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JENI BATE | PHILIPPINE BOULAY | JORDAN CLAYTON | SOL FELPETO ROOSMARIJN TEN HOOPEN | WEIMAN LIU | CLARE MASSEY | SOOO-Z MASTROPIETRO MARISSA MENEFEE | MILA MORTON | JEAN-ANTOINE NORBERT | MITCHELL SMITH PATRICIA THOMAS | KIKI XUEBING WANG | MICHAEL WARD | ISABELLE ZEZIMA

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Jordan Clayton is a young, award-winning artist

who specializes in painting and drawing. His work is internationally collected, and represented by Studio Sixty Six. He was born in 1991 and raised in rural, Keswick, Ontario. His most recent solo exhibition was A Conversation with Taxonomy held at Studio Sixty Six Gallery in Ottawa, ON. His most recent group show was “New Work, 2017”, held at Galerie Youn in Montreal, QC.

Photography © 2017 by Matthew Perrin (www.matthewperrin.photos)

The current objective of his work is to monumentalize the microscopic by representing the processes and growth of organisms, objects, and ephemera whose existences may or may not exist to the naked eye. His work highlights the intersections of art and science through what can be contextualized as bio-art or sci-art. His work discusses various researched phenomena, observations, and theory in a manner that tiptoes between organic form and geometric abstraction.

FEATURED ARITST

JORDAN

Winning the Commffest MADA best in show award two consecutive years, Participating in the inaugural Toronto Baycrest Brain Project, exhibiting during Nuit Rose: Toronto’s queer response to Nuit Blanche during pride month, Portal of Enigma exhibition in Chelsea New York, A Dialogue with Taxonomy: first solo show in a commercial gallery space.

CLAYTON “I think the goal of any artist or maker is to keep their practice alive and the only way to do that is to make art. “ More about Jordan Clayton at pages 16-21 On the cover: Untitled, 2017, Jordan Clayton


FEATURED ARTIST: JORDAN CLAYTON 2 JENI BATE 4 PHILIPPINE BOULAY 10 JORDAN CLAYTON 16 SOL FELPETO 22 ROOSMARIJN TEN HOOPEN 28 WEIMAN LIU 34 CLARE MASSEY 40 SOOO-Z MASTROPIETRO 46 MARISSA MENEFEE 52 MILA MORTON 58 JEAN-ANTOINE NORBERT 64 MITCHELL SMITH 70 PATRICIA THOMAS 76 KIKI XUEBING WANG 82 MICHAEL WARD 88 ISABELLE ZEZIMA 94


Jeni Bate Salton City, CA, USA

“I paint the skies with peace and passion, because that’s the way they paint me.” As humans, the sky is like birth and death –something that unites us all. It is where we live (albeit at ground level), it is our first, our every, our last breath. It is the most common placement of the existence of ‘heaven’ or whatever afterlife we may believe in. It is the most important part of our world, the most changing, the instigator of most physical changes. And the weather is always in the news coverage! Clouds are much maligned bringers of unpleasant weather but rain is a necessary part of the ecosystem and the clouds that bring them can be a beautiful composition of art. I also describe the creation of my work thus: I start with an abstract subject – the sky. Then I paint it realistically (though loosely). Then I cut it up and rearrange it to give a level of impressionism. The cutting is also a reminder that we do not look at anything in its entirety – but view the whole as smaller pieces, which we must mentally integrate together to get an entire scene. Jeni Bate works out of her studio in Salton City, California – though she grew up in Wales. After moving to Malibu in 2001 she had an opportunity to work on photography skills but soon had an epiphany: “Now, you have to paint!” The sky featured regularly in her early paintings, and gained ground as she found it to be one not only of personal fascination and but of universal appeal. She began painting she started with watercolors, after a few years she adding acrylics and oils. A series of errors ultimately led to the refractured watercolor technique and the desire to incorporate more of her skills into every artwork to frequently adding poetry, written for and included in the painting and melding acrylic with refractured watercolor. Her work continues to inch to the more abstract.


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When, how and why started your art practice? After moving to Malibu in 2001, I had an opportunity to work on photography skills. Another 5 months later I was having difficulty getting my mind off one particular photograph I had taken. I had an epiphany: “Now, you have to paint!” I didn’t want to be limited by what could be accomplished with a camera. I took a few evening classes and the right teachers filled in all the blanks. I started selling in a co-op gallery in 2002, dovetailing various art opportunities with a full-time job in the computer industry until I got ‘dinosaured’ out a couple years ago. I had wanted to be either a painter or a writer when I was a child but as a teenager an inadvertently useless critique of a painting left me thinking I was useless at painting, and brushes were abandoned in favor of the academic subjects at which I also excelled. I was an all-round B+ student so there was no clear path. I was however considered the one person in the class most likely to become famous. Which in itself was an interesting observation because I was not a popular kid. In the early 2010s, a photograph of me as a child about 4 years old resurfaced – I had been painting at my little easel and the painting I had completed was a sky. The photograph triggered the memory that most of my childhood paintings looked that way, a massive sky with tiny mountains at the bottom: the passion to create skyscapes had been with me from the start. I felt that it wasn’t so much as choosing skyscapes as a subject, but that skyscapes chose me. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Sales. No, I’m not afraid to get out there and talk about my art and ask for the sale and do any negotiation. I do about 30 art fairs a year and I figure I have the same 10 conversations all weekend. People have a great fascination for my mixed media work because there’s nothing else out there like it, so I spend a lot of time talking about the process and often pointing out the poetry hidden in the painting. I even explain I have a new word for part of it – refractured watercolor – that has been recenty recognized by Kolaj Magazine out of Canada as the official term for the method. The hard part

is getting to the point where people are unafraid to buy it. At the moment my work is definitely for those who buy what they love and what speaks to their soul, not something that they know their dinner guests will approve of. Gallerists have an equally hard time, so I know it’s not just my salesmanship. Also I’ve found that I need more of a metropolitan audience at the moment. Shows in more conservative cities are not productive. If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? Writer. I write poetry anyway, have done since I was 7. I could churn out a couple novels based on ideas I’ve had recently, but I spend most of my time on art, though adding the poetry into the art has been a boon for the verbal side of my creativity. My poetry and painting books are good sellers. What are you working on right now? Something outside the comfort zone – a commission for a friend – his child’s portrait. It’s in oil so there are lots of drying days. During these I’ve been developing some classes I’ll be holding soon. I’ve been updating my teaching materials for my ‘Absolute Beginners’ class. I’m hoping to be teaching at the Palm Springs Art Museum in the fall and winter and they’re asking that I make this into a 2-day class, so that is another angle of adaptation to work on. I’m going to do a few kids summer camp days at two local galleries I work with and have been playing with some examples for those. And I need to work up another batch of cards for some upcoming shows as I’m running a little low on those. They’re all hand made so it’s a couple hours work. There are always plenty of things to do in the ‘office’ corner of the studio. I need to figure out how to get Instagram to work on the laptop. I’d rather tackle it that way than upgrade my phone and data plan ($$ per month) to do it from the phone, and then have to upload all the photos from the laptop to the phone. I have to come up with my monthly mailing letter early this month as I’ll be away at the end of the month. For the following month my friend should have finished the time-lapse video we did of my creating a mixed media painting, then I have to do the voiceover; I’m really looking forward to putting that out there.

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How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in the middle of nowhere and am probably the only professional artist in town. In my county, Imperial, there is some support for the arts in Calexico, but that’s all. Slightly further afield there is a great support for the arts in Borrego Springs in San Diego County (I show and teach at the Borrego Art Institute) and in Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) there are many art fairs throughout the fall/winter season that I do, and I’m also in a co-op gallery there. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Do something unique. I met Sadegh Aref when he did a demonstration at the Conejo Valley Art Guild back when I was first painting. He said he had been at a big art fair and all the judges were looking at everyone’s booth of work in detail, then glanced in his and walked on. He decided to challenge them on this and was told that his work wasn’t unique. That guided him to do something no one else was doing. Last year I asked a lady with a Masters in art history how she would classify my work. She said it was somewhere between third generation orphism and unclassifiable. I figure I’ve hit unique. What are your future plans as an artist? Looking for non-art-fair ways of promoting my work – more online… and with designers. But there again there is the difficulty that because my work is so cutting edge, people shy away from it. One new project that just came up is to add poetry to my oil paintings. It was a question during an oil painting demo last year, and as I don’t have many current outlets for my small unsold body of oil work, it’s time to rework it. Longer term, one of the things I want to work on is synesthetic paintings. I ‘see’ music and voices as one of the implementations of my synesthesia and some of them are paintable. I like abstract work and painting in oils, but oil is the one medium I can’t incorporate into the mixed media work for technical reasons. I was thinking of just giving up on oils, seeing as I had so few tubes anyway, then it seems like every time I turn around someone gives me a box of unwanted oils. So I figure I’m supposed to be doing something with them.


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www.skyscapesforthesoul.com

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Philippine

Boulay Paris, France

I was born in 1992, and started art studies in 2012 after the obtention of a Baccalaureate specialized in litterature and one year in a business school in paris. Making a foundation year and my studies in London at the University of the Arts in London for three years, helped me to develop my artistic identity and to confirm my devotion to the discipline of painting. Currently living and working in Paris, I continue researching and deepening my ideas through new materials and larger scales. I have been selected to take part of the MA Fine Arts program at Central Saint Martins, and exhibit in my home town until my return to London. I am passionate about painting, and my work concerns abstract landscapes. I am currently working on the landscape as a place of memory. I make a psychoanalysis on feelings and emotions based or not on the semantic and episodic memories – often mine. It is an introspective work which needs me reflexion on my inner thinking from the past or the present. Memory is an important source of my creation, sometimes making a link with my own writings inspired by the classic French literature and poetry. Through landscapes that I call « dreamscapes  », I wish to make the viewer travelling as I do during my process of painting, where feelings play a dominant role. Through the History, the formal language became visual and then conceptual. The consciousness and unconsciousness play an important role for the visual interpretation and representation. My influences refer to established canon of Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism. Artists such as Kasimir Malevitch and Helen Frankenthlaer participated in the free expression development and created feelings through colours ; these ideas form the basis of my work. Street art and the Young British Artists movements also gave me a strength for my artistic motivation and devotion. These artistic styles are mixing in my artworks, in a contrasting and complementary way. Aesthetism is important for me, as I focus a lot on the composition of a visual tension which could illustrate a psychologic tension. Instinctively, I make many layers of paint using different techniques to create a depth that intends to bring the viewer in his own world. Free interpretation is a key to the result. Experimentation is also fundamental. Using various techniques on the canvas with different mediums such as spray painting, inks, acrylic, markers and collages; helps me to evolve from a painting to another.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I’ve been immersed in the art world very early thanks to a family passioned by art, who encouraged me to draw, paint, attend different workshops when I was a child. It probably created the desire to express myself which became my favourite hobby. However, study art stayed very utopian for years and thus I pursued a classic education to obtain my baccalaureate major literature. With time my curiosity/attirance towards the art practice and history deepened and I marked my first step in the art world during my foundation year in a Parisian art school in 2012. Thereafter I entered the famous University of the Arts where I’ve been graduated with a BA in Fine Arts speciality painting. I am now entering the MA Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins, after painting in my studio, exhibiting and working on different collaborations in Paris for one year. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The hardest thing for me is to dedicate my whole life to creation that only comes from my mind. It is so personal and intimate, that sometimes in the solitary process of painting, I easily get drowned in my thinkings and feel trapped. At that point, I become very demanding both with myself and my work. Also, I cannot ignore that the competition in this sector is fierce, and because it can go very fast or stay static, an artist needs to be patient and positive to succeed. If you had an occupation outside being an artist, what would that be and why? I think I would create my own brand or shop. I like the challenge that requests organisation, adaptation and contact with people. The commercial sector has significant constraints and needs to be very receptive to the consumer and global trends. I find interesting to develop a project that can live and evaluate through risks taking, offering different perspectives of evolution, still in a very competitive discipline. At the same time, I could use my skills in graphism and in artistic direction. What are you working on right now? I am currently focusing on digital artworks. I compose abstract landscapes by making a collage of different materials, drawings and photos that I have turned into digital. The various pieces are selected from pictures I find interesting, from photographs,

from my brother’s drawings and my own artworks. It is like a patchwork of zooms on intimacies, that creates a landscape reflecting a story or a feeling. I also collaborate with a music label that has its own clothing brand called RA+RE, actively supporting the team for their artistic direction. How would you describe the art scene in your area? More and more competitive, especially in the painting and photography areas. Nowadays it is hard to evaluate the increasing number of art schools, art fairs, galleries, and art

competitions. Also, the means of communication and dissemination give every artist the opportunity to get renowned. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? To stay in a challenging perspective with my own work and never consider my work as achieved. What are the future plans as an artist? Collaborate with other artists, maybe extend my skills to other disciplines like fashion and of course continue painting, discovering new materials and paint on bigger scales.


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www.philippineboulayart.com

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Jordan Clayton Toronto, Canada

This selection of ethereal paintings and drawings are meant to explore and compare the synonymous nature of technological malfunctions and human mutation. The two themes interact in constructed spaces that read neither as organic, nor organized, nor authentically true. However insofar that these spaces are constructed, they are painted with an intended believability through calculated precision and various semi-rendered forms. The artist relies on formal technique, as well as motifs meant to simulate corrupted, digital, image files. There is also an intended sense of nostalgia dating back to the eighties, when technology and all of its glitches began to forcefully integrate itself with the general population. The work is meant to engage a dialogue about the growing integration of technology into the body, transhumanism, and the tension between contemporary and antiquated medical practice. The artist fosters a strange obsession with mistakes (be them organic, or technological), and the body. He often draws inspiration from his own medical experiences and propensity to develop bodily anomalies.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

the potential futures in which technology and biology are a symbiotic entity.

I began establishing the foundations of my visual art practice while still working towards my undergraduate degree. I knew towards the end of my degree that I wanted to seriously make art and worked incredibly hard to start exhibiting and developing cohesive bodies of work. Thus, on the heels of my graduate exhibition at uOttawa I began exhibiting in various spaces locally and working with gallery spaces. I was very fortunate to land representation with Studio Sixty Six so fresh out of school and I am incredibly grateful. The gallery director, Carrie Colton, hosted my very first solo exhibit in a gallery space, which has helped bolster my young career.

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

I started and continue working to build my visual art practice because it keeps me in a perpetual state of curiosity. I find myself driven to both research and make things to really push the boundaries of painting as a discipline. A large part of my practice involves researching contemporary science and learning about the integration of the two within the body in medical practice; I am constantly learning new things to give myself the resources to conceptualize

I am currently based in Toronto, Canada, which happens to have an incredibly vibrant and diverse artistic scene. The city is a true melting pot of cultures, in which there happen to be several working artists. The visual scene is an iconoclastic pastiche of stories, history, and narratives that contribute to contemporary artistic discourse. There is also a large amount of film being produced in Toronto, given that the city is fairly metropolitan. I would say that it

Finding time to get the appropriate amount of sleep. I find that to be an artist, one has to build a versatile repertoire of skills to be able to handle all aspects of a practice. From marketing, to computers, to research, and to think philosophically, a maker has to be adept and willing to sacrifice the time and effort to make interesting work. It does not leave a lot of time to catch up on rest! How would you describe the art scene in your area?

is one of Canada’s most artistic cities, were it not for the fact that the high cost of living is unsustainable for makers and creatives. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is a tool that creatives use like a mirror to reflect, react, and comment on contemporary culture. So as to say I don’t think art means anything in contemporary culture, because it is a part of contemporary culture. What are you working on right now? I am currently working towards a solo exhibition that is slated to open in the late fall at the Georgina Arts Centre, (details to follow on my website and social media), as well as continuing to build up my current body of work. I am exploring tranhumanism and developing narratives that tiptoe between reality and fiction. A lot of new scientific technologies themselves sound like they have been picked right out of a science fiction novel, so I am afforded a wealth of inspiration to conceptualize my own, ambiguously microscopic, techno-organic worlds. My work is also starting to look at futurism and older science fiction narratives, which not only satisfies my outer nerd, but has given me a lot to think about in terms of queer perspectives. I find that a lot of science fiction works very hard to erase queer people and that is beginning to reflect in my work. My identity as a gay man gives me the opportunity to establish a queerer foothold in the genre. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I was fortunate to have some fantastic professors during my undergrad that provided me with encyclopaedic amounts of knowledge. However, I think the most important things I was told were: to mix out all of my paint colours on a large palette, look for any surprises that may happen while mixing, and to put trust in the paint and my abilities to manipulate it. I hold that advice very dear because it made my work grow astronomically and it is as true as it sounds cheesy. What are your future plans as an artist? At the risk of providing an incredibly simple answer, my main future plans are to continue making and exhibiting work. I think the goal of any artist or maker is to keep their practice alive and the only way to do that is to make art. I am a big believer in letting one’s art develop and evolve on its own, so I do not have any plans to direct it in any way. As long as I stay curious, my art shall do the same.


