L.XIV 4 GEORGE BOGIATZIDIS A.K.A. BOYA 10 ROBERT VAN BOLDERICK 16 NANCY CALEF 22 AGUSTIN CIARFAGLIA 28 C. ANTHONY HUBER 34 ERIC JABLONER 40 MARILENA KARAGKIOZI 46 LADY BE 52 LUCINDA LUVAAS 58
MARK MCAFEE BROWN 64 IOANA ALEXANDRA NICULESCU-ARON 70 STACY.O 76 OMER PEKIN 82 DARIO PELLEGRINO 88 HAUS DES RODRIGUEZ 94 VJAY SEMINIANO A.K.A. PANAMA JAK 100 MATEJ TOMAÅ½IN 106 JANINA WIERUSZ KOWALSKA 102 MICHAEL WOODS 108
L.XIV Udine, Italy I would like to tell you my story through its dreams and words, and along with my heart living for art. Life is a long road made by many stops and starts. The first start was on 12th of November 1969, so my journey began in the lost and funny landscape we call world. I like travelling, this has always been my passion, diving into other worlds, smelling scents, colours of lights in the different moments of day, this is something really special. An important stop was when I enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, in 1992. For the first time, I stopped. It happened for boredom, by chance or for pleasure; I do not know the reason. In the long time of six years, I grew up to achieve a personal style, which is the independence of thought, it is the man, projected in the world, who has made him inert, unable to dream, where the objects are in the foreground, and he is at their disposal. As Nietzsche writes - I dream knowing I am dreaming, in which the intensification of the information about reality, about its aspects, makes less and less conceivable the same one, a world that in the end becomes fabulous. I discussed my thesis, titled: â€œCLIPBOARD OF A PICTORIAL RESEARCH IN BECOMINGâ€?, in 1999. This thesis is dedicated to all those who have lost the way home, who have made the world a dream, and life an adventure.
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Briefly describe the work you do.
my painting and giving it a new flavour, different every day. Living My painting as pictorial proba- life and being never fed up with bility uses canvas, acrylic colours your longing knowledge that I live and rollers, thus creating an in- my art as well as I live myself. I felt finite quality of tints. I use prima- as a developing explorer of art, in ry colours, mixed directly on the search to find new outer reaches, canvas without further steps. From the grounds in which I can find out the academy of fine arts I started, the news languages. thereby my journey began with my painting, my style and my living on art as well. It was the 23rd Name three artists you’d like to of February 1999. Since that mo- be compared to. ment I have kept on building up my technique and my concept as an I don’t like to be likened to other aesthetic product; thus, this tech- artists, because I am L.XIV and I nique has been refined all over the am the best one. But I can tell you last twenty years. My idea is based some artists I drew from whom I on what Nietzsche wrote - I dream can only admire, and I am proud to knowing I am dreaming – and have met them, as well as having I explored a new ways of think- seen their vision of art , and their ing like the quantum mechanics living in art. I love really Impresis the soul’s existence, namely, it sionism and Informalism, where is to look at the meaning. How- the colours of sentiments are, at ever, I can only refine as much as the same time, like an artist’s expossibly, synthesizing the mood’s istentialism lived with the spacesoul, and then the choice is up to time: it is a unique dimension. you. A planetary visitor could read through the research in discover- … I fall asleep hanging on the ing new techniques to develop my moon, and wrapped up in the sun painting style; so doing I will go rays, so that my heart will beat in to a new city, to make an exam- tune with yours … ple. This, too, is a painting vision that requires further research to For example, there are Duchamp keep on taking notes. All gathers for his intuitions, Magritte for his around to me, so that I can trans- linguistic syntax, Rothko for his late it into my painting: the only space and time of colours, Pollock language I know. for his analytic development and Hopper, as a endless poetic novel of images. So, I can only add up What is the most challenging new tints to the palette, to honor part about being an artist? my beloved lady: art. I am always in search of new motivations, because I want to seek new sources by making my painting be wealthier, improving my aesthetic product as an absolute painting value. To be an artist, or better, a painter, all that incites me to go over the unknown ground. So doing all it, I face the new languages, by coding again them into
How would you describe the art scene in your area? In my town you can find only the tradition and bourgeois painting given as art. there art has stopped to run out into a figurative art of painting, easily well-outlined without frenzy.
In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? How do I see it? it is a good question. In my opinion art has been overwhelmed, at this moment all is contemplated as art. An example is advertising. Art is a point of reference, by now it has been parcelled out and from now on one has to catch on who is making art and who is not. Accordingly, art has become usable as a business card, turning into an element as many others, where art is the core of man’s soul, by losing its original meaning and its relevance. Remember that art can comprise all of the fields: ethical, moral and social, of the human being. The whole compressed into a single element: the artwork. What is art in our days? An interval advertising on broad-scale made for the mass who wants to understand their life, to wear the watch is a example. Think it over! Future plans as an artist? I would like to finish to write my book of tales, on thoughts, at least they are notes written on the long road, as the reflections and I am going to create ten artworks, perfect to set up an aesthetics of the soul as an expression project: the probability hesitation 38 H. I am always in search of new residence studio the place in I can grasp new cultures, languages and meet new living ways, so to give a new codes to my painting. Always going on. Carrying on, I aim at creating a new trend in art, to write my name in the art history, by giving a new road to walk into, meant as painting the unique supreme art all over the world, by having only two dimensions, but the endless points of the perceptive to turn a unique point all into the artwork: a potential by means of the artworks.
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Art Reveal Magazine
George Bogiatzidis a.k.a.
Boya Thessaloniki, Greece I feel that collage is the best tool for an artist nowadays to visualize in 2 dimensions the message that wants to convey from his mind to the viewer. Collage is a composition of images and we live at the age of images, we communicate through images and our brain is adapting in order to decode faster the symbolism behind them. Through technology we have access to unlimited images old or new, rare or popular, distant or very close and the tools to create in a digital or analogue form a detailed composition of our opinion on a subject. But collage is also the snapshot of a dream. It operates beyond time and space but keeps a link with the current events, size and colour serve the optimal transmission of the message and not the realistic attribution of the artwork, it uses the language of symbolism which is primordial, universal and knows no boarders and inequalities. So we have a mean of artistic expression which is direct, fast and relies more on the artistâ€™s sensitivity, judgement and aesthetic and less on the complicated techniques of expression that are included in the traditional aspects of fine arts. A collage artist can operate on a mental level and with simple tools composes and reshapes fragments of reality in order to create a mosaic of images totally dedicated to the message of her/his artwork. As a conclusion i would like to say that the true value of collage is that it has the ability to train our thinking skills in a way that no other form of art can and will. To be a great collage artist means that you are a great thinker first of all. And you must, because 80 percent of the artistic process takes place in your mind. A thinker who is sensitive enough to judge what is important and what is not, a seeker of what is unique rare and different, a composer who gives a sense of unity to all these diverse elements and finally an artist that gives birth this mental process.
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Briefly describe the work you do.
years to get as far as i can away from the so called real world, imagining myI am a visual artist and i use analogue self living in a small island floating in collage as a medium to express myself space. I see the world as a place not to for the past 12 years. I use prints of im- live but to think, pounder and be inspired ages found through internet search and i by. Anything worth my attention passes compose them with the traditional cut and through my imagination where is filtered paste technique. I am a surrealist and i see and transformed into a work of art. my artwork like a snapshot of a dream. My work operates beyond time and space What advice can you give to those who but keeps a link with the current events, are just starting out in the arts? size and colour serve the optimal transmission of the message and not the real- People are making a start with arts for istic attribution of the artwork, it uses the a whole lot of reasons and i am not very language of symbolism which is primordi- good with advises. al, universal and knows no boarders and inequalities. How would you describe the art scene in your area? What is your creative process like? Very lively. Visual arts, performance arts The creative process always starts in my and poetry are everywhere. In the last 6 mind, i think endlessly about the compo- years Death seems like a permanent vissition and at the same time i am search- itor in my country and wherever you look ing the photos that could represent at best you recognise one of his many faces. Demy vision. Then i am start printing all the pression, suicides, poverty, violence, rapphotos and after that is the part of cutting id decline of birth rate, rise of fascistic and composing the artwork. I use scissors ideology, unwanted immigration.But in and an x acto knife, my “canvas” is a the minds of people there is Life, a whole black hardboard and i use a stick glue to lot of and thy express it through arts. It is paste everything together. actually a very brave stance from people that are experiencing total control in their What is the best part about working lives to cry out that nobody will control with collage? their thoughts. i enjoy the whole process, but the best part is when i have all the cut-outs ready and start putting them together. Its the part that i see my thoughts take life, jumping from the imaginary world to the semi-real world of my canvas. I also like it because there is motion, the protagonists can still change their position and all the other elements are moving around to find their final position. There is a lot of excitement and its the longest part of the process, will everything be paste and create the final artwork or end in a box for future use? Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My fantasies and my dreams is the greatest influence on my art. I am trying for
What are you working on right now? Right now i am working on my new collage series titled Γκρικ Χιροους (Greek Heroes). This series is inspired by Greece,presented through a surrealistic dream where the past meets the present events and together are heading towards a utopian or dystopian future. The struggle of the Greater powers/Institutions/Ideologies is reflected on the struggle of common people, as above so below. Beauty and horror walk hand to hand in a world ready for a greater change but hesitant to take the last step. What is the position of the Greek spirit in this world? In what way is changing and how is changed by it? This series asks more questions than gives answers.
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Art Reveal Magazine
Robert van Bolderick Stockholm, Sweden My abstract paintings are an expression of my fascination of symbols, ancient cave paintings and contemporary street art. Rhythm, pattern and balance is important in the paintings that I make. I start each painting with a sketch and then building up layers of collage materials that consist of found old and contemporary newspaper clippings and photos, old text notes, sheet music, pigment and sand. Much of the paper and notes are from my home and childhood. These collage pieces are then cut and mounted on to the canvas or board in a specific way to form the underlying pattern for the painting. Like the memory, the paper and image clips are fragmented across the canvas. This helps lay the foundation for the initial imagery and paves the way for the following applications of an impasto layers of paint. The paintings includes clues and fragments from the past, mixed with symbols and figures from the petro glyphs and cave paintings. I use fragments of the past and the present. Some symbols are old and well known; others are made up and resemble ancient symbols and writing. I create images in which the meanings of the adjacent symbols change. My paintings are a combination of mixed media works that involves acrylic, oil, tempera, gauche and collage elements. Texture, surface treatments and color are very important aspects of my work in order for each painting to have a very profound and compelling presence.
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Briefly describe the work you do. I like to work with old photos and old paper clippings, like old memories, just remember pieces of the past, mixed with symbols and modern text and paper clippings. My abstract paintings are a personal expression of my fascination of symbols, ancient cave paintings and contemporary street art. Rhythm, pattern and balance is important in the paintings that I make. I start each painting with a sketch and then building up layers of collage materials that consist of found old and contemporary newspaper clippings and photos, old text notes, sheet music, pigment and sand. Much of the paper and notes are from my home and childhood. These collage pieces are then cut and mounted on to the canvas or board in a specific way to form the underlying pattern for the painting. Like the memory, the paper and image clips are fragmented across the canvas. This helps lay the foundation for the initial imagery and paves the way for the following applications of an impasto layers of paint. The paintings includes clues and fragments from the past, mixed with symbols and figures from the petro glyphs and cave paintings. I use fragments of the past and the present. Some symbols are old and well known; others are made up and resemble ancient symbols and writing. I create images in which the meanings of the adjacent symbols change. My paintings are a combination of mixed media works that involves acrylic, oil, tempera, gauche and collage elements. Texture, surface treatments and color are very important aspects of my work in order for each painting to have a very profound and compelling presence. The goal is to create a compelling work of abstract art that engages the viewer, is endlessly absorbing and promotes a meaningful dialogue. Where the images can be seen as decorative, but also give an interest to move closer to see more details. Documenting the lives and our footprint through time and what the future have to show, history repeats itself. This has happened, mixed with a dreamy, ethereal world. What is the most challenging part about being a mixed media artist? The challenge to make collage and mixed media paintings for me is that to find the images I want, or the news. I mostly use old papers and photos, and sometimes its hard to find
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
what Iâ€™m looking for. I collect all the time, from travels and bookstores. Sometimes I find images that want use later on. They get to much value to me so I put them aside, and they can be laying in boxes for years. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Iâ€™m influenced by the old artist, street art and cave paintings. Nature has an impact on my art, but not in the painting itself, but the traces in nature inspires me. Use that like symbols in the paintings mixed with old cave symbols and modern symbols. Colours in nature reflects in my art. And memories, my art is like old memories that are there but mixed up with other things. Scattered over the canvas. What is your creative process like? The more I work the more ideas comes to my mind, working with one piece of art makes me think of a new one. I sketch in a book the ideas, pattern, and rhythm. But sometimes I have all ready in my head and sketches, so I just paint two to six painting in a row. How would you describe the art scene in your area? What do you like/dislike about the art world? The art scene is good, but there is a regimentation that I donâ€™t like. Lots of artist feels like they are cast in the same mold. What are your future plans as an artist? My future plans are to work as an artist as long as I find it fun. I even work with photo. I always been working with images in some way, printing, advertisement, web design, 3d, so I will not stop now.
Nancy Calef San Francisco, CA, USA My “Peoplescapes” are colorful and exaggerated narratives about the condition of today’s world. Our culture is designed to ignore certain fundamental truths, causing great obstacles to our continuing existence. Addressing these issues by capturing moments of ordinary life confronting us all, while sharply observing and commenting, I’m able to shine a light on these subjects and, hopefully, contribute to the fabric of history.
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Briefly describe the work you do. I began as a plein-air painter thirty years ago while traveling around the world, which evolved into my vividly colored “Peoplescapes:” oil paintings on canvas, often in 3D relief, with sculpture, fabric and found objects added. Each painting is a narrative addressing social, political and spiritual issues in contemporary society. I highlight topics such as global warming, toxins in our food, the pharmaceutical, financial and entertainment industries, world peace, terrorism, wealth and race inequality. I’ve also created a new technique I call “plane slashing,” where I’m layering disparate completed paintings together and slashing through the canvasses, then working into the dimensional surfaces as a whole. I am also the author of Peoplescapes -- My Story From Purging To Painting (Babu Books, 2015), an illustrated memoir containing 149 color reproductions, which tells the tale of transcending through creativity my food disorder and other damage created from years of child modeling managed by my bi-polar stage mother. Her death sixteen years ago unleashed a flood of original music that I’ve been composing, singing and performing. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The most challenging aspect of living as an artist is maintaining the self confidence and passion to pursue my inner visions, decade after decade, while avoiding distraction from public opinion, peaks and valleys of success and the dreaded inner critic. I have to keep all the inner and outer noise in perspective to allow the creative flow to regularly manifest with little or no obstruction. What art do you most identify with? I most identify with the German Expressionist work of, Emil Nolde, George Grosz, Max Beckman and figurative painting created by Reginald Marsh, Lucien Freud, and Jack Levine. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. I would be honored being compared to Red Grooms, who has brilliantly incorporated the third dimension
into his work, and Paul Cadmus, who has masterfully captured the human condition, and Oscar Kokoschka, who portrayed emotion with each brushstroke. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in San Francisco, California and much of the art scene is neighborhood oriented. I live ina community with hundreds of artists of many disciplines and we regularly have group and solo exhibitions. There are many mainstream galleries that recently have relocated due to the rising costs of rental property in California. In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? Of course the meaning of art is very personal, but the value of art in our culture is essential. Many times, an artist’s vision portrays complicated and challenging aspects of life. Others can be inspired and intuitively awakened by a painting, sculpture, song, story, or any other creative activity. Art has the ability to break down barriers by communicating through a nonverbal language and often brings humor to otherwise uncomfortable subjects. The integration of art in contemporary culture enhances our ability to use both sides of our brain, and encourages healthy creative outlets. What are your future plans as an artist? I plan to continue what I’ve been doing: digging deep to create honest, soulful paintings, and communicate my vision to the public. This process is my spiritual path, and although I hope for continued success and opportunity, my focus is on the act of doing the work and the meditative state I enter during the process. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The art tip that has resonated with me most, is to stop a painting session while you’re still interested and absorbed in what you’re doing, so when you resume working, you are immediately involved. I’ve been doing this for years, and have never suffered from painter’s block.
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Agustin Ciarfaglia London, UK
I do painting and photography. The paintings are the immediate expression of my feelings: I am alone in my studio with different types of materials, and something (sometimes) happensâ€Ś. My photos try to show a specific moment of the world. Iâ€™ve been to over 40 countries and I consider that travelling is an excellent school of what real life is (and means). Meeting local people, sharing moments, learningâ€Ś.. is priceless.
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Briefly describe the work you do. Mainly I do painting and photography. The paintings are the immediate expression of my feelings: I am alone in my studio with different types of materials, and something (sometimes) happens…. My photos try to show a specific moment of the world. I’ve been to over 40 countries and I consider that travelling is an excellent school of what real life is (and means). Meeting local people, sharing moments, learning….. is priceless. With them I try to show specific moments of the real world. I try to avoid touristic places. For me is very difficult to find a sightseeing picture interesting. I want to see a real situation, something unusual, something real... Tell us more about “That’s how summer passed” series The series showed what summer represents to me. We took a road trip with my wife (who appears in several of the photos) searching for empty and quiet places. I love nature in its pure expression. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. In terms of artistic work that I had recently identify with: Peter Zelewski. US born, worked in really cool series of photos. In the most recent one, “Beautiful Strangers” with a great simplicity he transmits to me a whole story. Paul Hussey, singer and songwriter of London. I came across him around 3 months ago, and since them we are quite close friend. His art is completely amazing. Deep lyrics, conceptual albums, painting… Rob Hann. I recently met him on a street of New York, and going through his series of photos and found them really stimulating. He does regular road trips around US, taking pics on isolate places.
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Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Yesâ€Ś. Every work I do has something behind, that for me is more relevant that the work per se. Usually the titles of my work, allow me to give a more specific meaning of the work. In your opinion what does photography mean in contemporary culture? Photography can be done everywhere and by everyone. I just enjoy the ones that show a real situation of life. Something deep, honest, and if it is a melancholic situation, I found it more interesting. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I feel that there are patterns to follow in making art. The good thing is that there is room to avoid those patterns. What are your future plans as an artist? Keep exploring real situations with my camera and paintings; never get stuck with any pattern. I certainly not want to have any structure in the way I paint or take photos. In terms of work I am currently working on a series of 2nd hand market of London. In each city that ever went, if there was a market, I was there early in the morning. I found this the most interesting part of the city. I have a series also called Markets (mainly from Asia), and now I am working in a new one just from London. I have been to most of them here, and always really yearly, around 5 or 6 am where no tourist are around, and you can see the real market and people. Related to my art, I co founded a boutique hotel (La Rocchetta) where I do art exhibitions and now I am exploring in new thingsâ€Ś
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C. Anthony Huber Rochester, MN, USA I am fascinated by the beauty and tension caught between erosion and repair. I am interested in the behavior of utilitarian construction materials and artistâ€™s media as they are forced into communication. My work speaks to our natural human tendency to find patterns, and our predilection to match what we see to what we know. In composition, I seek to define patterns that intimate a sense of balance within a process that appears haphazard, experimental and physical in nature. Stripped of unnecessary information, my intention is to make paintings that are aesthetically pleasing, yet retain disquieting factors that engage the viewer at a primal level. In my current work, I engage the element of fire.
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Art Reveal Magazine
Briefly describe the work you do.
Judy Onofrio) as well as artists from the region. Beyond that, the art scene, to me, is the personal conI am fascinated by concrete and asphalt when placed nections and relationships made with of artists in the in competition with artists’ media on the canvas. community. Over the years, I have learned how these media interact and communicate. What art do you most identify with? My current body of work is inspired by “Borges and I,” a short story by the Argentinian poet Jorge Luis I look for work that visually kicks me in the gut, catchBorges. es me off guard and surprises. This reaction most often happens when an artist moves a known media in Moved by Borges’ exploration of self, I use the ele- a new direction, stripes out unnecessary information ment of fire to scorch identical impressions made in and trusts their own instincts. concrete as a way to visualize the complex relationship between self and the artistic other. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? What themes do you pursue?
There are no rules. Kevin Reid, my artist friend and former studio mate hammered this home early on in From the first day I set brush to canvas with intent to my career. In theory, I believed him. However, I came create, I sought through the media to hide, obfuscate, to understanding the importance of this “rule,” once and cover in such a way as to attract, draw in and I had enough time on canvas. And I repeat it to myself reveal. I am interested in what is not shown, or the often. mystery of what lies beneath the visible surface. This interest opens avenues of discovery and a wide range of artist options, yet the theme always remains and is What are your future plans as an artist? recognizable in all of my work. Keep painting. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The most difficult part about being an artist is being an artist. All artistic decisions are my own. While there is great freedom in that reality, it is fraught with self-doubt and the weight of creating works that are true, impactful and reflective of self. Art is made in isolation, alone in the studio, but an artist must not be insulated from the world. Bridging the gap between the two, creating work, finding avenues to exhibit and ways to sell, in many ways, are at odds with the creative process. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Rochester, Minnesota is a midwestern town of about 100,000 residents. We are fortunate to have the Rochester Art Center, a modern, light filled structure that hosts contemporary art exhibitions from national and international artists (such as Michael Sailstorfer and
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Eric Jabloner Tucson, AZ, USA Can a painting prompt a viewer to create a narrative? Can a painting induce memories or rouse taste, smell, and emotions? As a trained Scenic Artist & Exhibit Designer for theatrical and museum installations the backgrounds we create hope to support the narrative of the Actors. For the installations we created within the walls of the Museum we hoped to chronicle a historical narrative. My paintings, figurative, architectural, still life or spiritual are narratives. My hope is that they capture the viewer by formulating their own narratives persuaded by their memories, senses, and emotions.
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Briefly describe the work you do.
hopes, aspirations, and failures of the love and peace movement. My childhood was influenced by an exMy paintings, figurative, architectural, still life or tended family environment Grandparents Uncles and spiritual are narratives. My hope is that they capture Aunts living close by, and at times under the same my audience by formulating their own narratives per- roof. A middle class home with young loving and playsuaded by their memories, senses, and emotions. I am ful parents with a modern American Judaic influence. not intentionally dark in fact my intent is to focus on Subliminal iconic imagery , modern pop, technologithe joyful experiences that life has to offer. Yet, a bad cal leaps, and the encouragement of exploration coumemory associated with a pink bike although uninten- pled with spiritual values are at all times influencing tional may be the viewer’s experience. my work. Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you.
What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media
I was born in the late 50’s and grew up in the times The current challenge working in traditional media of the 60’s and 70’s. So I am heavily influenced by the may be its application and its current demand from
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the public. Digital media with its abilities to take a photo and manipulated the output to look like a watercolor or acrylic / oil painting may deflate or discourage the 21st century painter. As well the traditional painter may be discouraged that the current purchaser of art may be more accustom to acquiring wearable art such as a piece of jewelry or a tattoo rather then spending money on a painting that would simply hang on a wall. So my challenge is to create modern images with vibrant colors that my audience has to have as theirs. Name three artists youâ€™d like to be compared to. Wayne Thiebaud... Michele Del Campo... Armel Jullien
What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Paint what you like to paint! Sculpt what you like to sculpt! Craft what you like to craft! Give your art as gifts to charitable organizations! Give of your talent to assist art organizations. Take classes so you can meet other artists. Go to Gallery openings, Museum openings. Support the arts in your community! Go to the Theatre ... Go to the Symphony ... Go to dance and music events... network network network! Social media connect with as many art organizations, Galleries and artists as possible on Linked In /// Facebook... post post post! What are your future plans?
How would you describe the art scene in your area? To continue to travel. As I am writing to you I am sitting in a beautiful beach house in Cava Dâ€™ Aiglia Tucson Arizona has a vibrant art scene! Very craft ori- just south of Scicli, Sicily ... I will leave a few prints ented. The area boasts of a variety of painters from with the Art Gallerias, shop owners, merchants, and pleinair to studio abstract. Southern Arizona includes landlords of this beautiful region. I will continue to a few wonderful artist communities located in Ajo, Ar- see my paintings be influenced by the places I visit izona, Oracle, Arizona and Tubac, Arizona to mention and the people I meet. I will continue to enjoy the joy a few. Co Op artist galleries abound with many oppor- my art gives to those I give it to, to those around the world who view it and to those who collect it. tunities to participate in outdoor juried festivals.
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Photo: Fabio Comizzoli
Marilena Karagkiozi Athens, Greece My work is a result of contradictory concepts: always try to combine my personal perception with peopleâ€™s needs and the requirements of current times with respect to the history of arts and objects. I embrace traditional and modern techniques and I enjoy the outcome of their dialogue. Sometimes I enjoy creating the feeling of surprise by transforming common things. Including in my creations different materials, exploring old ones, or even generating new, is one of the most fun parts of the creative process! I consider very important for the originality of onesâ€™ work for it to be the result of a personal journey from the start â€“in a form of a theory, an idea- to the end that the object is finally coming into life. Currently, participating in various seminars, learning about new materials and techniques, actively involved in art events and competitions as a medium to expand knowledge and experience.
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What is your creative process like? The first step depends on the stimulus, the start of a project. Sometimes it may just be my interest in a material or my need to reform it, experiment on it. I usually collect things (even from the street) and try to continue their story. Then I can always start because I have to express intense feelings and yell at the materials. Awful Rarely, I just have fun! In the beginning I allow myself to fantasize freely until I decide what I want to create. Once I do, I have to bring those ideas in the real world. Design, techniques and experience become my tools to arrive to the final result. Do you consider yourself more as an artist or a designer?
Photo: Fabio Comizzoli
When how and why started your art practice? I started taking lessons when I was 17 years old but my childhood is full of memories of myself spending hours exploring objects and materials and then creating objects, toys, jewelry. The how is a long story but I think, worth to be told. When I was 16, I was taking a walk on the beach with my father (my mother is from this beautiful Greek island called Limnos), we met a man that my father started chatting with. It turned out that our families had been friends for generations. He casually asked me what I wanted to study after school. I will never forget that for the first time I said out loud that I wanted to study the art of jewelry (it was the first time I was hearing it too…) The odds where that a man in his mid 60s would find this unrealistic, at best, cute (I hate this word) He smiled with his eyes and told me, do you know what I do for a living? I had no idea… He was actually a really important artist (Manos Panagiotou). Later on we met and I showed him some pieces. He proposed i start lessons with him right away, despite the fact I was still in school. My parents would have killed me so I began right after I graduated. I guess I never wonder why I started, it just happened and from then on I just kept going.
Historically and culturally, the definition of those two words is changing. In the renaissance for example art and design were clearly separated terms. In our time I am not even sure that everyone agrees on their differences. Currently I think those words are used more to describe generically, ones occupation but not necessarily his creative activity. Art isn’t always random and design isn’t only the product of careful planning. They are not concrete meanings that don’t affect one another. I consider myself more of a deeply sentimental person with lots of ideas who worked hard to become technically skilled to be able to incarnate them. I strongly believe that is very important for the originality of ones’ work for it to be the result of a personal journey from the start –in a form of a theory, an idea- to the end when the object finally comes to life. So I guess my answer is neither and both. Tell us more about the Urbanoids project Urbanoids is a floor lamp/room separator created by the Urban Fiction design team (me, Yiannis Siotis, Nella Vlachou). Our intension was to combine technology and handcrafted techniques as well as natural Photo: Fabio and industrial materials. A thorough experimentation with the wood lamination technique led as to familiar natural patterns such as the formation created by the wind on the sand, which was the inspiration for the further development of the project and finally the visual representation of the current city status and humanity’s nature consciousness. The challenge
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was to create a light source of high aesthetics as well as functional, that could be reproduced in a limited number and have an impact to the viewers enhancing their environmental awareness. Nevertheless important, was to expand the possibilities of the wood lamination technique. Thus the process was like two parallel evolved paths where at some point came across. Best art tip you’ve ever received? I used to be really strict with myself and others, so at the start of my creative process my teacher Yiannis Siotis, told me that all those invisible limits I put may keep me safe but I will miss out a lot from life. I don’t really remember his exact words but what remained in my mind was that you have to live and feel to have stories to tell. Otherwise, there comes a time when you will recycle the same ideas and your work will become boring. You have to be honest with yourself. The last part surely seemed a cliché at that point. I honestly understood it when I had to confront difficulties in life and I used my work to really express myself. It felt wrong to try avoiding the pain and just do a lighter version. I knew I should remain true to myself, say what I wanted to say without cheating or hiding. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to I wouldn’t say compared, but three artists that really inspire me are Salvador Dali because he is Salvador Dali! Banksy, for his satirical behaviour in art. Tim Burton as I really relate with his dark and complicated aesthetics. How would you describe the art scene in your area? For the past three years, I have been living in Parma, a quiet city in Northern Italy with a rich Comizzoli history. It used to be and still is a city very famous for its classical music (Giuseppe Verdi was born here), opera and theatre. Sometimes cities with tradition in the arts find it difficult to evolve so they mainly focus on their past. Parma I am afraid is one of those cities where contemporary art is rather poor… Photo: Fabio Comizzoli
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www.behance.net/marilenaKara Photo: Giannis Agrigiannis
Lady Be Rome, Italy Lady Be lives and works in Rome. After the Art School and the Academy of Fine Arts, her Contemporary Art starts with artistic use of recycled materials. Since 2010 she exhibited in major art exhibitions in Italy and abroad. In 2013 she staged a curious performance: all the spectators were called to remove the pieces from the installation leaving the subjects completely “naked.” In 2014, the turning point came with two major exhibitions: one in New York and the other on the Eiffel Tower. She’s present in several art fairs, art magazines, catalogs and numerous newspapers talk about her success. Lady Be creates contemporary mosaics, icons and famous portraits entirely composed of objects that have lost their original function, simply becoming “colors”. Each work has the power to awake memories connected to each object, when you see it closely, and to be perfectly recognizable from far. Moving away from the painting, in fact, the initial confusion caused by the view of an apparently meaningless assemblage becomes astonishment. The subject takes a form and you feel proud of recognizing the face as a whole. The work has a photographic look, its depth emerges clearly with lights and shadows, as well as the memories connected to the subject. Lady Be talks about her art not only as creative form, but as awareness to the problem of recycle. It’s a warning to the actual and future world, a world where more and more resources miss, and to survive it has to become more sustainable. A world that fights against the tendency to consumerism and waste, the accumulation of “disposable” things increasingly difficult to dispose of. The issue of recycle was a topic discussion for many years, but no one has focused on artistic recycle. Lady Be gives a new life to objects that have lost their original function, elevating them to the altar of Art. Buying a work of Lady Be means acquiring the knowledge that everything can be reused and any object can get an higher value, an economic value.
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Briefly describe the work you do. I do Contemporary Mosaics totally made of little pieces of plastic and toys, recycled objects, pencils, jewels, plastic cutlery, plastic caps, buttons. I am the inventor of my technique, and I coined the name of Contemporary Mosaic, although at the beginning I used it more to explain how my works of art are made. The definition of Contemporary Mosaic was later confirmed by art critics, experts, historians and gallery owners who, over the years have worked with me to make my works known. Among the critics that wrote about my art: Dr. Francesco Saverio Russo, Dr. Salvatore Russo, Sandro Serradifalco, Paolo Levi, Prof. Nuccio Mula. Dott. Adolfo Carozzi, curator, historian and gallery owner, is taking care of an important publication about Mosaics in which he explains the history of mosaics until nowadays, talking of my art as the new frontier of the mosaic. Many articles, newspapers, catalogs and magazines talks about my art as “Mosaic 2.0” or, “the new mosaic”. The plastic materials that I use are part of me. I always keep every little thing, because I am very attached to memories, but more importantly, because I have always been taught that things should not be thrown away, as long as they work. The first artwork I have completed when I was 19 was the portrait of Marilyn Monroe. It was made with all those items that, although they had lost their original function, I did not want to throw away.
cury, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon as solo artists (in fact, my name “Lady Be” was inspired by its assonance with the song “Let it be”, that is very important for me), cartoons like Pinocchio or Batman, some political icons such as Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung, Benito Mussolini, and Hitler, our Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and some fashion brands like Elio Fiorucci’s dwarf and the logo of the leather manufacturer Braccialini. I also create portraits on request. What I prefer to do, however, is to portray iconic artists, because I hope that one day their faces will become known to the public as much as those of personalities of cinema, politics and music. There are not many artists whose face is known by everyone and not only by art lovers. I believe that artists should be remembered as they are and not only through their artworks, because their life, their personality and even their physical appearance, especially for pop artists, is important.
the same value, the artistic one, because they are used as colour, like pieces of a mosaic. My pieces of work are born with a purpose: to focus attention towards the reuse of recycled materials to create art, as well as looking to the concrete and energy. So my art was born not only as creative form, but as awareness to the problem of recycle. It’s a warning to the actual and future world, a world where more and more resources miss, and to survive it has to become more sustainable. A world that fights against the tendency to consumerism and waste, the accumulation of “disposable” things increasingly difficult to dispose of. The issue of recycle was a topic discussion for many years, but no one has focused on artistic recycle. I give a new life to objects that have lost their original function, elevating them to the altar of Art. My name is “Lady Be”, and Be, is not only a tribute to the Beatles, but it means that the being must always win on appearances, it is “Be” not “Appear”. How would you describe the art scene in your area?
What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Italy has a very important art history, but nowadays our country does People often consider me a very not foster art, and being an artgood artist, an high-level figurative ist in Italy today is really difficult. but they think that my art doesn’t We have to pay sky-high taxes and have a deep significance, that does there is a lot of competition: if we not convey a profound message include both those who do it as a or a hidden meaning, but it’s pure hobby and as a profession, it is estibeauty and appearance. The most mated that there are about a million challenging part is making people artists in Italy, so approximately 1 understand that it is not so, indeed, in every 60 people. Further to this, my art is born precisely to convey a Italy is the third worse country in strong message. Europe for corruption. In our daiWhat themes do you pursue? My artworks are figures made of ly practice, it is obvious that one recycled material, material that must have connections in order to I am specialized in portraits. I por- were “disused”. Were used mate- move forward and that we have no trayed celebrities from the world of rials that have lost their original meritocracy. Our institutions are cinema and music such as Marilyn function to become “colour”. In in a critical state and are not able Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Steve my paintings, paradoxically, a di- to help, so we all have to fund our McQueen, Madonna, Freddy Mer- amond and a broken toy acquire work with our own money.
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I live in Dorno, a small town in the north of Italy, since I was born. Because of its small size, everyone knows everyone there and many family friends and even some schools help me to collect the recycled materials, objects and small toys that I need for my work. The advantage of living there is that I have a big house, so I can work in the open air and in large spaces when I have to create big artworks. It is a peaceful village and a relaxing place, although it can be a little foggy and cold in winter. I also have a small flat, which is my registered studio, not far from the city center of Rome, 500 km away from Dorno. Rome is right in the middle of the country and it is a large city, full of history and art. Unfortunately, it is badly preserved and its art scene is very commercial and neglected by the general public. This further location allows me to have everything I need for my art available at a stone’s throw, including many fine art and DIY shops and a lot of flea markets where I can buy the plastic objects I use in my artworks. Rome is also well connected to the rest of Italy and to the world, which is convenient since at the moment I am travelling a lot for my exhibitions and events. What art do you most identify with? Of course with POP Art. I prefer, for this question, answer with the beautiful criticism that Dr. Francesco Saverio Russo wrote to me: “Lady Be and her Personal Pop Art “ “The art of Lady Be, is rooted in the artistic movement, born in the 50s and consecrated in the year ‘60, called Pop Art. Pop Art was founded with Robert Raushenberg, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The well-known American current, in a cold manner recycles, and sometimes total-
ly impersonal the images presented by the media. Coca-Cola becomes the object of worship for the art of Andy Warhol, there is a real obsessive mania in reproducing a trendy and common object. The art is not created for the people, but is defined popular because mass-produced. The founder of pop art invents the “blotted line” technique that is to draw on a very permeable sheet, then applying it, when it is still wet, on a number of other sheets which become “originals”. The result is a sign whose irregularities are due more to chance than to the author’s will (…) Lady Be recycle, her recycling is much different from the Masters of Pop Art, her recycling is done with popular items, mass objects that we all know and we have handled since we were children and continue to see today in the role of parents, grandparents or simply human beings. The cold and impersonal, is transformed into a “Personal Pop Art”, in a personal and engaging art, the viewer is forced
to touch the artwork to try to capture its secrets, its innermost essence; an art that is over and over again because it’s something familiar but at the same time still to be discovered. Lady Be Art is Pop because here we have the depiction of idols or myths in which the masses tend to identify, think about the figure of Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalì. The color palette is replaced by large containers of objects according to color, the artist uses the original colors of objects for the construction of the Artwork (…) The works of Lady Be, even on the same subject, are totally different, the objects used vary, and also their position changes from work to work. We are witnessing for the first time to a new interpretation of Pop, Art that is really Popular because people, unconsciously “deliver” the color-objects to artist. Oscar Wilde said, “Life imitates art more than art imitates life.”
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The artist understands and agrees with these words expressed by the Irish writer and she also dedicates to portraits, she portrays the characters of the mass, turning them into works of art, making them immortal (…)” Dr. Francesco Saverio Russo (Art Critic and Consultant) What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? In 2013 I took part to the I Biennale of Palermo, It was a special and prestigious event because the selection was really hard and it was presented by two important italian art critics: Vittorio Sgarbi and Paolo Levi. Vittorio Sgarbi is an important university professor and one of the most important Italian politicians, ex commissioner of Venice Biennale. After having run after him for a long time, I was finally able to show him my work. He does not make me compliments, but a comment: “what a mess!”. Then, he gave me a very valuable advice: streamline the work by replacing a resin background to the background filled with pieces, which made the work difficult to understand. it was a real breakthrough for me; In fact, my works have become lighter, the subjects most distinguished and highlighted and, furthermore, the work they use in their application is also much less, also reducing implementation times. Now, I realize rarely works composed entirely of pieces, without the resin background; only when the subject calls for it. What are your future plans as an artist? I am getting ready to bring my art to different parts of the world and at the same time I am working with one of the galleries where I normally exhibit in Italy for a prestigious catalogue about Plastic Art, that will be testimonial of
my Contemporary Mosaic. On 9-12 June I will exhibit my first sculpture, a portrait of Marilyn Monroe, and a special big Artwork against Domestic Violence (the Beaten Barbie) in Verona’s Art Fair, the “1st Triennale of Contemporary Art - International Art Expo”, within the “Museo Italia” section. Then, on the 22nd, I will have an important exhibition in Castel dell’Ovo, a historical castle in Naples. Finally, on June 26th I will have an important Art Auction, the proceeds will go to charity. I am also taking part to the auctions of “Charity Stars” with my artworks, donating 30% to important charitable organizations. This summer I will be traveling to America: on July 29th my art will be included in a video-exhibition in a conference room in Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood. On September 17th I will be in Venice to receive the Casanova Award in the special event “Venice in Art” that will be held at Palazzo Frangini. On October 13th I will come back to the USA to present one of my artworks via a video presentation in a conference room in Manhattan, New York. Finally, on October 16th I will take part in the award-giving ceremony that will mark the conclusion of this series of events in an important conference hall in Washington. After the summer, my artworks and I will return to Paris, where between 2123 October I will be at “Art Shopping”, an Art Fair held inside the Carrousel Du Louvre, under the Louvre Pyramid. I will come back to Italy on November 5th to open a Solo Exhibition with all my new artworks at the gallery L’Alfiere in Turin, which is also an auction house. People often ask me: how can you also have time to do the artworks? Well, I have always managed to find it…but sometimes I can’t sleep at night! However, I would recommend to all the readers to check my website regularly to keep up-to-date with all my events and dates: www.contemporarymosaic.com
Lucinda Luvaas Los Angeles, CA, USA I’ve always seen myself as an outsider, an observer, since I was little. I remember being four years old and standing outside my home raking leaves in autumn and whispering, “I will never be like them.” I hated the cliques who taunted me in grade school. So, I learned to fend for myself, sharpen my imagination and be alert. I always needed to swim in my own lane, and carve my own story. I very naturally chose art as a way of life because of my need for individual expression. This need translates nicely into the mixed media relief paintings I’m producing now. My process is a hybrid between painting, relief techniques and printmaking. It took much trial and error to find the right tools for each step of the process such as: sharp scalpels for very intricate, delicate cuts, japanese knives, and italian spatulas of all shapes and sizes. The hardedged look is painstakingly hard to accomplish...much can go wrong. For instance, there are many gridlike sections that are laid out on the wood panel, and they must be perfectly aligned and seamless. All of the sections must be secure while imprinting, so that the artist can produce a clean, crisp result. This can be very difficult at times, especially when the sections are delicate and fragile. I call this technique, works as frozen impressions of life much like fossils. My subject matter mostly revolves around capturing people in environments where they are actively engaged in something whether it is simply walking, watching a crowd, dancing, you name it: all aspects of our daily lives and then creating a sort of imprint of history capturing that moment. I’ve never wanted to depict just what I see, but rather alter things to find a deeper sense or meaning as though I am creating a living being that pulsates and moves with emotions and feelings. This I feel can really be achieved by combining abstraction and figuration. I’m very committed to figuration, but I’m devoted to it within the context of patterning: using abstract forms, to some extent reducing figuration to abstractions, although very much recognizable in their depictions of real things. My first love was drama and film. My visual art reflects my penchant for dramatic scenes and narratives. In addition, I’ve been musically inclined all my life. I now compose electronic sound not only for my video art pieces, but music written for varied instruments. All my life I’ve been creatively engaged in making things, and working with others to express their individual hopes and dreams. I truly believe that the imagination and its many forms of expression is mankind’s greatest achievement.
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Briefly describe the work you do. My visual art reflects my penchant for dramatic scenes and narratives. My process is a hybrid between In addition, I’ve been musically inpainting, relief techniques and clined all my life. I now compose printmaking. It took much trial and electronic sound not only for my error to find the right tools for each video art pieces, but music written step of the process such as: sharp for varied instruments. scalpels for very intricate, delicate cuts, japanese knives, and italian All my life I’ve been creatively enspatulas of all shapes and sizes. gaged in making things, and workThe hard-edged look is painstak- ing with others to express their iningly hard to accomplish...much dividual hopes and dreams. I truly can go wrong. For instance, there believe that the imagination and its are many grid-like sections that are many forms of expression is manlaid out on the wood panel, and kind’s greatest achievement. they must be perfectly aligned and seamless. All of the sections must What is the most challenging part be secure while imprinting, in or- about being a multimedia artist? der to produce a clean, crisp result. This can be very difficult at times, Time is really the most challenging especially when the sections are part of working with different medidelicate and fragile. I call this tech- ums. Currently, I spend my days in nique, “Imprinting,” because I see the studio working on mixed media these works as frozen impressions relief paintings and spend my eveof life much like fossils. nings working on my audio compositions. Some years back I was proMy subject matter mostly revolves ducing work that combined mixed around capturing people in envi- media painting, video and sound. ronments where they are actively My exhibitions were wall hangings, engaged in something whether it is monitors for the videos, and speaksimply walking, watching a crowd, ers for the sound. dancing, you name it: all aspects of our daily lives and then creating a One has to have much discipline to sort of imprint of history - captur- accomplish works in different meing that moment. diums, but as Kandinsky observed: there are carry overs and similariI’ve never wanted to depict just ties between music say and fine art. what I see, but rather alter things You have rhythm, tonal values, repto find a deeper sense or meaning etition—many of the same concerns as though I am creating a living and goals. being that pulsates and moves with emotions and feelings. This I feel For me, composing music satisfies can really be achieved by combin- something that my fine art doesn’t ing abstraction and figuration. I’m and visa versa. But it isn’t easy very committed to figuration, but to produce significant works withI’m devoted to it within the context out spending almost all of your of patterning: using abstract forms, time at it. to some extent reducing figuration to abstractions, although very Who or what has had a lasting inmuch recognizable in their depic- fluence on your art practice? tions of real things. Even though I went to university My first love was drama and film. and art school in NYC I was a bit
of a loner and didn’t get too involved with what was going on. I was very independent and wanted to go my own way. At the same time I was very moved by artists who combined high craft with intensely dramatic scenes—artists like Rembrant, or Goya who has been very important to me—artists such as Francis Bacon, Kathe Kollwitz, Frida Kahlo....so many who developed strong styles and expressed powerful statements in their imagery that struck universal chords. I suppose you could say that artists such as these made a very strong, lasting impression on me. I read their letters eagerly and read about their lives knowing that I wanted to be that sort of an artist. Also, I think my “art practice,” is innately in my genes! Everyone in my family practices or practiced art. My oldest brother was an Israeli poet, my middle brother is both a poet and a novelist, my father painted, my mother painted and played classical guitar, my nieces are both in the arts. So, I come from an artistic family where culture, especially the arts, was a very important means of our collective expression. What is your creative process like? I get up in the morning and have a cup of coffee with my husband, William Luvaas, who is a novelist, and short story writer. Being able to sit outside with the palm trees, parrots--yes we have wild parrots in Los Angeles! and the clear blue skies is always an inspiration. I look forward to every morning cup of coffee. The juices get flowing so to speak while I sit there and discuss this and that, after which we both go off in our own directions entering our own creative worlds. My studio is my refuge from the outside world. It is like a welcom-
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ing cave of delightful enticements. Here, I hatch new ideas, for paintings and sounds. I love coming into my studio every day. I feel it is the only place where I can be totally myself and free. I’m always on the look out for material. I use photography a lot for reference material, which stem from observing activities. These can inspire new themes and new ideas. My process changes depending on what my goals are. If I’m producing a group of relief paintings I work from photographs that I’ve taken and design compositions in a detailed fashion, so that I know what I will be projecting onto the wood panel. It’s very meticulous and detailed with not much room for spontaneity. The steps in this process are multi-tiered in that I start with a concept, sometimes an image, or group of images and then build a composition. At that point I create a background for the relief and this background has become more and more important in the process. In a way, the background elements create the ambience for the whole piece. After painting the background I cut out plates for the relief and these are in sections. Once the panel is dry I can begin the relief painting process with varied spatulas. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’m fairly new in Los Angeles, so I’m really not an expert on the art scene here. I’m more knowledgable about New York. However, the art scene here seems welcoming, and friendly. It is in a state of expansion. There are new galleries and museums. Some New York dealers are moving and have moved here. I think that the LA scene has a youthful feeling compared to NY. And there’s a real exuberance--an excitement here as though people are just beginning to feel, “Hey! We
can have a really great art scene in LA!” So, I sense the energy and motivation here which feels really good. Openings are rather joyous and socially stimulating.
humanity, while at times interrogating the same. I surely hope we will continue to see that art is one of the greatest and noblest expressions of our humanity and our collective selves.
What do you like/dislike about the art world? What are your future plans as an artist? I have been dismayed by the materialistic emphasis in the art world I will continue to work on mixed today. Not to say that there’s some- media relief paintings which will thing wrong with placing a mon- include the portal series. I am very etary value on a work of art. It’s intrigued by the idea of portals as more that something is lost when symbolic/metaphoric windows into so much attention is paid to sales space. “The Great Beyond,” is an when there is a greater significance example of one of the portal relief and meaning to art in general—the paintings. Here I’ve incorporated doing of it, the motivation for do- photography into the scene. Aning it and art practice as a whole. other example is “Heading West.” How can you really say what the I’ve always been intrigued with the Mona Lisa is worth? Or the Sistine idea of going inside one world to Chapel? Or so many great works see another—traveling from one of art. They have a monetary val- dimension into another. Now I’m ue, but their value goes far beyond using cathedrals and monasteries what they are worth monetarily. It’s thematically for scenes that explore something ineffable and intangible transcendental realities. and that’s what makes works of art so special. This aspect of art is not In addition, I’m producing short something you can put a monetary video art pieces with sound, using value on—it’s essence is like the air, imagery from the relief paintings. but the very sweetest vapor there These will be displayed along with is. I surely hope that we don’t loose the paintings. Finally, I’m working our yearning to see art that affirms on a new group of mixed media reour existence, that celebrates our lief paintings.
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Mark McAfee Brown Mountain View, CA, USA LANDSCAPES (Woodless Woodcuts) are a series of digital art works that express my love of the natural world. These landscape images have been turned into a cross between woodcuts and photographs, though no trees were harmed in the production of these artworks. Creating them is a reductive process - removing photographic information and distilling the images into simpler visual essences, creating sky gradients, keylining and outlining components of the landscapes and painting with Photoshopâ€™s digital brushes. All of these images began as analog or digital landscape photographs. I have had a lifelong love of Japanese wood block prints. As a child, I was exposed to prints by Hokusai, Hiroshige and Hiroshi Yoshida. My mother (born and raised in China and Japan) had original prints by all of these artists which were on the walls of our New York city apartment from the time of my birth. I spent many years as a traditional and experimental printmaker, starting at age fifteen with wood and linoleum block prints. I moved on to stone lithography, etching, photo etching, photo silkscreening and cyanotypes. The toxic chemicals associated with these methods helped me transition into the digital realm. Photoshop has been my digital darkroom for over 20 years.
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Briefly Describe the Work you do I am an Artist, Photographer and Designer working in the space where fine art and technology marry, merge and multiply. I have spent over 30 years combining traditional media and photography and the last 25 years working digitally on Macintosh computer imaging systems. Born in New York City, I am now a resident of Mountain View, California. I received a B.A. in Art at Stanford University, a Master’s Degree in Printmaking from San Francisco State University and have taken numerous courses in Graphic Design and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz and Foothill College. My art first appeared internationally in a gallery in India at age 5, as part of a world-touring show hosted by the United Nations. I took my first photo at age 6 (of an ostrich) at the Bronx Zoo. Since then my award-winning prints have been shown on the East and West coasts of America, in America’s heartland as well as in Germany and Australia. My work has been featured in the New York Time’s Magazine as well as in Photoshop User Magazine, The San Jose Mercury News and local independent print and media outlets. Name Three Artists you’d like to be compared to As Jack Kerouac wrote “Comparisons are Odious” and as Prince sang (RIP) “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Between those two versions of the truth I will concentrate on three visual artists that have inspired and delighted me rather than comparing my artwork with any other artists’. To my eye and heart, Andy Goldsworthy is the best artist I know of who is working now. He makes astonishing, mostly ephemeral artworks art out of whatever
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he finds outdoors walking around near his home in rural Scotland or anywhere in the world where he is commissioned to make art. I watched him and his Wallers make a Stone River in front of Stanford Universityâ€™s Cantor Arts Center several years ago. Sticks, stones, leaves, ice, mud, flowers, trees split by lightning, rocks, dust, time and tides are his medium. Brilliant work unlike anything any one else ever did before. He is also an exceptional photographer, as much of his short lived work survives only in his photographs.
home in the Bay Area and areas in lately produced and printed that the Sierra Nevada where he and I way for myself and for art collechave hiked. tors. David Hockney is my third choice. He has had a great career as a painter, but I was astonished by his recent i-Pad paintings at a recent show at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. I especially liked his nature sketches that were captured stroke by stroke on his i-Pad and appeared in real time on huge monitors at the show. A sketch would start with a blank screen and be finished 5 minutes later.
In your opinion what does photography mean in contemporary culture?
Everyone has a phone and every phone is a camera and sadly there is often no time spent between taking a photo and posting it to Social Media. Great if you are keeping up with someone who is travelling in a wonderful land far, far away, or if someone wants to share images of a wedding or a family gatherTom Killion is my favorite modern Do You Think Of Yourself as a ing. On the other side: images of woodcut print artist. He takes tra- Conceptual Artist? the chaos of modern life abound: ditional Japanese woodcut techwar, terrorism, joy, sorrow or horniques and amplifies the colors I am not a conceptual artist as I ror are also now just a click away and perspective of his images into am deeply involved in taking great at any instant. Photography and another realm altogether. Much of care that my digital images and cell phone videos are now part of his subject matter is from near my prints are perfectly and immacu- social justice movements, speaking
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truth to power, or refuting what witnesses have said about public events. Photography (and live video) have much more power now than ever had, to record, document and influence contemporary culture and justice than at any other time in human history. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I love that there was/is a culture and world devoted to Art across the globe, across generations, civilizations and millennia. When I was 19 I had the opportunity as a student in France to visit Les Combarelles, a cave in Les Eyzies de Tayac, Dordogne, France, which was inhabited by Cro-Magnon people approximately 13â€“11,000 years ago. It had more than 600 pre-historic engravings of animals and symbols and was in the early 1970â€™s, still open to the public. In my childhood in new York City, my mother took me to many art shows at the Museum of Modern Art, but walking into this cave was my first trip into the First Art Gallery of Humanity and was as such, a powerful and visceral experience. Art clearly was a central part of the spiritual/mystical Cro-Magnon culture. Created in the dark by torch light deep inside of caves. No one that I know of is doing that now.
What I dislike about the Art World is that it is so difficult to make a living as an artist, in spite of my endless everyday efforts to try to make it possible somehow, in a culture filled with wealth but with minimal love for visual arts. Funding for Arts education in American public schools is sadly now at an all time low. What are your future plans as an artist? My future plans as an artist are to keep on creating artworks. It is what I have been doing since I was a child and I see no reason to stop now. I will continue to create artworks in my present style as long as I can continue to travel, click a shutter and transform landscape photos via Photoshop and digital tools into works of art that transcend photography. For me, a photograph is a means to begin creating a work of art, not an end in and of itself. My beginnings and foundation in art and art education were drawing, painting, sculpture, and later, stained glass. I came to photography later in my artistic life and these other previous artistic elements and disciplines still deeply inform how I deal with creating photographically based images everyday. I try to enhance the emotional impact and composition of an image to give it a life beyond a moment in time.
Ioana Alexandra Niculescu-Aron Bucharest, Romania
Between philosophy and artwork. Colour above shape I make way through the world’s walls. In order to illustrate the world, the entire globalization phenomenon, as I understand it, I widen colour within which I build these walls. I say “make way” because the artist, the visionary, is thrown randomly in the middle of everyone by being born. He only knows how to observe and to absorb like a sponge the energy of his time. Often, the world drowns him and then, for a breath of fresh air, he allows himself to sink in it. During that moment for him the chaos becomes quiet and the people dance. The wall of his memory, painted with images of his memory, of traces that society leaves on him, cover him. On other occasions he knows his position very well and he visualizes just as clear his path and the fences of the universe, whose energy he is loaded with and from which he detaches and learns how to walk: he steps. Each of these occasions is a challenge and every step is different. Sometimes he must climb, other times he must bend down, and each time he returns to add new images on the walls of his memory, similar to a man who spent his entire life in prison. When he is eventually freed, he realizes he is on foreign territory, in an entirely new world where, in order to succeed, he must change. Every now and then, however, he thinks back to the people he spent a lifetime with between walls and he gets new forces. The resemblance is precisely the instability, the wondering in the dark of a beginner in a new life, whose memory is, nevertheless, old and contaminated. Thus the visionary carries the entire world with him as a box from which he rises or on the bottom of which he rests his bones. (...) When I use the word “shape” I think of Henri Matisse. His shapes were alive due to the lines, mine due to stains. What is the border that separates the line from the stain? When does the line become stain and the stain gets transformed into a line? I see stains engraved everywhere around me. Pain on the floors, scratched walls, marked trees, dampness, tattoos... They are all signs of that would not be removed. Try as you might to degrease a tile clogged with steam and oil, you will not succeed. What is the point to do something that you would afterwards want to hide? For me, the prints do not stain, but enrich the world around us; the prints are those that show us how people loose themselves, forget themselves. Each time we will see that something has changed... It is the clue the we are subject to becoming and all we need to do is to enjoy each state we are in. This is the way I would describe in a few words the essence of contemporary world, the essence of agglomeration: traces, signs of events we took part in, scars, signs of a carelessness that can no longer be avoided. Why do we need them? Why do I call them essential, as long as they are only adding to the messiness of the world? I appreciate their particularity to separate themselves from routine and tumult, what makes me name them COLOUR. We do not need them. Despite this, it becomes interesting when something you do not need is useful to you. And this is an old story that ART has already heard before.
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Briefly describe the work you do. Today, for me, painting is COLLAGE0. My painting is a collage of SPACE, OXYGEN AND LIGHT. All people run for urban. The city is an antithetical COLLAGE of thoughts that crowdedly coexist side by side. Streets, structures, asphalt, pipes - are all composition elements for air and colour - are lines of force. But the city also can rob you of a healthy and steady breathing. Inspired by all this, I paint. The way I do it is splitting the points of interest into more canvases. I prefer to keep different elements for each canvas rather than melting everything into a single one; this way I suggest change. The cities are clogged - which we can’t avoid. We can only savour this phenomenon of globalization and try to keep up the speed which seeps out of it. What I do now is paint elements from different fields. It’s about carrying out a work on several canvases that come together at the end, like puzzle pieces. It is not about continuity, but about making different elements coexist, as it happens today in the world with all the migration movements and the intercultural confession. Moved by the changes that are happening in Europe, I build new landscapes, new areas. I call them “fields”, because it is important for me, to speculate the paintings’ ability to stretch, to take place in a space. To suggest the length, the distance, I use the video camera: I create a screen outside painting, in which items enter and leave. It is again the idea of collage, for which, the painting itself becomes a character. From the outside, the scene that I compose has the aspect of a hotel, where people are invited to enter: the art gallery. The gallery walls are therefore large fields without borders even when meeting with the ceiling or the floor. And the paintings, ar-
ranged differently every night form a different outline in my bedroom. Their arrangement is therefore intimacy - the pretext of the authentic. As an unfolding of our own soul on a table. It is new by it’s sincerity, and therefore, authentic. The dynamic of the elements and the place of the frames in space. The rhythm in between. All together are building steps in time and space.
That Makes me feel like I am in a showcase Placed so high to BE Observed by the passers-by from the street. And I melt down to be able to include everyone who is walking by, in a hurry or not, to take care of their affairs. I reconcile with their laughter and the heaviness of their steps left behind the topcoat shadow. [...] But sometimes with showcase in which I lay seems to narrow and the window is dirty or blurry. In What themes do you pursue? order to see better, I press my face and my hands against it: I clearly It’s intriguing to put myself in differ- feel now that we are two distinct enent situations. So, converting into a tities but together we push towards state or another, I create. I suggest something – we build an image.”) the idea that it will always be a different truth, and that we do not re- My actual work is based on “reveal anything but what we choose cording the time”. The plug comes to expose (the version that we want from the same idea, “the hotel”, to say out loud). In 2014, I created from which, last year arose the the series of works “On the other “Windows” series. What is more side of the door.” It was about souls present now, is the idea of setting and about how each person shuts the framework by shooting the creits soul behind doors for various ative process and the exposure. The reasons. Later, I painted the series final result is a whole: a collage of of works “The Bathtub”, devel- painting, sounds, motion, emotion oped further and called “Between and light. The video that I make the worlds walls.” Regarding these during each exhibition is the proof works, the unknown is also present, that “life” was present in the midas I left the impression of an outer dle of the expositional space which frame, inside of which the painting I call “Hotel”. Conditioned by the is placed. It is the motive of the bath- social movements in which we live, tub, painted more or less explicit: art must be alive, to have its own the frame/ the shot that introduces voice. us to the core. The fact they are all All the topics that we discussed preself-portraits is also an interroga- viously followed me, which is why tion for me. In the spring of 2015 what I am doing it now, to summaI painted the series of works “Win- rize and encapsulate. They become dows”. Here are developed two leitmotifs and thus revived, and are perspectives (indoor and outdoor). still present on my canvases in varIt’s not explicit whether the viewer ious forms. The process that I have is part of the creator’s paradigm, or chosen is a long and slow one, but placed outside the “window” - the it is steady. I keep reanalysing conpretext that I used to point out the tinuously. Each day is a stage that I thin distance between intimacy and take, thinking of the vision – always exposure. The window is shown as present in my mind. a layer, a screen that allows an interference between outdoor and in- Do you think of yourself as a condoor. (As I was explaining then: “I ceptual artist? am making these comments behind a small glass piece: the threshold If I would have been born a bit ear-
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lier I would have definitely been an expressionist artist. Now things have changed. And even so, I cannot call myself a conceptual artist because all my work is based on the accidental. Without much thought before (a few minutes), the painting is brought to life. The tools that I find handy are the ones that shape the painting. Experimenting and allowing spontaneity are always present in my artistic process. The speed at which I work allows my painting to perform. I never look back, but just continuously express and develop new shapes. I use the colours, every time, with the same enthusiasm as it would have been the first time. As a director, sometimes only a few minutes are enough to give guidance to a concept. By first constructing and then deconstructing theories, every gesture and thought is reinterpreted. I create contexts for my works. I am not working on one project at a time, but at more simultaneously, so I do lots of connections between them. I always have in mind the whole, with all my works together, as every piece of art would be a character on a stage. So ... am I a conceptual artist? How has your work changed in the past years? To answer this question with very few words I would say that at first I painted figurative, then abstract, then I started combining other arts and now, I am assuming both, figurative and abstract, as elements that I work with and that I make coexist. I do a collage of space, notes, colour, shapes etc. Not long ago, I would have said that „Painting can no longer afford the luxury to be descriptive, we cannot talk about such language anymore. If Surrealist artists such as Dali or Magritte could do that because their intentions were to
describe how they saw the world, from objects to the senses, today a painting that brings such a description would be nonsense. Painting is a language not a representation... painting technique is much more: it is the essence of an artist’s thoughts and struggles stemming from his mind at a time, in different musical tones, played down or high” (Note from my diary, 2015). I would have also described the importance of breaks and air in painting. Now, I would go much further, and I would say that my artistic development drove me to the point to say that painting is everywhere. It’s also the place where I choose to show my work which preoccupies me now. The point of view has been changed: painting today is more about context and needs braking points in order to breath. Painting is no longer just the canvas but everything surrounding it as well as in where it is the things and people around it. It’s more about context and about how people look at it. That’s why CASINO I find the most appropriate word
is sad. I expected at least curiosity. During my stay in Italy, I noticed that artists there are still stuck in the „Arte Povera” movement, working negligently on poor paper. French people are the opposite. They are very careful. Despite so many modern French painters to be inspired by. Contemporary artists in France seem to be afraid to paint, an explanation could be that Duchamp’s voice is more present now than ever. As I am now living in France, surrounded by people who are educated about art, and know its’ history, I am still wondering WHERE IS PEOPLE’S CURIOSITY FOR THE NEW AND EXPERIMENTAL? , just as I was asking myself when I lived in Romania. Dada is a movement closely linked to the idea of nihil. However, today everything is movement and life to an immeasurable intensity and at a rate that far exceeds our comprehension. I understand Dada as a break, as an intangible direction, as something that is not able to move out of place. Nevertheless, we live the time of globalization, and consequently, art How would you describe the art must be alive, able to breathe. Toscene in your area? day, the artist himself becomes the object of art - transparent. The conOver the last two years I lived temporary artist is extremely presand worked in Romania, Italy, the ent, tangible, ephemeral, fragile – US and now I am in France. So it appearances in opposition to what is challenging to decide which of Dada movement was all about- an these is “my area”. If I talk about object. Romania, I need to say that there is hardly an art scene there, or at In your opinion what does paintleast an art market and visibility. ing mean in contemporary culRomanian citizens are not taught to ture? appreciate art, as are the French or the Italians. Us Romanians do not Painting is a language that not many have the same culture for art like people know how to speak or read. other European countries. During For me, painting is much more sena solo exhibition in Brasov (Europe sitive than it is seen and understood Gallery), I painted all the canvases by the contemporary culture. Peolive, behind the glass windows of ple search to be shocked. Gallerists the gallery. People were just pass- as well. I think that in contemporary ing by. They were too shy perhaps to culture, painting is a product, more „disturb” an artist working, which than a” searching “of each artist.
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I invite artists to focus on themselves and to use their animal instincts more. I find art today to well organised and galleries to sterile. Why shall we sterilize painting? I prefer being dirty all day long and spoil everything. Painting shall be spoiled and spread everywhere. I think painting should be appreciated and released of any order and justification, and just stay pure, nothing but instincts expression and letting go. What are your future plans? I am searching for buildings with different architectures and with a different history in which to bring my project to life. These buildings will accommodate the echo of my voice, placed in various art forms: painting, video, installation, performance. Inside each building I will therefore place an ensemble of voices with different intensities to represent privacy. I propose to abolish the idea of an art gallery in terms of exposure of my work in the favour of a fireplace. The walls that I will choose, shall have their part to play in an obsessive air, a creed, an artistic identity, a character. Each building will be a new self-portrait. I will expand the hotel chain worldwide. But as any big step is done through smaller steps, I will talk about my near future plans. From 20th of June to 15th of July I will be in New York to arrange my solo exhibition (Artifact Gallery, 19th of Jne-10th of July). The rest of the summer I plan to stay in Romania and work with all the elements I have explained, in a building I have already found.
Stacy.O Berlin, Germany I`m a Berlin based contemporary painter. The conceptual issues of my artmaking are based on an honest reflection of my own fears / emotions / thoughts ... It´s an invitation, to let go on masks... to work up the courage to BE real ... The body of my work is a critical, questioning and quite censorious view on our presence. It´s about the tension between desperatly needed actions and the fear, to leave our comfort zones... About the influence, everyone is called to exercise and the helplessness and resignation we face, concerning current events and ongoing crises. I´m using violent motives combined with vulnerability, to visualize the war between good and evil that rages within in every human being (with a varying intensity , for sure...). Technically , I´m using the effect of strong charcoal tracings and fixative, what creates a mix of transparent (vulnerable) and covering (powerfull) texture of acrylic paint. I prefer to work on unframed canvases, cause I want my pieces to breathe , to stay alive instead of confining them in a frame..
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Briefly describe the work you do My work is mostly inspired by current events. To paint, is my way to come to terms with things that are happening. It´s like banishing emotions and to cage them up within a piece of canvas. My paintings aren´t meant as wall decoration. To paint is more like warfare. It´s about an honest view on society, that an artists reflects in his/her own way. It`s not about making a neat house look nicer. I want people to THINK and FEEL, when they look at my works. What attracts me, when I view a piece of art, are skills mixed with a huge dose of rebellion. And that´s exactly, what I want to create.
the very beginning of a painting , and the rush, when it´s done. Inbetween is war. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Well.. I´m pretty sure, that there is no artist who want´s to be compared to another one... Would be horrible to hear, that you´re just painting like somebody else. BUT there are artists I admire!! I love Käthe Kollwitz. It´s epic, that she showed her heartstrings with just a few strokes. Some of her works really made me cry. Lucian Freuds paintings are awesome! And last ,but not least Pablo Picasso.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you.
How would you describe the art scene in your area?
I´m absolutely blessed with a familiy, that always encouraged me to paint. It took me some time to finally step out and believe in myself. But they always did. The process of painting is really demanding for me. When I paint, I´m absolutely lost in space. I completely lose track of time and it numbs me for everything around me, so that I have to force myself back into reality. But my family keeps me grounded.
It´s dope! Just like Berlin itself. There are so many things going on, that it´s really hard to make choices. So many brilliant artists to meet and exiting art to get inspired by. I love this city!! One oft the most important distinctions from other places ist the fact, that it doesn´t really matter if you studied fine arts. People see your work and wether love or hate it, but it´s no big deal, to be a selftaught artist.
What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media?
What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts?
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to become a painter. Two of my aunts studied fine arts. It always thrilled me to visit them in their studios, to smell terpentine and oilpaint and to see these countless brushes of all sizes... AWESOME!! So there wasn´t any doubt for me, that I want to do the same stuff. Although I chose to work with acrylics. I´m definitely to impatient to work with oil paint! I couldn´t imagine to express myself through another medium. I love to be stained with paint and to work with my hands. The best moments are
If you know, that there´s no plan B for you, and just to imagine, that you have to do something else, than to be an artist makes you feel sick, than don´t you dare to let go of your calling!! What are your future plans? I want to finish at least 2 series this year. Each of 5 to 7 paintings. And some point down the line I want to have a solo show at Saatchi Gallery... It´s allowed to dream, right ?
Omer Pekin Los Angeles, CA, USA I was introduced to architecture at a very young age in Istanbul. As a child, I spent a lot of time in different creative environments, where I started interacting with computers. Engaging with various programs, and experiencing the beauty of the digital creative process triggered a thirst in me to discover more about the digital-tools. With this motivation, I started developing my own softwares which established my unique visual-systems. Within my images, I seek for constructive qualities, integral parts that are giving the digital a pseudo-physical trait. From there on I create new digital compositions that build upon painterly effects.
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Briefly describe the work you do. I develop digital imagery to explore digitally enhanced architectural compositions as art. Through utilization of emergent systems and other computational algorithms I aim to create a unique form of visual practice that evolves between art and architecture. I work with different media such as digital imagery, prints, 3D prints and other objects. The digital imagery I make plays with different painterly effects and mimics analog techniques by giving the digital sources a pseudo materiality. Questioning the relationship between physical qualities and the digital output, I aim to create various realities of a distinct formal and visual aesthetic. What themes do you pursue? The themes I consider are mostly related to architecture. Although practicing architecture is not my aim, my works find themselves in a realm between art and architecture. I commonly use building elements and usually facades to be specific.Facades can be perceived as the exterior imagery of the buildings. A painting as an imagery has many qualities that an ordinary facade does not have. Treating the facades of buildings as a canvas allows different painterly effects to come into play. Of many different painterly effects “smearing” has been the most interesting to me. Smearing a color over another creates a transition between the two colors. The in-between spaces of defined colors have many qualities of fusion. They are neither one end nor the other but contain the identity of both. Taking the facade imagery and virtualizing the smearing effects on pixels blends two separate figures on their facades to a new composition and is inseparable.
Do you think of yourself as a con- the art scene is shaping itself around ceptual artist? event-based occasions, rather than a more traditional, vernissage type It depends. Labeling my work solely of structure. I believe Los Angeles has as conceptual art doesn’t explain the an impressing community who is inscope of it in its entirety. However terested in the digital medium, which I do believe that my creations – mostly is now even more focused in virtual redue to my architectural background – ality. If you haven’t tried it, you must! evolve around a lot of concepts. They have an essence of questioning ma- In your opinion what does digital teriality as well as the existence of art mean in contemporary culture? objects. While these philosophical qualities raise the notion of concep- Looking at it from an LA vantage tuality, they don’t necessarily make point, I can say that the term “digital my creations conceptual art pieces. art” is being quite overused. With the Here is how I like to put it: I work in- extensive amount of technology-oritensely with visuals and many people ented creative start-ups in the digital perceive what they see in their own realm and their players who can’t reway. ally define themselves as artists but make some sort of art, I often find How has your work changed in the myself asking these questions: What past years? is “digital art” anyway? What makes an art piece “digital”? What makes I feel like it is becoming more and a digital creation “art”? Is the promore abstract, while embracing a duction of it? Is it how we view it? distinct aesthetic that used to be sub- Is virtual reality more “digital” or tler in my earlier, more architectural “art” than, lets say, a digital paintwork. I am continuously experiment- ing? When is a digital piece considing with objects, while leaning to- ered as art? If you look up the hashwards an act of relinquishing reality tag #digitalart on social media, you to grasp the essence of the objects’ will find that the scope is incredibly existence. As a result, I find myself large. As a platform used by almost creating shapes that almost get dis- every single one of us, social media is solved in a vibrant-colored composi- hinting me that the term “digital art” tion. is getting more and more vague and hard to define. How would you describe the art scene in your area? What are your future plans? Los Angeles is vibrant, like my colors! There are big names, big investments and a lot of publicity. Besides that, living here in LA makes you part of an immense community. It is an already international and intercultural community that is rapidly growing with a great flow of artists and makers from all around the world, paving the way for a more exciting scene every day. I love the diversity in art present in LA; I think it is very influential. Maybe due to the city structure, traffic and traveling distances,
Some residencies, that’s for sure. For the sake of my practice, I know that I want to continue pushing my limits regarding the use of technology. Technology is definitely an endless river, and I want to swim in it as much as I can. In that sense, I am quite sure that VR will be my next area to explore. As doing so, I wish to develop the material qualities of my practice in a 3D world, which will eventually (and hopefully) lead me to build a solid bridge between digital-painterly effects and 3D works
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Dario Pellegrino London, UK Photographer working in both new digital and traditional analogue techniques, I explore the relationship between nature, body, movement and identity through an experimental approach. My concern is to re-imagine the human body and all my subjects, creating a suspended journey in a “sensible world”, where the senses dialog with the forms and where the stories and the “captured moments” leave space to a look on the invisible. In my work, all the subject forms are subverted, everything is dismembered and recomposed together, in a continue research of their own identity.
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When, how and why started you photographing?
death, emotions and memories. Certainly there are artists that influenced my artisDuring my university years, while I was studying Cin- tic practice and education: David Lynch and Francis ema, I ran into a major photographic exhibition of Bacon with their disquiets, Michelangelo and Egon Mimmo Jodice - one of the most important Italian fine Schiele with their voluptuous bodies, Antoine D’Agart photographers. ata and Joel Peter Witkin with their images of death I had always been attracted by the photographic me- and life on the edge. All of them were able to experidium (for my 14th birthday I asked a Polaroid as a ment within their own artistic medium without setting gift, intrigued by this little “magic box”); but only as limits and reached an immense expressive power. I was admiring the works of Jodice, I realised how strong the expressive power of photography could What is the most challenging part about working be. Staring at the series “Mediterraneo”, I realised I with b&w photography? wanted to explore my creative needs through the photographic art. The black and white is an expressive tool that is comI then joined a photography course to learn differ- pletely distinct from the colour mode. ent techniques and I started experimenting, through Misleadingly B&W seems limited, but it is actually different projects, trying to find out what the art of a vast world made of infinite shades of grey (as we photography really is and how to use its different learn from Ansel Adams), where the difficulty lies in components. making each of these shades significant. As I like to work with shadows and shapes, I often Who or what has a lasting influence on your art choose B&W as it gives a sense of incompleteness. practice? In the series “Amore”, I immediately decided to use black and white as a means of creating a feeling of Sensations are an endless source of inspiration: all suspension, where the attention is accompanied by my work has been created and developed through and different shades of grey in distorted images, where the from them, shaping a world no longer made of real purest white and the deepest black merge and show forms and stories, but of infinite moments of life and the fragility of this “sensitive world”.
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How would you describe the art scene in your is the only thing that makes us really unique in the area? world of living creatures on our planet. London is a city that offers so much: it is a multicultural city, an open-air gallery, rich in schools and art academies, meeting places for artists and internationally recognized exhibitions, which allows anyone to live an artistically stimulating and lively atmosphere. It is precisely its vitality, unique in Europe, which has allowed me to grow artistically in a relatively short period of time. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I am not sure how to answer this question. If as “world of art” we mean the circle of curators, critics, galleries and art buyers, then it is definitely a world that tends sometimes to homologate in trends, perhaps too often looking for the provocation, easily marketable, rather than beauty. Fortunately there are still realities that dare, getting novelties and “new blood” into the art stream. It’s definitely a challenging and mysterious world. Also, from my point of view, art should be enhanced in its myriad forms and should be part of everyone’s daily life, because the ability to create and to admire something totally detached from the logic of survival
What advice can you give to those who are just starting with arts? Study, experiment, and do not be afraid. Study the past, understand what is happening now, hone your technical skills, be curious and always look for new ways, uninfluenced by trends or apparent limits. What are your future plans as an artist? My research on the digital technique will never end: I want to deepen the work done so far in an artistic field that is having difficulty being recognized as such, just as happened in the early years to analogue photography and cinema (the man hardly learns from his past mistakes). It is a research which develops not only on the technical means and possibilities, but also on the social consequences of a massive use of digital. In regard to my exhibitions, I am organizing one this summer in Italy. I also would like to start to exhibit my work in public institutions of national and international reputation, where everyone would have the opportunity to approach to my research.
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Rodriguez Seattle, WA, USA I am Haus des Rodriguez. I am Alive. I consist of several parts like human body, and all these parts work together as one entity. My soul is Catalina and Mariia. My body is fluid and ethereal, it grows constantly adding up to its structure photographs, paintings, poems, stories, installations and visual sequences. My mission is to carry love, beauty and harmony. I believe in true love and freedom, and I will tell about it with my creations. I am Haus des Rodriguez
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Art Reveal Magazine
What is the most challenging part about working together? Meditation is inevitable part of our work. Embracing power of love and unity through diving within bring us into the flow of abundant inspiration. In this state of mind and soul we work without any prior agreement, without sketches, without differentiating who paints which part of the canvas or paper. The challenges come when we start controlling the process, trying to evaluate where the next brush stroke should be, what colour to use in the specific place. Also very important thing for us is to start the creative process with constructive feelings so whenever we feel misbalanced weâ€™d rather paint or draw next time. Working together comes from strong connection that we have built in 7 years, it helps us to understand and feel each otherâ€™s thoughts, the meaning that we want to enclose into each project. So if there is just something going wrong we both feel it. It takes attention, patience and compassion in order for both of us to remain in balance so that we can work productively. What art do you most identify with? Due to our cultural roots we dig very deep applying ideas coming from various researches to our process. In terms of photography we could say that our art is close to conceptual-documentary because we always have a story to tell and questions to ask through our photographs while portraying subjects in lively or abandoned environments most likely outside of the studio. In paintings itâ€™s more difficult to identify because we feel like our work is Abstract Expressionistic although we have some representational elements in some pieces. We admire different art mediums and styles but mostly get influenced by Dada, Surrealism. What do you dislike about the art world? Like in every other field there are advantages and disadvantages. We think that in the world of art, respect to all sorts of art and people involved is lacking. Although it may seem that emerging artists are welcome to submit to calls and exhibit in galleries it feels like there are lots of restrictions, rules, guidelines and stereotypes are all there functioning. And there are fashionable waves and tendencies leaving numerous artists behind the line. Probably, one more thing that we find obscure is small amount of people visiting the galleries in person and communicating with each other. You can give and take so much when you talk to people; any email or phone call cannot substitute an in-person conversation.
Also we feel like tech era put up an illusion of easiness and accessibility forgetting the importance of a unique experience seeing art right in front of you. May sound old school but we think that art have to be experienced live. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? A long time ago, a close friend of us said if you want to succeed you have to fully dive into the art industry. Being an artist it is not something bohemian as the media is portraying, it is a creative job that takes everything you have from time and energy to your entire being but if you make it right, the outcome is rewarding. Take health pride in being an artist. If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? Catalina: I would be a lawyer. I love puzzles and trickiness of this occupation. I also like the challenges and excitement of the jury process and the mindset that you have to have to find ways of proving your truth. Mariia: I cannot imagine any other path besides being an artist. Sometimes it seems to me that this path was meant to appear earlier or later along the way, and there were road signs giving hints about what was going to happen. There is one passion of mine which is cooking, and I absolutely adore it. But cannot imagine working for some demanding chef. I’d rather open a restaurant. What are your future plans as artists or as a team? The future plans is staying together as a team and working on social projects about Native Americans, about the damage that our Earth feels, to be heard and to bring the conceptual art to the highest steps it can rich. Also, we have a project in mind to create a non-profit art centre where we want to give opportunity for young and hardworking underrepresented artists to learn the ups and downs of the art field. We will encourage artistic collaboration so that artists could always feel supported and given attention to. Couple important rules artists will need to follow is absolutely no hatred and judgement policy; also protégées’ health is important to us, so in order to have a chance to work and exhibit with us artists will need to stay away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco. We hope this space to be very educational as well putting strong accent on the business side of the art-world bringing professionals and lecturers from various art fields.
VJay Seminiano a.k.a.
Panama Jak Boston, MA, USA In a world of violence, destruction and madness – there is brightness and luminosity to contrast it all. In high school I learned about the art of Andy Warhol & Basquiat and as cliché as this sounds, I was inspired by the very artform they created – the ideas of commercialism in the United States and the impact it as. As you look through my art, you can gather a sense of pop culture and violence juxtaposed with a brightness that seems to fit somewhere in the middle.
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
Briefly describe the work you do. I’m an artist from Boston, Massachusetts, United States and I work mainly through digital art. I do mainly pop art style with very vibrant colors, and do mainly high quality prints as well as select canvases. What themes do you pursue? My themes are mostly very thought provoking and graphic and I find myself drawn to a strong focus on current topics and pop culture. Like my piece “Netflix and Pill” I took a take on the phrase “Netflix and Chill.” And my other piece Instafamous, which is the idea of being famous through Instagram. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The most challenging part of being an artist in my opinion is creating a body of work that is consistent throughout. Like when someone sees a piece and says “oh that’s definitely Panama Jak” or “this looks like something Panama Jak would make” How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in the Boston area mostly focuses on high end fine art, but there’s also these galleries that focus on the local art scene. In my hometown and neighboring hometown the local art scene is probably what influenced me the most to create the art I do now. It’s very urban, in-your-face, and grimy. What art do you most identify with? The art I identify with most if pop art and most importantly Andy Warhol. In my earlier years I spent a lot of time making pop art portraits of celebrities and the bright colors would later be prevalent in my more defined work today. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best art tip I received was from a fellow artist in my area named Tyler Robar. He taught me how to splatter paintings correctly lol. What are your future plans as an artist? My future plans is to have an art show with the local artists in my area, and to hopefully make it in a big gallery someday.
Matej Tomažin Ljubljana, Slovenia My photo collages are the product of influences by David Hockney, cubism and surrealism. My works are based upon a multi perspectival construction of the motive in the technique of snapshot photography (each 10x15 cm in size) on wood. Thus my works, set free from Hockney’s realistic backgrounds, are placed in a much more fluid environment. The idea is to research the dimensions of multi perspectival fragmentation of the motive in the context of contemporary painting and the definition of painting itself, being the classification of choice for my collages. With the use of photography I take the need to imitate the subject’s character, his or her surrounding and reality itself out of the process, unlike traditional painting techniques, and can so manipulate reality in one of its purest forms. The main point of my collages is the depiction of a multi perspectival time- space. While deconstructing the motive and rearranging its fragments I am able to convey a kind of fluidity that in a way photographs under the surface themselves imply. Being static depictions of non static occurrences the act of movement is always absent on the surface, and in my work I try to reenact these traces, that static photos and even photographic depictions of movement (i.e., the motion blur of a fast moving train etc) usually don’t materialise.
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
Briefly describe the work you do. only way to glimpse into the world of pure ideas that Plato described, I operate in a wide body of work perfect, immortal, and to us, inconcerning many areas of inter- conceivable in its totality. And so est. My current main project being the only real way to practice Art photo collages and the depiction of for me is to do so as was described a multi perspectival time-space via in the aspirations of the Futurists methodical fragmentation. While in their manifest and to let the nudeconstructing the motive and re- merous processes of life dictate the arranging its fragments I am able process of Art. to convey a kind of fluidity that in a way photographs themselves im- What is the best part about ply. Being static depictions of non working with mixed media and static occurrences the act of move- collage? ment and transformation is always absent on the surface. Collage is a special medium for Other projects vary, both in con- me, it resonates strongly with my text and medium, ranging from work and the ideas I wish to conartist books and the research of vey to the spectator. It is really the contemporary photography and formal aspect that I like most, the its place in todays art scene to construction of any one piece from works of dialog concerning factual multiple fragments — glimpses occurrences that spark my inter- into the reality that is the finished est. As a common denominator it artwork. With my collages it has is the static that is usually hidden always been a question of life’s under the surface of reality that I fluidity, both in time and in space, find extremely interesting — the and I have come to find that one juxtaposition of facts that reveals depiction is never true to the mosubversive, sometimes ironical tive’s inner truth, and rather than tendencies. trying to find the essence of things via symbols I find that it can only What is your creative process be found in the gaps between the like? visual reality itself — those intangible sublime traces of purity that It is the accumulation of anything one can only grasp if confronted that is remotely interesting. I be- with their physical, inaccurate lieve a strong sense of life and its negatives. building blocks are imperative and without dilettantish tendencies one Who or what has a lasting influbecomes to narrow minded. I see ence on your art practice? myself as a collector of various information, be it about art, phi- It is really not that much a queslosophy, physics, astronomy, soci- tion of selection but of quantity for ology, cuisine or electrical work- me. I believe everything that one ings. With an open mind every bit encounters in life can be conveyed of information eventually falls into into his or her art practice. Impresplace and bears new ideas. This sions vary in amplitude but it is rewas the main reason I decided to ally more the connections that we study Art, as it is for me the most form between them than the influuniversal realm of knowledge, un- ences themselves that make up the burdened by the needs of the phys- creative process. There is always a ical world like usability, likability, gap to be filled, but we are usually even plausibility. To me art is the never aware of its existence until
we acquire the missing piece and the thought crystallises. But if I had to choose it always were the practices of Modernism that left clear marks on my work. Works of great artists like Pablo Picasso, Umberto Boccioni, Mark Rothko, the joiners of David Hockney … But great minds aside I believe the most important influence for any artist is his curiosity; we all find in our lifetimes great minds who think alike, or share opposing views on life and art and philosophy, but the mechanism that guides them is mostly the same. They all follow one basic urge that pushes them forward regardless if met with praise or disapproval and lucky for anyone in the field of exploration, never subsides. For every answer always flowers into a new forest of questions. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? For me it has always been a kind of interplay of two juxtaposed realities. Curiosity and critical evaluation of authority on the one side and an interplay of self-discipline and procrastination on the other that led me forward. I think today we are all as much emancipated as we are burdened by the beast that is the internet and the thought that we can reach almost anyone in the world with our ideas but at the same time fail to do so. I believe a big problem is misuse of self-projection, that has been brewing for sometime and now that new technologies can make almost any creative thought an instant visual reality the act of actually doing something is many times replaced by a quicker rewarding notion of contemplation (i.e. browsing thousands of possibilities on the inter-
net) and elevator pitching of ideas to anyone who is prepared to listen. By doing so many good ideas and projects get killed-of in the beginning of their growth, not because of quality, lack of funds or any other external factor, but because each presentation, be it a formal discussion or a talk to a friend or colleague, is a self-projection into a future where the project is already finished and accepted, filling the mind with false signals of accomplishment and thus rendering the actual act of creation to seem unnecessary. It is not that I wish to advise anyone to be completely sealed-off when taking about their plans and projects or not to make thorough plans of projects to come, but that words and ideas when articulated and even thought have as much an impact on the speaker as they have on the listener and that it is never smart to indulge oneself in artificial feelings of accomplishment, rather than having enough self criticism to see the big picture, or as one of my favourite quotes from the Wachowski brothers movie The Matrix puts it: “There’s a difference between knowing the Path and walking the Path.” How would you describe the art scene in your area? Generally speaking there are usually two types of artworks and artistic productions that coincide on the market in any country or region. You have artworks targeted at current demands of the market which rather easily find themselves being represented and fetch good
prices in galleries because of favouriting notions from private collectors. On the other side there are always artistic practices that target discourse and the contemplation of ideas. These are never really made ad hoc to be marketed and to really be fiscally plausible for the artist, rather to convey a message, idea or critique.
though there are not manny collectors, some people still buy art — needless to say that I have sold much more works to international collectors than to the ones living in Slovenia, but in no way should this be off-putting to anyone thinking about studying the Fine Arts in Slovenia as it is a beautiful small country with a lot to offer.
Regardless of being the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is no Paris or Berlin, and as such does not possess an art market as strong as any neighbouring countries in the EU. The fact is that since the 90s and the collapse of our art market the first kind of artistic production has almost disappeared. Due to budget cuts in culture and the rigidity of the Ministry of Culture’s system of financial support mostly publicly funded galleries exist in Ljubljana which are, due to contract obligations to their main investors, rarely able to provide a fluid enough exhibition plan to include young and aspiring artists in their shows.
What are you working on right now?
But I can say that in a way this is a blessing in disguise as with the lack of an art market there are no constrains on artists to conform to any demands that it might impose on them and as a current Master student at the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Ljubljana I can say that, for me, these circumstances were always a motivation to reach higher goals. It may be true that the situation in Slovenia isn’t perfect, but it is important to understand that the alternative art scene still flourishes. And even
At the moment I am opening several exhibitions in the UK and Slovenia with several additional shows planned across the EU still in a conversation phase. Most of these will feature my collage series, but one will have totally fresh works that are still in production. This new series focuses on a post-Düsseldorf like photographic experience, where I will try to answer a question that has been laying heavy on my mind for quite some time, namely: Can a photograph under the right conditions and with the right motive or lack of one convey a symbolic experience as strong as the late works of Mark Rothko. In other words, I believe one can produce photographs of objects so clean and void of information, be it ideological, historical, emotional, etc., that they will induce to the viewer similar effects as do Rothko’s works with colour. Of course I invite anyone curious of the outcome of this project and any others to visit my website to see and read more, as I will be posting them sometime in the near future.
Janina Wierusz Kowalska Bielsko-Biała, Poland Janina Wierusz Kowalska comes from a family boasting artistic talents. One of her ancestors, Alfred Jan Wierusz Kowalski was an apprentice of Joseph Brandt and a great Polish painter, who represented the Munich School with a title of ‘honorary professor of the Munich Academy of Fine Arts’. She studied Industrial Design and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. She founded and supervised The School of Visual Arts, for which she created her own program, connecting the Socratic idea of creative dialoque with the universal, interdisciplinary education based on great ideas of Bauhaus. She practices painting, drawing, textile installation and photography. She sporadically and selectively designs interiors of both public and private buildings while treating each and every project as a unique and inimitable piece of art. Being the autor of essays and outlines on the theory of art she reveals her passion for writing. She is a member of A.P.A.J.T.E. - Polish Association of Authors, Journalists and Translators, the headquartes of which functions in Paris. She cooperates with the “Amici di Tworki”, association whose workings have been incorporated into the “Schizophrenia - Open The Doors”.
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
Briefly describe the work you do I am a painter, but I have fully dedicated myself to painting a while ago. The decision to do it was also a decision to close the artistic school I was leading. The school was a beautiful initiative and required a lot of energy and time. However, even when I didn’t paint or painted from time to time, I looked for new topics and forms of expression. I experimented, evolved my style and learned the difficult art of resigning from excess: from overload of forms, ideas and colors. In the early stage of my creative awareness, it was hard for me to imagine how one can give up the fairy-like spectacle of colors – and I was using all the paint colors available. Now, I get only those that I need; two or three maximum. Nor I could get it how to restrain myself despite the unlimited technical workshop. But after I got to know works of great masters such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, I understood that what makes the work of art truly great is not the abundance of technical resources, but quite conversely. My paintings are simple and intentionally pure, but I achieved this simplicity in the course of years, it was a long evolution that has lasted my whole life. I owe a lot to the school, where I thought architectonic drawing, painting and had to prepare many educational materials: geometric constructions and various schemes. Constantly verifying my disciples’ works I exercised the sharpness of the eye and I learned how important it is to reject the temptation of excess in order to elaborate my own style. Eventually, I decided to paint the reality rejected by the consumer society – mysteries of light and shadow, wisdom, and the consequences of the laws of nature, insignificant details that our eyes tend to ignore.
I don’t want to bestow interest to flashy and attractive objects that require our constant interest. One can say that my art is rigorous and cold – but it is just ordered, and there are emotions hidden in this order. I choose large formats of canvases as I treat them as a very important medium of expression. I want my paintings to emanate strength - with their movement and dynamics. What you can observe in them is a fight between shadow and light enriched with an illusion of a third dimension. What themes do you pursue? I don’t have any constant pattern of themes I pursue – I let the inspiration to come from various sources. What I don’t do is I don’t register the narrative reality and I don’t multiply its fragments on the canvas’s surface. I create my paintings as homage to the laws of nature and I admire how greatly it is designed. I encounter and discover such components of the material world that has been doomed to visual oblivion: pieces of glass, crumpled sheets of paper, a stone with sharp edges. I respect the rules of perspective, the discipline of light and shadow. I’m not interested in painting anecdotes or situations, posed shapes and symbols that humans impose on the reality. In my paintings, I remain rather in the world of silence and elements of reality that don’t admonish for anything from me and don’t impose anything on me. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I appreciate conceptual art as its highest stadium of reflectivity – and by reflectivity I understand the awareness that art is not just a product of an impulse, vision or gust, but it comes from a deeper consideration. Despite the fact that
almost all art is preceded by a deep scientific analysis, the final result of concealed preparatory work is always a physical artwork – that is meant to get not only to the eye of the observer, but also to his mind. Whereas artists who worked under the etiquette of conceptualism decided to give up the traditional language of art in favour of art as language and art as an idea. Defining conceptualism as a movement that criticises the traditional artistic media (especially painting), which exposes the creative process itself and reduces art to linguistic statements, I can’t say I identify myself with it. Nevertheless, if I had to inscribe what I do into a particular movement, I would rather say that my paintings are strongly connected to constructivist art created by the Bauhaus artists. This current, based on the simplicity of style, brevity and minimalism of expression, is the closest to me also because it makes possible both the concept and the material form of an artwork to coexist on the same terms. How has your work changed in the past years? My art has been evolving during the years: from the painting of gesture, very impulsive and “romantic”, to more calmed down and pure forms. A tendency to use strong and cold colors was always a main characteristic of my paintings but with time it has also got more refined – I came to a conclusion that the narrower the range of colors, the greater the power of expression. In my pursuit to greater simplicity I followed the Taoist metaphor saying that “five colors make people blind, five sounds make people deaf” which refers to the feeling of surfeit. My approach to topics I’m interested in has also changed – here the aim was to purify my paintings from pathos and excess. I began to appre-
ciate the subjects that aren’t banal had the ability to represent many and which don’t penetrate still the unimaginable phenomena in situasame, depleted fields. tions when the spoken and written word wasn’t able to express certain How would you describe the art thoughts. The art of the Renaisscene in your area? sance, with its scientific achievements and great works, ennobled Many of the artists with whom its contemporary patrons. On the I don’t dare to compare myself as other hand, the post-Renaissance an artist, are the best examples of verism favored suggestive illumaking art superior over the cir- sion of reality. Before the advent cumstances: Piero della Frances- of photography, images illustrated ca, Flaubert, Dante, Rilke – they all and documented the visible world, lived and created in solitude. because “there is nothing that art I’m a loner too and I don’t observe wouldn’t be able to express”, acthe artistic scene in the place where cording to Oscar Wilde. Painting I live. Attempts to penetrate this ar- was the carrier of something imtistic community ended up with redi- portant and provided the impresrecting my attention to other areas sions and knowledge, inaccessible and more remote regions. It doesn’t’ in any other way. bother me though, as I don’t need In contemporary culture, based a bunch of professional contacts on the material not spiritual, printo live and to create. Creative ex- ciples, the image loses its “superchanges and intellectual stimuli in natural” power and becomes an my area of interests, which I valued object of trade, synonymous with the most, were these developed dur- consumption. The spiritual world is ing my educational activity – with shrinking and factors totally differmy students. I highly appreciated ent from spiritual ones decide of our their selfless opinions and sincere interest in art. It seems to me that a doubts. prehistoric man had a greater senAs for the possible lack of role sitivity and need to “open the gates models and sources of inspiration, to the soul” than a modern human, which could be the consequence of sublimed, but also exhausted by alienation, it doesn’t concern me at the evolution. In the current surfeit all, because the impetus for creation of all kinds of visual information, doesn’t have to come from behind without a distance necessary to verthe wall. As an artist calling myself ify their quality, it’s hard to find a lonesome, I can make the shift in worthy room for painting. So does it focus towards the creative process still play such an important role in itself. Allowing myself the comfort human culture, as it did in the past? of unlimited reflection, I can strive The more attractions the contemfor the reduction of elements in my porary visual world carries with it, creative process instead of adding the more difficult is the choice. Easy more and more impulses. access to every work of art in the world, through a variety of media In your opinion what does painting and the ease of traveling, deprive mean in contemporary culture? a work of art of the mystery of discovering it. Paradoxically, it causes In the past, painting had a com- loss of interest in an area that has pletely unique role. It was an ex- become so widely available that it’s pression of spirituality and magic, no longer unique. a manifestation of faith and had There is also another fundamenan extra verbal capacity. Images tal problem. Contemporary artists,
premeditatedly destructing destruction the artistic and cultural values, don’t bestow respect to the recipient. They don’t care if their art’s purpose is to decore et delectare, as Horace postulated. I my opinion, artists are not allowed to cross more boundaries than other people. If painters don’t into account the role of the viewer in a complex dialogue with their work, but tend to only expose themselves, then the viewer is no longer obliged to pay attention to such an incomprehensible game. There are many great contemporary painters, who create exceptional works of art. But there is a question where to find them. Perhaps not in places designed for exhibiting art, because these are occupied by extremes, eagerly promoted and almost mandatory in the contemporary art world. What are your future plans? As every, so-called, creative person I have many plans that have to break through the hard realities of existence. I made a dozen projects for paintings that I want to materialize. This is a huge undertaking, considering the format of my work, and rough formal and technical means I use. I’m preparing a large solo exhibition and I’m writing a book. In the context of the boom of celebrities’ books, it may sound trite, but it’sa project I’ve been working on for some time now – I started a long time ago and I had some long pauses. It will be about creating and teaching art, about my conversations with students and artists from the era of the Academy, but it is also about animals, nature, and the beauty. The book is somewhat fictionalized, because it has no right to be boring – especially in the light of low readership nowadays. Of course, I have no idea whether any publisher would be interested in it, but I’m hopeful.
M.Woods Los Angeles, CA, USA
To understand my artistic practice it is important that I first divulge the conspiracy theory that binds all of my artistic work. I work in literature, experimental film, video art, sound, sculpture, painting, and performance, each with a different process aimed at expressing this central theme. The conspiracy theory involves the disintegration of the reality principle due to the metaphysical glitch of “nothingness.” It further describes the convolution of reality by media and the cancer of representation, causing the erosion of “everything” into a negligible illusion. All of my work has been created for a mixed-media, interactive exhibition and cycle of work consisting of a novel, two feature films, video art, sculpture, objects, experimental photography, painting, and performance. This cycle of work, The Numb Spiral, directly refers to the experience of Sartre’s Bad Faith and the phenomenological discovery of total illusion.
Art Reveal Magazine
Briefly describe the work you do. tive or simply the illusion of cinematic reality, and then degrades its I’m primarily an experimental form to non-meaning through a defilmmaker and video artist, but piction of hyperreality or a direct my work consists of performance, intervention to strip the symbolic photography, painting, mixed-me- order of its integrity. dium collage, room installation, and Virtual Reality. For the past What is your creative process like? decade I have been working on a large art cycle called the Numb I work in layers upon layers. Spiral, which includes two feature For instance, I may shoot a roll films, a novel, photography, a web of 35mm photographs with subseries, several short films, video jects pertaining to the theory beloops, sculpture, and an interac- hind my overarching project, The tive Virtual Reality performance Numb Spiral. I will then bleach piece. One of my main practic- and chemically alter the camera es includes direct manipulation roll, after it has been digitized, and of film through hand-processing, then I will directly alter the photoscratching, bleaching, painting graph physically or digitally, savwith traditional and non-tradition- ing artifacts of its deterioration, al media, chemical intervention, until the original source no longer and super-8/16mm collage. On the represents what it did originally, film frame I try to render an expe- but now becomes representative riential space in the form of mul- of symbolic decay and negation. ti-media collage, that veers into My process is crafted after my own symbolic abstraction. A space that interpretation of Dali’s Paranoiestablishes the illusion of a narra- ac-Critical Method, Burroughs’s
word virus cut-ups, and Francis Bacon’s use of layering and his play with the delineation of space. I sample heavily, whether through sound, found footage, youtube, or found 8mm, super-8mm, and 16mm films. Because my work branches out into many different media and practices, each process is slightly different, but they are all essentially rooted in the philosophy of the Numb Spiral, which borrows heavily from the work of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, Jean Baudrillard, Kierkegaard, William S. Burroughs, Freud, Guy Debord, and Marshall McLuhan. The Numb Spiral itself is defined as the point at which consciousness experiences self-induced negation; the point at which one’s consciousness has proven that everything but itself is an illusion, and the point at which the consciousness chooses a solipsistic idea to replace that of objective reality. The Numb Spiral is brought on by the Digital Sickness
Art Reveal Magazine
- the point at which representation becomes codified numerically at the subatomic level. The point at which the fields of psychology and psycho-analysis are tarnished by the motion-picture cinematic reality (or hyperreality) - the new religion and identity served up with the mediated projection of the human self. Motion picture gives rise to Virtual Reality, the last stop on the progression towards simulating the human experience of consciousness. I choose the genre of horror to help weave a narrative that runs through the Numb Spiral, of the degeneration of a male and female avatar at the hands of the Digital Sickness - which is the god of the universe I’m creating. The mythology of these characters’ symbolic decay forms a sort of backbone for the experience of entering and leaving the Numb Spiral as a whole. The individual pieces of artwork - whether they’re short films or photographs or a
live performance can be seen as an extension of the Digital Sickness emanating from the center of the Numb Spiral. After establishing this theory, every element of the Numb Spiral, and every process, follows a sort of brutal logic, and in the end I think I’ll have something of a large nest of art that self-reflexively signifies its own symbolic negation. This all in the hopes of developing an experience of positivity, or reaffirmation of the real that exists within the natural order and beyond the periphery of the Numb Spiral cycle and of American popular culture. In a way during each layer of work there is an intrusion of randomness, particularly in the shape and manifestation of the Spiral itself, that serves as a consistent reminder that despite my own attempts to control a larger symbolic system, the entire system is subject to the intervention of the natural and of physics.
What is the best part about working with mixed media and collage? Mixed media and collage, and I’ll also include sampling into this, offers the ability to point to particular signifiers that exist within the reality that predates the creation of my work, and therefore ties the work into a sort of symbolic network. It directly references hiphop, experimental filmmakers like Bruce Conner and Joseph Cornell, the Cubists, Dada, Surrealism, the avant-garde in general, and also the avant-garde’s demise - the Pop Art movement and its several degenerations. Sampling as an art form is both a modern and post-modern idea. It signifies the heights of the avant-garde and the counter-avant-garde - the snide, ironic, comedic dismissal of expression. I’m attempting to use sampling as a way to build on the ideas of Kandinsky, except using
predetermined shapes, colors, and symbols - both imbued by and divorced from their meanings. And in the way RZA produces as a hip-hop artist, these different media congeal into a musical experience. They oscillate between abstraction and representation, but in its self-reflexivity, in the same way that human consciousness oscillates between being and nothingness, the artwork signifies a sort of consciousness that is communicable. I think this is only possible with the acceptance and use of the existing symbolic network towards forging new meanings from existing components.
artists that are hugely influential are David Lynch, Pipilotti Rist, Matthew Barney, Alejandro Jodorowsky, JeanLuc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Luis Bunuel, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ingmar Bergman, Spike Lee, Maya Deren, Catherine Breillat, Stanley Kubrick, Franz Kafka, etc... there are quite a few. Each of them have had an influence on the language I use as an artist, and each have directed their focus back at the medium with which they are representing their ideas. The avant-garde film community is also very important to me. Some experimental filmmakers, many working today, that have had an impact on me are Aldo Tambellini, Michael RobinWho or what has a lasting influ- son, Jessie Stead, Phil Solomon, Daence on your art practice? vid Finkelstein, Ryan Trecartin, Nick Zedd. My emerging artist allies SiAs I said previously, Sartreâ€™s Being mon Liu, Irving Gamboa, Cassandra and Nothingness, Jean Baudrillard, Sechler, Nick Heppding, and Steve Kierkegaard, William S. Burroughs, Girard are all doing amazing things Freud, Guy Debord, and Marshall as well. McLuhan are very influential, however, Iâ€™m also influenced and still That being said, the artists that have learning about the Avant-garde - es- had the most direct influence on me pecially Dada and Surrealism. Other have been Jason Halprin, Bruce Mc-
Clure, Darrell Wilson, Marco Williams, Lynne Sachs, Joanne Savio, and Charles Potter. Jason Halprin, who used to teach at Columbia College, provided one of my first entry points into the experimental film scene. I used to work at Chicago Filmmakers as an intern, under the awesome Patrick Friel, and Jason would come in and rattle off a bunch of names of artists I should know and work I needed to see. He really got me looking into the most important artists - Ken Anger, Kuchar, Ken Jacobs, Jack Smith, etc... Patrick and Jason introduced me to Bruce McClure, who served as a mentor for me while I helped him document some performances. He really showed me the basic elements of cinema in a way. He conjures up overbearing, mechanized, almost fanatic experiences from projectors and distortion pedals and constructed projector gates, and your mind is altered. His intervention on the mechanomorphic order of the projector, and the controlled randomness of the sound distortion that careens through his performances in
large sheets, very much influenced my own ideas of how to interact with my own instruments. He is a maestro. Darrell Wilson, Joanne Savio, Marco Williams, Lynne Sachs, and Charles Potter were the professors at NYU film who were most instrumental in shaping my work and process. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be anywhere. They all challenged me and made me question everything within each image I create. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Only cliches. Art ain’t easy, but it’s necessary. I always treat each work like it’s my last. Art has the ability to communicate mountains of information which I think vastly outweighs art that communicates nothingness and simple aesthetic exercises. There’s enough bullshit out there as it is that if something’s going to be said it should at least try to be important. Also, every abortion of a piece of art work can be reincarnated. Every
failure I use as canvas for another project. There’s sometimes no use in planning everything out, though I certainly do, but I’ve never arrived at exactly my destination and that is something I’m at peace with. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’ve shown at LACDA gallery in Los Angeles, but I’m still new to the art scene, and I’m one of those hermit artists. I feel that even in the experimental film community I’m really just a small blip, though I’m trying to meet more people. I have a 10-month old daughter, so really my time revolves around working my day jobs and jobs for freelance, spending as much time with her, and continuing my creative process. I really want to imbed myself with a community of like-minded artists in LA. I’ve never really felt part of a scene before, so I think the experience and value of being able to show and discuss work would be essential to my growth in the future.
What are you working on right now? Right now I’m working on two feature films that are in post-production. I’m trying to do some fundraising to finish them, but while I do I’ve been embracing the opportunity to make work for free or very cheap. I’m working on a two-part short film and Virtual Reality project called Commodity Trading. The short film will be called Dies Irae and the Virtual Reality project will be the Inauguration of the Numb Spiral Part 1. The piece is dedicated to Aldo Tambellini, and incorporates HD digital video with hand-painted, bleached, collaged 35mm, 16mm, and super 8 elements. They’ll be shown as part of NYU professor, Darrell Wilson’s, upcoming Porphyrogennetos show in NY. The theme has to do with my interpretation of royalty/wealth, the proliferation of nothingness in economic and symbolic exchange, and the way in which consumption of finite elements serves as a sort of reminder of perpetual emptiness and humanity’s interpretation of nothingness created at the heart of being.