have influenced my own actions sustainably. The sentence is since then like a mantra to keep up in the fast-moving and multi-layered art world. What are your future plans as an artist? My plans for the future are to continue attending in artist residencies, festivals and exhibitions worldwide. I also want to cooperate with art institutions that have an interface between art and technology. In general, hopefully I can do what I love: be an artist.

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janbernstein.com


Emma Coyle London, England, UK

Coyle has been working within art for nearly 20 years and been based in London since 2006. She has exhibited in numerous galleries and art fairs throughout the city, including a solo show in Mayfair and exhibiting in the prestigious Mall Galleries. Her work has appeared in The Times Sunday STYLE supplement, and on the cover of Level 25 art journal in Arizona America and Kapa magazine - the Sunday magazine of Greece’s most prestigious newspaper, Kathimerini. Coyle’ work was selected by Los Angeles curator Bridget Carron for her collection Power Pop on Saatchi’ online gallery in 2014. Coyle’ work has also featured in the Mayfair Times February 2015 and in the August 2015 edition of Avari art magazine in Washington America. In 2016 Coyle’s ‘The Existence’ and the ‘Untitled’ series featured in the German based contemporary art magazine Visions Libres and on the cover of London’s Litro magazine. More recently in 2017 and 2018 her work has featured in London art magazines What Is Art? and A5. In August Coyle’ painting 12.16.07 won the Artness Magazine cover competition for August’s issue. Earlier in her career in Ireland Coyle exhibited in the Tramyard Gallery, the Oisin Gallery, exhibited for the Irish National Portrait exhibition in 2005, and exhibited for charities in the Royal Hibernian Academy and Adam’s Fine Art auctioneers. Just before moving to London Coyle had solo exhibitions in the Signal Art Centre in Co. Wicklow and the Bank of Ireland’s art centre in Dublin, and was described as ‘one of the city’s most promising new artist’ {Metro Life newspaper- January 2006}, and a ‘rising young artist’ {Irish IndependentMay 2006}. While exhibiting in London, Coyle has expanded her audience by exhibiting in Los Angeles, and in several galleries in New York City, where her work has been positively received. She has also exhibited in NYC charity events alongside artists such as Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Kiki Smith and renowned composer Philip Glass. Coyle is represented in London by Degree Art. Coyle’ current work embodies 1st generation American Pop art qualities of the 1950’s while focusing on contemporary imagery. Her focus is to produce accomplished paintings of a Fine Art standard within the process and execution of ideas. She is also working on an ongoing abstract project which commenced in 2002. In recent years this project branched into installation work and in 2018 the individual pieces received a special recognition and an award for excellence from Florida art gallery LightSpaceTime.


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When, how and why did you start your art practice? My education started in 1998. I did a year’s course to build up a portfolio to apply for a University in Dublin Ireland. I then spent four years studying all aspects of Fine Art. I covered everything from ceramics to photography but always came back to painting and drawing. I have always enjoyed the process of making, the research and learning to the final piece. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? For myself it can be the demand people have for you, it’s something that I really have to juggle with each year. Most artists keep to themselves to focus on their work, not wanting distractions. But things evolved quickly with the internet and social media. Fifteen years ago most people didn’t expect you to be so quick to respond to an email or to use email each day. People in the business side of the art world can sometimes forget that artists still like to prioritise with their work and that making sales from their art is secondary. I have never had much of an interest in social media and do not spend much time on the internet each week. I keep only a LinkedIn profile which helps distance myself a little and keep control of my practice. Social media is wonderful for making connections both locally and internationally but I think it can take over if you let it. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The art world is a fantastic place to be involved in and I am constantly going to exhibitions in museums and galleries. There is nothing nicer than taking an afternoon out to go on a gallery walk to see new artists and new work. It is ever changing and there is always someone or something new to be learned. But as an artist I think the best way to work within the art world is to not be afraid to take a step back from people. Let the galleries deal with the business side as is very time consuming. The professionals in the galleries I use are so well informed and great with handling clients, it’s best to let them do what they do best. As an artist it is far more beneficial to focus most of your time on the work. That way you can progress at your own pace without others opinions taking over. It’s great to be given advice but artists need to be able to stand on their own too.

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

credible pretending to be someone they are not.

I have been based in London city for the past 13 years so I am in the thick of everything. It is a very exciting city to live in, with lots going on each week. We have artist run organisations and galleries, the biggest auctioneers in the world and every gallery from Tate to Gagosian. It’s such an education living here, you get to see all sorts of artists from all sides of the art world. There is always a steady pace in London, it is a great city of art enthusiasts.

What are your future plans as an artist?

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? American comedian Richard Lewis once wrote me ‘stay authentic’. Very simple but it’s very true, no one ever did anything

Regarding my figurative work, I have just finished a large body of drawings which will be worked into paintings from December. This will be maybe two of three years of work in total. I am constantly collecting images from print magazines. Every few years I take three or four months to focus entirely on working with collected images, minimalizing and making changes. It is a process that may change in the future but I have been working this way for the past ten years and it has worked well for me. I am very interested in minimalism, abstraction, strength from line work and composition. Although my figurative paintings are more commonly compared


to Pop Art because of my use of a black ‘comic book’ line, it is in fact a style inspired by the drawings of Picasso and Matisse whose use of strong line work firstly captured my attention. My use of strong colours does however comes from my interests in Pop Art from the 1950’s and from my interest in coloured glass. I am also currently working on a new installation piece, I usually do one a year in between paintings on canvas. It takes months of preparation and planning. It all started in 2002 when I made a photography series of plants which then became a base for my abstract work. In 2016 I started working in 3 dimensional paintings for the first time. ‘Linear Abstraction’ 1.0 and 2.0 were the first combined abstract pieces exploring abstraction within painting. Each piece is a combined artwork consisting of an acrylic painting

on board and a plaster form also painted in acrylic. For each installation piece and as a starting point; each photograph from the 2002 collection is minimally drawn, taking away the 3 dimensional aspect of photography. A section of these individual 2 dimensional paintings are then taken and worked into a 3 dimensional plaster form or shape. The pieces are then painted in the same colours making the artwork as one whole piece, changing the viewers’ attention to the space in which they stand not just focusing on the walls of their environment. The bases of this work is focused on ideas of abstraction in painting. Its main focus is to questions idea such as; what can be considered a painting? And, how abstract painting is evolving within the art world?


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degreeart.com/artists/emma-coyle


Mike Fullarton

Kraków, Poland

I’m a contemporary artist based in Kraków, Poland. I graduated with BA (hons) in Drawing and Painting from Dundee University, Scotland before spending the following few years working in an independent artists’ studio, producing large scale paintings for a number of galleries and taking part in various exhibitions. My current paintings explore the idea of fractals, detailed patterns which repeat themselves, organic forms and self-similar arrangements at increasingly smaller scales. The pixelated markings also suggest a ‘magic eye’ effect, drawing the viewer in to look for a possible image in the apparent chaos.


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When, how and why started your art practice? The earliest drawings I can remember doing were when I was around 5-6 years old. I used to then try and sell them to my family, who were kind enough to offer a few pence for my efforts. At school, art was always my main interest and strongest subject and although I don’t come from an artistic background my parents were always really encouraging, they never put any pressure on me to take a more academic path. As I got older, into my teens, I never thought of doing anything else as a career, as nothing else, apart from music, engaged me as much. Studying art at university was then a natural continuation. I did a year-long folio preparation course for entry to university and I remember that being a real watershed moment for me, suddenly being surrounded by other like-minded people and having the opportunity to learn and create each day. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My art tutor during my pre-university folio course was a big influence at the time. He was full of wit and wisdom and was himself an excellent painter. He had an infectious passion for the subject and he really guided me on into areas I hadn’t explored before. He also wasn’t afraid to tell you when something wasn’t working and would push you as far as he could to produce the best you could. He didn’t give much praise but when he peered over your shoulder at whatever you were working on at the time, a nod of the head was enough to know he liked what he saw. In terms of other artists, I think there are too many to name but perhaps some of the titans I keep coming back to are those like Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, Chuck Close and Edward Hopper. The ones whose work has that everlasting appeal. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I think it really depends on your own expectations and the challenges you set yourself. I always try to enjoy the actual process of painting and not get too down if things aren’t working out. Of course, if the ideas dry up then it can be intimidating when you’re faced with a blank canvas, not really knowing where to start, but for me new ideas always come from just being in the studio, working on something, no matter how insignificant it might at first be. Keeping financially stable is of course tough too. I remember a tutor telling us at one of my first lectures that if we expected to make a lot of money from our art then we may as well go and

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study something else. It certainly didn’t put me off then and I use it more as a reminder to myself to take pleasure in what I do, to really try to appreciate and enjoy the creative process. There are any pros to being an artist in the digital age but trying to promote your work, especially online and keeping an eye out for new opportunities also takes up a lot of time. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’m currently based in Kraków, Poland, which has a really rich artistic history and a fairly vibrant contemporary art scene. It’s home to both big national institutions and young, independent artists with unique ideas and fresh outlooks. There are a number of galleries and exhibition spaces and recently there have been some initiatives to help promote local emerging artists. I also think it’s a decent place to be located, in terms of the character and positivity of those involved in the arts. What is the best book you’ve recently read? I’ve just finished reading ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami. Recommended by a friend, it took me a little while to get into it but I was soon hooked. It’s a mixture of things - the story of a marriage slowly falling apart, a moving depiction of the horrors inflicted on humanity during Japan’s occupation of Manchuria, and also a mystery thriller. An exploration of the inherent darkness within each of us and a man’s path to self-discovery, all combined into one. An excellent read. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I’ve been given a number of tips over the years but perhaps the two that have stayed with me are to not panic when it seems like nothing’s going on in your career. It’s the best time to work - Unencumbered and with no deadlines. Also, try to hang on to your so-called failures. Try and save them as they hold the key to everything that came before and comes after and are amazing to look at down the road. What are your future plans as an artist? I’m taking part in a group exhibition in London in December, then hopefully there’s going to be a solo show of my new work here in Kraków in early 2019. Creatively speaking, I’m in a good frame of mind at the moment and I have a few fresh ideas I’d like to explore. There are also areas of my current work I’d still like to develop. Longer term, I’d really like to combine the style of my current pixel-like paintings with abstract portraiture but on a much larger scale.


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mikefullarton.com


Wasim Zaid Habashneh Amman, Kingdom of Jordan

A Jordanian architect & artist. Wasim holds a bachelors of architecture form the University of Applied Sciences, he has worked as an architect in top international firms while also cultivating his interest in art.


Art Reveal Magazine

When, how and why started your art practice? Growing up I couldn’t detect my love for art, but for sure I wasn’t that type of kid who would be fine with a blank empty wall in his room. I believe that the first time I discovered my fervency for art was at a summer club art class. It was a drawing of three trees during autumn which I drew with pastel colors. I was around 10 or 11 years old and it meant the world to me when the teacher assigned me to introduce the participant’s drawings and paintings to the club owner at the final exhibition ceremony. The first substantial step into art for me was by enrolling into architecture school and getting to experiment with forms, colors and conceptual thinking process which I was always fascinated by. It took me a while to realize that passion isn’t something that you can hold or contain, so I allowed it to flow in my quest for passion. Quickly this passion turned into determination. One day I received a message from a friend informing me about an open call for an art exhibition which I submitted my first work to and was accepted. Since then, my eagerness increased and it was my first representation as an artist. Architecture and art make me explore new areas in my imagination. The question for me wasn’t “why I started my art practice” instead I always asks myself why I didn’t start earlier. But I guess good things takes time… Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My practice is influenced by my surroundings and my way of perceiving, analyzing and understanding those little things that make an experience worth living. A taxi driver who made the effort to add curtain bead to his car seats, a baker who creates his baguette elegantly every morning, a kid who decorates his bicycle wheels with colorful beads swinging while he pedal, a gipsy girl wearing every color you can imagine in one outfit yet she looks stunning and every single person who believes that beauty can be found in every small detail we walk by, smell or look at. If I am going to name a person who impacted my life for the better aesthetically, she’s going to be my mother without a doubt. Growing up watching her develop her interest in ceramic was mesmerizing, and joining

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her while she’s enjoying her hobby was a pure source of joy for me. Her attention to the details and hard work mentality runs in my DNA which is the greatest inheritance for me. Another aspect that influenced my artwork is my multicultural background developed over the years while living abroad in a multicultural environments that enriched my cultural dosage and improved my understanding of other people traditions and behaviors. I started developing my own fusion of those cultures and concluding them in one big picture in the back of my mind without even noticing. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Being an artist is hard, being an artist and a practicing architect is even harder. Personally, finding skilled individuals and specialized facilities can be very challenging. Sometimes you need the machine that can do the perfect metal twist or the operator who can under-

stand your vision in order to make that part just the way you want (in case you don’t know how to use the machine). Moreover, many of the art created in the Middle East discuss the region political situation which sometimes can be very challenging for the artists to find a gallery space to display their work in and being welling to face the consequences if any. Another thing that can be disappointing is the limitations on street installation art and the questionable process which an artist must go through to be able to display or place an art piece in a public area. Nowadays, Jordan is taking massive steps toward spreading the art culture and introducing it to the largest amount of people to increase the awareness about the importance of art and design in our lives. The increasing numbers of art galleries is a witness of that growing interest in this sector by both artists and collectors.


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How would you describe the art scene in your area? Jordan is proving that it’s a source of raw talent in the region by producing innovative and original art work done by local artist aiming to be part of the international art scene. Having well-founded art hubs and many well established art Galleries is an important thing to issuer that Jordan is in safe hands and on the right track. What we need to improve is the direct support in terms of finance and workshops spaces to the individuals whom are lacking resources, as they have great potentials and must take their chance to express and work on their ideas. Overall, I can say that despite our country location and all the instability in the region; Jordan is still shining in its own way as well as seeking improvement in different levels and art is sure to be in the top of the list. What is the best book you’ve recently read? Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley, it was an interesting book to read and all the experiences in it felt very realistic and true. The way she articulates her stories sounds very spontaneous and relatable to our daily lives. I would definitely recommend it!! What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Growing up, my father always told me and my siblings to be ourselves. At that period I didn’t understand what it meant to be yourself! Time passed by and people started losing their identity to be more liked or to fit in, that was the time I understood what it meant to be you while everyone was trying to be someone else. This tip is what differentiate my work from others, my work an expression of my personal experience and understanding, not someone else’s. Every time I think of an art piece I ask myself, does this idea represent who I am?? If the answer was yes then I’ll go for it, otherwise I leave it for someone else… I believe that art is a collective, edited form of accumulated data my conscious mind managed to tap out of my subconsciousness presented in a form of art. As I always say: “an artist is a prisoner to his imagination, jail with no chains”. What are your future plans as an artist? Aiming to create tangible yet conceptual artwork, my future pieces are sure going to continue doing that while representing myself and my culture in the best means possible. Currently I am researching few topics to be included in my next piece which will discuss the extremism hidden in our human behavior ready to be revealed under certain circumstances causing great damage in our societies. I will focus on the human behavior and the after effect caused by our unpredictable human reactions with life mandatory decision.  Overall my work focuses on local and simple material that can be utilized in any form or shape to display a meaningful idea where people can relate to and build stories upon. A piece with a strong concept is what I look for in any work of art as that is what lasts in my mind for a while after the exhibitions ends.