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www.jordanclayton.org


Sol Felpeto

Madrid, Spain

Sol Felpeto is a 26 year old multicultural artist born in Venezuela and raised between Argentina and Spain. She studied Fashion and Creative Direction at the European Institute of Design (IED) of Madrid. Her creative studies have led her to develop as an illustrator and painter in her own style called “Poop Arttoons”, a mixture of art, humor and animals. She is now one emerging artist from Madrid scene and spends her time working for her upcoming first solo show, private commissions and participating in other projects, for example donating her artworks to raise money for animal shelters, the most satisfying aspect of her job. Her work seeks to translate art into something immediately catchy, making a connection between something known as iconic works of art, and something totally new to find that expression of amazement in your audience. For this she makes a deep study of his references that helps her to create and to overlap her own world in them and to rewrite history with its characters, the animals. This provides a great challenge, to be “multi-style”, to reproduce any technique but always faithful to hers, acrylic. Sol defines her work as a show that wants to entertain his audience, born with the need to surprise and make observation rather than an interaction. Once someone is caught by one on her paintings she hopes that person can see beyond the aesthetic and find the way to the true message.


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How would you describe the art scene in your area? I would say OVERLOAD, there is too much of everything nowadays. Some days I feel I can`t do something totally new, or that someone is already doing something similar. But when I leave that anguish feeling aside I realize that the most important thing about my work is “Me”, the feelings and the thoughts I put in my artworks can never be the same as others artists. Madrid, where I live, is a city full of talent. Most of people I know work in a creative area, photography, music, graphics, fashion,art. There are many cultural alternatives and offers. The cool thing is that collaborations between different disciplines take place really easily and there is someone always ready to help you and boost your project. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Self expression. That is does not necessarily means to express something about yourself. It’s about expressing your opinion, vision or just telling a story about a subject that can be miles away in time or space from you. Name three artists you admire. Picasso, I’m working on him right now, discovering his life trough every painting made me feel him really near, literally, like he now looks accesible and a common person who made a living of painting. Mark Ryden, I want to live inside his paintings, and so times a feel like I want to EAT his paintings, they look so fantastic and yummy. Frida Kahlo, I think of her like a super woman, with all she had to carry, she made it. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? When, how and why started your art practice? Likemostartists,artissomethingIhavealways bee keen on. Drawing, painting, sweing, basically creating, is something I have done since I can remember. But It was not untill I enter college to study a Fashion and Creative Direction degree in Madrid that I took into consideration making a living from art. So it’s been just a year since I finished school and though my studies were focus on fashion, the 4- year degree is really crazy and free so I let me develop myself as a painter and illustrator. My first exhibition was just right before graduating, it was part of a competition, I sold two of my three artworks and a month later I met Corinne Lewin, manager of Atrium Gallery Marbella

of which I’m a part now. This was the point where I took the “I’m going to be a painter” path. How has your work changed in the past years? Five years ago when I started painting in a particular style I like to call “Poop Arttoons” humor was all I based my work in. It has been changing through time, today mi projects are still based in the bond between animals and art but with a deeper and much more mature message. I have been working in a project called “Frida Galgo” , it consists in connecting Frida Kahlo’s suffering with the hardhitted dog breed, greyhounds. I donated these artworks and all founds go to dog shelters and animal welfare associations.

Work, insist, and keep working. Do what comes directly from your guts, make true things, people feel and smeel it. Insist, wirte and contact everyone who can help you in you art carrer, dont be ashamed. Work everyday on it, keep in mind it is your profession, not a hobby, so use your time as If you don´t have a plan B, like it is your only shot. What are your future plans? In the nearest futurre I am having my first solo exhibition here in Madrid, and then I’m participating as an exhibitor in the first edition Málaga Art Fair. For next year I’m already planning a new project to take to other art fairs, I would love to be part of Tokyo’s which I’ve been recently invited, but this year was imposible for me to go.


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www.solfelpeto.com

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Roosmarijn ten Hoopen Utrecht, The Netherlands Roosmarijn ten Hoopen works predominantly in the medium of painting. In 2012 she finished here HBO in fine arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam. On here 3th year, in 2011, she won a public price in painting and got granted for an exchange. Spending 5 months at the National Academy of arts in Oslo, Norway. From 2004 till 2015 she worked and lived in Utrecht. Having national and international exhibitions in Norway, Georgia and London. Besides she got selected twice for an AIR in Georgia. Since 2016 Roosmarijn lives and works on different places, from Finland and Georgia to a large studio on the Dutch countryside. At the moment she’s back in Utrecht and this summer will be followed with a 3 months residency in Petrozavodsk, Russia. Empty houses, derelict places and abandoned architecture play a main role in ten Hoopen’s paintings. Intrigued by the tension between nature and architecture, especially when the construction is the loosing part. Different structures appear and the purpose is changed or even gone. Through painting the face of the house, the façade, she’s portraying the transient nature of the building. Her pallet is slowly changing from ‘natural’ to bright and contrasting colours expressing the life, which once had intensely been there. Stated in empty and flat landscapes to emphases the focus on the building. Working with footage collected from American streets through Google street view or, if it allows, travel/ AIR to interesting places like Georgia.


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When, how and why started your art practice? At home we were always creative, with my brothers we were drawing, painting, making objects out of wood, and building huts in the forest or indoors. Before finishing high school we had to think about our following study. One of my brothers was studying graphic design in Utrecht at that time. I thought that would be interesting since it had a creative aspect, visiting several collages but chose for Utrecht. At my high school period I wasn’t really busy with painting I though it was a bit dull. At collage I met new people who were creative, which inspired me to start painting again. That’s what decided me to follow with a HBO on the art academy. Getting accepted on 3 academies’ I chose for Gerrit Rietveld in Amsterdam. I wanted to continue graphic design tough since I was interested in letters and the graphical aspect. Finishing the basic year, where you get all classes, I choose to follow fine art. Within the medium of painting I wanted to work on expressing my own ideas. Since graduating in 2012 I continued working as an artist making paintings, exhibiting and doing artist in residencies. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Being an artist is not only about making work. There’s an aspect of being you’re own manager to get the work out there and seen. Something I still find difficult since it feels as an unknown area. On the art academy this isn’t discussed at all, in any way of classes, which contradicts with reality. I’m working on it myself and every time you learn a bit more about it, what makes you more independent. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’m based in Utrecht, a city in the centre of the Netherlands. Since a few years the city is in a huge transition of demolishing and reconstruction, mainly to expand the offer for living. There were a lot of big factories and old buildings, which had great artistic potential. Studios need to make space for housing doesn’t feel supportive towards the creativity. In the city are pretty a lot of galleries and museums around, although it feels calm. Here and there are new initiatives for young artist. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is there to show what you don’t, didn’t or haven’t seen. Give you a new experience, from outside you’re zone. An universal tool that provokes discussion, question or wonder. Besides it can bring great visual pleasure.

What are you working on right now?

What are you’re future plans as an artist?

I’m always in a continuation of painting, where I float between some different styles and ways of painting, within the same theme. Every time making new work is an urge in painting, and within this medium, seeking for my own expression. In the building where my studio is located I found a long piece of transparent Perspex were I want to paint on. It’s interesting to let coincidences happen, to rethink you’re work and experiment.

On a short term, July 2017, I’m going to attend an artist in residence in Russia, for 3 months. I’ll be there to get inspired, work on new ideas and make paintings. There’s also a workshop were I want to learn the craft of etching. The great thing about residencies is the opportunity that gives you the time and focus to work. And afterwards, bring all new inspiration and motivation back home, for future development. On a longer term, deepen my artist practice in painting, exhibition wise and create financial stability out of this. Applying for residency’s to receive new inspiration and work project wise. Maybe life in another Dutch of European city for a while, because you can always stay on one place.

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Make what you want to make and don’t do it for others, or what you think others want to see. Stay true to yourself.


