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Einat Lev Ari Joseph Bounds Pablo Caviedes Jana Charl Margherita Dall’Orso Isabel de la Torre

Cordelia Doll Susan Wolfe Huppman Andri Iona Stephanie Mackenzie Sue Moerder Hikaru O

issue 59 / May 2021

Kimberly Randall Marie Ruprecht Giuseppe Scarola Patrice Sullivan Miya Turnbull Art Paris


FEATURED ARTIST: MIYA TURNBULL

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SPECIAL GUEST: MARIE RUPRECHT

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#59

EINAT LEV ARI

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JOSEPH BOUNDS

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PABLO CAVIEDES

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JANA CHARL

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MARGHERITA DALL’ORSO

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ISABEL DE LA TORRE

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CORDELIA DOLL

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SUSAN WOLFE HUPPMAN

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ANDRI IONA

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STEPHANIE MACKENZIE

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SUE MOERDER

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HIKARU O

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KIMBERLY RANDALL

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GIUSEPPE SCAROLA

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PATRICE SULLIVAN

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MIYA TURNBULL

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ART PARIS

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Miya Turnbull, Photo: Marjene Matsunaga Turnbull

FEATURED ARTIST Miya Turnbull is a Canadian multi-disciplinary visual artist. Primarily a mask maker, she also works in many mediums such as painting, photography, screen printing, textiles, video, animation and projection. Originally from Alberta, Miya graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2000) and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2002.

More at pages: 104-109 On the cover: Miya Turnbull, “Mask Sculptures”


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Special Guest Marie Ruprecht Aschach an der Donau, Austria

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Marie Ruprecht Marie Ruprecht was born in 1975 in Upper Austria where she lives and works. She studied Experimental Design at the Institute of Fine Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Art and Design Linz and graduated with honors. Since 1994 she has been working in the fields of photography, drawing, painting and sculpture as well as spatial installation. An essential feature of her work is the direct engagement with the existing spatial and contentual conditions and the theme related appropriation of new cultural techniques for the realization of her works. The physical nature of the materials used, just as the experimental handling style with vastly varying work methods flow consciously in the formation process. The chosen materials are tested for their possibilities and the relationship between the aspects one can precisely plan and the unforeseen coincidences are time and again newly fathomed out. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? The arts of the Zen culture and its philosophy is a great influence for me, especially when it comes to the approach to creating art. Many years ago I had a foreign studio grant from the Austrian Federal Chancellery in Japan, which has had a lasting effect and influence on my work. Also my studies of Experimental Visual Design at the University of Art in Linz with its wide range of possibilities for art production undoubtedly had a lasting influence on my way of working. I have been working in the fields of photography, drawing, painting and sculpting as well as filmmaking and spatial installation since 1994. An essential feature of my work is the direct engagement with the existing spatial

Wr i n kl e s an d fo l d s b e co me l an d scap e s. A l mo st me d i tati ve, th e y te mp t yo u to l o se yo u r self i n ti me . Dr. Christine Haiden - author & chief editor

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and contentual conditions and the theme related appropriation of new cultural techniques for the realization of my work. The physical nature of the materials I use, just as the experimental handling style with vastly varying work methods flow consciously in the formation process. The chosen materials are tested for their possibilities and the relationship between the aspects one can precisely plan and the unforeseen coincidences are time and again newly fathomed out.

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What is the most challenging of being an artist? In order to be able to meet one’s own quality requirements in artistic creation, it is necessary to fully engage with it. Creating these opportunities and undisturbed periods of time in the studio is the greatest challenge for me at the moment, as I’ve been the mother of two children for several years now.


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In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture?

T h e se wo r k s ar e ab o u t

A closer look, a close reflection of developments that happen around us, this is a task that artists have always taken on and are also doing now.

e mp h asi zi n g mate r i al i ty an d

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

away, r e d u ci n g an d co n ce n trat ing

I am a member of three Austrian artists ‘associations such as the KÜNSTLERHAUS Vienna & Die KUNSTSCHAFFENDEN and gallery DIE FORUM which helps me to build good networks in our local art scene. Also, and this has become a very important part for me in the last years, I am initiator and director of the KUNSTSALON in cooperation with Antonia Riederer.

wo r k i n g o u t str u ctu r e s. A t the same ti me , i t i s ab o u t taki n g o n th e e sse n ti al s.

Andreas Strohhammer, Lentos Art Museum

In our KUNSTSALON we regularly present our own work and that of invited guests, within the framework of our exhibition concept, an Art Salon of flexible location. This is a

TO BE AT HOME IN TIME / DAY & NIGHT / Indian ink and acrylic on old linen pieces / MARIE RUPRECHT / 2021 This series was created in the midst of the pandemic out of the artistic examination of the theme, recurring rhythms of DAY and NIGHT. In a time when little has remained the same as before, this sequence and repetition, with their associated rituals and activities, were an important immovable constant that remained the same for all of us. Rituals that follow the rhythms of time can be defined as symbolic techniques of accommodation. They transform BEING IN THE WORLD into BEING AT HOME IN TIME.

place where artists of varying disciplines present their different interpretations on a chosen Theme, opening a wide spectrum of impressions for its visitors and enabling self determined work and independent exhibition activity. Name three artists you admire. I have loved Käthe Kollwitz’s work since I was a child. I also appreciate Paula Modersohn-Becker very much and find Sengai Gibon’s Zen painting remarkable. What are your future plans?

“Rituals make the world a dependable place. What an apartment is in space, rituals are in ‚time’. They make time habitable. Yes, they make it accessible like a house. You arrange the time, set it up. “ Byung Chul Han, The Disappearance of Rituals: A Topology of the Present.

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Since some years I have been dedicating myself to abstract landscapes in recurring periods of time. Almost sculptural landscape paintings emerge from folds and structures of old linen like reliefs. I will continue to work on these Paintings for the next few months for an exhibition planned for autumn. This solo exhibition will take place in October in the Gallery in the Lebzelterhaus in Vöcklabruck.


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marieruprecht.at

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Einat Lev Ari Israel

“Closing your eyes makes all the difference. Sometimes you can’t believe what you see, and then you have to believe what you feel” (1997 album). Alongside the dark and destructive contents of the personal unconscious, Jung discovered the healing power of the mind and the trends of development and integration inherent in it from the collective pool of the unconscious, which is a deeper layer. Art and creativity are tools of expression that allow for the removal of the inner world and provide power, answers to questions and peace of mind. The power of this gift will increase as we use it. The artistic practice allows for the symbolic realization of a fantasy, overcoming fears, expressing a message or protest. Time and art will bring healing to the soul and if we return to simplicity, we will preserve the existing beauty, we will also be able to see how much love there is here.

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

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

I am a psychotherapist, art therapist and artist. I take care of children, teenagers and adults and along my artistic path my works have touched the soul. My desire is to convey emotions and psychological states and expose the complications, tensions and ambiguities of contemporary life.

In Israel there are many artists, art curators, galleries, museums and at the same time few art needs and only a few dozen collectors. It is difficult to live from art in Israel and the galleries in Israel do not represent Israeli artists in the world.

What is the most challenging thing about being an artist?

What do you like / dislike in the art world? I really like the abundance that is reflected in the many techniques, the many opportunities that are open to every artist in the world.

I like to be busy all the time and not rest. My art and creative thinking is around the clock, my gaze and absorption from the outside in sometimes causes me to be overwhelmed and then the challenging part is focusing. It is also important for me to be creative with an author line that will recognize my art.

Name three artists you admire. Gustav Klimt, Daniel Mazzone, Robert Motherwell

Do you think what does art mean in contemporary culture?

What are your future plans? I want to reach with my art and with my artistic statement everywhere in the world. I would love to be accompanied by a gallery in the world representing artists so that I can display my work in galleries, fairs and auction platforms for collectors around the world.

Art to me today reflects technological progress, it is loaded, there is no artistic current and it reflects the reality in which the world today is in a race for capital instead of touching people.

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Joseph Bounds Faison, NC, USA

The work in this series is created using 3D models generated in physics simulations of fabric shaped by wind and turbulence patterns. Photographs of paint are applied in layers to the contours of the fabric models before the model itself is removed allowing the paint to remain floating along it’s contours within a virtual space. The paint is then lit within a virtual environment and rendered as a 2D image. Larger images, to maintain high resolution, are rendered in sections which are meticulously composited to form a final image that is then printed onto canvas. Each piece is only printed once so that each work remains one of a kind.

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What inspired this series? How did you come up with the idea to use photography, physics simulation, and 3D modeling in combination with paint? My background is as a classical painter. I’ve always had experimental side projects going but nothing that really clicked into place the way this one has. I was always returning to painting the body and to realistic approaches. Somewhere along the way I got into playing with digital mediums in my spare time. Eventually it bled into my art. I was trying for several years to figure out how to blend it with my traditional skillset, my knowledge and interest in the body, and in figuration and portraiture. For a while I was doing portraits that were sort of like a variation of cubism. They were originally painted from digital sketches and collages. Through those works I began to detach a bit from painting because I was enjoying the novelty of digital approaches. I feel there is a lot more room for innovation and productive experimentation in digital media because digital art doesn’t yet have the massive history like painting has behind it to compete with. So, I started making those works digitally. I wanted to make them larger and larger but my computer would crash if I pushed the file sizes too high. So, I spent about a week researching and ordering parts to build a computer that could handle what I wanted to do. Once I got the computer, I got overwhelmed with the new possibilities that it offered. I downloaded every program I could find that seemed even mildly interesting and just started playing with things to see what I could do. I was terribly unfocused for several months while I parsed through all the possibilities digital programs had to offer.

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I started a new series, essentially the precursor to my current works with the fabric, but it was all figurative. Mostly hands and feet and some portraits, and I was doing with them more or less what I’m doing with the fabric, layering on photographs of paint, lighting them in an environment, and rendering them as 2D images to be printed. But it all felt a bit stiff and didactic, and there really didn’t seem to be any reason to be using bodies other than that was what I’d always done. On top of that I was having trou-

ble with scaling them up without distortions. It just wasn’t really working. It felt off and I couldn’t really pin down why. I was frustrated for a while and a bit depressed because I’d built this fucking computer so I could spend several months make these giant figure pieces that weren’t working. I could feel something under the surface like a thought on the tip of my tongue gnawing at me for weeks, I just couldn’t put it together. Then, one day, it all just clicked into place. I was looking

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at one of the figure pieces I’d made, and I’d zoomed into a closeup section of an inner thigh. I zoomed close enough to the point that you couldn’t tell it was a thigh anymore and it just became this abstraction of color bending through space. At first it reminded me of rain drops on a car windshield, or rain being blown sideways by the wind in slow motion. Then it hit me that it really felt like this massive expanse of fabric that just wanted to swallow you up. That’s when the vision for the work came together in my mind. It was a tough decision to cut the figure out of my work since the body has been a special subject to me for such a long time. But fabric gives my work order and structure without feeling stiff or heavy-handed. It’s logical, but still fluid and unpredictable and has a wide range of expressive potential. It can be subtle and placid or complex and animated. It’s incredibly freeing. What were some of the challenges in creating this work? Scale was an issue early on. I was planning some of these things as large as 6 - 10 feet tall. But the best I could manage to render was 9,000 pixels squared before my computer would crash, which meant I could print something 30 by 30 inches, at the largest. That was one of the big problems that I had with the figurative works. In order to create an image larger than that I’d need to render individual tiles and then composite them together in a grid-like structure, like putting together a puzzle. But when you move a camera in space, even if it remains orthogonal to the subject, there are perspective distortions and the individual images won’t align. So, I was struggling to figure out how to composite the images of the models without distortion at one stage or another. That’s one problem that switching from figures to fabric solved for me. With representations of the body, where a general sense of realism is the desired outcome, proportions are important. Fabric, on the other hand, is proportionally ambiguous. So, I could switch the perspective within the modeling environment from linear (which is how we see and process realistic imagery) over to orthographic perspective. I could then move the camera orthogonally to the model and capture image tiles that would align

when composited because the perspective wouldn’t shift when moving the camera. The model itself is technically distorted, but it’s impossible to tell unless you compare to a linear perspective version of the same model, so, as long as the orthogonal perspective yields a visually interesting composition, the distortion is irrelevant. How flexible are you when you’re working, in terms of whatever you have preconceived? Do you try to stick to your original idea for a piece? There really isn’t a preconceived idea for any one piece. I don’t go in with a roadmap for how the details will play out. I have a process that I generally follow in all of the works. It’s essentially an overlying strategy with some built-in leeway to keep from getting stale or rote. But there are a lot of moments where I’m just tossing two things together to see how they work. I like to have some cohesion within the series, so there are certain fundamentals that I won’t change because I understand the principles that necessitate them. For example, when I’m making the fabric within the physics simulator, I set very specific parameters (usually within ranges) for the weight of the fabric, how smooth it needs to be, how many subdivisions in its geometry so it will have

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the correct level of detail, a range of how much force the wind can have, the gravity is set low so the fabric will have a weightless feel. I set up the lighting primarily from above and usually slightly to the right or left which is a little nod to classical painting and also helps orient the viewer and instill a sense of up and down. I also usually use a neutral tone as a background, otherwise the work flattens out substantially and I’ll lose a lot of the vibrance in the deeper colors. Most of the more rigid parts of the process are geared towards ensuring the quality and readability of the fabric itself. With so many abstract elements, color changes, and visual disruptions, I need to be very clear with the structure and expression of the underlying fabric to find balance in the work.

How has your work changed and how do you foresee your work developing? There have been some substantial changes in the past year. Originally, I was creating the negative space of the fabric in post-processing through a simple masking technique in photoshop. It worked well enough at the time, and most people, when looking at the older pieces compared to the ones I’m doing now, don’t notice the difference until it’s pointed out. But it bugged me that when the fabric doubled back over itself in space there was no way to show the layers of fabric beneath even though there was an implied space in the front layer through which to look. It degraded the spatial integrity. So, I figured out how to map the areas of opacity and transparency onto the surface of the 3D model itself. It solved the problem with the layers, but brought up a new problem. In my prior process using photoshop I could essentially choose areas of focus within the fabric and choose which areas to allow to trail off and disintegrate with a great degree

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of control, whereas with the opacity mapping, it was tricky to predict how the 2D opacity map would align with specific contours in the 3D form. I had to try to visualize how it was going to map onto the surface, or just go in blind and hope for a good result. Eventually, I solved that by using a combination of the two techniques with the added benefit that each technique obfuscated the other, hopefully making it a little less clear how the work is constructed. There’s been an array of other technical developments along those lines. As far as how the work might continue to develop, it’s hard to say. Because this series is so abstract and process-based, developments usually occur either as a result of a desire to improve the technical quality or simply by accident. As an example, the striped sections in some of the works were the result of a mistake in the process of generating

the geometric mesh for the fabric and when the color was mapped onto the surface it created those streaks that just happened to look quite beautiful. I back-tracked to figure out what I’d done to get there, then honed the process and started using it. Currently, I have a chronology of works on my website to document the transformation of this series over time. I’m trying to keep and display every piece that I make, including those that I don’t think are that successful. It’s hard sometimes to look back through the work on my website and not strip it down to just the ones that make me happy, but I’m committed to seeing how things transform and seeing what might fail in one piece but come back months later in another piece to be successful. Sometimes, I find that my mind changes about what is good and what isn’t after I’ve had time to distance myself.

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What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Deciding what not to make. For every project I do, there are a hundred others I’m pushing to the side. With limited resources and only so many hours in the day, it’s important to maintain focus. Do you consider these to be paintings? I refer to them as prints. Sometimes I refer to them as “digital paintings”, I do see them as functioning essentially in the same way a painting does, but I think it’s important to note the digital aspect of the work given the massive history of painting and the fact that these works are distinct from the typical notion of a painting and would likely be interpreted differently if they were painted by hand with a brush. I wouldn’t say they are paintings


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as traditionally defined. It’s important to be clear about what they are, and I think the best way to do that is to talk about how they are made rather than competing with the preconceptions associated with the terminology of the medium(s). Though some people, knowing what they are and how they’re made, do refer to them as paintings. it’s an interesting discussion to open up. And it’s one you would probably hear frequently in art schools, which in my experience are rife with conceptual discussions and plenty of bickering over terminology. The argument could be made that these works are paintings, especially considering that physical paint does play a role in the creation of the work, and, in a technical sense, prints themselves are not that far removed from traditional painting, the image is made by pigments bound by a medium to a substrate (in this case a canvas). The only real differences being the specific pigments and binders used and the tools and processes that apply them. Painting has known an incredible array of variations in pigments and binders as well as processes and tools for application. Many forms beyond the standard brush and oil have been canonized. Richter and Pollock as notable examples. So, I guess the answer to that question comes down to how particular you are about defining what painting is and then how flexible or adaptable that definition is as new mediums and processes emerge over time. And that’s a real philosophical can of worms. Is painting defined by the process or the materials? Or, both? Then, if process is the qualifier, is there a singular process that defines painting or are there multiple? Then, how much leeway and variation are allowable within those processes? Or, is it the case that all processes are

valid and the material is the qualifier? And, if so, do you consider ink to be paint or at the very least a subclass of paint? It’s too much to get into here, but perhaps I’ll find the opportunity to reexplore these ideas in the future. There is a lot of discussion around the value of digital mediums compared to analogue mediums and the relatively new concept of “digital painting” within an art historical framework; so, it makes sense that the question “is this painting?” would arise. Still, I think going out of the way to fight for the right to label them as paintings is somewhat arbitrary. What you call them doesn’t change what they are or whether or not they are beautiful or interesting. I would rather call them “prints”, a term I believe better represents them, than fight to include them within the category of “painting” or to expand the definition of the term itself. If I held the belief that painting is inherently more valuable as a medium than digital print, I might have an incentive to make that argument, but I really believe it is what is done with a medium that confers value, not the medium itself. After all the world is full of many worthless oil paintings and the supposed value of the medium has done nothing to elevate them. The language surrounding the work does nothing to change the physical object, and the text on a placard next to a work of art, in the grand scheme, is irrelevant to the work itself. It’s exciting to talk about art and attempt to organize a theory behind its function, to explain what it is and why it has value or meaning or even why it is beautiful. But, visual art, particularly abstract visual art, evades language. Like listening to the music of an orchestra, when you are enveloped and immersed in it, everything else drops away.

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Pablo Caviedes New York, NY, USA

Pablo Caviedes is an artist working with different media - painting, sculpture, drawing, etching, art object, animation video, art installations and murals. He studied at the Institute of Art, Daniel Reyes in Ibarra – Ecuador, and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris – France.  Since 2003, he has been living in New York City and showing his works both in the US and internationally: France; Spain; Poland; Italy; Argentina and in the prominent venues in Ecuador. He participated in notable international art fairs, including Spectrum Art Fair in Miami, Art Palm Beach, Florida and Scope Art Fair, New York City.

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My artistic process reflects my life experience in that it is constantly shifting and being shaped by the cultures of the places in which I have lived - Ecuador (my native country), Paris, Barcelona, and currently New York. It developed through the study of concepts and subjects that either touched or intrigued me, such as the coexistence of human beings with nature. This is evident in my longer series of works “Entre blanco oscuro y Negros claros,” “Los Ungulados,” “Griots,” “Silencio,” “Bridges and Ways,” “Mannequin,” “Nomada,” and more recently “On the Map.” Some address issues involving social matters, such as the serious political and economic crisis that led to the largest migration in Ecuador, and, in my latest series, the complexity of the origins and identity of the American people as a product of on-going immigration, while others are explorations in aesthetics, such as my study of monochromatic colors. Through each work, I sought to provoke some kind of reaction from the viewer - reflection, questioning, empathy, sensitivity – with which to form the basis of a new understanding or perspective on the topic. The mediums I use have been greatly influenced by my exposure to various cultures, which has widened my horizons and led to the adoption of various techniques. While I use mainly painting, drawing, etching, sculpture, art object, and installations, I have also used digital art, 3D painting, and animation video to develop a visual language. These techniques have enabled me to express my philosophy of life.

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It’s your second time in our magazine, what changes since the 23rd issue? Since my first opportunity of being interviewed at Art Reveal, at the beginning of 2017, many things have happened in my artistic process. I would highlight my participation in the art fairs in New York City, Miami and Palm Beach, as well as showing my works in the solo exhibitions in Europe, specifically in France/Paris and in Poland/Warsaw and Lublin. In addition I have participated in several group shows in the United States and in Ecuador. This was an intensive period of time in terms of the work related trips, creating new art series, interviews and finally the long-awaited publication of my book “On the Map”, which I remember mentioning as a “ future goal” in the 23rd issue interview. The publication of my book was carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador, for which I was able to make my initial book presentation at the MUNA National Art Museum in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Then, the challenges brought by Covid 19 pandemic, in spring 2020, have not, luckily, stopped me from continuing my work. In October 2020, in the midst of these circumstances, my book was presented at the American Center for Art & Culture in Paris and at the end of April 2021, the Fondazione Campana dei Caduti in Rovereto Italia, presented my work and “On the Map” book, as part of the Human Crossing project curated by Roberto Ronca. Are you glad you became a full-time artist? Being able to completely dedicate yourself to art is the most satisfying situation which I have accomplished during the years of creating, especially when as an artist you chose to live in New York City, the place when most artists face challenges of huge competition. I also believe that being a full time artist is the ideal most artists yearn for. However, like everything else, this also entails many responsibilities and constant work in different parallel areas which help support the continuity of the artistic process.

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What has been the most touching moment you’ve experienced as an artist?

opening the possibility to travel to other European countries as well. In other words, this award has had a major impact on the changes in the direction, place and style of my life.

Perhaps the day when at the age of twenty three I learned that I won the first prize in a painting competition known as “The Paris Award” in Ecuador. Finding myself among the competing group of the most renowned artists, up to forty years of age, felt already like a big accomplishment in the national context. As a result of this award, I was put on a plane a month later and left the small town in the north of Ecuador, where I lived, to make my first international trip, to Paris, which was a great adventure and gave me the opportunity to not only familiarize myself with a different language and culture, but most of all allowed me to enter the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris for over a year, learn and develop the technique of engraving and experience my first international and individual exhibition at the La Hune Brenner Gallery in Paris, which was situated in the famous Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood. The trip has allowed me to visit the great art museums where I could see “first- hand” works of the masters of universal art, while

Tell us more about your “Craniums” series. “Craniums” was initially a sort of continuation for my “On the Map” series. Within the context of a history of migration, I focused on the meaning of pain, suffering and death. Soon after, in early spring of 2020, the concept of suffering and dying became a tragic reality for most of the people on this planet, together with the arrival of the Covid 19. The pandemic has had a strong impact on me because of living in New York City, the most challenged by this virus place at that time. At the same time, while on the lockdown in Manhattan, I was receiving the sad news from my home country, Ecuador. At some point the daily reports on media about the growing numbers of death became a personal, very real experience which heat close to home. Loosing several friends to Covid 19 was devastating. This period of time later helped me, paradoxically, build the numerous new works. In a way, I took advantage of my studio

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confinement and the availability of time to experiment with new media, like for example, drawing with black pen on white cardboard (30x22 inches), while incorporating the recurring element of sculls in all possible angles and points, each of them filled with countless elements of faces, houses, fauna combined to a baroque-like substance of superimposed elements that serve as a metaphor of societies, human groups aiming towards that other stage of life that is death. Death, in not just in terms of the physical losses, but in a spiritual sense, the death of identities and forced cultural absence. The death of an interrupted stability. What are you working on right now? Right now I am focused on developing my Craniums series, which is quite a time consuming process. Completing each of these works take on average one month, due to both the technique which I use and the choice of size of my drawings. I have already accomplished 12 works and aim towards about 20 in total. My hope is to possibly exhibit these series of works in an individual show sometime in 2022, if the situation with Covid 19 improves and the related restrictions end. I believe that while anticipating this event, I will be able to visualize the completion of my “Craniums” series together with better understanding of the whole concept, which would grow while sharing the works and my message with the audience through publications, interviews and other interactive and dynamic space.

pablocaviedes.com

Anything else you’d like to mention that I didn’t ask? I hope to finalize my “Craniums” inspired project with the additional drawings, art objects, an animated art video and a short documentary, as a conceptual culmination of work on this series, so similarly to my “On the Map” series, one could view my “Craniums” works on both my YouTube channel or on my website: www.pablocaviedes.com

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Jana Charl Madras, Oregon, USA

My creative process involves exploring a variety of media and techniques that test the boundaries of what defines contemporary art, including the blurring of the traditional lines dividing craft, commercial art, and fine art. My practice involves experimentation, refining and combining, and adding to my repertoire. I thrive on challenges and eliminating any limitations that threaten to confine my creative expression. As a passionate storyteller, my inspiration relies on the raw materials, experiences, and everyday observations that I collect. Seeking to draw attention to sustainability and conservation issues, I reimagine overlooked and discarded items destined for landfills. Viewing objects from an aesthetic and narrative point-of-view, rather than solely for an intended functional purpose, I appropriate inherent meanings and rework them for entirely new interpretations. Sourcing these supplies often involves others and nurtures an environment of story-sharing with nostalgia and humor. In order to circumvent language barriers and focus on the visual experience, I have created a language of graphic bars to represent words and punctuation. Viewers are able to fill-in-the-blanks with their individualized interpretations which interest me more than prescriptively spelling out the meaning. As a recurring motif to humanize abstract matters, I stylize the female form in a minimalist way, choosing universal features to promote a sense of accessibility and relatability. Valuing diversity and inclusion, I address current topics, especially feminism, and more recently the natural world, with an intention to question standards and bring awareness to preconceptions.

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It’s your second time in our magazine, what changes since the 20th issue?

Princess”), and another in 2020 (“Sunrise, Sunshine”), plus a duo (“A Crack in the Concrete Where A Wildflower Grows”) that’s been postponed due to COVID-19. Also, the turnouts at the artist receptions are crowded and the uninhibited curiosity leads to interesting discussions. In LA it was more difficult to experience this type of intimacy.

Thank you for the invitation and opportunity to reflect on the 4-1/2 years since the last interview! 2017 was the year of the most significant changes for me: beginning with my first two artist residencies, one in Zürich, Switzerland and the other in Mtskheta and Tbilisi, Georgia, and then my big move in December from Los Angeles to Hay Creek Ranch, 54,000-acres (218.53 square kilometers) in Central Oregon. The same remote ranch where I’d been traveling to yearly to create metal sculptures.

Moreover, I was also lacking a feeling of community with so many people struggling to survive in LA and the consequent transient nature of the city. Living in a remote environment, I face other issues, such as the lack of exposure to diverse international cultures and artwork. As a result, I believe attending artist residencies around the world is essential for not feeling too isolated. In 2018 I attended one in the East Fjords of Iceland and another in Trélex, Switzerland. Stepping out of my environment has allowed for unexpected connections and new ways of thinking. For example, an Irish musician collaborated with me for my installation opening in Iceland by writing and performing a song. The artistic dialogue continues as I’m in contact with artists I’ve met at all of my residencies. I’m seeking out new collaborations, including my participation in the “Telephone” game with over 900 artists in 73 countries (https://phonebook.gallery).

At the residency in a Zürich art gallery, I built a studio on one floor where I could be anonymously observed, photographed, and videoed, at work from windows at the street level and through the glass-block floor above me. Visitors also stopped by to talk to me as I worked. Previously, I’d preferred working in private so it was a new experience and challenge for me. Interacting while I worked created a more intimate environment that encouraged people not only to ask questions but some even came back to contribute objects for my mixed media paintings. The experience paved the way for my Georgian residency that took place outdoors in the Mtskheta town square where villagers intermingled with artists at work.

Another transformative change occurred as a result of my move and residencies, I began exploring new motifs and themes. My artwork in LA was impacted by the body-centric culture and feminist topics were derived from relevant experiences. After living in a rural community, my focus has shifted to the natural world and environmental concerns. Wildflowers have replaced the street art in my surroundings. I’ve further simplified my stylized female form that has been my characteristic motif and subject matter, to the point of just two dots that now serve as my signature.

Ultimately, both residencies led to my heightened interest in installation and public art. That year I was awarded 2 public installations, one in Los Angeles (at Glendale’s Adams Square Mini Park, “Venus of Adams Square”) and the other in Watertown, Massachusetts (“Sunrise”). Since then, I’ve created temporary installations in Iceland (“Stories of Forgotten Fisherwomen”), Switzerland (“Parcoursvita”), and Oregon (“Oregon Sunshine” and “Wash Your Worries Away”). I’ve also been on Art in Public Places Rosters for the State of Oregon, Cities of Palo Alto, Sacramento, and San Antonio. The City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture purchased my “Computer Memories” mixed media painting for their collection of portable works.

April 2020 - May 2021 has been an especially difficult time because of the postponed and canceled residencies and artist opportunities. Of course, there are Zoom webinars and meetings, online exhibitions and zines, Instagram, etc., but I truly prefer face-to-face encounters.

Living in LA there are artists from all over the world and the coveted venues only exhibit the work of top established artists. Although there are seemingly a great number of opportunities, I felt quite discouraged. The competition is tough and the cost of living is high. I had to leave LA to have more opportunities to exhibit my work, especially for solo shows. Since I moved to Oregon, I have had three solo exhibitions: two in 2018 (“Makeovers” and “Athletic… and

Are you glad you became a full-time artist? My confidence as an artist has evolved over time allowing me to pursue opportunities rather than simply accept invitations; speak publicly about my artwork, including sharing what had always seemed too personal; and ded-

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icate myself to my creative practice even as it requires increasing amounts of sacrifice. Now more than ever, I struggle with how to earn an income and the stress of not knowing where I’ll be in the future. I moved to the ranch as a commitment to my art career but only as a temporary solution. On the ranch, I have a studio, office, huge shop, and 12-meter container for storage, luxuries for an artist. My neighbors are bald eagles, turkey vultures, and all sorts of other animals. Currently, I live between the ranch and the city of Bend, 88.5 kilometers away, in order to seek out more opportunities.

the sacrifices I’ve made; I’m so passionate about what I do that I feel satisfied with living with less. When I was younger I made the career decision to pursue a creative profession in the commercial arts because I never wanted to depend on my art for an income, believing that would kill my passion. Now my mantra is “quality of life” and I’m surprised at how much happier I am as an artist than I was avoiding undertaking the (huge) commitment.

As a full-time artist, I feel I lead a meaningful life fueled by my overpowering urge to create artwork as a catalyst for change, even by the incremental steps of stirring thoughts and questioning standards and preconceptions. I believe the stress of not doing what I want is greater than

There are so many that stand out! The genuine interest and curiosity of others elicited by my work have led to interesting and unexpected discussions. In Zürich, a clergyman and scholar stopped by multiple times while I was working and we had discussions about the female form. People of diverse ages and backgrounds have contributed to my projects, enriching them with a story-sharing experience. After visiting my “Makeovers” solo exhibition that included mixed media paintings with bottle caps, a woman began collecting bottle caps for me. Her husband delivered them and asked what I used them for so I described my stylized female form and it opened up a conversation about feminism. He told me that he was probably “the most conservative, whitest male” I had ever talked to. We never would have had that discussion if he hadn’t delivered those caps. It was very rewarding to communicate my

What has been the most touching moment you’ve experienced as an artist?

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Tell us more about your recent artworks.

views in a non-threatening, non-combative way. The day after my artist talk and reception for the “Sunrise, Sunshine” solo show, visitors brought me homemade cookies and a book on wildflowers of the Columbia Gorge as a gift. In Iceland, a fisherman posted a piece from my installation “Stories of Forgotten Fisherwoman” on his door. Most recently, through the COVID-19 pandemic, my multi-generational family has been truly supportive of my art career.

Over the years I have fixated on the human form to personalize abstract topics, especially the female form and namely for feminist issues. By keeping that variable constant, I was able to experiment with a variety of media and techniques without being overwhelmed by options. But then I began questioning this limitation, as well as the

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fact that my abstract, stylized, minimalist female form, honoring and exaggerating curves, was controversial (in the US) especially in the realm of public art. I was surprised to discover that feedback from rejections of a project after project.

a non-controversial subject matter. Then I continued creating wildflowers using different techniques, such as embroidery, crocheting, and sewing plastic produce bags. I also plasma-cut and welded scrap metal into wildflower sculptures. Wildflowers are in a sense “trash” because they are considered weeds on a farm, in contrast, in LA I found inspiration from trash on the streets and dumpster diving. As I built a new body of work with the wildflower motif,

Out of frustration, I painted wildflowers over my “Sunrise” installation to create “Oregon Sunshine” as

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my desire to address current issues became unavoidable. I built a series of anti-gun violence works using found shotgun shells and metal riddled with bullet holes. I exhibited the mixed media series in Jefferson County, which as of May 12th, is a 2nd Amendment sanctuary to support the gun rights of citizens, a counter movement to gun control. The selected body of mixed media works for Art Reveal Magazine’s 59th Issue is from my “Trees of Life” series created during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. When stores shut down I had to improvise for supplies, such as a local coffee shop donated burlap coffee bean bags when I ran out of canvas. Seeking to draw attention to sustainability and conservation issues, I have been reimagining overlooked and discarded items destined for landfills for many years. The new situation is that others are increasingly part of my collecting process by contributing items. “Branching Out” represents the beginning of an exploratory path to rethink the focus of my work. On New Year’s Eve of 2018, while at the Trélex residency, I began painting a tree on patches of canvas. Trees have been a fascination of mine since childhood, both for climbing and for artwork. The first black and white photos I took with my dad’s camera on a grade school field trip were only of trees. My earliest acrylic paintings were of leafless trees. So I reached back to my creative roots to reflect on my future direction. After finishing “Branching Out” in 2020, I continued to create 10 more mixed media tree-motif paintings. “Oakland” is a cut, stretched burlap bag with embroidery and a gessoed section painted with acrylics. The title comes from both the name inscribed on the bag and the fact that the first female Vice President of the US is from Oakland. “Kinship” and “Family” are two layers of stretched canvas connected. I cut out and sewed knitted string onto one and wove and sewed string onto the other. “Midnight Blues” is on stretched canvas with

painted and cut canvas glued and woven into it. I found the wire fencing discarded on the ranch. The world has been such a dark place with political divides and the uncertainty of COVID-19 that I wanted to focus on imagery from the natural world. The bars are a language I’ve created to represent words and punctuation, similar to mockups used to sketch ideas in commercial art. They reflect my interest in viewers’ interpretations rather than my spelling out the meaning. What are you working on right now? The constant through all of my pivotal changes is my curiosity in experimenting and adding to my repertoire. One of my new passions is my 3D printer and using biodegradable filaments. In times of growing awareness of the alarming negative human impact on our environment, I’m seeking ways to rethink and transform my creative practice. I’m deepening my focus on sustainability and circular economy topics, recently auditing courses on environmental ethics, the circular economy, and nanotechnology. I’m highly motivated to participate in two 6-month artist residencies that I applied to recently. Both would involve creating a series of mixed media works, including a biophilic-designed installation, inspired by the vein architecture of leaves. One would be part of interdisciplinary collaboration at a California university and the other is at a nature and technology themed-residency in Switzerland. I proposed researching and experimenting with biodegradable materials to create temporary installations. Recently, in a conversation about gender inequality at tech companies, a mother of two daughters told me “you have to address this for us.” I realized that my life work does have meaning.

