Art Reveal Magazine no. 45

Page 1




The Nomad

Creative Projects

part 3 by Severine Grosjean

Houda Bakkali




The Art of Unity














































FEATURED ARTIST On the cover: Penda Diakite, Untitled from “Made in America” series, spraypaint x collage x acrylic on board, resin finish

More at pages: 12-17


DMZ Art Reveal Magazine

The Art of Unity PyeonChang Culture Olympics, 2018, the artist Riccardo Matlakas was invited to perform a series of works on the border between South and North Korea. Matlakas travelled alongside the korean Artist and director, Kim Baekki and the German artist Frederich Krauke. The Two European artists travelled to Asia to represent the support of the European Union bringing their wishes of unity to the country, with the hope of ending every conflict between the two sides of Korea. Matlakas, Krauke and Kim Baekki, travelled to border cities in the Northern part of South Korea by car from city to city to contribute to peace through their art. The tour ended in Goseong Unification Observatory in the DMZ area, in order to join all other Korean artists for the occasion of the DMZ art festa, directed by Yu Jin-gyu (유진규). The artists travelled and performed in three cities: Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea at the border of North Korea, Cheorwon Korean Workers’ Party Headquarters (철원 노동당사) and Goseong Unification Observatory (고성 통일전망대). The artists delivered a challenging body of work which will remain in the history of the Korean peninsula. Interviewing the artist Riccardo Matlakas we learned about his activity during the period spent in the DMZ area. Riccardo, told us that he performed three works: Sweet Thorn, Melting Borders, and Scratching Borders. The artist performed Sweet Thorn in South Africa, after a tour of Palestine. It is an iconic performance piece which has now toured around the globe in an attempt to claim freedom for all humans regardless of their nationality. However, on this occasion I would like to write about his two iconic works, which explore common themes: Melting Borders and Scratching Borders. Melting Borders was performed in Imjingak Resort (파주 임진각), near the former railway bridge which was used by repatriated POWs/soldiers returning from north Korea.For this action, Matlakas wore a metal frame on his head which held five ice-creams

with the colours of the South and North Korean flags. The Ice-creams slowly melted onto the artists’ face and white shirt, which becomes a new flag, as the artists states: ”A sweet Flag”, the flag of freedom from political borders. Another powerful work performed at the Goseong Unification Observatory (고성 통일전망대) was Scratching Borders. Here the artist created a mosaic mask, which he attached to his face. The artist was positioned before a painting of both the South and North Korean flags with the North Korean border visible in the distance. During the piece the artist took on the role of a boxer, but instead of boxing gloves the artists hands were wrapped in two very bright yellow pieces of sand paper. As the performance unfolded, the performer hit his own face, gradually knocking off the mosaic pieces (pieces of identity) which drop on the floor. Finally, Matlakas, frantically scratched the flag, as if he were experiencing a Catharsis. As the flags colours wore down, the word: “BARAM” emerged from under the paint, a korean word which means: The wind of hope and peace. The final outcome was the south Korean and North Korean flags united by “BARAM”. The observatory which was built in 1983, It’ s the nearest place to viewing Geumgang mountain in North Korea. The artist as a shaman linked the two countries energetically alongside the other artists on that day. A few months later North and South Korean leaders promised ‘lasting peace’ for the peninsula, which came as if it were a prize for the artists efforts.


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Houda Bakkali


This series represents the same woman in different stages of her life. The same woman who fights for freedom, who believes in freedom. An idealistic and pop woman who plays with color and beauty. Spring represents freshness and innocence, the sweet idealism. This illustration represents the strength of ideas that believe in an idyllic world.

Houda Bakkali, Spring, The three ages series, digital illustration and animation, 2019

Summer represents strength, energy, and color that can transform everything. The most irreverent, transgressors and rebels ideals. Autumn represents serenity and observation. Ideals endure, but with the skepticism of experience, with the wisdom and calm of age. This series represents the power of the color, the power of the imagination, the power of the beauty, the power of the sensuality, the power of the nostalgia, the power of the dreams, the power of the rhythm, the power of the culture, the power of the history, the power of the art, the power of the pop, the power of the women, THE POWER OF THE TIME.

Houda Bakkali, Autumn, The three ages series, digital illustration and animation, 2019

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Houda Bakkali, Summer, The three ages series, digital illustration and animation, 2019


The Nomad


Art Reveal Magazine

Creative Projects

part 3 by Severine Grosjean

Sandra Navias ( Colombia) Samuel Beckett said “We are all born crazy, only a few remain so” and knowing the work of young artist Sandra Navias, this question is not removed. Art and madness are a liberation of the spirit. Each describes a reality in its own way with its perspectives, drawn from the imagination. Since 2002, Sandra Navias, with polysemous work that exceeds the physical, evokes several cases of mental illness that exist in contemporary society: depressive personalities, victims of anxiety and dissociation. Create maps of the mind by relating certain mental disorders inspired by familiar experiences with your hair as raw material of your productions. It confronts states by bringing out the fragility of the human condition in full light. In an autobiographical work, Sandra analyzes neuronal, psychiatric or clinical diseases that affected members of her environment. In facilities, it represents the mental, physical and emotional imbalances that illness provokes. The physical and mental development of the patient disappears throughout the installation. It disconnects from a “normal” reality. For Sandra, hair has two meanings: time and disease. Time runs while the disease is nourished, grows until the death of the patient as the hair falls, announcing an organic change. These cartographies are printed inside the viewer as in his work “Taquipsiquia” (2006). On the wall, different forms appear representing the evolution

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of the patient’s incoherent thinking or in “Neissera” (2005) where the expansion of the microscopic evil in the Being becomes aware. Sandra Navias is an artist who puts her body and mind to the test, in extremis, as in her work “Room 25407” and “HCMC PIA GUEVARA” in which emerges multiple personalities. Sandra talks about Pia Guevara, a schizophrenia, which encompasses the characteristics of all the women in the life of Sandra and Sandra herself. In this installation, a room of isolation is recreated in which a psychiatric session of Pía is heard. A mental and physical self-portrait is collected. To reach this state of mind, Sandra becomes Pia through illegal processes, with the help of her family and friends. It has the capacity to separate itself in a second and create a parallel world, perhaps without return? It penetrates in the world of Pia thanks to Dr. Fernando Caicedo, dual personality of Sandra who makes us interrogate about the treatment that we give to the mentally ill. However, at the end of the installation some questions remain. Who is who? Sandra Navias is a creative researcher who, through drawing and installation questions society and her reality, but also the fear of contagion because “any illness is a confession to the body.” Sandra Navias makes a fragile, unstable reality appear, Abnormal in which each one is at one of its breaking points.

Maya Ines Touam (France) Maya-Inès Touam, photographer born in France of two Algerian parents, questions in her visual creations the feminine power in the Arab world and our representations of Arab-Muslim societies. This young photographer was noticed by her work on series of photographs on the perception of Arab women. Maya is a woman from the Maghreb who speaks and values these ​​ women with their stories and so many different beauties. The Arab woman is a woman with 1001 faces, far from clichés and stereotypes that we want to stick to her. The photographs of Maya-Inès are a collection of female stories in which the veil is at the center of this work. After placing an open call on social networks and newspapers, we are witnessing a Revelation. She reveals as much way to think the veil as to wear it. Maya-Inès works with her patterns and textures as she does with the silhouettes of these women. This series of portraits goes beyond the theme of identity or debate on communitarianism. Maya-Inès Touam represents the richness of a culture of which the woman remains the fundamental pillar. Everyone will look at these Arab women with the eyes of their own society and collective history. In an intimate and simple work, the photographer upsets the individual mental boundaries. Traditional object, the veil is the object-witness of an anchored heritage anchored in the societies of the Mediterranean basin and the Middle


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East. Not sacred or demonized, the look of Maya-Inès is devoid of prejudices. She encourages reflection. These photographs are a bridge nourishing a desire to transmit knowledge and her love of the East. Drawing inspiration from 17th-century Flemish aesthetics, in her new projects, she creates contemporary compositions from traditional but also more modern crafts. In her still lifes, she diverts objects from their meaning. Mixing fantasy with poetry, she mixes symbolic objects and everyday Arabic objects. She questions her symbols and reveals habits of consumption. Natural elements or artifacts, they anchor the composition of which they are the object in an identifiable temporality and geography. Through her compositions, staged and particularly aesthetic contemporary objects of everyday life, the young artist questions the cultural representations conveyed on the East and the West. Thus, Maya-Inès confronts at the same time that it makes visible a multiple heritage tinged with folklore. Her artistic project is born of a vision, concretized by a series of iconographic, semantic and symbolic research in the service of precise and balanced compositions. Through the staging of various cultural allusions, Maya-Inès Touam questions the predominance and the value given to the objects at the same time as she breaks down its symbolic power. She tries to question the representations of originality and cliché through objects that have a different symbolism on both sides of the Mediterranean. In this photographic archive, Maya-Ines Touam embodies the concerns of globalization.

Irene Fenara (Italy) Irene Fenara is a young artist who is interested in different means of expression, including video and photography. She is interested in the study of photography through the limits of image acquisition technology, Polaroid or scanner, for example. Photography has always fascinated her as a sculpture. In video installations as in photographic practice, hier interest is always centered on the idea of ​​movement in space and time and on the need for orientation that results from it. For that, she uses images bearing the traces of a movement, and reversing the points of view or generating situations of spatial disorientation. She uses disorientation to detach familiarity from what we see, to revisit from a slightly different angle. She questions what is taken for granted. Irene uses a certain visual sensitivity. Vision is a cultural construct constructed and learned more and more rapidly in the circulation and saturation of images of our time. The history of vision is inevitably

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linked to the optical and visual technologies that graft onto our eyes and transform their ability to see and thus to think. Irene Fenara’s artistic work explores the gesture behind every aspect of photography. She observes, investigates and interprets. In her work presented to art gallery Adiacenze “Se il cielo fugge”, Irene that changes the perception of space. She took possession of the space one after the other, one inside the other. She modified the real space by applying large photos then she made shots in the modified space to project them on the back wall. The video is a long zoom that traverses the entire space. The opposite and inverted view confuses the coordinates, the point of view is inverted and questions the spatial orientation points and the reference points. In her work “Ho preso le distanze,” Irene presents a work consisting of a set of side-by-side, four-leveled polaroids as a Cartesian plane in which the horizontal pattern represents space, then distances, positioning the photographs from far to nearest. It is an emotional work that is based on science. The project was born and developed from Edward T. Hall’s anthropological studies on the proxemics, which analyzes the distances mankind gives in communication and in its relations with others in society, and expresses them. She places under the photographic lens the reading of everyday experiences in a new light. Indeed, she tries to decipher something as abstract as love, affections and friendships thanks to a very precise criterion such as the measurement of space. She became a guinea pig by instinctively photographing friends, relatives and acquaintances, and then, only after taking the picture, taking measurements with a meter. She recorded all distances, dates and times. It is a project closely related to a precise temporality. Indeed, relationships change over time. The coloring of the different photographs also shows the succession of different seasons. This installation allows a true multi-level reading of the different aspects that determine the work.

