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By Lula Valletta









More at pages 90-95

Danyelle Rolla’s work is centred around the working class and the contemporary class system in Britain. Responding to her primary sourced research, she embeds herself in cultures and subcultures to offer an inside perspective on the subject matter. Her work has recently been selected by Magnum Photographer, Bruce Gilden, to show in his juried exhibition, Streetwise. Alongside this, the Czong Institue of Contemporary Art recognised her work in their Top Contemporary Photographers exhibition. Her current project, Ithaca, investigates the loss of identity people experience after changing social class.



On the cover: image from the“Nogsy Solider” series by Danyelle Rolla


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FACE TO FACE By Lula Valletta

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. Oscar Wilde uttered these famous words many years ago and still it seems as contemporary today as ever before since photographers not just take photographs, they paint with light and feeling.

It’s Thursday afternoon and I am at Amsterdam Amstel Station. In this place, which is constantly pressured by time and the passing of thousands of faces, I cannot think of a better location for the now opening exhibition Face Time, which is part of the project ‘Identity in Society’ for the foundation Kunst en Cultuur in Beweging (Art and Culture on the Move) in collaboration with the NS (Dutch National Railway). Amidst rushing crowds and individuals, a group of flamboyant art lovers, models, photographers and curious visitors – most of whom are already slightly aroused by their intake of new art and prosecco – is gathered around a stomping flamenco dancer and her musical companion, amidst pillars showcasing works both from the past and the present. I find myself swirling among the crowd, appreciating the setting and the art and stumble upon curator Hedy van Erp.

photo: H.J. Kamerbeek

The exhibition Face Time carries the subtitle ‘your perception of me is a reflection of you’ and reflects the importance of reflection on a society in which people respect the ones who deviate from the norm. Hedy van Erp explains how this exhibition was born; in Face Time six photographers respond to six paintings by famous painters from six museum collections. The new generation portraitists are challenged to connect the old and the new, and to build a bridge between artwork and people. The curator asked six significant museums in the Netherlands to make a selection of 3 or 4 portrait paintings from their collection. This selection was then again proposed to the photographers, who were asked to pick only one of the portraits to recapture the painting in a modern setting. The photographers had all the freedom to do this in their own way. As different as each of the photographs is, their own voice on social

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awareness is found in each of them. Hedy van Erp: “It’s not just about identity but also about prejudices.” She explains that Face Time is an exhibition accessible for everyone and made for everyone. “Most portraits have a low threshold and are not too difficult to understand, a lot of people can somehow relate to it.” That is also why this exhibition is presented in a public space like a train station and why the exhibition will travel across the Netherlands to be on view on several train stations. Besides that the Dutch National Portrait Gallery doesn’t have a headquarters yet, so for now they are constantly moving around venues and public spaces. The title of this exhibition, Face Time, is self-explanatory. Most people are familiar with the smartphone application FaceTime. Having an exhibition with such a familiar title will make people relate to or question the exhibition more. But when I start thinking about the title I feel there is much more meaning to it. Dissecting Face Time, Face stands very clearly for the portrait but then again also for the expression of emotion since one’s face is crucial for human identity. Time on the other hand is more difficult to define, if it is definable at all. Our consciousness of time is one of the most important distinguishing features of humankind since animals live in a continual present, having no sense of the temporal distinctions of past, present and future. The way time is used in the title of the exhibition, it implies to the ‘timeless play’ between the photographers and the painters featured as well as the time we spend on our own encounters, both in real life and online.


Hedy van Erp chose the photographers with help from friends and colleagues such as renowned photographer Koos Breukel, who is specialized in portrait photography and also is the initiator of the National Dutch Portrait Gallery. Important was that the six photographers were relatively young, not necessarily by age but mostly by their way of thinking... Maarten Tromp got face to face with Paul Citroen’s self-portrait by making his own self-portrait. What I recognize at first is that the self-portrait of Maarten Tromp is looking at the viewer whereas the self-portrait of Paul Citroen does not. This makes the photographer’s self-portrait more vulnerable, even though both portraits show confidence. The photographer photo: H.J. Kamerbeek explains that he hardly makes selfies and that this is his first self-portrait. For Maarten Tromp this self-portrait is quite a big deal since he doesn’t like to be in the spotlight. Knowing this it makes his self-portrait the more interesting. With his reaction to Paul Citroen’s self-portrait the photographer wants to reflect on the phenomena self-portrait in an age of constant photo: H.J. Kamerbeek self-presentation and selfies. He feels that our presentation often seems to be more of importance than our being and he questions if there is still space for invisibility. In his self-portrait Maarten Tromp is looking at the viewer but is still ‘hiding’ in the shades, which clearly reflects his struggle with visibility and invisibility. Bertus Gersse took it upon himself to give his own – and very modern – interpretation of Egon Schiele’s ‘Portrait of Edith’. Upon first glance the photograph by Bertus Gerssen shows a close resemblance to the portrait of Edith; both in the posture


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of the model and in space. The model in the photograph is Jack Carlyle, someone who doesn’t want to be identified as a stereotype man or woman. With this portrait the photographer wants to break the comfort of the gender roles that we are taught by the society. His portrait of Jack breaks the norms and shows that there are possibilities within this spectrum, he does this by using Jack as a model but also by ‘letting Jack be Jack’, with his tattoos and somewhat controversial clothes. Egon Schiele’s portrait of his wife Edith is known to show vulnerability in its timidity but so does the modern interpreted photographed portrait of Jack. When I compare both works, I find that the photograph shows more attitudes than the painting. But thinking of it, it’s very likely that in the time Egon Schiele portrayed his wife Edith, the public recognized that same kind of attitude with Egon Schiele the same way as I do, years later, with the

portrait by Bertus Gerssen. I find this a very interesting thought, which reflects back again in a new sense to the theme and title of the exhibition. Laura Cnossen modernized Charley Toorop’s famous ‘self-portrait, Villefrance’. Laura Cnossen’s portrait seems to reflect something different than that by Charlie Toorop. There is more distance since the photographer’s model Ilja is not looking in the camera at all while Charley Toorop’s expression pierces at the viewer, and that not with two eyes but one eye only. After learning that model Ilja suffers from a condition called Alopecia Areata (spot baldness, also famously used as a subject in the photographs by Mapplethorpe), I immediately feel the distance I was bothered with earlier, grow smaller and less distressing. Both works are very different but still there are similarities found in the use of bright colors and heavy lines. Also, self-confidence can be seen in both portraits.

Jitske Schols brought out her swim gear as a reaction to Pieter Pander’s ‘self-portrait with scuba diving gear’. The painting is relatively new compared to the others, created in 2004. Jitske Schols chose to make a self-portrait using – as a witty reaction to Pieter Pander’s scuba gear – a rubber band as an attribute which she has lying around. Not only by image Jitske Schols tries to identify with Pieter Pander, but also in her work ethics since the painter often used randomly picked attributes in his paintings that he had lying around his studio. Similarities can be found in the bare shoulders, the simple background and the blurry but intense look into the camera. For this photograph Jitske Schols decided to use a shutter speed of 10 seconds for her photograph, which allowed her to paint with light. Dirk Kome found his model in his youngest daughter Izzy for his reaction to David Finsonius’ seventeenth century portrait of a girl with a basket and

Egon Schiele, Portret van Edith (1915) vs. Bertus Gerssen, Jack Carlyle in gestreept shirt en zwarte kilt (2017)

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cherries. The painting is full of symbolic icons, which most works produced in this era were. Dirk Kome reacted to the symbolic painting with a portrait filled with contemporary interpreted symbolism. This shows his modern view on life and the positive changes woman emancipation has endured in the years since David Finsonius portrayed the little girl in a world unimaginably different from the world we live in today. Back then, the future of many girls was already written, either by heritage or by living by society’s restrictions and a strict adherence to religion and it’s symbolism. In Dirk Kome’s portrait the photographer seems to rise against this principle and shows that it is up to us to write our own future. Sanne de Wilde chose to react to the painting ‘Personnage Hilare’ by Jean Dubuffet. The painting by Jean Dubuffet is by far the most abstract in this exhibition and must have been quite a challenge for the photographer, who says she didn’t feel a connection to the painting. The painting shows the portrait of French poet Francis Ponge who is hardly recognizable. Because Sanne de Wilde lacked the connection to Jean Dubuffet’s painting she tried to create this connection using for her photograph the face of Thisha, someone who she has a connection with and had photographed before for an autonomous project. While the photographed portrait is very soft, with Thisha’s smile, the roughness due to the use of a bright flash and through the use of contrast and color the photograph resembles and reaches out to the portrait by Jean Dubuffet. Each coupled portrait is accompanied by a podcast, which can be listened to by scanning the QR-code found beside the artworks. In the podcast the museum director tells about the painting and the photographer illustrates his or her choice. This gives a modern touch to the exhibition. Even though I still find it better if we leave our smartphones in our pockets while


visiting an exhibition I think in this context it adds something to the idea of an ‘open exhibition’. When you choose to go to a gallery or a museum to visit a specific exhibition you have expectations, maybe even some knowledge about the artist or at least a general interest in the art. Since this exhibition is so accessible most people who will pass by and who will

photo: H.J. Kamerbeek

take the time to look, probably didn’t anticipate to do so and in that sense I think it’s rather interesting that this project is in a position to educate some newbies with the help of these kinds of modern tools that we nowadays are so dependent on. Also, for a ‘conscious visitor’ I think listening to the podcasts would be fulfilling and interesting not only to learn more about the art but also about the artists and their look on life.


On view on several train stations in the Netherlands: Amsterdam Amstel Almere Central The Hague Central Breda Central Zwolle Central Arnhem Central

14 September – 1 October 2 October – 12 October 13 October – 25 October 26 October – 8 November 9 November – 22 November 23 November – 8 December

Maxine Attard Gozo, Malta

Maxine Attard’s work mainly consists of works on paper and wood (the ‘grid works’), and site-specific installations. Her main working process is based on materials, surface, repetition, geometry and space. Maxine’s work stems from the preoccupation with the meaning of human existence in the face of the void/sublime. Her work is a reaction to the dramatic, chaotic and excessiveness life (of every individual and society as a whole). Her process involves disposing away of all that is unnecessary to arrive at a kind of order. This she does with her ‘grid works’. In her ‘grid works’, Maxine attempts to resolve tensions between materials, dimensions and composition. The materials include paper, wood, pencil, graphite, acrylic and household paint, thread, beads, masking tape, fabric, acetate sheets (etc). Tensions include the contrast between the natural and the synthetic, the opaqueness and the translucency, the glossy and matt surfaces, the concealed and the exposed, the added and subtracted, the proportions and ratios between the grid and the frame and the tension between the idea of ideal perfection existing in the mind and the ‘imperfect’ rendering of that idea by the human hand. Within this play of tensions, the grid with its element of repetition is the stabilizing force that keeps both her thought and working process focused and consistent. The grid is an attempt to bring order and clarity to the chaos mentioned earlier. Whilst in her ‘grid works’, Maxine grapples these unanswerable questions, in her installations she works with the aftermath of what could be a futile process (of endless repetition); in the face of the void/sublime, all we as humans can do, is to alienate ourselves (from despair) by actually congregating and ‘living’ together. Maxine’s installations offer the space for this congregation to happen. The structure/space is constructed and is completed by the audience/viewer/public in the space.


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is futile as once a work is finished, it starts all over again with the next work. Despite knowing that perfection is impossible and order needs to be continuously maintained, there is this need in labouring away. These are all immense subjects and not easy to tackle. The grid works confine me to the studio and the working process is a very lonely endeavor. I think that this is what compels me to make site-specific installations and/or public artworks. I say compel because I view these works as offshoots from my main practice. Observing the public’s behavior is the main factor around which I develop the concept and form of the work. The way I can explain these works is that while in the grid works, I grapple with unanswerable questions such as ‘why do I do it?’ or ‘where does it all lead to?’, in my installations I work with the aftermath of that futile process of continuous repetition, of labouring away. What we humans do (to alienate ourselves from despairing at the futility of life) is congregate and live together by sustaining one another. My installations offer the space for this congregation to happen. In fact, it is the public that completes the work. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I think most probably the culture I grew up in and which I am still living in. Malta has a typical Mediterranean culture; excessive, bombastic, and loud. Such a culture is joyful and funny but sometimes I feel the need to leave the islands and go and stay somewhere quieter for a while. I dare say that what I am and my work are reactions to all of the excessiveness of such a culture.

Briefly describe the work you do. Works on paper and wood are what I view to be my main line of work. I call these works the grid works because they are all based on a grid, mostly drawn in pencil. The grids vary in size according to the overall dimensions of the picture plane. Then each section of the grid is filled with various materials such as oil-based industrial paint, paper and dust to name a few, depending on what I want to achieve. In recent months, I have been working with thread and beads sewn into paper.