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www.roosmarijntenhoopen.nl


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Weiman Liu London, UK

What I try to do is to explore the relationship between photography, performing art and installations. I always wanted my photograph to be narrative, or tend to a sense of performing, in between reality/fantasy. I really into the way of movie posters – a sudden plot or clue come with no context given, but a title, which always generates strange imagination and vibes.


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them into another form make me feel secure. For example, I really like how people deal with a movie poster – a strange combination of image and title/text, without any context, which could really confuse the viewer. You know there’s something happening here, and there is a whole, complete story out there, but you cannot figure it out at this moment. It is montage, smart, or you can even say that has been made to trick viewers. I think art is a kind of humour. What is the most challenging part about working with performance? Looking for my model/performer. When I think of a scene, an image comes up in my mind simultaneously; to find people who fit that sense is not easy. I have written a few scripts that await the right time and right people. If I can write this here: If you are interested to be my model/performer, please DO email me. Haha! Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I don’t give myself a definition of what I do; I am really into conceptual art though. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society? In my opinion, artists are also some kind of perfectionists. They do what they believe. I heard this a couple days ago but I can’t recall it precisely; in essence, what I heard was that destroying perfectionist is destroying the whole society’s standard —if I can say it that way. Artists are not intended to play any role in ‘society’; they seem to be rather passive interlocutors. The artists’ role is defined by viewers, who pick what they urgently need. How would you describe the art scene in your area? To be honest I don’t know well. I think video/digital/conceptual art is popular and common among young people. What are your future plans as an artist? Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist. I have a theatre and fine arts educational background; because of that, I am quite concerned about the overall atmosphere of

the piece. I have always wanted my work to be a narrative, like ‘see, there is something happening!’ It has its plot. On the other hand, I don’t want these story to be fully revealed. Abstracting my feelings, distorting them, and constructing

In the short term, I will continue exploring the image/video field; I am planning to make a short film at the moment. However, in the future, I would like to try things that I never came across. I am not a person with strong perseverance.


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www.weimanliu.com


Clare Massey Manchester, UK

Clare Massey is a visual artist based in Manchester, UK with a profound interest in amateur photography as a cultural artefact. Using methods of appropriation and intervention her work reflects on Instagram as contemporary practice exploring its origins and transformations to observe how we make and use images across generations. Her work demonstrates that visual culture is always active and in progress, negotiated through a complex temporal relationship which is observed in the present, refers to the past, yet faces the future. Resort looks at the social ritual of documenting the family holiday past and present. Taking the textual information from the Kodachrome slides, the corresponding beach resorts were located on Instagram using hashtags. The resulting layered images describe how we respond to place across generations, the points of alignment that agree and disagree gesture to the origin and evolution of image making.


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beyond the negative thought and harness the energy to move forward, which can be easier said than done. If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? It is hard to imagine doing anything else, but if being an artist was not a choice I would work with animals. I am enamoured by their loyalty, and it would be nice to give some of that back, in the meantime, I work under the watchful eye of my cats and dogs who keep me company in the studio. What are you working on right now? I am fascinated by the shift from the private viewing of family albums of our recent past to the global observation of captured moments in contemporary photographic practice. I am currently working on a series that examines what happens to the value of these images when viewed publically, in particular, intimate images that are posted and shared online. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The Manchester art scene is flourishing with a huge surge in independent galleries popping up, as well as commercial galleries such as the recently completed HOME. Spaces such as Rouge Studios and Islington Mill produce rich and diverse collaborative work, and offer affordable spaces to practice and exhibit; it is an exciting time for artists with a focus on bringing art to all. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Again from a tutor, this time at Manchester School of Art while doing a Masters who taught me the importance of determination and perseverance as a practitioner. What are your future plans as an artist? When, how and why started your art practice?

of expression, and I am forever grateful for his intervention.

My art tutor at college recognised that my painting and drawing skills were not very accomplished; he very kindly set up a darkroom in a cupboard, gave me an old Pentax and a roll of black and white film and sent me out to shoot. From that moment I was captivated by photography as a medium

What is the most challenging part about being an artist? I find self-doubt tough, I recently heard a friend describe it as ‘Imposter Syndrome’, and I have to work hard to fight through it. Although it can be distracting, I try to see

The advantage of observing the photograph as a cultural artefact is that it is always evolving, meaning that there is always material for me to reflect on and work with. With this constant flow of new information, I plan to carry on making work that is culturally recognisable and significant, we all use the photograph to document our lives, and I enjoy creating work that is relatable to others yet challenges our perception of image making.


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www.claremassey.co.uk

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Sooo-z Mastropietro Westport, CT, USA

As a multimedia artist, I utilize elements of intrigue, pun, and theory to carry out my concepts in a unique medium of my own creation. The parameters and guidelines that are inately present with these fiber tubes are the very things that fuel my inspiration. They represent the parts of the sum which inevitably give way to the sum of bigger parts. Ultimately my goal is to achieve infinte boundaries with a finite form. Sooo-z Mastropietro holds a BFA in Fashion and Textile Design from FIT. After starting off as an Art Director in Interiors, she conceived Mastropiece, a silk painting business which utilizes her own wearable designs. She has continued to develop collections in oil, illustrations of estates, and a line of stationery featuring ‘Socialites’. She has judged art shows, curated over 60 themed shows, and currently serves as the ArtSmart Chairperson for her town’s Elementary school. Her current work under the moniker, Knitiot Savant, is a fiber art form utilizing a triumph of fabric tubes, nuggets, and shreds.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Although I’ve been identified as an artist my entire life through painting, illustrating, and rendering, my enjoyment of sewing crept its way into my forms of expressions around 2013. I’ve always been thrilled by the richness of fiber art and the innovative usage of alternative materials as mediums. As a young fashion designer some 30 years ago, the tubes of fabric I constructed as unique closures and ornamentations ultimately became my most recent medium. I now use tubes for paint strokes, pixels, and building blocks in my 2D and 3D works. The following that my work has been receiving motivates me to continue on this path and develop my unique medium even further. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? I often toggle between 2 or more projects at any given time which ironically helps me stay on course with the hardest challenge being time management. As an artist, one must wear many hats regarding research and development, marketing, bookkeeping, hustling for gigs, oh yeah -and creating! Staying disciplined and focussed can be an uphill battle when life’s demands are constantly nibbling for your attention but knowing there’s another idea that needs nurturing can bring everything all together. How would you describe the art scene in your area? There is a healthy mix of unique well crafted art by thoughtful talented artists as well as casual slacker art that otherwise uses up good art supplies. There is something for everyone and knowing what’s a good fit for you is key. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Contemporary art should involve concepts and executions that make the viewer think. It’s like a good story in which not everything is written out or explained but left up for some interpretation. and representative rather than completely spelled out. In art, there are many levels of this interpretation and I personally enjoy a slight challenge that ultimately leaves me pleasantly bewildered or wondering why I hadn’t thought of that rather than a completely far out stretch that questions the whole thing. What are you working on right now? I’m currently working on a collection of soft sculptures entitled ‘Controlled Substances’. They are representative of the chemical compounds affiliated with narcotics, named accordingly but with distortions to their names to tie in with textiles. They utilize many of the different sub-mediums in my tubing arena such as long tubes, short nuggets, upright bullseyes, and shreds as this parallels the same principles of chemistry -same raw materials just different combinations. So far there are 7 sculptures modelled after large glass chemistry tubes with many more on their way. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Clean your brushes right away. But since I don’t rely on brushes too much, I keep my sewing machines dusted and oiled. Probably the best advice is to recognize when to end a project and walk away. What are your future plans as an artist? My immediate goal is to work larger and attempt some installation ideas I have. As for long term, I’d like to be featured as a solo exhibition in a museum where the family of tubes can be truly appreciated.


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www.mastropiece.com

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Marissa Menefee Chicago, IL, USA

I have received my BFA with a specialization in Watercolor Painting from the American Academy of Art located in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout my time at school I received awards, was on the Dean’s List and ended up graduating on the President’s List. My work has been in many group shows and exhibitions in Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and neighboring states. I will also be published in Studio Visit Magazine this summer. I teach painting classes in a southwest suburb of the city where I live with my daughter. The seemingly simple circle presents to me endless opportunities and inspiration to create whimsical and abstract compositions. Multiple facets of the circle’s shape and capabilities grab me; a circle contains zero straight lines; a circle cannot be filled with other circles; a line that never ends, circles are often a symbol of infinity. When lost, it feels like we are going in circles. When there is great accomplishment, it feels as if we have come full circle. An imaginative world filled with color and playfulness is translated through controlled, yet loose, watercolor and geometry. Exploring the unique forms and colors of natural phenomena inspires me to examine and interpret nature and our surroundings through my work. Surrendering to this obsessive attraction with circles, I create a marriage between free flowing watercolor and the harsh, geometric boundaries of the circle, ultimately creating a constant flux throughout my work.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I’ve been interested in art my whole life. I took all the art classes I could through high school and even went to private art college after, but it wasn’t until I had my daughter during my last year in college that I started my current painting “style”. I honestly remember the day! I had taken my last semester off school to be able to stay home with her while she was still so tiny and I just started painting a bunch of circles. I still can’t explain what drew me to circles at that point but it just felt so honest to me. When I eventually returned to school to create my portfolio it was like my new trajectory had already begun, and I am still on it today. There is something that draws me to circles, and mark making, and creating color combinations that allows me to keep making the paintings that I am and still feeling excited about it.

I couldn’t be creative in at least some aspect. If I had to do something not related to the arts I think it would be some kind of social work, whether dealing with civil rights, women’s rights, or both. It is something I have always cared about but especially now, with America where it is, I have really been educating myself on the problems that continue to plague this nation and if I wasn’t an artist, that’s the work I would love to do.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? I can’t imagine working somewhere where

pretty proud that I am currently in my third sketchbook of the year! Having that daily sketching discipline has really changed the way I approach my paintings because I have my art on my mind every day and find myself much more creative than last year, when I really had to sit down to plan a painting, whereas now it kind of just comes to me when I put brush/pencil to paper. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in Chicago is truly great. There are so many opportunities for artists of any discipline to get their foot in a door somewhere. Even just for inspiration, the city itself is beautiful-all the museums, galleries and pop-ups to the architecture, street art and Lake Michigan, I feel very fortunate to have had this city at my fingertips my whole life. At times, I am overwhelmed with all the opportunities there are here, and I find myself having to narrow down exactly what I am looking for, whether it be exposure or actually selling pieces. Chicago is also central to many other art-friendly areas that I have used to my advantage or have my sights set on.

What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Without a doubt, I think the most challenging part of being an artist is creating the work you love even when you get rejections. I think it could be so easy to try to change your style to fit what you think the perspective client/gallery/ crowd is looking for but then you, the artist, aren’t happy. You end up showing work that you’re not really proud of or have no ties with and people can tell! You just have to keep believing in yourself and your vision even when some things don’t work out. Constantly creating is also super important but extremely difficult when you get into a rut. Even then, I think it is most important to keep creating while you’re in that rut, because if you stay stagnant, it will just become harder to pick up that paintbrush and you’ll end up being in that rut waaaay longer than you intended.

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

What are you working on right now? Right now, I am working on a plethora of projects. I have a group show coming up at the end of June that I plan on revealing all new paintings at, so multiple paintings all at once, which is somewhat overwhelming, but also exciting. If I am ever in a rut with one of my paintings I am able to just move on to another and come back to the first, hopefully, with fresh perspective. I also challenged myself at the beginning of the year to work in my sketchbook everyday with the goal of actually filling a sketchbook and I am

Just keep creating! I think I said this already, but you just have to keep those creative juices flowing, sketch every day or paint something small. Just don’t stop! Also, you are your best advocate. If you want people to notice you and the work you do, YOU have to be the one to put yourself out their first. What are your future plans as an artist? Short term, I am prepping and creating for a couple of events I have in June and throughout the rest of the year. Long term, I intend on receiving my Masters. Hopefully it is not as “long” term as that phrase makes it out to be! Most importantly, I plan on continuing to grow and evolve with my paintings, enjoying the process that comes with creating art.


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www.marissamenefee.com


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Mila Morton Hong Kong

I am a full time artist. I was born in Astrakhan, at 2006 graduated with distinction from the Faculty of Painting from College of Art, from 2006 I was living in Moscow where at 2011 I graduated from the Faculty of Painting of the Surikov Academic Institute of Art, with MA and distinction. The same year I graduated from Mosfilm as production designer and during 2011 -2014 was working in film industry as production designer and storyboard artist. Constant participant of exhibition in Russia since 2005. I have been living in Hong Kong since Nov 2014, on my website you can see my new works its a result of 2 years researching and experiments.


“No new thing under the sun� My work is about patterns in the world around us, finding abstractions in the complex and complexity in the apparently simple, and about repetition/universality and singularity/now. I grew up on the edge of the Eurasian steppe, where my first views of the world were of the dome of the sky, the curving yet level horizon and the flatness of the desert. At art school in Moscow and living in Asia, I have studied cave paintings, icons, the Russian realist painters and the Asian landscape tradition, and my work is another manifestation of their truth: that representation is always multi-layered, incomplete but in its own way having meaning. At the same time, I love the physicality of technique, from mosaic to painting to film and the new world of electronic images, I am always exploring new methods to address the age-old questions of art and of life as expressed by art.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist. I grew up on the edge of the Eurasian Steppe where my first views of the world were of the dome of the sky, the curving yet level horizon and the flatness of the desert. At art institute in Moscow I studied Christian icon painting and the Russian realist painters and avant-garde; living in Asia, the many traditions of Asian art, in particular, Chinese landscapes, Korean Dansaekwa school and Western abstraction. My work seeks to draw on my experience of space and time and the wonderful techniques and beauty of these diverse schools, and to represent their underlying insight. In each, I believe, the essence is the same - representation is always multi-layered and incomplete, but in its own way an artist is able to produce work which has meaning, encompassing a point in time and linking it to the universal in a manner which may be incomplete but nevertheless provides our only link

to the sublime, linking the microcosm and the macrocosm. I also love the physicality of technique, from mosaic to painting to film and the new world of electronic images, and I am always exploring new methods to address the age-old questions of art and of life as expressed by art.

watching a not very good film - you can watch them but it wouldn’t add a sparkle to you life. Although of course on the other hand you can meet pleasant, interesting people, which is great especially when you understand that they are become your friends.

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

I find that there is a huge dissonance between the character traits which are typical of artists – not to mention the popular stereotype of the artist - and what the world of art these days demands of artists. As as strange as it may seem unless you are already a very successful and well known artist you need to be a very socialize person, to go to openings, to talk to people, to indecently expose yourself on Instagram, and to use the words of a good friend “to take people seriously whether or not they deserve”. At least half of these meetings are like

I worked for a few years in the film industry and the art world reminds me a lot of making films. There are lots of actors, film directors etc., most exhibitions are more or less the same, they can be interesting and can be boring - but art is entertainment and normally it change your life. Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised by the themes artists chose, by their colour, by their techniques - and sometimes you can be unpleasantly surprised and sometimes you can not be surprised at all. There is a certain amount of trendiness and/or cliché in art but that stuff doesn’t do it for me.


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In your opinion what role does the artist have in society? It is fun to look at. Society needs more fun things to look at and I see providing them as being the main duty of the artist.

as themes like DNA and evolution, the development and evolution of a cell, DNA. This year I have discovered the incredible works of the artists of the Dansaekwa School, which are somehow close to my work.

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

There are lots of famous international galleries as Gagosian and Opera etc. with contemporary art.

I live and workin Hong Kong, the art atmosphere here is lively and various. Art Basel, Hong Kong Art Fair, Hong Kong Affordable Art Fair and many other art fairs take place every year, it is really great to be able to visit them and see new works form all over the world in one place. Coming from a very hardcore technical Western art background being in Asia is a great opportunity to see and learn more about Asian art. This has had a really big influence on my work, I am mixing Western and Asian materials and techniques, for example my series Dereconstruction is a (De)reflection on calligraphy and the cell, representing Chinese calligraphic elements as well

But we don’t have many museums of art, only one actually and it’s closed for restoration for 3 years. What is officially called the “cultural district” is literally a wasteland with tumbleweed blowing through it, it’s more or less the only large empty space in Hong Kong. I travel quite a lot and always try to see what is going on in the art scene wherever I go. Several times a year I go to London where there are huge numbers of museums galleries, and I know the Moscow art scene very well I was studying at art school there for 6 years and still have a lot of friends there – so I am quiet happy with what I have.

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What are your future plans as an artist? More works more exhibitions! I m going to exhibit my project Desertification at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (opening 3 July), and also participate in the Amsterdam International Art Fair on the 25-26 of August. What are you working on right now? I call my style expressionistic abstraction/ experiential abstraction. Over the last two years I have been experimenting with techniques and materials; I have invented a new top-secret technique which I began using this year. I already had a chance to exhibit some works using it and got very positive feedback. At the moment some of my works are in an exhibition in Hong Kong, it is an interesting collaboration with two other Hong Kong artists, the Geneyclee Gallery and The Desk. It’s on until the 16th of June and you are very welcome to come and visit if you are around!


www.artsly.net


Jean-Antoine Norbert

Jersey City, NJ, USA

Jean-Antoine Norbert has exhibited at Gallery Claire de Villaret, Paris and Michelle Landolt, New York. His portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is on permanent display at the British Consulate NYC. His work was viewed in numerous shows in New York and Florence Italy. He is the Recipient of The David Schafer Portrait Scholarship and has been a copyist at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. His work is in private collections in New York, Malaysia and Switzerland. Jean-Antoine Norbert has a medical degree from Université de Lausanne and work two years before embracing a carreer in Art The portrait of the Queen Elizabeth II Jean-Antoine Norbert has made is on permanent display at the Bristish Consulate General in New York City. He sold a drawing at the Art Auction at Sotheby’s “ Take home a Nude”. He is the Recipient of The David Schafer Portrait Scholarship and has been a copyist at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. When the two reproduction cells fuse together, their DNA merge to create a new DNA, which will be the new offspring. It is a biological and spiritual standpoint. But Life is fragile. It needs to be nourished. Jean-Antoine’s point of view has been strongly influ-

ence by his experience as a physician MD. Most people are not ready to invest time and money in their long-term well-being. They prefer immediate satisfaction with food, drugs and alcohol. Closing their eyes on the long-term consequences. Inexpensive activities such as running, yoga or dancing have tremendous impact on our health and increase the old age quality of life. Jean-Antoine undertakes the theme of Catharsis, the second direction of his work, as an artistic platform where he begins a dialogue with his personal struggles. Catharsis is the “purgation, of the emotions - anger and fear – that brings a release from tension.” (Webster) More precisely, it is the purgation of the emotion that is trapped in a complex; this [purgation] allows for one’s expression as one becomes conscious again. Once the image is created, the catharsis works also on the spectator.” Catharsis is one of the functions of the tragedy entertainment according to Aristotle. It is a question of releasing the spectators of their passions by expressing them symbolically. The tragic entertainment operates, on the spectator, as a purification of the passions” (Étudeslitteraires. com). Through the portrayal and exploration of struggle and catharsis, Jean-Antoine offers the viewer a chance to release his own psychological tension with visual art.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

I was working as a physician and really was unsatisfied with my circumstances. I have always been good with my hands and felt the need to use the gift professionally. I also wanted to express myself, which inspired me to take courses on drawing and sculpture in a school called Têtard in my hometown. I was amazed by the experience! To be able to make my ideas and intentions to come to fruition was so profound. And I felt confident doing it.

The biggest challenge is to earn a good living as an artist. To achieve that, I engage in a variety of art-related activities: I have a part-time job as a painter’s assistant in a large art studio in Jersey City. There are ten painters working at the studio and we’re producing photorealistic work. Basically, I produce a finished painting from a photo I’m provided with. In the history of Western art, some version of this process has long existed, as with, for instance, the flourishing studio of Peter Paul Rubens. With that work, there are deadlines and there’s often a lot of pressure because it takes patience to paint photorealistically. I also participate frequently in collective exhibitions, including a recent one called “Superwoman!” in Jersey City. Additionally, I am a tutor and I sell art online.

At that time, my kitchen was my studio. Because of the potential threat of getting the paint or other materials in my food, I decided to rent a studio. I was painting and sculpting intensely then. I was given the opportunity to exhibit my work in Paris, which went well and then I wanted to validate that experience by earning a diploma in studio art. I would not leave Medicine for something less ambitious! So, I went to Florence, Italy to study at the Angel Academy. There, I learned old master techniques, nude drawing and painting in particular. My medical knowledge of anatomy helped me to draw very life-like figures. That school also teaches photorealist painting. After I got my diploma, I went to New York to paint. I joined the New York Academy of Art, a school that teaches critical thinking and contemporary art as well as representational techniques of painting, sculpting, and drawing.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? I am very fortunate to be a full time artist! Pretty unrelatedly, I experienced being a landlord, which really piqued my interest in real estate. From that experience, I saw the potential for making money through some smart, selective buying. I would consider working part-time in that industry. What are you working on right now? I am working on a series of paintings called, “From Darkness to Light.” I am interested

in starting in an area of darkness, placing a figure in darkness, and representing them struggling somehow to move towards the light. I believe the change of state - from dark to light - is possible if one first works on body awareness with techniques likes yoga or simply dancing. Being clear on how you move, where you are in space, induces |a change in one’s state of mind - making it lighter. In terms of the painted image, I believe that body language is clear and universally understandable, which means that it is understandable by people who don’t speak the same language. In that vein, I decided to focus on dance, on movement without words. I produced an entire series of paintings about dancers floating in the air, moving through darker space, their bodies illuminated. I am also working on a sculpture of a baby, which is soon going to be cast in bronze with a gold-leaf veneer. It is a beautiful piece! How would you describe the art scene in your area? The Jersey City art scene is very up and coming. It’s the art borough in the New York City area that is evolving the most at the moment! A big gallery from the Chelsea art neighbourhood in Manhattan, Jonathan LeVine Galery, just moved into my building in Jersey City. There is a lot of enthusiasm on the part of local residents to attend art events and there is a plethora of them on offer! It is really painful for a FOMO! Recently I participated in an art talk at a gallery at 107 Bowers and got feedback that was so passionate! I really enjoyed that experience! What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best advice I received was from couple of art coaches and it concerned promoting my work. They advised me to start locally, with a nearby art gallery or art council, but thinking locally was something that I wasn’t accustomed to doing. I had always thought internationally, participating in shows in Paris, NYC, Florence, Switzerland… I was also encouraged to get to know my audience and to develop a long-term relationship with each of them, which is so important; that really brought stability to my career. What are your future plans as an artist? I want to teach art classes. I am searching for opportunities in Switzerland and in New York. In terms of my art goals, I want to introduce humor into my paintings and sculptures, to add an element that is light-hearted!


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www.jeanantoinenorbert.com


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Mitchell Smith Bristol, UK

My current body of work predominantly consists of two on-going parallel series, ‘OBSERVATIONS’ and ‘HUMAN SCULPTURE’ both of which I centre on the themes of social juxtaposition and ‘Studium/Punctum’ as defined by Roland Barthes. I am currently working on introducing a third series that challenges the functionality and disposition of certain every day objects. I use a naïve, but fine-tuned humour within my work in order to ensnare the attention of a diverse audience. Communicating further, conceptual properties when more closely analysed. My work displays various political matters such as religion, poverty and hierarchy; realised through mixed media including film, photography, performance and more. My overall aim is to produce and develop a body of work, which challenges the ways in which society perceives itself. Creating active conversations for audiences to engage, ultimately producing a positive outcome. OBSERVATIONS Documentation of ephemeral moments. Accentuating social juxtaposition whilst demonstrating certain behaviours and aesthetics, which construct an ever-changing dialog with one another. When observed together these photographic works develop a peculiar language to contemplate social behaviour. This work uses humour and obscurity as a medium to present the audience with various topics. HUMAN SCULPTURES Arranged subjects are presented through displaced performance, photography and video. Holding a peculiar and detailed tone, this series of work retorts contemporary society’s use of symbolism and routine of communication. This work often provokes subtle humour when situated within the ‘white cube’ space.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

a balance between the two isn’t ever easy for me.

I like being able to work across different areas such as psychology and sociology so I decided to study fine art at university. I’ve been concerned with several themes and media over the years but only recently has my practise become legible and consistent. A lot of my motive comes from my upbringing. I’m concerned with ‘the self ’ in relation to many contemporary issues such as our relationship with possessions and existentialism.

The most challenging part is probably making sure my ideas are contextualised as much as possible. I have a bit of a fear of conveying accidental themes in my work, I also like to try and predict how people might interpret things so that I know how it might function when it’s out of my hands. That being said sometimes it’s important to just see what sticks. Go with what you’re feeling and worry about all that a bit later on. Finding

In your opinion what does performance mean in contemporary culture? Performance is temporary and that’s great. Everything is so permanent now because of the Internet’s paper trail and performance resists this. For this reason they feel real which is always refreshing. I think performance has become more accepted than previously but you can’t hang them up on the wall so they don’t tend to sell very well.


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How would you describe the art scene in your area? In Bristol the arts scene is really active, we have the Spike Island and the Arnolfini galleries, which both exhibit contemporary art and there are many independent galleries here with some high quality exhibitions. There’s also a lot of ‘outsider/ street art’ going on in Bristol and that usually brings a really diverse audience into the city. I’m moving to London later this year and I already know I’m going to be here a lot.

Name three artists you admire. Erwin Wurm, Sarah Lucas and Ryan Gander. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Network, and don’t just socialise with other fine artists. It’s important to discuss ideas with a range of people and you’ll be surprised at how much they can contribute to your practice. It’s also important politically; we are sheltered with Facebook and in our social circles, this eventually becomes

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an echo chamber of your own opinion. Challenge yourself by discussing things with others who might not agree and apply this to your practise. What are your future plans as an artist? I’ve made plans to begin studying an MFA degree later this year at Wimbledon College of Arts, London. I want to continue to making work and collaborating with others and just see where that takes me. I’m looking forward to London and one day getting a dog.


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Patricia Thomas Philadelphia, PA, USA

Exploring the shocking imagery of blackface, the artist proves that like words, phrases and other imagery out the Jim Crow Era that was once proved insults can, and has, become normalized into everyday society. Although the depiction of a black body in this way is looked at as quite unattractive and still controversial, the artist challenges that conclusion by painting loved ones and strangers in similar fashion, and with consideration and care. She questions, like language, if imagery that once depicted her people as inhuman can be considered beautiful and respected as Fine Art without adhering the Westernized style of figure painting, while simultaneously making a statement about current political and social issues.

Patricia Thomas, born in 1995, is a Philadelphia based painter and graphic artist that is interested in Black art development, and experiments with the image of blacks in the Jim Crow Era. Thomas has been published in several school and local publications, as well as being featured in Philadelphia’s own GRAF magazine, and had work displayed throughout Philadelphia and as far as Italy. She has won talent-based scholarships, and has been included in local shows and Congressional shows.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I have always had an affinity for art starting at a very young age. Even back then, when I was 9 or 10, I dreamt of being established with a studio space and everything. Ambitious, yes. I was influenced by so many people! My mother who was so creative, my aunt a writer and her husband also an artist, and my sister a talented writer. Being so surrounded by creative people, it was only “when” I would pursue art, not “if ”. I would say I truly began my practice in college, Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, where I went to learn how to properly express myself. It was one thing to say that you love art, it’s another to go into debt for it! That’s when I was like, “alright, so I’m really doing this?”. It was kind of a funny feeling walking in day one, I don’t recall any real apprehension, more like commitment. I felt extremely ready.

naturally that attracts some pretty fabulous artists. I believe I’ve seen some pretty incredible abstract artists working in the Philadelphia area that I love, that are highly influenced by the music and liveliness of the surrounding counties. We have amazing art museums, that a lot to make sure the community is involved, like the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art which holds some of the most iconic art pieces in America. The art is very influenced by the history of the city, Philadelphia which translates to “The City of Brotherly Love”, which is very true when it comes to the arts and the diverse group

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

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

How would you describe the art scene in your area? Philadelphia’s art scene is flourishing. The crowds are young, the music is fresh and

What are you working on right now? I am currently working on a drawing series on blacked out paper made with ink, charcoal, oil and acrylic paint. I then draw on it with white chalk. I had a recent showing of them titled “Gentrify Me, I’m a Criminal Now”, and I have to say it inspired me to create more. I interview people I meet at a shop, on the street, on the train and I draw them, and write what they spoke. I am very concentrated on trying to capture the soul of people in a marginalized community, some of the most honest things they say is to someone they think they’ll never see again. I love it.

Seeing art as well lit a fire. Last year, I was able to see my favorite living artists’ work in the flesh; Kerry James Marshall’s “Mastry”. It was stunning, dark work that was brutally honest and really motivated me to continue to create. Just seeing the same work in life that inspired me as a child reminded me of why I became an artist in the first place.

Well for one, it would be learning how to evolve. I very often get stuck in phases, in moments, and I become so infatuated with them that I don’t allow myself to move onto a new series. It can be frustrating and it tends to hold me back from portraying the message I want, as well as putting a barrier between myself and the viewer. You look at so many great artists, their early stages so drastically different to what we know now, and frankly, that is terrifying and exhilarating. I want to be able to continuously create, let my subject move like the times move, and since we live in a time where issues flow and change so drastically, it only makes sense that I train myself to evolve. I believe that has to be on of the most difficult parts of being an artist.

What’s happening in the news? Around the world? What do we love? What has to change? That’s what we’re talking about. That’s what we have to discuss, and it’s a heavy duty. In contemporary culture, we are the voices, and for years to come, we are the reflections of what happened here politically and socially. Nowadays, people look at a picture before they read a paragraph. We are so programmed to examine and watch, and being visual creators, we have to relay our messages to viewers to communicate. It’s hard work, but in the end it’s exciting and very worth it.

of people who are active. We have First Fridays where there is arts all over the streets, every gallery is open to all and music on every corner. It’s some of the best times there with fellow artists. The the culture is rich, especially the Black culture and youth cultures. Young African American artists in the area especially, thrive off the energy and support given from Philly. It’s such a young, hip, artsy city. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? To me, art isn’t just a thing that can be in itself, defined. I think it is the act of creating art, the resistance of it, being the artist and the creator that has meaning. To be an artist in these times is a damn hard job. In a way, we aren’t completely free to make what we want, but what the times want.

I had an art teacher in high school that told me that not one part of the drawing is more important than the other. That every piece of the painting is as important as another piece, from corner to corner. Of course, I ran with that and every piece I make I put as much effort in the hand as I do a glass on a table. Some people tell me my paintings are too loaded, or needs “air”, but to erase that little bit of advice from what I make would seem as though I am erasing a part of myself. Believe me, I’ve tried. What are your future plans as an artist? I am ambitious. I would love to travel the world and see art from other African Diaspora, and to see how their lives influence their art. I want to be able to take art, and promote it in my community and teach them that the art world isn’t reserved for the wealthy, for men, for white people. I want to teach others to invest in the arts, to promote creativity and of course, create great work. I’d love to experiment more with gallery culture and dabble in performance. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.


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Kiki Xuebing Wang Los Angeles, CA, USA

The paintings all begin as small drawings on paper, a practice that remains consistent in daily life. The combination of mark making and vibrant color selection develop tableaus that play between figuration and abstraction.The prevailing drive in painting is toward sincerity, which aims to pass on a notion of “have a nice day”. The desire of pleasant is part of the work. Seemingly obvious brushstrokes connote an offer of sincerity, just as the overall theme of “have a nice day” is on the surface a kind gesture but in fact reflects an insouciance.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist. I was born and raised in China. I came to the Los Angeles to study art when I was 18. I graduated from UCLA last year and got a studio space in downtown LA to keep painting. I started drawing since I was little. My mom would drive me to drawing school every Sunday for almost ten years until I was fifteen. After I got in college, I started making sculptures, ceramics, photography, etchings, etc. Then I realize that painting and drawing are the only thing that can always keep me interested and make me patient. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Having too much freedom and not enough freedom in the process of making. I like having the freedom of being able to write down my thoughts and then make artworks based on my writings. However, the freedom isn’t always good. When you are

trying to make decisions, having too much freedom does not help you. At a certain point, you want to narrow it down. Most of the time, it eventually occurs in the process of making work. However, there is a chance that you cannot make a decision. In that case, I would just move on a new painting, maybe a month later I come back to this one with a fresh mindset and hopefully finish the idea on the painting. I started a painting two weeks ago and have been struggling with it since then. Then I decided to leave it like how it is. It is okay to make paintings that I don’t like. It really took me a while to learn that. Now when I think about it, it just seems too greedy to like every painting I make, or maybe I am also afraid of making a perfect painting. I am never a perfectionist, maybe that is the reason that I allow myself to be less stubborn and move on next one. In your opinion what role does the artist have in society? This is a tough question. It is hard to answer it with a few sentences. I asked my

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friend Will the same question once and he gave the answer “carry the fire”. It is from the novel The Road, the boy whose mother committed suicide and father is dying from illness, is told to be the one to “carry the fire.” What are your future plans as an artist? I see my own work as a process in time, which means my future plan as an artist really is just being able to keep making interesting work, also keep the sincerity in my work. What are you working on right now? I am working on limiting a few forms in my drawings and paintings. They still base on the simple writings that I did. The reason I do that is because I want to keep the consistency in the work. It is challenging to have both consistency and surprising moment. What I’m really interested in is the language of painting and also painting as exploration. I want each painting takes the audience to a different adventure.


www.thekikiwang.com


Michael Ward

Costa Mesa, CA, USA

I began painting in the 1980s, first in gouache, then in acrylic on canvas. I work from photos I have taken over the last 40 years, mainly of southern California, but also of places I visit frequently, including Mexico, Montana and Michigan. I am most interested in depicting the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting. I want people to pay attention to something they may have never seen, but that makes them feel “I know this.� Since the source materials for my paintings span four decades, some older images may appear nostalgic, but that was never my intent. I am, however, ever intrigued at how the past lurks in the corners of the present, waiting to be rediscovered. I have exhibited in New York, Florida, Texas, and Arizona, as well as locally in Los Angeles and Orange County. My work is in private collections worldwide. I live in Costa Mesa, CA, and am self-taught.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture?

I started painting in the 1980s, mainly to see if I could translate my photographs successfully to canvas. I succeeded, but stopped painting after a while to pursue other interests. I picked it up again in the 1990s, mainly to recreate an early painting that I had sold. I’ve been painting ever since.

Art goes in a lot of directions these days, but for me art means bearing witness to the way we live, and the world we inhabit. I want to focus people’s attention on something they may see everyday, but don’t really pay attention to. But a painting forces us to consider that scene or that object, or that person, and uncover it’s beauty and mystery.

What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Finding the time to paint, since I have to have a day job to pay the bills. But as I sell more artwork, I’m able to dial back the day job a bit. Subject matter is not a challenge, as I have an archive of to-paint images that will last several lifetimes. Picking the one to paint next is sometimes a challenge.

What are you working on right now? A painting based on a photo from my recent trip to France. It’s a view from the window of our 5th-floor apartment in Paris. French architecture is very different, so I’m having fun exploring new forms and textures.

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

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

If you consider “my area” as suburban Orange county (as opposed to greater Los Angeles), the art scene consists of a growing plein air scene (all very similar in style and subject matter), an also growing MFA segment (mainly LCAD) which puts out some interesting stuff, mostly realist-based, a few galleries of varying quality (mostly in Laguna Beach) and a modest hipster-art scene in downtown Santa Ana. I’m a part of the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, a massive 2-month-long gathering of over 140 artists that is over 80 years old and still going strong.

The best art tip I got was an accidental one. I once tried getting in to a gallery that had work by an artist whose style and subject matter was similar to mine. They told me that since they already had an urban realist, they didn’t need me. That taught me to market the uniqueness of my work, not it’s similarity to other artists’ work. What are your future plans as an artist? Work less at the day job, more at painting.


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Isabelle Zezima Paris, France

Isabelle Zezima (b. 1988) is a french photographer living and working in Paris. She grew up near Fontainebleau forest and went to the capital for studying arts and photography in Paris 8 university. Shortly after, she joined the photographic school “Les Gobelins”, in Paris, where she developed her technical skills (graduated in 2011). During her childhood, she travelled a lot with her family. These experiences gave her the desire to discover always more world beauties, those who belongs to nature as well as those built by men.  Because she loves to vary her subjects, she easily switches between outdoor and studio photography. Her pictures confront different topics : architecture, nature, food, still life...


I’m influenced by things I see and experience in my daily life. Sensitive to lights and spaces, I like to catch outdoor landscapes and lights, which explains my specialization in panoramic pictures. When I stand in front of a landscape, I try to translate my instantaneous inner feelings in my pictures, and to capture poetic, dramatic or surreal atmospheres. I know that each picture will communicate a unique moment and emotion that will never happen again. That is how came the idea for the serie of panoramic pictures «Nocturnes». Using studio techniques outdoors for several hours, I managed to highlight landscapes piece by piece. Trees, sand and stones seemed to come to life as if they could glow by themselves. Under the light, I reveal all the pieces of a great hidden tale. In the studio,  I have a different approach. Freedom is total and I can  create  a universe from scratch. At this scale, I can choose

my own lights, build space and create sceneries that I imagine. I take this advantage to convey ideas that are important to me, such as the preservation of the environment. Whether in panoramic photography or staged in the studio, my pictures mix a sort of pure instinct and meticulous construction. My serie “Culinary architectures” shows miniatures buildings, towers or towns almost exclusively built with different kinds of breads. The challenge is to create the feeling for the spectator to be a small character in front of a large structure. The “Dreamlike landscapes” translates a huge variety of real natural atmospheres. Realized with simple daily food, these pictures are a tribute to mother Earth and remind us that our planet is the only known world sheltering life. A message for the protection of our ressources...


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When, how and why started your art practice? I first started photography when I was in high school. During this period, I understood that my interest was for arts and I decided to do a plastic arts degree with a specialty of photography in Paris 8 university. There I learned a lot about theory and history of arts. But it wasn’t enough for me. I needed more concrete skills to really move forward, build my own projects. So I made many internships in photo laboratories, studios, shops and with photographers. I really loved this kind of experience, where every month I could discover new works, new skills, other places, other people. I became more and more involved in advertising photography and I decided to study this field in the well known Gobelins school. There I learned about lights, photographic staging in studio, digital technologies... This was the real start of projects and works. Most of them are still waiting! How has your work changed in the past years? A few years ago, I began to build more conceptual projects about time or the place of human beings in the city. I worked for instance on abandoned or crowded places... Living in Paris is wonderful, but I never felt very comfortable in this town. It is always very busy, in a hurry, sometimes slightly to proud of itself... At Gobelins school, I launched my first culinary photography projects. What I like in the studio is that I am totally free to create everything that crosses my mind. It is quite the opposite of photo journalism, where the timescale tends to be short and reality is limiting you. Still, I like both approaches and easily switch between indoor and outdoor. I’m very sensitive to the context and how I feel at the moment. My inspiration comes mostly from what I see and live, which isn’t linear at all. I guess this is why my projects are all very different! I see photography as a way to experiment and play. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Paris has an incredible living art scene. From museum to the street, you can always find something or somebody that inspires you. I walked a lot in the city and it is not rare to see artists such as painters, dancers, writers expressing themselves in the street. There is plenty of performances and exhibitions, so everyone can find something that suits them. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I think that art can have many goals : make people think or laugh, communicate about an idea, express ourselves, inspire others... Right now, it is easy to be drawn in the never endind flow of problems and bad news. Therefore, I think that what people needs more than ever is awe, hope, and the desire to act for what they believe. I truely think that art can act as a cure for the new century sickness. I care a lot about environment, and this was one reason for the series : « culinary architectures ». With these pictures I wished to make people dream about the beauty of our world. But, at the same time, I wanted to share with them the idea that, even if we have plenty of food resources, our catastrophic management of environment could easily take us all down. Name three artists you admire. It’s a really hard question because I could name so many artists that gave me the love of photography and art... I can talk about three of them, who are really different: Georges Rousse: I met and work one time with this awesome artist. I really like his approach of architectural photography. He plays with shapes, colors and lights of architecture to make beautiful anamorphosis painted directly on walls. Definitely a work to see. Andreas Gursky: when I first saw his pictures, I understood exactly what he wanted to say. He was one of the first artists to tackle the excesses of the consumption society. I share this feeling that globalization of our economies pushed human beings to act in completely outsized and crazy ways... Vincent Munier is a photographer who makes me dream. He has an incredible skill to capture simple beauty of life, he truely loves what he is doing. I admire his patience and courage when he tracks animals in wild and remote places. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? It is more a philosophical opinion but I would say : be open to criticisms but dont let them stop you in your projects. Do not deny yourself in order to please somebody. If you feel like working on something, even if it’s not a trendy subject, give you the way to make it and try hard ! What are your future plans? I have a big to-do list of projects and every week it’s growing up ! A lot of them are about landscapes and culinary photography. Besides, I would love to work with a master chef on a original recipe book. I also wish to promote my career internationally.


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Art Reveal Magazine no. 30  

Jeni Bate, Philippine Boulay, Jordan Clayton, Sol Felpeto, Roosmarijn ten Hoopen, Weiman Liu, Clare Massey, Sooo-z Mastropietro, Marissa Men...

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