Irene Fenara continues her research on the aesthetics of supervision and control, presenting a selection of images of surveillance cameras saved in a continuous stream that removes them every 24 hours. The images produced are often fuzzy, spoiled by a series of errors. She appropriates the tools of the contemporary world that guide and determine the way we see, even using images from surveillance cameras. An instrument is never a simple technology. This work is disturbing because it presents a world apparently without human being where she seems the only inhabitant. She sets herself on the scene absent from human life. She is the only witness. It’s the resistance. She fragments the world by deconstructing visual and spatial perception. “Accepting to be under constant surveillance shows that a new conception of identity is emerging.” (Will Self)

Penda Diakité

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Artist Penda Diakité grew up between her two homes in Mali, West Africa and Portland, Oregon. As a result, she meshes the vibrant colors and patterns of her Malian heritage with influences of her American urban upbringing. Penda graduated California Institute of the Arts, with a BFA in Film/Video and a minor in Cultural Studies. She is currently based in Los Angeles. As artists, I believe we have a unique platform to start and maintain critical thinking and conversation in a way that words cannot. My artwork is a reflection of my blended cultures; my pieces often illustrate a visual commentary on historical West African tradition and how it co-exists among popular media’s portrayal of people of color. My mixed media work is comprised of a mixture of spray paint, acrylic and paper collage (a blend of modern and classic mediums which reflect the traditional and contemporary theme of my work). Each art piece tells a story about identity and humankind.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I’m a Malian-American artist currently based in Los Angeles. My mixed media work is always comprised of collage, with a mixture of spray paint and acrylic; however I’m constantly adding other mediums such as sand, oil and inks. My Last Collection ‘Reflection,’ (2016-17) dealt with the idea of mirrors reflecting our souls, and the question of how we would react to our reflection in that case. Many of these works were collage portraits, made up of images of different aspects of us as human beings such as our material things verses the nature around us, experiences and thoughts. My latest collection “Made In America’ centers around the experience of people of color in the USA, and what that truly means: the good, bad, beautiful and ugly. Each of the characters in these pieces are collaged together with words and imagery that illustrate stereotypes, history, oppression, culture etc… I got into collage while at CalArts where I attended college for film and video through 2014. With a background in experimental film, I was constantly working with digital compositing (layering of video/video effects), and when I became tired of staring at the screen, but still had creative energy, I began developing a more tangible version of compositing: collage/mixed-media artwork. Being able to create and express myself by literally cutting and layering with my hands, was a newfound creative freedom. From there my passion blossomed and I began pursuing my artwork professionally alongside film. As a bicultural women who grew up between two different worlds (Mali, West Africa and Portland, Oregon), identity has always

been a theme in my life. I never fully ‘fit in’ with a community in either world, yet I belong to both: this is the only norm I know. I have two very culturally different perspectives on life, and what it means to be a human being in this world and I’m constantly expressing this knowledge through my art. I’m aware, however, that there is still so much to learn. My West African upbringing is a huge inspiration when it comes to my artwork. I’m always adding beautiful aspects of my Malian culture to my work such as traditional bogolan (mud cloth) patterns or the vibrant colors I see in everyday nature. I even try to replicate the movement of our dance and the vibrations of our music through color and texture. There is such a unique beauty in the land that I come from that I don’t see illustrated in the western part of the world - so I am illustrating it myself. I know I have a unique perspective and express that through my artwork: commenting on the world we live in and specifically the experience of people of color. I’m looking at the beauty of our history, culture, souls and also the struggle, pain and violence we endure. My artwork is meant to make one think critically about these issues, and look introspectively to see how we are positively or negatively contributing to them. My artwork is here for us to simply listen, and to learn about ourselves and others. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Like every job, there are challenges, however I feel blessed that my job is something I absolutely love to do everyday. It’s constantly changing, but I currently find balance to be the ‘challenging’ aspect of my work that I’m working on mastering. As an artist, I’m almost always in ‘creation mode,’ and as a creative, it can be challenging to transition out of that headspace and into a space of making sure

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your meeting important benchmarks and giving 50% to the business aspect of being an artist. If there’s one thing I’ve learned working on my art, it’s that perseverance, dedication and practice yields beautiful results; so just as I practice different artistic techniques, I practice balance and the business aspect of my work. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. Every human being is so unique that comparison something I steer clear of, but I definitely have artists that I look up to. I’m drawn to strong female artists, and some of my favorites that I very much relate to are Wangechi Mutu and Kara Walker. I was introduced to Wangechi’s work in college and had never related to artworks so deeply before. When I looked at many of her pieces, I saw myself, as I was seeing, in art form, the battle we wake up to everyday as women of color. This subject is not something we see enough in the art world and the world in general, yet I was working with these ideas in my film-work at the time. This inspired me because when I recognized how her work made me feel, I knew it was possible for my work to make someone else either feel the same or get a glimpse at understanding the life of someone different than them. I find this so important because if we all took a little more time to listen and understand each other, the world could be so much more amazing. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’m fairly new to LosAngeles so that’s something I’m discovering myself. Both of my parents are artists so I grew up in the art scene in Mali and Portland. Art is very ingrained in the culture in Mali, as music, dance, painting etc are part of everyday life. In the US it’s much different, as you’re part of an ‘art community’ as an artist, collector or art connoisseur. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Stick to what is authentic to you. It’s also important to stay conscious of the fact that art is subjective and not everyone will understand or appreciate your work. As an artist you have to be able to be ok knowing that your life’s passion won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. This is when authenticity comes into play. As long as you are authentic to the work that your making, and believe in the process and what you are saying through your work, it’s not relevant if someone doesn’t like it. If you are creating something that speaks to you, chances are that it will speak to someone else - that is what is relevant. What are your future plans as an artist? Continuing to create. I’m currently working on a new body of work, illustrating my favorite historical tales and myths that I grew up listening to in Mali. As the creation process comes to a close I will be announcing where that show will take place! The best way to follow my journey is through my website ( or instagram @thebeautifulartist



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Kristen Elizabeth Westport, CT, USA

My art in an expression of the world I see around me. I’ve drawn inspiration from life experiences, people and the visually intriguing. A large influence in my life has been my Grandfather. Exposure to his work as a professional fashion illustrator for Lord & Taylor has helped shape how I view the beauty and sophistication of that world and the one I live in. In my latest work, I’ve been inspired by the sea and the juxtaposition of structure. When you view these pieces I want you to be transported into the movement of the brushstrokes, dipping and diving throughout the canvas all while passing the tiny little details sprinkled along the way. As my Grandfather has now come to say - “It’s a feast for the eyes.” When I first started this series - I was working on paper and as of my most recent : I’ve jumped to 48”x90” canvas and boy is it a game changer. Using your whole body to move with the brush and experience the ride is a departure I’m truly grateful for. I strive to grow and experiment daily; and go where the wind blows me. I feel the wide range of focus in my work shows that. I hope you’ll check back and journey with me as I continue to evolve as an artist. When, how and why started your art practice? As long as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for art. I grew up in a very creative family and had practicing artists on both my Mother and Father’s side. My Grandmother was a true crafter & was constantly exposing me to a new and fun things. She dabbled in sewing, pottery painting, acrylics on canvas & wooden figures. I always knew going to Grandmas would be filled with creativity and endless fun. On the other hand, my Grandfather was a professional fashion illustrator who impressed upon me his love of art, color and design. Art lessons started from a young age and haven’t stopped to this day. At every family function, holiday or brief drop in - he is always passing along his knowledge and critiques - welcome or not! What is the most challenging part of being an artist? One of the most challenging aspects of art for me personally has been carving out the time and space for it. I tend to work best when I’m able to get into a certain zen headspace that allows me to dive in and become completely absorbed in my work. My husband and I own a children’s art studio in CT, and the studio where I generally work is actually part of my small business. This can make for a great working studio during the day but once kids are out of school- I have to be completely cleaned up wet or dry! Another challenge, as I’ve started working larger are the logistics of moving and storing large scale paintings (In a studio called SplatterBox mind you). As you can imagine this is not always the easiest. I’m hoping in time, to build a studio in my backyard & dedicate every inch of it to my beautiful mess! What do you like/dislike about the art world? One of my favorite aspects about the art world may sound cliche, but I really enjoy discovering new artists. I’ve found that Instagram is an amazing tool not only for inspiration but connecting with local or like minded artists. The fact that artists now


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have such an easy way to connect through technology is incredible, and I think really helps move along creative progression. Seeing how other artists approach and view this world is a motivating daily reminder to evolve and grow. As my Grandfather would say, “ ‘Arrested Development’ is an artist’s worst nightmare”. One of the more negative aspects of the art world would have to be the levels of pretension and over analysis that occasionally occurs. Art should be inclusive and for everyone, not just other artists or Art History degree holders. I strive to have my work provide something for a range of people. If you want to really dissect and analyze a piece, there is definitely a deeper meaning and story there. On the other hand, my work can also be appreciated simply on an aesthetic level, no deep thought necessary. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The area where I currently live is fantastic for local artists. There is a thriving community of supportive and appreciative fellow artists, as well as plenty of resources and events happening. It’s incredibly easy to connect with and interact with other artists. I’m excited to be currently applying to the Westport Art Collective made up of artists working in Fairfield County ranging from emerging to established and collected artists. Another great aspect of where I currently live is being a stone’s throw from NYC. I’m able to hop on a train and within an hour be exposed to the amazing museums and hundreds of galleries sprinkled throughout Manhattan. Another important aspect is that people in this area really appreciate and enjoy original art. This translates into people who not only understand the value and importance of art, but are willing to actually invest and become collectors. I believe connecting online is important, and I’ve worked hard to increase my online presence, but having face to face interactions with people about my art and seeing them experience it in person has been very rewarding.

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

What are your future plans as an artist?

One of the best art tips I have ever received, was from my Grandfather. He said “Create mystery, don’t give your audience the full picture, make them ask questions and wonder why.” This has been an important aspect when viewing my current work - I want each person to go on a journey. Dipping and diving throughout the larger composition - all while engaging with the tiny details and marks along the way. Every dot, paint scrape or splatter is there for a reason, and I hope that viewers will wonder why and how each piece arrived to its ultimate conclusion.

My future plans as an artist? Wow. It has been an amazing journey thus far and it’s been incredible to grow and evolve. I’ve spent the past year completely dedicated to building the foundation of a successful career in art and I’m excited to continue. I hadn’t considered working with a gallery previously, but as my lens has come into focus, it seems a natural progression and something I am excited to pursue. I really enjoy taking on projects, (which building a home studio will certainly be) and I believe that will become a treasured place that is invaluable to me. I’ve never felt more passionate and ready to go. I can’t wait to see what the future brings and I hope my art is able to reach more and more people!


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Jamie Hawkins Norfolk, England, UK

Jamie Hawkins is a 32 year old emerging artist living and working in East Harling, Norfolk, England. Via an abstract expressionist style, Jamie uses her art as a way to express and give voice to extremely strong, sometimes violent, emotions and feelings caused by a life changing sexual assault as an 18 year old. The attack left Jamie suffering from PTSD, which remained undiagnosed until four years later when she attempted suicide whilst four months pregnant. Jamie’s hope is that by bringing her art to the world, she will provide comfort and hope to victims of sexual violence, mental illness and those who face the constant, daily battle of depression.


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Tell us a little bit about your background and how that influences you. I grew up in South East London as part of a very close knit family. I’ve always been a very creative person and used to design and make my own clothing and was always looking for ways to express myself. I kept dipping in and out of various creative projects after becoming a mother eight years ago and in late 2017 a friend (who’s since gone on to become my agent) introduced me to abstract art and recommended that I try painting for myself. I haven’t looked back since. Past events in particular heavily influence my artistic style and how I express myself through painting. I’m someone who feels every emotion to a maximum level of intensity and until I found painting, it was something that definitely left me feeling frustrated. Now, I’m able to use my paint brush as a way of releasing my very powerful emotions and feelings and to portray that visually on a canvas. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The most challenging part for me is sharing my story with the world. After 14 years of hiding my story and my depression, to have that ‘out there’ definitely challenged me, both personally and professionally. My style of painting is also very physical and dynamic and so I can often be bed-ridden for days after I produce a piece. There’s also the fear of other people not understanding or ‘getting’ what my work represents. It can be a very painful experience for me, but it has helped me to face and tackle events from my past in a way nothing else ever has. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I believe it’s massively important as an artist to be original and to express what’s inside yourself. But in terms of awareness and taking art out into the world on a larger scale; I really admire what Jackson Pollock achieved by being a true artist, by putting 100% of his pure emotion into his work. That’s something i can definitely relate to. He changed the way the general public viewed art and their perceptions of what was possible. Feedback on my work so far has always been around the very real ‘emotional content’ and the raw expression of emotions. And so that’s what I’ll continue to do. How would you describe the art scene in your area. I’ve lived in the Norfolk area for the last five years and I would describe the scene as very vibrant, albeit very traditional and fine art dominated. There’s very little by way of the abstract, or modern art, scene here. It’s strange in a way, but I’ve received a far better response from the bigger, London-based galleries than I have the smaller, local ones. But I’m hoping to be the catalyst for change locally and to expand what the art scene displays in my area. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? My agent, Bam Douglas, has always encouraged me to be myself and to follow my instincts as an artist. To not be afraid to fail and to appreciate that true artists take risks that aren’t always immediately understood by the wider art scene. As a result, originality is a core value of mine and something I always make sure to retain in my work. My family and friends also tell me to “keep painting!” even when my depression hits and the fear of failure starts to kick in. So yeah, keep being myself, keep painting and never give up. That’s the best tip i’ve received. What are your future plans as an artist? I want to keep working closely with the charities I’m involved with and to be an ambassador of value to them one day. To be a key part of the process of change that removes the stigma of depression and mental health issues. I also want to bring abstract expressionism to a wider audience and make it relevant in the art world again. To have viewers emotionally connect with this type of art and see the beauty in transcending traditional styles and techniques. And of course, to be displayed in more galleries and other exciting locations that maybe people aren’t expecting. I’m very lucky to be able to pursue my dream as an artist in addition to being a full time mummy.

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29 Art Reveal Magazine

Joe Hedges Pullman, WA, USA

Joe Hedges is an intermedia artist who has developed an expansive practice that weaves together oil painting, new media, web art, installation etc. His projects often employ the visual language of the scientific experiment and the archive while exploring the effects of digital technologies on human experience. Hedges has lead community-based mural projects in Ohio and Washington, as well as exhibited internationally in South Korea, China and Croatia.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I grew up in a small farm town in Ohio. One good thing about growing up in a small town is that there are few distractions. I lived in my own world and put much of my energy into my art. At a young age I discovered the small joy of taking apart my electronic toys and figuring out how they worked. Once I staged (what I now know to be) an art exhibition of all these found objects, mostly electronics, on a neighbors fence. I also loved to draw. I loved the thrill of translating the three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional surface. I had three younger sisters and some good childhood friends who encouraged my weirdness and

accepted me as an artist. I always knew I would spend my life being creative. I am still doing a lot of the things that excited me when I was ten years old. I guess I peaked early! What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Showing up and doing the work. I think for all artists, sometimes it can feel like nobody’s paying attention or that people do not appreciate what you are doing. The tough thing is to keep going despite this, and know that there are people out there that do understand your practice and your goals. I am fortunate to have worked within communities of artists that support each other, but sometimes it can still feel like a lonely pursuit.

Art Reveal Magazine

In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is everything. The impact of art on our daily lives is vastly underappreciated in contemporary culture. Everything, from the clothes I am wearing to the Macbook I am using, has been influenced or created by artists and designers. Even the font on your screen. This has sadly resulted in not only a lack of support for the arts, but often a downright hostility toward the arts. As a preference for non-artistic fields has taken hold in academia, politics and in American culture at large (codified by the acronym STEM), I sometimes worry that we are losing sight of the way that the arts animate every aspect of our lives. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am fortunate to teach art at a research university, Washington State University, in Pullman, WA. This means I have tremendous liberty to develop innovative curricula and to work with students and colleagues who are also heavily engaged with artistic pursuits and problems. We have a brand new museum of art on campus, and three galleries in our building. Between these activities there’s a lot going on. However, WSU is in a relative rural area, a college town in a sea of wheat fields known as the Palouse. This means the contemporary art scene does not extend much beyond the campus. On the upside, it also means that there’s not a lot of pressure for me to be at different openings every night, like


there would be in a big city. Still, there is a lot going on in nearby Spokane. I would describe Spokane’s art scene as quickly growing. Even in the few years that I’ve lived out here, I can see clearly what an exciting time it is to be an artist there. There are pop-up spaces and a lot of people just trying to make shows happen in a DIY way. Because Seattle has become so expensive, a lot of artists are starting to realize that they can do the same kind of thing but far cheaper in Spokane, meaning more studio time and less time making espressos for tech people. Overall there’s a real wave of creative energy happening out here in eastern Washington state, and I am fortunate to be here. Name three artists you admire. Robert Rauschenberg, Francisco de Zurbarán, Tim Hawkinson. What are your future plans? I have a lot of solo exhibitions coming up this year including shows in San Antonio, TX, Missoula, MT, and Loveland, CO. This will be the busiest year of my career as a visual artist so far, so I am hoping I can stay on top of things! I am excited though, as this to me means things are heading in the right direction. I am hopeful that I can continue developing this body of work combining painting with new media, and keep doing bigger and more ambitious projects and exhibitions.

Juliet Hillbrand Houston, TX, USA

Art is my air. I didn’t know that picking up a brush would lead me to this journey, but my world has completely been transformed by color. I know that my calling is to create emotions through canvas, and I love others projecting themselves into my artwork. I think art has the possibility to heal, and it is a craft I will spend my entire life faithfully dedicated to.

When, how and why started your art practice? Art really found me by accident. I used to marvel at people who had a gift for art, never believing that I could make anything beyond stick figures until I was nearly 20 years old. But one day I was inspired to create something. I remember looking at my first piece like, “Huh... that’s actually not crap!” I didn’t even realize at the time that it would become such a beautiful part of my identity to create. Up til then it was all notebook doodles and bathroom door scribbles. It’s been a whirlwind since then, having created nearly 300 pieces, participating in over a dozen art shows, and selling hundreds of pieces and prints. Just last year I worked on about 15 Custom paintings and I love watching my passion grow more and more each year. Art has become my air and I really don’t know what I’d do without it. It’s the creative elixir that can make me happy like nothing else. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I sometimes wish the canvases could interact back with me the way I interact with them. I used to be so much more emotionally involved, throwing my pieces across the room when I couldn’t get it right the first try. So tangled up in them instead of just loving the process. And don’t get me wrong, it can be fun to burn a piece or break it in half, just to release that part from yourself. But I’m much more patient now than I used to be. I’ve just seen it happen so many times that you have to experiment. Repeatedly. And listen to the piece, follow its curiosities and where it wants to take you. You’re not always in charge and I love renouncing that control and ego anyways. Through the grueling work of trial and error, the truest magic can happen. Sometimes it’s immediate and natural but sometimes it takes work. Almost like you’re chipping the piece from stone. The most challenging part for an artist can be seeing the vision in your head but not always being able to bring that to life as easily as imagined. The image can be there so clearly but when it comes to translating that to canvas, to reality, everything is fair game.


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What do you like/dislike about the art world? To end on a positive, I’ll say my least favorite thing about the art world is how status can be perceived as worth. There are so many talented people who don’t get recognition because they don’t know how to make connections. You can be the most talented artist in the world but if you don’t know how to talk to people, it won’t get you far. Likes and shares can be perceived as likability and none of that amuses me. I share my art because I want to. I think you have to keep it a safe space like that or you’ll lose sight of what makes you unique.

What I love most about the art world is seeing the talented voices of the world in sheer expression. The way art can resonate with the deepest parts of us is one of the most beautiful human qualities there are. It can bring back a memory, a home, the voice of a loved one, a place you once loved, or a feeling you forgot you felt. Art can take on powers like a wave of nostalgia rushing over you in sepia tone and honesty. Everyone is an artist in some way. The chef is an artist of food, the director is an artist of storytelling, and the artist is some kind a vessel for human emotion. We all have a unique way of seeing the world that no one else can experience or be the visionary of. Only you.

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How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in the Houston area is certainly better than most but I think it still has some room for growth. It’s moving in the right direction and I am so excited by how many creative souls are getting woven into the mix. I think younger people are less afraid to speak up than older generations, and we want to change the game to something we can all believe in. I’m not the kind of artist that thinks my success equates to anyone’s failures. I would love to see a platform where we could all collaborate and celebrate each other’s talent and voices. Another good option nearby is Austin, where I think their art scene is quite a bit more eclectic than ours. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Some of the best creative wisdom I’ve heard is from Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s a definite life Guru of mine and I adore her ideas. She brilliantly says, “creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results - the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.” Another great thinker that I admire is Duncan Trussell. If you do nothing else today, look up his YouTube on sinking into what you are. It’s about how we all avoid the darkest parts of yourself but sometimes diving into that headfirst is what gets you to paradise, to “Eden” as he calls it. Inspiration is the kind of power I will always need to cultivate for myself. Constantly and as essentially as water. That hunger will never stop for me. What are your future plans as an artist? My dreams as an artist, silly as it may sound, would be to save the world in some small way with my art. I would love to find a way to donate to bigger causes like saving the ocean or I’m very passionate about animals. If I could promote my art in a way that gave a voice to something bigger, that would fulfill me deeply. I want to connect with as many souls as I can while I’m here. Someday I also have a day-dream about loading up a truck with all my art and driving across the whole US. I’d do pop-ups in places like the squares of New Orleans, beach festivals, city festivals, art in the parks, where-ever the wind takes me. My ultimate goal is to be a full-time artist and take this beyond just side-hustle to round-the-clock life passion. I firmly believe the only way to be happiest in this life is if you’re living your truth. Don’t be afraid to go out and find it.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Jennifer Lothrigel Lafayette, LA,USA

Jennifer is an artist, poet and intuitive healer in the San Francisco Bay area. Her work is informed by her personal and educational background in spiritual and holistic healing. Jennifer is inspired by the endless beauty and wisdom she finds in nature, the fragility of being human, and the capacity to mend the fragments of one’s life that hold painful experiences and memories. Jennifer received her Holistic Health Practitioner Certification from The Natural Healing Institute and is certified as an Expressive Arts Practitioner through the Expressive Arts Institute. She is also certified as a Holistic Life Coach through The Spencer Institute. Additionally she completed a year long apprenticeship in Shamanic studies with an emphasis on Soul Retrieval and Divination. She is a certified Master Herbalist & Clinical Nutritionist through the Natural Healing Institute, a certified Aromatherapist through the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, a certified Massage Therapist through CNI College and is also certified as a Reiki Master. She has additional training in Voice Dialogue and dance/ movement facilitation.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. My background is in alternative, spiritual and holistic healing modalities. I have a diverse body of training in expressive arts, energy medicine, shamanism and other spiritual practices. This informs my work in that, I see photography as a tool for inner transformation. When I personify and express for example, pain that is held in my body (which I captured in my photo ‘Forlorn,’) it brings light to inner darkness. This is alchemy to me. In my training and work as a healer, I learned the importance of exploring what is unresolved within the spirit or the psyche of a person and finding out what it needs in order to heal. I learned how to mine inner darkness for its rich treasure and integrate that treasure in a conscious way. This allows more light to be present within. I feel that the same thing happens when I approach photography this way. If I express something that is hidden in my unconscious, it makes it visible, it integrates it in a way that allows for a greater sense of wholeness. One of the photos in this series titled ‘Kali’ was an exploration of my inner protector, or the part of me

that does not allow connection because it feels too dangerous. When I embodied this part of me, I gained fierce respect for the way I had taken care of myself for so long. I believe that by allowing expression for this part of me, it can soften and allow for a more gentle way of living in my body. I think engaging photography in this way creates more room in my psyche. Photography is a spiritual practice for me. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Staying true to my own authentic expression and not being pulled away from it by what is currently popular is sometimes challenging. I have to continually turn the part of my brain off that wants to compare my work to what seems to be valued in our culture. I continually reel myself back to my own center. The only way I will have failed is if I am not true to myself, to my own unique soul. If I do that as best as I can, that is all I can do. Remembering that I am not in control always liberates me. I do hope that what I create speaks to others since it was born from such a raw place within me. Creating work that is a pure expression of my soul requires fierce practice.