Almost all of the grid works can be interpreted in a number of ways but I try to refrain from suggesting any single interpretation. Perhaps the most apparent element is repetition, both in the finished work and the working process. The repetitive action can be interpreted as a strive towards perfection, the wanting to achieve a sense of order in a chaotic outer world. I like the comparison of my working process to human labour which is ultimately done to sustain life. I think there is something noble in that. However, I am also very aware that all this labouring away

If I had to mention a person who had an influence on my art practice, I would say my first art teacher who was British and had just arrived from London and started to live in Malta when I was about ten years old. He was in his fifties and had lived the London of the 70’s and 80’s. I still remember vividly the books he showed me, about modern and contemporary artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Tracy Emin, Julian Opie, and movement like the Bauhaus at a very young age. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in a very small country, Malta which consists of a very small archipelago of islands, a few kilometers south of Sicily,

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Italy. Just to give you an idea of its size, the population is around 420,000 and still the islands are densely populated. However, despite the country’s small size, there is quite a lot going on. About ten years ago, when I was beginning my studies in tertiary education, there weren’t any visual art courses available, hence my undergraduate degree in art history. Since then, fine art courses both in undergraduate and post-graduate level have developed and are being offered at tertiary educational institutions. There is now the Malta Arts Council that provides funding for projects and events. It is also clear that the young generation of artists interested in the arts are more numerous than ever before. Next year, Valletta, the capital of Malta is hosting the European capital

of culture 2018. Malta also participated in this year’s Venice Biennale. I haven’t visited it yet, but from the international press, it looks like it went well. All of the above is very positive and enriching overall. However, I would not be telling the whole truth if I say that all is good. Malta has increasing problems of political corruption which interferes in every sector of life. I know very well that corruption exists everywhere but when you constantly encounter it even before you begin your career, it becomes demotivating and exhausting. Positions are filled on the basis of connections rather than meritocracy and more recently the ‘buying’ of votes. This has led to a situation where the blind leads the blind and it is apparent everywhere not


just in the arts. Usually, I hesitate to talk about such things with individuals who are not familiar with the situation in Malta, because they get doubtful about the veracity of what I am saying. But I have met individuals who come from outside of the country to work in the art sector here, whether, on commissions, events, in institutions and they learn very quickly that there are serious problems. I have been told by some of them that unless the situation improves they have little interest in pursuing projects here. Many leave and do not come back. I have seen public artwork being taken down just because it wasn’t liked by one minister or individuals leading cultural programmes, hiding money in their private bank account, money that was supposed to go as the funding of art projects. Because I took certain decisions in the way I work, I have been able to persist and keep my practice moving forward. But I feel obliged to talk about it, especially because of the younger generation who are being misled and discouraged. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I think art means in contemporary culture what it more or less meant in many other cultures and other times as well. What I am talking about is that fundamental need for artists to create and for the viewers to seek and to fulfill themselves with whatever they need to fulfill themselves with, be in awe, beauty, understanding, emotional contact, alternative views and so on. Maybe what is different today than say in past cultures, is that before, the forms art took and the concept behind were more collective. Take, for example, art in Roman Catholic churches. The art was commissioned to serve ‘God’, to represent a religion. The artists making the works sought to serve this overall purpose, albeit still in their own way to a certain extent. And the viewers’ expectations were to walk inside the church and experience awe, understanding, and envisioning, for instance, heaven and hell. Today, art is more based on the individual as never before. The artist is put at the center and artists are chosen for commissions, public artwork, etc based on what they do and their vision among other things. Maybe it is harder than ever before today to establish what art means in general. I think there are meanings and forms as much as there are artists in the world today.


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When it comes to the viewers’ interaction with art, maybe things have changed less. Viewers still seek art for all the reasons mentioned above. In fact, I heard many times that art galleries and museums have replaced churches. However, it may be a bit more difficult for the audience now to comprehend and understand some of the artwork presented to them. Maybe the one type of work which puts viewers off, is and has been for the last few decades, conceptual art. Conceptual art still confuses and I dare say, infuriates people. I think globalisation and capitalism have made art more present in lives more than ever before. I have nothing against this. However the philosopher Jean Baudrillard once said that; “Art does not die because there is no more art. It dies because there is too much”. I always make sure to keep an open mind but sometimes I see work and I question whether this is art or pure entertainment. This is, however, a huge subject which cannot be given an absolute answer. Perhaps it is something that future generations will understand more when they look back at us. What is the best book you’ve recently read? The one that comes to mind is actually the one I am reading at the moment, On Being an Artist by Michael Craig-Martin. It is one of those books that I think artists at the early stages of their career should read because it is encouraging and inspiring and they can take advice out of it. The book is made up of entries from notes that Michael Craig-Martin has written throughout his life. He writes down his observations, thoughts and ideas and how he felt in particular situations, the good and the bad. Being at the forefront of the art world, he provides an insight into how art developed both in the UK and USA. Despite the profound thoughts and observations in this book, I am finding it to be an easy read and without sounding pretentious, I can relate to some of the thoughts on art and life in general. I have always looked up to the best artists and followed their example. So having a book written by one of them is a must read for me. Name three artists you admire. I would mention the ones that have left the most impact on me. The first two are definitely Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin. I flew to London on purpose to see their exhibitions both at Tate Modern. Mark Rothko’s exhibition had the Seagram Mu-

rals on display. I was maybe nineteen years old and I had actually flown to London to see Francis Bacon at Tate Britain which was on at the same time. But I never thought that Mark Rothko would have such a greater impact on me. It helped me identify what I am interested in; the void, emptiness, spirituality. Agnes Martin’s retrospective was a few years later. This time the impact did not come as a surprise. What interests me most in Agnes Martin’s work is light. I work mostly in black or white although recently I have been working with colour. But I think that how light bounces onto the surface and into my eye is a big factor in deciding what materials I am going to use. Agnes Martin was probably one of the most self-edited and self-critical artists that ever existed. She bought her work back and destroyed it if she thought it was not good enough. I am really fascinated by what it is that makes such work better than another even if they look almost the same. In my practice, I am increasingly becoming more and more precise in the elements that make up my grid works and this has something to do with Agnes Martin’s working process. The third artist is Donald Judd. With Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin, I am tackling subjects like spirituality which is something that is beyond the material. But I do believe that in the end, I am still working with the material, that is, wood, paper, industrial paint and so on. In the end, it boils down to the material from which the work is made, nothing else. I like the toughness of that both in the concept and in the making of the work. I like the materialness of the material. I think that my work oscillates between that hardness of the material that is clearly visible and present, and to that thing which is beyond the material. These are again huge subjects to tackle in a short answer. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The art world today has become a huge industry embodying so many diverse initiatives, independent groups, galleries of all sorts, artists-led spaces and so on. I do think that all this keeps art vital and important to contemporary societies. I like also the fact that it is an industry which is at the forefront in bringing together people of all cultures and backgrounds which is something that is very much needed in these turbulent times.


In my opinion, when people talk about the art world, they tend to see it as one whole thing. Yet the art world is divided into different sectors, individuals, and groups who do very different things. Take the art market for example, which is obviously looked at by many artists and the public perhaps with a certain disdain, because it involves money. Many of us artists don’t like to deal with money, and the general public isn’t always in favour of the spending of enormous sums of money on art. Auction houses are a classic example. Some people take the price of a work as the reflection of its quality. Two individuals bidding against each other on a painting does not determine the artistic value of the work. They are completely two separate things. Maybe more than the art market, I actually am quite repulsed by celebrity culture. Again, I accept the fact that celebrity culture is part of contemporary culture and it is neither a good nor a bad thing. I also think that there is nothing wrong with the artist being put under the spotlight. The only thing is that some (not all) artwork should be put first, that is before the artist. Some art, once it is done, does not need the artist to be there, in the spotlight alongside it. Celebrity culture, I am afraid, puts too much limelight on the artist with the danger that the work gets diminished. I say danger because I see artists at the beginning of their career promoting themselves, more than they promote their work and with time the quality of their work starts to become of secondary importance. Professionally, what’s your goal? I have quite a clear set of goals that I want to achieve but that said, they are not set in stone. I am very determined to continue to pursue my practice and that is something that is unlikely to change. I think the challenge here is how to support it and I am constantly finding new ways. Another goal which I want to pursue is writing. I see the writing as being parallel to my practice and it doesn’t mean that my practice, that is the artwork is informed by it. It probably would be detrimental to my work if it is accompanied by too much writing. It would leave less space for the viewer to experience the artwork. For the past couple of years, I have been observing the approach of other artists-writers and I think that I have progressed in what I will decide to do with them both (my practice and writing).


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Gala Bell London, England, UK

Existence, like a feline time-stamping territory, brushes up against what is there. There. Matter. The stuff of the physical world. It gushes, oozes, crumbles, cracks, enfolds, squishes, protrudes and embraces the periphery of our vision. There is no hierarchy outside the human mind, just a continuous, ever-moving mass. The viscous- the slimy, wet softness within us is held together by a taut ego. Years of rock compressing tenderness. Gel and liquid locked in plastic. Lips kiss the wall a thousand times, asphalt is stacked into a totem oozing paint, tooth paste cements a concrete wall. Employing synthetic materials and consumer products Bell interrogates our visual culture. Applying methods of packaging, or using materials such as silicone and vinyl, the works echo our manufactured environment providing capitalist society in excess. On going work includes iconoclastic drawings on banknotes, passports, legal papers and chequebooks, seeking to release objects of their authority by making a mark. These works are freely traded with the public and other artists for objects of sentimental value. Gala Bell (b. 1989) is a London based multidisciplinary artist currently completing an MA at the Royal College of Art. Exploring diverse processes in painting and sculpture through traditional and unorthodox techniques, her work seeks to create a visual language that resists the necessity of words and galvanizes our subconscious.


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Briefly describe the work you do. My work is concerned with forms of labor, sometimes absurd, other times reasonably orthodox. Materials and matter become metonymic, meaning that senses swap roles; flavours become a kind of inverse or opposite of themselves, blurring the boundary between the familiar function of an object and its acquired meaning. The process is driven by instinct and gut reaction to form and materials rather than a script or a metaphor. I draw on everyday experience to inspire processes using found objects that are translated into painting or objects in between. I’m interested in the quality of the viscous, slime, liquid. I feel the wetness everywhere. I see it as a representation of resistance- mind, hierarchy, politics and society gushing into a dystopian grey mess. My current work is concerned with the action of pushing through net or sealing in plastic various liquids and gels that create skins I apply to canvas. Some of my past work uses consumer products such as hair gel, faux eyelashes, nails, toys and processed food, all wrapped and rotting under plastic. It’s partly glorification of the industrial world but also a guilty reflection of its failure. Wars are waged for the ownership of crude oil, people, animals, the land dies because of it. But we are all guilty and we are all hypocrites, but equally the ways of the world are largely beyond our control. Even the hippiest of left wingers will eventually eat the triangle sandwich. – See Patrick Goddard ‘Gone to Croatan’. Plastic as a material is something I internally struggle with every time I use it, but as soon as I smell it and see what it does I cannot help myself. It’s a guilty pleasure. Jean Baudrillard in ‘System of Objects’ has very interesting ideas about the act of collecting; he refers to it as a kind of internal combustion. The objects I collect are all from my immediate experience and they all importantly affect the palate of the new work, whether it’s a painting or sculpture, there will be traces of a personal narrative, elements of an object’s materiality, an imagined flavor or smell. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? The discharge of the city. Materials and matter. Stuff of the past, stuff of the present day. Things that are real, tangible, that can be bitten, pressed, ripped, repaired, washed and saved. I am not so interested in the relentless stare of screens and media communication. I collect things, things that don’t always make sense, I become infatuated with them –slabs

of the pavement, tarmac, cobble stones, tiles from different cities. The typography on a German matchbox, a sugar packet from a Greasy Spoon in Dover, a Portugese newspaper from 1980. Hair gels from Afro-Caribbean salons, some pointless knick-knack with the scent of new plastic, the way products line up on repeat in the offie, something I can squeeze , something with the potential to pop, an abysmally kitsch fridge magnet or a neon lit Jesus. It’s more about how you taste an object, feel the weight of it in its surroundings that’s important. I pick up if it surprises me, there needs to be an encounter, a possible dialogue. There’s a rusty detritus of a motorbike in the woods I haven’t picked up yet but it’s on my mind every other day. That’s how I know it’s important, if I can’t stop thinking about it. It can be difficult to refrain from collecting too much – my old studio had large heavy things I could no longer keep – the inside of an old piano, parts of a train track, a large chain found by the Thames, a stocky TV with the CCTV etched onto the screen. I’d need a warehouse to keep all of this, which is also something I’m driving towards in the future – a big freaky space, every corner infused with a mix of art and memory. Dali in the Paranoid Critical Method speaks about the excess of meaning in an artist’s experience – the compulsion to create significance where they may be none, obsessive desire to instill the illusion of destiny. I recognized aspects of myself in his writing, possibly also because he addresses so much of it to ‘Gala’, I feel like I am being told from some omnipotent voice of the past. Dance (free style/no style) is also very important in my routine, it’s a way of entering a trance that expands my imagination and emotions, it connects me to an eternal silence amongst the chaos. My favourite things to listen to right now are Kondi Band, Dele Sosimi, The Hygrades. Danilo Plessow is a honey, and since I discovered Auntie Flo he’s on repeat. Sartre’s chapter on le visquex in ‘Being and Nothingness’ is one of my favorite texts this year and continually inspires me. Anika Yi, Patrick Goddard, Allan Kaprow, Cai Guo-Qiang, Cildo Meireles, Tarkovsky, Hito Steyerl, are amongst others I continually draw inspiration from. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The scene in my area, like much of the scene in our good city, is synthetic. Generally, it’s all a little too clean, too bright, too smart, commercial, packaged. It needs an edge, a bit of give in the hu-


man direction. If I want to seek out an interesting new artist, I’d probably go to an un-descript space pushed to the outskirts of London where they work- most of the good stuff is in studios or communes where the makers actually live. But there are several galleries I am a fan of such as Seventeen Gallery, Bosse and Baum, V22, Evelyn Yard, The Approach, South London Gallery, Paradise Row and Parasol Unit also have some good art talks. Gallery 223 and Studio 180, art spaces both initiated by an artist I met in my old studio, Tom Leamon, were real wonderlands that hosted great people and great shows, until they were killed in action. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art drives evolution. It breathes life into the mediocre. Without imagination the human race would surely come to a dismal end. Love would only be procreation, friendship a convenience, thought a necessity. Art is ‘psychedelic’, as Marky Lecky says– the affix ‘delic’ meaning manifestation. Art is the manifestation of thought, feeling and experience. Contemporary art often defies historical methods of making by combining many different materials, ideas, strategies that defy familiar understanding. It’s woven into a global and ever widening understanding of our symbolic order. It is an expansive dialogue that moves between extreme abstraction of ideas, tangled histories and concepts with new predictions pushing the future. Technological advancement has created nostalgia for the analogue, at least in my generation, which is rapidly being trampled by kids who might as well be virtual versions of themselves. They leave their bodies on earth while they play in the matrix. Taste is changing. I prefer the physical realm, even if the artwork takes the shape of thoughts or rumours like in the case of Kaprow, to me that is still in a way physical. It exists between people, through speech that is ejected into the air or written in a book – not regurgitated, deformed and disguised between wires. One of my favourite artists Adrian Ghenie compares the Internet to a cube made of mirrors, it’s interior forever reflecting and self referencing itself. The internet is still young, kind of a teenager, it needs to wisen up. Video art is taking over rapidly. It is easier to handle, it looks great when installed and doesn’t take up physical space. Artists like Phyllida Barlow must really struggle with the weight of their production – her sculptures are massive, usually made out of wood, metal or concrete. There is a huge love of labor that goes into those. Jon Rafman has


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ural. His work manages to get the perfect balance between artistry, politics and biography. It seems to expose the sinister elements of society while creating something undoubtedly beautiful. Adrian Ghenie I also hold in reverence. He spends so much of his time researching, studying, experimenting, being totally absorbed and focused when he creates his paintings. He has an incredible amount of skill and you can’t just be born with that, he has clearly worked blood sweat and tears, and yet he remains humble. I think that he is particularly sensitive to history because he comes from a place where nothing is handed to you, a country that suffered economic sabotage and genocide. It has undoubtedly had an affect on his psyche. He manages Plan B in Cluj and Berlin that represents fantastic Romanian painters. It is this kind of generosity that will earn him a great deal of respect from his generation. What do you like/dislike about the art world?

some interesting projects re. the dark dwellings of the net –works like ‘Second Life’ show just how dark and how far the human mind can go without any fear of consequences. Contemporary art is like the world’s ghostwriter, writing its memoirs through recordings and artifacts. What is the best book you’ve recently read? At the moment I’m experiencing an unusual wave of synchronicity with Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase. Certain symbols from the book just keep reappearing in my day to day, it makes it feel magic. Symbols like the Ear, the rat, sea gulls, Moby Dick, sheep, Japan…as I go through chapters of Murakami I feel like my reality and its reality join. I have been travelling and looking at thousands of art works at the Venice Biennale so of course certain objects are bound to appear- but it’s a real coincidence, just like Murakami’s narrative is entirely driven by coincidence. The experience of reading this book feels supernatural. We all like to believe in fate, although never admittedly. Is it just a figment of our hopeful imagination or the power of our thoughts shaping the 7th Dimension…. Name three artists you admire. Isa Genzken- She has a turbulent and tenacious mind. She had to swim against the current of her contemporaries, German alpha artists Beuys, Polke, Richter – she carved a unique place for herself. Her work is governed by a natural instinct towards materials and how they can translate into artistic objects with sentiment and meaning. Her work shows that determined drive, it’s outlandish, to the point of nonsense, but it’s brave, humorous, exciting, she moves between mediums unapologetically. She’s a bang not a whimper. Another I admire is Mark Bradford. He’s a nat-

I have an anxiety about 3D printing and VR as final outputs for an artist. I recently went to Damien Hirst’s ‘Wreck of the Unbelievable.’ He appropriated the content from a remarkable story and used the dazzle dust of mythology to create a kind of prank, a joke, about the way we swallow history and culture. He used this incredible treasure and replicated every artifact into giant souvenirs, without any remorse. No remorse planting Barbie’s face on the gold head of Nefertiti, no remorse getting a worker to carve out a life-size bust in solid Lapis Lazuli while the mountains of Afghanistan are being ripped apart. ‘Sea-world’ engraved on a bronze sword, a symbol of commercial capitalism showing its revolting smile, diminishing the entire room of faked artifacts. The 3D printing annoys me, so does the plasticity of painted bronze. Spend millions of dollars on bronze production only to paint it to look like plastic. It’s enraging, but also a smart trick, a game. By creating these multilayers of truth and lies it does something to your stomach, guts turn from the confusion of emotions. He showed us a world devoid of truth, a present-day dystopia, just how merciless and unemotional the world could become, how empty of authenticity, of a genuine human touch. A £50 Million spectacle, a decade of mockery. I think that there are ethical questions to be asked here. But I don’t have a problem with that, it excites me, he’s a showman and I think he’s quite brilliant; he creates power by ridiculing those in power. He is driven to create his legacy and I have the utmost respect for him for it. Perhaps villains take the place of heroes in our contemporary world. Professionally, what’s your goal? Firstly, before anything else, keep making, every day. It takes time for skills and knowledge to evolve, but I’m on the case. Perhaps the benefit of ripening late is that you have all that time to soak in the best from the sun. I want to get to a place where I feel I can look back on work that is deeply personal, but that also connects to a collective consciousness. It must connect with me, but it should speak to them. It must resonate with the place and time it is made; it should reflect or be conscious of the eyes that look at it. It should be a gift to the world but also a result of my own drive. I want it to be deeply rooted in history but also to defy it. I want it to be human but also from another world. It should be powerful but not the result of megalomania, with sensitivity in all the right places whilst remaining fearless. I don’t want to give my time to anything but this.

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Tamar Chechelashvili Tbilisi, Georgia


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Briefly describe the work you do. I draw and paint. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I am influenced by a couple of painters (I admire a lot more) and by my teacher, who gave up painting to teach, and might regret it at times even though he says he doesn’t. What is the most important item in your studio? There are a couple of essential items you need (brushes, canvas/hardboard, paint) but if the essentials don’t count, I’d say a mirror. How do you know when the art is finished? The art is finished when you feel like it is finished. It’s difficult to explain, for me it might be a stroke that no one will ever notice, but somehow it feels like without that specific detail the artwork was incomplete. I have seen this happen with other, far better artists. One of my teachers used to get up, put a dot on his painting and with a sense of relief look at me as though it was very obvious what he had done. I had no idea. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art means a lot of different things for a lot of different people. Organizing an empty exhibition hall and inviting people to see it has been called art, because there was an idea behind it. I think art has its forms, as it always has, and these forms must be distinguished from one another (Conceptual art, fine art, singing, performance art, dancing, and a lot more) From the day we are born we see a lot, but notice very little, art is whatever guides us from seeing to noticing. What is the best book you’ve recently read? Short stories by Georgian writer Guram Rcheulishvili, who died at the age of 26 and is the reason I believe in talent. Name three artists you admire. Egon Schiele, Tadashige ono, Vincent Van Gogh. Professionally, what’s your goal? My goal is to get to a point where most of what I paint is valuable, and not the other way around.

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Bucharest, Romania

With a background in extreme sports developed my creative side in motion. In the same time I had the opportunity to get a dslr camera that made sparked my creativity towards the things around me. It helped me understand what where the things I have an eye for. More and more this idea of abstract came back in what I did. As I grew it was hard to find my spot in the Romanian educational system so I tried a design school in eindhoven. Design Academy Eindhoven was the place where I was able to feed all my creative needs learning about materials and developing my own techniques. Shape and colour and space,started unconcernedly and now I become more conscious about how certain colour help shape in space to be , the subtlety of a harmonious chromatic could make a shape almost invisibile. Painting was the place where chromatics and abstractions come to life . Now is more and more about the storie of each color and the way we precive it.


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Briefly describe the work you do I generate intricate ideas that I translate threw different mediums of image making... drawing, painting, sculpture, graphic design, photography, film ... Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Rollerblading as a way of understanding my self what I can do and what I need to practice for...the fact that you can achieve a good line and by that, I man a couple of tricks put in one go. This line came back in drawing and how I could create a good line that would put together a strong drawing.

Sun Ra as a music producer that put together a band with which he played around the US, he created a narrative as he was from Venus....He thought music to people that were either very good or not at all... He never cared about the number of people that would come at his shows.With the main focus on the few that were really capable to understand the frequencies that he put together.Discipline was the one the things that he put the accent on. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Classic due to a big impact of communism... The art scene was focused on classical

painting and very few artist where raising questions...We have Paul Neagu, Geta Bratescu and Ion Grigorescu there was little conceptual art in the communistic period. Paul Neagu due to the regime emigrated to Scotland, the rest stayed here as under level artists.In a period when, if you painted a portraiture of Ceausescu, and he would like it, the painter would get a Dacia vehicle which was at the same price of a flat...What was happening in that period was a pinpoint for many artists that left Romania for France just to be able to produce authentic art without the communistic virus. Some of them would be our beloved Brancusi, Jules Perahim, Ovidiu Maitec, Marcel Iancu, Victor Brauner and...

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The ones who remained had a hard time exhibiting and having an opinion in the art scene at that time. Sculpture being something ancestral is in our DNA, and still were producing more painters and the scene of painters is wider... Due to a production and method of work. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Due to the evolution of economies around the world, it came to a point where art is a mean of money laundry, this case happens only to a scale of artists that set a new standard in their period. For my generation, it just depends on what is your context in which art can grow. Although the art produced under big loads of money pushed by daddy’s bank, this leaves no mark on time, in the same time the copy paste society also will vanish as our icy poles... Art that is timeless helps spirits to elevate.... What is the best book you’ve recently read? The mystery of ancestral myth Victor Kernbach How myths came into existence for the fount of narratives. Name three artists you admire. Corneliu Mihailescu Ion Irimescu Everybody What do you like/dislike about the art world? How a good friend would say is like a coin, what made my art is that there are some images missing from our mental-base for us to get to a next level, where matter doesn’t matter. The matter is the point of discussion I think that this could be easily the thing that I dislike about the art world and the monetary practice... Is a money game and doing art you play it without knowing, better learn the rules. Money goes, art stays... Professionally, what’s your goal? Release energy from matter...



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Instagram: @altastru

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Sung Mi Hwang

Seoul, South Korea

“Life is death, death is life.“ Flowers live within a moment which is blooming and withering, that is, Vanitas (futility). A flower’s lifetime is similar to the life of a disposable plastic bag. Thin and translucent plastic life, being used and discarded, rotting in about 100 years. It is a time of fast life and states a lapse of time. Plastic stands as an opposing concept to genuineness, representing the fake and the artificial. “There is no absolute good or absolute evil and they are relative.“ Plastic and lace which are not just transparent but also opaque are material displaying the contradiction and the coexistence of two worlds such as life and death, black and white, truth and false, visible and invisible. These materials reflect all of the tangible and reverse sides. “Countless colours exist between achromatic colours which are black and white.“ There are various colours having a chroma. These various types of colours stand for diversity, and also represent different species of creatures.

Briefly describe the work you do. My work starts with contrary concepts such as life and death, black and white, visible and invisible, inside and outside. I am interested in dichotomous ideas; not rigid, dichotomous ways of thinking but rather dichotomous concepts themselves. When I encounter new things, words, ideas and situations, I like to think of their antonyms and oppositions; this approach forms the basis of my work.

a moment which is blooming and withering, that is, Vanitas (futility). A flower’s life is similar to the life of a disposable plastic bag. Thin and translucent plastic life, being used and discarded, rotting in about 100 years. It is a time of fast life and states a lapse of time. Plastic stands as an opposing concepts to genuineness, representing the fake and the artificial. “There is no absolute good or absolute evil and they are relative.” Translucent or see-through plastic and lace, which are neither purely transparent nor opaque, are materials displaying the contradiction and the coexistence of two realms. These materials all reflect tangible and opposing sides. “Countless colours exist between the achromatic colours, which are black and white.” These various types of colours stand for diversity, and also represent different species of creatures. Depending on the period, the means of expression, objects and medium change, but all are underlied by dichotomous concepts. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice?

Antonyms are ultimately not contrary concepts at antipodes, but rather cycles that are kinds of dialectical structures. The contradictions on the boundary of these binary concepts go through thesis-antitheses-synthesis and finally lead to unity. That is, these pairs of notions form circular structures, realizing the existence of many innumerable concepts, with the passage of physical time flowing through the gap between them. In my recent works, I have focused on expressing life and death, the invisible and visible, through installation, photography and painting. I think life is death and death is life because where life exists, death does too, and vice versa. Flowers live within

My body of work reflects my story and experience. How to live is a matter about which I have thought much: I have been concerned about what kind of value should be my priority, what kind of life is the most meaningful. Life and death are an eternal truth. However, there was an occasion when I deeply wanted to talk about death. Art, drawing, and making things are a part of my life, since I was young, I always planned to to attend art university, and my dream has always been to be an artist. When I was about to graduate school many problems came up and all my efforts towards going to study abroad went down the drain. The environment and situations surrounding me changed and I lost my head. Thinking that I may not do my work made my entire world turn gray and hopeless. I hence had to somehow write my resume for unwanted work, and I stared to look back on my past and what kind of life I had lived. I was totally unprepared for getting a job, and did not find something appealing. I could say I am a hard worker, as I won 60-70 prizes in my school days, however, I felt that is just a wrapper, covering me up. Moreover, whenever I read it, it made me uncomfortable, and I thought

that it has room to be distorted by some who read it. Although I should have said I can do everything, it was merely fabricating myself, because number and rank are all relative. Like this, I had to try hard to be recruited and work only for money. During that period I got to know how pitiful I felt when I could not live doing what I love. Around that time, I was living but not alive. It was more of a kind of dying. Everyday was meaningless and existing was hopeless and hollow. It was like killing everyday and exchanging my life for money, just a penny. I felt like a living fake. <Plastic life> represented this. I realized myself compromising reality rather than my dream by reason of an uncertain future. I faced myself and firmly make up my mind again. Time heading towards death really flies. We could easily pass over death. but these experiences made me always remember death, memento mori. Life and death exist not in opposition. We are all mortal because we come into being in a fleeting existence like how on account of withering, flowers can blooms. Two antithetic concepts rotate each other. I can not catch time so, doing what I love the most is my conclusion; even if today would be my last day I would not regret. <365 days’s journal> show this. How would you describe the art scene in your area? This question is a bit tough and sensitive for me. First of all, growing myself and finding a practical way to be an artist is hard. In my opinion, judging a body of work is subjective in some way, so I think, in the creative sector, estimation is often the only option as there’s no clear answer. Sometimes I do wonder though if there are meaningful criteria. Secondly, systems to protect artists or back them are still insufficient at the national level. Compared to other countries, support for artists has been relatively lacking. Moreover, not only in my region but also in many countries, I have heard artists’ success and failures often lie in the hands of the capability of galleries, the republic of art critics and sponsors. This can lead to people with money and power using art to promote their own interests. To stop this problem, legislation is being enacted, though blind spots seemingly still exist. It is a bit bitter now, and it seems there is a glass ceiling that I may overcome with my ability.

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It is realistically difficult to grow a wild artist oneself, so I hope the visual art field extends and revitalizes more. At the government level, multilateral analysis of problems and systematic approaches are needed, that is my thought. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture?

Another reason why I hold this book so closely is that it minutely and delicately represents the inner conflict and situations that Sinclair goes through. Sometimes, I feel like a mind-reading wizard, and I project myself on Sinclair, sympathizing and earning consolation or courage through him.

As quality of life improves, access to culture becomes easier and people can enjoy more and more forms of art. Art hence has more room to expand, filling and creating spaces in which any individual may partake. With globalization, the world is entering an era of multicultural exchange like never before, and we need a systematic approach to problem solving. I think as we become one world, the boundaries of art are blurring, as it penetrates our lives through not only the white cube but also communication, collaboration and commercialization. I think that the more people engage in creative culture, the more art broadens and develops a greater degree of variety. In my eyes, in a fast-paced modern society, art gives people time to relax and enjoy the abundance of their mind, so art can coexist and develop alongside contemporary culture, the two growing together. What is the best book you’ve recently read? <Demian> is the book. Every time I read it, it is something new to me. It played a pivotal role in my adolescence, making me reflect on my inner side and question myself about who I really am, what kinds of person I am and how to live. Around that time, my mind had been struggling about the reality surrounding me and I, a single entity. This book was like a guide to the confused me of that time, because it exhibits a way of living that had me comprehending it in the bottom of my heart on the basis of the mother, father, love, strictness, model behavior, school, duty, guilt, bad conscience, confession, forgiveness, good resolutions, love, reverence and wisdom. <Demian>, as a coming-of-age novel, has affected me greatly, sharing much of my time and helping me to form a sense of value. It has helped me in my struggle with the reality of coexisting with two realms sage’s teaching. For a time I agonized about living and living right, and how to do so still remains a conundrum for me. This anguish might remain till the end of my life. So, when my life’s foundations blur or sway, I brood over this book and strengthen myself.

Every time I read it it is different, depending on my state of mind, and it enlightens me with every different passage. In my adolescence, about ego; after attaining adulthood, about the verities of life, and nowadays, it is a book awakening my concern about the meaning of life and enlightenment without suggesting the right answers. Name three artists you admire. Damien Hirst, Yayoui Kusama, Christo and Jean Claude Damien Hirst is the artist I love and admire the most. When I visited the UK, I saw his exhibition at Tate Modern in 2012, and since then he has grown on me. His works of art are very intense, such as <The Thousand Years>, which made me aware of its existence by its smell. The rotting head of a cow and blood, flies and maggots shocked me, both visually and olfactorily imprinted the scene on my mind. It was a-never-to-be-forgotten day. He knows how to visually convey and maximize the transformation of his thoughts to works of art, and his works have a sense of energy and strength that grips people’s attention. I first saw the images


without knowing his name or their controversy, and was wowed by his work. Secondly, Yayoi Kusama. As an Asian and female artist who has continually maintained her innovation reputation so far, I really admire her. She is an artist who constantly establishes and develops her own inimitable colours. Her colors are vivid and loud, somehow almost surpassing the maximum depth of their components and transcending their chromatic zenith. As a person who really cares about the harmony of colors, I appreciate how the colors she uses are eloquent but restrained. Another reason I like her is because of her sublimation of her obsession in art. Her works of art are seemingly in a kind of pain but do not arouse depression or sadness; it is beautiful as it is. Lastly, Christo and Jean Claude. I was amazed by the scales of the works that they have installed in America, Australia and Japan. The way they do not accept sponsorship of any kind and continue working with and selling previous works is one of reasons also impressed me. I have not seen their works in person, but if I could face them I would surely be overwhelmed. They draw changes through nature and infuse their lives into their artwork. The installation at Pont Neuf and The Reichstag for instance are particular symbolical and monumental. Their artworks are not only beautiful but also convey a message to the citizens of a country, and I find their work particularly meaningful in that sense. What are your future plans? I have aspirations more than fixed plans. I look to continue my work as an artist wherever that leads me. I just finished my solo exhibitions in August, and will continue onwards applying for more exhibitions and competitions. Although my artworks start from my personal experience, I would like to develop these subjective experiences to render universal truth and experience in my own way. To both give a form of visual delight and deliver messages. Another impetus behind my work is communication about works of art itself, so pursuing further communication helps me see the right track for my work. Some say my works are pedantic and abstruse. So, I could discover how to better visually persuade and elucidate my thoughts. Finally, I have been working more in and out of medium; to grow as an artist and refine my own color, insight and skill, I need to put effort into this.


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Eduardo Martinez Barcelona, Spain

Illustrator and Graphic Designer, born in Barcelona. His training in image retouching and his interest in digital art, and especially the photomontage, lead him to discover â&#x20AC;&#x153;Collageâ&#x20AC;?, a means of expression and an artistic technique that catches him and leads him through the networks to know Other artists, collaborating on mutual projects, exhibitions and publications, which make their work known internationally. His style influenced by surrealism, pop-art, and comic, are the epicenter to understand his creative universe. The coloreated of images, the old photos, the symmetry, humor, are part of a language, which over time has been acquiring personality to redefine its work.


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Briefly describe the work you do. My training as a graphic designer and curiosity for the art of photomontage is the main basis for introducing me to the world of “Collage”. I consider myself a photo manipulator, usually using the technique of “digital collage” through computer image retouching programs, although I am also opening the way and discovering the “cut & paste” in some of my projects. There are a common language and scenario, which intertwines my works, where there are graphic elements or content, such as coloured images, symmetry, old photos, mysticism or humour. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My style is influenced by pop culture: cinema, music, comic, advertising, and with dadá or Surrealist movements. It is an artistic vision that seduces me and continues to impress me, in that crossing of opposing images, that seek a great composition and a new identity. How would you describe the art scene in your area? There is a great deal of interest in “collage”, which today is a language widely accepted in many media, illustration, advertising or animation, are good allies of this art, where it is still very much in force. Internet and social networks, offer you the opportunity to collaborate in local and international projects (festivals, exhibitions, publications), or in works for studios and companies that seek this creative demand. It is also true that there is a great professional and artistic level, and the offer is very broad. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? A window to the reflection, the search or critique of other realities, a new mode of expression and a new vision of the concept “art”, although often questioned and commodified. Name three artists you admire. Max Ernst, Magritte, Warhol. What are your future plans? There is an exhibition project, where I participate for the end of the year in Holland. Mainly, continue to publicize my work, both by the network or in artistic projects of interest. Also in the short term is the project to sell my work, in limited series and with high-quality prints, and finally as anyone, who modestly and with great enthusiasm, this in the artistic world, to be able to make a monographic exhibition near my city, Barcelona.

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Patrick McClintock Calabasas, CA, USA

Educated as a fine arts major from L.A. Pierce college, and as a Design Arts major from L.A. Platt college, where he received a student of the year award, he was also ‘highly placed’ out of Disney’s ‘Principles of Animation’ training course in Burbank California. ‘Plane Surface Modeling’ was a trade secret for many years, it was developed by the artist and is intended for use by artist, ... It is slated for publication sometime late this year or in early 2018. It is tentatively entitled ‘Something New’. It promises to be of ginormous value to the contemporary artiste’s. Fast forward to present day, Patrick lives with his wife and two dogs and fish in Calabasas California where he pursues his painting and his manuscript.


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Here then is a rundown of my current observations as concerns the world of art: First up is my very own technique, followed by influences in my development, and finally a current perspective and some other tid-bits of thought and information. I offer no offence to any of my contemporaries, but I do apologize if I offend some readers with my somewhat heretical views. In my technique, I strive to place the entirety of my painted compositions onto a two-dimensional plane. You might say that there is no choice in the matter, in other words, a canvas or panel is the limiting factor. Two-dimensions present a naturally restraining dynamic. That is not to say however that a surface or plane cannot be a surface that isn’t one of theory. A floating thingamajig if you will that sits above (or below) a canvas surface. There can be many such floating planes one above or below the other within my paintings. And also, so as to clarify by way of explanation, my compositions follow a rule of thumb, this rule also poses a limiting factor. It was developed some time ago when I was miffed by my inability to unite a successful composition that was still gratifying from corner to corner across

the total surface of my canvas. In other words, my elements, as I painted them just didn’t fit across the entirety of the two-dimensional surface, plane, canvas, or what have you. For me things kept losing their compositional integrity. I realized sometime in the haze of my funk that a 2-D solution was necessary. This turned out to be a great problem to solve because it presented some angles of unorthodox thinking to bring it together, you know, a thinking out of the box thingamajig. It was just the right kind of problem to keep a tormented artist like myself happily thinking within my element. My final solution was simple and elegant. (If I say so myself). And I feel some sense of pride, but also some pangs of guilt (but not too many) at not sketching out the details of this method here, but please make a note to check out my upcoming book, ‘Sculpting in 2-D’, a book about a trade secret. To be published sometime this coming spring, I hope. I have held this method close for many years. In my early days traditional works of art including the classism of William Adolf Bouguereau, the Impressionist school of painting, and those works of the great Dutch floral masters like Jan Van Huysum and Jans David De Heem these artist were

a great influence impacting my work and helping to shape my appreciation for art in general. I greatly admired the wealth of knowledge and technique that went into the making of these artist’s fine works. John William Waterhouse too was another artist I admired as well as John Singer Sergent and his consistently brilliant works. It seems to me these realist painters with a knack for composition were my favorites. The work I did in the Disney Studios too had some influence on my painting style. In that setting of animation a good knowledge of artist’s anatomy was required, and it was often the case that a figure had to be created from imagination. I had a small part in the making of ‘Hercules’, ‘Mulan’, ‘Tarzan’, and the ‘Emperor’s New Groove’, this during my stay in the Disney Feature Animation Studio in Burbank California. Still, I am primarily a contemporary classicist, although from time to time it becomes important for me to utilize abstractions in creating imagery. I think this is a very important point. Of all the abstractionist, De Kooning regardless of the abstractionist proclivity to throw away reality, nonetheless incorporated balance into his paintings. I try to balance my work as well. Balance in artistic

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imagery is somehow important to me. Another motivator in framing my artistic identity, was the work of the famous Andrew Loomis. His compositional formula he called ‘informal subdivision’ was a dazzling mechanism to me. His method of ‘informal subdivision’ insured a well-balanced composition, that was the idea behind it. The Art scene in my immediate neighborhood of Los Angeles is big and varied. It is in some instances what I think of as fashionable but in other circumstances the L.A. art world caters to the occasional odd duck. Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky. It is a shame that some galleries will charge would be hopefuls up to as much as five thousand dollars and more to promote their artworks. To this I say buyer beware. Is recognition something that can be bought? Shouldn’t art sell itself? Is it clear to me that in order to survive in Los Angeles one needs copious amounts of bucks, and some galleries are more than willing to be cold-blooded and stoop to deceitfulness and shameless vending practices. I am relatively new to the art market, but am making great strides, so, to you my fellow beginners I give this advice, (as did Winston Churchill to the Princeton Alumni after the war), … “Never give up. never give up, never give up”. And then he walked off stage. Good point I thought. The lesson here is to be persistent so that when the time comes you’ll be in the right place at the right time. So, never give up. Also since there is a big market for those stressed and distressed individuals who find solace in painful and disturbing to look at works of art, I will most certainly try to join in on this shockingly troubled trade, just kidding. I cannot relate to the strangeness that has become essential to some segments of the contemporary arts movement. It would be to me like creative suicide. And I get it that “art imitates life”, and that life can be heartbreaking at times, but I take a different approach where I would rather give voice to “art re-constructs life”. Not by being annoying, but by being impressive, remarkable, and perhaps even a little bit clever. Happily, much of what we see today in contemporaneous art is, clever. Hmmm… maybe it’s there is time yet to change my mind? I have read the lives of most famous artist. And also, all the novels written Edgar Rice Burroughs. Notwithstanding and besides just reading, the outright brilliant book covers that grace many of Burrough’s books, that were painted by the late Frank Frazzetta are brilliant to say the least. I still have some framed copies of his admirable compositions on my walls, I love the works of Frank Frazzetta. My own personal ambitions are to disseminate my simple yet eye-catching technique to anyone for whomsoever it may be of use. I recognize that there are many well practiced artists in the world and that my modest methods may be of little use to. sometimes called), may prove to be of ginormous value.



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Jose Mendes London, England, UK


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Briefly describe the work you do.

In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture?

I have a great fascination in the cosmos and its dynamism, my work takes as a base the exploration of the energy and matter in the universe. I apply these elements like gravity, radiation, magnetic forces, the creation of matter and it’s destruction to reach new standards and push my painting.

Bring new thoughts, ideas, push the boundaries of the mind, free the human mind of this everyday life, create a world that we can show our selfs.

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

Robert Henri “The art spirit”.

The cosmos and its dynamics, the exploration of the energy and matter that shape our universe.

Name three artists you admire.

How would you describe the art scene in your area? I think we are not living in a great artistic moment nowadays, everything looks like the same, we are not even close to the great artists, is difficult to find the originality in this art scene.

What is the best book you’ve recently read?

Chaim Soutine, Mario Eloy, Emily Carr. What are your future plans? I don’t have plans for the future, painting every day is a good future.


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Ziba Moasser Luxembourg

When I paint, I feel connected to the unique beauty and miracles in nature. I feel that through the combination of colors, we can express our feelings and give meaning to life. By doing so, one can truly feel the power of love.

Born into a gifted family of painters, in Tehran Iran (1959), Ziba Moasser now lives in Luxembourg. As a self-taught artist, Ziba found her passion in painting in late December 2016. Having had her first exhibition in London on May 2017, Ziba has embarked on a creative journey, portraying her emotional experience of personal and physical war and peace, which come through in her paintings with an added universal depth. In her recent work, Ziba Moasser, has combined her two passions together: mineral stones (semi-precious stones) and painting. Painters run in Zibaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family, including her mother, Loban Hosseini-Mohraz and daughter Mina Nozari. She truly loved to watch them paint. However, by always being on the move, Ziba never had the chance to start. She has travelled to various parts of the world. She has been through the Iranian Revolution in 1979 as well as the Iran-Iraq war. All these experiences come true in her paintings in a very positive way. From the moment she picked up a brush and started, her husband, Dr. Manouchehr Nozari and her daughter, Mina Nozari none-stop support has been truly rewarding.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I decided to start painting in late December 2016 and for the very first time picked up a brush late January 2017. The reason I embarked on this journey is because I was trying to find a path to lead to an inner peace. The past years have been difficult for our family and I wanted to find an escape…and I have. Art is the oldest way of self-expression and I wanted to embrace it. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? The most lasting influence on my art

practice is love. The love I have for my family, the love I have for all beings, the love I have for mineral stones (semi-precious stones), nature’s most beautiful creations, the love for painting and pottery helped me come out of a difficult time. I can truly say that expressing love through my art has lifted me spiritually. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am based in Luxembourg. I believe the art here is very lively and colourful and I believe it reflection of Luxembourgish culture. On the other hand, Persian art carries centuries of art heritages in world history in many medias including painting,

architecture, weaving, etc. Having been exposed to two different arts from the west and east has been truly marvellous. How do you know when the art is finished? When I see that my painting finally expresses the feelings I had when I started to paint that is when I start to add the mineral stones to my artwork. When I finally see the beauty, I wanted to create; I then know my art is finished. What is the most important item in your studio? I don’t thing there is one most important item, all of my items are important but the three items that I love using my diagonal Brush no. 8 of Boesner by Da Vinci, my fingernail and surprisingly stainless steel scourers. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? In a few words: to me, art in contemporary cultures means that it is more open to self-expression. Art today is very diverse and globally and culturally influenced. I believe the cultural border and boundaries of painting are fading, leaving more space to understand deeper meanings of each artwork including, weaving, architecture, painting, sculptors, photography, technology, etc. I believe that contemporary culture has also given artists the chance to think, see and create work without boundaries; there is more room for creativity. Name three artists you admire. I admire all artists in the world, ranging from emerging artists to established artist to taught artists to self-taught artists and even artist who just paint as a hobby. Every single one of them, no matter their technique, have introduced something beautiful to the world. If I have to pick three artists, I would have to say Michelangelo, Jackson Pollock and my mother, Loban Hosseini-Mohraz. What are your future plans? That’s simple, to continue painting of course!

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Art Reveal Magazine



Maryse Pique Bristol, England, UK I have always wanted to make paintings that are impossible to walk past, paintings that grab and hold your attention. The more you look at them, the more satisfying they become for the viewer. The more time you give to the painting, the more you get back. The viewer is a living, breathing being that moves about in space and I want the painting to be experienced like that. I want my painting to imitate life in that way. I want the experience of looking at it to be very much like the experience of walking through a bigger landscape. Born and raised in Martinique, I am an self taught artist who paints for several years now. My paintings are inspired by my culture of origin and European culture. My passion was discovered in Bristol. Everything that surrounds me, my feelings, passions or dreams are an inspiration, I do not put limits on my creativity. I like diversity, and why my paintings are created in a single specimen. My imagination must always be in turmoil, it always pushes me to research, innovate and change. Repetition bores me. I constantly self-criticism to improve myself both in life and in my activities. Love of abstraction because it puts in a flutter every sense of the viewers and it requires more mental gymnastics to understand the artwork.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I’m inspired and motivated by a love of color and the sheer delight I experience n the immediate, visceral expression of applying paint to a blank surface. My paintings tend to be lively and joyful, but can also be enigmatic, exploring different moods and states of mind through abstract imagery. I work into it: bold and opaque shapes, shadows and rhythms of lines. How they meander around the canvas, making their unique statements, connecting some shapes while setting others apart. It’s very simple, making natural forms with colors, intrigued by the personality, volume, and emotion they convey in different configurations. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? We are in front of post-neo-expressionism abstract, where the viewer is a living, breathing being that moves about in space and I want the painting to be experienced like that. I want my painting to imitate life in the way. I want the experience of looking at it to be very much like the experience of walking through a bigger space. The recognition of influences in art is perhaps the most difficult things of all. I’m just trying to make something “new” every time. I follow my influences with their contradictions and even their mistakes, I work and sometimes I get ideas and I pursue those ideas until I exhaust them. It is my practice, a continuous work for me- and of me. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am born in the Caribbean, Martinique Island, France. But for several years I’m living and working between Bristol and Barcelona. My paintings are inspired by my culture “antillaise” of origin but also for the European culture. Everything that surrounds me, my energy, my feelings, passions or dreams are an inspiration. From England Frank Auerbach, John Hoyland or Sir Howard Hodgkin and from Spain, José Guerrero, Antoni Tapiès or Miquel Barceló into a system of different modes and techniques of representation non-narratives with a crystallized-look, deliberately stretching on my area and looking for a concept of pictorial space where everything it is dependent on everything else, to the point where no trait can be isolated and no order of causality can exist.

In your opinion what does painting mean in contemporary culture? People can interpret how they want, but for me we are at the end of a process of “de-realization”, of the withdrawal of the real, implicit within modernity that we are finally able to define the relationship of the “avant-garde” to the modern and post-modern art. Loves how each viewer sees something totally on their own imagination in the work and to take this visual experience as something rigorous however, just as abstract as the painting itself. Modern aesthetics without concern for the unity of the canvas, aesthetic of the sublime, although somewhat nostalgic. But the form, because of its recognisable consistency, continues to offer to the viewer matter for solace and pleasure. Opening-up new horizons to compose other narratives for stimulate the viewers to create some visual ways for themselves, without signs

of signification but of intensity, trying to approach another types of codes to differents aesthetic concerns. Name three artists you admire. - Michael Goldberg - Robert Ryman - Edward Dugmore What are your future plans? My challenge is based on the construction of visual “monogrammes” and signs of abstract sequences, determined by suggestive silhouettes, sleeping progressively on differents backgrounds, as a visual metaphor of the erosion of narrative ways in the painting. The background and the foreground, the same across the canvas up, down, to the left, diagonally to the right - with dinamism and thorough energy.


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Ravi Raman

Silver Spring, MD, USA I liken my arrival in America at the age of five to television going from black and white to high -definition, forty-foot tall 3-D IMAX. Inundated by pop culture – television, movies, literature, fashion, art, and especially music – I consumed all of it with a voracious appetite that remains insatiable to this day. My self-image as the perpetual “stranger in a strange land” – neither intrinsically of the West nor my native India – affords me the luxury to be an artistic chameleon, drawing inspiration from all aspects of culture while never feeling confined to one singular influence or identity. I pursued music for many years. However, when I made the inevitable return to my childhood passion for drawing and painting, it was a revelation to me that the creative processes for writing prose, composing music, and painting all are strikingly similar. Only the medium is different – a pen versus a guitar versus a paintbrush. They are all expressions of my personal attitudes, influences, and sensibilities. Painting is merely another window into my biography, psyche, and tastes. I draw inspiration from disparate and myriad sources, and increasingly have taken to bringing the artistic elements found in fashion photography and advertising - glamorous subjects, filtered lighting, glossy textures - to my more traditional medium of paint. Ultimately, elements of inspiration ranging from Mick Jagger to Keith Richards, Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Avedon to Helmut Newton, and every road I have traveled and person encountered all collide on my canvas.


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Briefly describe the work you do. On a superficial level, my paintings reside in a category somewhere between neo-expressionism, Pop Art, and abstract. Yet I’m not so self-conscious as to label my work and adhere to any specific artistic confines or limitations. I’m an artistic wanderlust and chameleon, and I draw inspiration from a wide range of sources – from music and literature to other artists to places I’ve traveled and people I encounter. My paintings are a window into my biography, psyche, tastes, and proclivities. If you want to get to know me, get to know my art. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? America! My family immigrated to America when I was five, and I found myself inundated suddenly by Americana – cars, TV, music, movies, advertising. I liken it to a television transforming from black and white to high-definition, forty-foot tall 3-D IMAX. America, and the idea of America, had a profound effect on me. Like a lot of other immigrants, it’s how I got “Americanized.” Art-wise, Hanna-Barbera cartoons and Marvel Comics were the Picassos and Rembrandts of my childhood. But then when I discovered KISS and rock music, playing in a band became my obsession for the next two decades. I continued to draw and paint, but it took a major backseat to music. When I finally returned to pursuing art, I found that I was able to incorporate all of my experiences and interests from the ensuing years into my paintings. My artistic influences are as expansive as Jagger and Richards, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and Picasso and Warhol – all of whom collide onto my canvas. How do you know when the art is finished? Knowing when I’m finished with a piece of art is one of the most difficult aspects of the painting process. The simplest answer is that a painting is finished when I’m done drawing and coloring the picture. Yet it’s never that simple because I always want to correct something, add another layer of shading here, fine-tune it a bit there. It never really ends. So I just go with the understanding that all of my so-called completed pieces are 99 percent finished. I leave that extra one percent open to acknowledge that there’s always room for improvement. As time passes and I’m

able to view a piece from a more detached perspective, I’m also able to be more objective about it. What is the most important item in your studio? Aside from the obvious – canvas, brushes, paints – the most important item in my studio is my laptop computer that I use to play music. Music isn’t just integral to my painting process, it’s an absolute necessity for all my creative endeavors – painting, songwriting, writing. Without a musical soundtrack, I think I would be lost creatively. It serves as inspiration. It puts me in a creative space. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that music is more than just a source of entertainment for me – it’s essential in my life. I have a Spotify playlist titled “Painting” – creative title, right? (laughs) – that’s constantly growing and currently comprises about eight hours of music. It includes Motown, 1970s disco, lesser known tracks by famous artists – it’s my personal collection of pop, dance, and mood music from the past 40-plus years. If it’s got a dance groove or sets a mood for me, it’s on my “Painting” playlist. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is contemporary culture, and contemporary culture is art. It’s circular. It’s both an influencing factor as well as a reflection of contemporary culture. On the one hand, all innovation comes from the artistic, creative mind – whether it’s paintings, literature, movies, architecture, technology, or anything else. On the other hand, art is a reflection of contemporary culture – the people, their mores, their fashions and tastes. The irony is that most people have too myopic a vision of art, as if art is only produced by traditional artists and is something that is to be enjoyed on a museum or gallery wall by people who have the interest, means, and free time. In my opinion, art is everywhere, it can be produced by anyone, and it just needs to be recognized, acknowledged, and encouraged as an essential aspect of the human experience. What is the best book you’ve read recently? A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – which I read for probably the fifth time. When it comes to literature, in my estimation, it doesn’t get better than Hemingway

and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have an obsession with Paris between 1900 and the start of World War II – the whole Bohemian, Lost Generation, ex-patriot scene of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Braque, Dali, the Bateau Lavoir, and so on. A Moveable Feast captures that whole scene – the places, the people, their idiosyncracies – as only Hemingway could. Name three artists you admire. Picasso, Andy Warhol, and currently, Domingo Zapata. I love Picasso for the sheer breadth of his work – the prolific output, the various styles, and the thunderous assertiveness of everything he created. Warhol makes my list because no one captured – or has since captured – the zeitgeist of modern society quite so well – the consumerism, the celebrity culture, the narcissism. Making his art even more remarkable is that he saw where society was headed long before anyone even noticed. I include Domingo Zapata because his work just exudes sheer fun. I can’t help but smile when I see one of his pieces – they’re whimsical, irreverent, and almost childlike in their directness. Professionally, what’s your goal? To have my paintings on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art, of course! (laughs). Seriously, I want to reach as many people as I can with my art. I think art still has an elitist stigma attached to it. People are intimidated to go into an art gallery or to talk about art at a dinner party. Yet they have no problem going to a concert or talking about the music they like. My approach to music – whether it’s my own or someone else’s – is if it sounds good, it is good. It’s the same with art – if it looks good, it is good. What an art critic thinks is good is no more valid than what you think is good. So I don’t mind “selling out” in the traditional sense if it means that my art is reaching and connecting with more people. In fact, I merchandise cellphone cases featuring my artwork. Women’s scarves and tops with my art are also coming soon. While people can buy my art directly from me, I’ve also made them available at a number of art websites, including SaatchiArt, Vango, WYDR, Behance, and Etsy. Ultimately, I want the merchandising to lead back to an increased awareness and interest in acquiring my actual paintings.

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Art Reveal Magazine


Morten Rockford Ravn Copenhagen. Denmark

The nucleus in my practice is painting, I paint almost every day and almost exclusively in black and white. Black and white is the skeleton in both painting and photography, it forces us to focus on the substance of the work, the balance between form, light and darkness. My approach is rather eclectic in the sense I don’t subscribe to any particular movement or style. I see art history as a buffet, and use the various ideas and concepts as ingredients to compose something idiosyncratic. I do a lot of experimentation. Mostly I work with acrylics, ink, household paint and oil sticks and sometimes incorporate “mixed media”. I build the paintings like sculptures with multiple layers, using various “techniques” of adding and detracting pigments to the surfaces (canvas, wood panels, metal plates). Everything from brushes to knifes and golf clubs are being utilized to achieve satisfaction. I’ve even invented a few special tools that I use from time to time. Sometimes I also mix ink and paints with liquid consumer products such as Coca-Cola to create chemical reactions within the compositions. In doing so, I’m trying to reflect a generation brought up on high blood sugar, and the instant gratification that permeates the society we live in. My understanding and use of aesthetics is contrary to popular belief not simply about the surface, as the dichotomy of black and white suggests. Rather, I believe there’s an inside for every outside. I believe the strokes are reflections of my subconscious, which reflects the world I’m moving in and the information I consume. In that sense the work becomes autobiographical, while also reflecting the times. I’m working with a personal contemporary translation of Japanese aesthetics (wabi-sabi) that I believe to be a timely antidote to the existential void of consumerism and pop culture. The aesthetics reflect my philosophy. Morten Rockford Ravn (b. 1987, Copenhagen, DK) is a former professional poker player turned artist, his work explores themes of chaos theory, alienation and the friction between physical and virtual realities. Working in mediums ranging from painting, photography to sculpture and digital forms, his work have been featured in media outlets such as VICE, BBC and ZEIT, and been exhibited in Denmark, Germany and South Korea.


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Briefly describe the work you do. My work deals with the nature of reality, or rather perception of reality. We all have different perceptions, and I think one of the strong suits of art is to mediate these perceptions of reality, transform and expand them. For instance, I’m sure most people have see a film that transformed how they see the world on some level, as I see it, paintings, photography and static images in general are the same. The difference between moving images, and a static ones, is that you have to make your own film when looking at them. What I’m usually exploring on a base level is the friction between physical and digital realities from various angles, this aspect is like an invisible current going trough my work. My approach is multidisciplinary, which means I don’t limit myself to any one medium. My painting, which is the core of my practice, is obviously very tactile, in this context it could appropriately be described as the act of manipulating atoms. On the flip side, we have my digital work, which is more cerebral, a manipulation of pixels so to speak. Between the different practices there’s constant crosspollination and synergy. What arises always carries traces of something beyond the final image itself. I work mostly abstract, since I’m quite attracted to the mystery abstraction. When done right, abstraction is a gateway to the subconscious mind, which is like the part of the iceberg beneath the surface, much vaster than the conscious part of the brain. I like to think of abstraction as waking dreams frozen in time. They capture a confluence of memories, ideas and forms, which opens up a much vaster range of perceptions than say, a man on a horse. A man on horse is always a man on a horse, it might be Napoleon Crossing the Alps, or it might be a young fresh faced Arnold Schwarzenegger with a cigar in is mouth, but in any case, the image is quickly decoded. I’m more interested in encrypted images, abstract images that conjures up riddles and challenges us on deeper levels. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? After the last century of industrial progress and dominance, we have now

moved into a post-industrial stage were the clear lines of industry have blurred, as the physical, digital and virtual merge. Some have dubbed it a post-truth era, but I think the reality is simply that complexity have increased exponentially. Each of us consumes more images on a daily basis than our forefathers did in a lifetime in the 19th century, and we generally consume more information than any

generation before us. I try to mimic this complexity in my work. My style is very fluid and eclectic, since I don’t consider myself a painter or photographer, I’m free to do both. This approach allows me to capture ideas on a broader spectrum, and execute them however I see fit. Many of my most elaborate projects would have never been

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made, if I had locked myself in a narrow dogmatic self-conception. What influences me is quite often also things I want to distance myself from. I always keep my work black and white, to make something that stands in contrast to vulgar Times Square consumer frenzy Jeff Koons balloon dog madness. Jeff Koons is the Michael Bay of contemporary art, a master of using spectacle to distract the audience from the lack of substance in his work. I work in black and white to connect all of my multidisciplinary practice, and take the work to a more psychological space, something I believe black and white induces. When you suck out the color, you’re stuck with the skeleton, it’s radical honesty, you can’t mask your intentions by using flashy colors. It’s like looking under the hood, going into a more subconscious space. I use it to flesh out my philosophical foundation on a metaphorical level, as I work with a personal contemporary adaptation of Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetics. The idea of wabi-sabi is to connect the aesthetics to the metaphysical dimension. There’s two concepts that I think are worth understanding. One is the idea of kintsugi, let’s say you have a beautiful porcelain vase, and you break it. Instead of throwing it out, you would repair it with liquid gold to celebrate the imperfection. The other main idea, is the practice of ensō, a practice where you draw a circle with ink in an uninhibited brushstroke daily. The circle represents the void, and the Japanese believe you can gain valuable insight into your psyche by doing it. I think they’re right. It’s used a zen Buddhist practice, the concepts echo philosophical ideas which manifest in the various practices such as


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cliquish with a lot of nepotism. The free flow of ideas is severely limited by narrow minded gatekeepers who seem to be stuck in the past. Public education and media coverage of contemporary art can best be described as a epic failure of communication, and as a result very few people have a basic understanding of the past 100 years of art history, which makes it difficult for them to interact with contemporary art on a deep level. Even sophisticated people with healthy interests in literature, cinema and philosophy rarely interact with contemporary art. That’s the brutal truth. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I think the meaning of art in contemporary culture is quite subtle, the grand narratives of art being what would replace churches in secular society, obviously failed spectacularly. The value is unquantifiable and personal, it’s a way to enrich life and expand perception of reality on a multitude of levels. It can be a lifelong love affair, and to that end it also brings a lot of pain. Right now there’s an excessive focus on market dynamics that heavily detracts from the potential of art, because it’s alienating. Alienation is the biggest challenge for contemporary art in general, as I see it, excessive market focus and postmodern nihilism being the main culprits. It’s like a gordian knot of alienation. the great thing about contemporary art, to wrap up on a more uplifting note, is that it opens up a space for reflection. You don’t hear too many people ask what the meaning of films or music is in contemporary culture, but that’s also art, it’s just more accessible and direct forms, and thus the value is obvious, we feel it. With contemporary art, the value, or meaning can be more cryptic and esoteric, but that just means it opens up for individual perception on a different scale, a different level. It’s almost like a rorschach test, your understanding reflects your perception and vice versa. The more you delve into art, engaged, the more you expand your consciousness. Unlike music and film, art is generally not a form of entertainment. It’s much closer to philosophy in a sense, since it’s about using external reality to reveal inner reality. It’s more like wrestling than dancing. kintsugi and ensō. Needles to say, the way I implement these ideas are somewhat idiosyncratic, and different from the original source, but I think the core philosophy is intact, the idea of celebrating imperfection and using process as analogy. How would you describe the art scene in your area? It’s not particularly exciting, Denmark is a very flat and small country geographically speaking, and the zeitgeist reflects that. It’s a country with high levels of conformity, which means independent thinking, a prerequisite for interacting with contemporary art, is fairly rare. When you go to an exhibition 80% of the people usually stand outside exhibition space, and talk about anything except art. There’s a few good galleries and museums that sometimes present interesting work by international artists, but other than that the culture is mostly

Name three artists you admire. I admire too many to count, and to boil it down is excruciating, but in terms of long term influence, I would say Stanley Kubrick for his attention to detail and mastery of complexity, Francis Bacon for teaching me the value of friction and balance, and J.G Ballard for the visceral and enigmatic nature of his work. What are your future plans? I got quite a few projects in the pipeline, right now I’m exhibiting in Germany and South Korea, and my next exhibition will be here in Copenhagen. I also got a secret project I’ve been working on daily for the past 1½ years, that I might release later this year. The best way to stay updated on my work is to follow me on Instagram, where I release new work as well as info on exhibitions and projects as they happen.


Danyelle Rolla Boston, England, UK

Born and raised in Liverpool in the 1980â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and with a background in the military, Danyelle Farrell (ROLLA) is a social documentary photographer whose practice explores the contemporary British class system and its mis/representation. Through her playful presentation, aimed at engaging non-traditional audiences, combined with her own experience and intensive participant observer research practices she seeks to challenge stereotypes employed by the media that so often demonise the working class.

When, how and why started your art practice? Although I became a Photographer 15 years ago I would say my practice did not start until 2 years ago when I began my MA. Prior to my MA I was in the military. The images I took were for a specific purpose and there were such huge restrictions on what I could and could not photograph, this meant I never had creative control. This lack of creative freedom was a big driving factor for me leaving the military and starting my own personal practice. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing! I am grateful for the time I spent serving my country and the places it took

me but I was never proud of the images I was making. So I decided to make work I could feel proud about. I decided it was time to find my own “unrestricted” voice. How would you describe the art scene in your area? It would be fair to say that the art scene in Boston is non-existent. So much so that the Arts Council UK stated that people in Boston engaged less in the arts than people from elsewhere in the UK. This is a times very isolating for me but in many ways it has shaped my practice. We do not have a single gallery here which is very sad as I feel the residents of Boston would benefit from more culture. Opportunities do

not come to me, therefore I have to go and find stories and projects using my own initiative. If I want to get my work critique I need to drive to a city, so travelling has become a big part of what I do. But that’s fine by me as outreach photography is what I enjoy the most. Going to new places, meeting new people and sharing stories is what it is all about to me. The main draw back with living in Boston is the lack of networking opportunities. To counter act this, I have had to join several photographic societies just to engage with other photographers. Being a member of Redeye Network has been very useful. I have attended lots of their events which have been very good and I do feel part of a community.

In your opinion what does photography mean in contemporary culture? Personally I believe photography is contemporary culture. We are visually communicating more than ever before and I think this will only expand. Advances in apps, camera phone and social media means that everybody can engage with photography and share their stories. Skills that were made near redundant with the invention of digital photography are becoming popular again like cross processing and wet plate printing. Photographers are constantly pushing the boundaries of the medium to explore new and interesting ways of making imagery.

Tell us more about “Nogsy Solider” series. Norris Green, the setting for the work, is a sub-district within Liverpool documented for its high crime rates and large scale social housing. The media paints a very intimidating picture of this community and its occupants. As a former resident myself, I felt compelled to present an alternative view. The portraits, produced as a result of a pop up street studio, are to present the subjects as a collective of individuals and challenge stereotypes that may exist around this community. Name three artists you admire. I am a big fan of a photographer called

Nena Leen. She was a contributor for Life magazine in the 40’s but is rather unknown. Her work is very playful and a little strange, I like strange. Another photographer I am inspired by is Fan Ho. I don’t know anybody better at using composition and formal elements so well. I would love to own a print of his. The last artist that I admire would have to be Alex Prager, she makes simply stunning and engaging imagery. Professionally, what’s your goal? Rather ambitious I know but I would love to work for Magnum Photo Agency.


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Art Reveal Magazine


Mark Stopforth Stroud, England, UK

My work over the past twenty years has been devoted to those landscapes that are associated with the untamed and wild landscapes that can be found in the Moors, Fens, Fells and Estuaries of Britain. I have carried those impressions of the sublime in the landscape that were left on me as a child growing up in the Fens of East Anglia, impressions that are still relevant to my work today. Recently it has been the vast immersive spaces of moorland, fen and river estuary that have consumed my imagination and which I wish to evoke through charcoal, pencil and oil. Looking to reinvent and revisit the tradition of “landscape” within contemporary painting. My influences are many and varied and include the calligraphic paintings of Cy Twombly, the tonal ink paintings of Hosagawa Tohaku and the landscapes of Constable, Claude, Cottman and Turner. I have exhibited work around the country, most notably on a number of occasions at the RWA, Bristol as well as being shortlisted for SKY’s Landscape Artist of the Year 2016, I was also a finalist for TOAST’s “works from the heart” 2017. I have also been successful as a published poet being shortlisted for the Brit Writers’ Award 2012 and winning Fleeting Magazines International Best Short Writing 2010.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine

Describe the work you do. My work over the past twenty years has been devoted to those landscapes that are associated with the untamed and wild landscapes that can be found in the Moors, Fens, Fells and Estuaries of Britain. I have carried those impressions of the sublime in the landscape that were left on me as a child growing up in the Fens of East Anglia, impressions that are still relevant to my work today. Recently it has been the vast immersive spaces of moorland, fen and river estuary that have consumed my imagination and which I wish to evoke through charcoal, pencil and oil. My influences are many and varied and include the calligraphic paintings of Cy Twombly, the tonal ink paintings of Hosagawa Tohaku along with the seascapes and landscapes of Constable, Turner and Whistler. I paint in oils on board and paper, I find the paper and board soak in the oil much quicker and gives me an instant mark when painting which I then wash over and layer. The work is a search for the sublime in nature and Art which goes right back to C18th Romanticism as well as the more contemporary such as Maggi Hambling, Mark Rothko and the photography of Hiroshi Sugimoto. For me, when working, I feel like I am painting myself into a landscape. All the work is studio based and is a reflection of a memory or emotive response to a landscape which I could have walked through yesterday or forty years ago. Who or what has had a lasting influence on your Art practice? The Art of Cy Twombly has always grabbed me from the first, his mark making is always fresh, honest and direct and is on a human scale. Mark Rothko similarly has been a major influence as his work has the ability to wash over and engulf you, especially the Seagram mural hanging in the Tate which, as a student were my go to works. But as landscapes go, it has to be the flat, wide Fens of East Anglia where I grew up, that have stayed with me throughout. There my first idea, or sense of the sublime, was nurtured and which has persisted to this day. How would you describe the Art scene in your area? I currently live in a small town called Stroud, slap bang in the heart of the Cotswolds of Gloucestershire, a beautiful landscape immortalised in the writings of Laurie Lee. Its’ Art scene is as thriving and as diverse as any cosmopolitan city’s. In fact I would go so far as to say that there is probably more artistic activity per square metre in Stroud than there is in London. There is a myth linked to Stroud and the five valleys that converge on it through the hillsides that the valleys are indeed the handprint of the Devil and once you stop into its’ heart then you’ll never get out…..and so it goes. In your opinion what does Art mean in contemporary culture? Painting as an art-form is as necessary and relevant today as it always has been. In a world where the


glare of the flat screen fixates our narcissistic gaze the actions and intentions of the artists become that much more precious and refined. What can be better than taking the time to go on a pilgrimage of sorts, to a gallery, to stand in front of a work of art that provokes, questions or indeed purely instils a sense of awe and wonder. I still find the pursuit of the sublime in Nature and Art to be a vital one, which leads inexorably from one painting to another, one artist to another, always looking for that one moment of being swept along, lost in the moment. What is the best book you’ve recently read? “The Wild Places” by Robert MacFarlane has become for me a Bible of sorts. He talks about his experience of those wilder and more untamed places around the world, where human feet have rarely trod. There’s a section where the author is stuck for the night on the edge of a mountain caught out by a sudden blizzard. The author is forced to take shelter and to survive the night as best he can against vicious stinging winds and no light save his own seemingly pathetic torch. It was during this fairly horrific experience that Robert MacFarlane suddenly felt the true meaning of the word insignificant, and how Nature cares not a jot for his well being, and why should it. It was clearly for him a truly sublime moment, a meditation if you will of our place upon the earth. Name three artists you admire Cy Twombly Frank Auerbach James Abbott McNeill Whistler What do you dislike/like about the Art world? I dislike ignorance shown towards the Art world and how it is viewed by those who have no direct experience of it or indeed what it means…..just prior to the Second World War Winston Churchill was asked to cut the funding for the arts so as to release funds for munitions and the war effort in general, Winston Churchill refused on the grounds of ”… well what are we fighting for if we do that”. A bit of enlightened thinking in a dark time. I have experienced first hand cuts to the creative arts, especially in education, there can be no more cruel cut to a child’s education than to take the pencil from out of their hand. What do I like about the Art world… so many things, possibly more than anything is just the space and time for artists to do their thing despite a lack of funding. You can’t destroy a belief and drive to do something creative. Professionally what is your goal? To get to the studio and paint the next piece which to my mind will be worthy of being framed, for then I know it to be finished. Sometimes that can happen in an instant or on others over many weeks. I have no pretensions to see my work in this or that gallery, I just want to get on and paint.


Art Reveal Magazine


Art Reveal Magazine


Lynette Quek York, England, UK / Singapore

Lynette Quek is an audiovisual artist from Singapore, currently based in York (UK). Through various experiences, she has handled a range of projects from artiste liaison and stage planning, to sound design and computer-based performances, as well as audio recording, editing and mixing. She engages in projects that interact with sound, visuals, and performance interactivity. Emerging from a music and audio technology background, Lynette nurtured an interest in the Sonic Arts, combining audio and visual elements in her current works. Incarnations of her work includes audiovisual installations, composition through sound manipulations, as well as cross-disciplinary performance on the computer - technology being an essential element. Her current work examines audio-visuality - the synchronisation and interaction between sound and visuals, as well as challenging the notion of the heard and the unheard. Through this, she is also interested in exploring the integration of technology and musicians - examining the relationships between digital and physical elements. Lynette has recently completed a Masters of Arts in Music Production at The University of York, UK, and is currently embarking on a PhD in Audiovisual Composition.


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Briefly describe the work you do. Creating digital visuals through code is just a part of the work that I embark on. My background lies in the recording arts, where audio recording, mixing, and production form a huge part in my artistic endeavours. Recording arts was also the kick-start to my current practice and interests. Being in a technologically heavy scope of work, my interest extended out towards computer music, sound processing and programming, live improvisatory performances, as well as projects that

involve auditory and visual integration. I started coding visuals a few years ago, and it has stuck with me since. It seems unusual for one with a music or sound background to delve into coding, but the constant usage of digital tools made the coding concept and workflow systematic to me. Therefore despite my constant switch in artistic fields, one main component remains in my body of work â&#x20AC;&#x201C; technology. This reflects on my own personal practice. Although having recording arts as my main form of musical practice,

I often find myself endeavouring and interested in other areas that comprises music as part of the project. This includes film work, sound art installations, ensemble improvisation, and other computer/technology implementations into contemporary music works. My current work involves visuals and audio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of all sorts. I am interested and researching on the different methods of audiovisual presentation; be it in fixed video format, live performance, or web-based installations. Audio includes live or fixed music, electronic or acoustic variations, or a mix

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of all. Visuals include digitally created visuals, filmed work, projections, or a combination of all. This range of works not only reflects my vast interest in everything, but it also showcases what a musician can do with ideas, objects, materials, and technology. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? The idea of undertaking different projects of various content, going through distinctive and individualistic creative processes, as well as collaborating with different artists have always been my motivation and inspiration for my creation of works. The environment that I situate myself in plays an important role in generating ideas. I do not take influence on a particular person or artist. However, I am inspired by current happenings and activities. Artists and works that I have come across or have taken interest in all combine and form a collection of references that I will always have at the back of my head, continuously providing and serving as different forms of inspiration when needed. How would you describe the art scene in your area? It needs more audience. But it is definitely growing and gaining more attention. Such is the case for every niche scope of work. I do believe however, although the audience is small, it shows that they really want to be present for the artwork. I prefer this to having a large audience who may or may not want to be there. In your opinion what does digital art mean in contemporary culture? Digital art to me means a new form of expression and working style. Such in music and painting, artists express their emotions, thoughts and creativity through these mediums. Art in a digital format brings a new form of structure and process in the creation of works. Digital tools can sometimes benefit many, but also be a hindrance. Computers are dead; the only working minds are the artist themselves. These hindrances or nuisances can be avoided and worked around as long as the artist has a flexible working mindset. In contemporary culture, I think more people (especially art enthusiasts) are getting used to the variety of mediums they could experiment with. The increased accessi-

bility to digital art on multiple platforms is also beneficial to the growth of contemporary culture. Cross-collaboration with artists majoring in different fields of art allows for new creations, as well as pushing the boundaries of labelling a work within a certain type of art form. Contemporary art is very ambiguous now, and it is not a bad thing! Name three artists you admire. Zimoun - a Swiss artist that exhibits sound sculptures and installation art. His installation materials include cardboard boxes, paper bags, and machines, combined together with electronics such as DC motors, wires, and microphones. As a self-taught artist, his works came about from his interest in mobile objects and sound, combining them together to form his sound sculptures that is easily recognisable as his. Ryoji Ikeda – a Japanese sound artist. His works are often harsh to listen, and places you in a conscious state of mind. His audiovisual works involve large-scale projections, and are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto are other similar artists that I enjoy.

Tycho – a music project led by Scott Hansen. His works not only consists of music, but also photography, where Hansen is known as ISO50. The use of vintage equipment makes his musical works very organic. Packaged together with his self-designed album art makes his artistic intent very strong and identifiable. These three, or five, artists being very DIY, inspire me a lot. Their notion of engaging with different forms of art – all with sound being a core element – is something that I look up to and am constantly amazed at. What are your future plans? Getting myself exposure and experience in the audiovisual scene are on the list of future plans. Presenting and making my current and future works accessible to the general audience is on my list as well. I tend to take it easy – embracing and accepting what is available and making use of resources that I have access too. I also plan to take up some art residencies around Europe and East Asia, which would allow me to, again, have more exposure and experience the different art scenes.


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Jakob Zaaiman London, England, UK

My art is about discovering - and then revealing - the strange and disturbing hidden in the everyday and in the ordinary. From this point of view, everything else in art is either merely decorative or inconsequential. The strange and disturbing is where art has its true power to fascinate and enthrall. I work mainly with photographs, some of my own, and some found. These I work into digital collages. Each artwork is designed to house its own difficult but unsettling narrative; sometimes self-contained, sometimes reaching out to realms beyond itself. I like to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;mineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; a subject over time, returning to it now and then to see if I can find some other disconcerting angle to explore.


Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine


Briefly describe the work you do. I create digital collages using photographs. I’m trying to bring to life strange and disturbing realms of the imagination, using static visual imagery. The finished works are narratives, like film posters, or advertisements for bizarre products or events, and are designed to take you into their world. Some works are almost standalone and self-contained, and others can be read as part of an ongoing sequence. The worlds I am exploring through art are ominous and unsettling, with a deliberate absence of ‘normality’ and ‘reassurance’. The more peculiar the world revealed, the more successful the art. I combine digitally altered found photographs with many that I’ve taken myself. This is not traditional photomontage as much as digitally manipulated collage. The works I create are not meant to be decoded or interpreted according to set psychoanalytic-style ‘meanings’; they are meant to be windows into worlds you could not discover any other way. You experience them vicariously – one step removed – so you can enjoy them as a spectacle, even if they repel or disturb you. To ‘get’ the art, you simply have to achieve imaginative congruence with the world it is revealing to you, and then ‘go’ with it. This is the great thing about art: it’s entertainment at its most serious, where you get to contemplate everything interesting, from the most horrific to the most transgressive, in a context which is about imaginative reflection rather than unmediated, visceral reaction. Some artists try to blur the distinction between spectacle and real life, but this just weakens the contemplative, reflective possibilities essential to art itself. I define ‘art’ as recreational crafting with a specific and distinctive narrative content, namely the ‘strange and disturbing’. All other forms of crafting are about ‘aesthetics’, meaning ‘sensual beauty’. Aesthetic craft aspires to be sensually beautiful; artistic crafting aspires to fascinate and enthral, by means of subtle narratives. So art doesn’t have to be physically attractive, or technically skilled; it simply has to have the power to lead you into its world. It’s important to have a very clear idea of what it is you are trying to do in art, otherwise you succumb to ‘art mysticism’, whereby you think that art is just about psyching yourself into a certain bohemian frame of mind, and that once in it, everything you do and think becomes ‘art’, no matter how vacuous and silly. Many people are rightly suspicious

of modern art because they can tell that many artists themselves don’t really know what they’re trying to do. Aesthetic crafting is easier in the sense that your work just has to ‘look good’, whether by classical technical mastery, or happenstance. Art is something else altogether: it’s about narrative. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? There isn’t any single artist that I would say has been crucial to what I do, but

I derive great inspiration and ‘mental support’ from the handful of artists who have really gone out on a limb for their ideas, like Joseph Beuys, Richard Long, and Gregor Schneider. It’s disappointing when they compromise – by commercialising - which they invariably do sooner or later. Henry Darger is really the way an artist should go, pursuing ideas for a lifetime without the least thought of trying to please an audience. Paul McCarthy is another, though he has had a late flowering commercially. Commercialising is not necessarily the worst sin in the


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world - if you’re in a real fix – and after all, Warhol and Jeff Koons have shown how you can successfully exploit commercialisation to the fullest degree - but it can often dilute the focus of one’s work quite seriously, so it’s best to hold out if you can, and stick to your singular vision, no matter how unsaleable it seems to be. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Although I live in inner London, the art scene in my local area is strictly about galleries selling ‘prettiness’ in one form or another: wildlife, landscapes, flowers, colours and shapes. For some sense of ‘art proper’, I have to depend entirely on the internet, which has been a total godsend to me as an artist in every possible way. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? As a global society, and as a result of developments in work and lifestyle – there are obviously exceptions – we are all now much more concerned with the quality of life, and how we are best going to fulfil ourselves. ‘Art’ plays a major role in offering us recreational narratives that we can enjoy and explore as part of looking at life from all sorts of different angles. Some people like to think of art as having a spiritual dimension, but this is a mistake: art offers psychological and imaginative experiences, not spirituality, and even the most intense artistic experience is no more spiritual than the effects of a few stiff drinks. Season 3 of Twin Peaks sends me into imaginative ecstasy, but it would be ridiculous to think that this somehow spiritually significant. Half a bottle of vodka and a few strong beers would take me there just as well. This also applies to the idea of the politicisation of art: political art – hectoring for social, environmental or political advantage - is not art, it’s politics; and political artworks are just forms of advertisement for an ideology. ‘Art’ has its own purpose – the exploration of narrative realms of the imagination – and doesn’t need politics or spirituality to substantiate it and give it value. Basically, then, art is a form of life enhancing recreational fun, a vicarious way of exploring realms of the imagination, and when it works – on its own terms - it can be immensely enjoyable and rewarding and substantial; but art is enfeebled if it becomes the plaything of politics, or religion, or any other form of ideology: think of how peculiarly lifeless most political art becomes, once its ‘day or two of relevance’ has passed. What is the best book you’ve recently read? The most interesting art-related book I’ve read recently is the graphic novel ‘Berlin: City of Smoke’ by Jason Lutes; it’s part 2 of a series, and part 1 is just as good. It’s a beautifully realised atmospheric story set in Weimar Germany, leading up to the Nazification of Germany, and Lutes’s clean line realism is perfect. ‘Clothes, Music, Boys’ by Viv Albertine of The Slits is serious ‘misdirection by title’ and maybe even ‘misdirection by front cover’, because the whole thing looks and sounds very trivial, but it’s not: I really feel I’ve shared someone’s interesting life, which is not usually the case with biography, which often feels very distant, no matter how absorbing the events depicted. Whether or not we actually get to know the ‘real Viv’ doesn’t much matter: you’ll believe you do. At a more literary level, ‘The Country Road’, short stories by Regina Ullmann (1884-1961), is entertaining otherness and weirdness. I was alerted to her by a recent article in NYRB. Name three artists you admire. Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, David Lynch. Beuys for his completely mysterious ‘art existence’, combining the presentation of enigmatic artworks with an unsettling and singular persona; Warhol for teaching us how to love drug-addled nihilism and glitzy emptiness; Lynch the filmmaker (specifically for Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, the first section of Lost Highway, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Blue Velvet, bits of Inland Empire, and Wild at Heart; not the others) for brilliant non-linear narratives, full of wondrous imagery and impenetrable meanings. What are your future plans? I need to find serious b&m gallery representation, London or New York, as currently my work is completely lost and overlooked by the big art websites, which cater almost exclusively for collectors looking for ‘attractive and interesting’ bits of craft, and certainly not for art. I will continue to explore the possibilities of collage and photography, as I’m always trying to perfect a way of turning static images into something as fascinating and narratively substantial as a film or a novel. I will also be writing many more studies of modern art and artists.

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Art Reveal Magazine


Emma Zukovic Galway, Ireland

Yugoslavia separated in 1992, and with that the disappearance of a country along with the identity of its inhabitants. Subsequently, in learning of others past lives in the country, I am delving into my own exploration of the self and my affinity with the land that no longer exists. Being of Macedonian descent, with first-hand experience of life in the countries of this former collective state, personal considerations play a significant role in the discussion. Through means of being submitted to others behaviours and stories of this place has been imprinted in my mind, a ‘memory’ of another life. Experiences and reminiscences, my personal stories and memories of my early life in Lymington at the time of turmoil in Macedonia, have been relevant in the aim of developing a model to critically explore my practice through mediums of installation, film and print. Emma Zukovic was born in Lymington, England, in 1993. The artist is now based in Galway, Ireland. She received her BA in Fine Art Printmaking and Contemporary Practice in Limerick School of Art and Design. The artist’s mother is of Irish nationality and her father is from Macedonia. Being of Macedonian descent, Zukovic’s work is concerned with the theory of Post-Memory and it’s relevance to the lost country, Yugoslavia.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I graduated from college studying Printmaking and Contemporary Practice, However, my work took on different strands and I have always been drawn towards video installation and experimental film. In the last couple of years, video installation has been the main focus of my practice, it allows me to portray what I want to say more freely and the large installation aspect allows for me to be very hands-on, which video editing doesn’t typically allow. Parallel to this, I have a constant stream of etchings on aluminium plates in the works, experimenting with how far I can push the limits of these metal plates. And in more recent months my main interest has been

with resin and light installations. This for me is still an ongoing process so I’m always curious to see where it will lead me. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My work is concerned with Marianne Hirsch’s theories on Post-Memory, and given my personal relationship and affinity with Former Yugoslavia, I am interested in Post-Memory in relation to that story. It’s very much an exploration of the self and a fundamental relationship with the lost country. Through my own work and research on this dense subject, I am still learning more about my family and the history of the country, and inadvertently; about myself.

How would you describe the art scene in your area? Currently, I am based in Galway City, which has always been very proud to be a city of culture and is known for its artists, theatre, music and writers. I am on the board of directors in a gallery in the city at the minute, 126 Artist-Run Gallery, and since joining over a year ago I have been welcomed into the art community with open arms. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I believe it to be a vital resource in contemporary culture, while simultaneously being that vice for release or escapism.

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Contemporary art may act as a mirror for contemporary society, allowing us to consider current situations and rethink ideas. It allows us a platform for discussion across the board. Tell us more about “Post memory” series. ‘Post Memory’ is the relationship the generation after bears to the personal collective and cultural trauma of those who came before, it is essentially the transmission of memory from one generation to the next. The stories which we are told allow us to fabricate our realms of imagination, creating utopians of a place never before visited by us personally. My work is concerned with the disappearance of a country, and those who struggled with cultural identity

as a direct result. I am interested in the juxtaposition of Post Memory and contemporary printmaking. My work spans from a video to etchings, to resin and light installations. Yugoslavia separated in 1992, and with that the disappearance of a country along with the identity of its inhabitants. Subsequently, in learning of others past lives in the country, I am delving into my own exploration of the self and my affinity with the land that no longer exists. Being of Macedonian descent, with the first-hand experience of life in the countries of this former collective state, personal considerations play a significant role in the discussion. Through means of being submitted to others behaviours and stories of this place has been imprinted in my mind, a ‘memory’ of another life. Experiences and reminis-


cences, my personal stories and memories of my early life in Lymington at the time of turmoil in Macedonia, have been relevant in the aim of developing a model to critically explore my practice through mediums of film, installation and print. Name three artists you admire. Ailbhe Ni Bhriain, Clare Langan Dragana Jurisic Professionally, what’s your goal? I would love to be able to travel, subsequently making more work while doing so, learning more about the history and rich culture of Yugoslavia.


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Profile for Art Reveal Magazine

Art Reveal Magazine no. 34  

Maxine Attard, Gala Bell, Tamar Chechelashvili, Gaciu, Sung Mi Hwang, Eduardo Martinez, Patrick McClintock, Jose Mendes, Ziba Moasser, Marys...

Art Reveal Magazine no. 34  

Maxine Attard, Gala Bell, Tamar Chechelashvili, Gaciu, Sung Mi Hwang, Eduardo Martinez, Patrick McClintock, Jose Mendes, Ziba Moasser, Marys...


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