Thursday, 22 November 2007

Interview with Cecilia Bonilla

q)Something on you ….

a)‘I’m originally from Uruguay, but grew up in Sweden as my parents were forced to flee the country when I was a newborn. When I was 12 we moved back to Uruguay and later I lived in Miami for a couple of years before moving to London where I have lived and worked for the past eight years.

q) When did you start to make art?

a)When I was around 24 and moved from Uruguay to Miami. In Uruguay I trained as a graphic designer and I was suppose to continue these studies, however the college I went to (New World School of the Arts) required me taking a general foundation course in Art, and that is how I started making art- by accident…
q)Explain your inspiration?

a)I produce work usually through an “intuitive” approach; by "intuitive" I mean that I allow the feeling of just wanting to make something, enough reason to do it. This approach is very important to me since it is always a starting point for a new project. I believe that working intuitively has the potential to uncover a "truth", a response to the present, the time we are living in here and now.

q) In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?

a)I think the idea comes first, and then I think about what might have caused it.

q) Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which?

a)I use a variety of mediums, I think the medium only matters when it directly relates to what you are making. When I use cutouts from magazines I am mostly interested in its essential contemporary quality, something about the here and now.

q) What does being an artists mean to you?

a)An attempt to “record time” .

q) When does your art become successful?

a)Although intuition is my initial approach to making, there's a very tight criteria that I apply to the process of deciding if the work is successful. The key moment when I feel a piece of work "works", is when it becomes seductive: when the work (usually an image, but also a whole installation) hovers between hiding and revealing. , Giving away enough information to create attraction but hiding any explicit meaning. Finding this emotional state is essential for my work to succeed.

q) Who prices your work? And how is the price decided upon?

a)Difficult question, as I have gotten funding to do some projects but have not sold much work yet

q) What is your next; move,project,show etc?

a)I am working on a few projects at the same time, one of them; Eastenders (los del este) is part of a new series of works referring to cultural identity. London based Latin Americans are invited to translate the script of a chosen character from Eastenders (and English soap opera) and use their voice to dub it into Spanish. The participants are credited with their name, country of origin and how long they have lived in London. Next year I am also going to curate a show with British based artists at The National Museum of Visual Arts in Montevideo, Uruguay.

q) What are the pros and cons of the art market?

a)I suppose the cons of the art market are when wealthy collectors have the power to dictate trends in art. If an important collector (i.e., Saatchi) is buying paintings, a lot of artists paint…and I find that sad. The pros, could be that if you manage to have a good gallery or dealer, it could raise your profile which allows artists to perhaps get funding to do more interesting non – profit related projects.

q) Which pieces would you like to be remembered for?

a)My last project, Reader’s Wives bed sheets, from which I later made a book and an untitled video I made in 2004 (dribble).

q) Who has been the biggest influence on you?

a)When I first started making art it was Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell, Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois Cindy Sherman’s early works, later Felix Gonsalez Torres, Martin Creed, Danielle Buetti and artists that have been my tutors such as Brian Dawn Chalkley.

q)Other visual artists that you like…

a)Frances Alys ,Naomi Uman, Sophie Calle…

q) How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is?

a)It is a bit sad that at the moment art seems a bit like pop music, the younger cooler, trendier etc. the more attention, however is pretty short lived, which is scary if you intend to make art for the rest of your life. Experience and wisdom don’t seem to be much appreciated in today’s art world. I hope this changes.

q) Last CD you downloaded ?

a)Hm…i don’t really download music, as I’m impatient! But yesterday I copied PULP-the hits and ABBA’s gold album!

q) What makes you happy?

a)Road Tripp Holidays!

q) What makes you sad?

a)Not understanding people

q) Last book you read?

a)News of a Kidnapping by Garcia Marquez

q) What else do like other than art?

a)Travelling, exploring and re-exploring places, drinking coffee, doing nothing, sleeping…

q)Your contacts…


Friday, 2 November 2007

Interview with Damian Michaels

q)Something on you …
a)"Glasses".Seriously though, I was born in the States on October 30, 1969 (Scorpio)and migrated to Australia in 1994, where I live today. I am a self-taught artist.
q)When did you start to make art ?
a)I have been creating since I was a small child. As far back as I can remember. It was the early 90s when I had my first solo exhibition.It was then that you can say I 'went pro'.
q)Explain your inspiration ?

a)Art is my life-line. I live and breath art.I make art, I collect art and promote art via my magazine and through museum exhibitions curated by me. Art is something that I have to do to stay somewhat sane,whatever that may be ?

q)In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas ?
a)The work I do flows directly from my subconscious to the canvas or paper. I do not have any ideas before starting a work or develop work intellectually while creating it.
q)Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which ?
a)I think I am most effective with 2D drawing and painting. I can sing and punch out a few notes on a piano. I have always wanted to make short films or music video too. I think I would be damned good at it. Life goes so quickly though and there is a lot I wish to do with my art drawings and painting firstly.
q)What does being an artist mean to you ?
a)It is a gift from the higher powers that be. It is freedom, the spiritual path. The 'bonus' in life.
q)When does your art become successful ?
a)When I do not interfere with it's natural organic manifestation into our world. Meaning, I do not try and change things while creating art while it is happening. My art is most successful when it simply flows out unimpaired, untampered with.
q)Who prices your work ? And how is the price decided upon ?

a)I price it according to size, time it took to make and or the importanceI put onto specific works. Some small work can be major.
q)What is your next; move,project,show etc ?
a)I am in the IGS touring show in the States at the moment, I will have work at the 2008 Outsider Art Fair in New York this January and I am releasing a limited edition box set through my Art Visionary publishing company early next year too.
q)What are the pros and cons of the art market?
a)It is what it is and artists need to learn to work within the parameters IT sets or work successfully around it. I think an artist needs to take guarilla tactics when first starting out. Give and trade a lot of work away... do a lot of work and just get it out there. That is most important. Then a few decades later like me, you wish you had taken better care in documenting the work you did.That is probably one of the most important things an artist can do (in hindsight)is to properly photograph, scan or copy your work for the sake of making books later or getting work into print at high quality. Plus it helps you see where you have been and where you are going.

q)Which pieces would you like to be remembered for?
a)I'll let history dictate that. I have a lot of favorites and half the time it is work I consider secondary which ends up more popular. Funny how it works out.

q)Who has been the biggest influence on you?

a)My mother and father of course.Artistically speaking I do not know if artists influence me as such, but I do like a lot of artists; Ernst Fuchs and the Vienna School artists, outsider art, Symbolist art, Surrealism, German Expressionism (Dix, Meidner, Kollwitz, Nolde, etc.) Munch,Alfred Kubin, etc. I literally love thousands of artists' work. I could never pinpoint any one or few artists which influenced me. Ernst Fuchs if I have to pinpoint anyone artist which most 'inspired me'. Yes, it would be him. I also love Hundertwasser and early Arnulf Rainer when he was loosely linked to the Vienna School in the 1940s and 1950s.
q)Other visual artists that you like.
a)I have been promoting outsider, visionary and fantastic artists through my magazine,Art Visionary, for years... as well through exhibitions and various other projects. As I said before, art is my life. I live and breathe it. There are just too many artists to name.

q) How much do you think hype affects the public perception of what good art is ?
a)What IS good art ? That is the question and it is too subjective to give an absolute answer to ! Hype does play a role. It is just getting work out there, especially into art museums. It is convincing the 'establishment' the powers and people that run such public institutions that make a difference firstly. Convince enough of them to show work you like and you'll get the public on board. You'll awaken the consciousness of the public.
q)Last CD you downloaded ?

a)I have never downloaded a CD to be honest. I don't know how. I buy CDs and DVDs through legit channels. I have been listening to Radiohead almost religiously lately. I am also a big fan of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails, Dead Can Dance, early Metallica, classical music, jazz and ethnic musics... I like a range of stuff.

q)What makes you happy ?

a)The time to make and view art. To be with family and friends.

q)What makes you sad ?

a)Not being able to make or enjoy art. The state of our world and the indifference of the average human being towards making things better. Not seeing my family in the States for many years.

q)Last book you read ?
a)Jung on Synchronicity.

q)What else do like other than art ?

a)Music, Poetry, psychology, philosophy, history.... reading. I love reading and learning.I love travel when I can afford it. Coffee, chocolate, fishing, metal detecting here in the Gold fields, trying new or different things. I enjoy the bizzare and strange and laughing.

q)Final thoughts...

a)Any more question ?

q)Your contacts ?

a)Please can reach me at: