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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Interview with DIEGO TERROS







q)Walk us through an intimate day in your life
      

a)Currently balancing four different jobs in NYC. I tend to have a quiet demeanor, constantly daydreaming about music, travel, and breaking free.


q) Where did you grow up/where do you live now and how does that contribute to your art?
      

a)I was born in Tarrytown, NY to Colombian parents and was raised in Bogota, Colombia. I spent my teenage years in Florida. Came to NYC for art school and been here ever since. The urban and foggy mountainous landscape of my childhood has had a tremendous influence in the mood of my work. Having been lucky to travel the world at an early age has expanded my imagination and made me long for no boundaries, while thinking about layers and remnants.


q) What is your earliest memory that propelled you to create?


a)Early on in kindergarten, the idea of collage was presented to me, and I continued on making parodic collages for my classmates even after the lesson was over. Coming from a family of artists, where my mother and sister used ceramic, gesso, papier mache, and painting, I was naturally exposed to mixed media practices.


q) Tell us a little bit about your creative process.


a)My process starts with a preoccupation in my head. After amassing images and symbols, I work with them to manifest and convey that feeling or idea.


q) How do you wish for your art to be perceived?


a)I cannot conceive for viewers to have a systematic response. Mood and allegorical theme coming across, however, is what perhaps matters to me the most.


q) What do your internal dialogues sound like?


a)There isn’t a language for it; it is purely abstract and symbolic.


q) Do you feel that there are limitations to what you want to create?
      

a)Yes, this city of possibilities can be very limiting when it comes to affordable space, especially for someone who is ambitious and collects a lot of material.


q) Do you feel art is vital to survival and if so, why?
      

a)Of course, art is a mission and a journey for some, it has the power of healing and enlightening and entertaining; it occurs in all our senses, in the mind and in ritual, so yes, it’s absolutely essential.


q) Describe a world without art.


a)Bleak. Robotic.


q) Tell us a secret, and obsession.


a)My pieces are little chapters, secrets, and obsessions.


q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?





Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Interview with Eli Craven






q)For the people who don't know your work - how would you describe it ?

a) I use photography, found imagery, sculpture and collage to create pictures and objects that suggest something tangible behind the surface of a photograph. I gather images from 
books and my own personal history, and with 
a delicate blend of humor and melancholy they are reconfigured to interrogate 
the ostensible values of the original.

q)What are the key themes running through your practice?

a) The primary focus of my practice is the exploration of images in processes of socialization.  Specific social themes that recur in my work are sexuality, gender, religion and ritual.

q)Your favorite place on earth?

a) My favorite place is home.

q)What influences your work?

a) The influences in my work come from my own personal history and observations, social media, current trends, along with books and magazines I collect.  Artists that have influenced my research and practice include Robert Heinecken, Larry Sultan, John Stezaker, Elad Lassry and Amanda Ross-Ho.

q)What music are you into right now?

a) Scout Niblett, Dirty Projectors, Cass McCombs, White Fence, etc....

q)Describe your thought & design process...

a) I spend a lot of time thrift shopping, specifically looking for books and magazines with imagery that interests me.  I might find an image that interests me and keep it around for a while, maybe pin it to the studio wall until I understand what I want to do with it. I also spend a lot of time in the studio talking with other artists and friends, and we often help one another work through our processes. 

q)Which emerging artists are you looking forward to seeing more of?

a) Flemming Ove Bech, Elijah Jensen-Lindsey and Stephen Eichhorn 

q)Favorite place on the internet?

a) I check www.latentimage.us and www.ilikethisblog.net on a daily basis.

q)Do you have any upcoming projects/exhibitions we should know about?

a) I have work in a group exhibition right now at the Linen Gallery in Boise, ID.

q)Tell us something we don't know - but should...

a) I am a part of the collaborative studio/gallery Black Hunger, a space dedicated to contemporary art and ideas.  Go to www.blackhunger.com.

q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

a) You can view my work at my website www.elicraven.com or on my flickr page www.flickr.com/photos/eliseyebrows/.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Interview with Thomas Robson







q)Introduce yourself, name,age, location.


a)Hi! My name is Thomas Robson ( http://www.thomas-r.com ) and my professional background is that of a BBC television graphic designer, who is now experimenting with multi-faceted art remixing and re-interpretive image making. I work in a rural location situated near Belfast, Northern Ireland.


q)Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?


a)It is as a creative reaction to my increasing unease of working in broadcast television, creating a highly edited and curated visual language which although seeming very real to viewers, is in fact a highly selective edit of imagery. Which deliberately sets out to blur viewers’ ability to differentiate between the contrived world and the real one.

I began to wonder how I could make individuals question pictures more deeply and in doing so, develop enhanced critical skills in their reading and interpretation of imagery.
As my initial creative response I began thinking about taking familiar images and imposing change on them to create an Art Remix. A creative approach which enables me to author images, invested with the power to provoke heightened aesthetic and critical responses.
I am experimenting with fusing fine art & photography imagery with the visual language of graphic design, to create new categories of art composition. In which new layers of visual interventions are used to reconstruct and transform the significance of images, place them in new contexts and in so doing make new demands on the viewer.
It is an approach which seeks to short circuit peoples’ common interactions with representational fine art & photography. Forcing them to question images more intently, and in so doing develop enhanced critical skills and visual literacy.
Striping away the traditional and highly restrictive carapace of how fine art and photography should be read, and subverting it with a new highly accessible visual language. Which is more accurately reflective of our highly edited, curated, media remixed and visually saturated world.


q)Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.


a)As with any design response, my art work exists within the context of the major influences that shaped my creative life. Having lived through 30 years of sectarian conflict here in Northern Ireland, I am highly sensitive to the repressed emotions and hidden meanings which underpin many social interactions and conversations.
This search to discover the hidden or the repressed voice has always informed my reaction to the highly representational portraits of western art. To my eyes they always evoke questions of what informed their production, just how accurately do the finished pictures conceal or reveal the sitter’s true identity, the artists personality and indeed how such pictures strive to totally extinguish the context of their production in the studio.
From the democratic and more open contexts of today, it is as if the concept of creative expression was repressed by a slavish adherence to a highly codified academic style of painting. Visual language was defined and corralled in a rigid hierarchical structure, by a self appointed aesthetic elite who had appropriated the power to adjudge and frame what was good and bad art, and in doing suppress and control artistic and creative expression. It is this suppression of expression and selective edit of social memory that creatively excites me.
In this context we may be talking about the reading of fine art imagery, but hidden meanings and repressed emotions still govern many of our interactions whether in political, family or personal terms.
Such pictures to me represent a highly stylised shield behind which the true meaning of the image resides, and it is the interrogation of these hidden meanings which resonates with me and in so doing provokes a powerful creative reaction.
Stimulating me to explore how I can radically transform such images, by the imposition of new layers of visual intervention. To create powerful multi-layered compositions, which actively solicit and excite heightened levels of viewer engagement. Subliminally investing people with the desire to question images more critically, and extrapolate their own meaning from the pictures.

q)Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?


a)Yes music is important in the background as I work, but I have to say that I spend most of my time listening to the spoken word, especially drama and comedy programmes on the BBC iPlayer.  Alternatively I default to some of the great ambient online radio stations delivered via. Songbird & Shoutcast.


q)How would you describe your work to someone?


a)Art Remixing is the most accurate definition of my studio process, I create pictures whose compositions are designed to actively solicit a visual reaction, and encourage viewers to question images more critically, and to allow them to discover and contemplate their own interpretations and feelings about the changed elements, their visual interdependencies, and relationships with the original images.
Because in an increasingly visually saturated world of highly edited and curated images, being continuously pushed towards us as media consumers. It is of crucial importance that people develop enhanced media savvy, powers of visual literacy and observation.
So that they can more accurately interpret what they are seeing in the ocean of imagery which daily bombards us. Images which a lot of the time media companies and governments would like us to consume in as passive and uncritical manner as possible.
It is this enhanced visual literacy my pictures seek to stimulate and develop, through the creation of new dialogues with pictures unteathered from their original context and overlaid with new layers of imagery.


q)Influences?


a)I try not to let other artists work influence me so that I can concentrate on developing my own visual language. Of course like most designers/artists daily web browsing exposes me to a multitude on imagery, which must subconsciously have an effect.

Though if I had to name my favorite visual/creative watering hole it would be  http://www.gestalten.com/new/all. As this site dynamically displays fresh work, artists interviews and great selection of art & design publications. It’s a great resource for anyone who wants to keep their finger on the pulse of emerging developments across the disciplines of visual arts and design.


q)Describe your process for creating new work.


a)Initially I spend considerable time and resources researching and collating imagery, in order to give me the fuel to power the development of highly iterative visual experiments. Which rapidly create multiple versions of compositions and assist me in accelerating the creation of new intersections of form and colour. Continuously driven forward by my ongoing creative dissatisfaction with what I produce during this period of creative flux.

This dissatisfaction has positive benefits however as it acts as a powerful catalyst to drive my creative thinking and experimentation ever forwards, in the search for better aesthetic outcomes. I am never really satisfied with what I produce and every month brings improvements in the quality of work I create, which is a pretty good indication that my art is moving in a positive direction.



q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?


a)Given my lack of success so far in getting a gallery show I can’t really comment on this question. All I can advise other artists to do is to persevere and spend as much time as you can promoting yourself and your work. Get the word out, accept and learn from constructive criticism and never ever give up!

Because if you can’t look back at 90% plus of your work and realise it is capable of radical improvement you are not trying hard enough.



q)What are you really excited about right now?


a)I am really excited about a couple of new projects I am developing, which I hope will radically improve the quality of my imagery. Via the use of more sophisticated forms of visual interventions and compositional techniques.

To aid me in this creative journey I am hungry to apply traditional craft techniques, and incorporate more physical painting and drawing into my pictures. Whilst at the same time confronting and crossing the essentially artificial boundaries between fine art and graphic design, which even at this early stage in my artistic journey is creating a powerful creative flux. Using the imposition of graphics and collage to recycle and remix current reality to generate transitory new forms of imagery.

These endeavors are helping me address my gnawing hunger to improve and discover new iterations of image making, which better capture my creativity and assist me in creating a coherent and increasingly sophisticated aesthetic language.

It’s going to be quite a ride and an exciting creative journey! So keep checking  http://www.thomas-r.com for updates and new releases of pictures.



q)What do you love most about where you live?


a)Proximity to a wonderful coastline with a great range of scenery, and easy access to spectacular countryside. (I always find being outside and submerging oneself in beautiful scenery acts as a powerful catalyst for developing creativity).


q)Best way to spend a day off?


a)Head to the Crom Estate in County Fermanagh ( http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/crom/) and spend some time walking in the woods and rowing on the lakes there, or alternatively journey to the North Coast and visit the never disappointing Mussenden Temple and demesne. http://www.virtualvisit-northernireland.com/gallery.aspx?dataid=72001&title=Castles_and_Monuments


q)Upcoming shows/ projects?


a)I have no shows in the diary at present as I have yet to have a gallery approach me with an exhibition request.

As a result I am concentrating on seeing if I can establish a constructive relationship with a proactive gallerist who recognises the potential of my work, and who can provide me with support, and perhaps more critically can help me gain additional exposure in the art world. (Working here in Belfast can make one feel very removed and dislocated from any form of vibrant art scene).

As mentioned previously I have new projects underway and will be publishing them on Thomas-r.com soon.


q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


a)My website can be found at  http://www.thomas-r.com and I update the selection pictures on a regular basis. So if you are interested in my work please pay me a visit.




Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Interview with Zoë Taylor






q)Introduce yourself, name,age, location.

a)Zoë Taylor, 30, London

q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?

a)Well I’ve always enjoyed drawing since I was very young but it took me a while to come around to the idea of doing it seriously. I studied ancient history and archaeology at college and was about to go on to study anthropology but around the same time I got a job in an old art bookshop and there were other artists working there and it kind of took me back to my roots. Instead of doing more academic stuff, I enrolled on an art course.

I really got into it when I started to understand more about my work – when I realised that atmosphere, drama and narrative were my major motivations and that I could explore them for their own sake within the context of illustration. It was like something suddenly clicked.

q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.

a)I’m personally drawn to images that have a mystery or ambiguity about them as well as a strong sense of drama, so for instance film stills really interest me, especially ones from the classic era because of the kind of cinematography that was used. Film stills represent isolated – or dislocated moments of dramatic tension – you get a feeling but not the context - and that idea has really influenced the way I work.

I try to make images that have a dramatic intensity about them but where the context and atmosphere remain ambivalent. I’m interested in grey areas and the drama of internal (psychological or emotional) experience.

q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?

a)I used to hope that if I played a song loudly and often enough that I could somehow infuse its atmosphere into my drawing but I’m not sure if it ever worked! Lately I tend to listen to music which helps me get into an internalised and detached kind of head space, so durutti column, cocteau twins, nico, diane cluck, cat power etc, they create an atmosphere I like without distracting me too much.

Music has had a big influence. The way narrative works in songs is often interesting – you get an intense feeling but not all of the details, the whole back story. Songs can be really vague but still have a strong effect. I’d love to be able to make narratives or collections of drawings that worked in an abstract way, more like music.

q) How would you describe your work to someone?

a)I draw atmospheric narrative-based scenes that tend to have an ambiguous tension. I also draw faces and I’ve been doing a lot of fashion illustration lately. Some people have also described my work as film noir-like.

q) Influences?

a)Film, Kiss Me Deadly, Blue Velvet, Inland Empire, Terminator, The Bitter Tears.., film stills, fairy tales, pop songs and music, the stories of Anna Kavan, my tutor Andrzej Klimowski and so many artists from Egon Schiele to Frank Santoro. John Stezaker’s work and interviews have also been inspirational as have many books. I love Diane Arbus’s photographs at the moment. I also think romantic and symbolist art has had a strong indirect influence as that was the kind of work I looked at as a child. But at the moment I’m more drawn to work which is quite different to what I’ve been doing – more direct, expressive drawings that haven’t referenced photographs, with all of the mistakes left in, that’s a new route I want to take.

q) Describe your process for creating new work.

a)I work in an improvised, intuitive way but I usually reference photos or film stills as a starting point. I tend to make lots of versions of drawings before I get one I like and most of my work goes in the bin. My commissioned work is more controlled.

q) What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?

a)Get lots of good work together first.

q) What are you really excited about right now?

a)Making new work, taking my work in a new direction.

q) What do you love most about where you live?

a)There are so many people trying to do something creative in London, often they’re struggling for money in order to do it but they keep going somehow - people try to start gig nights or do exhibitions or open new venues or whatever - there’s a huge creative drive in this city and I draw energy from that too.

q) Best way to spend a day off?

a)Reading or seeing something which makes me feel excited, going to a less familiar part of the city, or getting out of London to the seaside. Doing something different is always recharging.

q) Upcoming shows/ projects?

a)I’m about to start collaborating on a drawn narrative with writer Dominik Klimowski, I’m working on some zines, I want to exhibit some drawings, start some blogs, make some animated scenes and find a new way of working. I also want to do some writing.

q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

a)My website is www.zoetaylor.co.uk but it hasn’t been updated for a while.

My fashion illustrations can be seen at http://www.anothermag.com/current/In_the_Cut

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Interview with Marina Núñez






q)Introduce yourself, name,age, location.

a)I´m Marina Núñez, 46, I live in Madrid.

q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?

a)Although I have always liked painting, it was not clear to me from the beggining, because I liked (and still like) many other careers too, like microbiology or genetics, or like psychiatry. But I finally decided to study fine arts because I thought It would probably be a more interesting world. And I´m sure it was the right decision, it´s a privileged work.

q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.

a)One of them is that difference won´t be silenced or marginalized. I represent otherness in bodies and identities trying to add suggestions to the very limited ranking of subjectivity stereotypes our society handle.

q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?

a)Not at all, literature is fundamental, instead.

q) How would you describe your work to someone?

a)In few words, I´m representing aberrant or anomalous bodies that correspond to deviant or abnormal identities, as a way to defy the conventional canon about what a human being must be.

q) Influences?

a)Literature in general (science fiction being important in my iconography), some essays (Foucault, Haraway, Butler...), some films (specially horror genre), and in art, some periods (Barroque, Surrealism) and of course a lot of artists of all periods, from El Bosco to Marlene Dumas or Tony Oursler.

q) Describe your process for creating new work.

a)I have the idea and procedure very clear before beginning a new work. Although there is always some unexpected encounters during execution, for me mental activity, with no sketches or trials, is the moment when almost everything, from concept to iconography, from technique to syntax, is decided. Afterwards, it´s a question of achieving that painting, digital image or video fit my imagined image. A lot of hours, not too exciting. Finishing it´s a great moment!

q) What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?

a)The obvious: work hard, and don´t become discouraged if things don´t happen as soon as you´d like, because art work must be seen as a long term career. Of course luck is important, but well done work should be the only essential concern.

q) What are you really excited about right now?

a)I´m producing some videos about possessed women, I´m enjoying the process more than usual!

q) What do you love most about where you live?

a)Madrid is a really open city, people here is warm with outsiders, that´s remarkable, I think.

q) Best way to spend a day off?

a)Reading. And with your people.

q) Upcoming shows/ projects?

a)The one of the possessed women, in a chapel which form part of a museum in Valladolid, Spain.

q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

a)In my website: www.marinanunez.net

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Interview with Mathieu Laca






q)Please introduce yourself.

a)Hello, my name is Mathieu Laca and I’m a painter.

q)Where do you live and work?

a)I live and work in Laval, a suburb of Montreal, the largest city in Québec which is the French-speaking province of Canada.

q)How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)First, I would say that my work is figurative but also daring, provocative, challenging. I would say that it’s not decorative.

q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)In 1999, when I was 17, I remember as well as if it was yesterday of one of the very large ink and graphite drawings I did for a special project. As I was sketching out a torso with curved lines, something happened. I had a strong and marvelous feeling. The muscles instinctively took shape under my fingers. It was as if my hand was guided. This imploring figure that I drew, emerging from a black sea, its ribcage offered in sacrifice, its weeping phallic shark-like head… it was me! That was what I was living at that precise moment and that no words could ever describe. I was trying to emerge from darkness. The excitement of that revelation and the sense of completion were almost unbearable. At that moment, I knew that I would dedicate my life to painting.

q)What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)Oil paint. Why? It was invented to represent human flesh and that’s what interests me.

q)What/who influences you most?

a)As you learn, you go through phases during which you’re inspired by different artists. I went through a lot of phases. Consequently, I was inspired by a lot of artists. But, when I found a style that suited me, that was my own and that really came from within, I stopped searching for “a way” to paint. I have to say though that the artist that fascinated me most and that continues to do so is Francis Bacon. His obsession for the human figure, his incredible confidence in painterly “mistakes”, the way he literally has put his guts onto canvas… His color combinations, the way he distorted bodies according to his feeling, how he was never satisfied with depicting the surface of things, how he wanted to reach the core… All that appeals to me. Although sometimes my work is very different in the mood or technique, I strive for his intensity.

q)Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)I wake up at 7am, walk my dogs and feed them. Then, I go to my studio where I paint until noon. I eat. I go back to the studio until 5pm when my working day is over. 7 days a week, 365 days a year or almost. As simple as that.

q)Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)I want to upstage Picasso. The problem is that I’m Canadian and that Canadians don’t support their artists as larger countries do. The art market is just not big enough here.

q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)I’m interested in seeing more contemporary painters in museums. I’m really bored with all those postmodern installations and videos. I think it’s time we see painting as a relevant medium to express contemporary issues and not just a relic of the past.

q)How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)In average, I spend 3-5 days on a piece.

q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)I’m not attached to most of them. Some of them I particularly love but then I know I’ll make other good ones. Selling a piece just encourages me to make more. It also makes space for others to come.

q)Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)Music is very important in the studio. It sets the mood. Right now I’m listening to the French singer Barbara. Very tragic and sensitive.

q)Books?

a)Books are very important too. My all-time favorite books are Rimbaud’s Illuminations and Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Right now, I’m reading a biography of Francis Bacon.

q)What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?

a)I believe art is deeply spiritual. More than religion, which is essentially political.

q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a)Having sex. And playing with my dogs.

q)Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?

a)I’ll have a solo show called “Balls to the Wall” at the Patrick John Mills Gallery in Ottawa in November 2012.

q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)I don’t really “follow” it. I just get a glimpse of it here and there and that’s enough.

q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it: What are you working on right now?

a)I’m working on a series of portraits of old masters (such as Rembrandt, Goya, Velasquez) using only pigments those painters were using in their time. I had to do a lot of research first to find what pigments the old masters I had in mind were using and then to get the costly and rare Vermilion, Lapis Lazuli, Orpiment, Malachite and other precious tubes. Most of these colors are mainly used by restorers nowadays and only sold in very small quantities.

q)Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)Be patient. Follow your desire without making compromise.

q)Where can we see more of your work online?

a)On my website: http://www.mathieulaca.com/ On my gallery’s website: http://www.patrickjohnmills.ca/MathieuLaca.htm