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Tell us more about the “Psyche” photographic series. This series of photos is an inner exploration of my psyche. I am continually engaged in personal healing work and these photos were created alongside my therapeutic process. They were all created intuitively, focusing on the expression of my body and my relationship to the place where I was taking the photos. So often, the place itself has so much input for my creative process. My process is very spontaneous. In my photo ‘Red Goddess’ I felt drawn to the red fabric but had no idea what I would do with it. I had in mind a beach location but had no idea what I would do there. I saw the row of cypress trees and felt inclined to cover my body with the fabric and dance in the row of trees. The wind picked up and I discovered that I could make interesting forms inside the fabric as I moved. The photo arrived all on its own it seemed. My photos often happen this way. In your opinion what does photography mean in contemporary culture? Photography in contemporary culture allows us to see the endless


ways that people express their relationship to the world and each other. It allows us to witness so much more of the world and each other than we otherwise have access to. This has the power to remind us of our interconnection, our shared humanity. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I moved to the San Francisco Bay area 4 years ago so I am relatively new to the art scene here. From what I can tell, it is inclusive and a highly valuable facet of life. It seems that art is in everything to some degree here. Name three artists you admire. It is hard to choose only three. Louise Bourgeois, Imogen Cunningham, Marina Abramovic. What are your future plans? To keep making art that is meaningful and essential to my spirit. I’d like to engage in more collaborations as well.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Victoria Lova Los Angeles, CA, USA

I was born and raised in Russia where as a child I studied classical dance, music and visual arts. Later on I was admitted to Moscow University where I studies linguistics and also continued to perfect my creative abilities. I graduated from the University with MA of Arts in Education. I pursued my artistic passions through my whole life and cannot imagine my life without deep involvement in a creative process. As I said earlier I studied ballet as a child. When my family immigrated to the US in 1991 we came to Los Angeles. After the initial culture and language shock, couple of years later I found out that there is Vaganova Academy in Los Angeles.Vaganova is a famous Russian ballet dancer who created Vaganova syllabus in the beginning of 20th century, one of the most famous and well respected ballet techniques in the world, the technique of St. Petersburg ballet. I was very lucky to be admitted into the Academy where I studied with the best Russian teachers, the soloists of Kirov (St.Petersburg ballet) Svetlana Epifanova and Marat Daukayev. After graduating from the academy I moved to Boston where I worked as a head ballet coach and choreographer for two major dancing companies for almost 7 years. After completing my contract I returned to LA. I think that education is very important. I was very lucky to have great teachers and instructors, I’ve learned a lot from them and used the knowledge and skills I acquired from them though my whole life. But it’s also important to remember that education doesn’t stop when you graduate from the University or college. I’ve been out of University for many-many years but the learning process has never stopped for me. I consider myself an eternal student. I learn constantly. The world has changed a lot. I used to be a more classical artist when I was younger, yet today I mostly paint in a modernistic style. It requires a completely different vision and a completely different approach and understanding. I find this transformation very interesting, amazing and sometimes even breathtaking. My point is that the education is more within you than outside of you. If you have passion within yourself and a desire to pursue it you will always find the way to satisfy your hunger especially in the modern world with infinite possibilities.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine

What is the most challenging part of being a painter? Oh, there have been so many... Every artist faces challenges pretty much constantly. You have your inner dialogue all the time. For me personally, as a woman, it’s always hard to be emotionally balanced. If something happens in my outside world it immediately affects my inner peace and my creative stability. For me the biggest challenge is maintaining this balance to the best I can. My inspiration always comes from within. My thoughts, my experiences, my reflections, prayer, meditation... I am a deeply spiritual person and I always felt like a middle person, someone who just delivers the message no matter what I did throughout my entire life. I always feel very humble about my work. If somebody likes my work I’m very grateful but I never feel proud because I feel that I wouldn’t be able to create it alone. My other source is Nature, I like to observe things and later use my observations to create a beautiful background by mixing colors or paint a simple subject. We are surrounded by beauty, we often just don’t notice that. Trees, sky, water... Simple things, they are around us all the time.


fascinated by the opportunity modern art offers to artists. Of course, like with everything, some people resonate with one style while others favor something different. It’s absolutely normal. I love blank canvas. Blank canvas is one of the most fascinating things in my life. Blank canvas is a dream, infinite possibilities and an amazing story telling, a mystery, an opportunity to tell the world who you are and how you feel at this particular moment. I’ve been painting for over 30 years and I always feel extremely excited when I unwrap a canvas and put it on an easel. This moment is never dull! It brings so many emotions to the surface - joy, doubt, fear, excitement, anticipation... And also my working arsenal has evolved greatly over the years. As a classical artist your “vocabulary” as a creator is very limited - easel, canvas, paints, brush. That’s all. Modern stylistic allows you to expand your world tremendously. I still use easel for some of my work but most of it is done either on the table, hanging on the wall or even lying on the floor. I always prime my canvases. And I use all kind of different materials to do that - molding paste, glue, newspaper, tissue paper, and even ground coffee to name a few. It allows me to create very interesting effects on canvas. I do still use brushes, mostly flat large ones but I also incorporate into my work different palette knives, sponges, fingers, and lately spatula which I absolutely love. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? As an artist and as a person I’m trying to follow one rule in life - BE YOURSELF!

Name artists you’d like to be compared to.

What are your future plans as an artist?

I don’t like to be compared to anybody for every artist is a very unique and special force that was formed by a myriad circumstances and experiences. Nevertheless I have artists who I consider to be my teachers and endless source of inspiration. I would like to name just two.

To be honest I don’t have any plans. I just paint. Simply because I can’t live without it. It allows me to express myself and it makes me happy, brings a lot of joy and light into my existence. The fact that I can share my art with the audience is a huge honor and privilege and I hope my work fills their hearts with love and warmth. That would make me even happier.

I have my two favorite. I can’t favor one the other - Vincent Van Gogh and Marc Chagall. Very different yet both very dear to my heart. One is a tragic genius, unrecognized during his lifetime, died at 37 (suicide), and the other - enlightened genius, lived a very prolific artistic life, was recognized all his life, worked literally till his last day and died very peacefully at the age of 97. Their work is always a source of endless inspiration to me. I love looking at their paintings, I read everything written by them and a lot about them. My two favorite art movements are impressionism and modernism. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in my area and everywhere else nowadays, in my opinion, is very diverse. Modern art is incredible because it allows people to express themselves freely using all possible approaches and tools. It doesn’t limit, it doesn’t create any boundaries, on the contrary, It gives a complete “carte blanche”. And the greatest thing about it is that there is no “right” or “wrong” in modern art unlike classical art when things are supposed to be done in only one particular way. That’s why I’m


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Min Lu New York, NY, USA

Min is a conceptually driven graphic designer whose work is inspired by her dreams and emotional states, which she abstracts into an subjective viewing experience by emphasizing line, color, and form. She is also interested in exploring connection between the traditional Asian art and western modern art. By blending the Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics together, new connections can be made and an enhanced appreciation or awareness can be achieved. When creating her work, she uses various mediums including mixed media and a combination of digital imaging and graphic design.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I am a New York based artist who has been creating a variety of art forms throughout my life including graphic design, painting and drawing. I have a MA from Columbia University and has spent time in both United States and China to study art. Being able to have the exposures of both eastern and western culture has profoundly affected the artworks that I make, driving me to create artworks that I hope touches people everywhere. What leads me to the world of Art? When I was little my parents taught me to do the paper-cutting. Paper-cutting was not only a kind of handcraft, but also a piece of distinctive visual artwork. It had abundant means of artistic expression and shows exquisite elegance and luxuriant cultural implication of China. It is a traditional thing which Chinese people do to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The red paper-cutting is a symbol of joy, luck and happiness – I truly believe it – as it leads me to another whole new world - the world of art. In 2008, I moved from China to United States, a geographical transition which leads me to explore the connection between the traditional Asian art and western modern art. Many of my artworks have the color sense and formal principles of western paintings, but a spirit and tonal variations of ink that are typically Chinese. By blending the Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics together, new connections can be made, and an enhanced appreciation or awareness can be achieved. Working as an artist has brought me into contact with a wealth of outlooks on the world and introduced me to a vast range of truly differing perceptions, felt ideas, and knowledge. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.” For, certainly, all my past experiences have made me the artist I have become. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The most challenging part of being an artist is being creative and the most difficult part of the creative process is in letting it happen. We tend to want to control where our minds and thoughts go. But in letting go and following, instead of leading, we may find more than what we were looking for.

I was often guilty of thinking hard when it comes to being creative. But thinking will only get you what you know, not what is possible. So, there comes a point in the process where you have done everything you can, have thought and considered, and then you need to let your mind take a break and see what happens. It’s not by mistake that some of the best ideas come when you’re in the shower, or driving the car, or occupied in something else rather than trying to come up with an idea. Once

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you distract the mind by doing something else, you essentially let go of the control, the mind will run with what you gave it, and you may see extraordinary results. But letting go of the controls can be a challenge for many artists. It’s part of the process, everyone learns it sooner or later, and it’s a blessing when the awareness finally comes. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. I think art means inspiration, sharing, motivation and the power to stimulate social change in contemporary culture. Sharing: Art represents one of the few areas in our society where people can come together to share an experience even if they see the world in radically different ways. In art, disagreement is accepted and embraced as an essential ingredient. Art can make us more tolerant of difference and of one another, expand our notions of we, and show us that individual engagement in the world has actual consequences. Motivation: I believe that one of the major responsibilities of artists is to help people not only get to know and understand something with their minds but also to feel it emotionally and physically. By doing this, art can mitigate the numbing effect


created by the glut of information we are faced with today, and motivate people to turn thinking into doing. Social change: Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Society is facing a lot of different problems all over the world today, but art could be the perfect way to come up with solutions to these problems. After all, art is a way to inspire others while also becoming inspired yourself. How would you describe the art scene in your area? In NYC, life moves fast. Scenes come and go. But artists have always been there to document the city’s rich creative tapestry, past and present. There’s no shortage of things to look at when you’re walking down the streets of New York. But the city of skyscrapers is also full of amazing street art everywhere you look, brightening up abandoned storefronts, turning corrugated gates into canvases, covering entire city blocks and adding even more color. A head-turning gamut of wheat-pasted posters, pop art, street installations, sculptures and massive wall murals can be observed from Manhattan’s new mural district to Brooklyn’s iconic Biggie Smalls portrait and the Graffiti Hall of Fame in Harlem, this is the best street art in NYC. It’s important to understand the history of art in order to have perspective on contemporary art and New York City is without a doubt the art capital of the world. Name three artists you admire. Claude Monet: Masterful as a colorist and as a painter of light and atmosphere Hayao Miyazaki: A masterful animation creator and storyteller – he illuminated the film and animation industry with his fantastical stunning imagery and emotional narratives. With Miyazaki you get nature and you get moments of peace, a kind of rhythm that is not in the animation tradition so much. Wu Guanzhong: A contemporary painter of Chinese origin. He has painted various aspects of China including much of its architecture, plants, animals, people, as well as many of its landscapes and waterscapes in a style reminiscent of the impressionist painters of the early 1900s. What are your future plans? I am working on the series “24 Solar Terms” The series embodies the concepts of respect for nature, and harmony between man and nature. The illustrations present the solar terms through traditional Chinese graphics and elements (e.g., pomes) which in turn educate people about such intangible cultural heritage. Another project is the “Type Specimen Book” - The illustration will demonstrate the typeface’s humanistic, natural, ancient and humble characteristics. Spreads including: brief history of the typeface; showcase all the letters in uppercase, lowercase; identifying and illustrating parts of the typeface; highlighting specific characteristic; visual illustration. Hoping to create art that touches people and help people not only get to know and understand something with their minds but also to feel it emotionally and physically.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Diana Malivani

Limassol, Cyprus

The Artist’s creative journey began at birth: Diana Malivani was born on the coast of the Black Sea, bathed in the riotous profusion of the colors of the Caucasus. Diana’s paintings reflect her soul, her love for music and nature, for an infinite variety of melodies and sounds, for shades and colors, for all that nature creates: the rustling of wet leaves and the first rays of dawn, the roar of the sea surf and the scent of a flowering meadow, the flight of screeching gulls and dewdrops on a blossoming rose... As she draws flowers and depicts landscapes (the principal themes of her artwork), deals with marine subjects, creates abstract compositions, and transfers music to canvas (the Artist’s main project bears the name «Seeing Music»), Diana strives to share these feelings with others, to share with others a part of her soul. After many years spent in Russia and France, Diana now lives with her family in Cyprus. Diana is always in the mood to create: this happy inclination and impulse arise spontaneously within her and form an integral part of her life. Nature, for Diana, is the best source of new ideas. A walk along the Mediterranean coast, contemplation of the high crowns of the eucalyptus and palms against the background of the setting sun, and the boundless southern sky create the illusion that the surrounding world is inexhaustible and limitless: this is what fills the artist with energy and inspiration. Diana believes that it is very important for a human being to be in harmony with self and nature. Only then is it possible to commune with all the beauty of the surrounding world, hear the murmur of the trees and flowers, be in touch with the music of waterfalls and torrential rain, and sense the breath of the sea and passing clouds. The creative process, this special magical world in which the artist is submerged, is invariably accompanied by music, which has always occupied an important place in Diana’s life. Listening to classical and modern music, she is transported to a special realm where different images and pictures appear, sometimes just bright splashes of color responding to each other, which the artist then tries to transfer to canvas. Diana’s artworks reflect the images evoked in her soul as she listens to music. The Artist believes that painting and music are interconnected by special deep inner ties having the same foundation as the diverse manifestations of life. Diana who by her training and profession, is a Doctor of Medicine (M.D., Ph.D.), is convinced that painting, like music, can heal spiritual wounds and help people find their own life paths.


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When, how, and why did you start your practice of art? My creative path as an artist began at birth: I was born on the shores of the Black Sea, awash in the profusion of colors of the Caucasus. I remember that, since childhood, I was attracted to what was beautiful, and paintings evoked my particular interest. I loved to look, hour after hour, at pictures by the great Russian masters, peering intently at the smallest details of their work and dreaming of one day repeating those visions. Like any child who loves to draw, I always had brushes, paints, and pencils on hand. Gradually, the simple hobby of drawing turned into a kind

of mania for painting: “no day without a brush”. Painting is my special world, bringing me joy, satisfaction, and happiness. For me it is important, above all, to live in harmony with myself, because a part of the artist’s soul remains in each painting created. Each work reflects the artist’s attitude to life, to nature, to everything in his or her surroundings. It is precisely painting that helps me find beauty in everyday life. A painter looks at the world with “fresh eyes,” like a child seeing something for the first time. This allows me to see what others do not notice, and to draw familiar objects in a special way. The

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artist can see, feel, and think in a special way, and the task of the artist is to bring a small part of his or her world to the viewer. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? For me, painting is an incredibly fascinating and interesting world. We live not only in a world of objects, a world of things surrounding us; we live, above all, in a world of thoughts, in a world of ideas. Art is always an opportunity to experience the unprecedented, to go back in time, to replay and redo things anew. A painting is an experience of what did not happen, or of what could have happened. Art is a self-developing phenomenon, the most complex mechanism ever created by mankind, a mechanism through which we find ourselves. The power of painting lies in the fact that it gives us choices when life does not. One viewpoint considers contemporary art to be dangerous. But painting is not a school book or a moral guide. In our time, the time of freedom of choice and tolerance, people are free to choose the kind of world they want around them. For me, painting is a special form of thinking that begets life. Painting is a living organism possessing energy and emotions. When creating a picture, a new story is created, to be read by the viewer (the viewer is co-author), and each person will have his or her own story. A picture by the hand of an artist (not a printout on canvas, not the work of a computer) is not autonomous in itself. It all depends on who is looking at the picture, and the neurochemical processes occurring in the brain in the particular case (I say this as a physician). This is “first person experience”, or “it seems to me that ...”. The evaluation of a picture occurs at the level of sensory perception; feelings that cannot be described in words arise somewhere deep in the subconscious. A person either perceives and accepts a work of art on some powerful level or rejects it, finds it alien; simply speaking, does not understand it. What do you like / dislike about the art world? I am happy to realize that there are far more opportunities for people in the contemporary world, even compared to relatively recently, to come into contact with art in some form or another. And this is extremely important, since it is art, and painting in particular, that forms our brains from a medical-biological point of view (we are talking about the establishment of neurogenic, neuro-sensory connections), and also affects our souls, making Man an inspired being. I do not like the fact that quite often the hand of the artist is replaced by digital painting, computer graphics; that the participation of a living person in the crafting of art is replaced by the work of computer technology. I also do not like it when art is replaced by pseudo-art in the form of, for example, scattered garbage bags, smashed crockery, rusty plumbing, etc., which can be found in well-known art galleries and international exhibitions. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I was born in the USSR, grew up in Russia, spent several years in France, and now live in Cyprus. It is well known that both Russian painting and the work of French masters are highly valued in the art world. It was the Russian and French impressionist schools that influenced my creative work. As for Cyprus, I was impressed by the general atmosphere in this area. I mean the relationship between artists and art lovers and collectors.


The latter are many; they enthusiastically and sincerely support their creative compatriots, by their attention, by their kind words, and, of course, by acquiring their work. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I received the most valuable advice from an artist who appeared and gradually grew in my soul, that is, from myself. It is the advice to always be yourself, never follow the market, and always go on your own path. What are your future plans as an artist? Time is valuable, art is eternal, and life is short (in Latin: “Ars est longa et brevis vita”). I often think about how many pictures could be painted, and try not to waste time. Therefore, what plans can there be for the future of a person who paints pictures every day? Certainly, to paint even more, creating new art projects, arranging a celebration both for myself and those who want to participate in it. Create, create, create...


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65 Art Reveal Magazine

Cora Rose Nimtz New Orleans, LA, USA

Cora Rose’s work challenges ideas of sexuality, feminity, and the future landscape of the American South. Post- apocalyptic lanscapes depict a life somewhere between dreams and reality.


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social economic class of the artist are confounded. Yet, I do love the artists that break through this or forge a different path for themselves. We are seeing more artists of different backgrounds and galleries and platforms dedicated to highlighting their work, which makes this a very exciting time to be practicing art. How would you describe the art scene in your area? New Orleans breaks the art scene mold in a lot of ways. I think because the city boasts that it is a hotbed for creativity, it actualizes this. There are galleries on Julia Street and Royal street that bring in artists from around the country and world. There is also a myriad of galleries on St Claude St that make showing work for emerging artists tangible. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received?

When, how and why started your art practice? Like most artists, there was no clear beginning to my art practice. I have been creating art for a long time and was encouraged as a child. My practice intensified when I moved abroad to Guangzhou China, where I studied calligraphy and taught English. The loneliness I felt led me to look for ways to express how I felt to people back home, while soaking up all these new experiences. Using social media while abroad became an important incubator for my art practice. It was a way to see what messages became clear on the other side of the world. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Not waiting for inspiration to come to you, but actively creating the space for new ideas to blossom. I think there is this fallacy that inspiration just hits you at any given time, and constantly. Inspiration can come in an epiphany, but it is more likely to come through discipline. I think this work can be really draining for a person. There is so much of yourself, emotions and time, that go into creating a piece of art. It can feel cathartic, but there is a lot that leads up to that moment. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I recently read about the study by Albery- Laszlo Barabasi and the trajectory of artists based on the galleries they show in for their early exhibitions. The WSJ article was titled “The Surprising Formula for Becoming an Art Star” but I didn’t find it too surprising. Artists that show in 400 of the most powerful galleries early in their careers are essentially guaranteed a successful career. Maybe I am too much of an idealist, but I find it frustrating that art and the

Nobody shows their bad work. Which is not advice, but more like grounding perspective. I think it can be overwhelming seeing all the amazing art that is constantly being produced. Remembering that I won’t see all of the failed pieces of other artists, helps me focus on myself and allow myself to take risks that may not turn out the way I wanted them to. What are your future plans as an artist? I plan on working on a larger scale, and some larger concepts. I am interested in reimaging some classical mythologies within my world of post-apocalyptic swamp femmes. You will also be able to see my work at the Other Fair in Brooklyn this spring.

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Lais Sambugaro Sao Paulo, Brazil

Laís Sambugaro is a Brazilian filmmaker and visual artist. Her work focuses on the human body and its experiences: its forms, possibilities and shapes through dance, fashion, colours, lighting and movement. Always with a feminine perspective, she explores sexuality in its most natural forms, from eroticism to androgyny and to motherhood. Grow up as a girl is never easy, but in Brazil it’s even harder. Most girls grow up disconnected from their bodies because of the tabu that surrounds them. I want to show that nothing is more powerful than an woman’s sexuality. Nothing is more powerful than her vital energy, her raw and vibrant power that is contained inside her feminine body. And that this power is yours, and only yours, and you are entitled of it.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I’m brazilian, born and raised in Sao Paulo. Being part of a developing country was an important way to understand who I am, and what my art is. I’m in the most privileged class in Brazil, a country known for having a gigantic social abyss. And so, I was able to consume everything that is put as “desirable” in the global market. And, for having access to the globalized products and ways of life, you feel like you are part of the developed countries. But I am not. I’m from Brazil. And for the last years I have been trying to feel what’s my place in my society, what can my art embrace from my culture and what does it mean to be a young woman in a developing country. To understand womanhood is one of my main goals. Being a woman is all I ever knew and all I’ll ever know. I try to focus on the human body and its experiences: its forms, possibilities and shapes through dance, fashion, colours, lighting and movement. With a feminine perspective, I explore sexuality in its most natural forms, from eroticism to androgyny and to motherhood. Even though Brazil’s aura is extremely feminine and maternal, we repress our origins, our mothers and our women. I recently wrote a script for a shortfilm called “Amnion”, that talks about motherhood. It originated from a photography series where I was my own model. It begins with the following phrase: “The break of the sea against the rock it’s the shrapnel effect. The bursting of the mother’s waters shatters the amnion and causes birth. The water storm acts upon the lethargic, upon the unmoved and disturbs and shapes and changes and creates.” I feel humans are so

frightened with the question “where do we come from?” that sometimes we forget that we all came from a womb, from a mother. We came from our mother’s ocean, with no exception. I feel motherhood is such a delicate and intimate subject and we keep denying women the possibility of choice. Every two days, a woman is a victim of unsafe abortion in Brazil. Because we are uncapable of remembering our roots. I first got in touch with filmmaking through a teacher in high school called Ricardo Lourenço. He was an admirable man, young, and had a way of connecting with the students. He was the first person who ever told me that making films and video in general could be a way of living. He made me realize the importance of having someone in your journey as a teenager that presents the possibilities that can emerge through art. Sometimes, we forget how instinctive it is for us to create art. As children, we love colors, the textures of paint, chalk; we love music. We need to create circumstances and find breaches in formal education so that we can connect with this creative intuition. But the reality is very different. I was very privileged to have a teacher like this when most public schools in Brazil are deteriorated. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I think that in a cultural level, it is extremely hard to be an artist in Brazil because we don’t even have proper education. We don’t present art to our children in a formal way, as a subject to be studied. We deny them the possibility of art. Most of our population don’t have proper health care, or education, so how can we understand the value of art? But most impor-

tantly, we are deliberatly choosing not to invest in our culture. We have just elected Bolsonaro as our president, a military man who despises art, culture and critical thinking. The rise of extreme right brought a paranoia where artists of all kinds are now “marxists”, “leftists” or “corrupt parasites”. It is very hard to believe in your own work in an enviroment like this. For most of our population, to have art as a living it’s something unthinkable. We fail to understand that art enriches people in all levels, it makes you creative, kind, courageous, it makes you know yourself and your culture. Being an artist it’s being honest with yourself, being truly honest, and embracing your deepest flaws, because those are the things that touch you the most and, at some point, they’ll ask to be in your work. It is important, as artists, to hear our deepest fears and concerns. To be an artist means you produce art. Nothing more. So, even if you can’t make a living out of it, you’re still an artist. With that said, it is extremely necessary to build an industry that can give artists a decent life, a role in society and respect. Art is not just fuel for human soul, it can be an actual industry that contributes to society as a whole. In Brazil, Bolsonaro has just extinguished our culture ministery, which saddens me deeply. If I find it difficult to be an artist professionaly, imagine a child who has no money, no education or life expectancy. We lose a lot as a country. There are thousands of paths that died before they were even born. Art can be whatever you need it to be, a hobby, it can be politics, a therapy, a mirror or a way of exploring language. It can be something you do for pleasure, or to feel pain. But we need,