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www.wasimzaid.com


Kip Harris

Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada


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Tell us more about the “Walls” series. Although I think of myself as a black and white street photographer, I am very moved by color. The images in this series come from hours of wandering through the poorer parts of cities looking at deteriorating walls using a camera to capture what caught my interest. Often the best color combinations occur as part of a repair effort not quite quite finished, leaving it in a state of unresolved tension like the best abstract expressionist paintings. Trying to convey that evanescent quality of light and color is slippery. It can pass by eyes like water. I started doing this series when on a photographic workshop in Puebla, Mexico. The focus of the workshop was on street portraiture but one day when the streets were empty, I started to look in detail at the texture and color of the walls. I started seeking out interesting patterns much as one seeks out an interesting face. I began doing a different kind of portraiture. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I’d prefer to answer this by citing influences. I do a variety of kinds of work and each is influenced by different sources. My black and white street work: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and August Sander; my patina & palimpsest work: Mark Rothko, the Fauvists, and Aaron Siskind; seascapes: the American Luminists, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and architectural minimalism. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I grew up in a small farming community in Idaho. From our breakfast nook, the foreground was the Snake River and the horizon the Teton Peaks. We moved to Salt Lake City when I was in high school. I worked for landscape, building, and road contractors during the summers. After getting degrees in English literature and Humanities, I taught at a co-ed private high school in the mountains of northern California. To prove to the students that there were things to do in this idyllic isolation, I followed Thoreau’s example and built a rustic cabin in the woods out of salvaged materials. The whole thing cost $22, used a tree as one support, and spanned a stream. It was my first attempt at design. I began to think in three dimensions. A few years later, I went to architecture school where I was greatly influenced by a basic design course modeled on the one established at the Bauhaus. I learned a little about how “to make order out of chaos,” how relative color is, and the importance of craft. Following the completion of a particularly trying project, I took a sabbatical from my architectural firm and traveled across Britain with my wife’s camera in my back pack. I had been concerned that recording with a camera would make me less aware of my surroundings; I found that the opposite was true. Looking with a camera made me see more clearly and with less bias. It helped me see what was actually there not what I assumed was there. It also made me feel almost invisible. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Believing in your own work and continuing to do it even though you are tired, bored, or depressed.

Active. There are three universities in Halifax, a famous art school, several good galleries, and a great small museum. As a result there many exhibitions mostly featuring work from graduates of NSCAD. It makes it a bit difficult for an emerging artist over 70 with no network to be discovered. I live in a remote coastal village. There are perhaps 30 houses along my street. Living in these houses are three exhibiting painters, one internationally known rug hooker, two photographers, and, until recently, a famous Canadian painter and teacher along with a couple of lobstermen. Much of Nova Scotia is like this. People come for the unspoiled scenery and find a way to stay. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Review your old work frequently. You’ll be embarrassed by your mistakes but also find stuff you had forgotten or dismissed that was better than you remembered. The review also generates clusters of images of what interests you, what you see well, and what you should avoid. Looking critically at your own work helps refine and focus what you will do in the future. What are your future plans as an artist? Keep doing what I’m doing. Try to find publishers, galleries, and people that are interested in my work. Seek out locations and situations that move me. Stay aware and awake. Get enough sleep.


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kharrisphoto.com


Cecilia Martinez

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA Cecilia Martinez has always had a love for the arts, especially the written word. She is an established and published writer and poet, with her work being recognized all over the world, from New York to the Philippines. But it wasn’t until her father’s unexpected death in what was determined to be a homicide in September 2015 that she became completely immersed in the visual arts as a therapeutic outlet and a form of self-expression to cope with his loss. While still relatively new to the art scene, she has already had her work exhibited in more than 40 venues since her first exhibit in October 2016. She has also been named a finalist in several international online juried art competitions, and her work has been featured in many media outlets – most notably on a segment of Al Jazeera TV, which reaches more than 30 million viewers around the world.


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When, how and why started your art practice? My road to becoming a visual artist began in 2015. That year, my father, Rafael Martinez, was found lying on a street in Jersey City. He suffered a severe head injury that left him unable to speak, walk, stand, and even breathe on his own. His injury was so severe that he was admitted into the hospital for months. Being his sole caretaker, I witnessed the horrors that he endured every single day from his injuries. It caused me great distress. My father died as a result of his injuries. When he passed, I was by his side, holding his hand, and repeatedly told him I loved him as he took his last breaths. Shortly after, his death was determined to be a homicide, and my life would be changed forever. A few months later, still reeling from what I had experienced and mourning from the loss, I began searching for an outlet to alleviate all these chaotic feelings inside of me. I turned to the visual arts as a therapeutic outlet. To be quite honest, art saved my life. It soothed my soul, and for that I will be forever grateful. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Inspiration is essential to my artwork. I can sit in front of a canvas, paintbrush in hand, for hours. But if I am not inspired to create, that canvas will remain blank. My head must be swirling with ideas, colors, and images. My heart must be filled with an intense desire to reveal itself through art. Without those elements, my artwork is meaningless. And there is nothing worse than purposeless art. When I create a new work of art, it is normally done while I sit in my father’s favorite gray leather recliner, which now is a fixture in my bedroom. With art supplies scattered around me, I can sit there for hours and constantly create new and exciting work. I can create work in other locations, but my pieces never come out as good as when I am sitting in that chair. What do you like/dislike about the art world? What I love about the art world is that it offers you the opportunity to become exposed to so many different people, cultures, and ideas. Not only does this broaden your prospective of the world as a person, it also widens your creative river of ideas, which eventually reflects in what you create.

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1,000 local and regional artists. Residents and visitors from throughout the tri-state area come to Jersey City for this event to enjoy and purchase art all weekend-long, while engaging with neighbors and friends in New Jersey’s most culturally diverse city in the country. I first began practicing in JCAST in 2016, and my artwork was featured in two venues: at LITM, an eatery/art gallery that features new exhibitions every month, and the Flagship Gallery. It was such a great experience that I have participated in JCAST every year since, with my work being featured in six locations in 2017 and four venues in 2018. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? What I dislike about the art world is that is a very clique-driven environment. Lots of artists tend to group up together and shun or turn away any newcomers to the scene, and even other established artists that don’t fit into their perceived mold of what these cliques consider to be “artsy,” “cool” or “trendy.” I’ve never been one for cliques or a follower the crowd. I am very independent. Some might even say a loner, which some might see as a negative, but I actually see as a positive because I am comfortable alone in my own skin, thoughts and experiences. So, the group mentally scenerio is very much not my kind of scene. Luckily, my personality and creativity are strong enough on their own that I can stand out as an individual without falling into the trap of becoming involved in any groups that would ostracize or not be inclusive to all, especially when we are all artists and should be helping one another with the same goals we are all trying to achieve. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am fortunate enough to live in Jersey City, which has a very rich, vibrant, and thriving art scene. There are many galleries located throughout the city, many of which showcase the works of emerging artists, such as myself. Also, every year, the city hosts the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST). Within a three-day period during the month of October, usually held on a weekend, more than 150 art spaces across the city open their doors to the public for an massive art-filled festival featuring artwork, performances and the handiwork of nearly

Practice, practice, and practice. And when your done practicing, practice some more. Create art every day, even if it’s just a doodle or a quick sketch of something. This allows your artistic techniques and style to grow and expand beyond the skills you already possess. When I think about my art, I never consider myself to be a master at anything. Nothing is ever perfect. There is always room for improvement, and always room for growth. When you continuously practice, you also give yourself the opportunity to discover different techniques that could potentially become part of your signature style. So, it’s extremely important. What are your future plans as an artist? I am currently working on an artistic series that deals primarily with the emotions and mental tribulations that I endured coping with my father’s death. I haven’t been ready to delve into that part of my psyche and creative mind yet, but I feel like I am in a place now where I can do so tastefully and elegantly. The series is called “The Self Portraits,” artwork that is a combination of mixed media/collages that all incorporate an image of myself within the works. Each piece depicts a different struggle I have dealt with while healing from my dad’s passing, from depression, PTSD, isolation, personal conflicts, and more. Each piece, I hope, reflects a powerful story. From the exhibits I have shown some of these works in, the reaction has been superb, with one person even stating that the pieces are “amazing and inspiring.” I hope to have the series completed by 2019 so I can put in a gallery proposal for a solo show featuring these works.


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instagram.com/cecilia_martinez_jc


Phillip McConnell

Trenton, NJ, USA

I am a Glitch Artist with a focus on abstract, surrealist digital art and a photographer whose concentration is in highlighting the human condition and the different macro/micro concepts of nature. To create my art I blend different aspects of photography (landscape, portrait, urban, nature  and  macro) with different concepts of Glitch Art (VHS, aesthetic,  vapor wave) to create something new out of something broken.  Glitch art  is the aestheticization of digital or analog errors, such as artifacts and other “bugs”, by either corrupting digital code/data or by physically manipulating electronic devices. Although Glitch Art is a relatively new underground digital art form; the concept of Glitch Art has existed since 1962, and was born out of dada movement of the sixties. With almost everything in photography being digital it leads the mind to wonder what can really be done when pushed a step further. As technology advances, more and more everyday pushing the boundary of what the mind can create is literally at your fingertips. Alchemy is the transformation of matter either from one state to another or from one substance to another.  By bending and manipulating the raw data or code of a picture, I essentially corrupt the original picture by breaking it down to its most basic form and bend it to create something new.  Creatio  rationum  ab  interitu  or creation out of destruction, in life you can either build or destroy and I have found a medium that lets me do both.  Phillip McConnell is a 27-year-old artist from Trenton New Jersey. Writing from the scope of a post-internet millennial, he highlights varying factors of the human condition. He weaves a complex narrative around subject matter draped in a poetry. Phillip is also a writer finishing his first novel, a narrative poet, scriptwriter working on a short film, spoken word artist, a digital artist with a focus on abstract, surrealist art and a photographer whose concentration is in highlighting the human condition and the different macro/micro concepts of nature.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I started creating art only two years ago. Well it will be three in February. I was always into programming and sort of fell into this by trying to teach my self to code. The style is called Glitch art. This style is not something I invented, I just happen to be pretty good at it lol. But growing I didn’t have much of a voice in my household. So I would turn to creating to fix that. So I’ve sort of always been a creator only now am I doing at a professional level. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I have a few mentors that help guide my hand in creating. Addison Vincent, Craig Shofed, Benjamin Porawski. But aside from then the people that have had the biggest influence on my craft have been the artist collective I am a part of OMN7. Brass Rabbit and Billy Dee are two of the most talented versatile artists I have ever met in my life. They each think on different wave lengths but each thought process is fantastic in its own right. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Balancing work life and love life. Significant others do not always understand that art is something that is a part of me. It’s such a big part of the man I have become that I couldn’t change it even if I wanted too. How would you describe the art scene in your area? On the cusp of a cultural renaissance. Budding and growing. Shouts out to Trenton New Jersey. What is the best book you’ve recently read? The law of one. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Do not get caught up in creating art solely for sale. Create because you want too. Because you need too. What are your future plans as an artist? I would like at least two shows over seas within the next year. To finish the book I am working on. And to write a play.


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omn7.com


Slawomir Milewski Poznan, Poland / London, England, UK


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

In your opinion what do film and cinema mean in contemporary culture?

..yes.. My background is not the filmmaking actually but art. I studied art. Thus I don’t really think I make movies - someone called them anti-movies or no-films but for myself they are simply kind of film/video forms where the classic film language is twisted. Or they use kind of different language. And from the lack of any other name I can agree to call them: films.

It means many things, more than years ago regarding the spectrum of topics which it touches but less in power of the meaning, I suppose. In fact - well I am generalizing - we are thinking like we are in kind of film, our lives get filmic. Our mind project like the film itself, we dream in filmic way.. the perception is like a camera, etc. Thus it strongly influence the way how we exist.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

I think you can be an artist just from time to time. It doesn’t work in other way. And this is the challenge (laugh)

Ah, I would have to speak about my experience in London and UK.. There are some guys who tried to show more ambitious things but majority of the art here is terribly involved in the political correctness discourse. Terribly really. And sadly. And it is not the fault of artists themselves but all these people who decide what is presented in galleries, cinemas, festivals etc. Except the trend of showing old works from 70ies and 80ies or whatever, there are technically perfect well done flat, too narrative or too abstract films or artifacts revealing emptiness and boredom.

Tell us more about the “Nostalgia for Existing Without Delay” film. First of all it is the longest film form I have ever made (laugh). The very title and some themes in the film refer to texts of Georges Bataille. Years ago when I worked with my first official film: Ecstasy of St Agnes, someone told me my approach to certain subjects and way of thinking is similar to this French intellectual. Then I had started to study his books and I was fascinated by this ‘similarity’ indeed. But the film is not an attempt to sketch Bataille’s topics. It is rather social - personal, frenetic - coherent form and my manifest - the only thing which allows to keep my mind sovereign in social relations structure. I’m quite romantic, am I? (laugh) My friend, the great artist filmmaker from San Francisco Emma Penaz Eisner said about Nostalgia for existing without delay: the way the film is structured sort of causes a kind of transcendence from the medium itself and forgoes separation from the audience. The viewer is directly brought into your work.

Name three artists you admire. Paul McCarthy, Larry Clark and.. at the moment I can’t find anyone else in my mind.. maybe Picasso, I can see his works in every museum I have been visited in recent years.. He is everywhere.., haha. What are your future plans? I would say it’s the most difficult question.. I don’t have big plans. I would like to live without the limit, ‘without delay’ and always be able to express myself.


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Thekla Papadopoulou

Larnaca, Cyprus

This series is mostly about me, my life and the people around me. The work is mixed media on wood panel. I’m using oil paints, pastels and collage of pages from my old sketchbooks, from journals and photographs of myself and people who are close to me. I’m exploring the journey of my life until now - the factors that affected it, the elements that altered it and the influences that are still echoing in this process. There is a strong sense of memoirs of my life and I specifically explore the trajectory between the past and the present. There are also some paintings that are self-portraits as a process of personal discovery of my influences - how they formed who I am today. All in all, in a simple sentence the work is a narrative of who I am and who I became the person I am today. Thekla Papadopoulou was born in Limassol in 1978 and lives in Larnaca, Cyprus. In 1997 she graduated from the American Academy Larnaca and was admitted in the Academy of Fine Arts “Raffaello” of Urbino, Italy, where she followed a four year program of study in Contemporary Art and Painting. She graduated in 2002 with distinction. She now lives in Larnaca where she works as an art teacher at the American Academy Larnaca.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I have always been painting and drawing a lot, even as a child. My mother encouraged me to pursue it, even though she is not in the field. I was very lucky to have a supportive mother and also teachers who encouraged me. The truth is I never thought of doing anything else in my life and I’m glad I studied art and became an artist, even though it took me a while to realise what being an artist is all about. My studies in Italy really influenced and changed me as a person and an artist. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? The first artist I was really attracted to at university was Robert Rauschenberg. I found his work, the collage mixed with conventional art materials, fascinating. I realised that he liked putting things together — whether it was objects or people, integrating them, or their works, into his own, but maintaining their individuality. It made me realise that the stuff of everyday life is potential material from which art can be made and that was a lasting influence on my art practice.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The challenges an artist faces are many. It can be difficult to find work in the art field, and, as a consequence, many artists are forced to find other work for income. Even artists who are able to focus on creating work, often find it difficult to market and sell the work. The art market is extremely competitive. Every artist faces a unique set of challenges. In my case I’m happy when I create an art piece, and then I look back on it and all I can see are its faults. The problem is that, as many artists, I seek perfection in my vision but perfection is unreachable. We can’t create perfection, but we always strive for it and that’s quite a challenge. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live and work in Cyprus, a small island located at the southern terminus of the European Union. Cyprus is both isolated and yet highly contested for its strategic proximity to three continents. The heart of the capital, Nicosia, is split down the middle by barbed wire—the scar of a political stalemate between Turkey and Greece. The conflict and its history highly affect the art scene and the art market in the island, which has been elusive and unstable for quite a long time. A lot of the artwork have political meanings and messages due to the continuous political conflicts. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? My art professor in Italy told me that art doesn’t have to be beautiful. This really opened up my mind and made me think in a different way and beyond the traditional rules of beauty. It made me realise that it’s more important that the works are interesting, thought- provoking, meaningful and challenging rather than pretty. What are your future plans as an artist? I’m currently working on a new series entitled “Traces” which I will present in my third solo exhibition. This series is mostly about me, my life and the people around me. The work is mixed media on canvas. I’m using oil paints, pastels and collage of pages from my old sketchbooks, from journals and photographs of myself and people who are close to me. I’m exploring the journey of my life until now - the factors that affected it, the elements that altered it and the influences that are still echoing in this process. There is a strong sense of memoirs of my life and I specifically explore the trajectory between the past and the present. For this series I have created a number of self-portraits that reflect on the process of personal discovery of my influences - how they formed who I am today. All in all, in a simple sentence the work is a narrative of who I am and who I became the person I am today.


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Bette Ridgeway Santa Fe, USA

Bette Ridgeway is best known for her large-scale, luminous poured canvases that push the boundaries of light, color and design. Her youth spent in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York and her extensive global travel have informed her colorful palette. For the past two decades, the high desert light of Santa Fe, NM has fueled Ridgeway’s art practice. Her three decades of mentorship by the acclaimed Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins set her on her lifetime journey of non-objective painting on large canvas. She explores the interrelation and change of color in various conditions and on a variety of surfaces. Her artistic foundations in line drawing, watercolor, graphic design, and oils gave way to acrylics, which she found to be more versatile for her layering technique. Ridgeway has spent the last 30 years developing her signature technique, called “layering light,” in which she uses many layers of thin, transparent acrylics on linen and canvas to produce a fluidity and viscosity similar to traditional watercolor. Delving further, Ridgeway expanded her work into 3D, joining paint and resin to aluminum and steel with sculptures of minimal towers. Ridgeway depicts movement in her work, sometimes kinetic and full of emotion, sometimes bold and masterful, sometimes languid and tentative. She sees herself as the channel, the work comes through her but it is not hers. It goes out into the world – it has a life of its own. In her four decade career, Bette Ridgeway has exhibited her work globally with over 80 museums, universities and galleries, including: Palais Royale, Paris and Embassy of Madagascar. Multiple prestigious awards include Top 60 Contemporary Masters, Leonardo DaVinci Prize, and Oxford University Alumni Prize at Chianciano Art Museum, Tuscany, Italy. Mayo Clinic and Federal Reserve Bank are amongst Ridgeway’s permanent public placements, in addition to countless important private collections. Many books and publications have featured her work, among them: International Contemporary Masters and 100 Famous Contemporary Artists. Ridgeway has also penned several books about her art and process.


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When, how and why you started your art practice? As a young child I knew I would be an artist. I lived for the day when I would be able to create what I wanted in a studio of my own. In 1988, after marrying young and raising a family and holding many jobs, I finally was able to quit my job and begin a full-time art practice. This was a miracle for me and I am thankful every day to have been given this opportunity. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? For me, the challenge is balancing the making of art with the marketing of the art. Since I don’t have the luxury of painting for myself, I take the marketing part very seriously. After learning the tools the hard way on my own, I wrote a book to help other artists! “Talent is Just the Beginning – an artists guide to marketing in the 21st Century” is available on Amazon. This has received a very favorable response, for which I am grateful. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Well, the “like” side is easy. There is enormous freedom to create what one wishes; to experiment and explore the many options available. The internet is now available, which has opened the door to seeing art in a major way. The world’s most important museums and galleries have websites where their collections can be explored and viewed in the comfort of one’s home. The “dislike” part is that there are so many millions of artists who are competing for eyeballs and sales; it makes the marketing more challenging than ever. In my book, I break this down into the steps necessary to get seen in the art world – by the right people. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Santa Fe has a vibrant art scene, which is the primary reason I chose to move here in 1996. It was the most frightening and best thing I have ever done. Within weeks I found a place to live, a studio and a major gallery in which to show. A miracle, for sure. The truth is, I was fully prepared. I had a large body of work, photographs, a growing art résumé and a lot of enthusiasm. I also had a phenomenal mentor, Paul Jenkins, who said, when I thought about moving, “They will love you there…just go.” What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? It would have to be my previous comment about Paul Jenkins. How fortunate was I to have someone with his experience to urge me to take the leap? What are your future plans as an artist? I love what I do, so I plan to work forever! My team and I just wrapped up a major commission which will be installed in Boro Tower in Tysons, Virginia in January. This is a triptych on canvas 15 feet by 21 feet. Now I have begun work on a sculpture project/commission that is in the design phase. We are turning a set of three of my “Trilogy” metal sculptures into water features for a newly-built, spectacular contemporary home.

The entryway has a beautiful Santa Fe style adobe wall and gate that opens onto a glass bridge (yes, glass!) that goes over an arroyo (a ditch, mostly for drainage purposes, but nonetheless a decorative ditch) leading to the front entrance of the home. Off to one side, my three sculptures in 5, 6, and 7 foot sizes will be placed in a reflecting pool of black river rock. The water will be pumped up inside the towers and will cascade down from the top over the colors. There will be solar lights illuminating them at night. I am very excited about this. We will document the process on my website.


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Emily Robards Limerick, Ireland

​ orn in County Limerick, Ireland; Robards graduated in 2014, from Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) where she studied B Fine Art Printmaking and Contemporary Practice (BA Hons). Robards is a member of the Limerick Printmakers and an exhibiting artist at Cill Rialaig Arts Centre. Emily Robards is a visual artist, surreal poet, practicing hermit and country mouse. She works with the themes of home, nature, love, and the self. Her practice links together the spiritual and natural world, with an underlining narrative of innocence and the uncanny. Her work embraces the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, ‘Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.’ Robards is inspired by the primitive and sees beauty in the broken.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I have always been a drawer, if I wasn’t outside and working with animals I was drawing. I never thought I would go to college until I moved home to Ireland in 2007, where the idea seemed more realistic. It has just never crossed my mind to do anything else except art, and there is nothing I have ever wanted more than to be an artist. I was self-taught as a painter and had my first exhibition of paintings before I started my formal art education. I initially went to college to study painting, but switched over to printmaking as I thought it was far more interesting and better suited to my work. I’ve just tipped away slowly all my short life and hope to continue to do so. I have been very lucky as I have always had the support of my parents, which has never wavered, making going forward a lot more easier even in dark times of severe self-doubt. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Being seen, making the decision and finding the money to enter ones work into competitions, exhibitions, and gallery submissions. Finding the will to keep going after receiving many rejection letters, even though art is all you have. But you got to keep going because you do it for the love of it, nothing else. What do you like/dislike about the art world? What I dislike is how unapproachable galleries, even ones who say they represent unknown or upcoming artists are. Its more who you know than what you know, and just plain dumb luck in the art world when it comes to getting your art into the public eye; Especially if you are not in the city or the most social bee. It tends to be the same few on view all the time, which is a shame as we have great art colleges churning out some potentially great artists, who will probably never get their chance to get their work out their as the country is to small. Thankfully we live in the age of social media, armed with Instagram it gives the majority of us a great platform to curate and show our work to the world. There is also more of a chance to be followed by galleries and other artists and critics. At least, if anything, this positive feedback online gives the secluded artist a small boost to keep going. I think If I was older, louder and more forceful, I would have gotten further by now, or If I was a man my work and myself, would be taken more seriously even by women in the arts.


