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VALENTINA BAICUIANU | ANDREA DANKOVA | REGINA DMYTRYSHYNA | SNOW DOLLKINSON MARIANGELA GALLO | JULIA HADJI-STYLIANOU

| LECH |

TROY LECOINTE | ALEX MANEA

BRITTANY MINNES | KERSTIN PAILLARD | NEZ SWEETLOVE | ANETT UDUD | JOSH TALBOTT RICHARD YOUNG

Jardin Rouge

OTTO VS

BASQUIAT

Image as a metaphor Fu Wenjun

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FEATURED ARTIST: JOSH TALBOTT

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IMAGE AS A METAPHOR | FU WENJUN

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OTTO VS BASQUIAT

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JARDIN ROUGE

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VALENTINA BAICUIANU

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ANDREA DANKOVA

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REGINA DMYTRYSHYNA

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SNOW DOLLKINSON

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MARIANGELA GALLO

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JULIA HADJI-STYLIANOU

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LECH

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TROY LECOINTE

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ALEX MANEA

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BRITTANY MINNES

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KERSTIN PAILLARD

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NERMIN SWEETLOVE

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ANETT UDUD

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JOSH TALBOTT

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RICHARD YOUNG

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As with anything worth while the hurdles and dead ends have been numerous. This is the inherent challenge of being self taught. The beginning of the story of Josh as an artist should focus on the raw materials; a sense of wonder, playfulness, and an inquisitive nature. A boy completely immersed in drawing. With its meditative and insightful qualities creating art was a severe addiction that continues today in his dedication in refining his skills as a painter. The focus of his upbringing was integrity, hard work, and individuality. Creating murals and scenic art for film and theme parks led him to New Orleans where Josh sold paintings on Royal Street to people from all over the world. Stormy weather inspired an empty pocket trip cross country and was instrumental in his exposure to the beauty of the southwest and California. In addition to painting, he loves his garden and can often be found afloat on the ocean.

FEATURED

ARTIST

JOSH

TALBOTT

More at pages: 94-99

On the cover: Maybe She’s Born With It , Josh Talbott


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F

u Wenjun’s photographic works are full of paradoxes. It seems that he is not a photographer but an artist who only uses photography for his artistic works. In his works, the concept dominates over the form and creates it. When watching Fu Wenjun’s works, you can see multi-level dependencies that are not easy to figure out. The strong side of his works is the element of surprise and the images are not what they seemed at first glance. His works derive directly from the contemporary culture viewed through the prism of an artist from the Far East.

Image as a metaphor .

by Anne Grahm

Misplacement-Red Cherry, Fu Wenjun, Digital Pictorial Photography, 100x100cm, 2017-2018

Fu Wenjun

At the very beginning of April, Fu Wenjun will show his works at 2019 AIPAD The Photography Show in New York. These works are the result of work and experience from the past years. This is the term ‘experience’ that is probably the most suitable term for the presented works of art. The artist shows us the effect obtained from a creative experiment combined with great sensitivity, giving the viewer a visual experience between the digital world and the real world. Opposing notions and artistic values, in Fu Wenjun’s works complement each other and create a visually rich image. This image is a part of explorations in modern digital art. Every time I look at these works, I rediscover their visual potential.

Ask Tea No.3, Fu Wenjun, Digital Pictorial Photography, 30x30cm, 2018

The works of the Chinese artist relate to various artistic concepts. He himself calls his works Digital Pictorial Photography, treating photography only as a starting


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point for further artistic explorations. The artist himself does not want to fall into the rigid definition of two-dimensional photography. He is looking for new forms and ways of presentation to find new means of expression and uses such fields as installation, sculpture and painting. In New York, the artist wants to show several works from the Digital Pictorial Photography series to make it possible for the viewers to see how the boundaries in the perception of photographic art will be pushed. Let’s start with the first work entitled Misplacement. Here, the harmony and aesthetics are not a value itself. By referring to the traditional Chinese art, the artist uses spilled ink. He liberates the space of a work of art in a philo -sophical way – the all-encompassing space of the image disturbed by geometrical forms. He guides the viewer’s eyes towards sensual appearances that reflect the split in the image of the contemporary changing world. The next work is Ask Tea, a slightly sentimental image demonstrating the turn of the 19th and 20th century and a tribute to impressionism and abstraction. It is also another look at the roots and family sides and a sentimental look to the old-style indigenous teahouse. The artist himself says that the world is changing very fast but maybe not everywhere and not for everyone. In Fu Wenjun ‘s works, the truth and illusion are on equal terms and the existence of one is strictly dependent on the other. Paradoxically, the most exciting event can

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be precisely composed by him. This is how it looks in the case of the work entitled F1. He analyzes the concept of contradiction and shows something between extreme concepts: expectation and surprise, excitement and disappointment. However, in the work entitled Human Nature of Food you will discover a similar contrast-based experience. It presents an issue of food or wider consumption. You discover values that are easily overlooked and which the artist draws your attention to. How close do we have to get to look at and perceive food in a new way? What will you notice will be beauty or ugliness? Will it attract or reject us? The cycle of Digital Pictorial Photography is not only a reflection of contemporary culture, but also its determinant. In Fu Wenjun’s experi -ments you can see pictorailism and abstraction and a number of new forms of sensitivity and perception of the world. The merits of these works show the world of photography full of new values, combining the material and spiritual worlds. This view goes from one reality to the next one and exposes what was invisible at the beginning.

fuwenjun.com

Misplacement-Crying Ospresy, Fu Wenjun, Digital Pictorial Photography, 100x100cm, 2017-2018


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Art Reveal Magazine

OTTO VS BASQUIAT FIGHT OF THE CENTURY by Charlie Anison Jean-Michel Basquait once said that he wanted to make paintings that looked as if they were made by a child, in a sense trying to recapture the innocence and purity of thought in ones youth. In that way, Johnny Otto’s primal brush strokes and bold use of color, are very similar. Both Artists used their art to invoke a feeling of freedom of expression, often called ‘Neo-Expressionism’ or ‘Art Brut’, a type of painting which French artist Jean Dubuffet described as naïve art, made outside the academic tradition of fine art. Throughout his short, yet brilliant career, Basquait astutely incorporated elements of black culture into his work, including tributes to Jazz Music icons, Policemen and Boxers. While Otto’s paintings are also inspired by strong cultural forces, it was several trips to the Detroit Institute of Arts to see their overwhelming collection of African Art that really had a profound impact on his work. He was only 10 years old at the time and not even thinking about being an Artist. It wasn’t until he entered University that his art began to emerge. Otto’s father had previously shown him work in books by Masters such as Picasso, Dali, Rembrandt, Degas and Van Gogh, but Otto had never seen African Art at all until that

Basquait, ‘Boxer’, 1982


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necessarily sound exactly alike and each have their own style and nuances, which separate them. Keith Haring is another Artist that collectors mention in the same breath as Otto’s, and, admittedly, Haring did influence at least one of Otto’s pieces directly. In 1986, when Otto was just starting off as an Artist and having small shows in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Haring created a large painting depicting a hydra-like figure, whose head of tentacles morphs into individual bodies. Otto had not seen the piece and knew nothing of it, until in 2018 he saw a black & white print of it on Guy Hepner’s website. Seeing it only once is all that it took for Otto to be inspired to create an homage to the original. Otto’s painting took only a few days to make, but is just as jaw-dropping as Harings. Instead of tentacles with bodies, Otto’s painting has eyes and is called ‘Za Videni’ {Czech}, which translates to ‘For Vision’. Otto, ‘La etrangete de l’ame’, 2018

point. The wooden masks and sculptures had a profound impact on him that would slowly show itself over the span of several decades of painting. Otto is not trying to be the next Basquiat and tries to avoid discussions on the matter altogether, insisting that his interest is to fight Basquiat’s imposing legacy and to create an aesthetic identity and painterly legacy entirely and unapologetically his own. Side by side, each Artist work is immediately distinguishable. The comparisons that are made are more abstract and intangible. It is the immediacy and energy of each Artist’s work that are aligned in some manner. They share a genre of art, the same way bands fall into similar genres, but do not Haring, ‘Medusa’, 1986

Otto’s brilliance is, in an authentic way, mimicking these two great Artists’ passion without copying them outright. It is a delight to see the manner in which Otto reinvigorates the same attitudes that Basquiat and Haring embodied, while at the same time reinventing their grammar.


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Otto, ‘Za Videni’ , 2018


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While many Artists are capable of duplicating another Artist’s work, it is a difficult undertaking to manifest their spirit and passion while adhering to a style that is new and fresh. As Picasso would say, ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’. For even he was an adherent of the great artists that came before him and a keen disciple of his contemporaries. Like Haring, Otto has chosen chalk as his medium to carve his path across Los Angeles. Sidewalks and empty walls are quickly filled with his line art. He moves fast, mostly at night. “It’s a fast world”, Haring has said, and Otto’s manner of painting reflects that belief. He usually creates his street art in just a few minutes. Mostly so that he won’t get caught, but also because creating art with great urgency allows the energy of the moment to be leap out, whereas art that is more deliberate and time consuming to make, seems to lack that same energy. In the summer of 2017 it was a trip to The Broad Museum in Los Angeles that pushed Otto’s work even further toward his expressionistic inclinations. It was there that, for the first time, he saw a Haring and a Basquait up close and personal and it the same room. Until that point, Otto had only see photos on-line, in documentaries or in books. While studying one of the Basquait’s, Otto realized that it was quite dirty around the edges, as if it had been in someone’s basement or neglected for decades. He also noticed that there was a piece of gum under the paint and a shoe print, presumably Basquiat’s own. The use of large amounts of paint, and the vibrancy of the colors, left a large impact on Otto and his attitude towards painting. Up until that point, he had been extremely careful and reserved with his pieces, not allowing them to be too messy or wild. That all changed. In Basquait’s Untitled piece (above), we find the ‘messy’ use of paint, the vibrant colors, the urgent lines, the use of space to be similar to Otto’s painting ‘Fire Tribe’, but, as stated previously, not a copy or an attempt to plagiarize in any way. There are a similarities in technique and passion, but the results are vastly individual, and it is those parallels in approach to Expressionism that create harmony between these two great Artist’s work, even though created decades and lifetimes apart.

Basquiat, Untitled, 1985

Otto, Fire Tribe, 2018

johnnyotto.com/art


Jardin Rouge

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by Severine Grosjean

Jardin Rouge is a village of artists, located in the region of Marrakech. At the origin of this initiative is the Montresso Private Foundation, which aims to promote art and artists. Indeed, since 2007 this foundation has invested in the creation and development of such a place in the Marrakech region. Located in the heart of an olive grove, this unique artisan village hosts artists in residence throughout the year, creating an artistic oasis, where paintings and sculptures flourish. The Montresso Foundation is the work of a collector, patron, passionate man who, through his artistic and human encounters, has nurtured a collection of modern and contemporary art. In 1981, he wanted to establish his collection by creating the foundation. In 2007, he transformed the patronage experience into a project of life and created the residence of artists, Jardin Rouge. Jardin Rouge is a residence of artists nestled in the middle of an olive grove of 11 hectares 20km from Marrakech. The look is immediately seized: greasy grass, buxom vegetation, lascivious fountains, enfilade of palms and buildings... And, ironic, facetious in all this luxurious tranquility, graffiti, frescoes, bursts of color and incisive arabesques. Behind every door, every turn, a new wonder enchants the eye. The Jardin Rouge as an oasis of tranquility where artists from around the world could develop their projects, accompanied by demanding and caring looks. Thus, a residence at


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the Jardin Rouge is above all a deeply human adventure: a family and intimate atmosphere accompanies the work of artists hosted in residence. In 10 years, the project has gained recognition internationally. There is no typical operation. In all cases, the artist must propose an artistic project with a guideline. The project will be developed, always in the exchange. The artist must develop a project respectful of his style and his work in a perspective of quality and research. A place must be left to experiment. This residency allows to work in collaboration with local craftsmen and international artists. The place also participates in a very motivating group energy. The fact of integrating a residence where artists, artisans and professionals of the Art live in community is very stimulating. The particularity of Jardin Rouge is to offer emerging artists the opportunity to lead a project from the design stage to its realization and not only to benefit from the know-how of local artisans to support their realization but also the vitality of the ideas that are exchanged. The place is still private, visits are offered

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only by appointment but the team would like to make it public or semi-public. To discover, to know, to accompany more and more African artists and to bring to the international level what they have to say, to show is one of the missions of the foundation and the residence. The Residence aims to actively participate in the artistic development of Marrakech, promoting encounters between different pictorial, graphic and intellectual approaches in contemporary art. It is a structure mainly funded by its founder, by various donations partners and collectors. Today, the foundation aspires to promote a generational painting without boundaries between disciplines. Jardin Rouge is rich in encounters and artistic discoveries.


Valentina Baicuianu Bucharest, Romania

I am a lawyer by education and a public affairs/communicator by profession. I have a strong experience in public affairs/business of more than 20 years, however I recall my first and only portrait painting was done in my 5th grade, when the art teacher asked us to paint the colleague’s portrait. Mine was very good and exhibited in the school. And that was it, until early 2018 when my inner struggle was “silently guided” to healing through painting. At first I stumbled, but moved forward. Therefore I am a self thought/educated artist; I have been watching lots of art tutorials, closely observing big artists and last but not least starting to read about great artists’ painting techniques. So, beginning 2018 I have embarked on an art journey that I loved so much.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I am Romanian, born in Bucharest in a family where my mother and her younger sister had an impressive drawing talent, but the political climate back then was almost toxic for artists, so eventually they didn’t pursue their calling. My first true experience with painting portraits was in fifth grade. Years later, I graduated from Law University and I built an amazing career in the corporate world, keeping an eye on the art phenomenon as a passionate observer. For more than 20 years, I totally ignored my drawing skills, until early 2018, when I had an inner call to start painting, knowing that it was always there, patiently waiting for the right time to come. And the right time eventually came, so in the early 2018 I embarked myself on an amazing art journey, one of continuous creativity, explo-

ration and growth and everything has evolved gradually. Art is an inner call, a spiritual need, there are so many things to communicate though my art. I am a self-educated artist. I value creativity, authenticity. My focus is on the entire everyday life spectrum, my overall influence come from life itself, people and my emotions. I am very much aware that art is subjective and once exhibited, the viewer can have any interpretation outside what was intended. That’s a risk worth taking. Sometimes, enjoying an artwork while not understanding it, might be enough for a viewer. Sometimes I spend several hours in front of a painting, proving the very lonely existence that most artists probably experience. I have never been good at words, describing the feelings and the emotions I have, so my partings are the words I cannot speak. As an art attentive observer, I like a very diverse palette of styles: Elisabeth Peyton, Jack Vettriano, Adrian Ghenie, Gerhard Richter, Rothko, Pollock, Joan Mitchell, Van Gogh, Vermeer. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Regarding contemporary art, our art market is growing rapidly, stimulated by private galleries and a few auction houses. Romanian art market has been growing over the past few decades, sharing a common trajectory with other markets in Central and Eastern Europe, its success and that of the local artists is pretty much anchored in the well-established and mature Western European market. Romanian artists are gaining more international visibility, often showing in biennials and other exhibitions, while well-known galleries represent some of them. The fact that the top-selling Romanian artist is breaking records in New York rather than Bucharest is hardly a surprise, the case of Adrian Ghenie, for instance, one of Romania’s most successful contemporary artists, may be relevant for the complex dynamics shaping the Romanian market as well as local artists’ path to success. One of the most spectacular evolutions from this point of view is associated with younger artists, initially identified with the Cluj School: Victor Man, Adrian Ghenie, Serban Savu. An increasing attention is focused on Geta Bratescu as well, her works being exposed three times in the Venice Biennale. Belu-Simion Fainaru, Dan Mihaltianu and Miklós Onucsán are other local voices to be celebrated in the very same prestigious context. The most important state institution for contemporary art is the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (M.N.A.C.), which was inaugurated in 2004 with the opening of five exhibitions. M.N.A.C. promotes national contemporary art, new media and young artists in tune with current international trends.


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Some brands that did well commercially keep opening generous spaces destined to encourage local talents. They are dedicated to upcoming artists willing to find a stage. There are also underground movements and industrial spaces converted in ad hoc galleries, where people in need to express themselves through art find a welcoming territory. A private diplomacy project is endorsing Romanian talents in international creativity festivals contexts. All in all, there are consistent streams and a general trend to discover, encourage and promote Romanian art and that’s a relief. Romanian artists have a certain exotic touch for the Westerners, a certain humour and a stamina that simply can’t be ignored. They come as a fresh voice and as a surprise and that’s a good thing for everyone – artists and collectors.

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just because it gets sold easily. I have an unquenchable thirst for painting, very similar to falling in love. To keep focusing on my art and let the experts do the rest, I am already represented by 3 Art Galleries. They are representing me and currently I am negotiating exclusivity with an Art Gallery in Miami. I am also present with my artworks on relevant online art galleries. I actively participate in art contests and I already received invitations to exhibit in big art capitals. The plan for 2019 is to exhibit in 3-4 different places, Bucharest included. I am looking forward to see how wonderful my future art life will be.

Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I have never liked to make comparisons. I believe in diversity. Each of us is unique. We have different backgrounds, paths and things to express and that’s the beauty of it. Tell us more about your portrait series. I aim to recreate the everyday characters through most of my portraits, aiming to surprise a certain expression, a thought, an attitude. People are a never-ending source of creativity. Every portrait brings out a different message. I give my paintings suggestive names for people who watch my artworks to better decode the message. I like to take challenges in art: see my “Homage to Van Gogh”, “Homage to Vermeer”’. That courage didn’t get unnoticed. I like giving a contemporary twist to classical, timeless portraits. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? To read about great masters and their painting techniques, but to eventually follow my inner voice, that’s the best recommendation I ever received. I am self-demanding, I like to be authentic in everything I do and for that I follow my instinct. I have received beautiful comments regarding my art, I am really happy when people decode the message my paintings send across. What are your future plans as an artist?  It has been an amazing journey of self-discovery, creativity and emotions. I spent the past year painting, dedicating myself to self-improvement. I like the way I progress with painting. I enjoy very much the process of creation. I want to remain authentic and true to my feelings when it comes to it. I won’t paint something

instagram.com/valentinabaicuianu


Andrea Dankova Vienna, Austria

My body of work consists of surreal and Freudian interpretations of inner life and outward expressions of womanhood. According to Freud, the bra in our dreams signifies support, security, dignity and self-respect. Each photograph depicts different condition and emotional state inherent to femaleness - from facing down gender stereotypes, limitations, fear and need of self-esteem to intimacy and self-love. I try to turn these experiences into playful and dreamy visuals with titles that should entertain or encourage females.The mission of my surreal photography with a conceptual feminist bent is to remind women artists and women in general of their worth and to simply empower them.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. My mom said I have started to draw when I was 2-3 years old using colourful pencils which wasn’t recommended for a child my age. Luckily, she would let me do it anyway and she said I would always ask her to sharpen them for me cause I would get upset if I couldn’t draw. I guess that this was the reason why my parents signed me up to art kindergarten and already at age of 5 I anticipated in my first exhibitions in Slovakia and at age 6 I have won an art prize in China. Born in former Czechoslovakia, quite conservative country and surrounded by a small city mentality, I have realised at young age that I want to try to live abroad. This feeling reinforced after a school trip to London at the age of 16. Surrounded by multicultural diversity, immerse art scene, fascinating inputs one is unable to perceive, watching people dressed in their own style freely expressing themselves I felt like I will call this place home one day. And I did. Two years later I have moved in and after completing my Bachelor in Art and Design, I have decided to study Art Management at University of London. In 2013 I became a part of a group show called “I am. Interrupted.” in London. This event was organised in collaboration with One Billion Rising - the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. My photographs depicted an emotional response and an interruption of the body and mind as an effect of domestic violence. In 2015 I have got accepted to intern at Stuxx and Haller Gallery in New York Gallery building off the 5th avenue. Apart from getting insight into the art world, I have managed to participate in three art shows around New York City. Besides London and NYC I have spent 2 years in both Switzerland and Prague with current residence in Vienna. Living in different countries, travelling when possible, interested in music, psychology, philosophy and self-development has definitely imposed the diversity of my portfolio. From abstract paintings, to documentary/surreal/conceptual photography, with collecting pictures of world’s best street art - I would say my art is a pure reflection of my experiences, emotions and life around me. People I meet, books I read, places i see, life situations and my curiosity connected with constant learning, all is either depicted in my art or act as an impulse behind creation process.

Lastly, I would say I am influenced by my conscious mind with natural need to respond to certain situations around me.. Therefore, an urge to express myself arises. I believe that being creative is like writing a diary or seeing a therapist. You become aware of your inner state, you freely express your emotion and you feel healed afterwards. Art is having these therapeutic effects on me and it is simply something I cant live without. It brings me joy and satisfaction and it makes me feel alive. For me, art is love. (No matter how cliché that sounds). What is the most challenging part of working with photography I like to think of myself as a visual artist who uses photography only as a medium for expression. Therefore, the few challenges for me personally could be ongoing argument whether photography can be perceived as an art form and the fact that in today’s art world, a photograph is generally less appreciated than a painting. Another challenge is the commercial compliance. Galleries and art fairs are businesses which are mainly profit orientated. I find it insane that as an artist you have to pay for participation and after a sale you split the check. Last challenge may be the personal inner thought process that wants to compare my work to what seems to be valued in our culture. I think it is ridiculous and kind of sad that for instance on social media or as I have seen at some art shows, a picture with several filters with no deep meaning is better received by audience than a photograph with an intellectual concept. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I don’t want to be compared to anybody since for every artist is unique with their own style. I don’t think we can take two musicians, artists, neither two people and compare them since we are all individual beings with completely different views on world, experiences and feelings. Nevertheless I have artists who I consider to be my source of inspiration. I would start with Dali and surrealist movement in general, Pollock and abstract expressionism, Marcel Duchamp, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Marina Abramovic, Gilbert and George, Tracey Emin, Joseph Kosuth, Banksy...and many more. Regarding my photographs presented in this magazine, I would highlight Frida Kahlo,

mostly known for her deeply personal portraits where she translated her own experience into canvas and made it legitimate for women to display their suffering, frustrations and passions. The Guerilla Girls - anonymous group that creates work that’s become known for fighting against sexism in the art world. They remain anonymous wearing gorilla masks and use pseudonyms that refer to deceased female artists because they believe the issues they are fighting against are bigger than their individual identities. Cindy Sherman, a contemporary master who explores a wide range of common female social roles or personas. I love variety and contrasts and by constantly visiting galleries and museums I keep on discovering artists and artworks that inspire me. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I am not a fan of exact definitions and labels and as I have mentioned, I see myself as a visual artist simply because I create visual content. I admit that this body of work has a conceptual characteristic because of its context behind it. Conceptual art is mostly viewed as not to be looked at aesthetically but to be thought about intellectually and these series were also influenced by surrealism in both conceptual and visual form. Of course I would love if I could raise awareness on women rights and empower every single girl with my images. To make everyone think of how strong, capable women are and how necessary is to uplift them because they deserve equality. However, for someone not aware of my intentions, women rights or feminism as such, my pictures can just mean a surrealistic representation of womanhood or some bizarre photography. I prefer to leave all labels and interpretation to the audience trusting my work will trigger some kind of emotion within them. And hopefully there will be some ladies and also men who can relate, understand and appreciate my art. Tell us more about “Bra Bra Bra” series. As a young girl I have always felt equal to boys. I didn’t associate with the exerted convention that girls should be just pretty beings sitting quiet. Maybe that evoked my independency and the need to demonstrate that a woman can be respected for her knowledge and hard work similarly to a man. Later, when I have encountered and discovered all the inequality in


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today’s men’s world, I became highly interested in women rights. Especially when I found out that in one of my previous jobs, a man working on my position (office job), would get ¼ of salary pre month more only because of his gender. All similar frustrating experiences and findings became the impulse for the series Bra Bra Bra. I was thinking what object is exclusively feminine and that is when bra came to my mind. According to Freud, the bra in our dreams signifies support, security, dignity and self-respect. Pictures were taken in industrial zone to establish contrast and the place itself had an input for my creative process. Through the staged compositions, each image depicts distinctive conditions and emotional states inherent to femaleness, from facing down gender stereotypes, limitations, fear, and need of self-esteem to intimacy and self-love.This body of work consists of surreal and Freudian representations of inner life and outward expressions of womanhood. However, I try to turn all these experiences into playful and dreamy visuals with titles that should encourage or entertain females. The aim of my surreal photography with a conceptual feminist bent is to remind women artists and women in general of their worth and to simply empower them. I recognize art as the most powerful and effective means of not only expression but, ultimately, revolutionary change. I would love my art to be seen as a celebration but also a call to action. Lastly, I want to make clear that being a feminist for me doesn’t

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mean I hate men neither I feel that women are better than them. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s statement describes my feminist outlook the best: “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” “Right now with so many campaigns, like #MeToo and Time’s Up, there is no better time to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them, men included in that.” Meghan Markle What are your future plans as an artist? Currently I am working on large scale abstract paintings and preparing my photography portfolio. Future plan is to continue creating through my whole existence. I have so many dreams and things I would like to accomplish (art exhibitions, make my own designs, publish books). Ultimate dream is to have my works exhibited around the world, get more exposure and collaborate with other artists and institutions too. For the future I will try to create art that resonates with people and that can raise awareness of causes I care about. Apart from women rights as in Bra Bra Bra series, I will soon publish documentary photographs from Africa highlighting the need of educating girls. If you would like to see those and others of my creations, I invite you to visit my website www.dankovaandrea.com.


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dankovaandrea.com


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Regina Dmytryshyna Valencia, Spain I was born in Ukraine, Kharkiv, the city may be the messiest and most chaotic in Europe. My childhood passed during the 90’s in very depressive times for my country. But in the same time this taught me to be self-organized, never give up and achieve my personal goals. After graduation from the local University, I went to Sweden for learning Business Development in order to get a Master degree. Then I moved to Spain for my internship. After it, I came back to my country for my career progress in IT. But I was struggling in searching myself. I understood that I prefer doing art and dedicate my life to it. So, I left my job to become a fine art photographer.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I don’t have the actual background in Art or Photography education. I just try to express my inner world in my art. I am used to learn everything by myself. I have a Master degree in Computer Robotic Systems and the second one in Business Development. When I was a child I used to draw a lot. But later I went into Math world and had less and less time on it. Later, when I was studying in the University, I worked as a Web designer and that time I started to research my photography way. My love to photography began with an irresistible desire to shoot at least on a point-shoot camera, then there was a purchase of my own first dslr in used condition with a basic lenses, after it there were shots of friends and acquaintances, and finally purchase of professional camera. For 5 years I have tried many genres of shooting and finally realized that I’m interested only in portrait and fine art photography. Sometimes I find inspiration in my old paintings for planning photoshoots now. What is the most challenging part of working with photography I think the most challenging is to keep going with the chosen concept and not be influenced by trends or other’s art. There are a lot of information from social media every day and it is really hard to save the own direction. You’d be surprised how easy it is to be influenced by creative feeds and online trends. I always try to focus on who I am and what I want to say, rather the current society expects to see, stay  loyal to my own authentic expression and not being pulled away from it due to the fact that it is currently popular. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. Every person is unique and has own style. There are many artists I would like to be compared to, but Brooke Shaden and Lindsey Adler are my favourite modern artists in photography world and I hope to be compared with them some day. In 2017 I have intended the course of Brooke and she inspired me to start going to my dream - to be a fine art artist. She is an amazing lector and artist. She pours her heart into all her works. Lindsey is a very strong woman and very talented photographer. She is able to express all her soul in each shot she makes. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I hope so. I prefer conceptual art even from my childhood. I surprised the teacher by my unreal paintings when I was in the middle school. And once my painting of nature occupied by aliens,


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won a prize at the school exhibition. On my best guess conceptual art was invented to show reality by totally different angle and to make people feel some emotions that the author wants. Actually we are all artists, no matter if person choose the conceptual art or traditional one, the only one important thing matters is to do what you love to do. Tell us more about “photographic series. Previously I used to make standalone images because I was trying to find my own style, but few days ago I made series of pictures with flowers. These series provide the focus and naturally guide the photographer towards uncovering and defining own distinc-

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tive style. Once the concept for them is defined, it will be an easy go-to project, less time is spent on testing out ideas and more time is to spent on shooting. What are your future plans as an artist? I usually do not make plans for the future, because I never know what I will want to do the following, but I definitely know that I will progress in my artist way. I want further to develop my skill in photography and compositing and start to draw digitally. My plan is to continue making the art,which I love and to become a successful artist. I hope, I will continue to have opportunities for presenting my works in different countries all over the world.


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Snow Dollkinson New York, NY, USA

My life and influences originate in Europe. As a young artist and in general, I grew up increasingly fascinated by nature and all facets of life around me. Through the eyes of a child, I began to recognize the unpredictable nature of people, objects and events, from the unexpected, attractive or bitter, to the spiritual. I’m a firm believer in embracing the energy that surrounds us, be it positive, or perhaps seeking strength. My art reveals a dichotomy between what may be intimate and personal, to what is raw and exposed. Whether I’m capturing the natural or the graphic, my paintings speak to the simplicities in life we experience every day and at any given moment. The subject matter in my paintings manifest my feelings and views toward nature, beauty and love. All the discoveries from the day we were born, to those paths yielding surprising moments and a rainbow of sensations, from light to the profoundly deep. An organic exhibition of how things can be so simple, yet also quite powerful, delivering so much in return. My art offers much more than just a visual reaction. It strives to make a lasting mark by touching your heart, or baring one’s soul. The geometric nature of my compositions represents elements in life that reflect the unpredictability of perfection and joy. Life and nature are energized with chaos, complications and actions, or with reflections and stillness. Relationships between people, earth and all living things. Our moods, swaying us in either direction, the chemistry we possess and share with others, the depth of awareness that makes one blue or fly high, an invitation to love’s passion, pangs of envy, or the intensity of desire. My work elicits a visual statement expressed in degrees of white, which plays a significant role in my paintings, symbolizing my view of the universe. Mystery filled with positive energy, the powerful and spiritual, hopes and dreams we all have and share. Facts or beliefs that drive us toward confidence, conviction and strength of character in the present and future. Through my art, clarity and an open mind ignite a sense of creativity, sparking the ability to discover new things that may have eluded our imagination until then. My artistic goal in everything I do is to achieve the ultimate expression of sensitivity with transparency of thought. Through my paintings, I seek to create an endless journey branched with infinite paths to love and fresh beginnings, with every stroke of my brush.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

I was a little girl when I recognized my love for art. My house was like this cool museum ... my parents filled it with lots of amazing art books and interesting antiques, from artistic plates to classic furniture. I feel thankful and fortunate that I was educated in and around art from my early childhood years. I was a bit shy growing up, and found my self-expression through art, which helped me express myself to the world, starting with my family.

Working with different types of art media can be very tricky! Sometimes you’ve got an idea in your head, you know exactly what you’re ready to do, and then, due to the particularity of the technique related to this medium, the most unexpected thing will suddenly happen and surprise you, momentarily stopping you in your tracks. Artistically and personally, I enjoy taking on challenges by learning from temporary setbacks, and as we like to say in America, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”! So when this happens, it inevitably triggers your creativity even more, and you work around it with an all new perspective that drives you into a new direction or unknown territory. A new brush, or even a new canvas can not only change the total vision but also the field of the final work. And that’s my artistic recipe for lemonade!

I vividly remember coming home from school and searching for a quiet place to relax, clear my mind, then read, write and draw. This ritual made me stronger and less timid, by expressing myself through my paintings. I literally started off small—through tiny sketches of plants and flowers. As I matured, I became more passionate about art, my heart and soul gently driving me to develop my artistry on canvas. That was a huge step for me. I think of it as graduating from my time that I had with my family, to finding myself away from home, and on my own. Art plays a huge role in my life. Art gives me uninhibited access to my dreams, hopes and loves. It always will. My father was my biggest influence as supporter as a budding artist. As a little girl, I remember watching him draw various fairy-tale characters and beautiful objects. I was always captivated by his work. There was something about his artistry, a magical moment, the way he’d hold the pen for example, delicate movements that would leave you in awe, and beyond words. My dad was the first person who made me realize that we have so much beauty around us, and that we can and should share this beauty in so many different ways.

Other times, the process of being creative, based on the different ways you express yourself through your art, goes through a deep introspection and can actually be quite painful on a psychological level. In this case it’s like therapy, and your analyst is your brush. When it comes to an artist’s emotions, the way you reveal yourself in your art, and the medium you’ve chosen for that particular expression are very important. The wrong decision can spell the start to a troubled experience and end with a lack of ability to express your vision. It’s like trying to say something in a language that’s outside your repertoire of words. This can happen if you’re working under pressure. Inspirations can pop up randomly, anytime, anywhere. Creativity in art is about a moment that can arise in the middle of your day, measured with unexpected feelings or thoughts. Some thoughts just need a certain degree of time and a path of expression, to process them artistically.


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What do you like/dislike about the art world? My artistic path is on the positive side of the horizon. Still, I understand the need for certain artists to express their deepest feelings through their art and, due to their personality or their past, their vision is often very dark. I respect these artists equally, even if my path differs from theirs. In my work as an artist, my desire is to express my optimism, linking it to my vision of the world and humanity. I am always touched and inspired by the harmony I seek and find everywhere, from nature’s raw beauty to the extreme sophistication of mankind’s journey into the present and future. I am driven by these varying passions to expose this magic of life in my paintings. My belief is that in order to receive the benefit of positive energy, you must first put your state of mind into that mood. If we have the treasured opportunity to share love and peace, then let’s focus on that. There is always so much to be said and to give. Artistic expression is such a precious and unconditional way of communication. Art is a wonderful tool. It possesses a powerful voice to heal and nurture every facet of our life, be it happiness or sadness. Think for a second how a small painting or simple drawing can still tell us so much, whether as a story or as an abstract vision. A lot can be said just by showing a particular color or shape on a piece of paper. I strongly believe that art represents a huge source of influence and a major voice to reckon with, to help and educate. From art, we can derive strength that we all can use, regardless of age, any century, any difference. Art, like our eyes, is the window to one’s soul. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in energetic Manhattan, New York City. I enjoy my home of Chelsea, one of the best places in the world to explore a fascinating microcosm of artistic creativity. This is a place where you can meet some of the most talented people anywhere. In my firsthand view, Chelsea is rapidly becoming a new art center in Big Apple, (back in the day, Soho ruled the art scene). These days, Chelsea is perhaps the best place for contemporary art. Just passing by the countless townhouses, you can already feel the spirit, just from looking at the decoration of the amazing wall of the buildings.

My take on Chelsea’s vibe is ‘‘edgy”. Chelsea really has it all. And yes, of course, you can have a moment when you’ll be scratching your head and be wondering, ‘’who’s the would-be buyer for this crazy thing?’’ Well, I guess there’s an audience for everyone. Occasionally, we are caught by a painting that has a little too much going on in it. No, you don’t have to pull out all the colors to make a statement, and often, “less is more”. You can describe an object with just one color or movement, or instead, it can turn out to be like a bad movie that has too many dialogues and at the end tells you nothing. I believe that it should feel and be a very simple task to choose the perfect artwork for yourself. It’s like falling in love, you know it when you find it.

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icated as an allegory to the human femininity through image representing only some parts of vegetation. Through the incredible beauty and harmony that we find in any organic form of nature It speaks beyond the female complexion, and the beautiful shape that reflects the human body, about their identity as woman. My aim in this project is to send a message to women everywhere, and show them how special and wonderful they are. It involves knowing our bodies and understanding how all the pieces of our being fit perfectly together, like a puzzle. Every curve has its own meaning, so we really have to learn how to read our bodies. Some shapes can symbolize of health, some can be a sign of doing too much. In other words, we

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Being an artist vests you with infinite freedom which is priceless—never forget that. Don’t just look at the past, feel your emotions. Follow your heart and go with the moment. Live in the present and enjoy the flow of energy and passion that come as a surprise. Talk with your audience, and offer your genuine thoughts like it’s your soul or your heart. Be open to others, and be ready to act when that time happens. Never compromise or push yourself to do anything which falls short of reflecting who you really are. If your heart isn’t into your creation, or the idea is not there at the moment, leave it and come back to it when the time is right. Be open minded, and look for a new messages that are around you and are speaking to your soul. Keep your eyes and ears awake to absorb information, or a new idea for your new project. And never stop dreaming, whether it’s for the sake of your future or for your art. Being an artist is really not about trying to be the best. It’s about being true to you! Everyone of us is unique, so why try to be someone that we’re not and will never be? Don’t be afraid to receive criticism, because every disapproval has a bit of truth and reason in it, so take it, learn from it, and grow with it. What are your future plans as an artist? I’m not the type of person who likes to plan every step I take. Instead, I set goals. These days I’m working on a very particular project, a new series of paintings, ded-

need to be able to interpret our body’s warning to find the right balance in our life. The female body is very strong, yet at the same time it’s also a fragile tool that has to be taken care of. This understanding hopefully starts from our childhood, when our mother or other elder tried to teach us the value of the simpler things of life, believing in your strength to carry this knowledge and apply it along all your paths and life’s journey. Nationality or generation don’t matter — we are all born the same basic way. We all come from nature, which always finds perfect stability, harmony or a way to balance, and this is what life and art are all about. Everything starts and ends with seduction, passion, love and fearlessness. In order to be loved and to give love, you must be confident in your own skin. Every one of us has the key to open any door of our dreams… you just have to look for the right gate. As an artist, my door is my work, and my soul is the gateway to it. Peace!


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snowartwork.portfoliobox.net


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Mariangela Gallo London, UK


The shooting, the study of the printed picture as it is a canvas on which a fraction of the world has been impressed outside time and space, the mixing of the colours on the palette, the practice of techniques are all necessary pieces of the process of understanding reality, imagination and their profound connection. To me the process is even more important than the result and perhaps this is why I need to handle painting and photography separately and digital manipulation would never work for me. By digitally manipulating a photograph I would feel I’m appropriating of painting purpose without absorbing the process, therefore I could never have a full understanding of the meaning. Only at the end, after trying to learn as much as possible from both art forms, they become one image, one medium. In this way I try to go beyond the representation of the physical world by embracing it and only by combining photography and painting, I can express my personal reality how I see it: a mess of perceived shapes, shifting colours, textures, words, noise, silence, memories, regrets, hopes and dreams that change, evolve and transform like every living being and together with every living being. Most things of value in our lives are invisible, and how can we define them as ‘real’ if we can not see them? And how can photography capture them? How often what you cannot see is infinitely more important than what you can see? Photography, more than any other art, is based on what our eyes can see. Does this mean that there are things a photo cannot show? Perhaps reality and imagination aren’t opposite concept, but imagination can help us seeing what reality hides behind the curtains of visual perception. In the same way, when painting and photography work together, imagination can penetrate reality allowing us to finally see what before we could only feel, dream or imagine. I hope with my work made of photography and paint, to show something invisible. We are made of what we feel, of what we dream and imagine and maybe, sometimes we need to see the invisible to remind ourselves that what makes our lives worth living can’t be seen with the eyes.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I studied art history for many years, and I was lucky enough to grew up admiring the works of the greatest Italian artists. Certainly, my formation has a strong influence on my aesthetic sense, and the artists I still admire the most are the big names of the Venetian art: Tiziano, Veronese, Canaletto, Tintoretto, Bellini. I started from there, first studying them and their works and then trying to learn how to draw attempting very bad copies of some details of their masterpieces. I was born in a small village on the Amalfi Coast, but I grew up in an even tinier village near Venice. I moved to London about 5 years ago and I am now based here. The contrast between the cocoon like environment of the little village where I grew up and the chaotic existence in the big city definitely affected my work. London is like a whole world in one city. The diversity in it is incredible and almost confusing. Nine million people living under one roof. I think this change of environment triggered many of my questions about reality that are at the centre of my work. I look around me and I can’t help but ask myself: How can we all agree on one version of reality?

Environment profundity influence us, and London can definitely offer dreams and possibilities that my sleepy Italian village was keeping hidden. What is the most challenging part of working with photography? In my works I combine photography and painting and the most challenging part is probably this: trying to combine the two art forms, that are so different one from the other, and respect their unique characteristics, properties and meanings. Photography and painting are two very different art forms, they have different procedures, development, meanings and principles. The shooting, the study of the printed picture as it was a canvas on which a fraction of the world has been impressed outside time and space, the mixing of the colours on the palette, the practice of techniques, are all necessary pieces of the process of understanding reality, imagination and their profound connection. To me the process is even more important than the result and perhaps this is why I need to handle painting and photography separately and digital manipulation would never work for me. By digitally manipulating a photograph I would feel I’m appropriat-

ing of painting purpose without absorbing the process, therefore I could never have a full understanding of the meaning. Only at the end, after trying to learn as much as possible from both art forms, they become one image, one medium. From a non-artistic point of view, la big challenge is to make a living out of my photograhy, many emerging artists I’m sure will agree. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. There are artists I love and that inspires me, but to even dream to be one day compared to them still seems too much of a stretch. Also, my biggest hope is one day to be recognised for my own style. Among the artists I love: Michals Duane, Gerhard Richter, Diane Arbus, Ida Applebroog, Jenny Saville, Man Rey, Sandy Skoglund, Cindy Sherman, Francesca Woodman, Shirin Neshat and many more. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? My works originates from the investigation of reality through photography and painting. I don’t know if this makes me a conceptual photographer as the perception


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of reality is a concept deeply linked to photography itself. Photography is deeply related to what we see, to the physical reality. Many scholars have discussed this topic at length, much better than I could ever do. It may be ‘the death of reality’, a ‘hyperreality’ or a ‘minute part of reality’, in any case its profound connection to the world that physically exists it’s undeniable. An individual’s sensory perception is completely their own and the way you perceive things, may be completely different from the way I perceive things. Then emotions come into play, and the only possibility seems that’s we are all living multiple realities. By combining photography and painting I try to visualize these multiple realities: photography keeps me connected to the material world, its rules and its discipline, while painting allows me to investigate perception and imagination by giving a form and a colour to things invisible to the eye. Photography helps me make sense to what I see, and painting helps me make sense to what I feel. For me both forms of art are essential and deeply connected one to the other. By combining photography and painting I feel I have found my own medium of expression which allows my emotions to be the defining elements of my realities.