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as humans, to create something. It is in our origin. Today, we are in such an “ultra everything” world, that we cannot close our eyes for a while and instigate our imagination: ultra sweet food, ultra colorful ads, ultra orgasmic pornography. There’s no room for creation, for reflexion, for imagination, for fantasy. As Byung Chul Han says, we can’t close our eyes, there’s always something distracting us, calling for our sight. Each day, I realize how art and sex are connected. Today we are so numb by all the ads, social media and pornography that we cannot experience sex. We need perfect bodies, extreme porn and violent sex to satisfy our thirst, and we are too anesthetized to fantasize, to perceive our smell, the sounds around us and the tenderness of touching someone else. When you create something, you unleash your capability to imagine. You work with your senses in ways you are not used to, expanding your perception. That makes you understand your sexuality and your relations with other humans. It makes you courageous to try new things.

Tell us more about the “Supernova” film. Supernova is a shortfilm inspired by the fashion and videoart world. To grow up as a girl is never easy, but in Brazil it’s even harder. Most girls grow up disconnected from their bodies because of the tabu that surrounds them. I want to show that nothing is more powerful than an woman’s sexuality. Nothing is more powerful than her vital energy, her raw and vibrant power that is contained inside her feminine body. And that this power is yours, and only yours, and you are entitled to it. I came with the idea for the film through a dream. It is so hard for us to define things now, concepts, words and behavior are changing fast and life is more fluid than ever. But to have an orgasm is still a ravishing experience. It’s something that brings us to reality and make us feel in touch with the present, which can helps us to control our anxiety and overthinking. When we say that nudity must be demystified in contemporary Western society, we mean that education about the

human body needs to be more open and honest. When confronted with a child sexual manifestation, which happens sooner or later, we must openly educate children about sex, since human sexuality is one of the most majestic aspects of the construction of our personality. What usually happens is that when an adult has to deal with this issue with a child, it is usually with a tone of repression, or physical repression in fact, or with threats. What does this shows? That sex is, in fact, something forbidden, a taboo, something that should not be named. What remains for this child, therefore, is to discover sex and human sexuality alone. In many cases, without proper care, protection, guidance and through risky situations. Or to learn from the pornographic world, which teaches them to mistreat women, that male pleasure is more important, teaching an ideal of a malefic body, banality of love and interpersonal relations, and for women, that being abused is natural, that her body serves male pleasure, that there is only one kind of sexual act, that pain and suffering are intrinsic parts of sex.

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Demystifying nudity is also about educating children to understand and have power over their own bodies. The taboo, sexual repression and shame are so great that many women today do not look in the mirror unclothed, who do not know whether their genitals are healthy or not, don’t recognize the signs their bodies present to them (menstruation, disease, pregnancy, excitement, etc.). There are still women who do not know how to reach orgasm, how to touch or what the clitoris is. In order for us to get healthy adults, it is necessary to educate children to be comfortable with nudity, who are not ashamed of their own bodies. Sex is something powerful. It is the interaction with another human being. Even sex without great intimacy, which can turn out to be very positive. Yet, it is a process with beginning, middle and end. Pornography is a staging, which takes you directly to the middle of the process, with no beginning or conclusion. It’s just a fragment. In your opinion what do film and cinema mean in contemporary culture? I feel that film and cinema nowadays are spread all over us. In the past, people wen to the movies, a specific physical location, and they watched a film. Today, films are all around us, all the time. It is diluted in several micro points. Of course, the cinematographic industry is still strong. But it has never been so easy to make a film. All that glamour that the cinema once had is in decay because the concept of video is rising. People today can barely


watch a full movie without texting. How many videos we see a day? In our phones? We, as filmmakers have a choice to make: we can pretend this is not cinema, or we can explore the infinite possibilites that our phones and our videos have. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I think the art scene in my area has challenges to face. The world is entering a very conservative period. Brazil is on the verge of the most reactionary phase since our dictatorship. We have to prevail and believe in our own work, and in our potential. I personally feel that we have a lot of amazing artists emerging. I see plenty of young people, like myself, blooming and we need to keep it up. And I think we can’t see each others as enemies, because your triumph is my triumph. We need to have our back because, if we don’t, no one will. Name three artists you admire. I’m going to say Gleeson Paulino, an emerging brazilian artist; Criolo, an amazing brazilian musician, poet and rapper and Ben Zank. What are your future plans? My future plans are to try to mature my work one day at a time, explore the language and keep growing. I want to be able to contribute to my country’s culture.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Patrik Ševčík Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

I was graduated at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica in 2009 – Department of Free Visual Arts. In 2005 I was study at the Department of Graphics at the Sztuk Pięknych Academy in Warsaw. In 2009 I defended my dissertation at the Department of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica. Currently I work as a special assistant at my alma mater – at the Department of Graphics and I am the leading atelier of graphics and visual production. I live and work in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. I work primarily with text in my work. My text-based installations and digital printing are mostly quotes, apropriations or visual interpretations of the texts found. I also works with found and adjacent objects that move to new contexts. Within the conceptual and post-conceptual strategies of contemporary art, sometimes in its creation there is no material form of the final work - the more important is the idea conveyed by the text. I often negate, erase or lets go away or make them unreadable, while pointing out empty things and phenomena. I involve various social, social and political themes as well as the influence of the media on our everyday life. In recent years, I have been producing monotype and silkscreen printing.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


When, how and why started your art practice? I am interested in art, human creativity, intellectual environment, the artistic insight... The first contact with art came in my childhood when I drew and painted a lot, just like many other children. But art is not just about drawing and painting. Therefore, I think it was important that I was also interested in how things work. As a child I often took toys apart and also created things from various materials. At the secondary school of civil engineering I was more dedicated to music, but even during that time I created the logos (brand) for bands and designs for T-shirts and EP covers. Later I felt the need to have direct contact with fine art. Art has power, that is how I felt, and so I was looking for it and devoted my free time to studying, creating and preparing for university studies. I studied at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica (SK), which was a young school and perhaps therefore more open to experiment and the contemporary art scene. During my studies I also took part in training mobility in Warsaw (PL) in Multimedia Studio. I have mostly tended to graphic art, but I also work with conceptual art. In 2009 I completed my postgraduate studies and now I work as a teacher and a head of a studio at the Academy of Arts. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? It is very difficult to generalize here. Personally, I feel a natural need to respond to things around me. From the point of view of production, it is sometimes difficult to find the most appropriate way of expression, and it is also associated with the criticism of one’s own work. It is challenging to create something that is not boring or naive, to create a work that has its own qualities and is also interesting for others. From a different point of view it is important not to stagnate and not to stay along the beaten track (cliché). Also, you have to believe in what you are doing. Being an artist is a lifestyle, sometimes with an uncertain future. It’s hard to make a living just by doing art, so if you want to be an artist, you have to be convinced of it and be able to identify yourself with it. What do you like/dislike about the art world?

feel it follows trends, but also observe mature artistic performances. When we talk about the region in which I live, there is an art school and also a faculty of education with a focus on art education and art is also being developed in peripheral environment where artists create and organize various artistic activities and residences.

I am glad my work is also something I like. Do you know the feeling when you enjoy something and you want to work in that area? That is exactly how I felt; I wanted to be an artist. I like when I can express my own opinion about things around me. The world of art is difficult but fascinating at the same time. It is full of creativity, ideas and skillful realizations... it is inspiring. New works of art are created every day and you can only be fascinated by the creativity of the authors, the ability to see things differently. Somebody enjoys sport or science, I like art. I feel good in this environment even though fine art is not as popular as acting or sport.

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

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

I want to continue creating. There is no other way around it. You either enjoy it or not. It has to come natural. But when it comes to particular plans we are currently preparing collective exhibitions of graphics in Slovakia and Poland. In the summer I am going to attend the graphic art biennial in Portugal. I want to cooperate more closely with institutions and organizations, create and present my work more.

If I look back into the history of art in Slovakia, after the fall of the Iron Curtain we have come closer to the world art. Slovakia is a small and conservative country. The public is learning to accept various current forms of art. The work of artists is diverse and equivalent in the context of world art. You may

I do not have a specific tip, but I have learned that it is important to stay active. Experiment and work, try new things, new approaches, be interested in the world around you, have an active mind and work on yourself … this provides freedom in creation and satisfaction. Get inspired with good and high-quality art and look for new ways of expressing yourself. Another tip responsible approach, and then much depends on luck... What are your future plans as an artist?

Kristina Shook Los Angeles, CA, USA

Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I am a mix of different cultural identities. When people ask me what I am, I simply say “I am made up of all the parts that are New York City.” I was photographed from 1-18 by photographer Melissa Shook (my mother). During college, I was photographed by Elin O’Hara Slavick. I have been an art model for several prominent painters. The depth of the human voice is a chorus of souls speaking out loud. And there is always poetry in the human soul. This series explores the voices I have overheard or encountered on public transportation and in public places in three cities over the last seven years.


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Tell us about your artist background? I grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan into an artist community of photographers, painters, sculptors, jewelry designers, and jazz musicians. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I’m a new emerging artist having spent the early part of my years focused on acting and writing I don’t have a list of challenges at this stage. What does art mean in contemporary culture? It’s always changing and transforming. I believe the drive and the pulse is always to examine what’s happening in the world, to ourselves, to our Identity, or culture and to explore those in an artistic landscape. Describe the art scene in your area? Los Angeles has a booming and exciting artscene. I think it would surprise more people to know that the West coast has such a vibrant pulse within the artistic community. What’s the last art book that you read? That’s easy. The Artist Spirit by Robert Henri. Name three artist that you admire. The first artist would have to be my mother Melissa Shook. She photographed me from the ages of 1 to 18. She influenced Sally Mann to photograph her family in a documentary photographic style. She’s also a skilled sculptor, drawer, and potter. The second is Diane Arbus. The third is Tracey Emin. What are your future plans? I actually have my next two series mapped out that I’m going to continue to explore through performance photography, both personal, current and relevant issues.

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Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Sasha Sokolova Moscow, Russia

I was born into a creative family and knew from the start that I would become an artist. My grandfather was a professional painter trained in the classical Soviet system and he taught me drawing and painting from the time I could hold a brush. We used to go out together into the field and I liked to explore nature using my pencils and paints. He was a strict teacher which at the time I didn’t like but I appreciate that now as the discipline was an important balance to my artistic nature. At the same time I was studying music so I was brought up to understand harmony and to love art. As well as studying the classical multilayer techniques of watercolour painting and drawing, I also did courses in miniature enamel painting, mural painting and etching. These painstaking activities taught me to love and to develop detail and that is still a feature of my work today, whether working in oil on a large canvas, or a simple sketch on a train. The excitement of new landscapes, cities, and cultures have inspired me to capture my feelings from these travels, especially the colours of Southern Europe, and the rhythm of daily life. These days I focus on oil painting, both in the field as my grandfather taught me, and on return in the studio. I am happiest with my backpack of materials, sitting on a rock or in a corner out of sight, observing and recording these moments. Born in Moscow in 1990 into a family of artists, Sasha Sokolova was accepted into the Sergey Andriyaki School of Watercolour and Fine Arts in Moscow aged nine and won scholarships from the V. Spivakov fund and Young Talents Fund. In 2005, she graduated with honours and in 2015 completed a Masters of Fine Arts at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. Recently selected as one of the artists to create the first fully painted feature film “Loving Vincent� and the only one from Russia.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I’ve been painting as long as I can remember. I guess many kids did different things but I was always painting or drawing something. From my childhood I was fascinated by the colours of felt tipped pens, pencils and paint. Always something based around realism, trying to capture a moment or feeling. Grandpa started teaching me when I was 4. He was a State Artist of the Soviet Union with very strict art education at that time in Saint Petersburg. More serious practice started when I was 8 or 9 when I was accepted in the watercolour school. It was a good environment to be surrounded by people like me because I felt lonely and too different to other kids in my normal school. I spent there 7 – 8 years studying watercolour, history of art, enamel and etching. From the age of 15 my granddad started to teach me more complicated techniques in oil painting and then I discovered a different world. From my first brush strokes I knew I had found my media (but I still like watercolour, I just think of them as two completely different things). Oil painting gave me more freedom, and I found new opportunities in painting. Watercolour felt too limited. I think media should reflect your vision of the world and it was exactly how I saw it – bright vibrant and dense (not transparent like in watercolours). Then I was in university and being creative and interested In many things like costume design for cinema, jewellery; I was still looking where to stop for making a career. But painting was something constant that I was doing in the background even when trying other things. The career of artist was something scary for me. I didn’t know what steps I needed to do to become a successful established artist. I knew it was very difficult (not to paint – but to make living doing that), and the process of developing is very slow. But I couldn’t not paint so I took a risk. I don’t think there are any short cuts or secrets, you need to paint a lot and work hard and of course you need some luck also to be noticed, and to sell works. It’s not a simple path. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? I think the business/commercial side, at least for me. I would rather not have to do any of that but that’s the real world. The most difficult thing for me is to find the right relationship with people in the art world, with galleries suitable for your art and people who can really appreciate it because it’s full of people who want to take advantage of you as an artist. Also finding your style to be recognizable because I can see beauty everywhere and its very difficult to select what to paint. Too many things are interesting me. On one hand you try to be consistent and on the other hand you keep changing and exploring. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Perhaps from my background, or training, I appreciate art that is made with pure talent and skill. I dislike the rest. I can understand that’s not everyone’s idea of art, but I can’t pretend to like something just because someone says it’s cool or a current trend. Also, the art world is a lot about contacts and who you know and for me it’s very hard as I’m very introverted and I find that all very exhausting. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Developing. A lot of young talents but not enough galleries and buyers. Sometimes I go outside of just the Russian art market but I am trying to focus on Russia because I want Russia to develop its modern art culture because it will be much easier for all Russian artists. We have a lot of very talented people there. But with the financial crisis of recent years it’s difficult at the moment. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Inspiration comes while working; if you don’t have a clear idea just start and see where your practice leads you. Be lead by your painting.

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And less can be more. Don’t overwork a painting. Sometimes a single brushstroke can be the difference between a masterpiece and just another painting. What are your future plans as an artist? I am currently preparing another exhibition, based on the series you see here. This is a new direction for me from what I’ve done before. My objective here is to create modern images using the heritage of traditional techniques, combining realism and simple, almost abstract forms. I’m trying to catch the mood of those sunny summer days in my dacha (country house) in a small village outside of Moscow. The energy and feelings of the carefree happy times of my childhood, and I think a lot of Russians can relate to that. It’s really such a simple thing, we built this modest pool in our yard but it really became the main attraction to all our neighbourhood friends (and animals!) Everyone was dragged to it like a magnet, gathering around the pool. I wanted to paint a series about this pool, that power, and the


energy of that season and moments. It’s proven to be very popular. You know, we have many grey and dark days during the year in Moscow, winters can be long and hard, so summer is a really special time you make the most of. It always feel too short! I wanted to preserve these memories and this way I can add colour to people’s lives all year round. I chose blocks of vibrant colours with energy to really stand out, as well as a kind of transparent/translucent bikinis. The scene is charged, the energy goes through you. It’s like the girls are so into the joy they are experiencing, that they merge with the environment. I believe colours are a very strong tool as you can affect people’s mood, so I tried to influence by colour without adding too many details to the background. To say more without saying a lot by using simple effects like gradient and straight lines, sometimes a simplified water texture. Creating mood with colours – summer, joy, fun. I hope it works. After that, continuing travelling the world for new experiences and inspiration from different countries’ art (galleries and museums). I don’t think I will ever tire of that.


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Art Reveal Magazine


Mico Pavlovic London, England, UK

Project: BALANCE / BALANCING AT BREAKING POINT Why balance? Because nature’s aim is stability, which isn’t necessarily growth, which can be excessive, disturbing and irrational. The alternative to balance is imbalance and destruction. Project: RISK A visual responce to T.S. Eliot’s dictum: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”


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When, how and why started your art practice? I was born in Boka Kotorska, Yugoslavia, and grew up in the town of Herceg-Novi. I am a self-taught photographer with no formal photographic training and was first introduced to photography by a high school friend as an after-school activity. Over the last thirty plus years, my photographs have been featured in solo and group exhibitions as well as in books, leading photographic magazines and artist catalogues. Since 1989, I have lived and worked in London. Photography as a visual art form has always intrigued my mind and senses. Probably my fascination with colours was an additional culprit. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? An artist faces many different challenges, but the first one that comes to mind is patience and resilience in the face of rejection of your artwork, if it doesn’t correspond to current trends and imposed stereotypes. The artist’s work is, like it or not, at the mercy of tastes and the opinions of others. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The prevalent attitude that “everything is art”. Is it? How would you describe the art scene in your area? I have been living in London for the last thirty years and during this period I’ve witnessed the extraordinary journey of photography, from a peripheral to an omnipresent and respected visual art form. Galleries are welcoming photographers, photo festivals are very popular and attracting visitors from all over, the variety of photography publishing (books, magazines), etc. London is certainly one of the photography capitals of the world. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I’m not quite sure whether I received it or articulated it myself: Be sure to distinguish between art and the art industry. What are your future plans as an artist? One or two new projects are in the pipeline, apart from that I need some time to grapple with gallerists.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Steve Perrault Harrisburg, PA, USA

I have been featured in national magazines including The New York Times Magazine, ARTnews (twice), American Art Collector, and Southwest Art, to name only a few. I have been a finalist in The Artist’ Magazine’s annual “Best Art” competition for an unprecedented nine straight years. I was the subject of a feature on NBC Dateline television program. I am in collections around the world, including Academy Award Winning film director William Friedkin and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. Art is what breaks through the surface of the mind to end up on a tangible surface of another kind. Art-making requires an insight that something within a person is beckoning. I was painting the style and content and of my works before I could tell myself what I was doing or why I was doing it. The unconscious realm is eager for a befriending when we are persuaded to listen. My education and life experiences were the origin to my “listening,” resulting in the visual and intentional “surface” of my art. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I entered Catholic seminary at age 17. I hold an undergraduate degree in philosophy, graduate degrees in theology, clinical psychology, and art education. I’ve journeyed through numerous professions in my life: Catholic religious life, jail chaplain, juvenile corrections forensics, psychotherapist, educator. Living in delib-

erately unrefined small spaces. Working in purposely confined spaces. Teaching in spaces lined with open and closed minds. Places of positions. Stations of situations. All spaces of purposely defined walls, windows, and thresholds. I was, and am, magnetized by the character, impressions, and symbolic significance of physical structure. As American artist Georgia O’Keeffe said, “…everything is form.” I agree. Expanding this recognition, forms are a symbolism that represent a meaning much deeper than their participation in a visual context. Light has always been the hero in every one of my paintings. Light symbolizes illumination in a metaphoric perception. Symbolism helps create meaning in a work of art. My experiences inform my paintings with a unique socially relevant iconography. My paintings provide a visual language that encourages a sense of order and stability. Yet beneath each image lies a deeper conversation about the perception of structure as metaphor. I create min-

imalized passages of inside-outside space, lightness and darkness, containment and expansion, screening and focus, unity and division. These characteristics and dualities are mediums for personal meditation. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The biggest challenge for a professional artist is commercial compliance—reconciling the realities of the current marketplace. Balancing the need for salability in the art market verses personal artistic freedom. Most galleries are businesses, and thus, are profit oriented. To stay viable, larger galleries must be entrepreneurial and cater to the tastes of the public. Due to the growing cultural pursuit of ever expanding visually stimulating experiences, the art business has become little different from the fashion, automotive, or electronics industries, to name only a few. The famous aphorism, “Give the people what they want, and they’ll show up,” is the unquestionable truth.

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In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? John Dewey, American psychologist and educational reformer, remarked that, “Art is the most effective mode of communications that exists.” The arts provide a profound platform for promulgating encounters that express, inquire, question, and inspire. The world is changing rapidly and only becoming more complex, and thus, increasingly more stressful to navigate. Art can play a critical role in enabling people to SEE what is happening around themselves and within themselves. Art, like all methods of education, is about transformative change. For the artist to bravely address this charge requires being a true seeker for a reflective understanding of the realities of the influences on, and of, popular culture and contemporary society. A comprehensive definition of aesthetics is a thoughtful evaluation of the value and meaning of the arts. This characterization of art reaches beyond description or representation. The ultimate question asks: if works of art have nothing to say, why should anyone listen? It is useless. Artists of creative integrity are not interested in trend-obsessed popular culture. Art is advocacy. Viewing art is an invitation to an inner life. Invitations are often ignored. Popular culture is extremely difficult to disassociate from. Acknowledging this, it must be reminded that genuine art leads one to face oneself. What are we seeing—or not seeing—in our window to the world? If art is to relevant in contemporary culture—and not just mere decoration —it must address the matters that reveal the reality of the culture and attempt to bring it to our attention. You can’t “think outside the box” until you see and question your boxes. A critical diagnostic opinion of one’s culture may be unfavorable, but if so, it is even more significant and essential for learning about humanity and oneself. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in the Capital of Pennsylvania. Not a large city, but there is a historically important and clearly appreciated art-based identity to the location. This is a community that values how it is perceived. The arts have a long history of connecting itself with the populace. Alliances between artists and arts associations with government and business interests are appreciated, dependable, and visual transformers of the how the region views itself. Name three artists you admire. A highly influential and revered American artist for me is Edward Hopper. Perhaps no artist has captured the isolation and alienation of the individual within society better than he. His snapshots of 1940’s American culture is, in my mind, even more meaningful in today’s seemingly necessary—thus unavoidable—technological advancements.

It is near impossible to be distracted from the symbolic decoding of the works of Chinese artist Ai Wei. His entire body of work attempts to draw attention to social problems around the world. Art—not words or numbers —can touch and move us to become aware of something we perhaps have not paid attention to before. Art asks us to STOP and see. Art is an alert. Does the extreme influence of social media venues truly make us more correctly, consciously social? Architects are artists. The best architects don’t just conceptualize and build structures. They create involvements that invite and encourage awareness and change in culture. These concerned architects attempt to address the challenge of being socially responsible via the structures we LIVE in. What are your future plans? I consider myself an historical descriptor. Artistic representations are historical “documents” that help us see the world as it truly is. Art speaks a language that supersedes the hundreds of spoken and written languages on this small planet. The artistic language cuts across cultural, social, racial and economic hinderances, hopefully—if the viewer is paying attention —leads to deeper understandings of ourselves and the culture we dwell in. I will continue to create engaging works that provoke this challenging, but also essential thinking, and strive to optimize the reflections on the realities of the impact of contemporary everyday life.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Joanna Pike Fayetteville, AR, USA

This body of work explores the connection between familiar objects and strange places. As an interdisciplinary artist, I focus on common and readily available materials. References to both carefully curated model rooms and ordinary domestic objects merge into a space that is bizarre, yet recognizable. Each installation provides an uncanny version of reality using modified facsimiles of everyday items. Nods to specific design elements, such as patterns from mass produced dinnerware, tug the version towards reality. From the outside, the scene is a still life, each piece placed specifically, devoid of personal identity. By entering the installation, the viewer becomes a part of the make-believe world, and for a moment, accepts their place. Yet, their unrehearsed movements indicate their awkward interaction within such a precise setting, and they retreat, filled with relief on returning to the real world. Joanna Pike received her BFA in ceramics at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has attended residencies across the US and Canada, including the Archie Bray Foundation and The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited in a large variety of venues, including New York Design Week, Pewabic Pottery, and the shop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It has most recently been featured at the Delaware Art Museum and District Clay Gallery in Washington DC. She is currently pursuing her MFA in ceramics at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I grew up in a family that enjoyed making objects. They do carpentry, quilting, knitting felting, books making, cut paper, and even spin their own alpaca yarn. The importance of handmade objects was instilled in me from an early age, and the idea that value comes from the time, effort, and love, has been an important lesson to keep in mind as I continue to develop my own methods of production. My love for making objects stems from the encouragement of my family, but the content is derived from my own personal experiences or current interests, and is mostly a combination of seemingly disparate influences. I enjoy the puzzle of fitting strange combinations together in one body of work. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? There are two difficult aspects to being a practicing artist. The first is finding a balance between life, work, and studio. To truly “have it all” doesn’t mean having equal parts of everything all the time, a happy and fulfilling life takes careful balance to avoid stress in any one area for too long. I find it very helpful to surround myself with loving people who believe in and support me. The second aspect is maintaining a critical eye towards my own work. Most of the time, I work by myself and can only rely on my own truthful opinion, or that of close friends, so developing an objective view of my own work is crucial. Apart from physical and mental distance, I find that writing, in particular list making, is an effective tool in objectivity.

Tell us more about the “Real Place” installation. Real Place is an uncanny version of reality. Inspired by stores such as IKEA, I created a space that the viewer could view from the outside, then step across the threshold to become part of the work. Truthfully, Real Place is neither a home nor a store, thus making it very confusing to be around. There are so many extremely specific, yet clashing aesthetics that it is devoid of any particular personal identity. This visual confusion makes it feel foreign and inhuman. The materials create another layer of separation, as nothing is made of what one would expect. A large, soft sculpture masquerading as ceramic vase sits next to a table with acrylic bookends covered in marble print adhesive paper, which sandwich books made of cardboard and hot glue, and all of this sits atop a table cover painted to look like a credenza. It’s almost believable from far away, but up close it’s obvious that the whole thing is somehow both real and fake. The viewer must choose to believe in it or not. And yet, among all of the bizarre nonsense there is a small wink of playful humor, because no one should take this sort of work too seriously. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Contemporary culture can be entirely overwhelming. Art today operates in many ways – some works are made for sale, others for the experience of viewing it, and some just for the pure joy of in process. Each type is equally as important, although I am often concerned by the power of the art market in driving artists’

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ambitions. Artists may be influenced by anything, even the most mundane topics, and in its own way art should be challenging, comforting, rational, illogical, serious, and humorous, and more. These are all important aspects that aid in creating a culture rooted in both critical and inclusive thought. Art stimulates the imagination and allows the viewer to see the world from a different perspective. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I spend my time in two different cities: as a graduate student, I spend the schoolyear in Fayetteville, AR at the University of Arkansas, and my permanent home is in Philadelphia, PA. In some respects, these two places are quite similar. Both areas have a diverse range of artists who are working to shape the future of the field. With these forward-thinking demographics, I hope to see more overlap

in the art and craft communities. Both groups have a lot to learn from each other! In addition to the wide array of people, there are also great museums and other resources in each locale, though the local culture is very different in Philly than in Fayetteville. Name three artists you admire. I tend to pick specific pieces or bodies of work, and not an artist’s catalogue as a whole. Do Ho Suh’s architectural work has fascinated me for a long time. His use of sheer fabric creates such enticing and delicate installations, allowing me to imagine them as daydreams. Wies Preijde’s installation, titled Tegendraads, had many woven panels depicting interior spaces with strange perspective angles. It created a simultaneously engrossing and disorienting experience. Alex Schweder’s Vacation Practice makes me laugh, which is often a good sign. He worked with


a local travel agent whose customers had a hard time picking a vacation, and they set up scenes so the potential clients might do a trial run and see what particular type of trip would suit them best. The photos are hilarious. What are your future plans? I plan to continue travelling to new places, some for residencies, and some for exploration. Experiencing newness, whether it’s travel or people, allows for continual development in my studio practice, and I notice when I’ve been stagnant for a while. Diligent research is also an important part of an ever-developing mind, which includes reading, watching videos, and trying new methods of production. Other than this, I’d say my plans are fairly open, so it’s a matter of staying active in my community and making the effort to expand beyond my comfort zone by taking calculated risks.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Yuma Takaishi Tokyo, Japan

What is a memory? What aspects of memory can and cannot be recorded? I explore the wonders of human memory through my work by creating ambiguous looking objects that stimulate the spectator’s memory in different ways. I aim to create a unique method to preserving present culture and technology. It started from my fascination with memory and the concepts behind it. The word “memory” has two meanings: to “record” and to “remember.” To “record” means to accurately and permanently preserve using some form of technology- whether it is in the form of movies, photos, writing, sculptures or paintings. To “remember” is to install a certain memory to the brain through the three steps of memorization, retention, and recollection. By using the brain as the (technological) device, an ambiguous perception and information is recorded intuitively. Sensational and impressional information can be stored, not only language and images. In the creative process, I informatize the uncertainties that are constructed from the center of my own sensations from my memories and experiences, then process, construct and determine the idea for my projects. To transition these uncertainties from my mind to physical mediums like sculptures and paintings, I slowly ladle out these vague and dynamic entities that reside in the inner part of my memory. Once physically expressed, suddenly the instability, uncertainty and impulsiveness turns into a “recorded” existence. What was uncertain was forcefully turned into something certain, and it vividly asserts its certainty. I attempt to dismantle this contradiction, using various technologies and materials, by creating uncertainty from certainty that also was once uncertain. Applying physical form to the various moments of memory. That is how my art can contribute.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. When I was a student, I used to think, “Screw artists!” I put emphasis on functionality over beauty, in my interest of architecture. Entering the crafts department of Tama Art University, my goal was to create things that were functional, and ultimately work in the architectural field. However, I started to become serious with art fifteen years ago, when I was fifteen years old. In high school I learned pottery, then as a student at Tama Art University, I learned about various materials such as wood resin, and specialized in glass. For me, it was not about the technique or skill, but rather about the material. At first I handled materials experimentally by following a manual; however, through handling various materials, I realized that there is memory in materials. Materials vary in what they become according to the small differences in their environment, like how a drop of water wants to become a spherical shape, or how liquid seeps through small crevices. In order to sublimate these phenomena into art, I started to manipulate and limit the process, creating my art. The root desire for my creation is to put my imagination into reality. As long I can see it in reality, it does not

matter what method I use, or who creates it. I just needed to create them myself because nobody else will. In my third year of university, I attempted to transfer to the architecture department to pursue expressional beauty. However, due to problems with curricula, I was informed that I had to start over from first year. Since I did not want to do that, I instead decided to pursue architecture for my masters degree. However, when I was in my final year of undergraduate university, my perception changed drastically through participating in art festivals. I was stimulated by artists who used space freely, in towns or in nature, as opposed to architects who can only use space in a structured manner. For example, Rei Naito uses the toshima art museum solely for her art. If that isn’t luxury, I don’t know what is. Stimulated by art like these, I was in awe by the fact that beauty in art transcends the functional beauty of architecture. I realized that even if certain architecture isn’t made for functionality, there is meaning in solely existence. That is why I started to pursue art. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? That is why my artwork usually starts from studying the method. The difficulty

is that it takes a lot of time and expenses on experimenting different materials and techniques. In fact, The Blossom project took four years to really put into shape. To add, my difficulty is to have quality in both the entirety of the artwork and in the details. Personally, an adequate sense of scale is required in all of my artwork, regardless of the actual size. This also takes up time in the creation process. Artwork is a space and it is, in a sense, a universe. I would like each of my artwork to present a sense of micro and macro. Name artists you would like to be compared to. Lee U-Fan, Nobuo Sekine, Andy Warhol. The theme for my art work, “shape of memory,” is a theme that pursues the true shape of a material, and it is a concept that I have arranged deriving from the “mono-ha” movement of modern art in Japan in the 1960’s. The first two artists that I listed are artists that represented the “mono-ha” movement, and they have expressed the power of raw materials solely through the unique characteristics of those materials. In order to explore my own interests, I came upon the geology exhibitions of museums. The museum that has influenced me most is the National Science Museum in Ueno,

Tokyo. In my early twenties, I went there at least once a week. The museum’s staff are volunteers who have retired from work, and they were very willing to answer any of the questions I had. In fact, the basis for my theme “shape of memory” started through seeing the dinosaur exhibition, where there is an archive for biological information. When I dug down, I started to realize I was intrigued by the concepts of “past,” “time,” and “memory.” Being influenced by those three aspects, my personal theme has been to record in physical shape, using the word “memory,” which means both aspects of a computer “recording” something and a brain “remembering” something. My challenge is to sublimate these concepts into art, as opposed to science museums that record accurate biological information. In the art field, my biggest influence would be Andy Warhol. I have a big admiration towards his values and ways of thinking, and The Factory. The Factory, a workshop and a community, is the model for my own art community, OKEYA studio. How would you describe the art scene in your area? In my area, art does not always balance with society’s demand. In Japan, there barely is a market for art. It is very difficult to have artwork bought by individuals, so even top artists have difficulty targeting just the end users. The most common way that artists can utilize their artwork is through tagging with companies that install artwork as landmarks, displays, and in events as a tool for attracting customers. Exhibitions are also almost entirely for publicity, instead of actually selling artwork. Six months of not seeing anybody and creating, just for a few weeks of exhibition. That kind of environment for artists is coming to an end, and now the environment for artists is being broadcasted through social media. I have made my studio an open environment, and consider my creation process a part of

my artwork. My engagement with others doesn’t stop when I am creating for an exhibition or an event. I have also made departments besides the art field such as fashion and graphic design, and they come to my studio every day. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? My former high school teacher and potter, Mitsuo Yoshibashi, was my first inspiration to start my craft. What shocked me while learning from him was that he made his own art materials and tools from scratch. He made tools that were specifically for the certain shape that he wanted to create. He even made tools to make a specific tool. If there was a color he wanted that he couldn’t find close at hand, he would look for the color in the forest or mountains. This was a shock for me, because at that time, I would buy paint, tools and canvases from a store. Learning from him expanded my horizons. His methods are a huge contrast to how art is today, where you can buy a large variety of colors with just 100 yen (abt 1USD). Many of us don’t even know what those colors were made from, or how those colors came to be. I realized that i had to let go of the illusion that art was only made from the colors that could be purchased. If I had never met him, I never would have been able to do what I am doing now. What are your future plans as an artist? Ultimately, I want to pursue architecture. I consider my artwork as a space. This space is an integrated art with different factors, such as the height of where things are set, the color of the walls, and how something is influenced by the environment and in turn influences the environment. I want to gradually increase my art in scale, by means of interior design, spacial art, architecture, and landscape design.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine