the mind issue | n째6
EDITORS NOTE Welcome all to Mind, the Sixth issue of Élémentaire Zine. In this issue we take you on a trip through the mind, encouraging you to explore and indulge in the collection we have gathered and the diversity the subject has to offer. proMind features interviews with Shanghai based illustrator Mojo Wang, where we discuss his creative pro cess and how living in the world’s biggest city has affected his imagery. Also included is an interview with painter Eloy Morales and a chance to gain an insight into his incredible ‘About Head’ series. As always, Mind plays host to a collection of extremely talented artists from all over the globe. We have focused more attention upon creating thoughtful & inspiring informative pieces to accompany each artists imagery, which I hope you enjoy. As a final note, I’d like to say a special thank-you to all of the artists who have agreed to take part in this issue. Now, without further ado, I urge you to delve deeper and hope you feel inspired by all that you see and read. Thanks, Mark Kiszely Editor-in-Chief All copyrights remain with the artists.
ART DIRECTOR Theodora Pangos www.behance.net/pangos
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mark Kiszely www.facebook.com/markkiszelyphotography
CONTRIBUTING WRITER Andrew Skinner thisistheraccoon.com/author/andrewjskinner
CONTRIBUTING WRITER Matthew Dunne-Miles mdunnemiles.contently.com
COVER ARTWORK Laurence Jephcote www.facebook.com/venusflytrapdesignlj EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org LINKS www.facebook.com/elementairezine twitter.com/ElementaireZine behance.net/elementaire
05 ALEJANDRA SAENZ/ 09 BRUNO TEIXEIRA/ 11 LAURA NICOLAOU/ 13 ANNES BIL/ 15 NICOLA ONIONS/ 19 EMIL ALZAMORA/ 23 EDUARD HORN/ 25 ELOY MORALES RAMIRO/ 31 MILES WRAGG/ 33 KYLE BEAN/ 37JOEY KLARENBEEK/ 39 FEDERICO CARBAJAL/ 43 MOJO WANG/ 47 RODRIGO DE FILIPPIS/ 51 EUNJUNG SHIN/ 53 SIMON BIRCH/ 57 MICHAEL REEDY
SAENZ Alejandra Saenz is a Venezuelan graphic designer and illustrator, living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Drawing and art have been interests Saenz has been familiar with since an early age. Once she realized that this interest exceeded just a hobby, Saenz dedicated herself to improving her techniques and skills in traditional drawing. Now she works with a whole range of tools, such as acrylics, watercolours, coloured pencils, ink and graphite. Her personal work has developed a style sensitive to the human figure, fauna and flora, an amalgamation of fantasy and realistic details.
She has always had a natural curiosity for space and the unknown. This is reflective in her imagery, as she now subconsciously feels the need to express the idea that we are just a tiny part of an unimaginably vast universe. Other principle sources of inspiration for Saenz come from female beauty, symbology, science, geometry and anatomy.
Saenz desires to create pieces inspired by her own explorations of the natural world, searching for a better understanding of origins, existence and beauty.
Links: www.facebook.com/alesaenzart www.behance.net/alesaenz alesaenzart.tumblr.com
Saenz is taking the future in her stride. Her aims are only to improve, continue learning and develop further as an artist. The rest, she leaves to chance.
25 year old designer, Bruno Teixeira, is based in Santa Catarina, Brazil, where he works as a freelancer for a few fashion brands and devotes his free time to developing personal projects. Teixeira has been fascinated by art since childhood, citing his original idol as his cousin, also a talented artist, as the person who inspired his first works. The last 5 years have been the most important for Teixeira’s artistic development. In this time he has experimented with new techniques and discovered artists that have changed the way he works. Inspiration comes in many forms and for Teixeira, it blossoms out of his relationships with his friends and his sister. Being able to openly ask them questions about problems he is experiencing can often lead to a clear path and a feeling of renewed creativity. Of course, other artists hold creative influence over the work that Teixeira makes. He enjoys examining paintings and drawings in depth, analysing how the practitioner achieved those results. Contemporary realistic painters such as Jeremy Geddes and Gottfried Helnwein are a key source of inspiration, as are the masters, like Leonardo da Vinci, Edward Hopper and Caravaggio.
Teixeira adores the work of Vania Zouravliov and her unmatched talent with ink. The image featured is called Santa Muerte, named after the female folk saint idolized in Mexican culture. Santa Muerte is the personification of Death, but also representative of healing and protection. Having not painted in almost 10 years, Teixeira began this piece with a ‘Lets see if I still can’ approach, rather than an objective. With the evolution of the image though, direction developed. He chose the skull face because of its serenity. The rest of the image was constructed to give an otherworldly appearance, but with recognisable elements, so as to appear somewhat reachable. The result is very special. You’re left with a sense of peace and calm, whilst looking at death. This feeling is important to Teixeira, who actively tries to represent tough themes such as death as, well, not such a bad thing. If people can feel just from looking at it, what he felt painting it, then Teixeira feels his work is complete. Links: www.behance.net/brunojteixeira
Laura Nicolaou was born in Cyprus in 1988. From a young age, she was lost in her own world, seemingly drawing more than she actually interacted with the world around her. To her, everything was colours, lines, shapes and concepts. Her parents, both architects, raised her to love Italy, the food, the art, the architecture and the culture in general. This led to Nicolaou studying Fine Art in Florence and continuing afterwards with a two year masters in Exhibit Design and Curating. Nicolaou feels Italy made her who she is today, having lived there for five years; she has been directly influenced and inspired by everything it stands for. She returned to Cyprus for a year to teach art, an experience she found life-changing, as it allowed for her to discover her talent for teaching and sharing her profession. She further studied another masters in Arts and Project Management at Birmingham City University in the UK. Now, Nicolaou is back in her homeland, where she has set up her atelier and opened her own studio where she continues to teach.
The theme of her image has to do with the inner worlds existing and deriving from the mind. The mind is a powerful, chaotic and dangerous place for some people. Half of the paintings she does traverse the ‘Dark Side’ as she enjoys exploring both the positive and the negative. Charcoal, ink, soft pastels and spray paint are her weapons of choice and she feels particularly inspired by the human face and eyes. In order to be able to continue a painting, she must always finish the eyes first. It is a form of communication process between her and the painting. Nicolaou confesses to being afraid of laying her roots in one place, so an ideal scenario for the future would be to travel the world, work with a range of people organizing art projects, as well as exhibiting her own art. After all, isn’t that what any artist wants? Link: email@example.com
BIL Annes Bil is a Syrian-born photographer/graphic designer, studying and working in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul has always been an attractive place to live for Bil, having always been amazed by the beauty of the city. He feels that Istanbul opened up a new world to him through photography. It helped him to express his thoughts, feelings and emotions, so he began to use photography and graphic design as an escape from the bothers of life. Each day he learnt new techniques and experimented with new ideas and new ways of taking photos and editing them.
Other than the city he lives in, Bil is inspired by nature and psychology. The piece included, named â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Behindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is a reflection of his psychology when he designed it. It has a dark, foreboding sense to it. In the future, Bil aspires to become an artist as great as Ai Weiwei and to have the courage to express his art without any limits or fears. Link: www.behance.net/davedavid303
ONIONS Nicola Onions is an artist concluding her final year studying Photography & Moving Image at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design in the UK. Working mainly with 35mm & 120mm film, Onions creates work that has significant personal importance, orientating many of her projects around her family. However, she likes to visualise issues and feelings that are universally relatable.
story of her Grandparents relationship and her Grandfather’s fading memory. Onions wanted to almost wipe away her Grandmothers face as it represents the most memorable point of the image, her identification.
The project understandably carried intense emotions for Onions, with the feeling of fleeting memories and questions of existence. It has inspired her to look deeper into memory as a Onions sees inspiration in many forms. She subject for the future. takes influence not only from photography, but Along with an extended look at memory, Onions also from a keen interest in painting, illustration aspires to create photo books and exhibit her & design. A strong affiliation with collage was images. She would also like to use her imagery piqued when she came across the Dadaist to raise awareness of Dementia and movement, namely the works of Hannah Hoch. Alzheimer’s, a disease of the mind that needs Scouring the internet of course also provides her more money, support & research. with a stream of contemporary inspiration from a wide range of artists. Family is also a prime She leaves us with a powerful quote by source of inspiration too. Tennessee Williams, from ‘The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore’. The image featured came about through digital “Has it ever struck you that life is all memory, experimentation with old family photographs as except for the one present moment that goes by she tried to express her feelings visually. you so quick you hardly catch it going?” At the time of creation, her Grandfather’s dementia had seriously deteriorated and her Grandmother had died 6 months prior, suffering from Alzheimer’s. The photographs and manipulations created during this time tell the
Links: www.flickr.com/people/nicolaonions nicolaonions.tumblr.com
Emil Alzamora was born in Lima, Peru, in 1975, but moved to Florida at an early age, where he was raised. He graduated from Florida State University in 1998, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Alzamora harnesses a wide range of materials and techniques to deliver unexpected interpretations of the sculpted human figure. He often distorts, elongates, deconstructs, or encases his forms to reveal an emotional or physical situation, or to tell a story. Alzamora’s keen interest in the physical properties of his materials combined with his hands-on approach allow for the process to reveal and inform at once the aesthetic and the conceptual. Since early 2001, Alzamora has produced his work full-time and shown regularly throughout the United States and Europe. Alzamora’s works have been exhibited in multiple solo and group shows, many national and international art fairs, as well as being reviewed by a whole range of publications. The New York Times, Juxtapoz, High Fructose, ArteFuse and Cool Hunting are all examples. He currently lives and works in Beacon, NY. Alzamora loves to learn about the natural world and the world of people, which for him are one and the same. He is inspired by the essence of ideas. Ideas on how to live more efficiently, on how to solve problems, how to manage emotions and fears, how to be compassionate and understanding of the many different perspectives, the list is endless.
He feels rewarded when hearing stories about people discovering solutions to ancient problems and ways to better our conditions whilst we are on this earth. He loves music and audiobooks, the internet and its neuroweb of humanness. The idea that we, the human race as a whole, are linking up in more and more complex ways in which an emergent, collective intelligence may not be far away. He is inspired by seeing what people are making and doing not just in the arts, but in all walks of life. Alzamora’s greatest aspiration as an artist is to create works that inspire thought and feeling and an appreciation for the miracle and mystery that is life. As for the two sculptures featured, ‘In Two Places’ & ‘Shift’ are both experiments on how to convey motion, space, separation and time within the confines of static and seemingly solid materials. Shift was a breakthough piece for Alzamora several years ago. He wanted to experiment with the materials he had been using to see if he could convey a feeling of movement within a solid form. In Two Places is a more recent project and was a similar exploration in which he hoped to expand upon his original ideas. As to the meaning of his work, Alzamora feels the viewer’s interpretation is as important as his own. He likes for the titles to direct a little, but feels in the end, it’s up to the viewer to determine what a sculpture means. Link: www.emilalzamora.com
‘in two places’
Eduard Horn is a designer and visual artist, born in Kazakhstan in 1985, but now living and working in MĂźnster, Germany. Horn has always been dedicated to absorbing as much information as possible, in the quest to learn ways of expressing his ideas. Having attended courses on photography, 2D & 3D animation, film and drawing, Horn finally recognised his passion for printmaking. He therefore began to focus his concentration on screenprinting, etching and especially woodcutting. Having graduated in 2010, Horn spent a few years as a freelance designer in Scandinavia and Germany. At the end of 2012, he finally decided to follow his passion and moved to MĂźnster, where he still works for printmaking studio, LIMITED. After a long period of trial and error, he now feels he has found a style that he can call his own as a visual artist. Since then, Horn has been featured in many exhibitions, both solo and group, and has received a lot of positive feedback. His inspirations range far and wide, from art history to modern technology. The idea of the everchanging identity of a person and humanity is generally the main subject of his work though.
This leads on to Horn looking in detail at topics such as Quantum Mechanics, Fractal Geometry and the Singularity principle, amongst many others, for an infinite source of inspiration for his work. Hornâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ambitions stretch just as far as his inspirations. He aims to go beyond the boundaries of Digital and handmade art; to break limits between fine arts and applied arts, traditonal and new media, even more. Exposure for his work is important, so that more people begin to think about the topics he focuses upon, which he feels are important for all of us, at this time. Horn believes that the more connections you get, the more exciting things become. The image featured is named Philosopher, and is part of a tryptich, Philosopher Headcage-Muse. A piece of particular pride for Horn, Philosopher acts as an end result for everything he has learnt in his life so far, combining a vast range of techniques and skills during construction. Link: www.eduardhorn.com
ELOY MORALES RAMIRO
Link: www.eloymorales.es 25
The self is a tough topic that many artists choose to tackle, in a bid to truly represent your own being on a very core level. Spanish painter Eloy Morales has created a breathtaking project called ‘About Head’, creating what can only be known as Hyper-Realistic selfies. It’s a dramatic series of stunning and colourfully striking photorealistic paintings of his, and other models’ faces.
I work very much on these aspects before starting the painting as I’m elaborating the previous image. All of these decisions are as important as the further development of the work. The colours for the self-portraits have been chosen looking for the inter-relationship of the works. If the moment comes when I think I cannot contribute more to the series, then I leave it.
Intrigued by both the concept and the execution, we spoke to Eloy about what influenced the project, how he chooses his models and what the year holds in store for him.
Do you find that people are shocked when they realise the paintings aren’t actually photographs?
Who/what has influenced this particular project? This project was created with the idea of making a piece of work that could express my relationship with painting that’s grown throughout the years. The title is important and takes on a double meaning: on one hand, there’s the paint that’s physically shown in the picture, and on the other hand, the psychological process which affects my life. Paint is also a mask which I hide myself behind, and at the same time, a war paint. Whilst it’s you who predominantly features in the series, there are other models captured as well. What did you look for when it came to choosing other people?
Curiously, whilst it motivates me to work many different aspects, I’m never motivated to make my works look like photographs or to confuse people. I look for a powerful, shocking image, but my motivations are always internal, sensory, conceptual… but never technical. How would you describe your style in three words? Rather than the style, I would rather prefer to describe my work with three words: honesty, passion and receptivity. Who/what has had a major influence on your career? My father, when I was a child.
What’s been the proudest moment of your It is what they convey psychologically to me, career so far? and the physical aspect never dominates the choosing process. It is something that is The day-to-day work, and that I can devote uniquely in the person and I perceive it my life to painting. quickly and try to catch it. What does 2014 hold in store for you? What thought did you put into the choice of oil colours? What do they signify? There are many projects in sight, and maybe the most important one could be my first The colour range of each work is of vital solo exhibition at a New York gallery. importance to me, as it is the lighting. Interview by Andrew Skinner thisistheraccoon.com/author/andrewjskinner
ELOY MORALES RAMIRO 29
MILES WRAGG Miles Wragg is a 22 year old illustrator based in the UK. His main influences come from nature, imagination, the subconscious mind and geometry. In regards to art, Wragg finds highly decorative and intricately detailed imagery the most appealing. Working with traditional methods, using mainly inks, water colours and pen, Wragg absorbs all of his inspirations and combines them with his own surrealist tendencies. The images included in this feature were all inspired by Aldous Huxley’s book, ‘The Doors of Perception’. This book describes Huxley’s recollection of a Mescaline trip. It details a journey into the heart of the mind and explores ideas of the ‘self’. For the future, Wragg has many objectives. These include writing and illustrating his own books and to begin to create short films and animations. Link: www.behance.net/MilesWragg
Kyle Bean is an artist/illustrator residing in London, UK. His primary interest, in regards to work, is to use materials in unexpected ways to create conceptual models and images. Practitioners with a deep connection to craft and a love of experimentation, paired with his own passion for learning about materials and techniques, power Bean onwards with his creations. For the future, Bean plans to continue extending and building upon a diverse range of existing projects. He also wishes to start working upon larger scale projects, collaborating with more people who are specialists at their craft.
Joey Klarenbeek is a designer and illustrator who hails from the small, creative town of Alice Springs, Australia. Having played drums for almost 10 years, Klarenbeek felt a natural progression into design, stemming from his interest in music. The bulk of his work is made up of logos, artwork and gig posters for both his own band and others. A move to Melbourne to record an album with his band at the time, Zenith ASP, led to Klarenbeek studying graphic design. Art to Klarenbeek is a form of self-therapy. To draw or paint an image, seemingly out of nowhere, helps him to acknowledge and scrutinize any subconscious feelings he has been struggling to understand. To be an artist is a privilege for Klarenbeek, allowing a route to express himself. Therefore his inspiration comes in the form of emotion and everything he experiences on a day to day basis. Klarenbeek aspires to work in the music industry, to combine his passions. To create more conceptual art is also important to him, as he really enjoys concept development and collaborating with other creatives. Simply though, he just wants to continue doing what he loves, drawing, painting, designing and drumming. This poster was created for an international competition called Positive Posters, aimed at raising international awareness for global social issues. Klarenbeek’s concept is about how technology apparently makes us more connected, but for example, when you’re standing on a train and look around, everyone is glued to their phones. With private organisations controlling the media, they essentially brainwash the masses and turn us into ‘Anti-Social Zombies’. Albert Einstein said it himself “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Link: www.behance.net/conspire
Federico Carbajal is an architect and visual artist, born in Mexico, but now living and working in Montreal, Canada. He has been sculpting for the last 7 years and has worked with several architecture firms since 2002. His work has been on display in both Mexico and Canada. With his artwork, Carbajal aims to explore the boundaries between architecture and anatomy, through wire sculpture and drawing. His idea for the imagery featured was to dissect a human body into its more basic components, to explore the border between the body as an entity, or as separate single organs.
Drawings from old masters and the early works of Alexander Calder, sculptor pioneer, are key sources of inspiration for Carbajal, leading all the way through to current digital 3D media and architectural representation. His main objective as an artist is to create a constantly evolving and comprehensive body of work that remains true to itself, in order to expose it in different venues, places and countries. Links: federicocarbajal.weebly.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org www.fcr-.webs.com
Links: www.facebook.com/mojowang www.behance.net/hellomojo 43
Mojo Wang is a self-taught illustrator based in Shanghai, who has been practicing his craft for the past five years. The shots featured are from his series correctly titled 'People Mountain, People Sea', a strictly monochrome set with faceless figures, representing a deep hollowness and lack of identity. Mojo Wang's illustrative ability is clear from the definition and detail of the figures in his work, but he also has the ideas to match. 'People Mountain, People Sea' is just a sample of a range of ways he looks to use his passion for drawing to create figures from his imagination, in order to look at the world of the insular and the human psyche.
How long have you been working with illustration and what initially inspired you? I started self-learning illustration when I was in college five years ago, then fortunately I found some freelance illustration jobs for magazines to pay my bills when I was still in campus in 2010. I guess I still canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe it all went, well, not badly. I used to love works of CLAMP which is a comic team in Japan, and Andy Warhol which is love at first sight. Movies made by Karwai Wong or songs performed by Faye Wong were my favourites when I was a child. Technically, I would not say those things initially inspired me in early days, but they lead me to a journey of finding my own way to see this world and seeking things to touch my heart. Were there people who supported your ambition to work in design and illustration? I get a lot moral support from my friends and family every single day even now, since I constantly turn on my self-doubt button, but if you mean financially support, well, I'm not that talented or lucky enough. I worked as freelance illustrator for almost three years, did a lot crap for magazines (some of them are good). It paid my bills by day and supported me to pursue my dream of art at night.
What is the process behind putting one of your collections together? I really hope you will believe me when I say all those collections of mine came from visions I saw about my life or inspiration some might say. I'm not in a cult or having a brain tumour, if you are wondering. It's just I'm not the one who is creating those images, I'm just one passenger when they kick in, (and I'm not a drug addict...). They came from nowhere into my mind, went through my veins, then I draw them down on my paper or in my mac, and that's why I'm really not good at working with a topic. Once again, I'm not in a cult or something, I know how crazy they all sounds. Your collections switch from vibrant colours to strict black and white, what influences the decision to use colour compared to those in monochrome? Erotic images in vibrant colours were the starting of my works, coz that was how I saw my life, a sad place with all those artificial emotions inflected by varied distractions. Only aggressive creations could touch me a lot in those days. (Don't get me wrong, I loved and I am still in love with my life.) And now the world seems so much simpler to me, like recent works of mine. Even one empty glass sitting on a table can make its own way to shake my heart. I guess the influence of this decision is called growing up? My works might just switch to vibrant colours again in the future; it depends on how I see my life and the world, or how I was reflected by those things around me as you can tell now. Some of your work is presented in comic strips, is this a medium you're interested in taking further? Yes, I hope I could keep doing this mini comic series for a year, if I'm able to do so.
What's the meaning behind the title 'People Mountain, People Se'? Actually, the correct title should be "People Mountain, People Sea", but I type it wrong when I uploaded them on Behance.com, and I'm too lazy to change it. It's a beautiful Chinese phrase meaning crowd: 人山人海. Did you have people pose for the silhouette figures? I don't have any money for models or a fancy camera, so I pose by myself like a weird dude who is naked all the time in his apartment snapping himself. Just kidding, truth to be told, I don't have any people posing for me except the one in my mind when I'm doing my self-creation (my commercial illustrations are a different story). But sometimes I will look into muscle dictionary (I don't know how to say it in english) when the image in my mind just cannot be executed correctly on the paper. That's why those figures in my works looks like me a lot. I'm not good at creating other kinds of figure without distort their body.
The figures drawn are not only faceless, but completely hollow, is this to show a sense of emptiness? Emptiness, sadness, loneliness, anger, etc. When you have everything on the table, maybe you have nothing at all. But does it really matter what I want to show to you? You can decide what kind of sense it shows, I did my part, you do yours. I enjoy being a mysterious story teller. How does living in Shanghai, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, affect the strong sense of escapism in your imagery? I like it when you say "the strong sense of escapism", it makes me profound. The places people have been raised in and live in definitely affect them in every kind of way. But, it's my belief that humanity has its own pattern no matter where you are or what you are. Maybe my imagery would still has a strong sense of escapism (you see, it makes me profound again), if I was born and raised in Great Rift Valley, or maybe I wouldn't even be doing illustration at all. Interview by Matthew Dunne-Miles mdunnemiles.contently.com
"people mountain, people sea"
RODRIGO DE FILIPPIS Link: www.flickr.com/rodrigboy
Rodrigo De Filippis (alias RodrigBoy) is a graphic designer from Buenos Aires, specialising in Collage, a passion born in 2007 after studying Art History. For De Filippis, collage means a reconstruction of reality, based on perception, intuition and knowledge of different techniques. His interest emerged more and more, after studying work by vanguard Dadaists, Cubist and Futurists. They were a great insight and inspiration as he introduced himself to the collage technique. Collage is a process where the artist has to rebuild parts of an image and generate a whole new meaning. Collage has earned its place not only in art but also in advertising. De Filippis feels that collage extends the boundaries of art itself.
The abundance of his material is usually work from cutouts of old books and magazines from the 60s-70s-80-90s. He enjoys combining and contrasting old and new, handmade and digital. Although nowadays most of his collages are more digital, De Filippis firmly believes he will never forget his passion for handmade collage. He has a very simple but effective rule. Look at as much work as possible. To open his mind and absorb inspiration is a sure-fire way of self-improvement and will encourage him to continue to create new graphic worlds. Never Mind: Graphically represents the idea forget everything in order to leave a blank mind and receive the stimulus of nature without noise or interruptions. Body & Mind: Calm and serenity is hard to come by these days, so you have to try to connect the body and the mind in order to find oneself.
Eunjung Shin is a working illustrator based in Seoul, South Korea, who runs an independent studio under the name of ‘indivisualplay’. Shin’s inspiration for his imagery comes from within, with the end results reflecting his emotions and thoughts. He stirs up this kind of free-thinking by reading books, notably comics, and getting lost in discussions with friends. Shin also finds writing short stories and poems can inspire mental images that he then brings to reality. His goal for the future is to follow and explore his artistic style, free from financial worries. Links: indivisualplay.com facebook.com/indivisualplay
BIRCH Link: www.simon-birch.com Facebook: The Art of Simon Birch
Simon Birch is a UK born artist, who is now a permanent resident of Hong Kong. He has exhibited solo shows in Beijing, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami & Singapore. His global reach extends even further when you consider his participation in group exhibitions in London & Tokyo. Primarily, Birch works with Oil on Canvas, but he has also ventured into the realms of Film & installation work, culminating in particularly notable large-scale projects, including the 20,000 square feet multimedia installations named HOPE & GLORY, amongst others. These installations integrate painting with film, sculpture & performance. Birch will be exhibiting at Ben Brown Fine Arts London in October 2014.
Michael Reedy received his MFA in painting from Northern Illinois University in 2000 and his BA from North Central College in 1996. His work has been included in over 100 national and international exhibitions. He has just turned 40 & most importantly, he is a Leo. Currently he is an Associate Professor in Drawing at Eastern Michigan University and is obsessed with collecting old anatomical prints, books and models. He spends the majority of his free time reading, sketching and experimenting with new media. However, his inspirations stretch further than outward influence. He takes a reflective look at his own physicality and the fears and anxiety attached to growing older and/or having one’s parents growing older. This paired with a fascination for anatomical illustration forms the foundations of his work. In Reedy’s opinion, the open body can present a lot of complex questions that traditional figurative work is just not capable of asking. Reedy’s aspirations should ring a resounding chime with all artists. Whilst being nationally and internationally recognised for his work would be fantastic beyond words, most of his aspirations are fixed on his own relationship with his imagery. He wants to always truly and honestly care about the work he is creating and of course, he always aspires to make good work!
To him, these things have the highest value in the end. Without them, there is never any hope of achieving the first item on the list. The image featured is a sample from Reedy’s most recent work, which explores the themes of life, death and the human condition. This renewed curiosity of the physical limits of the body, and its ultimate failing, has been paired with prior interests long rooted in the depiction of the body, that fall outside the canon of art history, such as medical imaging and cartooning. Here, the ongoing references to anatomical illustration, (and its benign approach to depicting pain and death) serves to underscore the comedic tragedy of physical existence that increasingly defines our sense of self as we age. In the end, he is trying to infuse the work with a sense of scientific aura, moral lesson, and morbid entertainment. His hope being that the viewer will be seduced into disregarding the boundaries between interior and exterior, between looking and feeling, between the real and the pictured body, and ultimately re-examine what they perceive to be their own physical limits. To Reedy, the work is playful, funny, beautiful, dark, and painful all at once. Much like life in general. Link: www.mikereedy.com