Tell us more about “Fog in memories” and “Dye my veil (and unveil my colours)” series. For the project Fog in Memories I went back to the Northern Italian countryside where I grew up. It’s a flat landscape, there is never a gust of wind and the air just stays still. This heavy air interacts with the light taking away all the contrasts from the landscape. The colours are absorbed into the mist and it seems that the only thing you can do here is remember. I was inspired by the words of Gianni Celati, whose books brings me back home from everywhere I am, and I used paint and photography to travel through my childhood. A place is not just a point on a map. Every place has a past and a history made of people and events, it’s filled with memories and forgotten emotions. Dye My Veil is a reflection on how our senses can lie. We perceive this world through our senses, we depend on our senses to tell us the truth, we believe in what we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste, but do we ever question whether our senses, like a photograph, are being manipulated? We are emotional beings, our senses are unstable, volatile and constantly manipulated by our emotions so how can we trust them to tell us what is real? How can we all agree on one version of reality?

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In this project I tried to express my personal reality how I see it: a mess of perceived shapes, shifting colours, noise, silence, memories, regrets, hopes and dreams that change, evolve and transform like every living being and together with every living being. What are your future plans as an artist? In the last period I’ve been focusing more on story telling. In the past I had the opportunity to tell the story of an amazing woman who works in a morgue through images and I really loved it. The narrative ability of the image is immense and without doubt I want to explore it deeper. It is fascinating how through one image you can tell different points of view of the same story and how the same story changes when seen by different eyes. Also, I love the challenge that storytelling presents: words are the best way to tell a story as though words you can explain feelings, impressions, opinions, even sounds, smells and everything that surrounds the subject of that story. So how can I tell a story through images if what makes it unique is invisible to the eye? I hope with my work made of photography and paint to be able to show sides of the story that are not visible, but perhaps are equally, or even more important than what we can see.


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marygallo.com


Julia Hadji-Stylianou Kettering, UK Julia was born in London, UK in 1990, but spent most of her life growing up in Cyprus, from which she draws a lot of significance and importance in her work. She currently resides in Kettering, UK. She completed a foundation Degree in Art and Design at De Montfort University in 2009, which led her to continue to pursue her passion in the arts and photography. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography and Video in 2012, followed by a Masters Degree in Photography in 2014. She wishes to now train as a lecturer and educator in the arts in Higher Education, having spent the last 5 years working in the commercial industry as a photographer and retoucher. Julia was selected as one of the finalists in The Royal Photographic Society’s Member’s Biennial Exhibition in 2015, which toured the UK. In March 2019, she will be an exhibitor in Rome for an exhibition themed “Perceptions”, as part of the Month of Photography Rome Festival.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. As a dual national and growing up in two countries, this has definitely had a significant impact on some of my work, particularly where family history and culture is involved in several of my works. I studied fine art painting at school, which eventually led me to photography, and it is still a huge influence in my work today. I regularly research fine art painters as well as photographers and other artists that inspire my work. I think it is important to take inspiration from artists of all mediums. I also studied Psychology at school, and though I wasn’t as good at it as I’d have liked to have been, the theories absolutely fascinated me and have had a significant impact on some of my works, particularly to do with dreams and mental health. Overall, I base the majority of my practice on personal experiences. Self-investigations have helped inform my position in the world, creating meaning within my life but also establishing a specific style of which I work in. What is the most challenging part of working with photography? I find photography one of the more challenging art mediums to work with when it comes to creating something completely original and unique, unless you incorporate digital art and post-production techniques to alter the images slightly. As an artist, I aspire to think out of the box, and create something completely different than what has already been done, which can prove difficult at times. I suppose defining a concept in photography and how one would portray this through photography can also be quite a defining and difficult moment. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. Francesca Woodman and Sally Mann are two of my favourite artists that I would love to be compared to. Throughout all my research, they have had a great influence on my work, not just in style and execution but the themes I have been drawn to.


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Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Though I have dabbled with documentary photography, the majority of my projects are based on a concept and theme, so I do consider myself a conceptual artist. Some works may appear quite abstract to viewers if the imagery is not backed up with an artist statement explaining the theme behind it. Tell us more about “Chasing Dreams” series I have always been interested in dream theories. Why do we dream what we dream? According to several dream theorists, dreams describe our current situation and experiences in our waking lives, which can help us to understand our identity. Dreaming is unique, but it is an activity we all share and do. Yet it is still a theme so often over-looked in the sense that is has great meaning in one’s life. Due to the subjectivity of dreams, they can be interpreted and visually expressed in so many ways, which makes it a beautiful subject to create art with. The aims of this project were to portray the interpretations and ‘latent’ meaning of dreams visually, and also explore the fragmented state of dreams. Dreams are often remembered in a very broken manner, and the whole story is not there. This ‘broken state’ can also be interpreted

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as a barrier between the subconscious and the waking life in a person – in their dreams they could be someone completely different to who they are in their waking life. This idea of reflection and barriers between two parallel worlds was another aim in the project, to portray the thought of the sleep realm being another dimension. These ideas were experimented with and executed through the use of long-exposure portrait photography, and then further edited using a glitch art technique to enhance this ‘fragmented’ aspect. What are your future plans as an artist? I still continue to research and make new projects. I currently have a couple of conceptual projects in the making, which I will gradually start to roll out on my website as I build up the images. It can be tough balancing full-time work with my own artwork on the side, so I am looking towards teaching and lecturing, where I hope to implement my own work and research into teaching and inspiring others, as well as inspiring others with artists that originally influenced me in my own work. Alongside hopes of lecturing in the future, I continue to apply for awards and competitions, hoping to exhibit and promote my work even further.


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www.juliahs.photography


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LECH

Ponce, Puerto Rico I am an artist who works with recycled materials and found objects. I find it important for the creativity and earth to use, reuse, and recycle. When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, it left the island in isolation and devastation. Piles of debris, what was left of the houses along with their damaged belongings, were dispersed in the street. These objects, not functional but salvageable, were abandoned. During this time of isolation and few resources, I devoted my time to creating with the recollections found in the debris. It was a time to reflect on our character and to be grateful for the things we had, and the things we could reuse. Nonetheless, it was a time to gain humility for the people and the agriculture of the island, Puerto Rico.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I am a sculptor residing in Puerto Rico. My artistic training is academically based. I received my Bachelors of Art from the Franklin University  of Switzerland in Visual Communication Arts with an emphasis in Studio Art, in addition, an MFA: Art and Humanities from the University of Dundee. I am currently in the process of finishing a Ph.D. in Art: Production and Research from the Universitat Politècnica de València. I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to study in differentiating universities within contrasting locations. It has given me an eclectic outlook and a deeper, global understanding of art. My focus and passion are masks. I have been heavily influenced by my culture and heritage that comes from Ponce, Puerto Rico. I was initially inspired by the folkloric creature found within the Puerto Rican culture known as the “vejigante.” This is a folkloric character seen and used within the festivities and carnivals of Puerto Rico for over the past 200 years to the present. After learning the artisanal crafting of the traditional mask, and the history that accompanies it, I decided to use the folkloric concepts and contemporize them. What is the most challenging part of working interdisciplinary? The most challenging part of being an interdisciplinary artist is to find the time for every project. I find myself working on various projects (installation, sculpture, digital, research, etc.) and always wanting more time to spend with each individual work. I am very indulged in the details. The most rewarding part about being interdisciplinary is the fact that all medium are intertwined. While working with different projects, sometimes the process of one project can help the improvement of another one. There is a constant dialogue between my research and my creative process. I find it very important to have the history behind methodologies and the physical process to be practiced hand in hand. I enjoy being an interdisciplinary artist as it has shaped and formed my foundation. I have established my methods in the “Arte Povera” movement by using everyday materials and found objects to create whimsical characters. My creative process is “re-use and recycle.” Many people believe art must be created with specific materials but I believe art can be created with anything.

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Name artists you’d like to be compared to. There are many artists that inspire and motivate me. In particular, I find inspiration from the works of Paolo Puck (@fluff.faun) and Magnhild Kennedy (@damselfrau). While both artists are contrasting in style and medium, both share the characteristics of a euphoric and whimsical motif. One can enjoy the majestic characters of Paolo Puck created through the use of colors and forms to portray an alternate universe. He creates scenes and characters that look like something out of a Hayao Miyazaki film. While the work of Magnhild Kennedy, one can indulge in the elegance and sophistication of her creation of an alter ego. I can truly appreciate their masks not only for their excellent craftsmanship but for the ambiance that both artists create individually. Masks have always been a part of society and culture in some form. I cherish artists like Paolo Puck and Magnhild Kennedy who continue to contemporized the concepts of masks.


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Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I consider myself as a creator of identifies. A sculptor, moreover, a mask-maker. A mask can liberate the mind from fears and create a barrier for whomever you are and who you can be with the disguise. I want to give a contagious curiosity to the viewer by creating the wonder of who is beneath the mask and what sensation it brings. I have always been intrigued by the mask and the abilities it gives to the person wearing it. It is my true passion even though my practice extends further. I chose to be focused on my recreation of the cultural interpretation of the masks because I am fascinated with the hidden identity. Tell us more about “Masks” project. My research focuses on a further understanding of “Vejigantes:” magnified through traditions and heritage. It is an advanced examination into the ethnographic investigation through origins and reciprocities, while experimenting with clashing cultures. While the research is done ethnographically rather than anthropologically, it is for the purpose of the investigation to be explained within the cultural context, rather than observing out of context. The analyzation and comprehension of the appreciation and the after-effects of the “vejigantes” presence in the contemporary art world. This will bring “vejigantes” from folkloric to contemporary. “Vejigante” derives from the word “vejiga,” meaning bladder, and “jigante,” meaning giant, together forming the word. It is said that they were named this because originally they always carried a “vejiga” and traditionally were always portrayed by the taller men of society. They wear colorful masks with two or more horns perturbing from the head followed by an embellished costume with very bright colors matching to their mask. The “vejiga,” carried by the “vejigante,” is an inflated cow bladder, resembling an inflated balloon. They tag the participants of the carnival with this “vejiga” as part of the ceremony. This part of the tradition is no longer continued for the most part. They are mischievous rebels during the carnival and can be compared to a jester. The “vejigantes” identity is kept hidden. The costume covers from the neck to the ankles and wrists, accompanied with gloves and a scarf to hide the mouth, face, and hands. This disguises the identity of the person under the mask, and further, hides the gender and color of the skin. Established initially through stories circulated generation to generation, this allowed a cultural history to thrive by word-of-mouth. The results present the evidence and the significance of culture and its transformation within civilization. It is also apparent the impact of the United States of America has had on Puerto Rico, by adjusting and acclimating into Western culture. Immigration, tourism, and westernization are key points that have altered the original concept of the “vejigantes” and the traditions that accompany. What is the best book you’ve recently read? I would have to admit I enjoy reading books and journal articles that pertain to the subjects of art history or anthropological studies. Due to my heavy research conducted on “vejigantes,” the best book I have recently read is “Las Caretas del Vejigante Ponceño.” This book is one of the few I have found that speaks in depth about the history behind the carnival and the “vejigante.” In addition, it is page by page translation from Spanish to English. In final, it includes a chapter dedicated to the explanation of the process for crafting a traditional “vejigante” mask. I have had the honor to met with two of the contributors of the book, Hector Rodriguez and Norberto Martell. Hector and Norberto are very intelligent art historians with a vast amount of knowledge about the cultural history of Puerto Rico. This history is what molds our culture presently. It paves the future for the contemporary artist. “You can’t really move forward until you look back.” Cornel West


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Troy Lecointe Bronx, NY, USA

As an Artist, I strive to create pieces that intrigue the interest of an audience by fusing the worlds of realism, pop art and artistic experimental techniques. My subject matter revolves around social and natural environments. I draw upon what is constant in society whether it’s politics or culture and use that as a playful jester in advertisement while also giving my audience a sense of space by bringing them into a world outside of their own. I’m knowledgable in a number of mediums which I use to further implement my goal.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you: As a kid, I’ve always had a passion of creativity. I grew up learning how to occupy myself as I didn’t have any siblings that lived with me. Naturally, art was always there to keep me entertained. I spent majority of my time in school drawing comics, and anime and sketching of whatever comes to mind, of course nothing to serious. When I got into Junior high school, thats when I started to get an insight of the arts, I was fortunate to be in a visual art class and I think that helped me understand what it was all about as far as using colors and thinking outside the box. I would always get in trouble with teachers and fail tests because I was just too focused on drawing. Eventually I got into an Artistic High School, and things went up from there as I started to practice other styles of Art and also learning some core fundamentals like perspective, texture, movement, contrast, etc. Living in NYC sort of indulges you into the diversity of music, food, art, and its many pockets of international culture. Part of my inspiration is just being able to live in a city like this. It can become so easy to be influenced by a lot of things outside your own environment. I enjoy incorporating different kinds of international art styles it into my work in subtle

ways, by doing so I’m able to learn a little bit about these different countries and how their methods can be used in my style of drawing/painting. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? One of the most challenging things about being an artist is actually being an artist. I’ve learned that its about making sacrifices, its about keeping a balance of what you need and what you want. I’d love to be able to go to the few art stores left in the city and just fill a basket full of supplies and not really think about it, but the reality is that I got to think about the future, so that includes having some kind of job and living essentials like food, water, clothes, etc. It also comes with rejection like applying to numerous galleries and/or exhibitions just to get some experience. its tough; its literally you against 500 other people trying to get into one spot. You just have to take it on the chin and move on. If I dwelled on all of the rejections I’ve had so far then I wouldn’t be where I am today. The way I see it is that if it was easy to get into every gallery I heard about then it would feel as if I don’t really have the ambition to work towards it. For a while, I struggled with making connection as far as networking with people. Naturally I consider myself to be a quiet person so it would be somewhat of a challenge to be talkative and open about what I do. Tell us more about your painting series. The series that I’m currently working on is called ‘Urban Insight’ and its sort of an homage to the city, well more like an homage to the essence of the city. Mainly, I like to focus on finding these “hidden treasures” that are littered throughout the city and interpreting them through my vision. When I started this collection in 2015 I didn’t expect it to evolve into a series. I usually create one thing and move on to the next project, but as I kept painting and seeing these sites I realized how much of an impact it had on myself. I was literally walking through a city filled with inspiration and vast quantities of expression. Within this series are about 5 sub series which are categorized in themes of NYC, for example I have one dedicated to daily commuting which is pretty much a staple for every New Yorker. Those pieces are one of the first ones I’ve ever done in the project. The latest sub series is titled ‘Bodega’ which based around the deli’s scattered around, usually on corners of the block. My idea for all of this images is to take the time and admire the things we take for granted. For all of my pieces I like to use watercolor for the atmospheric presence, acrylic to suggest the past and present, india ink for bring everything together, and one other medium that I may sometimes overlook, my latest entry included Gold Leaf. I think I’ll be using gold leaf more often. I felt that it would give the images more of a personality. Often times, I look at these places and feel the atmosphere around it. I look at how thick the paint is over the bricks, the residue of old posters/advertisements that used to be plastered on the walls and the abundance of stickers and graffiti that sort of danced around the abandoned poles and wall, that gives it so much energy in my opinion. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. If it’s in terms of inspiration then I would have to say Keith Haring, Thierry Duval, Jed Henry, David Bull and Jung gi Kim. Detail is key factor for me when it comes to art, unless the piece is meant to be minimalistic then that’s understandable.


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When I think about the work they do, I envision what they go through to achieve that level of consistency. Also, what really inspires me about their work is the dedication of thought and detail that goes into the imagery. In some ways I can see a lot of similarities in my work compared to the artists that inspire me. For some, its not necessarily based on technique but the though process. Jung gi Kim is someone who I’ve been watching for a long time, its not entirely about his style but his imagination; its the way in which he just conjures up these elaborate scenes with a brush pen without any sort of restraint, he’s confident with his mediums and thats something I take into consideration. What I like about Thierry Duval’s imagery is the steps he ensures to capture that emotion through the ambience of the scene from the water, to the architecture, and even the contrasts of light and shadow in his work. His work has that feeling of perfectionism, every detail, and gradient of color is carefully placed onto the paper, I totally understand what he does while he paints. Jed Henry & David Bull are the two main people that inspire me when it comes to adapting to different styles of art. I often channel their ambition to experiment and blend different styles. What caught my eye about their collaboration was the level of commitment they had to their series titled ‘Ukiyo-e Heroes’. It’s a mix of traditional japanese Ukiyo-e printmaking and classic video games. I’m a huge fan of both so it seemed right to watch their journey. Keith Haring’s work was symbolic, simplistic, and fun to look at. He had a style that resonated throughout the late 80’s and 90’s and it’s still fresh in today’s scene. I wish I could’ve seen his work in the stations during that era. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in NYC has always been a strong, especially in recent years where we have more opportunities to network and collaborate with people from all over the world. Being in the Bronx I can see that it’s somewhat underground, but it will definitely rise in a few years with the changes that are happening. I look forward to it, there’s a lot of talent here. The art of New York in my opinion is very expressional by the use of colors and space. There’s definitely a lot of emotion and energy in todays art scene. I’m proud to live it and see it everyday. There’s a ton of galleries and exhibitions opening up downtown and hopefully some can open up outside of Manhattan. I feel that its becoming more important in a way that its not “just art” anymore, its steadily climbing up to be on an equal playing field with other professions and movements. What are your future plans as an artist? What I would like to do in the future is have more opportunities, ultimately not just for myself but for aspiring artists who cant seem to get their foot in the door. I’ve always wanted to have a few full-fledged Art Stores in The Bronx not just for beginners but artists of all levels. It’s honestly inconvenient to have to travel all the way downtown to get one or two items. As far as my work, I want to keep going with the series, do a few commissions here and there, and mostly look into participate in project throughout the city. I plan on being in more artist showcases/galleries in the coming years as well. Eventually, I would like to start on a new series once I get everything in order and progress from that. I’m optimistic on where my career will go in the future.

instagram.com/arkcadee


Alex Manea Bucharest, Romania

I always begin my paintings with an Abstract Expressionist background, and then I move to Neo-Expressionism, adding and adding and subtracting, but sometimes I also immerse into Fauvism that I love and many other movements and different techniques. You can say that I work every stage of a painting in a different style. I extract everything I love from each art movement. I think it’s really great that I can paint in various manners on the same canvas and not be restrained by a particular style. As for the subject, I paint everything that I see or comes to my mind, or dream, or hear. I make no exceptions. I place the feelings and thoughts that I have in a particular moment in their raw form on the canvas.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. When I was a child I didn’t like to paint or draw, my mother used to do my assignments for school. I began painting later than others, at 25 years, first as a joke, but gradually it became an obssesion for me and I realised this is what I was meant to do in life. I was in a very chaotic period of my life, with non stop partying, drinking and not caring about anything in particular. So, I can say that art came like a salvation for me. I found a purpose, I am more relaxed, I don’t drink so much now. I have a wife, a child now. Art really helped me and I will always be grateful and appreciate art. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I would say that in Romania the art scene is pretty inexistent. There are a couple of very good artists, but most of them are working and are appreciated in other countries, not in Romania. Here, the art scene, as I said doesn’t exist, since the government doesn’t care about art and doesn’t support artists, the galleries that exist here are very unprofessional, and the majority of the people would rather buy a printed canvas rather than a painted one. It’s a very sad situation, but it’s great that nowadays artists are not limited to their living area, and can collaborate and work anywhere in the world. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I often change styles, and my current working method is usually compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat which I love by the way, but those who do it must realise that even if I use in my paintings some elements,techniques or backgrounds simillar to his, I always tell my own stories on the canvas. Jean-Michel initiated an art movement. Every artist that paints

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in a fauvist manner does not have to be compared with Matisse, for example. I resonate very well with the Neo Expressionist movement right now, and I can understand some people misconceptions. Tell us more about your painting series. I am currently working in an eclectic manner, combining elements and techniques from Abstract Expressionism, Neo Expressionism, Neo Pop Art and others. I often begin my paintings with an Abstract Expressionist background, and then I move to Neo Expressionism, adding and adding and subtracting. I guess this is the best way for me to tell my stories on the canvas. As for subject, I paint everything that I see or comes to my mind, or dream, or hear. I make no exceptions. I place my feelings and my thoughts that I have in a particular moment in their raw form on the canvas. For example, I could paint a field of poppies and then for a second the poppies would seem soccer balls to me. Than I would cut, or paint over the poppies and draw soccer balls over them. After, maybe I would be thirsty, and I would draw a bottle of water, or maybe just write water or H20. And so on. I really enjoy it. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I usually don’t respond well at receiving advices, altough I respect and analyze every single one that I get, but in the end I do it my way. So, I will have to say that best tips I receive come from me, when I question myself. What are your future plans as an artist? Of course I want to grow as an artist and have more and more recognition, but my main target is to produce a style or movement that will be completely new and truly innovative. I will not rest until I will have it. I have some very good ideas that I am experimenting right now, which will be presented in the near future, so keep an eye on my evolution.


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https://www.instagram.com/alexmaneaart/


Brittany Minnes New York, NY, USA I live in New York and find inspiration every single day from the people I encounter. I am a chronicler of trends and fashions, from the windows of Bloomingdales to street style. My favorite thing is seeing confident women indulging themselves in their vices, whether its drinking a cup of coffee, snacking on a bag of chips or having a glass of wine. I love to capture and romanticize these every day moments while enhancing the natural feminine movements of a woman. My wish for my paintings is to make the viewer feel like they are sharing an intimate moment with the subjects. I also enjoy painting abstract works that have symbolism throughout. These paintings are also a therapeutic outlet for me. I have suffered with anxiety throughout my entire life and painting helps me cope with it. I love to experiment with color, texture, shapes and put “secret messages� in my works.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I grew up in a household where my brother and I were always encouraged to embrace our creativity. My mom and her side of the family are all artists in one way or another- musicians, photographers, carpenters, painters, seamstresses, crafters, you name it. My mom is a very talented painter. She was always working on an art project of some sort. Being creative has always been a part of me, and painting is something I have been doing my entire life. I actually didn’t really think of painting/drawing as a special talent until my early adulthood. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am so lucky to live right in the center of the best art scene!!!! I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There is so much inspiration around me all of the time. My favorite subject to paint is women, especially wearing fashionable clothing. There are so many poeple with unique style in my neighborhood and I LOVE it. There is also amazing street art, art galleries, music venues, and festivals. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. This is difficult because I definitely have my own unique, individual art style. I don’t know if I could say that I would want to be compared to any one. I actually remind myself NOT to compare my work to other artists because that breeds insecurities and self doubt. There certainly are so many artists who I absolutely

love and admire, all for their own unique qualities. Ekaterina Popova for her transcendental use of colors, Donald Robertson for his humour and ingenious pop culture references, Blair Bernstein for her unique drawing style and beautiful fashion paintings, Bernard Buffet for his use of sharp lines, and the eerie essence to his paintings! C.J Hendry for creating COOL, edgy, innovative pop art, … All of these people inspire me in different ways, but could never be compared to because each one is unique and special. I’ll continue to be influenced and inspired while understanding that what makes all of the artists I admire great, is because they embrace their individual strengths and talents and cannot be compared to anyone else. Tell us more about your painting series. My largest series to date is my “ladies” I paint women in the latest trends or fashions, indulging themselves in their vices or just being cool, confident, and stylish. Women are so complex, intriguing, mysterious and interesting. I try to convey all of these incredible qualities of women in my works. I love the femininity of womens hands and how they hold things. I love the tenderness behind a woman’s gaze. I want every woman to look at my paintings and see themselves, and their own favorite qualities, in the women I paint. I want the women in my paintings to remind men of the women in their lives who they love and admire. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best art tip I ever received, is from my good friend Fares Rizk, an incredible artist. He told me to step away from what I am working on every so often. Stepping away and observing, taking a break, giving the painting a rest- This is very important. There is such thing as a painting being “over-worked” or taking a painting too far when you should have just left it a certain way. A lot of times your gut will tell you that a painting is finished but your mind will tell you to keep going because something isn’t “perfect.” It’s always best to go with your gut when it comes to art!!! What are your future plans as an artist? I am in the process of designing a handbag line, with my mom and step dad. The name of the handbag line is DONNA BAGS, named after my mom. Each of the bags are hand crafted by my step dad, and then hand painted by me. They’re designed in NY and made in America. I want to combine my love of art and fashion and create wearable pieces of art that can be a staple part of a woman’s wardrobe as well as an investment piece and a collectible piece of art.


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brittanyminnes.com


Kerstin Paillard Juan les Pins, France

Louise Bourgeois once said “Color is stronger than language. It’s a subliminal communication.” My abstract paintings are the expression of my fascination for colors and forms, skies and landscapes, the northern light and the southern brightness. The paintings are only made of pure pigments from the dry pastels that I crush, smash and smear on the canvas. My process is physical and tactile, engaging all of my body and senses. I paint laying on the floor, I need to feel near and part of the painting, working from the four sides, walking around the canvas and literally being in the painting. I put coat after coat of pigments, trying to bring up the best of every tint, its deepness, vibrations, force and sensibility. The gesture is intense and specific, the pace high, the composition completed in my mind, the work is made in one sitting and the degrees of separation between feeling and fulfillment are narrow. To preserve the special aspect of dry pastel and the brightness and deepness of the pure pigments, and to heighten the effect of each color, I have developed a unique process of varnishing the pastels on the canvas by applying the mixture in many thin layers, in order to get the same finish as an oil painting. I am moved by color relationships, but I don’t want my pictures appreciated solely for their spectral qualities. I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them. I’m interested in expressing strong emotions and deep feelings, creating a meaningful dialogue with the spectators, envelop the viewers in a particular atmosphere, and inviting them to take part of an immaterial world, filled with serenity, existentialism and poetry. I love the abstract for its lack of representation and total freedom, and I urge the viewers to seek personal spirituality by projecting their own internal ideas onto my canvas. The expected effect of my paintings is an intense emotion or ethereality. An Art Residency (during summer and fall 2018) in Lapland in the North of Sweden, led me to create a body of work called Laponia, a series of paintings composed of several interconnected artworks inspired by the light, the skies, the landscapes and the colors of these artic areas (these paintings are part of this series). Kerstin Paillard was born 1977 in Paris, France and raised between Stockholm, Sweden and South of France. She received a BFA in 1999 from the Contemporary Art School, Villa Arson, Nice, France and an MFA in 2005 from the University of Montpellier, France. Kerstin lives and works between Nice, France and Stockholm, Sweden. Kerstin Paillard continuously refines and extends the traditions of lyrical abstraction. Experimenting the processes and the limits of the dry pastel, she brings together the immediacy of Abstract Expressionism and the intuitive gesture of Colorfield paintings (Helen Frankenthaler, Rothko), in her exploration of gesture, rythm and color. She creates paintings notable for their luminosity, texture, and sculptural presence. Her richness of palette and her use of only dry pastels crushed into pure pigment powder put on linen canvas, depicting the dawn, the light, the landscapes and skies of the South of France and the North of Sweden, create a compelling work of abstract art by which the viewer feels endlessly absorbed.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I was raised between Stockholm, Sweden and southern France. Since childhood, I have felt divided between the introspective, solitary culture of the vast Swedish landscapes and the more emotive character of the French. My work embodies this personal sense of ambivalence. A colorist since childhood, I began painting at an early age, always attuned to the ways that color and light merged with thought itself. I have a long-held obsession with the skies, their hues and ever changing designs. This fascination has led to a lot of travels and to become the basis of my work. In my early works from the 1990s, I started using dry pastels that I experienced and juxtaposed on different medias, with various densities and layers, repeating vertical gestures. These led to related color fields works on linen canvas, that I later combined with the cloud-like forms, to create deep, spiritual and celestial paintings. My abstract paintings are inspired by the dawn, the light, the landscapes, the nature and the skies of the South of France and the North of Sweden, my observative and introspective way of life, my dreams and extensive travels. I live and work between Nice, France and Stockholm, Sweden. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? My paintings are only made of pigments from the dry pastels that I crush, smash and smear on the canvas. My process is physical and tactile, engaging all of my body and senses. I paint laying on the floor, I need to feel near and part of the painting, working from the four sides, walking around the canvas and literally being in the painting. I put coat after coat of pigments, trying to bring up the best of every tint, its deepness, vibrations, force and sensibility. The gesture is intense and specific, the pace high, the composition completed in my mind, the work is made in one sitting and the degrees

of separation between feeling and fulfillment are narrow. This type of process that vacillates between structure and intuition is comparable to the primitive dances, where the orchestrated movements are countered by spontaneity and chance. To preserve the special aspect of dry pastel and the brightness and deepness of the pure pigments, and to heighten the effect of each color, I have developed a unique process of varnishing the pastels on the canvas by applying the mixture in many thin layers, in order to get a finnish comparable to an oil painting. For me is the most challenging part of being an artist this physical process combined with an experimental painting technique that allows for the unexpected to appear in my work as I encounter and overcome unforeseen challenges. Tell us more about your painting series. During 2018, I had the opportunity to do art residencies in the North of Sweden, in a little village called Västra Örträsk in the region of Lapland. Here started a new series called “Laponia. Looking for Northern Lights”, inspired by the light, the sky, the colours, the nature and the people and the silence of the nights in Laponia. I had always dreamed about the particular atmosphere and luminosity you have in this polar area, the fantastic skies and surrounded brightness. But the experience was even better then my dreams. I felt litterally in love with the skies and the clouds, the landscapes and the nature, the man-


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ifold shades and hues, the inhabitants and the incredible surrounding serenity, the wide landscapes and the feeling of freedom. This particular light and these skies that never get dark even during the winter, the reflections in the frozen lakes, the albescent horizon and the indigo sunset, every moment was highly inspiring for me. Introspection and dreams are very important parts of my work. Spending time looking for the Northern Ligths was a magical experience. My purpose is not to tell a story, it is about a dream that came true and to encourage reflexion and imagination by providing the viewers with an intangible and emotional experience, to urge the viewers to seek personal spirituality by projecting their own internal ideas onto my canvas. With this body of work I want to invite the viewers to an immaterial world filled with serenity and hope, to embrace them with the particular atmosphere of Laponia, make them travel, dream and spur their desire of exploration and freedom. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I like to describe myself as someone who continuously refines and extends the traditions of lyrical abstraction by experimenting the processes and the limits of the dry pastel and bringing together the immediacy of Abstract Expressionism and the intuitive gesture of Colorfield paintings. So Rothko of course, the master of colors and spirituality, and Helen Frankenthaler. But also Edgar Degas and his late works in pastel witch where more painted then drawn, Olafur Eliasson and his contemporary metaphysics and way of understanding the beauty of nature, Louise Bourgeois for her personal engagement and approach of being a female artist and who once said “Colour is stronger than language. It’s a subliminal communication.” How would you describe the art scene in your area ? It is hard to describe an area as everything today is connected with internet and social medias. I consider myself as a World Citizen where everything is possible and where I define the boarders and the limits. What are your future plans as an artist?   First of all, I would like to undefinitely progress technically and continue on my project of developping and pushing the limits of dry pastel. Doing always larger scaled canvas are a prioroty for me since I manage to overwin the difficulties of fixing the pigments by discovering a way of using varnish. In a more immediate time, I am going to work for a period in my seaside studio in the south of France, enjoying the brightness and the atmosphere of the spring and summer in Provence, preparing future exhibitions. Then I am really pleased to do an art residency at Emma Ricklund Foundation in Marsfjäll, a little town in Lapland in the North of Sweden, in fall 2019. During the summer 2019 some of my works will be shown in the Museum Gustavo de Maeztu in Estella, Spain, Summer 2019. A Solo exhibition called «  Introspection  » is planned by Redsheep Gallery in Malaga, Spain, during winter 2019.

kcpaillard.com


Nez Sweetlove London, UK ​


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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I’d have to say David La Chapelle. He is an extraordinary human being with an extraordinary mind. When looking at this work you’d straight away notice the obvious bold sexual innuendo blasted in your face, but look closer and you’ll see a message in his work that may have not been easy to spot at first. I favour his boldness, his bravery of using nude bodies in his work and of course taking advantage of the use of sexualisation that we are already very familiar with in our surroundings, which we see in many successful media platforms and companies. He influenced me in being a brave individual. I feel that I can relate the aura that my own photography expresses with his eccentric ideas visible in his art. However, what consists in the frame of my art is not as busy as in his photography and instead, I aim to make my work to be as if it belongs in an editorial fashion magazine page, you know, that glossy page that screams out at you via a certain quirk that sticks in your mind for the whole day. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The most challenging part of being an artist is criticising your own work. As I work with photography, after every photo I take I step back and think, “Would people really enjoy viewing this photo? Will it express sparks of quirky fun, a strange aura or something that will stick to the mind and be remembered?” There are times where hours of planned photo shoots and taken shots go to waste and get discarded as they don’t turn out to be as what was expected from the moment the idea was jotted down. And that’s o.k. Discarded shots are O.K. because I believe that

is how you grow as an artist, with trial and error, as well as, putting yourself into the shoes of the audience to view your work from afar, also showing your work to a small community of people before claiming it an official piece of work from yourself and really seeing if you all get any peculiar feeling out of it. If so –bingo! You have succeeded in getting through to your audience. Sometimes it’s good to take risks too and simply choosing to air your work because you yourself like it and it’s the way you wanted it to turn out so people can like it or lump it. There’s always going to be someone that doesn’t like your work but there will always be people who will. Tell us more about the “Sweet Love” series. If you go on www.nez-sweetlove.com you will see that Sweet Love is an on-going colour photography series about the obsession and the passionate love of observing sweets up closer; the situations one would go through to feel closer to the sweets that they desire more than anything in the world and the lengths that they would go through to be ‘it’. Audiences will always see the sweet reference throughout every photo. They may find it odd, but the word odd is the very word that is what drives me to take more photos as only the most wacky and strange pieces of work from artists and the media are what always stick to my mind in the long run, e.g. Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion”, Tracy Emin’s ‘My Bed’ and the albino snake coming out of 3 lipstick wearing mouths from the cover of the third season of the horror television series ‘American Horror Story’. I enjoy so much the context of my life long project as I see so much fun in trying to find new things, situations and objects in our every day


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life that I can intertwine with sweets and mix it’s purpose. If you look around carefully, the context of nearly everything around us can be played around with, you just have to be creative. I always wondered how the eyes of somebody with a proper strong obsession for sweets would look at the world. You know that feeling of falling in love with someone and going into a crowd and looking around and feeling as if the face of your crush is everywhere you look? Like that’s the only face you want to see so you end up thinking you mistook 1 person, 2 people, 78 people, a lamppost with a circular sign on it to be your crush’s face? Your eyes only search that person because of how much love you have for them and so I took this thought into mind and wanted to do the same for any everyday objects or situations one can go through ALWAYS with the reference of sweets being imbedded within it somewhere… any where. In a cheeky way of course. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Everyone’s perspective of art differs. There is no right or wrong for this question. To me, art has always been something that I would want to only view if it made me react to it. Any kind of reaction. Just simply the fact that it would stop and make me

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pause has made it successful in my eyes. I think there has been a controversial thought that in this era most contemporary art no longer holds deep meaning and can so quickly and easily be created/formed/painted that I have seen non-artists reacting in ways such as labelling it as ‘lazy work’ or ‘my 3 year old could have done that’. That is something that annoys me. I remember viewing an art installation of a messed up part of a studio space resembling a tornado hitting an old man’s living room. There were old vinyl’s, old tatted books, antique wooden chairs, tailored trousers of an elderly gentleman all destroyed and thrown about in different parts of the space which was not at all in a neat manner. It was a mess. But to see what was thrown around was really interesting because if you looked closer you could see old black and white photographs here and there and it was all supposed to resemble and express the whirlwind of a mind of an old man with dementia and how remembering his memories which come and go and were mixed with each other felt like. It touched me so much reading the artist statement after, that hearing some muffled murmur from non artists about how ‘this shouldn’t be classed as art’ annoyed me so much. I think some people forget to dive in to the work that they view. My work isn’t as deep and sombre but I would like to leave a lasting impression on audiences so they think “Oh! Look what’s happened there!”


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How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in my area is pretty diverse as there are many different types of communities engaged in pretty much every form of department you would hope to see in an art building of a university. All you have to do is be willing to join those communities and learn more about the specific media you want to experiment with. The diversity here is what makes living where I live fun because you always have someone to show your work to if you feel unsure. Name three artists you admire. Forever will be David La Chapelle mainly because of his quirky ‘Milk Maidens’ photograph, which is the first work of his I ever discovered when I first learnt about him. So smart, just so smart, I mean I can’t express or put into words how much I love the quirky aura of that photo. My second will be Tracy Emin mainly because of her ‘My Bed’ installation. It takes a strong, bold character to be able to put such personal information out in the open like that and opening one’s self to be an easy target of criticism, I applaud her for her bravery and honesty and am very highly influenced by her behavioural traits to take risks. I know I am expected to give you the last third artist’s name but I have to say Tom Cotton and Ivan Alifan as the way that they paint an actual euphoria-like world purely made out of sugar and icing just absolutely astonishes me and I adore them both. What are your future plans? My future plans are to forever incorporate sweets into anywhere I look and give my audiences the chance to wear an invisible pair of glasses that enable them to see sweets imbedded in objects they see every day.


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nez-sweetlove.com


Anett Udud Dublin, Ireland


Art Reveal Magazine

It’s your second time in our magazine, what changes since the 33rd issue? I guess the first thing I would like to mention here is that since my previous interview in the 33rd issue I have moved house. The most important change that brought is that I finally have the space to have my own home studio where I can hide and focus on my art. Having my own space makes such a huge difference, I feel so much more creative than ever before. I spend hours in my little hideaway every day and it feels amazing having a real art studio. In the past, not having my own space made it incredibly hard to work on my art. I had to compromise a lot, cram all my art equipment into tiny spaces simply because I had no other choice if I wanted to photograph or paint. These equipment are quite heavy and big and, as I didn’t have a room for years, I had to keep packing and unpacking my stuff. Especially my backdrop and light boxes are a nightmare to setup and pack into boxes again. It is a huge advantage that I can just leave them in the studio and use them straight away when I’m shooting without having to set them up every time. However I am delighted with my little studio and making it more and more me every day this is only temporary. I have always wanted an attic room as an art studio; it has been my dream for a long time and now it is a possibility. I have also opened my own website, www.anettudud.com a couple of weeks ago. The website allows me to showcase all my photographic work, write a blog and sell my fine art prints in my own webshop as well. Having my own website is such a huge step for me I have never even thought I would be brave enough to take. I am very happy that I made this decision as my website and my blog allows me to reach people who are interested in my artwork. It is a very personal way to express myself and share the background stories of my photographic work as well. It means I can share my journey and document my artistic process and share the mistakes I made along the way. I hope this way I can help other new artists and make their journey a little bit easier. Anyone can easily subscribe to my newsletter on the home page of my website to get notified about new blog posts and receive special offers on my fine art prints. I am also very active on my social media sites and recently started using Instagram (www.instagram.com/anett_udud). I am also available on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter where I post regular updates on new blog posts, new artworks and news. I have recently started working with Saatchi Art online gallery (www.saatchiart.com/anettudud) and regularly make new artwork available to buy on my account. This is the first time I had the chance to work with an online gallery and I am very excited about the opportunities they provide. Having been able to put my images right in front of art collectors and people who are interested in art is a huge advantage and a great opportunity for me as a photographer. Since my previous interview in the 33rd issue I have finished college and became a qualified photographer. I have received my Certificate in Photography in 2017

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in Griffith College, Dublin. College has been one of the biggest challenge of my life but I loved trying out new techniques and new equipment I wouldn’t have the chance to use otherwise. The biggest challenge was trying out film cameras and developing images in the darkroom. Not having been able to edit the pictures was the hardest thing as post-production is such an important part of my usual process. College helped me a lot to push my boundaries and put my work out there. I also got my first exhibition opportunity through college. My image Torn, 2017 was selected to be exhibited as part of the “Beyond Your Fear” group exhibition organized by the Tedx Talk organization, held in Griffith College, Dublin. What is the most challenging part of working with photography? I believe that no matter what kind of art they create, all artists get the “creative block” every now and then. Sometimes I simply don’t know what project I should start because even though I have a whole sketchbook filled with ideas I really have to be in the mood if I want to create. Sometimes I look at my notes and feel like it is just not the time to start any particular project. And of course there are days when I really just want to relax and don’t go


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even near the studio. On these days I really have to push myself to pick up the camera or do anything work related. I think it is safe to say that we all felt like this (no matter what type of art we do) and the only thing we can do on days like this is just get up and do it! I’m not saying no one ever should have a lazy day. However I found myself distancing myself from art too many times and I learnt not to give into my “laziness”. I have a schedule for every day which helps me tremendously to stay creative and stick to my plan each day. This is one of the most challenging part of working with photography but it is something I learnt to improve. However there are factors unfortunately artists can help because it is outside of their control. If I look at the business side, professionally the most challenging part of working with photography nowadays is to get recognition. Even though there are thousands of magazines and art galleries looking for talented, emerging artists I have to spend loads of time searching for the right organizations that suits the media I work with and my personal style as an artist. Artists also need to consider their budget before submitting work to any of the open calls for magazine feature or exhibition. Most of the open calls out there are not free to enter so a submission fee needs to be paid before the submission is even consider for the feature. On some of the open calls the fee only needs to be paid if the submission gets excepted so artists only pay for the actual publication. Lastly there are magazines out there with the opportunity of getting published straight away but their fees are very high even for a one page spread with only one images displayed. I am always very careful with these type of magazines and do a lot of research before I except any of their packages. Most of the time these magazines target new artists they found on social media with an email saying “we love your work and would love to work with you”. I got many emails like that since I have started photography and after speaking to previously featured artists I came to a conclusion that most of the time these magazines don’t provide much for the submission fee. What they promise is usually very vague and artists can only hope to get something out of it. I personally don’t think that this type of paid press is worth it.


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The other reason why I think nowadays getting exposure is difficult is that (without a huge budget for advertising purposes) most magazines and organisations wouldn’t feature emerging artists without many sales and Instagram followers. The lack of opportunities for new artists can be very discouraging for someone at the beginning of their career. I believe the other most common reason why it is hard to get exposure is that most magazines publish a certain type of art. For example my surreal, painterly images don’t fit the theme of most art magazines out there so in my case my style of photography is the most common reason why I can’t get published on certain platforms. At the beginning of my career most of the magazines I contacted didn’t even get back to me. Now I know it was because I didn’t do my research before I sent out emails to all type of magazines without researching what type of artwork they feature. I like to believe that now I’m much smarter and actively looking for magazines my artwork would fit into. That having said, I still have to put loads of time and effort into finding the right platform for my art and I do believe new artists are in a much harder position. However there are thousands of magazines, galleries and art organizations out there who are looking for new talents, so with a bit (actually a lot) of research everyone can find the right platform for any type of art and photography. What is your creative process like? With most of my projects the whole creative process from start to finish is quite long, it can take up to a few month. The planning stage is usually the longest part, because I always think about every detail before I start photographing. Every time an idea comes to my mind I make a very simple, quick sketch and add notes to it. I usually write everything down from what kind of costume I would like to use, the texture of the background, the mood I would like to show with the final image etc. When a project idea comes to my mind most of the time it is not a solid picture it’s more like a feeling, a memory, a scent or a mood. So I write down all these details in order to be able to create an image as close as possible to the one in my head. Or more precisely to be able to create an image that would describe a certain feeling or memory as best as possible. In my free time, I like reading, so my images are often influenced by books, mainly fairy tales and stories about fantasy and

reality. I am the kind of person who can read for hours and can get lost in a book completely. I think my passion about reading and books gave me a perspective for my photographic work as well and it is one of my main inspirations. I always use a model for my pictures, who can be identified as “the main character of my story”. I want to show my vision through my character’s eyes, the same way when reading a book and “experience” everything through the lead character. I often look at paintings as well, to find inspiration, while creating my own pictures. I believe, looking at my work, the impact of this medium is apparent: my pictures are very “painterly”, the overall colour tone of them is highly manipulated, there are no real blacks or whites, the midtones are very dominant. I often add fog to my pictures in post-production, which helps me create a dream-like scene as most of the time I visualise ideas from my imagination. When I have all the details planned I start looking for the perfect location where I can take the pictures. Most of my images (especially my portraits) are taken in the studio. Planning these type of pictures are easier because I don’t have to think about the location. If I decide to shoot outdoors I need to think of the bigger picture and consider what I would like to include in the shot from the background besides my model. The next stage is to find the necessary equipment, accessories and costumes for the project. To find the perfect dress for example can take a long time as well, as most of the time I have a very definite idea in mind and it is very hard to make compromises if I can’t find a dress close enough to it. To find all the costumes and tools I need for a picture or a series usually takes a few weeks. Something I always keep in mind is not to include anything modern in my shots. I always shoot in front of a neutral background, the costumes I use most of the time are very plain in colour and old fashioned in style as I want to create sort of timeless, ageless images. Usually the shooting itself doesn’t take more than a few hours. If it’s an outdoor picture or series, I usually shoot from 5-7 at the afternoon, depending on the season and the lighting conditions. If it is a series I’m photographing, most of the time, I have to shoot the day after as well at the same time to make sure the light is very similar so there is only minimal editing involved in post-production to match the lighting. Shooting a series obviously

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takes longer as I take more pictures and I also I like to experiment with different angles and poses, as it is very challenging to create different but still coherent images with the same setup. When I have the final images I start editing them. I always use Photoshop to edit my images as the program provides me with everything I need to give my images the look I want. I believe I decided to do fine art and work with Photoshop because of my passion about painting. When I started using the program I was surprised how similar it is to physically painting with brushes and actual paint. The idea of mixing the two media by editing my raw pictures in Photoshop gave me endless possibilities as an artist. Considering the shooting and the editing process I could put my images into two categories. On some of my images are easy to achieve the final look by building the setup and just take the image in it. In these images I usually just change the light and the colour tone in Photoshop which only takes a few hours. There are images I have to work on more as these are consisted from several individual shots which I have to compose and cut together during the post production. Sometimes when it is not possible to shoot my model in front of the background I want to use, I shoot the background and my model separately and cut them together in Photoshop. Most of the time I take a few pictures of my model with the same pose, so afterwards I can correct the small mistakes by using certain elements from another picture. The editing process in case of these images usually takes up to 20 hours. There are certain themes in my photographic work I build my pictures around, namely: dreams, fairy tales, death, re-birth, depression, self-expression, loneliness and identity. My images are always staged because I want to be in control of how my pictures will look like. I also often cover my model’s face as most of the time the person of the model is simply not important. I don’t want the face or the expression of the model mislead or have an effect on the viewer unless the expression is actually important. Although in my portraiture I often use the model’s face to convey emotions sometimes I cover some part of the face in my portraiture as well. I feel like the goal I want to achieve each time I create a new piece is to show emotions and make the viewer feel how I felt when when the idea came to my mind. I only create images based on my own experiences, my own feelings because I feel like this is the only way I can create something real.


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Professionally, what’s your goal? I have started photography as a hobby and created only for myself. In 2013 I have moved from Hungary to Ireland, and at the beginning I was incredibly lonely. Photography started out as something I do when I have a bit of free time for myself but it quickly became more than that, a sort of therapy for me, a way to deal with my feelings in this difficult period of my life. It was a tool to “paint” and visualise these feelings in order to be able to face them and deal with them. However it was probably the hardest period of my life, I believe my experiences helped me became the person who I am now and as a photographer I learned to find inspiration in every aspects of my life. I have never thought that I would be working with magazines and galleries and people would actually want to know about my story and would be interested in my work. I feel like it is a huge achievement already to have a website and a blog, to work with magazines and galleries. I would like to continue working with art organisations, develop and improve my website and widen the topics of my blog posts. (...) All in all I believe if there are magazines and galleries who would like to work with me and there are people who are interested in my art, every opportunity and chance to show my work feels like I have achieved my goal. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? It is definitely “Do what you love and the rest will follow”. I know it is probably the biggest cliché but it is true if you think about it and I really live by this advice. I believe no matter what type of art someone creates every artwork should be created with passion and with a goal of self-expression. No matter what platform artists use to put their work out there and get exposure they should always keep in mind why they started art at the first place. In my opinion the biggest mistake artists make nowadays is to create and share on various online platforms purely for likes, followers and views. I strongly disagree with this tactic as this way they will quickly forget to enjoy the process of creating and as they want more and more likes and followers they will never be satisfied with their achievements. I always have to be in a certain mood and mind set to sit down and create. Sometimes I just want to sit down and paint or draw for hours, other days I really just want to focus on my photographic work. However I do have a schedule to make sure I am not behind with any of my projects and I do set deadlines for each piece I work on, I also give myself plenty of time to make sure I am not forcing myself and actually enjoying the process of creating. In my opinion if an artist’s main goal is to have hundreds of followers than they are doing it completely wrong. People often put loads of time and effort into gaining followers, spending hours on Instagram to get people to look at their profile. I think we are all familiar with the “Follow me and I follow you back” strategy many people use on Instagram which I think is just not right at all. I believe engaging with others is very important, but it shouldn’t take the time away from actually creating. Nothing draws attention to an artist and their artwork more than good content. I for example rather spend more time on a particular piece and post it only when I am perfectly happy with the final image. However as I mentioned before I do set deadlines as I feel like I need these to motivate me and push me, I never let this to take away from the joy of creating and I do give myself allowances sometime. I do thinks artists should be on social media as it is a great tool and they can reach a huge audience but I don’t think having a schedule

for sharing artwork is the way to go. I personally only post on my social media sites when I feel like I have something worth sharing and I don’t have a set schedule for sharing my work, as one week I might have a finished piece every day I would like to share and another week I only have one image so a schedule really wouldn’t work for me. I think another important point I need to mention here is originality. I think artists should actively work on finding their own personal style at the beginning of their career. What I mean by that is experiment with different type of photography, taking hundreds of different type of pictures if that’s’ what it takes, then thinking about what type of photography they enjoy the most and move into that direction. I think most artists make the mistake of creating artwork based on what is popular at the moment and what type of artwork other artists produce. Finding inspiration in others’ portfolios is great but we should all stay original and don’t copy someone’s work step by step to achieve the exact same look they have. Staying true to our own original style and create what we really enjoy is the most important thing we should always keep in mind. Tell us more about “(Pl)aesthetic” project. My art is often associated with death and sadness, because of my personal style of photography. I certainly want to create a sense of loneliness and darkness thorough my images because I want to make people think about the story behind the image in front of them. However I also want to show that bad experiences and feelings are unavoidable and necessary to develop, grow and shape as a human being. Even though looking at my images could give the impression of sadness and loneliness, the message I want to convey is always positive. Last year I started the project, (Pl)aesthetic which was inspired by these type of comments and feedback about my images being very dark and sad. It is true that using vivid, intense colours is very unusual in my photographic work so I decided to create something different from my usual art, focusing only on the aesthetic of each image in the series. Basically I wanted to give meaning to the images by having no meaning, showing that an image can be pretty and pleasing to the eye with no real story or important message behind it. As I mentioned before, I usually have a very long creating process and most of the time I plan all the details even before I start shooting a particular photography project. It was completely different with (Pl)aesthetic as I experimented a lot along the way and simply just had fun creating the images. First I decided how many images I would like to create in this series and what main colours I want to dominate in each of them. In order to select the colours and decide what items I was going to use in each shot I made loads of sketches and notes. I usually just make very quick black and white sketches when an idea comes to my mind and add some notes about the colours or textures I want to use. In this case I coloured my sketches and made colour swatches to decide what colours would look good together. However as I said when I started shooting this project I didn’t have all the details finalized. I deliberately wanted to work a bit more freely than usual, step out of my comfort zone and experiment, try colour combinations and a setup I haven’t tried before. From the very start when this idea came to my mind and started planning the project I knew that it will be a self-portrait series. Because I didn’t have a concrete plan for this series I felt like me being the model will give me the time to experiment and work


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without pressure. In all of the shots in this series I decided to cover a different part of the face. I used different everyday items for this purpose. I basically just thought of the colours I picked for the backgrounds and picked objects that came to my mind. I just had fun and experimented with the items and tried many different ones for each shot. I also decided to use harmonious colours in each image to create a nice aesthetic. I played around with the different shades of a particular colour and manipulated the colours so the item I used in the foreground is a slightly different shade than the background itself. I believe this subtle difference made the item pop out but at the same time (because of the harmonious colours) it doesn’t stand out too much, the image as a whole has an aesthetically pleasing colour combination. For the pink image I definitely wanted to use bubble gum as my object in front of the face. When I was little I loved these pink bubble gums you could blow huge bubbles with. Until this day when I taste something sweet like them it brings back so many memories and feelings from my childhood. This gave me an inspiration for this shot. I wanted to create something almost childish and funny with the bubble in the foreground which I thought would be an interesting way to cover the lower part of the face as well. In the yellow shot I wanted to show the opposite. As oppose to the sweetness of the bubble gum there is the sour taste of the lemon. I used the facial expression, particularly the lips, sort of as a tool to illustrate the taste so in this shot I covered the eyes with the lemon. In order to achieve my goal and create aesthetically please colour combinations in each shot, I had to change the colour of my hair and my eyes in most of the pictures in post-production. It was a very fun thing to do, to experiment with the colours and try different looks. As this was the very first time I created these “wild” hair colours in Photoshop, it was a great way to learn new techniques, step out of my comfort zone and push my boundaries as an artist. I came up with the name, plaesthetic after I finished shooting. I just had the raw pictures saved on my computer in a file named simply colours. I was looking for a name that suited this fun and colourful photo series. Plaesthetic came from the words plastic and aesthetic. I think it defines the series very well. I wanted to create sort of plastic-like images focusing only on the aesthetic without having any deep meaning behind the pictures. This name shows a sort

of emptiness and lack of meaning and suggests the aesthetically pleasing, harmonious composition at the same time. All in all I am very pleased with the finished images because, however most of my images might be dark, I do love colours. Having said that, I feel like most of the time I simply can’t use vivid colours in my photographic work because it wouldn’t suit my projects. Due to the themes I like to explore, I use darker and less saturated colours to achieve a “dreamy” look in my images. Even though it is different from my photographic style, I enjoyed creating the images of the (Pl)aesthetic series nonetheless. Trying something completely new was very challenging but I learnt a lot during the process and I am very happy with the results. What are you working on right now? The main focus is definitely on my website at the moment. I have opened www.anettudud.com only recently. Mainly I wanted to showcase all my photographs but the website allowed me to start a blog as well which is a very personal way to reach people who are interested in my art. It is amazing to be able to speak to my audience through my blog posts and I feel very lucky for this. I have never thought a blog could be such a powerful tool to reach your audience and connect with people I have never met. I am not a writer and I don’t think I am particularly good with words but writing on the blog is so much easier than I thought. I really enjoy it and I post every Monday on various topics. The reason I wanted to start a blog was to be able to document my journey as a photographer in a hope to help other artists. Since I have started photography I made many mistakes along the way. I feel like I have learnt something from each one but it has been a long and difficult journey nonetheless. Today I can say that I feel like I have found my way and I am on the right path. Of course there is always something more the achieve, more to learn but I do feel like I am going in to the right direction. This inspired me to start a blog and share my experiences and mistakes as they formed and shaped me into the person and the artist I am today. I also regularly share photography tips I think would be very useful especially to new artists. The newest topic on the blog is the “Art Magazine Review” section. Working with magazines like Art Reveal Magazine was such an amazing experience for me and it helped me a lot to put to my work out

there, in front of the right people who are interested in art. I think many new artists don’t realize what a powerful “tool” it is. Having said that there are many magazines out there who would target artists, found on social media, with the same generic message about their work being a great fit in the magazine. Of course they are only mention the prices when specifically asked and they expect loads of money for little or no return. I feel like it is important to share my experiences on working with art magazines because it is very hard to find magazines who are actually interested in the artists and passionate about art and not only want money. On the blog I also share my personal artist story and the background behind each of my photographs and photo series in the Monthly Photo section. I hope these will help people to get to know me in order to “understand” my art. I also work with Saatchi Art and another online gallery is currently reviewing my application so I am hoping that I will have the chance to work with them as well in the future. I feel very lucky creating in 2019 as these galleries can be a huge help for artists to sell their work as when you upload your art you put them in front of people who actually interested in art and willing to pay for artwork. Of course they take a small (or big) commission so it is down to the budget of each individual. However I have only started working with online galleries recently I see the potential in the collaboration and I’m very excited for the opportunity they provide. As I have mentioned before, since the previous interview I had moved house and finally have my own home studio which makes working and creating so much easier. I am working on various projects at the moment, my schedule is very busy, I am joggling with all the tasks I set for myself each day but I love every minute of it. I am currently working on two photo series. The first one I have been planning for a very long time and have already shot last year in Hungary. I am at the editing process now and hopefully will publish the finished pieces on my website shortly. It has been a long process from planning the details of the series and finding the perfect dress to actually bring my vision to life, photograph and edit the images. However the editing process is usually the one that takes the most time I am at the final stage now and very excited the share the finished series. The other project I am working on is somewhat similar to (Pl)aesthetic, 2018. As I said I really enjoyed trying something different, experiment with colours and


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pushing my boundaries with (Pl)aesthetic. However this new project is in the very early stages and I am only planning the images and not entirely sure about all the details I am excited to keep experimenting and trying something new again. I am also working on a series of a few new self-portraits. Taking self-portraits has always been like my “diary”, a very strong part of my work. Working on an image where I had a model is always very different from working on a self-portrait. I find it easier to be my own model even though creating the setup is much harder when I had to “jump in” to the shot. When I visualizing ideas that are hard to define, I feel like the image can only be “real” if I am the model. There are many ideas like that in my head, they are in very early stages as well but coming together slowly. Art has always been one of the most important things in my life and I have been painting and drawing since I can remember. Whenever I have a bit of free time beside photography I pick up one of my sketchbooks and start sketching. I have recently started filming art videos about my process as I thought it would be a great way to document my process from start to finish. I am planning on making these videos available on my website and on Youtube as well. I have recently gotten many opportunities to work with art magazines. I feel honoured to be given the chance to show my work and share a little bit about myself on various platforms. It is always a great feedback when magazines would like to work with me and feel very grateful for the opportunities. One of the images from (Pl)aesthetic, 2018 photo series will be published in the March Issue of A5 Magazine. Another one of my images will be featured in the April Issue of Average Art Magazine. I have been featured in these magazines many times in the past 3 years and I am very happy to have been selected again. An interview focusing mainly on my photo series, (Pl)aesthetic, 2018 will be featured in the Biennial Edition of Peripheral ARTeries. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have my interview published in this magazine the second time. I was very satisfied with my interview published in the magazine last year and the team was amazing to work with. Every question was very carefully selected, focusing on one particular picture of mine. I feel like I was able to provide a very good insight into my work and the backstory behind my pictures. Last but not least, I am honoured to have my interview published in Art Reveal Magazine the second time as well. I am delighted to work with Art Reveal again and very excited to see the finished publication.

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Josh Talbott

Los Osos, CA, USA

My life’s pleasure has been in the building and refining of beautiful little thinking tools and using them to puzzle over all the narratives and exercises in storytelling that we accept as children and how they shape us through the different phases of life. My countless hours sitting with canvases have afforded me this luxury since early adulthood with, what I feel are, exponential returns. My nagging curiosity and wonder have led me to a the wellspring of weirdness that is a world falling through the unimaginably vast expanses of space/time and into greater context with each and every tiny discovery. It may look flat when on the map, but to dirty your hands in examining the earth and stones beneath you and place them in their context you see the terrein and understand it better. It seems to me that with more contextual learning we all might understand ourselves and each other a little better.


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emotional wellbeing in a thoughtless world, geologic time, and the cultivation of meaningful relationships are just a few topics I’m learning about. To be a human is such a beautiful opportunity. I hope to honor it with the bit of time I’m given and to pass what i can on for the use of others. My artwork is both the cause and the result of this way of thinking. I hope you enjoy it and that it might reflect on some shiny spot in your own complex human experience. What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. I’ve made paintings and drawings since I was small. They were messy and I knew it. My little graphite covered hands smeared a mess over everything. Recently, I was telling someone the story of “The Picnic” and realized I’ve spent my life polishing my dinosaur painting skills. A rather funny realization that caught me by surprise. Much of this life as an artist is a surprise to me. It’s not as it’s portrayed. I often wonder, to quote David Byrne, “How did I get here?” Origin stories abound. I was a scenic painter as a young man and was a street artist selling paintings on the fence of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. After hurricane Katrina things were harder for a while but I managed to find some fertile ground again and I continue to make art that moves me and to learn more about this world. Art making is like relationship building. Knowing the pieces well helps place them in context better. Knowledge helps to tell stories better. Painting is how I learned to learn and that road continues to stretch out before me. My life’s pleasure has been in the building and refining of beautiful little thinking tools and using them to puzzle over all the narratives and exercises in storytelling that we accept as children and how they shape us through the different phases of life. My countless hours sitting with canvases have afforded me this luxury since early adulthood with, what I feel are, exponential returns. My nagging curiosity and wonder have led me to a the wellspring of weirdness that is a world falling through the unimaginably vast expanses of space and into greater context with each and every tiny discovery. I know it can all look so flat when you look at the map, but to dirty your hands in examining the earth and stones beneath you and place them in their context you see the terrein and understand it better. It seems to me that with more contextual learning we all might understand each other a little better as well as the world around us. It’s a greater effort though. It so much easier to simply be the hero in your own film, essential to the main plot and forever waiting for that conclusion place to role credits. (Spoiler alert, it never comes.) This seems rather primitive to me in the face of this beautifully interwoven world we are all a part of. I regard it as a Super Hero Syndrome, rendering curiosity and vulnerability useless. This is not to completely throw storytelling under the bus. I have collected old people and their stories all my life. But a story is not to be confused with the terrein. Anyhow….. these are some of the things I muse over as I make my work. The slippery nature of identity, our storytelling minds,

The Challenges are many. I think it’s part of the allure for me. I have great sorrow for all the paintings I will never get to because of limitations of time and resources. A life is only so long and the ideas flow like a river. It can be frustrating to allocate time to some and not others. I write them down for later and hope their time will come. Navigating the gauntlet of art business gatekeepers is probably my least favorite part. I deal in honesty and integrity and expect others to do the same. Tell us more about your painting series. The toy paintings began in 2005, I was in New Orleans making paintings and selling them on Royal street. The paintings were quick, playful works on canvas. After Hurricane Katrina there was a span of time when I couldn’t access the playfulness. It was hard times. Peer pressure brought them back around. I was painting LEGO figures at a nearby beach and found people’s storytelling instantaneous and diverse. So I began to play with that. How to leave the story as open as possible and yet clear. I’m fascinated with our confusion of our experience with the truth. A little over a year ago I quit drinking alcohol and modified my diet and was surprised how it effected my mind. I was coming up on turning 40 and suddenly the lights came on. It was alarming. It occurred go me that though I will never be the sharpest knife in the drawer I can refine the tools I have. Making art is more about seeing than anything else. If I can polish my lens/mind and see more clearly I can do my job better. What has resulted is a new series of works about mental and emotional health, the first of which is “Think Tank”. There are many more in progress and it is a direction I am excited about. To follow any idea to completion gives you five more. This is often how my series begin. Name artists you’d like to be compared to. I don’t really know who best to compare me too but I look for the company of smart people and there are some that I look up to. I draw my inspiration from writers and thinkers and science. Phillip glass, Oliver Sachs, Simon Winchester, Kurt Vonnegut, Hank and John Green, David Attenborough, and Robert Sapolsky are few of the people I admire and respect in their insights and the way they wield their humanity. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’ve lived and shown in Atlanta, New Orleans, Santa Fe, and Los Angeles, and I have a mural in San Francisco. For the past decade I’ve been in a quiet little coastal town called Los Osos that lay dead center between Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’m much happier here. Its quiet and clean and people are friendly and talk easily. Here I get a clearer view and I can focus on the things I want to learn and subject myself to, instead of managing the stimulus it comes from the fire hose of the city. I want to think


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my own thoughts as much as possible and that requires some evaluation and sometimes rejection of the surrounding culture. There are many talented people here as it is a beautiful place and beautiful places tend to have many reflections. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The most valuable thing I have learned about art and art making is the importance of kindness. Kindness is the most versatile tool. Use it for yourselves and others, in your critiques and struggles, limitations and failures, Successes and achievements. It is the greatest multi-tool. It opens the emotional well for you to draw from and removes all manner of obstacles.

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What are your future plans as an artist? Futures are by definition uncertain. I do know that you can’t expect things to get easier. You just have to get better. In the immediate future I’ll be working on paintings about the mind and it’s storytelling, limitations, and how we treat our most valuable tool. I want to further explore physical exercise in my work, and embodiment. I’m enchanted by the prospect that learning more puts you in the position to have more to offer, maybe even some solution to contemporary problems. So I’ll keep wondering and seeking out good information. I hope to offer some valuable reflections of this time of extreme and accelerated change, growing complexity, and eye-crossing precision that we are all living through.


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Richard Young Reading, UK I am a self-taught professional Artist, born in Yorkshire, in 1961, and now based in Reading, UK where I have my office and studio. Though I have always had a flair for pencil and chalk drawing, I graduated in engineering in 1983 and with a passion to travel, I initially pursued a career as a design consultant in various managerial roles with international design consulting companies, residing primarily in the Middle East. Nevertheless, an artisan at heart, I returned to Commercial Art in 2003, initially as a semi-professional artist and have extensively developed my own personal style and technique. I create all oil paintings entirely using a knife, often in a limited colour palette and mixing only on the canvas. The style of my artwork is modern, yet classical / traditional and occasionally contemporary. The compositions are influenced and inspired by the realism and romanticism of my favourite post renaissance classical Masters and their timeless, romantic masterpieces. My artwork compositions mostly entail dramatic lighting and shading, in a high contrast. I simply adore light and am fascinated with its arguably undue influence on any subject. Predominantly figurative, I aim to capture a carefully composed aloof anonymity, mood, atmosphere, drama, passion and emotion of the performance in a frozen realism, rather than characteristic individual representation of the performers themselves.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you. Despite being an avid model maker, winning several regional art competitions as a child and after studying A level art at school two years ahead of my peers, I just didn’t see myself as an artist and I had no career guidance. I wanted to work, so I accepted an Engineering apprenticeship and studied engineering in college. My artistic creativity turned to photography and I bought myself a fully manual camera. This was great and I spent a lot of time honing techniques in light control, perspective, composition and colour spectrum. Immediately after graduation, I had the opportunity to work in the Middle East and my creativity expanded to home renovations. Several years later, when I suddenly found myself having 20 hours spare time per week, I finally took my brother’s advice, bought myself the


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basics, and took up painting again in 2003 as a hobby. Having a creative, photographic and engineering background really helped me in so much that the composition had to be right. The perspective, composition and lighting in particular. I realised that I prefer simplicity and a minimal colour palette. A downside was that it restricted my creativity somewhat… What is the most challenging part of being an artist? The administration! Managing a website. Scanning and image file management. Managing social media. Getting my artwork in front of an audience. 50% of my time is spent administering my artwork! “Help. I need somebody, help!” Tell us more about your painting series. I’ve just completed an old school jazz saxophone musician series of 6 paintings featuring freestyle sax players from the 50’s and 60’s in collaboration with Mosaic Records. I did this in a chiaroscuro technique, emphasised dimension and perspective in the composition, kept everything in black and white to maintain the era, add character, drama, mood, atmosphere and yet continue the theme of all my artwork – Passion. I call it ‘Sax in the city’ and I love it! I’ve just started a new series that will take me completely outside of my comfort zone in order to appeal to a wider audience. I’m a tad nervous, but I enjoy the challenge! It’s a totally new subject,

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theme and variation of my usual technique. Watch this space! Name artists you admire. From the past, I adore William Bouguereau, DaVinci, Klimt, Modigliani and Turner. From the present, I admire Jack Vettriano, Fabian Perez, Christiane Vleugels and Gabrielle Picart the most… I would seriously love to have their artwork hung in my home… How would you describe the art scene in your area? It’s unfortunately very restricted and there are few professional artists in my town of Reading, though the county of Berkshire has many seriously good artists and I am a short distance from London, which has a very vibrant and diverse art scene. I’ve just attended my first Art Fair in the area and have signed up for a further two. I’ve conducted two exhibitions in Reading this year and will shortly participate in an exhibition in London, which I look forward to immensely. What are your future plans as an artist? I plan to diversify my artwork and experiment, exhibit more and spend more time meeting people. I love exhibiting…


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Profile for Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine no. 46  

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