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FEATURED ARTIST: ZILING WANG 5 EVENT OF THE MONTH : CUTTING EDGE 6 SALMA ALI 8 FRED APPS 14 EUGENIO AZZOLA 20 IGGY BEERBOWER 26 CATHERINE COX-FIELD 32 ELENA EFEOGLOU 38 SONIA GIL 44

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GONZAGA GÓMEZ-CORTÁZAR ROMERO 50 JESSICA INCERTI TELANI 56 DAVID ISAKSON 62 SAL JONES 68 ANASTASIA KACHALOVA 74 HYUN KIM 80 JEROME CHIA-HORNG LIN 86 THEODOSIA MARCHANT 92 THOMAS PICKARSKI 98 TERRY TRIPP 104 PAK KEUNG WAN 110 ZILING WANG 116 MENGTING ZHUO 122


Wang Ziling (b.1988) is a Chinese born and London based artist. She graduated with MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London in 2011. Her work has won the Premium Art Special Award from the Society Of Women Artist Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries 2016, awarded by her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, and won the International Confederation of Art Critics Art Contest 4th Prize. Her work will be published in the spring 2017 issue of Saatchi Magazine as a guest artist dedicated to the London Art Biennale 2017. She has also been shortlisted in the London Solo Award 2016, and won the bronze prize at ‘Giant Cup’ Today National Art Students Annual Awards, Beijing Today Art Museum, where her work was collected by the museum.  Her work has been exhibited internationally in Beijing, London and Venice. Forthcoming & current exhibitions: 16March - 17th March 2017, Pratham Art Show, Nehru Culture Center, Indian High Commission, London 23rd - 5th March 2017, Portrait exhibition, Candid Art Trust Gallery, London Previous exhibition: 15th December 2016 - 15th January 2017, Contemporary Venice, Palazzo Flangini, Venice, Italy 3rd August - 20th August 2016, Lacey Contemporary Summer Arts Prize, Lacey Contemporary Gallery, London 27th July - 7th August 2016, The 155th Society Of Women Artist Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London

FEATURED ARITST

ZILING

WANG More about Ziling Wang at pages 116-121

Ziling Wang,The existence of us and them in time and space No.1

The state and relationship between objects in my paintings represent the phenomenon and circumstance of a person in that space. This space is reconstructed by fragments of a person’s sense of time and stream of consciousness and is divided by segments of our perception of life and the integrity of time, leading to more of a sense of alienation and exile. Thus, our perception of the external world is an imposition of person’s consciousness, rather than the ‘thing-in-itself ’.


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Art Reveal Magazine

It’s Friday evening in the city that never sleeps, at coGalleries, Berlin. Prophit Art Zine celebrates 40 years PUNK with a book launch and an exhibition of 24 international collage artists. TEXT LULA VALLETTA

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pon arrival at the venue, visitors are greeted with a typical ’punk welcome’; half-warm beer, a space packed with a colorful crowd and punk tunes playing in the background. Among the people many creatives, artists and interesting individuals. After the first two beers the “clingcling” to get our attention for a short opening speech by curator Lula Valletta, followed by a performance by Eva Elaine (NL).Surrounded in cut-ups, she tapes herself mummy-like from head to toe, while breathing through a harmonica. A feeling of shock of suffocation goes through the crowd as they

silently watch Eva kneeling on the floor to put on her ‘mask’ and roll around in her cut-ups. While walking through the exhibition, we are lead along the works in a playful way. Showing that a typical gallery hanging is not a must and better yet: would only hold you back in experiencing the ‘cutting edge’. A total of 75 works show how punk subculture has influenced collage and their artists. Each artist showing this in their own unique way. From ripping, cutting, misplacing, printing, to writing, shaping and drawing. This exhibition and it’s accompanying book show the many faces of the European

contemporary collage scene. The book shows collage work of over 30 international collagists, many of whom are participating in the ‘Cutting Edge’ exhibition as well. With its 100 pages and a silkscreen cover this book, titled PUNK, is a true eye catcher. With a limited edition this magazine comes with a poster and will give other creatives lots of inspiration and curious cats a unique look into the crazy world of contemporary collage art.

curator Lula Valletta

LEFT: Photo by Stefan Schneider RIGHT: Photo by Garçon Boucher

Highlights are aplenty and come in all shapes and sizes. Isabel Reitemeyer (DE) with her deeply intriguing minimalistic black and white pieces, one of which is also used for the promotional posters hung all trough


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LEFT: Isabel Reitemeyer “ARMS” RIGHT: Photo by Stefan Schneider

LEFT: Photo by Garçon Boucher RIGHT: Lula Valletta “SLICE”

Berlin. The works of Lula Valletta (NL) remind one of the political collages which were often used by bands like Buzzcocks and Dead Kennedys. The geometric pieces by Stefan Schneider (DE) with its sharp edges show a subtly aggressive graphic design. Berlin’s own NOIR (DE) uses all kinds of materials and printing techniques to visualize his ideas. The discoveries of faces in landscapes by Pascal Verzijl (NL), the cut-up poetry by Evelyn Bennett and Chris Rutter (UK), the poetic and dreamy vision of Linda Werner (DE) which can be discovered in her collages, the extremely detailed 3D piece ‘Man Plans, God laughs’ by Kai Holland (DE) which reminds one of a distorted view of Disneyland and the ‘Meat

...

is not

a must

and

better

yet:

would

only hold you back

in experiencing

the

‘cutting edge’.

series’ by Jorge Chamorro (ES). To name just a few among those deserving a special mention. The curator Lula Valletta explains the idea behind Prophit Art Zine and this exhibition: ‘Two times a year Prophit Art Zine releases a new issue; each time with a new theme and works by a bunch of interesting collagists. The previous issue it was all about DADA; this time it’s PUNK. For the launch of each magazine I bring together artists from the publication and others from the Prophit Art Zine network for a group exhibition. Also here the running red line of Prophit Art Zine is visible; each

time a new space and each time with a different group of collagists. The idea is to keep things interesting and above all…. not boring.” For more information about Prophit Art Zine, the publications, the artists involved as well as the events please visit the website: www.prophit-artzine.blogspot.com or follow Prophit Art Zine on Facebook.

Cutting Edge – a collage group exhibition Open 17-19 March 2017 at coGalleries. Torstr. 170, Berlin-Mitte


Salma Ali Birmingham, UK

I work from outdoors where I get more exposure from inspiration, this being the city, its hustle and bustle of people, buildings and consumed objects part of the metro life. I enjoy to work on mainly dramatic colourful imagery, as it offers so much detail, enabling me to express personal thought as I can use different approaches of technique to observe and record the themes characteristics. This can be mixed media, graffiti used as text and found objects that I have collected over the years. Detail is important as that the design can be complete. Dark humour, symbolic and hallucinatory images are exploited throughout, often involving self identity. Taking a critical view of social political and cultural views. I construct memories from my childhood, my teens and adult culture. Spiraling from the pop icon Madonna to retro trends or personal attitude. Layers of images juxtaposed by figures depicting loss, damage or even the odd rare celebration. The colour red talks about danger as the colour blue is about calmness and safety. The text and colour provide clues to interpretation. Awarded a full scholarship MA Level at The Royal Drawing School, Prince’s trust HRH, 2014 I was taught drawing from observation, exploring different approaches to observe and experiment on drawings, using the form from detail on the artistic insights and technique, within the studio and outdoor practice. Detecting the object’s form or structure, composition, space, those include life drawing, drawing from costume, drawing at the National Museum portraits and drawing from the city. Thoughts awakened from memory and conscious mind, interpretation of self identity, representation and expression, defining detail from observation, even more from using photography too as a tool to record and interpratate detail. Furthermore, exploring the context of desing/detail again has been continual from my earlier studies at the Bournville College of arts (Diploma 2006) and at the Birmingham City university (BA HONS Illustration 2011).


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When, how and why started your art practice? I remember when going to my old girls school my art teacher would introduce me to the works of Guiseppe Amissani, Salvador Dali, Otto Dix, David Orozco, Diego Rivera and many others, I was encouraged to draw, even though I started to draw when I was six years of age, to me art came accidentally, it wasn’t planned, I wanted to study mathematics and science, but I left school and grew bored and started to draw obsessively. My cultural experience of self identity was already born in my art as I remember as a teenager I grew up in the city, I found the very large and busy city an inspiration and was distracted, it was mixed with other notions like for instance my stance towards fashion/style, gender, music, language, lovestruck, religion, race and my parents from an immigration generation a self identity already formed. By this I expressed my personal thoughts exposed by dramatic humour but loving to place social political changes of a hybrid mass culture. It being a critical overview of my personal attitude towards my mixed customs and tradition because I am a product of my cultural identity. How has your work changed in the past years? At the beginning my early work had less detail or colour but with more text, as time went by I produced more detail, meaning and visual appearance. When being enrolled at the Royaal Drawing School, (Prince’s Trust), London, in 2014 my ideas of drawings had changed dramatically. I am focusing more on portraits that are symbolic with a range of detail all over the painting. I’m more involved with using collected material: from postcards to razors, I also have old letters that have been saved over the years with imprints of telephone numbers, also with little messages embedded across. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? Its about going back to basics, rewinding time which is most exciting for me, the challenge is when I see works from the past and see how careful and precise the works are and then I aspire to that disciplined approach. I discipline myself when I use modern motifs alongside traditional media. Describe a real-life situation that inspired you? I watch everything that goes by in sequenc-

es or events, all accidental and unplanned, I remember a real-life inspiring event in the middle of July 2016, was when I had seen my oldest sister Yasmin was getting ready to go out to an ice-cream parlour, she wore a her hair in three-split bumper bangs, red hooped earrings, red lipstick, panch angla, (five finger ring chain) a striking top labeled Cola, she stood against a red wall. It was a cultural mix of British/American and Desi motifs. So I quickly drew a sketch and changed the Cola to Kuri (girl). I placed other symbolic imagery, then named it Bratania Kuri (British Girl). In your opinion what role does the artist have in society? When my work is viewed I am to be imitated or constantly re-invented, I reveal and clarify a philosophical, political or ideological complex of self identity in my art. This role has

shocked a few people about my crazy life. All roles depend on who you are and what you show in society because what you reveal begins as an idea and ends as a revolution. What is your dream project? I would love to travel across many continents and explore different cultures and languages, from there create a project that involves huge city murals for public libraries, schools and universities. To also change the face of popular branding by incorporating drawings and text about cultural identity infused with fashion/style and language. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to? I am the muse since I know myself more than my own blood and skin.


royaldrawingschool.org/artists/drawing-year-alumni/salma-ali


Fred Apps London, UK

After many mis-spent years in advertising I moved to illustrating children’s books but recently I’ve picked up my brushes in my spare time and started painting the pictures I’ve always wanted to do and some I never thought of doing. As I work the ideas I’ve had dissolve to be replaced by new directions. I now paint full time and I’m fascinated to see where I’m going from here.


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Briefly describe the work you do I try all sorts of media and methods. I have done detailed oil paintings and watercolours and loose finger paintings. I often do on the spot portraits at local community events. I’m constantly looking for a direction but until I find something which I think is right for me I enjoy working in any media. Sometimes my work tips over from realism into abstract. When how and why started your art practice My art started when I was about eight, copying pictures from The Beano and other comics. From then on I could think of nothing except to be an artist. There was no art tradition in my family (my dad was a bricklayer) or at my school. I went to Rochester Art College then into advertising then book illustration so I’ve spent most of my life in the commercial side of art. As to why I started my art practice I cannot imagine doing anything else. Brushes, paint, paper, canvas, ink, it’s a world I’ve always loved. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I don’t put myself in a category like that. It depends what the term means. People seem to have different ideas about it. If it means the sort of things done by the defined conceptual artists I don’t fit into that not because I disapprove in any way of what has been done, it’s not natural to me, my thinking hasn’t led me that way yet. Maybe some of those artists in the conceptual list would dissociate from the movement anyway! How has your work changed in the past years? I’ve always done paintings in my spare time while doing my commercial work but recently doing work which is not part of a brief from a publishing company means I don’t have a direction from elsewhere and I have to generate my own ideas, which is okay as I always have more ideas than I can put down, but makes me very insecure. The problem is to see a direction and have some sort of control over what I do. I think this has opened up my readiness to accept new ideas. I did used to be very resistant to new thinking in art I can see that looking back, feeling safer with traditional draughtsmanship often dismissing different approaches whereas now

I am much more willing in fact interested and excited to see a new piece of art or installation (or an older piece) and ask what is this artist trying to say to me? Not that I have lost my love of draughtsmanship and traditional art, I am always working hard to improve the quality of my drawing and handling of paint. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Newham in East London UK. There is a lot going on at street level. We have Rosetta Arts which does ongoing classes with local people and various cafes like Coffee7 in Forest Gate which display local art, Red Door Studio which has opportunities for many types of art including some impressive mosaic works. There is of course the Olympic Park close handy with probably the world’s largest sculpture in The Orbit and London close by with all it has to offer. Then there is the well known Forest Gate Art Trail which happens every summer and the arts trail around Green-

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wich and Cody Dock. The most important thing is when art is on offer people are so keen to take it up whatever their ability. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Apart from all the jobs it does Art has always made us think, question and look for something greater and I think it’s doing the same now. I think it’s always been a messy process without defined edges but somehow maybe we’re getting somewhere. There’s always been artists making me set my sights higher or shaking me out of my set ideas and I think this a part of what art does. What are your future plans? Just to keep painting, look for more exhibition opportunities and maybe sell a few pictures. Meanwhile I just follow the direction my brushes take me. At present I am engaged on a one painting a day routine. I do a half hour painting at the end of every day.


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www.fredappsart.net


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Eugenio Azzola Villach, Austria

My works come from putting lines and colors together, adding and subtracting. Simple as that. I look for something, now, free from the need of subjects, direct meanings, comfortable acknowledges… something coming from an uncertain creative process but able to resonate and stir feelings inside the observer, like awakening faint memories of landscapes, moods, dreams, travels…

I was born and raised in northern Italy, in the year 1971. Now I live in Austria. No aimed studies, and this made me able to grow different passions. Music, for the last 30 years. I’ve got a diploma in 2005 and I teach guitar. Photography, the last 20 years. A diploma in Industrial Photography in 1998. One of my recurrent themes is the urban estrangement. Writing, since I was a kid. A kind of connective tissue between the things I do. But real publishing just once, in 2009, with “La quinta felicità” a book about the deep contact with mental illness during my civil service at the ex psychiatric hospital in Trieste, 1999. Painting takes place now, after years of incubation, observation and selection. I owe a lot to the osmosis with the painter Giuseppe V. Zoppi. Now that communication, provocation, breaking of stereotypes is apparently more important than beauty and that it’s a unrewindable process, and understanding I’m a passenger on a road opened by others, where findings and inventions are getting always less frequent, I try at least to produce works that transmit open resonance, a search of beauty if not beauty itself, to anybody who is travelling in the same frequency. At the beginning, my painting was small men’s figures on a sketch book, then watercolor works and now, well, I just act something on a board and eventually look at it. And I look until I see.


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Art Reveal Magazine

Briefly describe the work you do.

a never sitting, inspiring example of revolutionary evolution. Then M. C. Esher, The Beatles, Edward Hopper, J. S. Bach, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nick Drake… The worn-out books The Sun also rises and Pierrot mon ami. The movie La double vie de Veronique. They all run in my blood, by now.

The last two years I’ve been starting basically from the same mechanism, lines crossing. The results are Nets and Cities. The first ones are non-figurative geometric works, somehow related with tape painting and collage. “Call it anything” said Miles Davis once, opening a concert. In fact you begin by taping a board, taping it, putting tape on it and eventually taping it again. Different colored tape. When you think it’s enough, you go cutting and removing stripes to find what lies below. Unpredictable patterns of squares. You may want to smooth and uniform the colors, so you give it a veil of paint. And, since tape sooner or later falls off and the cuts you’ve so carefully made widen and loose their precision, a hand or two of transparent glue, then wax, silicone or epoxy resin. Eventually, you frame it and hang it somewhere. At a certain point you ask yourself why should lines and cuts be only horizontal and vertical. You try then horizontal and diagonal. Oh, that’s perspective. Then horizontal vertical and diagonal. And you’ve discovered the three dimensions… And how about circle cutting? This is what my Nets are made of. I’m most certainly not the first, but I’ve never seen it before. The Cities are born from crossed lines as well, but this time it’s oil or offset ink on canvas. And they have to look like cities, and you should call them so. The leading principle is a certain feeling I used to have when I was a boy from a small village in the Alps, finding myself for the first time in a real big city, endless, marvellous, gloomy, scaring. I gave that feeling a name, naive perhaps, due to lack of words and experience: the “Dimension”. Painting cities thirty years later and still looking for the “Dimension”. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? Some musicians express very modern visions with a piano, that is one of the most traditional “media” for making music. So I wouldn’t care too much if I’m working with industrial paint or egg tempera. Anyway, if I want to obtain a certain effect, I’m supposed to be able to choose the right media. But, likely enough, I won’t be painting with blood or radioactive isotopes, in search for new media. Some artists do it and maybe get where they want

But something else happened to me just once and carved a deep mark. Like seeing the real Picasso’s Crying Woman at the Tate Gallery, august ’93. A couple of bad teachers also, have given me the best lessons: how to be different from them, how to free myself from their influence. And the price was high. How has your style changed over the years?

to get: it’s ok. The most challenging part, if we want to stick to the main theme, and letting alone the worn out never-ending-oil-dryingtimes subject, is finding uniformity and balance, expecially if you have on the same canvas oil and acrilic, iron rust or offset ink. It has to look like a real painting, not like a “painted” painting, if you forgive me the pun. The difference should be like when a singer sings a song and another one “is” the song. In any case, be it paint, wood, canvas, plastic, everything has its own rules and behavior, and this should teach me to be humble and patient. Let the matter talk to you, before “acting” anything else on it. And know when your work is finished or admit when it can’t get any better than that. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice?

I’m not afraid to change, but slowly. My style, yes… it must be somewhere in the process, the trying, repeating, selecting, turning the matter inside out, looking for an upgrade. I’ve made a lot of things, mostly unrelated, often unaccomplished, but at the end, and from a perspectival point of view, they should define what I am, my style. Thirty years of music, a classical guitar diploma, and now music is fading away. Meanwhile, twenty years of photography, dark room experiments, the digital era, and now photography has lost its position in my life. I wrote two novels, many short stories, hundreds of letters and diary pages nearly every day, and I even had the joy of seeing one of my books published. Writing was everything. Now I hardly write a line. Three years ago, one evening I started drawing little figures on a sketch book. Some weeks later that became my first watercolor painting. And so on, as long as it keeps freshness and inspiration intact, and as long as it makes me happy.

Tiredness has the most lasting influence on my practice. I usually work in the evening, until late, when my kids are sleeping. I am in a cellar, and even with the two 1000 W halogen lamps I’ve set against the ceiling, at a certain point I can’t see anymore. It’s an unknown zone of the night when I finally climb into bed.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

But yes, we should be talking about artistic influences as well. Music, literature, photography and painting have been interwined in every step of my artistic activity. I have to say Miles Davis again, who was

I’d like to see my works travelling, and sometimes follow them. Finding myself in a cafè, early in the morning, having breakfast and cherishing the thought that my paintings are in a gallery on the

This question is too difficult for me. I guess I’ll leave this tusk to the critic, or the historian, when I’m dead... What are your future plans as a painter?


Art Reveal Magazine

same street, and that the evening before the opening was fine. But this are not plans, are just openeyed dreams. My plans are: keep working, have fun, find the right people. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Sometimes an open call or a prize hides the danger of falling in the hands of somebody who makes you think you’re

very good. Then they start asking you money if you want to have your works at this or that “very important” exhibition. If you can’t pay to nourish your vanity, if you can’t recognize who the “real” friends are, well then maybe you’re not that good, after all… But if you look carefully, there are always uncorrupted regions where you can find artists and promoters like you and receive disinterested help and honest feedback.

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What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? To be starting out every day. Acknowledge your sources, share, don’t stick to copyrights, go on painting, playing or whatever makes you breathe, even if you don’t make money out of it. Praise the uselesness.


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www.eugenio-azzola.com

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Iggy Beerbower Norfolk, NY, USA My work focuses on place and how our relationship with it changes over time. In both man-made and natural landscapes, I’m interested in how the use or appearance of these areas evolves. I take on the role of observing, exploring, and recording these everyday histories. In my photographs, time and place are connected. Often there is evidence of what was, what is, and what will be. By studying our landscapes we can learn about who we are. This concept, which I describe as photographing people through their places, can show a life of a certain culture and the changing definition of what is valuable. There is history in our places. By looking at the current state of our environments, we can observe the cultural context in which we consider value. We are built on history, but what do we preserve and what do we remember as we move towards the future? I like to explore overlooked and forgotten places and have always been attracted to barren and rugged landscapes, especially ones with the markings of man such as dirt roads, telephone poles, or abandoned buildings. An important aspect of my photographs is the absence of people. Although the work may address issues of society or culture, it is primarily about the place itself. I also find the remnants of human activity to be far more interesting and telling than the people themselves. My work is typically documentary style photography but abstraction has been slowly appearing in my images and has taken prominence in my most recent series of photographs. The resulting images are quite different from what has been done before and my work seems to be in a state of transition. I intend to explore this new direction while continuing with my past approaches. Video has also become an interest of mine in terms of how movement and sound can further expand the viewer’s experience of the environments I photograph.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Growing up I was always interested in the arts, but couldn’t decide on any one medium until I took a photography class in college. The attraction was immediate and from that time on, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I continued my studies in photography earning a BFA and an MFA degree. Currently I am a professor of photography at a SUNY Potsdam. My dad was also a big influence. He always photographed family events and vacations. He made photography a big part of my life and gave me many of my first cameras, which I still have. My excitement for landscape photography is based on the exploration of space and placement. The world is already created and formed, and it is investigation, observation, and sensitivity that help the photographer to study their surroundings. But a successful image requires more

than just the act of seeing; it’s what the photographer does with all those individual elements. The arrangement of objects in space is not always obvious; a good photographer works to find it. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Getting my artwork out there and seen by larger audiences. I do show my work quite often in regional galleries, but it has been a challenge to get accepted into national and international venues. I produce so much work and am always looking for exhibition opportunities. If you had an occupation outside of being a photographer, what would that be and why? Marine Biologist. I love the ocean. The environment and animal welfare are very important to me. For the last four years, I have been a volunteer with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. I mostly do edu-

cational and outreach events but in June 2015, I was a ground crew member for Operation Jairo in Utila, Honduras. Not only did I help to protect sea turtles from poachers, but Sea Shepherd also used four of my photographs to update and promote the campaign. It was an incredible opportunity to combine both of my passions. What are you working on right now? I’m currently working on two projects. The first is continuing the Long Island Sound series, which has been ongoing since 2008. In this series, the images are taken on the same stretch of beach where I often visit and the photographs show how the ocean and the beach change with the time of day, the weather, and the seasons. These images are shot using black and white film with a Pentax 67 camera. The negatives are then scanned and printed digitally. The second is a new series photographing pay phones. With the rise of cell phones,


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pay phones are becoming almost obsolete. Some of the phones are still operational while others are just the shell that is left behind. This project seeks to document those that still remain before they disappear completely. These images are taken with a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera and printed digitally in color.

resources, or approaches that are needed to achieve their creative goals.

often travel there to visit the museums and galleries.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

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

I usually work on multiple projects at the same time and use a variety of cameras and techniques. Each project is unique and I need to determine what will work the best for the images. This could range from:

Not only for the subject matter they photograph, but also their aesthetic approach to the image. I would certainly describe my work as being in the documentary style, but some of my recent work is starting to show the subject in a more abstract manner.