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How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live out in the country and am quit isolated from any art scene. I rely heavily on e-mails and social-media to keep me updated on what is going on around the country and in the city. The Limerick Printmakers is a wonderful asset, which is based in the heart of Limerick City. It is a fully equipped print studio, with a dark room and technician on hand if help is needed. It really is a wonderful place to have especially for printmaking graduates, and local printmakers. They have regular group exhibitions, as well as opportunities for members to have solo exhibitions. They also provide a great service to the community with adult and children classes. With the art college, Limerick School of Art and Design, there are usually at least a dozen student exhibitions every year, but due to lack of exhibition spaces and funding, students must find their own spaces in abandoned and unused buildings, creating pop-up exhibitions. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? A difficult question, with no real right answer; Art has become very social, and politically based, reflecting the world we currently live in; It is cold. The news and opinions are loud, and the art world aims to project those opinions, stamping its foot, and shouting louder. Sometimes it succeeds in putting across a point more successfully than any newsreader or politician. It reflects our time and emotions. Art has become more of a political platform to many young artists, but we make what we know, and what we engage with the most.

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I feel there is enough of this around, enough hate and anger, yes we must have a voice and stand up for what is right and what we believe in, but we must remember the beauty in the world. To remember to stand back and appreciate the little things, the small wonders. Sometimes it’s the artist that whispers, that creates the small delicate works that makes the biggest impact on our hearts. What are you working on right now? Often you will find me gluing back together something that broke while being fired in the pit in my garden. Sometimes objects I’m working on don’t always go to plan, I’ve, learned to embrace this, see beauty in their imperfections, and just accepting it as an extension of my process. I cant bare to throw out something I worked so hard on, So I will try and bring it back to life and make it in to something new. I tend to work quit sporadically. I never really have a set project or series that I am working on. Usually I have just finished something, rather than started. I tend to see an object, hear a word or see something that sets an idea in motion and I go from there. I work a lot with what is around me and on hand, so my studio is filled with wood, clay, bone, metal, old photos, paper etc. If I don’t have something I need I will go looking for it. I am quietly working away on photo-etchings for when I one day get back into the print studio. I have severely neglected my printmaking as of late and must return to it soon, but this is the way of my work, I go from one medium to the other. A Jack of all trades, and master of none.


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Walid Saidi New York, NY, USA

Focused on the relations between Body Motion and Emotion, Walid’s emotional abstractions illustrate the elements of motor executions and observation of movements, the analysis based on Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) is focused on expressing profound emotions throughout action painting. Walid believes that characterized movements whose execution enhances each of the basic emotions: anger, fear, happiness, and sadness and therefore could be used for emotion regulation. In two-part, the first part focuses on demonstrating the result of small-scale work and what the consequences are ( Small-scale canvas tend to create anxiety as it requires a more controlled movement). The second part is to solve the anxiety created, scaling up to a wider and bigger platform. The perception of a moment in life field with a wide range of emotions expressed through predominant vertical painting gestures as a representation of the relationships and encounters between individuals whether physical or emotional (As meeting a person for the first time you’d observe them vertically and not horizontal).


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an artist is not a job, but mainly a creative force that is a necessity of expression - understood or not by others...A passion really and a need. Tell us more about your painting series. I have been working on few series at the time, call it lack of focuss and extra stimulated mind - all within my creative process - some are still work in progress It’s called LMA FOCUSED ON THE RELATIONS BETWEEN BODY MOTION AND EMOTION BASED ON LABAN MOVEMENT ANALYSIS (LMA), IT IS FOCUSED ON EXPRESSING PROFOUND DEEP EMOTIONS THROUGHOUT ACTION PAINTING. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. Well to be quit frank I would like to be compared to anyone viewed as an artist and its point of view. My personal heroes are Hans Hartung and Pierre Soulage but I have a long way before to accomplish this. At this point of my career i am humly happy to be inspired by their body of work. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in NEW YORK is pretty large from conceptual to minimalist but the core of it is mostly abstract and street art as the market keeps on growing. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Tell us a little about your background. Multi cultural without a doubt - French Spanish mother and Algerian father - born in Algeria but raised in Paris starting at age 3 by my mother shaped my thinking... Being brought up with multi cultural influences in a city like PARIS, then as a professional moving around to Norway, Holland, Italy shaped my mind, my sensibility and my approach to art and esthetic... A deep mix of influences and experiences opened my mind. I was always felt the need to be creative not by choice but by necessity so I studied photography before I entered SORNAS (an annex of L’ÉCOLE DES BEAUX-

ARTS DE PARIS) where have explored the academic technics. Shortly after graduating, I ended up somehow attracted to fashion, mainly interested in its construction and design aspect which lead me to work with reputable brands ( such as jean PAUL Gautier and maison Martin margiela)... even with its many rewards and key learning - after 10 years - it felt only natural to go back to my first love. PAINTING. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? As an artist you have an idea for your next creation yet the execution leads you to a total different process as the initial theory, so it becomes a challenge. To be

The best art advice I received was subtle, I was having diner at the bar in a restaurant, turns out my neighbor was a former VP at CHRISTIES MODERN ART SECTION After a long conversation about everything other then art she said focus on a long term artist career rather then be the artist of the moment. What are your future plans as an artist? As an artist is hard to predict or plan - my focus is to produce more work, keeping consistency within my work, I have few brand collaborations on the go and that always leads to more opportunities....


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Bob Tomolillo

Cambridge, MA, USA

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Bob began his career during the burgeoning of the print workshops in 1970. He worked at Impressions Workshop in Boston and the Printshop in Amsterdam, Netherlands as a professional printer. He earned a B.F.A. from University of Massachusetts and M.F.A. from Syracuse University, N.Y. Faculty member at the F.A.W.C. in Provincetown, Mass. and currently serving as secretary for The Boston Printmakers, his lithographs are included in collections at the Rijks Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Seoul Museum of Art and others. In 2009 he was the co-winner of the first Dayton Peace Museums Peace Prize for The Arts. He recently participated in the London Liberal Arts College, “Year of Subversion Exhibition.” He organized an exhibition titled, 2016, A State of Mind, to coincide with the political season, at Lamont Gallery at Phillips Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. His essays on “Art” have appeared in Art in Print, International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Vol. 13 Issue 3, Print Alliance Journal, LAPS Interleaf Journal, Visual Overture and PIF magazine. Other writing has appeared in Literal Minded, Orange Alert, Shine Journal, Askew Reviews, Glossolalia, Creative Writing Now, Blinking Cursor, Bap Q, Lunarosity, Icelandic Review, Writers Billboard , First Writers Magazine, Milspeak, Subterranean Journal, South Jersey Underground, Cavalier Magazine, Yellow Mama, Visual Overture, Vox Poetica, Ascent Aspirations, Bangalore Review, Forum Magazine, 2 River View, The Red Fez, and Spilling Ink Anthology.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

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

I grew up in a suburban blue-collar American household. Few avenues for artistic expression were available to me as a young boy but what little exposure to the arts I had in school became an effortless and joyful diversion from the traditional and expected educational pathway. In college I pursued a liberal arts education, studying History, hoping to one day attend law school, but while working a summer job I met a man who was enrolled in a Boston area, Arts college. He was working as a lithographer making prints for artists who visited the famous workshop. His physical appearance was disarming; with his large frame, long hair, and beard he possessed a kind of outlaw biker look that fascinated me and erased any preconception that making art was not a vocation for a young man to pursue. Soon after our meeting I volunteered at the shop and became part of the magical atmosphere of the printmaking workshop in the early seventies.

Making art is a lifelong task. There are no easy pathways. Similar to all other disciplines an artist must respect and understand previous artistic accomplishments. Although I am skeptical about the quality of art school education, it does serve the purpose of setting the parameters for a career in teaching art and networking with peers. Good art needs to develop from life experiences, be heartfelt and be somewhat of an obsession.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Making artwork that resonates with current trends is always a challenge. The most important task of any artists is to figure out how to drown out all the noise, focusing on your most basic response while attempting to develop an image or concept. Rather than accepting the title of artist I rather see myself as someone who makes art. To be relevant, an artist must be fully immersed in every aspect of society, an extrovert, because nothing happens in a void. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The modern art movement with its ever-expanding choice of techniques and styles has caused a seemingly open and democratic aesthetic to rise of which the noted theoretician Boris Groys cautiously refers to as “colorful diversity”. As Groys sees it, the contemporary art scene is dominated by opposing factions. The art investor has found fertile ground in the contemporary art movement often taking advantage of the artist’s eagerness for notoriety. Auction houses and urban galleries have one goal in mind, profit. Assigning value to an art-piece, something created from personal expression, is anathema to me. The contemporary art market exists within a controlled and comodified, system that too often disregards the interest of artists who engage in radical forms of image making. In the fast changing techno-world many artists are too willing to embrace technological advancements or scientific trends than they are willing to push back against concepts they know are resistant to change. Hyperbolic displays of global events via digital media make it hard for artists to control personal messaging. I have been a critical observer of the art scene for a long time and have written essays and reviews as an executive board member of The Boston Printmakers, a seventy- year, national, printmaking, organization. I believe the most relevant things are happening at the grass roots level. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene is alive and well in Boston, with its collaborative groups representing all disciplines and mediums. There are many art colleges and universities in the New England area that aggressively promote and nurture young talent. Galleries and workshops cater to a large artist community. Many online and text based venues exist for exhibition and image publication. The digital revolution has also brought many other creative individuals into the fold. Now a young student can assure their parents that they are not throwing away the cost of an education by wasting four years on a seemingly useless art education. Developing art and design skills now become useful tools for a myriad of digital-computer related jobs. As secretary of The Boston Printmakers we publish supportive information about our national membership (350) and are in contact with art openings ,symposiums, lectures and demonstrations. Our members understand that we offer a springboard to their career. Collaborative groups offer like –minded people an opportunity to connect in our fast –paced world with comfortable support options that offer artists the ability to stay current with the latest advancements in the print medium.

What are your future plans as an artist? Art is indistinguishable from everyday life. I do not set out to make art each day but rather allow the process to develop over time, pondering questions about my daily activities or responding to acts of injustice. If the idea is strong enough it will take over and reveal itself in the final result. My immediate plans involve the publishing of a new print that I have designed. The print is an engraving titled, Rebuilding Democracy, based on the current state of the political climate in America. The fact is, that Democracy worldwide is in decline. I have purposefully created an image that draws on a well–established, respected print technique: engraving, to convey an idea relating to democracy in America. The attraction toward a fourteenth century engraving technique is a direct, nostalgic rebuke against the current, pervasive, digital print practices. The print narrative involves the depiction of a Cherub carrying the letter ‘D” for Democracy. In the foreground stand an incomplete formation of the word.


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Xunzhi Sun Los Angeles, CA, USA

My name is Xunzhi Sun, I am a Los Angeles based artist who born and raised in China. I had my BFA in Yunnan Arts University in oil painting major in 2014, and I moved to USA for my MFA program at Academy of Art University Drawing&Painting major, and I achieved my MFA degree in December 2017. After that I moved to Los Angeles and became a freelance fine artist. As an artist I am interested in human being, from the perspective of myself, I think and research about questions of one’s relationship with the society, or one’s relationship with his/her family. I am interested in one’s relationship with the family and the society is because, I think family is where we are from and society is where we are going. They are both like two mirrors, each one tells a different part of ourselves. Therefore, there are two major directions that I am currently going when I am doing my art, one is about me and my family, and another is about me and my situation when I face the society. By creating art in this two directions, I get closer to who I truly am.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I am born and raised in China. And I came to USA 2015 for my MFA program in Academy of Art University, San Francisco. There is nobody in my family who is artist nor has a job that is art related. So I think the reason that I choose to study art and become an artist is because I have that interest born with me. I liked drawing things and I drew a lot when I was young. As I grew older, I realized that I liked to think and express my thoughts a lot, therefore, choosing to be an artist kind of endow me the right to say what I want to say in the language of visual. There is another factor that plays a critical role of influencing me to become an artist is my parents they are really supportive, no matter it a pack of marker or coming and studying abroad in United States, as long as it’s what I need they will try their best to meet that needs. Besides being supportive financially, they also always give me enough space and time to let myself figure out my direction of the future, and being highly patient and tolerant when I make mistakes. As far as the influence of my focus which is more about human psychological states, I think it’s from my mom, she is a psychiatrist, therefore with her influences my comprehension towards questions in my life are always somewhat from the perspective of psychology. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I think there are two things that I currently have hard time with. First challenge I think would be creating art itself is a very hard job to do. It is like stepping into a forest which nobody has never gone to, so there is no track you can find, you have to figure out the right direction, the right method by yourself. When things don’t work out, which is very common, it could be very frustrating because you have spent so much time on it. The feeling of failure, self-disappointment, frustration, anger, all of those emotions are on your shoulders, and crushing you down. But you can’t stop, you still need to face

them sooner or later so you can push your project one step further. It is really rare that other people could help you with it, because you are the only person who knows what you want to say. Of course people would give you suggestions, but it is just suggestion, the real answer still need to be found by yourself alone. Also the action of creating essentially requires you to absorb a lot of different information from outside, and find those that are truly valuable for you own art, that could be massive and overwhelming as well. Another challenge I would say is how to balance myself as an artist and as a normal person. Being an artist is very different with being a normal person, because you wanna diving in the life of being a creator but at the same time you are a normal person, you have normal desires that everybody has, so you wanna spend time on that too. Either way would cost you a lot of mental energy which makes you can’t do the other thing, so figuring out a way to balance that becomes a very critical issue. Tell us more about the “FamilyTree” series. The ”FamilyTree” series is a project that I currently work on. In this project, I create works in photogravure, digital photo collage, and mixed media, based on the purpose of trying to re-comprehend the relationship in between me and my family. To me, family is such an interesting topic, because family is the first place where I experience love, care, support, respect, and understanding; however, on the other hand, just because all the precious things I receive from my family are so strong, then the harm, the disappointment, the confusion, the anger, and the anxiety that are caused by it are as intense. Therefore, the ambiguity and complexity in the concept of family triggers me to make works upon it. In this project I use a lot of photos of my family members as well as my owns. When collecting photos from my families, I am not just gathering bunch of images together, but will ask my families questions about the stories behind those images. For example, time(when), loca-


Till today, I am still working on this project, I think it’s going to be a huge project in terms of the long family history and massive information. But I like doing it because it always generates more inspiring ideas, and broader my comprehension either to my family or even to my cultural identity which is really important to an artist. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I think my works have the similarity with paintings of Zhang Xiaogang, and project of Zhang Huan. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am currently live and work in Los Angeles, I would say it is a very good city for contemporary art, it has big diversity, massive art events are happening everyday, like openings, artist talks, performances, etc. both commercial and experimental, or conceptual. But it is also pretty intense, because this city has so many amazing artists so you kind of have to work really hard other wise you will be too slow to catch up. tion(where), event(why) are things I normally seek for answers, and I would ask them to write down their replies to my questions. Then I catalog those photographs and stories according to years. (e.g., father, join the military, November 1980) By asking for those basic information behind photos I collect, from their replies, I get to sense their emotions: their yearn to the past, their regrets of things they could not achieve, or even their pain of things they get hurt badly. In this way I could get to know their past more completed, and on the foundation of this, I am able to make a better understanding of how they come all the way to today. When I create works of the “FamilyTree”, I like to focus on one aspect of my comprehension towards my family and really dig into it, this process sometimes just like opening a window, and there are more things will come to me from it. For instance, the “BirthMark” is a body of works that talk about my questions to the education that my parents give me. Because of the education that they give me reflects the education they have from their parents, in this way, I find that the influence of education could be tracked back to several generations. Then in the research of my family education method, I realize I am not only questioning the education from my parents, but also from my culture background, which makes my thinking broader rather then just restricting on one individual family. The body of work “If I was my father, and my father was I” also brings me more then the starting idea. In this seriesI create images by switching my father from his photos into my photos, and switching me into his photos. This is an action of visualizing this hypothesis: what would my father do if he was in my situation, and what would I do if I was in his situation. But when I look at images I finished, I realize what I am doing is more then just questioning what are different stories if we switch our positions. It is more like a self-psychotherapy in the desire of fixing the gap in between father and son. Because looking at those works makes it possible for me and my father to really consider to understand what each other has been through, as well as the other’s happiness, ambition, struggle, suffer, and failure. This brings us closer then we were never before.

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I think that would be what my teacher told me when I was in high school, he said: life is bitter, but when you have art, you have a chance to find the joy within it. That always inspires me. What are your future plans as an artist? Besides keep making art, I am planing to find a job to work as a galleriest, I had two art gallery internships, one is in Patrick Painter Inc., one is in LACE(Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition), both of them are really good galleries and let me have the chance to work with many amazing artists, curators, collectors and advisers. From that I find out as a galleriest is also a good way to get to know art world from another perspective, that’s really important as well.


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Anita Zotkina Brookfield, VT, USA

Born in Soviet-era Odessa in 1971 into a family of art lovers who encouraged her painting from a very young age, illustrative artist Anita Zotkina situates her visionary painting in the surrealist tradition. Having immigrated to New England at the age of 27, Anita Zotkina today makes her home in Vermont where she continues her artistic career. Her work exudes positive energy, inner peace, and an almost overwhelming sense of freedom. Each of these unique paintings tells its own fascinating story, and is sure to grab your attention.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I started to draw when I was a little kid, back in Odessa, Ukraine. During my childhood and teenage years, I was experimenting with various mediums, like pen, pencil, watercolor, oil paint and a number of subjects like fairytale characters, animals, flowers, trees and people. By the age of eighteen I was painting with oil on big canvases and was ready for the next big step. My Dad financed my studio and supplies, so I could become a full-time artist. I was flooded with art ideas and a desire to express them. I was fortunate to have followers, who invested in my art, and made my art practice successful. When I moved to the US, I had to establish my art practice again. Since I knew that I would need sufficient funds to purchase art supplies and support myself I had to get a full-time job. My art-practice became a part-time activity. My full-time job does take away time from my creative process, but at the same time it gives me artistic freedom, i.e. I don’t need to sell a certain amount of paintings to pay my bills, so I don’t get stressed about sales. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? As an artist I love to send encrypted messages into the world with each of my artworks. My challenge is to prioritize the messages. I have a very curious personality and I am drawn in too many different directions. I am studying Reiki, Shamanic healing, Native American culture and rituals, UFOs and many more subjects. It is hard for me to pick only one message, and go with it, I feel like I want to express everything at once. Fortunately, the canvas space limits me to expressing only one, the most pressing message at the moment, per painting. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I love the abundance of new art mediums and subjects! I love how accessible art became. Any artist anywhere in the world is able to show their artworks online. It benefits everyone, the artists get encouraged and inspired and the audience can enjoy a large array of unique art-works.

In addition, people are encouraged to create. Painting classes with / without wine, sculpting, pottery courses, therapeutic art workshops are popping up everywhere. It allows people to work with their hands, express their creativity and bring home something meaningful. It opens up people to appreciate art more. I dislike repetition in art; how many times can one stare at a red canvas and find it interesting? Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I am a big fan of anyone who puts emphasis on peace, compassion, love for each living being and our Mother Earth. To me those are the most important subjects not only for the artists, but for all people. We are in a really dire ecological situation, pollution and radiation poisoned our land, water and air. All living beings, including humans, are exposed to toxic waste, created by our species. It affects our health, consciousness and behavior. If we are planning to survive on this beautiful planet, we need to stop all conflicts, unite, and work together on taking care of the environment. Therefore, I would like to be compared to anyone who is working on awakening human’s collective consciousness and sharing the urgent message. I am not talking only about visual artists, but all artists, including writers, stand-up comedians, film makers and musicians. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in the woods of Vermont, thus no art scene here. The state of Vermont, although it is small, it is very loyal to its artists. It has a lot of art events; many Vermont businesses happily exhibit artworks of the local artists. I participated in several art-shows, talked to people and received very nice feedback. At the same time, we don’t have an abundance of fine art galleries and it limits one’s exhibit choices. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art has a multitude of purposes in contemporary culture: expression of ideas, decorative, healing or spiritual, adver-

tisement and many more. The main one in my opinion is to deal with the most critical issues society faces today. To me the main issues are the climate change, destruction of the biosphere, and as a result the 6th mass extinction. All these problems are caused by unconstrained human activity and disregard for our only home – planet Earth. Humans forgot that we all came from Earth, we are nourished by Earth, and eventually will become Earth. To poison Earth is the same as to poison our own bodies. We are already buying water in bottles, because there are no clean rivers any longer, in some parts of the world people are already buying air in cans. Is that our final goal – to charge for everything that Mother Earth provides to us for free? Shouldn’t this trend be stopped? Shouldn’t we become more spiritual and realize that we are not the only legitimate inhabitants on this Earth? Based on the above the art should help to raise spirituality and sense of connectedness to Earth and to the spirit world. It should gear us toward studying the indigenous cultures, which respected the Creator and treated Earth as a living being. Art might even inspire us to connect to our Star-Brothers and ask them for help. What are you working on right now? I am working on a new series called “Peruvian Downloads”. It is dedicated to the tribe of truth seekers, humble shamans, medicine people and the Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka). The series was inspired by my profound spiritual journey to Peru, where I had a chance to spend time with a beautiful group of people, exploring sacred places, connecting to the beautiful Oneness and absorbing the healing properties of Earth. I will be painting divine beings, who are watching after our beautiful planet Earth and protecting it. The characters will include: people, animals, birds, plants, spirits, butterflies, sasquatch, star-relatives and many more. My goal is to present Earth as our parent and home, and other life beings as our brothers.


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Profile for Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine no. 44  

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