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STEBEN ALEXANDER | ΛRTVR | ERIN CROSS | SPARROW DAVIES JOANNA GAMBOTTO | AZAM ISMAIL | HANNA KAY | TONI KITTI YIRANG KIM | HEESOO KWON | CRYSTAL LAW | MARK NESMITH BENJAMIN NUTTALL | JULIA SEBASTIAN | AMAURI TOREZAN

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Amauri Torezan (b. 1972, São Paulo - Brazil) Torezan is a Brazilian-born painter living and working in South Florida. Inspired by representations of the future, and abstract art produced in the Mid-20th century, Torezan developed his unique style creating hard-edged compositions flatly painted on a variety of surfaces. In his work, geometric and organic forms seem to be floating around each other evoking a sense of depth, as though the shapes were eternally suspended in space. The contrasting colors enhance the dramatic and exuberant effect, creating an overall sensation of blossoming and burgeoning life.

FEATURED ARTIST

AMAURI

Torezan’s works of art were recently exhibited at The Baker Museum, Coral Springs Museum of Art, as well as in art galleries and international art fairs, including, LA Art Show, Art Wynwood, Parallax Art Fair (London), and Art Palm Beach, where his work was exhibited alongside the works of the masters Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro’, Frank Stella, among others.

TOREZAN “ My intention is to bring a nostalgic,

yet joyful feeling of this beautiful era to the audience, and have each individual interpretation and enjoyment being based on its own perception. “

More about Amauri Torezan at pages 88-93 On the cover: “Circulo 3” Acrylic on canvas, Amauri Torezan


FEATURED ARTIST: AMAURI TOREZAN 2 STEBEN ALEXANDER 4 ΛRTVR 10 ERIN CROSS 16 SPARROW DAVIES 22 JOANNA GAMBOTTO 28 AZAM ISMAIL 34 HANNA KAY 40

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TONI KITTI 46 YIRANG KIM 52 HEESOO KWON 58 CRYSTAL LAW 64 MARK NESMITH 70 BENJAMIN NUTTALL 76 JULIA SEBASTIAN 82 AMAURI TOREZAN 88


Steben Alexander Montreal, Canada

My artistic practice shows a reality of enigmatic subjects that bring beauty to the dark and mysterious. With my interest in the 1920s-1940s era and film noire movement, I explore traditional lighting and portraiture, immortalizing my models as works of art. My models are staged into scenarios that I construct to try to depict stories that I tell through figurative photographs. I have always been inspired by personas throughout history that are remembered for their eccentric personalities and try to retell their stories through my work. The most recent example of this is the series I created about La Marchesa Casati who was a patron of the arts and a muse for artists such as Man Ray, Boldini and Cartier amongst others. She lived a very extravagant lifestyle, which ended in quite a tragic way; my pieces narrate her story through photo and film. My current projects are focusing on exploring a variety of materials that impact the result of the outcome of the photograph itself, aesthetically speaking, through gels, lighting, colors and by revisiting more traditional photographic methods. Steben Alexander was born and raised in Montreal. He Photographed and worked with Canadian figures such as Corno, Denis Gagnon, Philippe Dubuc, Marie Saint Pierre, Mado Lamotte, Michèle Richard, Armand Vaillancourt, Dominic Besner, Alain Simard, Gloria Bass . He also photographed international talents such as David Lachapelle’s Amanda Lepore, Korean Soprano Sumi Jo, Yma Sumac, John Water’s Mink Stole, Deee​-lite, Monique Allen, Joey Arias


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Briefly describe the work you do?

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

I am a visual artist and I work primarily with photography, print medium and video.Currently, my main focus is portraiture and people. I have a fascination for eccentric and unique figures, faces, shapes. My models are staged into scenarios that I construct to narrate stories through figurative photographs; ultimately immortalising my models as works of art. I’m fascina-| ted by what makes images and things timeless.

I have always been inspired by persons throughout history that are remembered for their eccentric personalities. Enigmatic subjects inspire me. Many of my models are not professional models. Many of which were first acquaintances or that I scouted for a particular idea. That I would dub as my ‘’Muse’’ for various projects. The most recent example of this is the series I created about La Marchesa Casati who was an Italian patron of the arts and a muse for artists such as Man Ray, Boldini and Cartier amongst others. She lived a very extravagant lifestyle, which ended in quite a tragic way; my pieces narrate her story through photo and film.

My artistic practice shows a reality of enigmatic subjects that bring beauty to the dark and mysterious. Nowadays, in the age of the Internet and search engines; you can learn about anything you want, whenever you want about anyone or any subject. The information is out there. It’s amazing to live in these times! However, I find beauty in the unknown. Subjects of obscurity. Artwork with no given meaning. When, how and why started your art practice? I come from an artistic upbringing, raised by my mother. She always encouraged us to express ourselves. Both my sisters are illustrators, so they are what I can recall my earliest influences, encouraging my creative side. I started drawing early, learning to express myself with images at a very young age. My love for aesthetics evolved into photography. Then, at the age of 15, I had the opportunity to meet with David Lachapelle’s muse Amanda Lepore, which would lead me to working and taking her portrait, as one of my first pieces. We are still close friends today. Amanda’s portrait will always resonate the beginning of my career as a photographer. Professionally, what’s your goal? Professionally it’s difficult for me to say an exact goal. Creating art has become a necessity for me over time. After a huge project I’ve completed I usually need to take a lot of downtimes and take care of myself, because it takes a lot of energy for me to go through the process. I would like to continue exploring new themes and experimenting with new materials and exhibiting my work. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? All my portraits start with an idea that is first sketched, researched and planned. Lighting diagrams are created, the right team is chosen and then the shoot is executed, which then leads to the editing. The model and photograph are seen as the ‘’sketch’’ with lighting, makeup and further modifications to the image which influences the final product. The sketch and the original idea goes through many transformations on the way to becoming a final product.

How would you describe the art scene in your area? In Montreal, there is always something new going on in the art scene. Montreal is a very art-oriented city, with lots of new young hip talented artists. Which may be one of the reasons why it is difficult to make a living full time on your artwork, many people tend to do their art on the side with another career going on. As an artist that uses photography as my main medium, I noticed that French clients from Quebec tend to have more of a preference for traditional art, while the English tend to be more adventurous and take a risk with contemporary art and photography. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Arts primary role in society has always been the same to make people think and to evoke a reaction or feeling. What is the most challenging part about working with new media? I believe the challenges are similar. As a new media artist I use various mediums such as film and Polaroid, but the same principals of understanding lighting and composition are the same. I often visit local museums to get inspiration and to study lighting from the great masters. A challenge that new media artists may deal with is the digitisation of artworks and the new importance of dealing with social media and the fact that many of these artworks are not necessarily tangible. What are you working on right now? I am currently working on a new photography series inspired by 17th-century Dutch paintings. Traditionally still life, I will be including models heads on table tops exploring the Memento Mori and Vanitas themes. I am also working on an ongoing series of woven photographs; which focuses on exploring a variety of materials that impact the result of the outcome of the photograph itself, aesthetically speaking, through gels, lighting, colours and by revisiting more traditional photographic methods.


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saatchiart.com/stebenalexander


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Λrtvr

Hamburg, Germany In my work music and sound plays a central role and is often the initial inspiration for a video. It developed this way because the music was the first art form that affected me strongly and led me to make music by myself. Later I started to work with video, and noticed from the beginning on, what a huge impact music has on the visuals. I´m working with self-shot, as well as with already existing material (found - and stock footage) and incorporate music by myself or mostly by other sound artists. What fascinates me is the synergetic level that reveals itself as the result of combining picture and music/sound. Art is a territory of the unknown, with an endless potential on its own terms. And one thing is clear to me: art is something that is beyond religion, politics, culture, “creativity” or “self-expression”. I´m not “expressing myself ” and am not “creative” because there is simply nothing to “express” or to “create”, that can compete with nature and forces that are superior to me. I´m also distancing my work from any sort of political/cultural activism. In my view, humans are only instruments of art but not the “creators” or the centre of it. Art is an evolutionary energy that exists prior to any sort of human-centric concepts (like culture, religion, political systems…). Therefore any artwork is not an individual “creation” of an “artist” and not “art” itself, but only the surface result of a work of someone who was driven by the energy of art. And I don´t mean it religiously/esoteric. Even if I consider art as something very powerful, I would never view it as a sort of new religion.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I´m making videos and music. My main focus is on phenomenon and processes beyond culture, politics, religion, or any other sort of human-centrism. Intuitively I´m combining the visuals with music, which automatically results in a higher synergy that can not be described with words. My videos are without dialogue, but in future projects, I´m also going to incorporate poetical texts… When, how and why started your art practice? I was always involved with music, listening to a lot to all kind of it and playing the guitar. I never thought that this was a special activity that belongs in a way to “art practice”. The same thing was with books, paintings and films. I just felt, that in certain artworks such a power is concentrated, that I ended up making music and videos by myself. Why this happened, I don´t know. It evolved naturally and I never decided consciously to do so. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in Hamburg is very big, so I can´t overview it entirely and describe everything that is going on. There is a lot of classical art in galleries but also works by young people. But what I´m observing a lot is a very strange attitude among the contemporary artists, especially the very young ones. Almost everything is about cultural/ personal identity, political/social criticism (mostly inside the borders of political correctness) and illustration/ decoration of political events, churches, the everyday life in general, as well as excessive networking for its own sake. For me, it is very odd, that all this is summarised under the term “art”. In my view, all this has absolutely nothing to do with art, but very much with confirmation of the total dead and antiquated system of global plutocratic anarchy (commonly called “democracy”), we, unfortunately, are stuck in. In my perception most artists serve this system, whether they know it or not, simply by becoming state-funded social/political activists (which is the main education program in so-called “art schools”), ambassadors and gurus of the global religions “self-expression” and “creativity” (terms that are esoteric and without any precise definition, but are used excessively and unquestioned by almost 100% of artists), or simply trying to be part of the establishment in order to have career opportunities in the “art/culture scene”. This is what I see a lot in the art-scene where I live (and the “underground scene” belongs to the same system!), but it´s also a general problem worldwide, I think. For me “art scene” does not equal art. In the art scene almost everything is about money and networking, therefore the art scene can be (and actually is) politically instrumentalized, whereas the art itself is not, because art evolves naturally, prior to the establishment of what we can call an art scene. Art scenes will vanish but art will remain.


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In your opinion what does video mean in contemporary culture? I think video by itself doesn´t mean anything, it´s just an instrument, a tool you can use to work for whatever: art, culture, religion, or observation of streets, prisons or supermarkets…it´s a tool, like a pencil, a brush or a musical instrument. What is the most challenging part about working with new media? I can´t say a lot about challenges with new media, because I´ve never worked with “old media”, so I can´t relate them to each other in my practical work. I think there´s no principal difference between old and new media. With both, you can either work for art or for a political/cultural/religious system (and therefore against art). Whether the media is old or new is absolutely irrelevant, it´s only about the attitude of the one who is working with it. What is today considered as “new”, will possibly be very old in a few years, because no one knows how technology will evolve (especially when the current destructive “economic” system will be eliminated as an evolutionary process) and what types of media we will be able to work tomorrow with (holograms without limitation of resolution??? or whatever…). Name three artists you admire. There are a lot of works of art I admire, executed by far more than 3 artists from all categories: painting, literature, music, film…But I´ve discovered, that art itself is actually the only real artist that exists. It´s a total radical evolutionary energy, that is present in all manifestations of life/nature (I don´t mean it in the religious way!!!). The people we call artists are just instruments of it. They are either driven by the infinite potential and energy of art and serve it, or not (in those cases they become political/cultural/religious/democratic activists, like a very big part of the people who call themselves “artist” today). I much more admire the works of art, than the artists themselves, because those aren´t that important. And I´m also in a very lucky position that in my videos I can work with composers who’s music I love. I think we should overcome this attitude to praise artists and build monuments for them. This is nothing else than esoterism/ religion and a bad habit from ancient times. The artists will vanish - the art will remain. What are your future plans? One of my next projects is to work as a composer for a butoh dance festival, that will take place in Paris in late 2017. Simultaneously I´m working on new videos. But my overall plan for the future is to have enough power and persistence for being totally radical and isolate what I´m

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doing in the art from all the increasing horrors that are systematically caused by the worldwide mass insanity of plutocracy/democracy and its other side of the coin: religion. Art does not belong to it and those horrors do not belong to art. The only thing how all this life-destructive cynicism can be part of art is on stage or in a film, but just in order to show how degenerated and absurd all this is, and how on the contrary, art is superior to it, as nature in its totality is superior to everything that comes from humans and their very limiting brain-concepts. For that purpose a new, absolutely radical and evolutionary film must be done, a kind of intergalactic-opera, financed by people devoted to art and not to mediocre “mass amusement” or its other side of the coin: “underground counterculture”. This is probably my long term future plan.

vimeo.com/arthvr


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Erin Cross

Lincoln, NE, USA

My works on paper and paintings are composed of symbol driven narratives that focus on various aspects of connection and communication. I use line, shape and color to distort and highlight the interpretations within the visual elements. I create chimeric landscapes and otherworldly scenarios in my paintings and drawings to assist in the engagement of dialogue between story and viewer. Finding inspiration in my recent travels to the Canadian Maritimes, I translate my visual experiences as a narrative agent producing a lyrical mystery and allowing the background to dialogue with the various symbols placed within the composition.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I have always been encouraged to express myself through all art forms, growing up. My grandmother was a self-taught artist who created these wonderfully mysterious landscapes that often reflected her mood and emotions throughout her life. I remember painting my first oil painting next to her, outside when I was about 8. My mother always gave me the freedom to create and discover myself with the arts. Art making became, very early on, a part of my every-day experience. Art is life. It always has been. How has your work changed in the past years? My art has always been rather autobiographical. I love story-telling and focus on narrative almost exclusively. I used to create compositions with all the passion and angst I could manifest. This often resulted in rather aggressive, bold and exhausting work. In many ways, my art is still a reflection of ‘my heart on the sleeve,’ but I tend to rely on symbols and strong composition to create something more palatable and effective. (A whisper can be just as powerful as a scream.) I used to look only from within, which can be rather adolescent. My current body of art reflects the world I see and experience now and its potency through the use of natural and organic experiences that I hope are universally understood. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Contemporary art is the relevant reflection of our culture and society. Art has always been an outlet for providing commentary of ‘the now.’ Art, in general, is about communication. It should say something, even if it’s message is subtle. Our society is constantly receiving good and bad visual information all at once. The arts have this powerful platform to usher in positive messages of hope and solution within our communities. I think humans, in general, all have this ability to respond and reflect in an artistic way. Whether it’s through more “high art” means or through everyday happenstance, art creates dialogue and community through those who are willing to make a difference in everyday life. The simple act of arranging flowers, writing a letter for the post, drawing a smiling face next to a tip amount or singing along to the music in your car are all artistic expressions that reflect on everyday moments, moments in ‘the now.’ Art is much more universal in our society and culture than it has ever been. In many ways, art in contemporary culture isn’t so much about the constant art making process, it is about living life to the fullest and creating community and positive dialogue with change. In your opinion what does painting mean in contemporary culture? Painting’s prominent presence in contemporary art ebbs and flows but its historical influence and current relevance are strong and more important than ever. There is this idea

that traditional painting methods are archaic in this digital age of ‘quick fix’ apps and software geared towards creating the illusion of deliberate process of craft. With considering a more academic point of view, without the physical tactile experience of learning a craft, ideas and visions are only half realised and manifested. I believe in the powerful potential that contemporary painting can bring to the current multi-media driven world. Our society is constantly receiving good and bad visual information all at once. I do not think painting is the ultimate or purest of mediums. It is a tool. A tool that should work together with other media and methods to create a voice that ushers in new ideas and visions focused on the exchange of ideas that bring about wisdom and experience. Name three artists you admire. Contemporary Native American artist, Norman Akers. His paintings are dynamic and extremely expressive. He focuses on identity, culture and transformation through the use of landscape, mapping and personal/cultural symbols. Contemporary American Woman Artist, Julie Speed. Her narrative art has been a constant inspiration to me for years. Her paintings showed me the power of ambiguous and subtle storytelling through the use of figural expression and strong composition. Surrealist, Dorothea Tanning. Her artwork reflected her heart and dreams. She was extremely honest in her compositions which resulted in often dark and moody work. I try to emulate her candour and expression whenever I can. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Keep a sketchbook and draw or write in it every day. Show love and compassion daily, even when it’s hard. Art can be found in daily life interactions. Don’t do life alone. Humans are communal creatures. Sharing life with others is a beautiful act of artistic creation. The powerful positive potential of a shared tribe is what helps us achieve our goals and realise our potential through mentoring, sharing, giving and collaborating. Professionally, what’s your goal? We, as artists, want to get into as many exhibitions as possible and continue to produce art for the rest of our lives. I do, absolutely. I understand, however, that without a certain amount of transparency and vulnerability to ourselves through service and friendship, the goal for ‘success’ is one sided. I strive for my professional life to reflect more love and compassion through the constant process of mentorship and collaboration. Through collaboration, I hope to work with other artists who will expand my life in a positive way. Through mentorship, I hope to create uplifting change in my community and the lives of others.


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erinmcross.com


Sparrow Davies

Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, UK A recurring feature in my practice is bright colours. I cannot say I work with one medium in particular, as I explore all different aspects of my portfolio. Drawing is the medium I explore most, however, I am drawn to photography that can give a surreal view of reality. I work with images alongside artistic writings I’ve done. With art, I find it easier to translate my thoughts and emotions, for communication is a weakness for me. This goes back to my dyslexia; some part of me feels like an outsider because my sense of language differs from others. I suppose it is the child-like empathy, which is why art gives me creativity from the difficulty in communicating, especially in written language. Art welcomed me into a warm embrace to continue speaking out loud with a visual noise of colours. Some have critiqued my style, but I conclude that it is my own Madeline-ish madness in the moment. There’s an assumption that artists can draw a straight line perfectly, I cannot. The stereotype of abstract art is that anyone can do art, even a child. That these questions or statements occur is frustrating, by using this as a reference, I humour the amateur style of art.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Sparrow Davies recalls around, say at 18-19 years old? Back then Davies hated the idea of growing up. Gah! It meant responsibilities, work, a job…blah, so to have the opportunity to avoid future commitments of adulthood, she decided of taking the third year of college, which in the UK meant free education year one last time. Davies went for BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at her local college, Totton College. It was a Foundation Degree, for those wanting to build up ready for university. Honestly, Sparrow Davies attended those classes that involved filling out university application forms because, in truth, as a shrug of the shoulders happens in remembering the reason, why not give it a go. Davies was mixed between studying photography or textiles degrees, considering she did her A’s Level in them. It was Dave, the head of the department, that made Davies consider Fine Art. Dave saw something in her style of paintings. As she was working the dry-brush technique in a Life-Drawing class, he looked at the work, and pointed out the style ‘here’ and ‘there’, saying he never saw something like that before. It was then he asked ‘why not apply to a fine art degree.’ So Davies did. How has your work changed in the past years? Overall, for four years in two degrees, Davies has been experimental. From paintings, drawings, video performance to photography and writing poetry/stories. The signature style of Sparrow Davies is colour. She craves colours like there’s no tomorrow. Of course being in universities they always challenge students to experiment, which has some ups and downs. The most torturous one was to only work in black and white. Gah! How Davies hated that task. She learned more on texture in the task, yet still loathes the idea that things can be black and white. Not always is this true. Davies adore the photography side of documenting wet painting and getting the light to capture the gloss and shine. It was quite an addiction of times. She still returns to it on occasions, but it falls down to her addiction to water. She could never really capture water in paintings or drawings, so capture wet paint became a form of sculpturing water. Currently, Davies is back into sketchbook drawings and strengthening her illustrative side. Since the exhibition Colourless

Background, her obsession of colours has been re-born around patterns. Before art school…Sparrow Davies admits, she cannot draw for the life of her. Which knowing from many, has shared this experience. So practice, practice, practice! How would you describe the art scene in your area? Davies is very fortunate enough to live in-between two cities. That means I got the opportunities to check both Southampton and Winchester art scenes! This June, Davies explored Umbrella Art Festival in Palmerston Park, Southampton. Events like these are growing more and more around Southampton and art culture. Southampton is growing with artist-led galleries, universities art galleries, and cafes. As a student, Davies worked for Southampton Solent Gallery for two years as a Gallery Invigilator. For a student, this gallery was encouraging to learning how to run a gallery and helping out in workshops. Even for graduates, the ‘A Space’ community offers artist studio spaces all around the city. Davies knows one of her friends is in the Archers Studio, and get invites to their Open Days, etc. The network there is growing fast. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? A Very open question that is difficult to narrow down. Are we talking global influences, advancing technologies, educationally or cultural diversity? Considering elections are happening in the UK, the arts are being cut. To Davies, art is so much more than what the political statements are claiming it to be as the school cuts take hit after hit. In viewpoint for Support the Arts education, for the past few years’… decades… art has been divided to only desiring the ‘privilege’ to study the arts in the ‘privilege’ schools. How very wrong this way of thinking is. As someone who is working towards teaching, Davies is much aware of how teachers are fighting against those who think arts as ‘pointless’ or ‘how is this going to affect the children careers?’ kinda questions. Funny enough, Davies is open to challenge this thinking. In experience, most ask Davies ‘does fine art degree mean you do oil paintings?’ After laughing in knowledge that there are no oil paintings in her collection, Davies opens ideas and ways of how art and the term ‘fine art’ is much more than oil paintings.

Simplest is to fine point out that if someone had a tattoo, perhaps that person did an art degree to do that, if a poster sounds graphical design, again Davies would point out, ‘maybe that poster was designed by someone with a degree in art’. Degrees aren’t enough to keep the arts survival; it needs artists, all the way down to toddler age. Sure you could ‘water down’ what does art mean or divide its subjects, but in conclusion, like Davies, you too would see it as art. Art is the freedom of expression and communicates in more ways than language could do. Davies recalls her childhood of how the world knows how to communicate in the most open diversity ways; Food, Fashion, Music & Art. Out of the four, you cannot stop eating, as it’s biological for living and survival. Sure, someone can cut into dietary or distaste a type of cultural foods cause it’s too spicy or not your thing. Yet you need food. Next, Fashion, whether it’s trend or your own…historical, socially and…heck, it is cold outside, so put on some clothes! Music…no matter your Mother Tongue, everyone knows how to make a beat or sing a song, the passion and heart there is spoken for. And that why to Davies, art is in the group, aesthetically pleasing or not, we speak the same language of art. It can make passion, cause harm, drives courage and movements, and it also kinda fun to do because like each thing is a creative movement that humans can do in ways of expressing and communicating to one another. Name three artists you admire. Vincent Van Gogh, legend man himself is poetic of his life. Never notice till his death, and those twirls and swirls keeping the eyes moving across his work. Davies sinks into enjoying admiring the movement of paint of Van Gogh. He saw the world in his own way, fantasy, and reflected beyond the mirror too. Davies admires his colours and strength from it. She follows the ideas of swirls and curls with her current drawings; although preferring thin tip pens to give more sense to the movement than full on shading in colours like oil paint tends to do. David Batchelor’s writing is extraordinary. Most have heard of the Whitechapel Gallery collection ‘Documents of Contemporary Art’? So it will be the editing for ‘Colour’ and the book he wrote called ‘Chromophobia’, both in Davies own private library collection. It kinda killed her when Davies’ MA student friends were offered a lecture with him, and…well, Davies graduated the year before. Most definitely envious to them


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enjoy it. Luckily the man is a nice friendly one who responded to her fan-girl email wishing him the best for the lecture. He even added details of future talks and exhibitions, gave her the opportunity to check it out. Surprisingly most people forget that some artists you see in a magazine or published a book and tend to have the same celebrity moment when you see them in person, either too scared to go say Hi or the old classic ‘OMG I love your work! In the fan-girl voice.’ Davies will add “I do feel sorry to all those who meet me”. Tina Lane is a talented artist Davies was honoured enough to watch from close up and at the same time a far. As Davies recalls, being near Lane’s studio space meant caution, if you did not wish to face her fury if her work got damaged. Interesting ways to describe her, as Davies knew from Southampton Solent University, honestly there nothing compared to Tina Lane and her…charms. Truthfully, Lane is her own independent female artist, different to what Davies has seen and only offers a once a lifetime hug if in doubt in your artworks. As a mature artist, Tina Lane fights the corner on the Turner Prize age limits, and how call-outs or competitions are looking for the young group. That what Davies looks up to, hoping she’ll be just as passionate and powerful in her art like Tina Lane is right now. Davies is a fan mostly of the Museum of Categorisatium and her curator Rachel Diddit. Watching the display in the two locations Davies knew exhibited the collection, and she’ll have no doubt went on to more. Davies stresses, “You will have to be seeing the piece called ‘Ear Wax Plug of a Blue Whale’. And yeah, you are going to have to look it up if you don’t believe me.” Her favourite in the collection is the ‘Rainbow Tree Flakes’ Davies was always drawn back to staring at them. Recently Lane explored places of residency in both India and Japan. Now thinking about this interview, and how easily Lane could contact Davies in response… “Well sorry Tina, but you can inspire others, including me,” and adds in whisper “I may have to go off-grid a few weeks after publishing this….”. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Finding the right university for you. Honestly, University isn’t for everyone, as Davies has been to two different institutions, schedules and method of teaching; university can be daunting, life changing and sometimes hard. So you find the right one for you. Learning about the art world, and the things to know

beyond art itself is the most rewarding thing Davies has done herself. She’s learned business, politics, philosophy, social cultures and science through making art. “Granted some think it’s merely oil painting or something of an easy degree. That is false…the exposure of your talents to critical feedback, emotional breakdowns and theory writing is the most frustrating thing to do, and it is the most rewarding” Davies believed. So find an art school/university that speaks out for you. Don’t follow the trend of the top art schools or because famous ‘so-and-so’ went there… or friends are going there. Most importantly, do not stop making art. Even after the degrees and university times, your mind starts to scream, ‘how are you going to pay your bills’, or ‘what’s the income?’

Still in her first five-year plan to emerge as an artist…Davies still haven’t been paid for her work, true it is her own reality, and some may think she’s doing something wrong. Yet Davies donates, works with charities, gets involved…because those questions your mind is screaming to survive… Davies wishes to reassure the readers, “It’s okay because one way or another, you get a job, rota your time to make art, and book days off or holiday time to catch a train to exhibit your next piece of work. Must be annoying to hear this, but Rome was not built in one day, nor is a career by the snap of your fingers”. What are your futures plans? Davies mentions having a complete of irons in the fire. She cannot confirms dates on

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some early planning in those projects, luckily she keeps her website updated on exhibitions. Davies is surprised, “Though my web domain name may need changing from my maiden name…. I keep forgetting that I claim my art name as Sparrow Davies… whoops!” However, one successful touring project around archives and mental health has grown and continued. Touring around University for the Creative Arts campuses with panels of artworks by varies artists including Davies, they achieved working with the National Archive and had the works placed there at the beginning of 2017. Now dates are being confirmed for the panels to be displayed at University of Bristol in July 2017 with the Creative Histories. Davies

is thankful to Ann Crow for the relation with National Archive touring exhibition ‘In Our Minds’ and especially to Rebekah Taylor, Former Archivist & Special Collections Officer at University for the Creative Arts who impressed us artists with the first original exhibition ‘Re-Thinking The Body’ back in November/December 2015. Finally, Davies also hoping to begin her PGCE so she can teach art; currently, she is gaining as many experiences around schools, education and teaching methods. In the end of this interview, Davies adds, “In life, everyday is a new lesson, the past to the learn from mistake, the present is to be a test and the future…well, let’s be grateful that there are no pending ‘grades’ or ‘outcomes’ can really predict your own choices for the future. It can only guide you”.


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madelinesparrowartist.com


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Joanna Gambotto Sydney, Australia

Resting somewhere in-between representation and abstraction, my paintings aim to evoke a sense of space rather than to render an accurate copy of one. Whilst every painting has its roots in the real world – often in a particular place I have visited in the past; during the process of painting the work always takes its own path. Improvisation and intuitive mark making help begin the conversation within the painting and allow the work to break away from formal constraints of representational painting. I aim for the work to stand independent of its realistic source yet preserve enough of the original imagery to show the history of its making, the stages the painting went through. The laborious process of adding paint, scraping and carving results in a sensuous surface, rich in texture, pattern and layers and becomes a metaphor of how a place can be filled with emotions, memories and history.


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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Other artists’ work has always been the biggest stimulus for my work. Seeing how other painters approach certain subjects, how they push boundaries and how they solve problems on canvas has influenced and informed my work ever since I started painting. The list of artists who continuously influence my art practice is very long, but I think the one whose work has never ceased to interest and inspire me is Elisabeth Cummings. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Sydney’s art scene is very versatile and all kinds of artistic expressions seem to flourish – from very traditional approaches through to performance, new media and experimental work. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art has become a very broad subject, and it’s near impossible to contain it into a specific definition. The merging of art with other disciplines: science, religion, economics, politics, etc., leaves the definition very open to interpretation. It certainly is present everywhere we look and plays a significant role in our society whether it is raising concerns about the environment, challenging the way we perceive the world or simply providing entertainment on Saturday night. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? I think there are two main challenges. First one would be the technical side of things – actual learning how to handle the paint, its physical qualities, acquiring the skill of composing shapes, lines and colours on a flat surface. Learning how to tame it and make it work for you. The other challenge has more of a philosophical nature. The art world has been evolving for centuries, so many new ways of doing art are available now and it makes you wonder if good old oil on canvas has the capacity to keep up with contemporary notions. I never doubt the medium I chose as it provides me with all the means of expression I need, but it can be very challenging when you’re trying to find a place for yourself in the long tradition of art – sometimes you feel like you missed the boat, the evolution of art is taking its course finding new ways to respond to the unprecedented times we live in and you’re still working with oils, indifferent to the latest trend. Name three artists you admire. John Olsen, Andy Goldsworthy, Frida Kahlo. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? I think the key word is persistence. Never give up, keep going. Even if feels like you are wasting time and money because you’ve just spent two weeks and all of your rent money on a work that turns out to be the world’s biggest fiasco, it still teaches you something. You hide it in the darkest corner of the studio so that nobody can ever find it and the next day you start over again. You can only make that successful piece if it was preceded by 100 failures. What are your future plans? To paint.


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Azam Ismail Singapore

Born in 1985 Azam Ismail is a visual artist from Singapore. Graduated with a Bachelor’s (Hons) degree of Fine Arts from Lasalle College of the Arts, his works are multidisciplinary with a profound focus on drawing and painting, his subjects are enigmatic and fragmented. From abstract process-based images to representational, they are results of his pursuit of keeping up with the fleeting and ephemeral state of things, both physical and poetical. Sometimes this pursuit manifests into objects and people in his works. As of late, his works have evolved towards a penchant for depiction of what he calls “in between gestures�. Gestures that punctuate our lives and transit into more familiar moments. Not unlike accidental shots in a roll of film, or shots captured by a trigger-happy child with a camera, painting these gestures become a constant attempt to paint a bigger picture of the human experience. These images are attempts to shift focus to the vague and elusive, maybe even extend these moments, for at least a little while.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist. I was born in 1985 in Singapore. As a young child, long before the Internet became accessible in homes, I was introduced to the wonderful world of encyclopaedias. Many of them were elaborately illustrated and I was in awe of the amazing diagrams and artists’ impressions that filled the pages. From the cross-section of volcanoes to the majestic creatures of the deep, I felt like the pictures were my portal for the escape to mysterious places a child could only dream of visiting, I was like a sponge absorbing every little detail the drawings had. That became one of the earliest catalysts that sparked my interest in visuals and it stayed with me for a long time, for as much as the visuals, I was equally fascinated with the science and facts behind them, and the only way to deal with this immense fascination was to draw them myself. I was casually drawing through most of my teen years and at 18, I enrolled into an Art College to pursue Fine Arts, where I was exposed to the histories and theories, and masters like Sargent and Rembrandt quickly became my heroes. Today, I still value details in my works and observational studies of my surroundings remain an integral part of my creations. As much as possible I retain diagrammatic and representational elements in my works, while still leaving room for layers and abstraction. There are many things that I get inspired by living in Singapore, but being a rather small city-state, sometimes the ambience do get too familiar, and occasionally I find myself yearning for new sights and environment. Like many artists here, perhaps for similar reasons, I try to travel as often as the situation permits, to elude homogeneity and hopefully impart new vigour to my mind. The travels become a starting point of my creative process and my works, a form of a journal, narrating a bigger picture of the human experience, almost like a comic strip with no sequence or an ending. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? For me, one of the most challenging parts of being an artist is achieving consistent visibility, and finding avenues to display as much as I would like. While not impossible, a full-time career in fine arts

is not very common in the economic climate here, hence most artists hold sometimes unrelated day jobs. Considering that, I am indeed lucky to still be surrounded by art and creativity most of the time, but juggling between jobs and creating after hours do pose quite an interesting challenge for me.

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everyday scenes with such elegance and finesse, that they almost appear surreal to me. Their works seem to have captured an elusive element of “oddness in the ordinary” that I find fascinating in many great paintings. I seek to inject a similar wonderful peculiarity their works exude into my own scenes. For the paintings of Alyssa Monks, my admiration is par-

How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live and work in Singapore. The art scene here is slowly growing; especially in the recent years with more art galleries and spaces popping up. Though still not quite as vibrant compared to neighbouring places I have visited, I would definitely like to see more platforms that provide more visibility to local artists. That is always the question for me, why certain artists remain more conspicuous than others. And why some very talented people fall through the cracks and remain obscure. Not to mention the fairly strict regulations and censorships we have here, but that’s another story. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art in contemporary culture for me remains as a form of expression and communicating ideas. And like many other forms of communication, it only speaks to those who listen, inspire those who bother to pause and observe. In this era especially, when there are many ways of getting quick, instant information, the power of art is often overlooked and it does not get the respect it deserves. To a certain extent, art today seems fractured from the society in a way that it is often seen as a divergent, or commodity, a distraction from everyday life instead of being part of it. For me, creating plays a magical role of an escape from the turbulence of the fast paced economic-driven culture we have today, a lot like the encyclopaedias from my childhood.

ticularly for her “sensitive” use of colours, and a unique way of marrying abstraction and representation. Although a painter, her brushstrokes, in my opinion, has a hint of sculptural tendencies, blurring yet another line between dimensions, shifting focus to the paint structure beyond the confines of an image. I highly recommend looking up these amazing artists. You won’t be disappointed.

Name three artists you admire.

What are your future plans?

If I were to pick three out of the countless many, they are the artists Kim Cogan, Alyssa Monks and as I have just discovered quite recently through his blog, Don Colley. While aesthetically very different, I admire the works of Cogan and Colley for having incredible ways of capturing

I would most definitely like to continue creating every day; exploring the new medium and looking for people to hopefully collaborate with in shows. While at it, I am looking to display a lot more than I have been, and of course travelling to more wonderful places in the process.


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Hanna Kay Sydney, Australia

Having grown up in one environment and then migrated to live in several others before ending up in rural Australia, my artworks are inspired by encounters with the natural world. Much of my work has been exploring our relationship with the landscape and, through it, I have come to recognise nature’s significance to our humanity, and to believe that the landscape is an essential element in the formation of a culture’s distinctiveness. As such the focus of my art is not necessarily on the majestic – rather, I choose to engage with forces that act upon the fragments, and to examine the nature of their changeability. As a result my artworks act as metaphors alluding, through their subject matter, to our everyday experiences. My artworks are based on ideas and concepts which I prefer to explore on two dimensional surfaces. I use a technique which I have developed over many years, based on the old masters painting technique I’d learnt in Vienna. By layering paint and tempera the canvases develop a reality of sorts, with which I hope to entice the viewer to enter into a dialogue with the artwork; to perhaps reach beyond the surface and engage with the new spaces I created.


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When, how and why started your art practice? My artistic career has been marked by journeys of significance - a trajectory that took me from Israel, where I was born, to Europe where I studied art in Vienna, to New York where I practiced my art for a decade, to Sydney, and finally to establishing my studio in the midst of 5 rural acres in the Hunter Valley in Australia. In 2012, I had the opportunity to travel to China to exhibit as part of an artistic exchange. It was a fortuitous event which added another consequential link to the trajectory. I’ve returned to China several times to develop, research and exhibit in various part of the country. My visit to the entombed terracotta army in Xi’an, triggered a sequence of reflections on my life in Israel, in particular, my desert experiences as an active soldier in the Six-Day War. These past experiences were crucial to my decision to become an artist, and have shaped my subsequent thinking and the choices I have made, especially the decision to live in a self-imposed “exile” from my place of birth.

My practice has been suspended between poles of transience and permanence, and the artworks, which draw on the natural world, are maps of memory and experience, exploring the landscape and its relationship with culture. This exploration took on a new dimension after my China trip, which had prompted a process of thinking about histories and searching for traces that connect ancient and contemporary lives. As a result, I have undertaken a PhD project in fine arts at Sydney University, using the artworks inspired by my China experiences - Shifting Horizons - as the creative component of the project. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I find that influences come and go. Some artists have inspired more than other, but I have found that two issues have continued to affect my practice - violent conflicts (wars, and refugees) and the care we take of the natural environment. I prefer not to use my artworks as banners for political statements, thus the issues that push me to make art are a tacit undertone.

Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? In my artworks, I draw on elements and fragments from the natural world as a vehicle by which to explore concepts and ideas that interest me, so I guess I could be considered a conceptual artist. Having said this I prefer not to be categorised. I paint, I draw. And recently I have added making objects to my practice. I use images to think, and hope to evoke a meaningful experience in the viewer. Tell us more about “Cline” series. The rice-paper sequence entitled ‘cline’ - a term that possesses both biological and linguistic connotations of continuity - is part of the Shifting Horizons exhibition. This body of work, comprising both two and three-dimensional artworks, is inspired by artefacts found in the burial pits in Xian. ‘Cline’ (2015) - consists of 34 long vertical compositions on rice paper, juxtaposing fragments of nature with images of ancient Chinese burial sites. In some instances, the presence of natural forces is hinted at, as in


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the ambiguity of the panels depicting eolian processes, and is contrasted with the images reproduced from photographs I took in the pits. In other panels, distinct parts of landscapes such as mountains, sand dunes, grasses and forests are intercepted with the figurative imagery of the terracotta army. Slivers of forest and branches emerge out of darkness. Mist rising between ghostly trees. Dust and desert dunes are contrasted with entombed soldiers. There is no attempt to replicate here a particular vista. Rather the parts of landscape present personal remembered experiences of nature. The band of scrolls, extending over 20 meters long, offers a journey across time, to a foreign past and across generic aspects of the landscape. The viewer follows a pictorial journey that unfolds through aspects of nature and the march of the terracotta army from visibility to invisibility. The photographs of the clay warriors embedded in the artworks introduce additional dimension to the content of the artworks that a painterly response to the same subject is lacking. In addition to highlighting the different mediums - painting and photography - the direct reference to clay warriors

emphasise the cultural distance between Eastern and Western traditions. The artworks spring out of my conviction that cultural forms and practices exist in relation to nature. They are an aesthetic response to the interrelationship between nature and culture, which permeates social and political discourses. They offer the viewer a dialogue between past and present, between cultures, and between states of being, and can be seen as instances of cycles connected to natural processes of growth and decay. A series of three-dimensional works - Repository - act as a place of historical repository and contemplations. They recall the Han Dynasty sculptural tomb pottery pieces that symbolised items the deceased person would need in the afterlife. Another 3D object is the repetitive angel. Similar to the terracotta warriors, the Army of Angels present a multitude of analytical frameworks and possible meanings. Hundreds of small raku-clay angels make up this army. The figures, which are blackened in a Saggar firing technique, look as if they have come out of the fire of hell. Instead of evoking the angel as ephemerally and gently passing through feathery clouds, or breezing through

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tree tops, they are cumbersome messengers and warriors impeded by the earthy material of which they are composed. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Australia has a vibrant contemporary art scene. However, I live in a small rural village away from the art scene of any major city, and what happens in my area is unfortunately mostly recreational and amateurish. Having said this, the local regional public galleries and museums regularly bring quality shows from the cities and other regions as well as stimulating artist talks. On a personal note, they have offered me many opportunities to exhibit in their spacious spaces, and tour my work across the country. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I think that more than ever art is essential in reasserting our humanity. Without the voice of the artist, we are left with a life saturated by an overload of images which do not question their genesis.


What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? In these days when the art world is more concerned with the finished product than the process, I think the handwriting of the artist is instrumental in affirming the urgency of the artist’s voice. Personally,

I have not encountered any challenges regarding using a traditional painting technique. And in a way, the more the traditional mediums are being marginalised the more I am convinced of their merit. Furthermore, being an artist is an activity one performs mostly in solitude, so enjoying the process is crucial for a continuing

commitment, regardless of an audience’s’ reception. For me the slow process of making my art allows new ideas to emerge. The interaction with material and the actual “doing”, leads to a deeper understanding of the conceptual framework that propels the work.


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Toni Kitti Helsinki, Finland

I love plastic! Plastic is immortal because it does not decay. How ever, I do. In 2012.09.27 I was hospitalized being very ill. The diagnose was fullblown AIDS. I spent two weeks in hallucinations caused by the fever and shock. When I returned to my senses I had to realize that my life had irreversibly changed: I was HIV-positive and had a serious pneumonia. I stared death in the eyes for months. Eventually my AIDS was cured by medication. I survived and the doctors reminded me that I was lucky. Anyhow, I had to pay a high price for my luck. AIDS brought me a cancer called Kaposi’s Sarcoma that causes red cancer lesions on the skin. They covered my body from head to toe. I turned into a monster was marked by death. It has been over four years since but all the lesions on my have not yet faded. My document about Kaposi’s Sarcoma is internationally unique and unseen artwork because this subject has not been documented anywhere like this. The reason is that the artists during the AIDS crisis in 1980’s-90’s simply died before they got to reflect their sickness in their art. Other reason is that nowadays the condition is very rare at least in the western world. AIDS and the marks it left on my skin and in my mind and identity have changed me forever as a person. Of course my skin will never be the same as it was but I just have to accept that. I do not want to be ashamed of myself anymore. Shame kills life. I was down that path too until I got sick and I had to face myself completely naked. I just could not cover myself anymore. I had done things that were considered shameful and I could see the marks of those actions on my skin every time I looked at myself. As a member of sexual minority I had been ashamed of things that one should not be ashamed of. However, the more often and more openly I looked at myself I learned acceptance. I learned to accept that I had acted very stupid. I learned to accept that this is who I am. I also learned that the only way to get rid of the shame is to talk about it openly. People live in shame all the time for big or small things when they should just face themselves and ease the burden. We have to take off the masks we are wearing. Life is here and now and you have to live it fully without shame, smiling, in order to make it worth living. Also plastic causes shame. As one major factor in the pollution crisis plastic causes very negative associations in people. I love plastic! The Persistence Of Plastic is a series of photographs about life and death and it’s marks and traces. Plastic is traces of plants that died hundreds of millions of years ago and which time has turned into oil which man has turned in to plastic items. The circle is complete when we manufacture almost real looking plastic toy trees. With it’s energy of death plastic imitates life. Then I take pictures and save the energy in photographs to remind us of the inevitable death but also about the funny vanity of being a human. The plastic toy tree will never decay and the traces of human being will remain on this planet forever. I have taken all the pictures with my mobile phone camera except one shot. The pictures are like selfies that the plastic objects would take of themselves smiling wide! The picture quality can be horrible as in larger prints you can see the pixels that are like cells that create a living dead organism, the photograph. The digital processing is also harsh: in my self-portraits it is as if I was torn off to the stage. Yet this is how it has to bebecause life is harsh. It tears you apart and after that it laughs at you. But when I am at my best I am right there and laugh with it! Toni Kitti (b.1975) is an artist based in Helsinki, Finland. He has graduated as a Master Of Arts in Photography in Aalto -university in Helsinki. Toni Kitti’s main media is photography but he has also made video and istallations. He has previously participated in group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. This spring, 2017, he has his first private show in Helsinki. It is called “The Persistence Of Plastic”. The basis for Kitti’s art is his love for plastic. With the pictures of plastic items and self-portraits he deals with the very basic questions of being a human: life, death, joy, shame, survival etc. Toni Kitti got sick with AIDS in 2012 unknowing of the infection and actually not believing in the HIV at all after having fallen into internet false media about the subject years before. After barely surviving the disease AIDS and HIV have been a major theme in his work.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Art has lived in me forever. Photography struck me in my late teens and at the age of 22 I got inside Aalto University to study it. I think art comes from the obsessions you have inside your head and every good artist must have an obsession. Without obsession there can not be true art. In my case the obsessions are like inner landscapes, ”original images” inside my head that have haunted me ever since I started photography and when I succeed to reach out to that ”original image” with a photograph I have taken it gives that kind of satisfaction of existence that can not be described in words. You just feel it. You can feel that something remarkable just happened. Art reveals the artist’s

real self to the artist and to the audience, too. Art explains everything relevant for a moment and it only lasts for a fraction of time. Artist can never be satisfied for that reason. Art is hunger. What is the most challenging part about being a mixed media artist? I am a fountain of ideas. When I was teaching art students always asked me where to get ideas for their work and I always answered that you don’t have to live in a palace to get ideas because your mind is the palace: ideas are everywhere. The challenge in being a mixed media artist is when you are trying to figure out what the exhibition is going to be like. You really have to sum down your ideas and that is not always easy.

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Tell us more about “The Persistence Of Plastic” series. Plastic is my passion and obsession. To me, it symbolises the circle of life and death. Plastic is originally traces of plants dead millions of years ago which time has changed into oil which human has changed into plastic. The circle is complete when we manufacture plastic trees. The difference is that the plastic tree will never decay. The traces of human being will stay on this planet forever. That is the reason why I love plastic so much. However, I decay. AIDS and HIV came into the pictures later after I got sick in 2012. It felt natural to me to start taking the selfies with something plastic in the pictures. By selfies I mean actual selfies because I only use my mobile phone camera nowadays. The pictures show how I survived the disease and the shame after being so stupid not believing in HIV at all and then getting sick. It almost killed me. But I survived and so I smile. If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? I do have another occupation: I design lighting fixtures from recycled materials. On the other hand that work is just an extension of my art. I have literally come out of the darkness into the light in my life so my design just implies that movement. There is a great deal of symbolism in there. I think I have realised something totally unique in my lighting design. Usually, self-made lamps are some sort of old kitchen equipment hanging from the ceiling but I have gone further. I have no boundaries in my imagination of what can be a lamp. Anything that reflects or surpasses light or can work as lamp stand goes for me and I am ready to do the engineering to make the idea work as an actual object, too. I do not take pictures of my daily life. I take pictures just occasionally and it does not fill up my whole schedule. So, I keep myself busy with the lamps. You can see the results here: https://tonislightingfactory.wordpress.com/ I have also done teaching in art and photography and I enjoy it a lot, too. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am an outsider. I have always been. I guess I have Asperger’s syndrome. So, I spend most of my time alone and not hanging out in the art scene. Forest and nature seem to be the most popular theme for Finnish artists. I think it is because as a nation we just came out of the forest and we have a lot of forest around us. Another reason is that people like to do the same things than others. I am not into that at all. I like big cities. What are you working on right now? Right now I am making lamps and I will have a small exhibition of them in August. I will take pictures when I feel like it.