- Using film or digital - Black and white or color - High or low end camera (My favorite is the Holga) -Researching a subject and spending a significant amount of time exploring it or being spontaneous and relying on solely intuition

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

I believe artists should use whatever tools,

Robert Adams, Eugene Atget, and Hiroshi Sugimoto

Although Potsdam, NY is a rural area, the art scene here and in the surrounding communities is very active. Whether it is an event on the university campus or in the community, there is always something happening. We are also very close to Ottawa and Montreal, Canada and people

My faculty mentor in graduate school said artists need to be tenacious. I found this to be true in two circumstances. First, you need to have the drive and desire to keep making and evolving your work. Second, is finding the will to keep going when there is more rejection than acceptance of your work. What are your future plans as an artist? In some of my projects, I am experiencing the landscape that I’m photographing. One challenge is how to capture what the environment feels like and there are some instances where a single still photograph cannot achieve this. I want to explore creating books as well as video and audio. These are all different mediums through which I believe I can further expand the physical and emotional experience of these environments.


www.iggybeerbower.com


Catherine Cox-Field Bolton, UK My practice is heavily inspired by social history, throughout my own environment and personal interest. My current work started with questions raised by the continuing threat and danger of nuclear weapons. Recently I have created imagery finding a compelling aesthetic beauty in these ambiguous patterns. I attempt to draw people into an intense consideration of the human cost that underlies it. Japanese inspired book making, paper sculptures, and the way in which printmaking turns into a sculptural practice, resonate and grow out of these themes. This work is conceptual and consequently greatly researched. There is also a strong sense of ambiguity, and a mysterious beauty that often occurs. I work throughout a number of mediums including installation, printmaking and sculpture. Catherine Cox-Field completed her BA (Hons) Fine Art degree from Liverpool John Moores University in 2016. She has exhibited in a range of environments including The Royal Standard, Liverpool Medical Institution and Toxteth Reservoir. Her artwork explores a combination of social history and aesthetic beauty. Catherine currently lives and works in Bolton.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist. I was born in Wiltshire and moved to the north of England in 2013 when attending Liverpool John Moores University, and following graduation, moved to Bolton. I was lucky enough to have been brought up with many holidays to Italy, visiting many of the most famous frescos and artwork. As a child I didn’t necessarily realise an instant connection with these pieces, but I cannot underestimate the influence this has had in my own interest and love for art when growing up. I would collect café receipts and spend my pocket money on gift shop post cards of my favourite works. I would often be photographing what I could, and drawing it if I couldn’t. This underlying interest in form is something that has guided me to my own style. A combination of drawing and photogra-

phy is often the starting point for much of my work. I also grew up with a good book in my hand, also influencing a great deal of my work. From George Orwell to John Hersey, these texts are often a vital starting point towards much of my work. What is the most challenging part about working interdisciplinary? When people ask me what kind of artwork I make, I always have to think twice. I allow the subject matter or the aesthetics of the work to naturally lend itself to a certain discipline. This progress normally starts with drawing or printmaking but can often lead itself into a sculpture, film or installation. I find the most challenging part about working interdisciplinary is when attempting to fully understand the realm I am working within. However, I try to use this as a positive and enable a freedom for

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exploration and experimentation. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Yes, I do, however I think balance is vital. Conceptual art is often thought of as where the concept dominates the traditional material and aesthetic awareness, whereas I believe within my own work I am striving to reach equilibrium. Previously concepts could restrict my work aesthetically, meaning I would reject ideas if they did not have a strong conceptual impression pushing its need. However, I now allow the natural aesthetics push my artwork to exist both with and without concept. Many audiences like to know and understand concept, whilst others prefer to acknowledge the aesthetics of a piece to do the talking. This is something I strive my artwork to do by itself.


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What role does the artist have in society? The artist is the creative, the passionate and the person who not only looks but also sees. I believe artists have a number of roles within society, one being to express and comment. In today’s current society with changing politics, the artist can provide challenge, rebellion and question to these ideas, as well as in some cases, support and guidance. The artist also provides audiences with a form of escape from their day-today troubles and worries, and allows them to look further into another dimension or existence. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The North of England has a constantly growing art scene. Manchester and Liverpool are creative hubs, full of exciting artists and excellent exhibitions. Bolton itself is a small former mill town, but where Neo:artists are key to the growing art presence. Neo:studios is an artist led, not-for-profit organisation, founded to aid the development of creative practitioners. With frequent opportunities, exhibitions and like-minded people, this is gradually putting Bolton on the art map in the North. Furthermore, the recent creation of New Art Spaces, supported by Castlefield Gallery, in creative partnership with neo:artists, has seen the area grow artistically diverse. What are your future plans as an artist? I plan to continue down the pathway of understanding my own work and their processes at a greater level. To make works that people want to have and talk about as well as having the opportunity to create bigger works in both physical size and material. Furthermore, I intend to continue to exhibit in interesting shows and locations. What are you working on right now? I am currently working on seeing how far I can push a series of digital prints to their extremities. This includes installation manipulation, half tone screen print experimentation, and video trialling. I really enjoy exploring the balance between the horrific and uncomfortable with realms of beauty. The relationship between weaponry and skin forms has lead to a series of prints exploring unexpected beauty that occurs in extreme horrific conditions. Each work questions what is beauty and how can this occur.


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www.catherinecox-field.com

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Elena Efeoglou Florina, Greece

Photography is a tangible object and not a digital number. Working with instant film is a unique experience. Holding a Polaroid One 600 Ultra Instant Film Camera and waiting for the moment is a process that makes the photography practice equivalent to act of love. This ongoing project is a visual diary of personal moments. Elena Efeoglou is a visual artist based in Greece. She studied Painting in School of Fine Arts, Faculty of Visual and Applied Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and she has an MFA in Photography at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Western Macedonia, Greece and research assistant in Photography Workshop in Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Western Macedonia, Greece. Her research interests are in the field of architectural, social and historical photography and visual culture with a specific interest in the ways in which visual material shape individual and collective memory


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When, how and why started your art practice?

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

Art came into my life quietly and without a specific starting point. It was quite normal for me to paint, to take photos, to write and I was always feeling free to experiment with different art forms. Certainly, my studies at the School of Visual and Applied Arts at AUTH and at University Of Arts in Belgrade, were a reference point which led me to realize that art determines my life’s attitude and vice versa. Since then, I use various art forms to comment on things, facts and on social issues and to present aspects of a world that pass unnoticed. Personally, I face art as a conversation process with reality either personal or social.

I think that Greece works as an alternatively experimentation space of the international scene and it is a field of visual contrasts. The choice of Athens from Documenta 14, which is the first city in the history of Documenta that co-hosting the event together with the German city of Kassel, is not by accident. Artists from different parts of the world are meeting in Greece and they transformed the place into an experimental public space. The art scene is experiencing a rebirth, but I reserve the right for its purposes. It is also very interesting to note that the art scene acquires

What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Certainly every artist faces its own difficulties. The art industry cultivates an intense competition among artists, it leads to panic and to anxiety situations and constantly it recycle older artists and it distrust towards the young artists. Museum and galleries are no longer consisting of art institutions that contribute to sociability of art. Most of the galleries require 3050 % of the price when the most challenging part for the majority of the artists is to make a living by selling their artwork. Personally I think that it is difficult to be able to find the balance between art market’s requests and the personal tranquility. If you had an occupation outside of being a photographer, what would that be and why? I think I would become a bass guitar player. It is something I started and left in the middle, but I always have a sweet feeling when I reminiscing the days when with friends, we were jamming in some underground studios for hours. What are you working on right now? Recently, I went back to analogue photography and I have started to investigate again the medium, its aesthetic effect and the production process. Currently, I am working on my series with instant photography and at the same time, I keep taking pictures of geometry forms in public spaces, a continuing artistic research study for some years now.

an international scientific profile, through international conferences and workshops in which they participate prominent artists, art theorists and researchers. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Different contents require different ways of expression. What are your future plans as an artist? I have no specific plans. At the moment the priority is the integration of my doctoral dissertation on Image Theory.

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www.elenaefeoglou.weebly.com

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Sonia Gil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I am an artist and an architect. My work is focused on cities and on the urban universe, an old passion, that lead me to study Architecture and Urbanism. Along my graduation years, I started to give form to my artistic expression, and gradually, after working as an architect for many years, the art experience became more and more important, so eventually, I landed in the arts for a full time experience. However, the architectural mind


is still present, as I try to capture the spirit of the contemporary city, and build, in various layers, images of the transforming urban space. I started with watercolors and moved on to painting, and then moved on to digital. I moved back to watercolor and started to blend in the digitalized paintings with photographs. My lattest works use the re-treatment of images, mixing paintings, photographs and digital, in a process that starts with brush and paint and ends with scanning and digital collage. Working with a diversity of techniques, and mixing different elements is my way of trying to translate the complexity of the contemporary life and the urban environment. I am also co-founder of the Urban Dialogues group, an network of artists from different cities, working with the idea of sharing, collaborating, consrtucting and re-constructing images of the urban landscape, in search of learning and reflecting about our differences and similarities.


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When, how and why you started your art practice?

How has your work changed in the past years?

I have always liked to draw and paint, since I was a child. I grew up in the suburb of Rio de Janeiro, one hour away from downtown Rio. In the 70s, my family moved to London for two years. This gave me a whole new perspective and I immediately fell in love with the cosmopolitan city life. I believe that this led me to choose to study Architecture and Urban Planning.

I began with watercolor. It is considered a difficult technique, but I love the brightness, transparency and unpredictability of it! Then, I moved on to acrylic on canvas, because I wanted new challenges and I wanted to work bigger.

At the university, I found myself more attracted to Art than to Architecture itself. It was when I started to attend art studies at the Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro, The School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage and private art studios.

And came the time of emerging artists networks on the internet. I was there in the very beginning, trying to find my way through. It was when I started working collaboratively with other artists and co-founded the international network Urban Dialogues. The interaction with other artists influenced my work very much. It was when I started to make digital collages.

After graduating I pursued a career as an Architect, working for over twenty years with sustainability and the urban environment, but never stopping to work on my art process. It was working with territory analysis and coordinating a group of geographers and urbanists that I developed a growing interest in the connection between maps and art. So, I decided it was time to reinvent myself and become fully an artist.

My work today, uses the re-treatment of images, mixing paintings, photographs and digital drawings, in a process that starts with brush and paint and ends with scanning, digital collage and fine art printing. The process begins with watercolor. Wet watercolor has an impressive brightness and lightness, but this glow, even in the most successful watercolors, is always lost, at least partially after drying. I try to

capture these beautiful and impermanent images, not as a photographer, but as a painter and a colorist. As a result, I create a digital pallette, a collection of images that is used to make the digital collages. I started with digital maps and then I made the series Mother´s Milk, a very emotional work, about art and motherhood, using my daughter ballerina as a character. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Rio de Janeiro, it is the main touristic hub in Brazil, but São Paulo is the economic capital and the art hub undoubtedly. The gallery circuit in Rio de Janeiro is often overshadowed by the art scene of São Paulo, but it has been experiencing a renaissance recently. The ArtRio fair has been a great success. But, this is the mainstream art market. There is a lot more. The School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage in Rio represents an outstanding reference to the arts. It is a multidisciplinary atmosphere, and a wonderful meeting place. And there is Rio de Janeiro street


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art! It exists in all corners of the city, from the favela to upper class neighbourhoods. We have also been witnessing new art collectives being created, some of them combine art and activism and work with performances in the urban space. Others get together as a form of building up strength to develop experimental and innovate art. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is always a reflection of the time we live in. Contemporary culture is very complex, so art is as difficult to define as the global world we live in. The information age has re-shaped our world, from production to consumption. Everything is rapidly changing and we are witnessing a huge global political crisis. In this scenario, how could art be understandable? How can we define it´s meaning? To me, art is a “must”, it´s not something understandable, it´s a call, something I must do and something I struggle with. It is an ongoing process.

Name three artists you admire. I like to think of myself as a colorist. The first on my list is Paul Klee. I visited the exhibition Paul Klee: Making Visible at the London Tate Modern in 2013. Like Klee’s trip to Tunisia, the exhibition had a magical effect on me. I had an epiphany! An encounter with the essence of color. Then, I would add Helen Frankenthaler, the lyrically abstract painter. Her soakstain process created wonderful luminescent, misty compositions dominated by large areas of color. The technique was also applied to watered-down acrylic and printmaking. Wonderful! Last, I would list Gerhard Richter. I created my digital palette inspired in Richter´s Atlas. And I love his works on paper from the Frieder Burda Collection, I saw them at Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin in 2015. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Don´t get a day job. Make art your

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main activity and work out a side business to keep you going, something that will not take all your energy and time Don´t be afraid of receiving no. Send out applications, the more you send the more are your chances of getting accepted somewhere. Write about your work, writing will help you organize your ideas. And connect!! Network as much as you can!! What are your future plans? Plans are a direction you give yourself. Life is very unpredictable and full of surprises, but I always like to make new plans at the beginning of the year, because to me it gives the feeling of having a fresh start. I want to continue to experiment with several mediums. I also would like to work further on with my digital collages to explore the various layers I use “in the making”, to make use of all that is lost when they are transformed in fine art prints, maybe I will make short videos. I am also planning a new meeting of the Urban Dialogues Art Collaboration Network in Lisbon. And I am starting a local group, getting together digital artists!


www.soniagil.com.br


Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar Romero Bilbao, Spain

My artistic practice is one focused on film and photography. It’s primarily concerned with the interaction between light and the fugacity of time. Sunlight - whether direct or reflected - makes my subjects emerge from a dense darkness. I focus on people and objects associated with daily life; landscapes and spaces, trying to capture a quiet tension between light and dark. A key feature of my photographic practice comes from a desire to capture sunrays at their point of climax - the last seconds - before they are enveloped by darkness and disappear. A sense of attachment is also central to my practice: my works always portray places, people or moments to which I have a certain personal connection. Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar Romero studied Audiovisual Communication BA (Hons) at the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain. During those years he was awarded an Erasmus grant that allowed him to study Film and Communication at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. He lived and worked in Lisbon thanks to a Leonardo Da Vinci grant and in London. Gonzaga has also developed his work in the UK, Spain, France, Morocco, India and Malta. He has exhibited in Spain, India, USA, Turkey and Australia. He is part of the Temporal School of Experimental Geography (TSOEG), an itinerant network of artists sharing ideas and responses to landscape through fieldwork. From 2010 to 2015 he worked as Communications Director for Joya: arte + ecología, an arts and ecology organisation based in Southern Spain.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I have always enjoyed experimenting with cameras but the seed of my art practice was planted during my time in college when my work was nurtured by being surrounded with other creative people. Specifically, when I studied in Paris for a year thanks to an Erasmus scholarship, I found the time to really experiment and work with video and still cameras. I had a whole new city to explore, so the context helped my creativity unfold. I would say that my art practice started in Paris. After graduating I moved to London, a vibrant and inspiring environment that allowed me to start generating a body of work. There I began to focus specifically on natural light, especially during the final hours of the day. I also spent a period of time in Lisbon where my interest for sunlight and all its

potential for creating images kept growing. I started taking my art practice even more seriously as a result of getting involved in an arts organization called Joya: arte + ecología, based in Vélez Blanco, within the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park in the province of Amería in southern Spain. For almost five years I collaborated with artists from a wide range of disciplines and from all around the world. Sharing ideas and working closely with prestigious artists was deeply rewarding and gave my art practice consistency and a solid base, which allowed me to keep creating work in a more thorough way, but still leaving space for intuition and spontaneity. I have always had an interest in nature and the environment, which is reflected in my work. During my years at Joya, I was very fortunate to meet many creative people

with mindsets similar to mine. The conversations I had with them, the feedback I received and the collaborations undertaken together strengthened my art practice. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The great majority of artists work with limited resources and budgets, which often can be a great obstacle for art projects to be executed or to have visibility. However, I believe that limitations boost creativity and unexpected rewarding outcomes always arise as a result. The challenges and limitations we face make us collaborate with other artists, join forces and create synergies, which is extremely rewarding and positive. Despite the challenges I may face, I consider myself lucky for the freedom I have and for being able to keep collaborating with artists from different backgrounds and parts of the world.


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If you had an occupation outside of being a photographer/filmmaker, what would that be and why?

valley and it follows the journey of the water from the freezing top of the mountain to its base.

With my work I try to reflect my vision of the world, my concerns and my interests, such as nature. This has led me to be involved in different environmental projects from an arts perspective. But science, and physics particularly, has always been one of my passions. So if I wasn’t a photographer and filmmaker, I would probably be pursuing my interest in the environment but as a scientist instead.

I am also working on another video as part of a collaborative arts project about esparto grass.

What are you working on right now? I am currently working on the postproduction of a short film I shot with British artist Luce Choules in the French Alps, near Chamonix. The film focuses on small details of the

How would you describe the art scene in your area? Bilbao, my home town, is a city with a lot of cultural activity and a prolific art scene. I would say artists are quite active here in different contexts, from institutionalised and funded projects and art shows, to artist-led self-funded projects. Artists based in Bilbao work really hard and make the most of every opportunity that arises in the area. It is true though that often art shows and artists don’t get enough visibility or support.

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What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Several artists I have met over the years have told me to never forget Pablo Picasso’s quote: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” I have always believed that, and remembering it often has strengthened my determination as an artist. What are your future plans as an artist? Travel and exploration are essential aspects of my creative process and development. For me, being in new environments and cultures always facilitates the creation of new work and the pursuit of new projects. Every input is new, so every output, as a result, is new as well. Now I’m moving to the United States, where I plan to keep creating new video and photographic works in a context (geographical and cultural) that will be completely new to me.


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www.gonzagagomezcortazar.com

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Jessica Incerti Telani Biabbiano, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Jessica Incerti Telani has been working in the field of video projection and video graphics for 10 years. Her work is primarily focused on the interpretation of surfaces and context: both in public and private events, she create project where light and shadow, colour and sound, reality and fiction are mixed to reinterpret buildings and environments. Through its special attention to the figure in movement she is able to enhance the choosen surfaces with visual stories of fine workmanship. Her research is mainly and exquisitely based on emotion: the narrative in motion pictures in her work begins and ends with an emotional stimulus. In her work you can recognize the typical dynamism of the futurist current. Movement and rhythm are intertwined with drawings and video animations that redraw the structure borders. Every surface, human or material, or hybrid, is a potential surprise that declines in the new meaning of emotion. The aim of my work is to investigate the situation through the video projection and tell about the emotional side.


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When, how and why started your art practice? My journey in the art practice has developed by itself along with my studies. After my diploma, (at the high school of cultural heritage of Reggio Emilia) where I had the opportunity to discover a scientific approach to the Art, I have attended the University of Design and Communication of Reggio Emilia, where I started to dedicate myself to the graphic composition and graphic animation. Right after my studies, I took part to a Graphic Animation workshop that ended up with my first art work. After that, I kept studying some topics that I was enjoying to explore and I started to develop my first performance. Today my research is focused on emotions and feelings. If you had an occupation outside of being aa artist, what would that be and why? I think I could have been a researcher at the University. In my opinion the research, together with passion, is the real engine of humanity. In every job is fundamental to have a curious approach in order to make experiments toward progress and innovation. Because studying isn’t only a mandatory step of our education but it’s everyday practice along our lives. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in a small town, Reggio Emilia, in the north of Italy where, despite the size, there are several opportunities of artistic exchanges. At the same time, I often follow my projects all over Italy and Europe. Travelling and meeting other artists is for me an essential part of my artistic practice.


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In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? According to me, contemporary art means to be able to connect different languages together. Contemporary art is the ability to express an idea, mixing old art techniques with modern ones. Moreover, nowadays technologies provide a strong influence in our everyday life and I think contemporary art should be able to show it. But all these techniques have to support a thought that remains the only starting point of an art work. The starting idea can change in different ways along the process but the real meaning will stay the same. Name three artists you admire. There are, of course, a lot of artists that I love to study from cinema, to graphic art, to painting, but my top three could be: Tim Burton, Malika Favre, and Salvador DalÏ. I love mixing different arts together, but I choose them because I think they have achieved one of the most difficult jobs for an artist: To stay true to our inner child. In my opinion, the most important messages come from children, with their amazing spontaneity, and from grandparents, with their huge amount of wisdom. These phases of our lives are the only moments in which we can be more relaxed and, (escaping the fake desire of perfection that our society propose to us everyday) listen to the others in order to build authentic relationship. What are your future plans? Everyday I pray the Universe to let me travel. Meeting new people and exploring new places is the base of my productions. At the moment I’m still figuring out my next move.


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www.cargocollective.com/Jesitaly


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David Isakson Oak Park, CA, USA

I am a small time operator. I find meaning in contrast between opposites. My work is an effort to balance my intellect with my physical skill and craft. I use technology against itself. What I mean to say is that I bring into question modern technology as a point of reference. I bring antiquated technology, telephone parts, stereoscope viewers, antique drills, violins, piano parts ad infinitum into a flux where the humor of the combination of materials begins to create, ex machina, meaning in and of itself. What I am aiming for is pure meaning, and the elements of the deconstruction of this meaning.


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When how and why you started working with sculpture. I was living in Amsterdam in ‘92. It was just after the first Gulf War and having dropped out of a very political and intellectually rigorous college, I was bristling with ideas. I started doing collages with found objects. I needed some way to process the massive amounts of information I felt I had to process about my world. I was learning a new language. My art was survival. I was kind of operating in an expat mode. Even though I was living on the canals, in the center of the city, my friends were from the edges and the margins. We were like legal outlaws. I learned how to weld steel from them. I started to make sculptures to stay sane. It was like art was the only way I could quiet my thoughts. My girlfriend was a dancer, part of a post modern theater performance group. I started to make props for a film we were making together in the Czech Republic. I was making kinetic sculptures with gears and moving wooden parts. It was kind of a blur, but that’s how I started making sculpture. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice. I blame my girlfriend, Henriette. No seriously, both Henriette and lots of other girlfriends have had an influence on my art practice. Henriette was like an encyclopedia of contemporary art practice. She introduced me to Joseph Beuys, but also classics like Breugel, and Hieronymus Bosch, and moderns like Modigliani, and Giacometti. It was about freeing your head to think in a different way, more specific, more abstract, more present. The idea of communicating about half of the time in a foreign language, Dutch, was radically recontextualizing. I got in touch with more intuitive and gut feeling ways of thinking about art. We were living in an occupied grain silo. The whole building was a huge modernist project. It was a combination of man and machine. We were building everything. If you needed a table, you got some wood and built a table. I wasn’t exhibiting, I was just living surrounded by our creations. It was half survival, and half revelation. How would you describe the art scene in your area. I have to travel a little to find the art scene. As much as, in this day and age, everything happens online. I am proud to say I have done over 40 actual brick and mortar shows. Especially as a sculptor people really be see my work in person, in three di-


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mensions. This is doubly true of my kinetic work where people are actually turning a crank and making things happen. That being said, I enjoy the art scene in my area. I exhibit in Camarillo, and Santa Monica, as well as DTLA. People are engaged and enthusiastic. What do you like/dislike about the art world. The answer is there is nothing to like or dislike. The art world is an open grid. We are the ones who assign meaning to the art world. Certainly I could say that I am sometimes frustrated with how difficult it is to sell sculpture on a regular basis, but that in and of itself is a bit of a misnomer. I do sell work, it is just that time scale between moments is so large that it appears that nothing is happening, although it is. I keep exhibiting. People talk to me about my art, they tell me they like it. Every once and a while some one gives me some money for a piece. It is up to me to recognize the frequency as progress. To understand the schedule of events as it exists and not how I presume it should be. It takes a lot of time for an insect to travel the distance that I can cover in one step. This does not mean the insect does not make any progress. This is like the art world. In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture. Art is not the path. It is meant to light the path. sculpture is structure, but it is also not only structure. It is conjecture about structure. It is love of structure, and fear of structure. This is where its humor comes from. It is the story of human nature, digested, broken down into parts and analyzed until its structure is no longer just structure. We are the story tellers. We are the ones who remember. We are the place holders for the numbers of the future. Name three artists you admire. Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, and Chris Burden. What are your future plans. I spend a lot of time in front of the computer or on my phone, I guess or speculate that it is some kind of mystery. That I am finding out something, that I am following the clues. I am unlocking the hidden chamber, the false bottom and the empty space. I am amazed by what I make. I am stupefied by what I come up with. I am witness to the rapidly cycling memory of today. I’m just going to keep doing that.

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www.facebook.com/davidisaksonart


Sal Jones London, UK

I am interested in capturing human emotion and interactions by representing expression and gestures through the use of paint, colour and mark making. At the same time I hope to interact with the viewer by creating works that they can relate to or empathise with. The works are intended to portray fleeting moments, the expression of the subject offering us a glimpse into their innermost thoughts. The works can be interpreted as part conversations, part musings, into which the viewer is drawn willingly or not into the world of the subject, both in a voyeuristic and complicit way. Sal Jones’ work is a re-interpretation of the portraiture tradition in which she uses colour and mark making as tools to communicate with, producing emotionally charged works, often of fictional personas. Unlike traditional portraiture there are no sitters and they do not represent a specific person but rather suggest an emotive state indicative of the social and cultural time we live in. The paintings have been inspired by images of facial expressions appropriated from film, media and popular culture, and exploit the conventions of cinematography; heavy cropping, close-ups, angled shots, saturated colours, as well as the use of dialogue for titles.


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When, how and why started you painting?

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

I have always loved making and creating – sometimes through destruction as well as construction, when I was young I was always doodling and cutting things up re-arranging bits and sticking them down again. I used to copy images from magazines and album covers, whatever was around me - some of my first oil painting attempts were copies of David Bowie album covers. When I started learning more about art and visiting exhibitions, I was intrigued and inspired by ideas and materials – I wanted to have a go at that.

Jenny Saville (for her amazing use of paint and handling of the figure),

I did an art foundation course during which time I realised that Fine Art was the direction I wanted to take so that is what I specialised in at degree level. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? I guess by traditional media you mean oil paint. Well I suppose there is so much history around the medium and countless previous works to be compared to, so that’s kind of scary, also bringing something new or different and relevant to the practice is challenging. But actually on a practical level really every painting you do is a new challenge, otherwise it would not hold interest for the artist. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Different art forms, Film, cinematography, music, writing/books. Lighting and atmosphere, colour and surface textures, immersive scenes (seeing the work of the artists mentioned in the next question). But there is much more – I’m influenced by anything that has an impact visually and emotionally, though it may not be obviously apparent in my work. Other than fine artists, two film-makers that come to mind are: Pedro Almodovar (his characters and cinematic, painterly compositions in his films). Jan Svankmajer (amazing animations using found objects)

Francis Bacon (for the raw energy and colour in his works) Bill Viola (for his moving/emotive video pieces), What are your future plans as a painter? I tend to live more in the here and now than in the future……plans are more likely to evolve and usually end up being changed if you make them. I am always learning, discovering and hopefully improving in my practice as an artist. I want to keep doing it…. the process for me is completely compelling. (Though frustrating too, when things are going right you get on a roll, but when things are going badly or you are struggling it can be stifling). I find out by doing…. Generally - showing work in different spaces, undergoing different projects, collaborations or challenges, looking for ways to engage with the audience through the work. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The business side of it, in terms of self-promotion, (‘selling’ yourself and networking - that’s the kind of thing I personally find hard to deal with – all that kind of stuff). It is usually those with the loudest voices and not necessarily the most interesting or engaging art that get noticed (it’s more and more about the artist/personality and not the art, it seems). I’m a bit too shy (and maybe a tad cynical) for that…. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Believe, keep working at it, take every opportunity that comes your way but be practical and discerning. Learn to cope with rejection and move on, it may be that you haven’t found the right exhibition/partnership/opportunity yet. Good luck – you will need it!


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Anastasia Kachalova London, UK In my art practice I explore the intersections of the man made and the natural world as well as different types of environments such as industrial, natural, urban and how they affect the everyday life as well as the inner world of an individual. A big part of my art belongs to site specific projects. I am fascinated by investigating the abandoned places and the traces of previous events that were happening in them. Dealing with psychological issues and the reflections upon Self-Other, I talk about the complexity of identity formation, selfhood, displacement and gender issues. I explore either a variety of fears of a person living in contemporary reality, addictions and surrogates aimed to substitute the lack of happiness, loneliness and the search for sharing experiences. I work across a variety of mediums, however recently my practice mainly focuses on video, sound, performative practice and video installation.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist?

My art path began in 2011 in the only school in Russia that provides proper education in contemporary art – the British Higher School of Art and Design, created in partnership with English University. As I am absolutely amazed by what art can make today and how it can affect the way people think, I made the crucial decision to become an artist and start my life over from scratch.

My practice began with highly aesthetical 2D works that I was creating intuitively rather than through a process of critical reflection. My personal development and the difficult times I experienced combatting hidden restrictive psychological patterns affected not only my ‘ways of seeing’ the world but the very essence of my understanding of contemporary art and how I aspire to be part of it. I escaped the medium I was working in then, and now I consider myself a conceptual artist who works across multiple mediums and applies diverse approaches to making art. It is widely believed that today, in the postconceptual era, an artist is not reduced to any particular style or visual language, and I fully support this position. Regardless of particular form and content, arguably, the main function of art is to make people think and thus form new interpretations of the world, stepping aside from their personal myths and usual viewpoints. Artists here can be seen as agents whose aim is to facilitate this process. Simultaneously, I do not consider it wrong

What is the most challenging part about working interdisciplinary? Despite it not influencing my practice directly, I believe my business background and origins are involved in my interest in making socially and politically engaged art. Coming from a country with an incredibly complex and difficult history, I went through diverse experiences when the old was clashing with the new and people were forced to change their lives completely according to the present-day realities of the post-USSR period.

to share deeply personal and even intimate experiences through making art; this is still a valid approach and can function as a fractal with potential to resonate in individuals’ minds and widen their intellectual and emotional horizons. The personal became the political long time ago, and now, everything is seen through political optics, as everything is related to everything else. Art helps detect these links and serves as a tool to reinterpret them, restaging the possibilities of the contemporary reality. What role does the artist have in society? I intend to raise questions with my own practice rather then giving answers. I consider my practice an open narrative, in which each particular story captured in a certain artwork is still a part of the infinite whole. Art in the 21st century offers the viewer a set of instruments to reflect upon the world in all of its complexity and multipolarity. Thus, individual artistic idioms and modes of operation bring into sharper focus various aspects of how we live today. The viewer here becomes one the most important figures who has the compe-


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tence to participate imminently in these interpretations, in which a chain of thoughts initiated by the artist develops further within the beholder’s mind. How would you describe the art scene in your area? After more than 70 years of recession, the contemporary art scene in Russia is being revived. However, the former “ideological machine” is quite slow to reset and still affects the way Russian people perceive contemporary art under the conditions of lacking wide educational and institutional support. Despite all this, an increasing number of talented people are engaging in art. Russian artists are slowly penetrating the international scene, and I hope this process will continue gaining speed and depth exponentially. I believe that Moscow museums of contemporary art can now fully compete with European museums in terms of the quality of art exhibitions, and the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, in which I was honored to participate in 2015, now has become internationally acclaimed, featuring highly critical contemporary pieces of well-known artists and emerging talents. What are your future plans as an artist? I aim to stay in the UK, as I see more potential and opportunities here for my personal development as an artist. However, I aspire to maintain a strong connection with my native country and am still actively involved in the Russian exhibition scene. I sometimes work as a curator for independent art projects and have already started inviting Russian artists to be part of it. I believe that activities that help emerging artists to exhibit their work and begin to engage with the real world and real audiences are crucially important. In the future, I would be happy to create opportunities for other artists, offering them the possibility to showcase their work, especially those who have just begun making their way, such as recent graduates who have yet to enter the highly competitive art world. What are you working on right now? At the moment, I am working towards my degree show and exploring current social and political tension related to immigration, belonging to hybrid identities, the difficulties of displacement and adaptation, the process of alienation and living in the “third space,” as theorist Home Bhabha suggests, of being in between territories, nations, and cultures. Currently, I am more interested in working with video and sound installations, as I find it fascinating how video is able to revive the material form, however, I remain open to new possibilities.


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Hyun Kim London, UK / South Korea

“Internalized power of state” is the key topics of my work. “Internalized power of state” refers to the ‘anti-communism ideology’ internally engraved in individuals by the South Korean government, using the particular situation of the nation - North-and-South confrontation whilst truce. I aim to delve into how power of state functions within each individual and reveal how internalized power of the state is reproduced and expanded by the society and the individuals through my works. To demonstrate this posing problem, I used Archival1, Decoupage and Collage. I had been collecting and making decoupage and collages of photographs documenting events that had happened in Korea and texts with historical meanings in art. While I began learning art from the age of 11, due to the nature of art education in South Korea, I understood art only as a mere form of acquisition of a technique and was trained accordingly. I never had a chance to practice critical thinking or exchange diverse opinions in discussion settings until I went to university. I majored in Oriental Painting in Seoul National University as an undergraduate, yet even the school had teachings of traditional techniques and single-sided evaluations on these techniques as its main educational policies. Over the last couple of years, it was a strenuous task of mine to break the uniform, narrow-minded view of art that had grown within me under such an environment. It had not been long since I was able to have an overall understanding of contemporary art and form my own specific critical awareness and practice of art. I now major in sculpture at Royal College of Art.


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Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist. While I began learning art from the age of 11, due to the nature of art education in South Korea, I understood art only as a mere form of acquisition of a technique and was trained accordingly. I never had a chance to practice critical thinking or exchange diverse opinions in discussion settings until I went to university. I majored in Orien-

tal Painting in Seoul National University as an undergraduate, yet even the school had teachings of traditional techniques and single-sided evaluations on these techniques as its main educational policies. Over the last couple of years, it was a strenuous task of mine to break the uniform, narrow-minded view of art that had grown within me under such an environment. It had not been long since I was able to have an overall understanding of contemporary art and form my

own specific critical awareness and practice of art. I now major in sculpture at Royal College of Art. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The most challenging part of being an artist is that it is not suffice to have an occupation as an artist to make a living. Anxiety for financing and future, stemming from eco-


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nomic uncertainties, undermine the passion and drive to engage in art – it even propels one to abandon it! What do you like/dislike about the art world? An upside to the art world is that, at least on the superficial level, it is cordial towards new sociocultural practices, thoughts, and foreign sensations and experiences. Such amicable background can provide a space where one can think and discuss the differing experiences and diverse symptoms - not previously verbalized or captured - that individuals and the society have in the modern world. However, the problem lies in the fact that this friendly zone is neither neutral nor democratic in reality. In many cases cultural artistic value and level are decided upon market value, while specific trends in artistic themes and formats are chosen according to an actual authority implemented by privileged art museums and galleries. These hand-picked, specific artistic trends then are expanded into the education realm where they are further reproduced in larger scales. Ultimately, art world only stands congenial towards artists and artworks fitting the market value and the dominant cultural artistic format. Only negligence, skepticism, and dead silence are reserved for those works alienated from the inner circle.

In your opinion what role does the artist have in society? For me, the most important role for an artist in a society is to ceaselessly disturb the society. Here, I define ‘disturbing’ as questioning the norm dominant in the social order, analyzing the privileged values, and divulging the contractions and brutality embedded in these ideals. I maintain that the dominant and privileged norms and values can become relative through the disruption caused by the artist, which in turn allows for previously excluded, suppressed values of those peripheral to reenter the inner bounds of society. Through these relentless disruptions, society can become more flexible and make room for a foundation that allows diverse values to coexist. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I, most recently, have been concentrating on art works functioning as public statements. My concern is to vividly reveal my relationship with the state power and the awareness I have regarding the art institution through my works. While my purpose in art then can be reiterated as institutional critique, unfortunately, the grounds for this field in contemporary art of Korea is extremely fragile. Historically, any artistic movement that can be considered to be critical and transformational has been either oppressed or forcefully dispersed by the state power of Korea. This practice serves as reason as for why art that makes political criticisms,

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and intervenes in sociocultural arguments has been so far insignificant; its history also spans relatively short in Korea. Furthermore, it was also impossible for an artistic crowd to form that can diversely interpret and expand critical art and practices. My work not only tracks down the traces of power that Korea as a nation had been engraving in the innards of individuals, but also summons the memories and practices oppressed by the artistic institution, thus disclosing on the exclusive violence of Korea’s “art authorities.” What are your future plans as an artist? I am currently completely involved in my ongoing work. The tension, density, and my passion from the working process are overflowing. I want to retain and make progress with my urge to express and my intellectual acuity as for now. I will also be involved in degree show in June and a residency in Beijing this fall. I have no clue for what future to expect, but I surely am stoked! What are you working on right now? I’ve recently been concentrating on doing research and analysis for my project aimed to criticize state power and art institutions. Interestingly enough, certain ‘symbols’ regarded as norms and power in Korean society provide niche for me to make artistic interventions and actions.


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Jerome Chia-Horng Lin Taipei City, Taiwan

I was born in 1969 in Taipei City, Taiwan, where I was educated in fine arts. After I received my graduate degree at Pratt Institute (NY) in 2000. I have worked as a computer animator/ designer since then. I am currently a full time lecturer at Department of Visual Communication Design, Chaoyang University of Technology (Taichung City, Taiwan). I used both oil paintings and computer animation as my primary media to created artworks. Art has always been a part of my life. It reflects the evolution of my thoughts and life experiences. Many viewers are often curious about how artists create their art. Â For an artist like myself, engaged in practice for decades, I constantly search for a true answer to that question.


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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Many people and things affect my art practices in different degrees. I can’t name particular one. I think it’s the education I received from childhood and overall experiences shape my art styles and who I am. How has your style changed over the years? When I was in college, I was pretty obsessed with Surrealistic art works. It’s the first stage of my art style which lasts for a very long time. My first job is to teach art in high school, at that time, I started my first Dragon and Phoenix Series. I adapted these two major totems as the backbone of my creation. The icons of Dragon and Phoenix evolved throughout different dynasties, reflecting the culture and mindset of each specific era. I can’t stop wondering why the patterns of

them ceases to evolve today? I thought of many possible explanations including modernization, globalization affecting our mentality. Dragon and Phoenix used to represent imperial powers. Nowadays their design seem to penetrate into daily life without rigid rules and customs. Therefore I decided to create a series of works to discuss their meanings. This series took me a year and then I served in the Army. After my army duty, the following one is The Heaven and The Earth Series. Unlike monotheistic Christianity swept most part of Europe and America, Asians in general live in pantheistic life style instead of one strict religious belief. The heaven and the earth are symbols for all sacred gods, spiritual beings and the mundane. A typical dichotomy widely used by Chinese culture to indicate multiple metaphors such as Yang and Yin, Black and White, Male and Female, Dominance and Submission.....

I was young and cynical back then, intending to be judgmental and extreme. The traditional Chinese culture is so profound and pervasive but we live in a westernized world that confuses me. I used to feel discontent and frustrated about the society and surroundings. Therefore I had more criticism and sarcasm in my paintings when I was young. As I grow older I learn a more mature way to look at the world in an understanding matter. A lot of absurd bureaucratic system of this society still function today because we haven’t figure out a better solution. Often many corrupted conducts or discriminated mind are hidden by confusion and dreadful unconsciousness. So are many other inappropriate behavior. The reason is not as simple as they appear to be. Over the years, I prefer my style with more depth and subtlety. I never improve my pro-


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vocative or sarcastic techniques further. I am aware of the downside of this choice. I simply follow the development of my character. I believe it’s time to take a turn to overthrow the self-denial, depressive, destructive approaches in common contemporary art practices. After all we are dealing with a new world and we should march towards a new stage. I always fantasize about water with its beauty beyond anything I can ever imagine of. I started to do this The Water Series a decade ago. Actually I didn’t have a specific plan to begin with. Furthermore, I was inspired by a book by a Japanese researcher Emoto Masaru whose experiments proves that water was a “blueprint for our reality” and that emotional “energies” and “vibrations” could change the physical structure of water. His water crystal experiments indicate that water can respond to text, speech and thoughts resulting water crystal in different aesthetic proprieties. He also published many microscopic photos revealing their diverse structure. I was pretty amazed by his research and my imagination went wild. As an artist, I immediately assumed that water has its own will since it responds to our thought. Of course it’s not a scientific fact, but I could use it for my artistic context like surreal scenery. Therefore I gradually come up more and more images beyond my expectations. I just follow my instinct and keep doing it. Recently I try more experimental techniques. It’s playful and full of fun for me. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Taiwan is a multi-cultured island full of colonized remnants. It has been ruled by Dutch East India Company, Japan and Chinese authority over the past few centuries. Although majority of people and the cultural influence migrant from the mainland China historically, the cultural identity is as contentious as it’s political and legal status. I would say it’s an art scene with various styles and possibilities. Although the major culture influence is typical Asian mindset, western styles and forms are overwhelming as well. I think it’s similar with many areas where they stuck in the struggle between globalization and localization debates. Name three artists you admire. I admire Michelangelo, Salvador Dali and Bill Viola. They somehow represent the artists who inspire me throughout several stages of my art styles. They all are the masters

of different eras. Besides them, I like many artists with or without big name. What are your future plans? I constantly search for more exhibition possibilities, so I apply for exhibitions all the time. I don’t have a particular agent or gallery representing me at this moment. If I find a suitable one, I will probably work closely with that candidate. So far, I am pretty much on my own dealing with all the business issues of my art career. As the art creation wise, I will keep on the creation of water series in the form of animation, oils and other medium as well. I enjoy the topic very much and never get bored of it. What do you like/dislike about the art world? In contemporary art world, I have endless possibilities as an artist. With the diverse taste of the art world nowadays, I always find something to do or somewhere to show. That’s what I love about being an artist. On the other hand, the cost and resources of searching could be very both unexpected and exhausting. Because of the impact of two World War, the art world was full of depressing and destruction atmosphere. Many related avant-garde art movements were embedded with this mentality inevitably. The denial of art proposed by Dadaists didn’t make art disappear but redefine art instead. The continuously pursue of art revolution has totally redefined art over and over again. I was confused and felt lost in the aimless quest for a while. Many artists declare that anything could be art. Meanwhile many general public are pushed away by art world and turn their attention to fashion, design and other luxurious items instead. Somehow I believe art should connect general public more. Fortunately in contemporary

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art development, you always see different approaches. I could choose someone who agrees with my point of view to work with. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? In reality, there is no standard guideline for young artists. Everyone has their own destiny and encountering. I realized that our academic art training taught us very little about the reality in art world. I am not prepared enough to find a spot in current art scene and no one else does. Basically it’s just try and error. It took me years to figure out my path and it might take quite considerable long time of them as well. Many people give up or turn away soon. I also see artists just change the way they perceive the art world. They define anything they do is art even though it may appear totally irrelevant to art. For instance, I have seen a major Fine-arts award goes to someone whose project is about his plan to be a farmer. He just came out of art school and he clearly has to do something else to make a living. If you are a competitor of that contest and you see someone who clearly states thathe will not be an artist and he wins. Just imagine how that frustration will suppress you further, especially if you are so dedicated to be an artist no matter what. You have to be ready to take on the frustration and carry on.


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Theodosia Marchant Los Angeles, CA, USA

My paintings study life. Life constructed by emotions of all shades; light, dark and the quiet shadow of their absence. Intricate or simple. My subjects, the protagonists express them. Alive in their own moment. Surrounding us but commonly overlooked, faces exaggerated and distorted or placid with calm. They are conduit for emotions both age old and eternal. It is about focus. It is all black or white. It is still life. Theodosia Marchant’s art focuses on life, relationships and sentiment. Her work depicts the emotions running through our minds and lives, reaffirming the existential being of her subjects. She feels a monochromatic palette is often more effective to convey her message without distractions. The subjects often appear faceless, simply defined by their shapes and gestures. In them, she hopes to express a universal language that remains timeless and incorruptible. Theodosia was born and raised in Athens, Greece and spent many years living in London. She was exposed to the arts by her mother at an early age. She now lives and works in Los Angeles. Outside her studio, she derives her inspiration from all sorts of activities, mainly travelling, hiking and attending art events.She has exhibited in the US and her work is held in private collections in the US, UK and Greece.


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When, how and why did you start your art practice? I was drawn to painting since a very young age however circumstances led me to complete studies in a different field. My passion for the arts never waned though and as soon the right opportunity arose I returned to it. For a long period of time I was not creating, creating on a part time basis would not work for me. The stop and start process would destroy the cohesion of the creative process and would not allow me

to deliver the results that I wanted. Nearly four years ago I decided to concentrate on art full time and have made this as my primary career. Painting has always been my number one way of expression, I have from times to times delved into other media too such as sculpting but my passion is painting. I love the process behind it, the conception of the idea, the sketching, the transfer of the idea on to the canvas, the execution, the end result! There is always a feeling of anxiousness in the process, is this going to work out, is it going to be translated

right, but when it does come out right, the satisfaction is huge. How has your work changed in the past years? My work used to be much more abstract however I was always drawn to the more defined figurative style of work. Like all artists I went through a development process which eventually led me to what I am doing at the moment. I feel I can communicate my message and emotions in a much clearer way through my figures. My figures and the worlds they inhab-


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it are the extension of myself; out there saying what I want them to say, clear and loud. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Los Angeles has a thriving, constantly changing art scene. I live near DTLA and have witnessed the huge increase in galleries in the Arts District as well as points east and west. There are also many non-profit organisations which aim to help out newly starting out and emerging artists. Although I am relatively new in the US art scene (having moved over here from London four years ago) so far I have participated in a number of shows and art events. Opportunities for artists exist, competition though is immense and cost of workspace and living constantly rising. A systematic approach is definitely required. Is it possible to compare somehow Greece and USA? I was born in Athens but my formative years were spent in London. I remember the first time I visited Los Angeles, it reminded me so much of Athens and I instantly fell in love with the city. There are lots of similarities between the two; both are sprawling car cities, both have an abundance of beautiful light and nature; both are not what they seem at first and have a secretive magic lying beneath. Having not lived in Greece for a long time, I’m not familiar with the art scene/ community. I would love one day to be able to show my work there but for now Los Angeles is home. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The art business is very tough. Breaking into the gallery system requires a great amount of networking and self-promotion which doesn’t come naturally to many artists and can detract and take time away from the real work. Keeping up with social media aspect and other commercial elements can be oppressive. However, I have found that the art community in Los Angeles is a strong one. I have been fortunate enough to be involved with a few groups that continue to make the experience a positive one. Fellow artists here sincerely look out for each other, offering inspiration, encouragement and support.

In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I consider art to be the lifeblood of society. It can serve infinite purposes; from the purely visual through to viscerally emotional stimuli. It could offer social commentary and ask questions of our lives or remain abstractly intellectual. Simply, it is a universal human expression and allows us to communicate at a level above the superficial. Name three artists you admire There are many I admire and for a variety of reasons: some for their work, others for strength of character and ideology.

If I had to narrow it down it would be three women artists, Joan Mitchell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Marina Abramovic. All three, very strong ladies with an endless drive and determination. What are your future plans? I am always trying to develop my work, style of painting and constantly make adjustments and try to introduce a new dimension to it. I am currently in the process of planning new work on a much larger scale, trying to push my limits and take me out of my comfort zone. At the same time, I’m carrying on with applications for upcoming shows and trying to get my work out as much as possible.


www.theodosiamarchant.com


Thomas Pickarski New York, NY, USA


I’ve always been intrigued by the process of consciously transcending reality through exploring, and then shifting, one’s perception. Several years ago I set out on a series of international travel adventures to confront psychological fear and limitation. Having lived in the scorching deserts of Arizona for many years, I was intensely drawn to the opposing arctic deserts of places like Iceland, Greenland, and Patagonia. I traveled twice a year for month-long adventures on a bicycle, days away from anyone, and camping in a little tent. I carried a small pocket camera and a notebook, and created this series of short stories and B&W digital photographs. The stories are shaped around the encounters, miracles, and transformations that occurred along the way. The images reflect my love for the unusual shapes, fragile settings, and desolate landscapes I discovered. I continue to return to these places. Each time, the layers of exploration continue to broaden and deepen.


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When, how and why did you start your art practice? Summers as a child, the little town I lived in had a community swimming pool. Once a week an art teacher visited and the kids would make crafts outside on the picnic table. By the second summer, I was following the art teacher to other nearby towns five days a week. A few years later my parents realized the art thing was becoming a problem when my fifth grade teacher commented on a report card, “Thomas has a tendency to work on personal art projects all day long.” What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Getting my work “out there.” I had a conversation with a gallery director at one of my recent openings....She was explaining to me that her passion has become protecting opportunities for artists. The budget cuts and evaporating exhibition spaces puts a strain on everyone in the process. When she asked me what else she could do on behalf of artists, I told her simply saying “yes” to an artists proposal is all we need. The opportunities are so far and few.

If you had an occupation outside of being a photographer, what would that be and why? I teach Yoga as spiritual practice. On the surface, it’s one of my artistic processes. I have developed my own signature style practice called, Multi-Dimensional Yoga. Which for me is a weaving of elements including spiritual teachings, the process of surrender, stories, music, silence, and of course the physical form. And on a deep level, I have always been obsessed with the personal journey inward to the soul. What are you working on right now? For the past several months I’ve been promoting my new color photographic and narrative art book, which is also a gallery exhibition, titled Adventures of Otto, a Tiny Toy Dinosaur. I was fortunate to get a solo exhibition quite quickly at the Harbor Gallery in Boston, and the book version has been nominated for several awards. I am also in the planning stages of traveling back to Greenland to continue work on a photographic series of icebergs. 


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How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in New York City, so the art scene is everything, and nothing, all at the same time. I took my family to The Metropolitan Museum of Art when they visited recently. They really enjoyed the little one hour guided tours on a variety of themes. We were astonished at the passion and enthusiasm of the art historians conducting the tours. It’s what made experiencing the art really exciting. But at the same time, if your an artist, good luck trying to get your work shown in this city.  What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Less is more. I was fortunate to have had this concept not only “beaten” into me in graduate school, but to have also fallen in love with it along the way. For me one of the most conscious choices in creating art is the process of elimination. When I’m working, this attunement is taking place every step of the way, but especially near the end where I pose the question, what can I remove to strengthen the body of work. That doesn’t mean that

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elements can’t sometimes be random or even arbitrarily placed, but even that needs attention in terms of overall continuity. I found this approach reflected through the feedback I received on my recent body of work when a curator described it as, “easy to look at.” What are your future plans as an artist? I have no idea! I never thought I would have two large-scale exhibitions touring around simultaneously, and now as I’m headed for a third, I’m truly overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone that has given me an opportunity. I think ultimately creativity is something that flows through us and is always changing and shifting. I hope to keep my “eyes wide open,” and stay aligned with subtle inner dynamics like spontaneity, risk, and a sense of adventure, all of which keep artwork fresh. These forces are our inner guides that not only expand us, but affect what we create every moment. I find it exciting to not know where the creative process will take me.


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Terry Tripp California, USA

I’m a visual artist who works in painting, illustration, photography, and animation. My most current work is in expressionist paintings where I work with oil and mixed media on canvas. I create vibrantly colorful images of cartoony and disproportionate characters and scenes pulling from a 1980’s pop-culture palette inspired by my childhood, and I work the canvas with rough brush strokes as I freely transfer thoughts and images onto the canvas like a pencil in a personal sketchbook. Words, phrases, and sometimes even short poems are written, crossed out, and replaced in the paintings to create fractured narratives. Although my images may appear fun and playful, upon closer examination, they can reflect an uncanny underlining nature.


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When, how, and why started your art practice? As a high school student, my original plan in life was to be a professional musician—a rock star. After playing up and down California for years in different rock bands, I eventually grew tired of having to depend on other musicians to create. I then took to creative writing where I could write novels, short stories, and poetry without having to depend on anyone but myself. I enjoyed and appreciated taking full responsibility and credit for my work. I was able to create believable, fictitious worlds and tell stories in them. Then I discovered visual art. With visual art, I was able to do what music and writing did, but I didn’t feel confined to rules such as creating an ear pleasing cord progression or creating a believable world where my characters would live and interact. If I wanted to paint a blue duck flying in space, I could. If I wanted to draw a talking dinosaur, I could. This discovery was the ultimate freedom to me, and within this freedom, I could communicate, express, encourage, warn, joke, and reminisce in my paintings. I took some classes and passed some tests to switch from teaching high school English literature to visual art. I then worked years through an MFA program, and now I’m creating and showing my work at many art exhibitions, mostly in the Southern California area. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? I actually find working with traditional media more relaxing than working digitally due to the happy mistakes that I make. When working digitally, I simply delete a mistake, while when working traditionally, I find ways to make the mistake work. This allows for more originality and helps me create a more raw and authentic feel to my paintings. The most challenging part of working with traditional media is transportation. I purchased my current vehicle for transporting my larger paintings up and down California. It’s easier to throw my iPad Pro in my backpack than it is to load up and transport canvases. Describe a real-life situation that inspired you? Typically, my work isn’t inspired by just one real-life situation but a conglomerate of different situations all fused

together into one painting. My method is similar to collage, but instead of using cutouts, I use bits and pieces of my memories, thoughts, emotions, and questions. In your opinion what role does the artist have in society? The contemporary artist has a similar role as a contemporary writer of creative literature. They both relate to the human experience and have a voice. How they relate and what they say with that voice is completely up to them. I hope to use my voice to help bring reconciliation to the hurting in the world. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Tim Burton Fred Tieken Jean-Michel Basquiat What do you like/dislike about the art world? So far my experiences in the art world have been overwhelmingly positive. The

gallery owners who I’ve gotten to know in Los Angeles have been very friendly and have almost taken on small roles of mentorship in my life while my community of peer artists have been extremely supportive and uplifting, even inviting me over to their homes for dinner parties. Overall, my experiences in the art world have consisted of showing art and making friends, which is awesome. What are your future plans? My future, as of now, consists of continuing to paint and show my art. My more youthful, high school dreams of being a rock star have matured in my current years. I see my art as a tool to build relationships with people who I would normally not have the opportunity to know. Art exhibitions give me the place to have real conversations with all types of amazing people who come from various backgrounds. From my experiences, most everyone is hurting in some way, and if I can provide some reconciliation, guidance, hope, or encouragement through my paintings or even a friendly conversation, I will be satisfied with my future in art.


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Pak Keung Wan Birmingham, UK


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When, how and why did you start your art practice? The how, as is probably the case with many artists working today, grew out from a formal art education – under and postgraduate training. My parents expected me to take over the family catering business so it was never really meant to be. Perhaps I really started my art practice in 1995, as resident artist at a University in Wales, UK. It was my first proper job and exposed me to the residency form which I continued to pursue as a way to develop my practice, whilst also enabling me to network with people involved in the arts. Answering the Why is more speculative. I remember as a child spending a lot of time alone in the garden simply looking and observing things – the flowers and plants growing through cracks in the brick walls, the yearly gathering of flying ants, the changing shadows of clothes projected from the washing line. I had been transplanted from playing in the lanes and walkways next to the family home in Hong Kong,

to another scene, the life within this new enclosure. Perhaps such experiences have a bearing on what I do now. England privileges a literary culture, but I was never much of a reader. What attracted me were those physical, elemental and living interactions being performed in the world. If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? One of my earliest memories is of a dancing lion moving through the scent and crackle of Chinese firecrackers. There was a long period through my teens when the idea of daily martial arts training fascinated me. Cultural ideas of enlightenment and transcendence, mind and body transformation, living an ascetic life, although it wasn’t articulated in such a way at the time. Often, my mum used to return from work with pirated kung fu dramas, and I was training with commitment at a local club. Yet I grew out of this yearning during a period of consistent training (as a sparring partner for a club mate prepar-

ing for the Seoul Olympics), seeing the edges of the world I was inhabiting, the rigidity of the day-to-day, and it felt limiting. Yet these culturally-specific bodily practices remain in my blood. I study Taiji now since it is such a complete system, where its movements, exercises and thought can be so well integrated and enhances daily living. I see it as a method to explore and preserve a psychic space, an unfathomable form that is able to permanently occupy both my mind and body. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The scene is progressive towards practitioners who studied in the region. This comprises of small groupings formed out of the regions colleges. In a sense, you could say there is a regional identity to the activities and visual production. Although, despite Birmingham being England’s second largest city, the differences in relation to London’s art scene is greatly incomparable. Also, the region’s multiculturalism has yet to permeate through an industry that is populated largely by a certain socio-economic demographic.


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In your opinion, what does art mean in contemporary culture? There are such breadths to be covered in this question. There are many relationships being had with art while contemporary culture comprises of so many things, lived by so many different people. Living outside of London (although I visit often) I feel art’s presence is weighted and effects differently. Here in Birmingham art feels confined to discrete pockets of everyday life and, like the world of social media, is played out within echo chambers of the like-minded and those living the same social experience. If I was to be blunt, I don’t see art having much meaning ‘on the ground’. Within my social circles and community, I sense it is hard to find its value and significance against the noise of consumerism, absurd politics and the day-to-day pressures exerted by ones job and its anaesthesic effects. However, I do believe art can offer a real semblance of work that is meaningful and can act as an antidote to the demands made by technologies and bureaucratic ways of thinking that permeates our current times. Recently, I listened to a radio report where the presenter identified a 7 year old girl with the term artist. Lazy journalism perhaps, yet I see this attribution of artist towards anybody occurring more and more. It belittles what an artist is, what an artist does and the time it takes to become one. Having taught at universities and colleges over the past two decades, the term has been used to describe students who have just left school. With such an application, art and artist has little meaning. It’s such a struggle to become an artist, to make significant and meaningful work, and like any calling, it takes much time. Name 3 artists you admire. Tehching Hsieh, Dominique Mazeud, Masahisa Fukase. These are artists whose life and practice are integrally entwined and whose work can be seen outside the notion of art. What are your future plans? One plan is to complete a work that began in 2009 (provisionally) titled Lune. The images that accompany this text forms part of this body of work. At the core of this piece is the making of nearly 12000 drawings that uses the path of shadow across the earth as its first line. These eclipse diagrams are detailed in a publication by NASA and titled 5 Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000. The drawings will then be animated to incarnate a body – microbial, ancestral, adrift within something primordial, the amniotic. Perhaps, when I’m 60.


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Ziling Wang London, UK

I am interested in exploring our perception of the outside world as a manifestation of the representations of our consciousness. My paintings are composed of collective fragments of objects emphatically associated with memories. These memories rely on a rational re-interpretation to complete a reconstruction of an event and space. This in turn becomes our cognitive experience of the outside world and includes the self-consciousness of our own existence, our awareness of the sense of nothingness, and the perceptions of the order and relationship between things. The state and relationship between objects in my paintings represent the phenomenon and circumstance of a person in that space. This space is reconstructed by fragments of a person’s sense of time and stream of consciousness and is divided by segments of our perception of life and the integrity of time, leading to more of a sense of alienation and exile. Thus, our perception of the external world is an imposition of person’s consciousness, rather than the ‘thing-in-itself ’.


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Briefly describe the work you do.

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

My work explores our perception of the outside world as a manifestation of the representations of our consciousness, and explores how we perceive the integrity of time.

As I live in London, there are a lot of great art opportunities going on all year round.

In my exploration of fragments of consciousness, our consciousness is composed of collective fragments of objects and daily experiences associated with our memories. These memories rely on re-interpretation to complete a reconstruction of our experience of existence in space and time.

David Hockey, who influenced me through his theory of the way of seeing.

Space and time is therefore reconstructed internally by fragments of a person’s sense of self and stream of consciousness. Our internal identity interacts with our external self, creating alienation in our sense of existence. My exploration of how we perceive the integrity of time discusses how our perception is influenced by the structures of our one-dimensional society, as a result of mechanical and monotonous reproduction and repetition. The structure of society influences our behavior and movement. The repetition of a movement in body language emphasises day-to-day behaviour. But this repetition makes the perception of time lose its meaning and value, becoming nothingness. In our perception of time, we divide time to ‘meaningful’ and ‘meaningless’ time. We can only remember important moments and fragments that belong to meaningful time. The rest of time sits with our unconscious movements that repeat mechanically like an endless ticking clock. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? For a few years I was struggling with the purpose of art, especially painting. In this period I was influenced by ‘The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art‘ by Arthur Danto and ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ by Walter Benjamin. But three years ago when I watched a documentary on David Hockey it changed my view of painting, and I came to the conclusion that technological growth cannot decrease the meaning of painting. How has your style changed over the years? In my BA, even though I studied in the painting department, I also studied sculpture, print making, fashion tailoring, and many other disciplines. In my MA, I made conceptual animations as well as installations, I was always exploring and trying to cross boundaries, but now I’m very committed to painting.

Name three artists you admire?

Olafur Eliasson, who uses natural elements to work with science and structure to recreate and enhance reality. Xu bing, who plays with our normal social understanding of things, to recreate the meaning of social custom. What are your future plans? I would like to explore painting with different materials such as wood, ceramic, and fabric, to create a larger scene that collaborates painting with installation. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I like the true spirit in the art world, most artists not only care about creativity but also the meaning and the philosophy of their work. The communication between art works creates contemporary culture, and makes society and our lives much more interesting. However, I don’t like, but understand, the commercial aspect of the art world. Economics plays an important part in society to make things happen. What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? Art is a very lonely path, but as long as you enjoy it, even the difficult times cannot beat you, and eventually your work will guide you to what you really care about, and will be a representation of yourself.


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Mengting Zhuo London, UK

I am first an audience and then a performance maker. When I’m a creator, I make works that I want to see as an audience: I’d like to see interesting shows of brilliant naughtiness, of energy and rhythm, of text used to transmit unspeakable feeling, of contingent meaning wrapped in careful design. English is not my first language; and in this language, I love playing word games and create an ‘alienation effect’ for some ideas. I have made shows simply with a slide, a stack of cards, some labels, or an iPad, and I love bringing these simple signs to interact with the audience, a moment in which I get to choreograph all these elements together: gestures, imageries, sound, light, text, space, and time. Mengting Zhuo (b. 1990 in Guangzhou, China) is a performance maker based in London. She has received her MA in Performance Making from Goldsmiths, University of London and BA in English Literature. She has made work for theatres, galleries and other spaces, including streets, a bar, and a residential flat. She is a founding member of a loose Chinese artist collective ‘Coming Soon’. Parallel to her performance practice, she plays drums and is a translator.


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When, how and why started your art practice? I have done different kinds of creative practices. I started writing fictions since very young - about 10 years old - and for a long time I wanted to become a writer. (I might still be one - who knows?) When I went to college I started playing in bands, and for some years I wanted to become a musician (which didn’t work out). As for performance/theatre making, I directed my first piece in 2011 for a student theatre, and I had the feeling that this is the thing for me. In a live performance, the performer and the audience are both present, every show is different, it is multimedia in nature, it is limitless, and it is always full of changes and accidents. Since then, I started going to see all kinds of performances, being involved in community theatre, and then I took the MA course ‘Performance Making’ that Goldsmiths, which was an important step in my practice that helped me to bring everything together. What does performance mean in contemporary culture? The term ‘performance art’ is quite new. An experimental act starting from 60s, it kind

of has the ‘contemporyness’ in itself. If you mean performance in general, it can date back to the ancient Greek time. As long as there is audience, there is theatre, or performance, or ‘spectacle’, as used in many european languages. As we gradually change ours ways of seeing, ‘performance’ will constantly updates its definition over time. Due to its nature, ‘performance art’, or the more contemporary term ‘live art’, is more difficult to commodify - that probably makes performance different from painting or sculpture - but it is not impossible, at all. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Interesting question - I’m wondering, can this be paraphrased as ‘is your idea the most important thing in your work’? Or, ‘do you use your ideas instead of the traditional art-making skills’? I would say my work is driven by concept, instead of by showing off virtuoso acting skills or so. But strictly speaking, whose work isn’t driven by concept, if they’re original? I recently saw David Hockney’s exhibition at Tate Britain. I think all of his works are very conceptual, reflective and playful. However, he wouldn’t say he’s a conceptual artist (according to a BBC interview) - he is a painter with interesting ideas. I am considerably influenced by linguistics, magic realism and formalism, which might inevitably make my work conceptually inclined. However, when referring to myself, I prefer ‘performance maker’, the most neutral and comprehensive term I’ve come across. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The timeless world of art is what makes me feel alive. The art world in our time, is a well-constructed system, supported by institutions, critics, buyers, funders, and art-manufacturers. The idea of being trapped in this system makes me reluctant to think further.

How would you describe the art scene in your area? Is this possible to compare somehow China and UK? London is great, that’s why I’m still bearing with its cost of living! However, in terms of the performance scene, sometimes I feel it lacks its own voice and becomes quite predictable. I might move to a continental European city in a few years. Comparing to the UK, China is ‘developing’, so as its art scene. On one hand, the practitioners are still catching up with the latest critical theories; on the other hand, I think people are a bit unsure about their own voice and convention within the international context. I guess over years, the scenes in two countries will become more and more similar, because we are in the same art world system after all. Describe a real-life situation that inspired you? My piece ‘Local Time’ draws inspiration from my long-haul flight experience, when I need to set my watch to a new local time. I think the gesture of time-setting is a powerful and interesting one, and I presented it in my piece. Actually, In most cases, my mind floats a lot, especially when I’m seeing an exhibition or watching a performance (I feel a bit guilty saying this). A lot of my random ideas come from random moments without actual relevance. What is your dream project? To work with an ‘unadaptable’ book, and to have all kinds of resources available - right site, right performers, etc. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Sun Xiaoxing. He’s a young Chinese theatre artist of my generation, and a friend of mine. Not many practitioners in China can really think out of the box like him. Rotozaza, live artist duo based in the UK. In fact my first encounter with their ‘automatic theatre’ was in Beijing. I feel I will meet them in the future and have a lot of thoughts to share. I struggle for the third one. There are so many artists I admire but I might never be compared to them. Let me say Jorge Luis Borges for now.


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Art Reveal Magazine no. 27  

Artists: Salma Ali, Fred Apps, Eugenio Azzola, Iggy Beerbower, Catherine Cox-Field, Elena Efeoglou, Sonia Gil, Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar Romero...

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