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Margherita Dall’Orso New York City, NY, USA Margherita Dall’Orso is an emerging intuitive abstract artist who creates ethereal soulful bespoke paintings with the use of particular combinations of colours and techniques. Her pieces of art reflect the dazzling colours of the Côte D’Azur and its lush nature. The expressionistic brushstrokes and bold colours of her pieces are suggestive of feelings of hope, positivity and joy. Margherita somehow escapes the ordinary while she paints yet she creates a new reality. Margherita holds a degree in arts, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Entertainment Management from the International University of Monaco. After graduating, she collaborated with her sister who is a photographer, as an assistant in New York City for several years. Her passion for art emerged in 2018, but in 2020 she completely dedicates herself to the creation of abstract art. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Nature has always played a significant role in my life and continues to do so. Contemplating nature helps me to reach inner peace, a moment of stillness and mindfulness, as well as a sense of inspiration and harmony. My art is influenced by the natural world of the Côte D’Azur, New York’s glistening skyline and the emotions of happiness and positivity. My artworks are punctuated by bold abstract forms, a plethora of expressive and gestural brushstrokes and use of mixed media.

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When in South of France, I am in inspired by the beautiful lush nature and I realize every time the majestic force of the sun. The guide that for me always shines my path encouraging creativity, giving me faith and the power to meet the challenges in my everyday life. Living so close to the sea, witnessing the spectacles of nature, I desired firmly to transform that emotion of pure magic into concrete. Inspired by the gold and turquoise colour, I created my first painting in an hour: ‘Illuminate’. My inspiration is beauty. A pattern on a beautiful dress of someone walking in the streets, the style in an interior design


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magazine, the arrangement of the colours of a bouquet of flowers or just a strong emotion. Anything can make me paint. Also, the painting itself makes me feel inspired. It is really hard to explain my mood while I am painting. In my mind, the whole canvas is about to come to life. And so it happens.

my soul, and my hope is that others can have a similar experience through my pieces of art. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? In my opinion art can be viewed as a means of escapism. While I paint, I deeply focus, I lose my self in the moment and I am fully present, forgetting for an instant of time and space. Exercising my creativity is a fantastic tool to express my emotions and boost my happiness levels. Beyond language, an artwork can communicate in different ways. Contemporary art allows the viewers to think for themselves and filling the gaps by participating in a new narrative that the work can elicit. The purpose of art for me is to excite, permeate. I have always believed that art helps to pave the way for changes in our lives, my art did it for me. Abstraction for me is more than a technique. Abstract art is a state of mind. Moreover, art has power and brings incredible meaning to life, as its language is universal. Anyone can look at a piece of art and be captivated by it, they could get a sense

What is the most challenging of being an artist? I think the challenge of being an artist is knowing how to push myself forward and making time for creating and being consistent with my daily routine. I believe it is fundamental to listen to my inner guidance to go through the artistic process. I work best when I am able to get into a certain relaxed state of mind that allows me to dive right in becoming fully immersed in my work and through abstract application of paint and texture, I find new ways to reveal my inner emotions. My goal as an artist is to share my optimism as a way of seeing the world and I aim to give every piece that I create a voice, a real or fictional story with the intention to bring the work to live in transcendence. Creating art inspires

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of the vision and feelings of the artist. Art has as well an impact on culture, as it can change people’s minds and instill beliefs and it has the capacity to affect our society, politics, and even the economy. I believe that the ability to be curious, developing an open mind, and a commitment to dialogue and discussion are the best ways to approach a work of contemporary art. A strong piece of art has additionally the power to touch us emotionally, permitting to make changes in our lives. Furthermore, I believe that cultivating an appreciation for art, as well as creative thinking and self-expression, is critical. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I have lived between South of France, Italy and New York City. They all have diverse and exciting art scenes, from the chaotic, energetic energy of New York to the most calming slow-paced life in the Côte D’Azur. However, I have spent the majority of the year at home creating art due to the latest pandemic. Fortunately, there has always been a vibrant and positive art scene around me. Photographers, authors and artists have been among my neighbors, of which I have been inspired by their transformation of lock down into a sort of creative stimulus for the development of new ideas and work over the last few months. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I have been in a moment where I felt the desire to capture the feeling of it all, the warmth of the sand under my feet at the beach after a long cold winter, the wind blowing in a single, delicate flower. This is art. Painting is about seeing and feeling, and then projecting those feelings onto a canvas. I like art as it is a means of personal expression. My objective is to immerse the viewer in a state of inner balance and peace while I aim to live in the present moment and appreciate the natural flow of energy and passion. The art world can be a very dreamy place, that is the reason I like it. I love to use my imagination and be transported to another world, letting my mind wander. I have always been touched and inspired by the harmony I seek and find everywhere from nature’s raw beauty, of mesmerizing scenery of sunrises and enchanting moonlights by the

sea. I believe that art is an important source of influence, as well as an instrument to help and educate people. Art, like our eyes, is the window to one’s soul. What is more, being an artist gives you unlimited freedom, allowing to be fully yourself. Art has the potential to transcend language and time. I like the aesthetic value of contemporary art as it has the ability to evoke a feeling of pleasure in the viewer. I do not have much that I dislike about the art world, as art has a strong voice that can ameliorate any aspects of our lives. Name three artists you admire. Gerard Richter, Mark Rothko and Photographer Federica Dall’Orso. What are your future plans? I love what I do, so I plan to work forever! When it comes to my art, this summer an exhibition should take place in the Ligurian Riviera in Sestri Levante and Portofino, this winter in Milan or Florence and in 2022 in New York City.

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Isabel de la Torre Jaen, Spain

I am interested in human behaviour and social concerns. This drives me to photograph stages where there is a thin line between realism and illusionism, creating a sleeplessness atmosphera that makes us ask what is happening. Maybe because this is how I see life: A realistic scenery for daydreamers. A society that nobody belongs to. A surreal shape. I studied Audiovisual Communication and started working in advertising photography studios, following all the process, from preproduction to digital retouch. After some years I developed my own brand. In 2010 I received a grant to study Animation and Digital Arts at New York University in Singapore for two years. I discovered new tools to communicate my work. After that experience, I started developing my career as a cinematographer in stop motion animation and as a photographer, not only in advertising but also developing my own Fine Arts projects, combining photography and animation as a way to tell stories.

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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I think my experience living in The Hague when I was twenty years old was the starting point. There was a big difference between Holland and Spain at that time: music, fashion, transport...Every single thing was a big learning experience for me. I was going everywhere with my camera, framing, but also using it as a notebook, taking photographs as references. I remember visiting every kind of gallery in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and travelling around Belgium, France and Germany looking for more. That blew my mind. I was aware of contemporary art in College but I had never seen as much as in The Netherlands and around. By that time I started to think about driving my career as a photographer (teachers in college already recommended me to do that), but coming from a humble family, not related to art, made me think that it was a dream out of my range. I remember a friend, one evening, that told me if I kept saying it was a dream it would probably become just that. That was the point of change of the curve. I stopped thinking about photography as something abstract and started working for it.

On another hand, as I also work now in the stop motion industry, animation has been a great influence. Illustration, motion and film are so familiar now to me that makes me think about my work as something wiser than a photograph. As an example, I can do a portrait treating it as an illustration or give a film look to a landscape. Tell a story in one picture or use a still life for a timelapse and try to get some life breath out of it. I am fascinated about mixing media when I create something because it amplifies the possibilities of storytelling and interpretation. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? To me the most challenging part is creating something new and unique. Technique is something everybody gets soon or later, but going further, doing something honest, trying to find a new way is very difficult. When I mix media I try to find something out of it. Having a personal unique style is the goal, and I am still on my way to find it. Another challenge is dealing with uncertainty. I never know what is going to happen or what I am going to be doing next month, next year, next decade. That feeling is sometimes good and I take the most of it because it makes me think

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and reinvent, but at the same time is exhausting, and if I take it in the wrong way, it is scary and can paralyze the creative process. Being an artist means that you constantly have to surf the wave, and you need to know that success is not always related to the amount of work you put on something. You are sometimes going to be recognized for your work and sometimes not. That doesn’t mean it is bad, but you have to be aware of that and have a very clear answer of why you do what you do. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art in contemporary culture goes so fast that any definition can get obsolete these days. Ironically, this is the best definition I can give right now. To me it is a reflection of what is happening in our society. And a very good example is all the art expressions that came out of the pandemia. We need art as a relief. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am constantly relocating and I really enjoy discovering a new place. For example, In Valencia (Spain), where I have been living for the last 2 years, there is a high contrast between urban art, folklore and the traditional legacy. That makes the art community very rich. It is very fun to walk around the city and feel this. Last winter I moved to Manchester. The country was locked down when I arrived, but I could feel some urban art very

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different from the Spanish one and other ways of thinking and expressing the culture. In Singapore the art scene was completely different. Every place is unique. Jumping from one city to another makes me have a bigger picture and a global perspective. I love that. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I love the fact that in my case, I always look back to my references, other artists or influences in order to create something. That means that you never create alone even if you are a solitary artist. I love the flow of ideas between us. These days with social networks, if you use it properly, you can get connected with anyone anywhere and change ideas, collaborate and evolve. However, I sometimes dislike the business of art and the elitism attached to it. Business is necessary because we need to make a living out of it, but sometimes I feel it goes in a different direction. Name three artists you admire. In my early years as a photographer I had a lot of influence from the Spanish fashion photographer Eugenio Recuenco. I admire his photographs that have a style that looks cinematographic. I also love how he uses traditional painting as a reference to shoot fashion in a way I had never seen before. Sometimes I feel I am looking at Chiaroscuro paintings instead of actual real images. I think he uses art legacy very well in order to tell something more than selling a brand. I also admire the film director Jan Svankmajer. He is not only a reference in stop motion animation. I admire him because as an artist he never stopped experimenting. He was always playing and enjoying, trying new things, even when censorship didn’t let him be completely free in his creations. Maybe this lack of freedom pushed him to find other ways of telling a message. The third one is Jim Campbell. I like discovering photographers that bring new ways of seeing a picture and Jim Cmpbell is definitely an artist that has made photography evolve in that way. He has driven it further adding interactive elements. The viewer experience on his exhibitions is active and unique. To me,these three artists have something in common: They always try to go further, to do something new and original, which I think is the most difficult challenge for an artist. What are your future plans? In the short term, I am working on a short film that combines pixilation and digital manipulation to tell a story of a woman that lives a period of uncertainty. I can’t wait to experiment with the media I have been working professionally for the last years. I want to use traditional techniques to animate and mix them with photography and digital retouching, but in using traditional methods, frame by frame. In the long term, I do not see myself much different than now. I have a curious personality that likes to jump from one thing to another. This is good and bad at the same time. I guess mixing photography with other techniques and media will be my place in order to express myself. But who knows?

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Cordelia Doll

Iserlohn, Germany

I was born in Merseburg in 1954 and grew up in traditionally creative surroundings within my family. This enabled me to develop my painting skills by attending courses and practical training at various art academies. I had the opportunity to travel early with like-minded friends to Austria, Southern, France and Italy, further intensifying my knowledge of drawing. Due to the daily requirements of my profession as a dental technician, I had to interupt my interest in painting. Since the year 2001 with changes in my private and professional situation I took the chance to restart my creative art work again. I presently live in Iserlohn, Germany, where my studio is situated, too. My images address the observer`s optical senses by a rich spectre of colourfulness connected with elements taken from nature. Since early childhood I have been fascinated by the rich variety of shapes. My images bring these together to sculptural image landscapes, which become panoramas permeated with colours, radiant brightness as well as mysterious shadings. Softly flowing silhuettes take turns with original primeval image landscapes to which colours contribute as unifying surface. Colour areas are detached from underlying shapes, overcome contours and let outlines lose themselves into their surroundings. Colours, applied with strong brushwork, finally result in a tenderly interwoven network of hue nuances. My peculiar image technique explores the relationship between perception and reality, between art and nature, ever anew. My sculptural collages finally transcend the sensual perceptions into an abstract context, shaping a base for contemplations of the particular viewer. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Mankind on our planet has come to a point of culmination, where we have to decide, either to go ruthlessly further ahead ruining our place to live, our ressources to nourish us and finally our future and that of our descendants or to abandon our human-centred thinking and find intelligent solutions for us and all our fellow creatures on Earth. This crossroad decision, becoming more and more urgent with every single day, has deeply influenced my thinking as well as my creative expression of art. My images integrate the natural beauty and charm of plain and often neglected pieces and integrate them into a common creation with my image topics, my three-dimensional arrangements of forms and colours. Our creativity and that of nature arise from the same source and fit together perfectly. Subdoing the Earth and dominating this wonderful planet has to be substituted by respect for our fellow creatures and thinking in natural and cybernetic cycles. Man has to integrate for the greater good as well as to be thoughtful and respectful for our surroundings, our environment and our fellow beings.

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What ist the most challenging of being an artist?

athmosphere is conserved and transmitted for generations to come. For those people living in the years of their composition, the arts are a medium of reflection, a translation of the present mental situation into the visible, audible and perceptible. The stilistic devices of the various cultures can be a vehicle to enter into their thoughts and philosophies. Art in our times can also be a unifying element, a universal language, which brings together friends and foes alike by the power of symbols. Art in general can also offer comfort, consolation, support and help in times of upheaval, disruption and all types of chaos, which our societies increasingly have to experience.

When creating my images I feel fun and joy. It makes me going into a state of flow, where everything comes easy and effortless into being by itself. Around these creative processes, however, there is always a lot of paperwork to be done, marketing has to take place, arrangements have to be met. All this is very detracting and I have to keep my main focus on creativity. Another challenge is to be noticed in the art world, so that people, who like your art style, are able to find you amidst all the myriads of artists and can come into contact with you and your oevre. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture?

How would you describe the art scene in your area? The global pandemic has had a great impact on the local art scene. Everyone had more or less to withdraw from public events. Nevertheless, the arts flourished on a private level. It might take some time until everything public comes out of its hibernation. Due to the variety of virus variants, precautions might still be appropriate for some time.

The various expressions of art condensate and concentrate the contemporary ideas and currents within a society. They summarize the relevant messages in their particular nutshells. Images often sketch out central thoughts preserve them into the future. Even the immanent local and temporal

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My place is integrated into the art scene of the Ruhr Area, the 4th biggest agglomeration in Europe, named after the river Ruhr flowing through the region. In this district live about 5 Million people. There the different arts can be studied at 5 universities and an art academy. Besides smaller local art museums the most important ones are the Folkwang-Museum in Essen, the Lehmbruch-Museum and Küppersmühle -Museum in Duisburg, the Ludwig-Gallery in the Oberhausen Manor House, the Karl-Ernst-Osthaus Museum in Hagen and the Ostwall Museum in Dortmund. There a several local and regional art associations bringing together art enthusiasts and artists.

penings. So everyone can find an individual way of expression. This what I like. I dislike, that the world of art has become a two-class society. On one hand a huge, overwhelming mass of untouchable art outcasts, whose works do not count, whose voices are hardly heard and who have to live from the breadcrumbs of an art establishment, which is concentrated just on a few places and just on very few persons. On the other hand the happy few contemporary brahmins of art, whose names are only allowed to utter without a slight trembling in the voice. Their works are traded like blue chips shares and investing in them brings ever increasing dividends and rise of profits. This oligarchy of art traders and artists alike make their living from the arts, whereas the others sacrifice themselves for the arts. In my opinion there should be systematically a wider base of funding and patronage for the arts, the galleries and the artists.

What do you like / dislike about the art world? Never in our history there has been such a freedom of expression, such a variety of styles and such a carnival of hap-

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Name three artists you admire. As an avid reader of biographies there is a big range of artists, whom I admire and who are very much worthy to be taken into consideration and to be mentioned. But most of all, my admiration goes to Leonardo da Vinci as well as Michelangelo Buonarroti. Two geniuses who represent the start of modern, independent thinking, despite all the threatenings of the church and her merciless bailiffs at that time. At the moment many societies are gradually steering into a direction to restrict freedom of speech and freedom of thought again. These artists` works are also timeless witnesses of artistic prowess and proficiency. Skills, which I often miss in many contemporary art works – even in those of high esteem by the crème de la crème oft the art establishment of our times. I admire much the magic of colours and the way of creatively applying them on the works of Paul Gaugin and Franz Marc. There is something in their images, which always draws me into their spell. What are your future plans? In the next years I intend to widen my range of exhibitions more internationally. The global pandemic has also shown to me, that it is important to use the chances offered by the worldwide web. At the moment I am represented by a gallery at Kitzbühel, Austria, as well as one in Florence, Italy. I would like to be represented in other countries as well and I am looking for new galleries, where my way of art is appreciated, and with whom I would be happy to work together in common projects.

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Susan Wolfe Huppman Upperco, MD, USA I make art with my hands, my intentions, my intuitions, my emotions and my human experiences. When I am in the process of making art, I am alive in a way that I am not otherwise. I am in that creative flow state collaborating with my materials, transmuting something, but unsure of just what, until whatever it is feels right. The painting cycles through me, through my brain and my hands and then back into my eyes until it is something that seems relevant and important. It’s a journey, a voyage, a process and it’s really fun. That act, that flow state that I’m in while making, is what is most essential to me. The artifact is important in a different way. It is a record of that flow and hopefully it conveys something of that primal feeling. In my recent work I’ve been moving from process based work towards a more deliberate and cerebral pared down minimalism. The newer work has more intentionality while still being open to the unexpected nuance. What I create is intended to elicit an intrigued emotional response in my viewer. I invite them to enter their own flow state; to pause, linger, float, reflect. Wander the garden of their private thoughts. Perhaps someone sees a painting and they sense a resonance, a kinship, a recognition that we can access a truer, deeper more sublime awareness even if it’s only a glimpse at a time. Art gives us permission to slow down and connect to our deeper selves.

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encaustic, when it’s painting time it’s that much more thrilling because there is so much time spent organizing and preparing materials beforehand. The wax cools so fast and the effects are often unexpected and therefore magical. It’s a curious medium that requires methodical slowness and meticulous fastness. I find it akin to cooking. Encaustic was really my first experience making process driven art. The technique becomes the vehicle, the intuition is the drive and the surface becomes the content. I remember the first time I saw a Jasper Johns target painting in person and being just stunned at the physicality of every brushstroke recorded forever in wax. I’ve taken the “process” process to my acrylic work incorporating gravity and chance in to the work. Oil is a slower medium for me although I am experimenting with solvents to create interesting effects. I would also add that for the past six or so years I’ve had a daily yoga and meditation practice which has had a profound influence on all aspects of my life but which has been especially helpful in my art practice. Who or what has had a lasting influence on your Art Practice? Probably one of the most important influences on what my “practice” has become was my exposure to encaustic painting in college. We were fortunate to have fantastic encaustic artist Michael David teach as a visiting professor one semester.. I absolutely fell in love with wax painting. I loved the element of unpredictability that it introduced as well as the immediacy. Critically, there is a great deal of prep work involved with encaustic. There are recipes, ingredients, and “secret” formulas. You have to be very mindful of ventilation. You must get the wax and pigment mixture just right and to the exact temperature and not above. You have to have respect for science, the potential toxicity of the fumes and a great deal of patience. It’s useful as an exercise and a discipline. Balancing the “grunt work” with the fun of the painting helped me learn to manage all the prep and studio maintenance work for my subsequent oil and acrylic practice with more equanimity. But always with

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What is the most challenging thing about being an artist? Well there’s the eternal problem all creatives have of how to access their creative “flow” or “zone”. It’s not something that can be consciously willed but we can try to set ourselves up for success. That’s where having a “practice” comes in. I’ve built mine up over many years. I have to have a “structure of habit” that allows and encourages me to investigate lines of inquiry that may or may not lead to something interesting.


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Not every project is a home run but every project is a leaning experience. I learn something from every piece I make even if I end up putting it out of its misery by painting over it. So that process of experimentation, of questioning and evolving along with the inevitable occasional setback is one that I think most artists grapple with. The other challenge for me personally as an “emerging” artist is the need for constant marketing and self promotion. It’s something I struggled with initially as it didn’t come naturally but social media, and Instagram in particular, has become an invaluable tool and made it so much easier. Despite the time it takes away from the studio, marketing is a vital part of the job of the working artist who is trying to become established. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Hmmm. That is a loaded question. Minefield? Cultural interpretation has become so fragmented, fraught and tribal. There are so many ways to contextualize culture. In some respects it seems to have become agenda driven, while in others profit driven. We have myriad currents of culture mingling and roiling up and down from academic or “high” culture to popular “low” culture. First let me say that I have a bias towards art as the highest human pursuit. Art can be a conduit to that that is beyond the material world. It is proof of the spiritual capacity of our psyches. (OK I realize that some people have religions for such needs but let’s just leave that there.) But like all things earthly, art does not exist in a vacuum. Culture and art are inextricably linked along

the continuum of history. This is one of the important roles that artists have traditionally played; the interpreter, arbiter or oracle of their culture. Art reflects and refracts that culture in which it is produced. For example, today we live in a consumption driven Capitalist economy which has a voracious appetite for the new. Art has become yet another highly speculative commodity amongst the more rarified echelons of the art world. More about that in a minute. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in a rural area of northern Maryland which does not have a huge art scene. Ahem, understatement. There are a number of artists that I know of that live out here but little association. Or maybe I’m not much of a joiner. Baltimore is not that far and has a fairly active creative community but is not a big art market. There is a very good art school there, Maryland Institute College of Art, which does draw many creative young people. It is highly respected

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and produces a number of successful artists. Washington DC has a number of galleries and of course loads of museums but it’s too expensive for artists to live there. Maybe it’s because I am past my clubbing days and am little hermity but neither feel as fun or vibrant as New York, where I lived for many years, or my beloved home city of New Orleans, and their respective scenes.

sure rightly due them. Their prices rise more organically as do their reputations (see Otis Jones, Alex de Bruycker, Sam Lock). And of course the internet has democratized, accelerated and extended the possibility of art making, marketing and collecting to basically anyone. It is a great aesthetic experiment.

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

This is the hardest question. Which three? It’s like asking which are your favorite children. I’ll go with an obvious one. So I have to say Rothko, cliche or not, because I’ve been in awe of his work since I became aware of it as child and I still am. Although he is kind of the “gateway abstract artist” his intentional pursuit of the “sublime” is timeless and is my coda as well. I also adore George Inness, a kind of artistic progenitor to Rothko in his Tonalist work, and his commitment to painting what he called “the unseen”. I also worship (who doesn’t) Gerhard Richter and his weighty German inscrutability. The complexity of his personal context, his non attachment to any one style, and his status as “the most important living painter” all combine to beguile me. I marvel at his stringent discipline, which in my mind, insulates him from seeming decadent or indulgent. Drawn to his frustrating aloofness I find his work exquisitely obtuse, remote and inherently unknowable.

Now back to Capitalism thing. So the star making and marketing of living artists by the ultra high profile galleries is vexing and annoying (especially as it is not me that they are anointing). It’s hard to justify the extravaganza of hype that serves to drive demand and prices up for certain artists in a craven speculative cycle. And then there is the art itself, some of which has tended in the past, towards the deliberately provocative (shark!) or ironic faux non commodity (banana!). Cynicism abounds. I can’t speak for every artist but the traditional romantic stance of the artist as existing in a realm beyond financial concerns who only makes art for art’s sake is difficult to maintain indefinitely. Of course there are artists deserving of stratospheric acclaim (Gerhard Richter! see below) but I suspect there are countless warehouses storing piles of “investment” art that are filled with more ill-fated fare. Happily however, in the broader art ecosystem at large, there is more consensus. Legitimate, important galleries are presenting serious artists and quality art and, in my opinion, it is a sustainable and hopeful state of affairs. Good artists consistently rise to the better galleries and get expo-

Name three artists you admire.

What are your future plans? Right now I’m planning a series of pieces for a show exploring degrees of opacity, transparency and memory and their visual and emotional resonances. Often the most interesting effects are the ones that are accidental. I am constantly striving to get to that

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flow state where subconscious intuition takes over from self conscious intention and the work becomes less about a preconceived outcome and more open to spontaneity and chance and perhaps a deeper more primal visual poetry. I’ve found that I can allow some of my best work into that space when I set my materials and myself up for the unexpected. I’ll plan the substrate, the palette and the densities of the paints. Then I will experiment with tools, technique, time and effects searching for that alchemical combination that galvanizes into something that hits me. I will expand that into a series which will constitute a show, location to be determined at this point. I will propose to multiple galleries until I am accepted. I decided this past winter to become much more disciplined and proactive with the business side of my art career. It has paid off as I am now in several brick and mortar galleries in addition to my online presence (Saatchi, Artsper, Singulart, Artsy). I am in the running to do a series for a large corporate project. And I do a lot of commission work for designers and decorators so I am always trying to up my Instagram strategy to reach more of them. I’m always craving new materials (powdered pigments, aluminum panels!) though I’m looking forward to rekindling my love affair with encaustic. I’m always thinking about non rectilinear pieces and have found a local workshop to have some weirdly shaped stretchers built. I have some assemblage ideas that keep haunting me as well. So lots of things are percolating. Thanks for asking.


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Andri Iona Larnaca, Cyprus

Andri Iona creates her work inspired by nature’s uniqueness and diverges wealth and colors. Her ceramic sculptures are created with stoneware clay. The mystery and beauty of nature is the inspirational force behind her work. Clay becomes a connection between her creative process and the diverse power of nature. Ceramic sculpture often becomes a struggle, not only at the level of the material used but also at the level of an internal need to create an ideal relationship between shape, form, and equilibrium. Andri Iona completed her studies at the Camberwell University of Arts in London and works at her own atelier since the year 2000. A. Iona exhibited her work with two solo exhibitions at K Gallery in Nicosia and Gallery Kupriaki Gonia in Larnaca, in 2005 and 2009 respectively. She also participated in several group exhibitions at home and abroad such as Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Sicily, Scotland Edinburgh and London.

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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice My work is an effort of an internal and external evolution through the expression of my inner needs and my spiritual and social anguish. Creativity enables me to touch my inner sensitivities and needs, as well as my contradictions. Creativity gives me the means to express the anxieties and joys of life, birth and evolution, people and their nature, their inner and outer self, as all these are revealed in my own life experiences. This struggle of self-knowledge is a difficult course but it eventually results in a reconciliation of soul, body and nature. A harmonious relationship of life and the human strength which drives it is created. Every creation resembles an inner rebirth. My art pieces resemble tree trunks, images from the bottom of the sea,

or human bodies. Mixing images of humans and nature is the purpose of my art. What is the most challenging of being an artist Art is timeless. Ιt has no beginning and no end as we perceive them linearly. The new generation of people is connected with the older ones, whose history is evolved through time and is defined differently depending on how we perceive the new. The most challenging part of being an artist is contributing to this transformation of history through their work, by building a dual relationship between the past of art and the present of their creation. The artist becomes a means in the future and the evolution of art, inspiring the thought and creation of the coming and present generations. I still

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personally try to externalize the psyche in my works because I cannot do otherwise. My psyche is channeled back to the world from which I became aware to create. External stimuli are assimilated into the inner psyche and transform into my works. Something even more difficult is to express one’s inner state as a flow, a current, energy. What does art mean in the contemporary culture Since the mid-20th century, contemporary art has been manifested through many movements such as post-impressionism, pop art and installation. Different art forms such as videos, installations and performances often come to life outside of galleries and other traditional places of creation. An important element of contemporary art is that it has nothing to do with the artist’s impression of his work. The artist has to feel free to trust his inner visions so that they are present in his work. Some artists choose subjects from real life such as social issues and images from modern life. Also, artists try different ways of experimenting with ideas and different materials and techniques. As we push through the 21st century, the definition of art is becoming much wider and less strict than it has been before. The means to create is now accessible to almost everybody and art can be anything one is passionate about. How would you describe the art scene in your area Cyprus is a country with a long and rich history, with influences from the western and eastern world. Many outstanding Cypriot artists are known worldwide. There are various art forms such as poetry, literature, philosophy, film, music, dance and contemporary art forms. Cyprus has evolved greatly in recent years in terms of contemporary art. Modernism unites the concerns of many Cypriot artists. Many contemporary artists create remarkable works that can be admired in individual and group exhibitions.

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What do you like/dislike about art world What I like about the world of art is that it protects people’s mental health, it elevates their spirituality and it is at the same time an important part of the cultural heritage of civilization. Every human feeling has been expressed through the world of art. Also, people can get to know themselves better through the world of art and discover their limits and potential. For me personally, it works as an awakening and as redemption. It gives me the opportunity to acquire a culture of spirit and kindness of soul. What I do not like in the art world are art critics who do not personally affect me. In my opinion, it is a profession that does not serve anything. Art critics do not do anything, do not produce anything, they just comment. I do not believe that art should be criticized and evaluated in order to calculate its value. Name three artists you admire David Hockney. Apart from painting beautifully and using beautiful colors, he has managed to prove that art is nothing but a way of expression. David Hockney has also proven that, in art, there are no barriers˙ old/new, modern/conservative etc. Another painter that I admire is Andy Goldsworthy. I like that he creates with stones, wood, leaves and anything else you can find in the countryside. Although his works are temporary, they stand out and he has done something unique. Another artist that I really like is the Japanese-born Yayoi Kusama. What stands out is her persistent use of multi-colored dots which is a constant pattern in her work from a young age and of course the wonderful colors she uses. What are your future plans? To continue painting, teaching and especially working with ceramics and sculpture and at some point in the future, hopefully soon, to have my third solo exhibition.

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Stephanie Mackenzie Paris, France

Immerse yourself into a high saturated universe with Artist Stephanie Mackenzie. Intense color and vivid brushstrokes are created through movement while listening to a range of music. Mackenzie uses the vibration of sound to submerge herself into her self conscious and let her inner voice speak through each gestural movement. Using form, space and color to communicate an infinite number of patterns. Expressing her ideas by creating a visual language through her contemporary Art. Dive into the labyrinth of Mackenzie’s inner existence.

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Who or What has a lasting influence on your Art practice?

What is the most challenging of being an Artist?

Art is a part of my family heritage and has greatly influenced my artistic talent since childhood. My great grandfather studied design in Paris and then went to open his couture leather goods company. He passed everything on to my grandfather who was also a gifted oil painter. Watching and learning from my grandfather was inspiring, and by 5 years old it was obvious that Art was inherited and a big part of who I would become. Knowing that my great grandfather had studied in Paris, gave me the courage to reach for my dream and move across the ocean, leaving family and friends behind, to the city that impacted his career. In my early years, Karate started me on the path of learning how to focus my mind down to a point of calm. I was also shown the need for mental and physical discipline, which has translated to the control reflected in the movements of my brushstrokes. Music is an important role in creating my abstract artwork. Sound and rhythm influences the shape, length and pressure I use to form each stroke. I listen to several different musicians and genres before making a selection that inspires an Art piece. The different styles evoke many unique combinations of emotions. With the perfect song, those emotions burst into my mind as colors and dance around until I place them on the canvas.

Since the Pandemic, it has been difficult to present Artwork with the cancellation of gallery shows and the closing of other venues, such as Art fairs and pop up shows. Travel restrictions have also crippled any further contact with more potential clients. Certain collectors prefer to meet the artist in person and get a feeling of their message behind their artwork as well as seeing the Artwork to get a feeling from it. Many of these meetings have had to be postponed indefinitely. Although faced with these challenges, I have continued to create new bodies of work and be creative with other ways of exhibiting myself, such as online galleries, social media and marketing. The unprecedented times have sent me on a path of exploration that I never could have anticipated. One of hope, persistence and perseverance. One of the most unique struggles I have always had is the need to bring out the many thoughts, ideas and images I have in my mind. I have to keep a journal nearby in case my muse strikes me. I have trouble thinking of anything except that there is a new piece of creative expression

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that deserves to become a part of the world. These moments of inspiration must be released as a jotted down note and eventually expressed in the medium that suits their message. In your opinion, what does Art mean in “Contemporary Culture”? Art is a universal language with no barriers and is a place to reflect on everything happening in the world today. It draws out identity, community and nationality by presenting what is seen, felt and experienced by people of disparate backgrounds. It can be a safe way to illustrate parallel beliefs between cultures or present examples of people overcoming any challenge by coming together to push forward change. The possibilities are endless. Artists use an array of subject matters, from current events to the trend towards removing social injustices. They find mediums that can present their views and beliefs without diminishing the importance of the subject. Whether the message is depicted through music, poetry or paint, the significance is that it is meant to be consumed and discussed in an open and accepting manner. Art allows artists to share their views of the world with everyone who wishes to open their eyes to other interpretations of events that define a generation. Allowing a freedom of expression and opening opportunities for new ways for communication through arts is a direct representation of what contemporary culture represents. How would you describe the Art scene in your area (Paris)? Artists come together through different organizations to share ideas, give constructive feedback, support each other and help navigate if needed. Galleries often open each week for anyone interested to meet and engage in discussions with the Artist selected to exhibit. Every street a person walks down has some form of artistic expression whether as a gallery, architecture or simply artists painting outdoors. It is an easy walk to many centrally located museums and galleries that

are filled with the art and artifacts, where they can sit in a garden or wander indoors. Whether a person is an artist, a patron of the arts or simply a person looking for new experiences, Paris is a city filled with culture, verve and the excellent ability to allow the experience of walking next to ancient Roman houses, pass through a Medieval Cathedral and then walk into Centre Pompidou to view some of the most unbelievable demonstrations of modern art. As a city designed for both Artists and visitors, Paris is known as one of the greatest centres of Arts and culture of the world. What do you like about the Art world? The Art world is where everyone can connect and participate no matter nationality, age or status. It is a free space that people can come share their feelings and experience a different way to get inspired and trigger different emotions. Each piece has the ability

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to speak to people differently and there isn’t one right answer. It is continuously changing and evolving with time. Growing in response to our surroundings and experiences. There are many disciplines in the Art field as well as prices. This makes it accessible for everyone to enjoy having a unique original. Name three artists you admire. There are many Artists that I have admired throughout my artistic career. Each exhibits different types of artistry that galvanize my imagination to create my original Arts. William Kandinsky for his ability to capture his viewer through the vibrancy of color and the suggestion it invokes of brilliantly united sensations. Sonia Delaunay for her exploration of shapes and her success transferring the Art onto textiles while being able to keep the rhythm, motion and depth of her originals. Deadmau5 for his unique ability of mixing sound and the way it brings me into a meditative, creative space immediately. What are your future plans? There are two main avenues which will allow me to continue to follow my muse. Textiles have always intrigued me as a possible medium for expression of my arts. Thus, I have been exploring that direction and am in the production phase of presenting my Artwork on silk scarves as limited edition pieces, which will include a certificate of authenticity. After that, I plan to display my art on silk Kimonos. Meanwhile, I will continue to create new pieces as well as show my Artwork to global audiences through galleries, private collections and other ventures. There are many approaches to reaching a broader audience, both online and in-person, that I have been researching and plan to expand in the upcoming months. I’m looking forward to all the possibilities still left to explore.

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Sue Moerder Philadelphia, PA, USA

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I’ve worked with a number of mediums and techniques... and had a couple successful Art careers, but nothing really felt like a good fit. I always found fault in my work and always felt like I could do better. I started painting skulls as a little side thing to relieve stress while I was Tattooing, which quickly evolved into sculpting. My painted skulls started having more sculptural mounts, eventually becoming one with them, and finally I stopped painting the skulls and let their natural, earthy beauty, contrast with the ornate, or rusty metal surfaces and shapes, often using electric light as another artistic element. Now I’m on a constant treasure hunt where everything I see turns into inspiration - I see skulls on everything now and objects are only seen as possible body parts or things I can use in my Art. It’s all about making decisions in placement of shapes and textures - constant problem solving and fitting puzzle pieces. I mix different textures with the skulls, assembling rusty industrial objects with ornate metals to exaggerate the contrast - layering details til you can’t tell where one stops and one begins - revealing lots of little discoveries as they are viewed and explored. I get lost in the intricacy and detail of each piece till it’s perfectly balanced and I’m completely happy with the composition and flow. Now my Art is a constant source of joy as I bring new life to the dead and discarded.

Mummy Baby by Mari Bennett

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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I’d have to say my Mom and Dad have had the biggest influences because I still hear suggestions in my head. My Dad was a Commercial Photographer and my Mom was an Elementary School Art Teacher. I grew up in an Art family - receiving their Artistic critiques - which were very good by the way - all through my childhood and even after when my Dad used to get involved in my Tattoo Shop. What is the most challenging of being an artist? So many challenges… Supporting yourself and a family with your Art, while trying not to be too subservient with it. Which was impossible by the way in my Advertising and Tattoo Careers. Also burn out is horrible as an Artist - it’s more emotional and psychological work than most people realize. And I think lastly is growing a protective shell to shield off stupid and insulting comments and realizing finally that you’re the only one that’s important to impress. I’ve finally found my niche and figured out my priorities. I do my Art the way I want and the way the Skulls and bones guide me… and I’m finally happy and prolific as an Artist - not being told what to do or caring about being judged. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I believe that Art is a lifeline that desperately needs to be protected - especially now. The Arts are vital to a society and to people whether they’re aware of it or not. It is such an important outlet and form of expression and sharing emotions. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I just moved to Northern Liberties in Philadelphia PA because of it’s strong Art Community! I’m right in the center of a community that is so full of Art, and Art activities - packed with great Shops, restaurants and bars, and have already been approached by a couple of Galleries and groups to show this summer.

What do you like/dislike about the art world? The only thing that comes to mind is that there aren’t enough Art Galleries and Art buyers, but I love the new trend of businesses including Art Galleries in their spaces - it’s great for everyone. Name three artists you admire. Agnieszka Osipa, Mari Bennett, and Suzanne Reese Horvitz What are your future plans? Since I’ve sold my business - Moerder Tattoos & Gallery, my goal is to get involved with as many projects and shows as I can with my Skull Assemblage Art and live the rest of my life with creativity and inspiration guiding my days and keeping me excited about life!

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Hikaru O Osaka, Japan

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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I was fortunate enough to be exposed to various art forms that are not only those from Japan but also from other cultures such as British children’s literature, classical music, Russian ballet, paintings from Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism, and also American movies and music. My fondest memories from childhood include shows by a Czech marionette company and family day trips to the oldest cities and historical sites in Japan. What is the most challenging of being an artist? Studio space! Currently I work in my apartment - my dining table turned into a painting desk, my bedroom into a storage, etc... In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Recent innovative tools and technologies have enabled most everyone to participate and collaborate with others plus there are various art forms that were limited in the past. How would you describe the art scene in your area? There are few opportunities for emerging artists to show their work in my area therefore, I rely on the internet and social media for understanding the current art world. What do you like/dislike about the art world? As an artist, it is encouraging and exciting to find that there are various opportunities from all over the world in which to participate. At the same time, purchasing emerging artists’ work could be more popular. Name three artists you admire. Guy Yanai, Mason Saltarrelli and Anna Prata. What are your future plans? I would like to get involved in production design for theatrical presentations such as dance. Natalia Goncharova’s (1881-1962) work on American Ballet Theatre’s Golden Cockerel has influenced my goal as an artist.

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Kimberly Randall London, UK/Missoula, MT, USA

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My work is an attempt to delve into the intricacies and nuanced attributes that define the self and to assimilate these concepts through colour and movement. I rely less on representative imagery in preference to conceptual and abstract aesthetics in order to explore subject matter that escapes the grasp of literal translations and explores concepts that are distinctly human. My work looks at the nuances and intensities that exist within humans yet remain unseen. I use colour and texture to portray a sense of depth, movement and atmosphere in my work. By doing so the work embodies an ephemeral ambiance that references amorphic places. Such places are designed to be ambiguous and intriguing while evoking a sense of nostalgia within the viewer. They are indistinguishable yet somehow familiar, creating an overall allure and mystery. This process speaks to the format of memory. Often times we, as humans, remember the feeling of a certain place at a certain time, while the visual details remain out of reach. Such memories come to us in glimpses and flashes obscured and filtered by a fog of emotion. Kimberly is a contemporary abstract painter from Missoula, Montana, USA currently based out of London. She received her BFA (Hons) in painting from the University of Montana School of Art in 2015 and an MA in design from Kingston School of Art, London in 2019, graduating with honours. Kimberly’s work has been featured in a myriad of solo and group exhibitions and has been collected internationally. She draws inspiration from concepts of memory, nostalgia and the philosophical approach to the self. Her work is a culmination of colours, textures, and imagery derived through layering mediums, experimental colour theory, and photographic transfer processes, heavily influenced by nature, place and a general curiosity surrounding the human condition.

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

Memory can betray us, it can morph, it can escape us, yet we latch onto it because it is all we truly have left of the life we lived yesterday. My practice has since evolved into an inquiry of how art can be used as research into human nature and a philosophical approach to the self. Concepts that I believe to be heavily influenced by both place and memory.

Two things come to mind: memory as a necessity of human existence and nature. I spent the first twenty years of my life in the dramatic and stunning state of Montana. Mountains, forests, rivers and big skies are second nature to me. Such settings demand attention and carve lasting impressions. Even though I now live in London, the scenery that I grew up with has stuck with me and inspires the atmospheric and raw quality of my work. This often manifests into amorphic, abstracted landscapes that blur the line where land meets sky. During my fine art undergraduate studies, I began exploring the concept of memory. I find this subject endless and fascinating. Memory, in and of itself is intricate and nuanced, influenced by emotion, place, people, change; while equally influencing our identity, the way we see the world, how we interact with others, our goals, our desires.

What is the most challenging part of being an artist?

Although it is a great privilege to be able to pursue art as a career, it comes with so many challenges. Apart from the initial challenges of getting your art seen, I believe the most challenging part of being an artist is balancing the marketability of your work with conceptual exploration. I don’t want to create art for the sake of making something pretty and profiting off of it. I would believe this to be a period of stagnancy, and I would quickly grow bored of such creations. My goal as an artist, is to be constantly

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growing, learning, researching and experimenting; delving into conceptual ideas that aren’t always profitable but are necessary for progression.

bolize the world to the extent that it is affectively experienced” - Andrienne Chaplin How would you describe the art scene in your area?

In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture?

London is brimming with all types of creatives with innovative ideas and unique artworks. I genuinely believe that you can find anything and everything art-related here, which makes it a marvel to live in. Although a lot of the high-end galleries have a preference for post-modern styles, there’s always a fresh, new exhibition or project to experience elsewhere, and there is something for everyone if you look hard enough.

To me, art is a way of seeing the world. It is a way of experiencing. And it is a way of understanding what is seen and experienced. One of the most powerful aspects of art, is that it is one of the few tools we have, as humans, to make tangible the intangible. In that regard, it is a form of communication where verbal language and written words falter. Of all the mental processes, the creative process is one of the most complex; art itself is one of the few insentient entities that is not only capable of evoking emotion but also embodying it. Therefore it has the potential to be the most effective method to understand the human experience. “It is the unique role of art to be able to articulate or sym-

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

Something that I dislike about the art world is its elitism. The inaccessibility of art in poorer communities is drastic. To make, see and own art has historically been a privilege

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specific to the wealthy. Modern and contemporary art movements tend to be highly conceptual and difficult to understand unless one has had the opportunity and time to study these subjects and the history behind them, automatically excluding a large portion of society. Being a contemporary artist myself, I struggle to come to terms with this issue, though I do take some solace in the fact that art is more accessible now than ever. Something that I absolutely love about the art world is the strong sense of community. Artists are stereotypically unique, analytical and curious by nature. It is always a pleasure to learn from or collaborate with other artists, or to simply discuss ideas and methods. Being around other creatives is exceptionally inspiring. Name three artists you admire.

I’ve always had an affinity for the works of Mark Rothko. Through his colorfield and minimalistic approach, he embodies depth and emotion better than any other artist that I have seen. The power of his work is only enhanced by the massive scale that he painted at. It’s difficult to understand the true impact of his work, unless you are lucky enough to see it in person. Current contemporary artists that I am drawn to include Sam Locke and Richard Whadcock. Both are prolific UK-based artists that are continually creating, experimenting and developing, and have careers that are increasingly enjoyable to follow. Sam Locke works with more conceptual and abstract humanistic ideas and produces pieces with a very experimental and unique process. His compositions and themes are striking. Equally impressive, Richard Whadcock creates stunning abstracted landscapes that are dripping with atmospheric light. His work is captivating, and the longer you look at it, the more the compositions will reveal themselves to you. What are your future plans?

At the moment, my focus is on building an audience and getting my work seen. As I mentioned previously however, I do not want to create work simply for profit (although that is a necessity). I plan to ensure that my career as an artist maintains a level of growth and learning. There are a variety of ways to achieve this, and some of those methods include continuous experimentation, collaboration and communication with other artists/makers/thinkers, attending artist residency programmes and furthering my academic education. All of these are paths that I hope to pursue and within the next few years, I plan to enroll in a practice-based fine art PhD.

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Giuseppe Scarola Toronto, ON , Canada

I am a Toronto-based visual artist who has been working professionally for three years. Growing up in suburban Mississauga, Canada as part a large family, I have always been fascinated with people and personalities. This drove me to be extremely social amongst my peers, as well as invest time working with thecommunity through volunteer and instructional work. My curiosity in the human experience drives my need to create; learning how different people think, act, feel, and connect with the world around us. I believe that in all aspects of life, representation is key. In art, symbolism and composition are used to represent different emotions or scenarios that the viewer can relate to. Each portrait I produce reaches past the point of images on paper through representation; they are love notes, confessionals, tantrums, and cries for justice. These are all evident in the eyes of the portraits I create and more, with the intent to tell the viewer a story of a real person. My art is composed and collected into series for this specific reason. One piece is a chapter in a book, with its own imperative part to play in telling the story. Some series may be small and some may be large depending on how much I want to portray. By understanding the importance of each work of art, the viewer can make their own judgement on where the rest of the story leads.

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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art? The one thing that influences me in my art and my creativity is music. I grew up listening to everything; from New Age 80’s Hits to Latin bachata, classical opera and 00’s RnB - the list goes on. I loved variety because every song told a different story, and made me feel different emotions every time. It’s as if I was living several lives as a playlist progressed, imagining where each song would play throughout the human experience. Music for me now still has that same effect. When I find a song that connects with the piece it helps me to envision not what the person in the portrait is feeling, but what score would play in the background. I will play songs fifty times, sometimes a hundred times over to immerse myself in the environment of the composition. Some music that is helping me create the NEON DREAMS series was “STFU” by Rina Sawayama, “Run” by Joji, and “Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge, and “I Disagree” by Poppy. Music is the soundtrack of our lives, and with each portrait I create I imagine as if I am directing their own movie. What is the most challenging of being an artist? Creativity in itself is challenging. It’s a part of us that is so open, and requires an artist’s complete attention in every moment. I find that to be draining sometimes, the whole submersion of it. I am usually not someone who is afraid to be emotional or outspoken, but there is a huge difference between being vulnerable to the ones you trust and being vulnerable to strangers. The series I create holds a fragment of myself. Every piece is a love letter, a confessional, a tantrum, a peek into my subconscious, an encyclopedia of my likes and dislikes. I want the people who see my work to see my life, as well as lives of people who I hold close to me. This choice of being unapologetically vulnerable has been the most challenging part of being an artist, simply because how I feel is constantly up for critique. Sometimes it allows me to release myself, but on the contrary it is like my mind is up for auction.

In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I think that art in contemporary culture provides a voice. A lot of people have been kept silent, oppressed by other individuals who have deemed themselves the dictators of society. Control over people’s freedoms to express themselves creates an imbalance in communities and establishes toxic power dynamics, when freedom of expression is what makes us unique and human. Art helps to uncover that. In an age where your voice is a part of your narrative, new ideas and personal truths come through art in ways only creativity can foster. Art in contemporary culture, as well as the outlet creativity provides is essential for growth and expression.

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How would you describe the art scene in your area?

visuals. My favourite she’s done is her RORSCHACH series. I wish I had gone to the show.

I grew up in a suburban neighborhood on the edge of Mississauga, which is the sixth largest city in Canada and is one of the most diverse communities in southern Ontario. There are art councils and organizations that hold events, host competitions, and create spaces for artists of all ages to practice. The city as a whole is very eclectic, and has a lot of influence from the creative community.

Salvador Dalí is another artist who has inspired me in my own work. His work is so complex and full of deep representation that you could analyze each piece for hours and still miss some of the most vital details. That attention to detail is what I admire most because the art becomes multi-dimension without ever leaving the canvas. My favourite by him is “Galatea of the Spheres” done in 1952.

I didn’t start to actually immerse myself into the GTHA art scene until I moved to Toronto for a couple years in 2018. There I started to talk to other creatives and get to know their craft, having conversations about being an artist and what that meant to a young adult at that time. The Toronto art scene is vivacious, unapologetic, colourful, and full of amazing opportunities. I loved the whole experience.

Last but not least is someone who I had the pleasure of meeting in person at the RAW Artist Toronto show back in 2019. ChristaFreehands is a Cleveland based artist who works with an array of mediums and textiles, creating these surrealist masterpieces that explode off the page and fill the room with life. Her creations are raw and exciting. I would love to collaborate with her one day.

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

What are your future plans?

What I love about the art world is it’s fluidity. Anything is art. I love walking into a gallery and finding something so unconventional and learning more about it, because art doesn’t really have any boundaries. Even with new technology like digital media or graphic design, there is so much more to discover and endless ways to develop personal styles. The best part is, people in the art world are always looking for new and innovative ways of expressing themselves, so it’s never boring.

Right now I’m still in school, so that takes up most of my time. I’m progressing into fourth year at Ryerson University’s Architectural Science program, which has not only taught me so much about how to compose buildings but also about design in general. I’m hoping to soon find a position in a firm on a design team or as project manager, and learn more about the AEC industry outside of an educational environment. As an architect I want to focus on community design and design community centres, learning facilities, and rehabilitation centres for mental illness and addiction. My dream is to develop modular housing or stationary shelters in urban areas, and help battle homelessness in Toronto.

I also appreciate seeing other artists’ thought process when it comes to creating work. Whenever an artist I follow on Instagram posts a work-in-progress or shows their studio, that’s the content I find interesting. Name three artists you admire I’ve been obsessed with CJ Hendry since 2016, so she’s definitely on the top of my list. She’s a hyper-realistic artist who uses a scribbling technique in her rendering to create these really amazing drawings. She also works in a series sequence, where every piece is a part of a bigger picture. She really influences me in my own work; not for her style, but in the way that she sees art and her method of telling a story through

In regards to art, I will always be creating. I’m currently planning on my next series and doing commission work, as well as working with so many amazing people who are making a difference in the Canadian arts community. I am also planning my first solo show for NEON DREAMS. Working with more magazines and being commissioned to create portraits for covers or articles is something I love because the process is so collaborative. At the end of the day, as long as I’m creating art people can connect with I will be happy.

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Patrice Sullivan Phoenix, AZ, USA

The figure is the embodiment of the human experience. It is the site of courage, joy, and love, of compassion, fear, and pain, of struggle, loneliness, and frustration, of sorrow, of loss. As a narrative, figurative painter, I use the figure to depict these universal emotions. A narrative is time captured in a moment. The synthesis of the photographic and the painted image, within the familiar context of the family, invites viewers to explore their emotions and transcend worldly barriers, perhaps recalling a moment from parenthood, or childhood, perhaps renewing a quest to understand the meaning of our existence. These moments display a benevolence that might be masking deeper, more malevolent variables.

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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My longing to paint and continue my work no matter any outside influence. It comes from within. What is the most challenging of being an artist? Maintaining a sense of well-being and continued perseverance under little or no recognition or monetary gain. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? A visual dialogue of issues and concerns of a given population. Creating beauty and comfort in times of chaos and destruction. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Not very exciting or thriving. What do you like/dislike about the art world? There are many things to dislike about the artworld depending on your perspective and where you interact and thrive. There are many things to like as well. I love seeing beautiful paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art or traveling to Italy and seeing all the fabulous architecture and paintings. They feed my soul. Name three artist your admire. Frida Kahlo, Giotto Piero della Francesca

di

Bondone,

What are your future plans? To keep painting and making images that have meaning for me. 101


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Miya Turnbull Halifax, NS, Canada

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Miya Turnbull is a Canadian multi-disciplinary visual artist. Primarily a mask maker, she also works in many mediums such as painting, photography, screen printing, textiles, video, animation and projection. Originally from Alberta, Miya graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2000) and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2002. Miya has exhibited her artwork in solo and group shows across Canada. She exhibited at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Gallery in Toronto in 2019. In 2020, she had a video screened at Photophobia, presented by Hamilton Artists Inc and The Art Gallery of Hamilton. She was part of a group exhibit at The Craig Gallery in Dartmouth, NS and had a solo exhibit at the Corridor Gallery in Halifax, NS. In 2021, she was part of group exhibitions at the Acadia University Art Gallery, Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie, NY, The House of Smalls in the UK and recently her artwork was presented at the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival in Bristol, UK by Nataliya Tchermalykh (University of Geneva). She has upcoming exhibits at Gallery 101 in Ottawa, Ontario and the Ice House Gallery in Tatamagouche, NS. Miya has received numerous grants from the province and gratefully acknowledges the support from Arts Nova Scotia which has allowed her artwork to flourish.

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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practise? My parents are both “Makers”; my mom, Marjene Matsunaga Turnbull, is a potter/sculptor (retired) and my father, Brian Turnbull, is a farmer (retired)/builder/wood worker. It seemed only natural I would be driven to work with my hands to create different types of artwork. My husband Jake and my daughter Azalea are both “Makers” too, so creativity is fostered in this household as well. I am mixed race (Japanese/Caucasian) and my whole life growing up in Canada, I was asked, “what are you?” and “where are you from?” which resonated and impacted my artwork. Mask making is my medium of choice, and focuses on self-portraiture and identity. My masks focus on the “In-Between”. What is the most challenging of being an artist? The most challenging thing would be trying to make a living doing what I love most. I’ve been very fortunate to get funding through several Creation Grants from Arts Nova Scotia, but it’s never guaranteed and every time I apply, I never know if my project will get funded. Marketing is very hard while writing proposals for exhibitions and grants, scouring the internet for opportunities, researching ideas, learning new skills, and being a mother. Not to mention actually making new artwork and trying to be creative, especially during a pandemic. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I think art is so crucial to humanity and our happiness. It’s one thing to survive, but we need art to thrive and be healthy. The pandemic has shone

light on how we need art, music, films, tv, etc and how vital it is for people to express their emotions of anger, sadness, grief, happiness and joy, to name a few. Art is a way we can bring forth deep-seated feelings and understand the world around us. It helps us feel connected and to relate to each other. Art is also a reflection of our world at a given time. As an artist, I am attempting to make things that were previously hidden or unseen, into something visible and tangible. There are so many layers within the complex theme of identity, and masks seem to be the perfect metaphor to gain insight and perspective. Throughout history, masks have been a bridge to the spiritual world in many cultures, because of their power to conceal yet reveal so much. It is a very exciting medium to explore that potential. Even though I am making self-portraits, I hope that people can see themselves reflected in the ideas and relate to them. How would you describe the art scene in your area? There are many amazing artists and craftspeople here in the Atlantic region. Ursula Johnson, Jordan Bennett and Carrie Allison are examples of Mi’kmaq artists, the indigenous people of this territory, that are at the forefront of contemporary art. One of the things I was really drawn to when I came to Halifax, was how vibrant the art scene was, despite being a small city. The landscape here is so striking with the ocean and rocky shorelines, so many artists are drawn to this area, as I was. I feel very fortunate that the province of Nova Scotia has supported me with the grants that I have received, especially

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among all this talent. Atlantic Canada does tend to get overlooked in the overall Canadian art scene, but hopefully we can shake things up a bit! What do you like/dislike about the art world? For a while I was a bit jaded by my perception of the art scene, the ‘art speak’ and trying to figure out where my artwork fit into the larger scope of contemporary art. Art making was never the problem, but trying to get into something that I felt was out of reach and pretentious didn’t appeal to me at all. There was a 10 year gap where I wasn’t making any new art, focusing solely on family life when my daughter was born. I felt like everything I was talking about in my art, in terms of identity, was too clichéd and that nobody cared anymore. Several years ago, I was invited to exhibit my masks at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Gallery in Toronto, Ontario. Because it was such a huge space, I knew I needed to start making some new work, to go alongside the masks that I had already in my collection. This was just the spark I needed to get back in the studio. I was awarded a Creation Grant from Arts NS and ever since then I haven’t stopped making new work. I realized how much passion I have for this and that I can be as involved in the ‘art world’ as I want to. Through social media, I can develop my own audience base and be seen. I know that my work is still really important and that people respond to it. Name three artists you admire? Growing up, I always loved Georgia O’Keefe, her personality and her gorgeous paintings. I especially love how


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she magnified her images, looking very closely at the center of a flower, for example. She was a strong, independent woman and definitely a trail blazer for female artists. In University, I learned about Cindy Sherman’s work and her ‘self-portraits’. She would completely transform herself through the use of prosthetics, wigs, costumes and also through the medium of photography. The process by which she chose her photographs really inspired me; she would pick the photo where she didn’t recognize herself in it. That has always resonated with me throughout my work with my masks. I set up the camera and put on different masks, most of which I can’t see through, and record video. Afterwards, I look through the footage for moments or still images where I become something different or ‘outside’ of myself. Those are the photos that are the most striking to me. One of my favourite artists of all time is Guillermo Del Toro. He is one of the most creative and imaginative people. He is a filmmaker, writer, director, novelist, make-up artist and collector of all things strange, surreal and bizarre. He explores fairy tales, horror, beauty and the grotesque in his aesthetic, all of which I’m drawn to and repelled by. I was very fortunate to see his exhibit “At Home With Monsters”, which showcased his personal collection of the bizarre, his ‘cabinet of curiosities’, and statues of his ‘monsters’ such as the creature from Pan’s Labyrinth. I explore the line between beauty and the grotesque by distorting my image through mask making, and then attempting to embody the masks. I misalign my facial features or I cut up my mask into strips and then reattach the parts in different ways, or I change the shape of the mask and ‘stretch’ the skin over enlarged features.

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What are your future plans? I will continue to build my body of work. I currently have over 100 Self-Portrait masks and will keep exploring new variations and new series of work. I want to add in performance elements to really bring them to life. I will be experimenting and exploring with movement and sound and working with photographs and videos, to further progress my work. I am constantly applying for new funding and future exhibitions, so hopefully I will have more opportunities to show my work nationally and internationally. I am also trying to learn new software to branch out into projection mapping, and many other new skills which I will incorporate into my work in different ways. I want to learn and explore more about Japanese traditional art practises, as a way to explore my cultural identity and connect to my heritage and integrate into my artwork. I have just started a series of Origami Self-Portraits that I am really excited about. I map out different Origami designs and incorporate my face into the patterns. They are miniature sculptures but I also wear them as masks, so there is a photo series being developed as well. I am currently getting ready for a couple of upcoming exhibits. In June, I will be exhibiting masks, photographs and video at Gallery 101 in Ottawa, Ontario. This exhibit is titled “Behind Between Beyond”. This summer, I will also be a part of a group exhibition about identity called “I Am What I Am” which will be held at the Ice House Gallery in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.


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Profile for Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine no. 59  

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