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Yirang Kim Calgary, Canada

My paintings are based on the stories that I create from the chaos of imagery, which I’ve been gaining from my unknown self and the world that I perceive. The world is full of stories as the smallest grain of sand occupies as an important part of the universe, and every one of them tells its own unique story. What I try to achieve is to visualize all forms of stories in the world, and document them with the purest form of my own visual language. I have come to appreciate every existence in this world, that has been forgotten or neglected by people, and I try to interpret their stories from their perspectives and document them as an imagery. Spaces, objects, emotions, and everything you can imagine from this universe becomes my inspiration to create art. Sometimes serious, sometimes fun, sometimes heartbreaking stories I have collected, they are documented in a figurative imagery with my bold and textural visual language. Yirang Kim was born in Seoul, South-Korea, and has spent half of her life in Korea and the other half in Calgary, Canada. She started her artistic life when she was very little. She couldn’t talk until she was 4, and she wasn’t much interested in learning about the new world she was born into, only interested in drawing and painting all day. She realized that imagery is the best form of language for sharing and documenting her thoughts, and that art is the only way to freely express her inner world.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Painting and drawing have always been like the instinctive need for me as eating and sleeping. I started to make art since I was very young, and it was just a natural thing for me to create. All children are born to create but I was the surviving one as I become a grown up. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I like art because it is like a window to have a peek at the artists’ inner world and to have conversations in a spiritual way that can’t be explained in words. And It’s a magical thing to happen in this material-focused world. How would you describe the art scene in your area? In Alberta of Canada, there are beautiful rocky mountains and so many beautiful places in nature. People appreciate the beautiful nature that has been granted to the people living around this area, and they also express that appreciation in the art as well. Scenery art, flowers, and animals in artworks are much appreciated in this area. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I think art is about sharing. Sharing and expressing one’s spiritual world. What subject matter has been depicted in art doesn’t really matter. Portrait artists, scenery artists, abstract artists, no matter what they are creating, I believe the artwork is somewhat reflecting the artists’ inner world and sharing their spirituality is one of many important purposes of making art. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? I chose painting as my general media for making my art because I thought it was the most suitable method to create what I’d like to express in my art, which is depicting the imagery in me. What I find the most challenging about the traditional media is not the media itself, but my skills that’s not using the full benefit of this beautiful medium. I keep practising to master the media one day. What are you working on right now? As always, I’m documenting the imagery that is created from my inner world to share them with the viewers. Thank you for having me on this interview.


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Heesoo Kwon

Seoul/San Fransisco CA, South Korea/USA Heesoo Kwon is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. She received her BA in Business Administration from Ewha Womans University in Korea and will pursue MFA in Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley. By running a business of sanitary pads for women, she took interest in the violences in our society which we experience but are unaware of. Her recent work “MaMuk World” is an open-ended utopian world without any prejudice and discrimination. She publishes stories and images about “MaMuk” through website, books and magazines.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I am a utopian dreamer. I dream of the world free of any prejudice, discrimination or violence. I am building an open-ended utopian world called “MaMuk” with imaginary characters and their episodes. I am unfolding MaMuk by marrying together my imagination and viewers’ feedback in the forms of a website/blog, novel, and magazine. The viewers become sources of the narrative, characters, and visual works. I hope my viewers will be participatory fans, as enthusiastic as those who follow a TV drama or a serial novel. They will express opinions and create derivative works to my fantasy world so that my work can continue to unfold endlessly without my presence. Through my artistic practice, I aim to connect with people with diverse backgrounds and help them, in turn, to connect, to understand and to empathise with each other. When, how and why started your art practice? I studied Business and involved myself in the patent business before I started my art practice. I invented a wrapper for sanitary pads that conceals their identity to help women who feel uncomfortable carrying them in public. However, I have come to realise that By designing feminine products in disguise I was condoning sociocultural normal that viewed the products as an embarrassment. After realising the hidden innate hostility towards women, I left the project and started making art. I made art to relieve myself from the objectified identities and oppression. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I want to leave it to the viewers’ interpretation. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? One of the things that give me a lasting influence is feedback from people on Instagram. I upload new works every day on my Instagram account, and it is a very important inspiration for me. When I post my new works and short stories, people leave their comments freely. Some of them even registered to be a MaMuker, and I created new characters with them. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Since I started to adopt the reactions from the audience in my project, MaMuk has become an evolving, open-ended project. It’s up to the participants. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Connecting people. What is the most challenging part about working with new media? I was faced with the formal challenges to think about sophisticated apparatuses to invite the viewers into the immersive fantasy world. It is my intention to be able to communicate with a broad audience. In order to do so, I will develop my work to induce the audience or the fans to participate in the process. Moreover, I want to develop a process for the work that intuitively evolves with the interaction from the audience. What are you working on right now? I’m finding more effective ways to interact with people. Currently, I am working on designing a magazine about MaMuk world and started to upload my works every day via Instagram.


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Crystal Law New York City, NY, USA

In my art practice, I focus on 3D digital sculpting and animation, I love combining technical techniques and fine art, so, it is easy to find high-detailed 3D sculpture with digital hand-painted texture in my artworks. I am highly inspired by organic living thing associated with fantasy; nature; creatures and anatomy, trying to create a new perspective of the world. Not only create work digitally, but I also create tangible art piece, I started to learn 3D printing in 2014 and printed my 3D models into physical sculpture. Besides doing 3D design, I also do 2D cel animation, I enjoy doing traditional frame by frame animation.


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When, how and why started your art practice? When I was small, I knew that I am the type of person who has talent in learning technology, I always self-taught in different Softwares, so I thought I would either be a programmer or a technical director. I have never thought about being an artist until I met my high school Visual Art teacher, I discovered my big interests in art and I was encouraged to draw, even though I started to learn drawing when I was 16. Since then, I could not think of anything but to be an artist. I went to Savannah

College of Art and Design in 2010 to pursue Visual Effects, I had so many opportunities to create art by new media. During that period, I was inspired by lots of amazing movies and games, I like studying the background and art concept behind them, and when I explored more, I knew what I like to create more. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I was born in Hong Kong and moved to America in 2012, I decided to move to New York City after my art studies in 2015.

Art is everywhere here, street art, modern art, conceptual art etc and there are enormous amazing art galleries and museums in NYC. I like this art community here because even artists are practicing art in different area, but they can coexist peacefully in this city, which is very different with my hometown, because of the lacking of public and government support, HK art community is very small and limited, local professional young artists always suffer, I hope to see any changes in HK art scene. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? For me, art is about expressing deep emotions and develop a relationship between the artist and the environment, people, a moment or anything you feel like, it is also a reflection of the unconscious mind, so everything could be art. Name three artists you admire. I admire Tadanori Yokoo, Herri Mattisse and Stuart Davis. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I will like an artwork because of its concept, then I will study the artist’s background and how he/she works, I think this is a better way to understand without any perception. I hate when people say they like the artist because everybody likes he/she, for me‌ this is too pretentious. What is the most challenging part about working with new media? Time. Technology is changing too fast, I tried so hard to catch up new technology in order to create a new thing, sometimes it’s very frustrating if I cannot do something that I want in mind, but I know that is the way to learn a new technique. I am still finding a balance between traditional art and digital art, sometimes I feel like I rely too much on technology but I guess this is my style. What are your future plans? I am currently working freelance in New York City, keep learning every day, thankfully I just got my artist visa this year, so I planned to experience more in this fastpaced city for the next few years. Meanwhile, I am learning new ways to create 3D art and hopefully, I will produce new artwork at the end of the year.


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Mark Nesmith Beaumont, TX, USA

My childhood days were spent outside roaming the woods, bayous, and beaches of Southeast Texas. This emotional attachment to the terrain of my youth forms the foundation for my artwork. Two themes dominate: unpeopled landscapes that celebrate the sublime and spiritual beauty of nature, and narratives, often populated by wildlife personifying human traits. These somewhat whimsical tall tales reflect my unease with mankind’s relationship to the environment and tackle subjects ranging from war and peace to our society’s growing reliance on modern technology, media, and consumerism. My art is an amalgam of observation, memory, and imagination. My natural mode of expression is one of construction/deconstruction. Through the continual painting, scraping away, re-painting, scumbling, smudging, and scrubbing with brushes and palette knifes, the canvas accrues a patina like surface rich with textures and layers of color. This is how nature creates. Trees grow, flowers bloom, mountains are formed; erosion, storms, fires, and earthquakes take it away. Then it cycles around and there is re-growth. Throughout I remain steadfast in my devotion to the rich tradition of drawing and painting. Painting has the power to elevate and inspire the perception of the viewer, the power to still the endless stream of distractions that tug at us daily. Like Stravinsky, I believe that tradition is not simply the relic of a past age, but rather “a living force that animates and informs the present.” I strive to create paintings that are not just clever facsimiles of my subjects but are palpable things with a life of their own. Mark Nesmith is a modern American painter and musician who lives and works in Southeast Texas. Mark studied art at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX earning his BFA in 1998, and also studied painting and drawing at the University of North Texas in Denton. He teaches art in the Port Neches-Groves ISD and previously taught art and music in the Dallas ISD and the Goose Creek CISD. As a musician Mark performed hundreds of shows around the country with the bands Hackberry Road and Lone Star Republic, and still performs regularly throughout SE Texas. He has written about art for Ezine Articles and Empty Easel, and authored the blog Paint Daily Texas. Mark is a member of the Artists of Texas and Contemporary Fine Artists International.


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

changed my outlook and made me realize the possibilities.

Nature has been my greatest influence. My family didn’t have much money growing up. Most of our vacations and family time together centred on outdoor activities and visits to state parks. Memories of hikes in the Big Thicket with my father and weekends at the nearby beaches inspire much of my work. There were woods behind my childhood home so I spent most of my free time building forts and climbing trees.

Once I joined the art department I just soaked up everything. I became friends with many of my professors. Steve Hodges, Phil Fitzpatrick, Butch Jack, Lynn Lokensgaard, Prince Thomas – they challenged me and inspired me and I lean on their lessons daily.

There wasn’t much art in our home, but there was religious imagery. The Catholic church was my first art museum. The stained glass windows and paintings and sculptures of the stations of the cross were an early influence and still inspire me. David Cargill, a local sculptor, was commissioned to create the doors, altar, sculptures, and windows of St. Jude Thaddeus when it was founded. We were among the original families to join the parish. It was an amazing experience to see his work installed over the course of several years. There was such excitement each time a new piece was unveiled. I hope someday to have the opportunity to do the same for a church. In terms of my art practice, it was formed studying at Lamar University. I had drawn my whole life, but other than a short art camp one summer and a semester my freshman year in high school (which I hated), I’d never really studied art. I’d never used charcoal or oil paints. I didn’t know anything about art history. After starting college as music major and then bouncing around in some business classes, I enrolled in a drawing class pretty much on a whim. Fate was watching, and I ended up taking Drawing I from Larry Leach. Larry is a gifted artist and became my mentor and remains my friend to this day. Not long after I’d been in his drawing class he took me aside and asked me why I wasn’t majoring in art. I told him I love drawing but that I had to be able to earn a living. He told me I had it all wrong. He said get good at what you love to do and you’ll find a way to make money. It was such a simple idea but hadn’t really occurred to me until then that art could be my career. Larry had this great studio in an old bar in down town Beaumont. I’d go by his studio often. It was here that I first gleamed what it meant to be a working artist. He’s always generous with his knowledge and experience. Larry’s career really took off that year. Seeing someone I knew personally achieve some success

How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Beaumont, TX, a city with a population of just over 100,000. I moved back here to my hometown about five years ago after living in Dallas for fifteen years. I’ve had the opportunity to experience firsthand the art scene in a major metropolitan area and also in what many would consider a small town. Despite its size, Beaumont has a very active art scene. While we don’t have the retail galleries a major city like Dallas has, we have many outlets for artists in the region to show their work. The Art Museum of Southeast Texas is a smaller museum that features regional artists on a regular basis along with excellent traveling exhibitions. It also has a wonderful permanent collection including works by world-renowned artists like John Alexander, David Bates, Dale Chihuly, and many more. It’s among the best small museums I’ve ever visited. The Art Studio, Inc. is a local non-profit arts center that houses studio spaces for artists, a large gallery area, and room for classes. They have shows and juried exhibitions, and also publish Issue which is a great magazine showcasing the arts in the region. There is a sense of camaraderie and community at TASI that I never found anywhere in my years in Dallas. The Beaumont Art League, or BAL, houses two large exhibition spaces and routinely has juried exhibitions along with classes and seminars for artists. Lamar University, my alma mater, is also located in Beaumont. The art department has always been very productive and includes exhibition spaces for students along with the excellent Dishman Museum which showcases traveling exhibits and an extensive permanent collection including the Eisenstadt Collection of more than 450 paintings, decorative arts, textiles, and furnishings. All of these venues actively encourage participation from local artists. I have had the privilege of exhibiting in each of these venues and the exposure from these shows helped secure some of my larger commissioned works. Local artists have also embraced a wide

variety of alternative spaces including restaurants, theatres, and retail stores like the wonderful Finder’s Fayre Antiques which hosts several shows each year known as C.L.A.S.S. or the Contemporary Local Artists Show Series. The High Street Gallery, housed in a converted room at Victoria House, is another alternative space here in town that is a great outlet for area artists. Recently the contemporary gallery 215 Orleans opened downtown and has put on some very interesting shows including installations and performance art. In recent years publications like the Beaumont Enterprise Cat 5 and VIP Magazine have provided wonderful coverage of the local artists and exhibits. Local arts organisations like the Southeast Texas Arts Council (SETAC) help publicise and fund art exhibits throughout the area. Per capita, I’d put the talent of our area up against anyplace. Unfortunately, our local collecting community seems to lag behind. Many artists in the area struggle for sales. Most of my sales come outside of the region. Sometimes it seems like it’s easier to get recognition away from home. Fortunately, we live in a globally connected world. The internet has opened doors that were never available to the old masters in the history books. I’m fortunate to make work where I feel inspired and lucky to live in a time when I can find a market for it with technology. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? These days anything can be art, which is a both a blessing and a curse. For me, I want my art to be a moment out of time, apart from the surging pace of modern life. Everyone is so connected to their gadgets. More and more people experience life through a little digital screen. It’s wonderful in some ways, but it’s also artificial. I think art should make people really notice the world around them. Put down the smartphone and plug into the moment. If someone comes away from one of my paintings with a little different awareness of the world then I feel like I’ve been successful. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? Aside from the time and work necessary to develop skill in your craft, the most challenging part of working with traditional media to me is being taken seriously. How many times have we heard that painting is dead? Many in the contemporary scene seem


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to think that art can only be relevant if it’s shocking and new. Many seek to be different just for the sake of being different. Often the work often has no staying power. I believe in pursuing what resonates within me, what I find truth in. Over time the works that I keep coming back to are oil paintings and drawings in a representational mode. Works that not only make me pause for a moment but that I want to revisit time and time again. I’m not interested in being a flash in the pan or a fad. Name three artists you admire. There are so many! I don’t know how to limit my answer to just three. Some of the big ones would be Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Inness, and Degas. Lucian Freud has always amazed me. I’ve looked at Vermeer and Wyeth a lot over the last few years. I admire Wolf Kahn’s pursuit of colour and his willingness to share his thoughts and process. My former teacher and friend Larry Leach is an incredible painter. His luminous canvasses give me something to strive for. Jon Redmond really inspires me. He has an incredible sense of capturing light with paint. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Go to your studio and make art. Work inspires more work. Most of the big names

in history spent more time with the brush in their hand than we realize. It can be hard to do in our modern world with bills to pay and so many distractions tugging at us for attention. You’ve got to set priorities and decide what you can live without. I don’t watch much television. I’ll enjoy a movie or show with my family, but I rarely watch by myself. That’s time I use to paint or play music. Society likes to romanticize the creative genius, but if you want to earn a living from your art you’ve got to treat it like a job in some ways too. Spend some time to learn about business and marketing. Take some classes or read a few books about the business of art. “I’d Rather be in the Studio!” by Alyson Stanfield is an easy read and has a wealth of practical ideas to further your career. Get your work out there and be seen. No one is going to knock on your door and ask if you’re an artist. Be your own champion. It’s a lot of work, but the rewards are immeasurable. Finally, technology isn’t going away. Learn to use the internet, photo editing software, and how to take good digital pictures of your work. The majority of my sales have come from contacts made through the internet. My biggest commissions were handled through email, jpegs, a few phone calls, and shipping companies. We have global

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connections and access to cheap marketing that artists could have only dreamed about a few decades ago. There’s no reason for your work to go unseen in the modern world. What are your future plans? In the short term I have a couple of big shows planned. This July I have a large solo show at the Mesquite Arts Center near Dallas. It opens with an artist reception Sunday, July 2nd, from 5 – 7 PM and will be on view through July 28th. In November of 2018 I have a two man show with my talented photographer friend David McGee scheduled at TASI in Beaumont, TX. Long term I want to exhibit outside Texas, and hopefully someday outside of the USA. I want to see my work in the permanent collections of some museums, and I have a personal goal of having paintings in all 50 states in the US. It’s become a little hobby of mine to track where my artwork ends up on an app on my phone called “Been.” Right now I’m in close to 20 states and overseas in Singapore. Ultimately I want to put myself in a position to paint and play music full-time.


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Benjamin Nuttall Liverpool, UK

After graduating I began a project which I co-direct called ‘A Particular Act’ (www.aparticularact.com). This is a performance project space at Crown Building Studios in Liverpool which came as a result of my Poly-Residency Award given by LJMU upon graduating. This project aims to bring many different types of performance into one space, opening up how we can experience different fields of performance including ones which do not typically get represented under one fine art context, all in the in the same setting. I enjoy anything creative, I often go to various events, including art and vintage fairs, and art galleries where I enjoy gathering inspiration. With myself being a keen music advocate, I have an ever growing vinyl collection with a wealth of music knowledge and I regularly attend music gigs. My work presents installations intended to act as resonating chambers for emotions and memory. The narrative arc between elements as they are encountered form a haunted drama within the gallery space. The components of my installations are clues that ask to be interrogated and whose logics constantly defer interpretation. The male stigma of not being able to open up is portrayed in many of my works as an unwillingness of the work to open up, while offering an open surface to the viewer. Without dictating reaction, my work seeks an environment for deep, subliminal or ambiguous ways of communicating. Confrontational, while withdrawing, this tension is deployed through a mixture of film, language and appropriated items.


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Briefly describe the work you do.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

I’d describe my work as emotional. I look to express the emotional segments of my life to the public and leave it to be a puzzle to unlock. I tend to not try and limit myself to one set practice or medium and experiment in different ways of conveying a message.

Most artists would answer, that professionally their goal is to live off their art. For me, the thing I look for the most is to create conversation, I look to make people understand that you shouldn’t be afraid to open up, afraid to show your emotions, and that will never make you weak. If I am able to change how people communicate their emotions that’s good enough for me.

When, how and why started your art practice? Art has always played a part in my life but I found my way once I started my BA degree. It was truly the first time I had created art without people giving me limitations, it was empowering. I understood that I wanted to create something that people could relate to on a personal level, I’ve not stopped doing so since then.

your art to anyone. Art and its concept will live in its’ creator and whisper to the artist its changing meaning all the time. So, you tell me. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice?

Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist?

I’ve come to a stage in my life where I look within myself for inspiration, to life events and how I process them. That is what drives my art but that’s not to say I haven’t been influenced towards the direction I am in now.

Defining yourself within a genre of art can limit understanding and interpretation, and to define yourself as conceptual, suggests the meaning is not immediately obvious. Why should it have to be? I don’t think it is possible to truly explain

I look towards people’s ideas as much as their practice, people like David Bowie, Ai Weiwei and Death Grips are current practitioners I admire. They and others who are able to create work across different mediums tend to grab my attention.


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How would you describe the art scene in your area? Liverpool has a great art scene, thankfully there is always something happening within its many galleries and spaces and across the varied festivals and university crowd. There is a good amount of artists living here too with an ever expanding Biennial. It is a great city to be in and I couldn’t recommend it more. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art for me is another form of communication. It is still not as highly regarded as literature and other forms of entertainment but it’s growing. I believe there are still ways to go forward making it strongly available to the masses and less intimidating. I do find the art scene quite limiting to an extent for people from the outside to engage with it, as any like-minded community can be. That said, art has it’s important role to play in recording and even shaping modern society, and I hope this role grows in the future. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? Finding the right balance with using everyday objects and transforming them into art that is seen as credible can be challenging, but also the most rewarding. Using objects that people have an attachment or association to, on an everyday level and creating something completely different with it that also carries a meaning is great. Finding that perfect in-between with a piece makes it really powerful. What are you working on right now? I’ve just finished a photography publication on Farnworth Market that was demolished not long after doing the work there. Currently, I’m planning new performance works to be carried out within Liverpool and surrounding areas, followed by ways of creating other works from them. I’m looking to try more performance in public spaces too that challenges people’s ideas on mental illness. I’ve been running a performance project with the fellow artist, Raphaella Davies called ‘A Particular Act’ where we have been curating shows around the idea, exploring what a performance is defined as. We’re looking to expand this year and get involved with other collectives within the UK and create new pieces of work alongside them, bringing performance more visibly into the art scene.

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Julia Sebastian

Heighland Heights, KY, USA My work is a material experimentation in uncovering what constitutes our built environments. We buy and build pots and chairs that had material lives before we met and will continue in some material form after we are no longer together. We fill our spaces with plants that once belonged to the earth. Landscapes hand on walls waiting to transport us to green space within our houses of concrete and drywall. We mix and match, reorganize, reclaim furniture, and re-contexualize objects as they drift in and out of our lives. Material concealing and lost histories is our jam. We design spaces for our comfort and ask materials and objects to collaborate in providing the optimal pleasing vibes all the time. Our constructed comfort is steeped in complex historical conversations and rich material identities that speak loudly while we relax and drink tea. My work blatantly complicates our expectations of how material combinations collide and reverberate throughout their space. The goal of my work is to shake our brains to reconnect with the power of spaces. Spaces are where we spend all our time, and are political, cultural, and deeply personal areas that define the actions and conversations that take place within them. This fact is why material sensitivity is so vital. Being sensitively engaged with your environment leads to the magical realization that all materials and spaces affect and engage our bodies and brains through defining material moves on a daily basis.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I started my art practice by taking Drawing in my first semester of college after enjoying art classes in high school. I decided that if I did not like Drawing I, I would be an English of History major. At the time I did not realise the scope and potential ramifications of my decision-making process, but it worked out. I really enjoyed the course and how I could combine my own research interests with formal skills to form a visual language that functioned entirely differently than traditional written communication. At the end of the semester, I discussed career paths with my professor and decided that art was a viable option through the route of teaching and keeping a personal studio practice. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The universities in the area heavily impact the art scene in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Students regularly infiltrate galleries or create pop-up experimental spaces. There are university galleries that draw artists from all over the country and some international works. The Contemporary Art Center bridges the gap between student work and top players of the art world by exhibiting both sets of artists. This allows student work high visibility to the public and brings in people who might not attend openings to other exhibitions. The Taft Museum of Art and the Cincinnati Art Museum have exhibitions that cover classical to modern art with some contemporary work. These museums serve as excellent research sites and ground the city’s art scene in art history. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art reflects our culture and raises points of concern through critique and contrast. Art serves as a platform for artists to communicate ideas that are important to themselves and a larger audience, and visual language is their selected mode of communication. Thanks to the wide-reaching scope of social media, art can now erase geographic and social barriers that would otherwise limit the access people have to particular artworks. I believe this allows art to have a greater impact because of the afforded wider viewer base but people are also not spending as much time looking at individual works because of the speed at which we consume images. This is the dilemma I experience and challenge students to be mindful of when they research because nothing replaces the immersive experience of viewing works in person with time to really investigate ideas proposed by artists. Name three artists you admire. I admire Anne Hamilton, Chris Hood, and medieval monks who created such strange and interesting visual records of their world. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I like that the art world encourages critical thinking and making that impacts people’s lives and can change the way people think about and experience life. I dislike that trends in the art market can exclude artists who are making excellent work.

What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Work hard all the time, and working hard may not produce immediate success. So, spend your time making and saying yes to opportunities instead of being discouraged that you are not as far along in your career as you would like to be. Find an artist with which whom you can become friends and have critiques in person or online because working outside of school can be isolating and frustrating without the electricity of critiques that challenge your thinking and formal decisions. This has reinvigorated my practice time and time again. What are your future plans? My future plans are to keep making and teaching as much as I can. I hope to travel more with my work and continue to deepen my research.


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Amauri Torezan

Delray Beach, FL, USA My work explores the evocative interrelation between color and form to create an aesthetic experience that subconsciously engages the sight, sounds, and emotions of the audience. Creating artwork that combines geometric and organic shapes, I look to distribute the elements and colors in a way that they create an illusion of depth and blossoming. My inspiration comes from representations of the future and abstract art produced in the Mid-20th century. My intention is to bring a nostalgic, yet joyful feeling of this beautiful era to the audience, and have each individual interpretation and enjoyment being based on its own perception. What brought me to create this type of work was its sense of improvisation, high energy, and an emphasis on the painting process. Instead of using paint to carry out a visual idea, I am thrilled to discover the visual idea through the process of creating it.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I create abstract images inspired by art and modern life in the mid- 20th century. My work is composed by geometric forms that seem to be floating around each other, using contrasting colours to create such effect. I translate those images into paintings, sculptures, murals, and small objects such as watches. When, how and why started your art practice? I think artists are already born creatives. I have had drawing and painting as part of my entire life since a very young age, but only as an adult when I understood how my art could contribute to a better and happier society it became an obsession. Since then I have been fortunate to be able to share my work with a lot of people through public murals, museum exhibits, galleries and international art fairs. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Miami has become year after year one of the most important cities for the contemporary arts in the world. In my opinion, some of the reasons are the development of its Arts District (Wynwood) with galleries and murals painted by the world’s biggest names in the street art, and the Art Basel Miami week that brings dozens of international art fairs attracting thousands of art lovers and art world professionals to the area. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art has always been a very distinctive way of communication. It let to the audience to interpret what they see according to their perception. What I see is that nowadays art is reaching more and more people, as street art plays a very Important role in the visual communication. Art is there being part of people’s day by day lives with no necessity of going to a museum or art gallery to seeing it. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? Well, to me the challenging part is to keep out of my comfort zone and always to be aware to push myself to experiment and develop new things. Name three artists you admire. Only three? Lol. I would mention at least 10 artists that are immensely important to me as a person and as an artist. I would say that Salvador Dali, Kandinsky and Joan Miró would certainly be among them. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Create art consistently, share it consistently and never expect everybody to like or understand it, but some people will… Focus on those people to keep motivated, create some more. What are your future plans? My plan is to keep creating my art and reach as many people as possible, trying to bring them inspiration and a positive message through it.


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Art Reveal Magazine no. 31  

Steben Alexander (Canada), Λrtvr (Germany), Erin Cross (USA), Sparrow Davies (UK), Joanna Gambotto (Australia), Azam Ismail (Singapore), Han...