Not Random Art - Page 82



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Hello Damon and welcome to NotRandomArt. The current issue is revolving around the problem of communication and identity. Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural substratum/identity form your aesthetics?

My identity as a artist is eclectic, a style that’s recognizable but with what I do with it is unpredictable . I only look at myself as a artists at times and dwell in artist and creative thought rather than human thought which is very limiting .As an artist it is important for me to continue to lay my framework no matter the things going on in the world because it will always be external things going on that I could get involved in emotionally but they only serve as distractions . I wouldn’t say my cultural identity hasn’t shaped my aesthetics although I know my history and it serves as a reference for me to continue to be great and discover my hidden culture ,My experience and perspective of my experience in general has formed my aesthetics because there are countless other people who have been thru similar things and it has effected them different and but me being me I looked at it as a learning point for me to realize where I didn’t want to go and draw inspiration from as in the things and scenarios I depict in my drawings .

Would you like to tell us something about your artistic as well as life background? What inspired you to be in this artistic point in your life when you are now?

I was born and raised on the west side of Detroit ,Michigan . My earliest creative memory was when I was 4 or 5 drawing on my bedroom wall and covering it up so I wouldn’t get in trouble. Later on to 4th grade was when my creative side started to come out and flourish these kids were sitting at a table drawing and telling jokes about each other and they said “Damon come sit with us bro we drawing and cracking on each other” I joined them at the table and every since then I have been drawing ritually and in 5th grade I decided I would be a artist .Evolving and experimentation inspired me to be in this artistic point in my life .The fear of becoming stagnant and looking back when im older and thinking about the things I didn’t do just because of my conditioning .Experimentation because doing the same thing makes it hard to stand out which is essential to me if I want to create my own path with my skills.

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about your identity as a participant of the visual culture?

Its this picture of the 3 main characters of The Boondocks by Lesean Thomas who is my favorite artist from his Mental Breakdowns artbook from 2011 . I Say that because The Boondocks in general inspired me as a artist but that pictured was something I had never seen when I was in 5th grade with the shading style and I loved the expression of the characters it was just captured so well and im pretty sure I tried to redraw it .

Many of your works carry a sensual massage, since your “Objective is to creatively express the dichotomy of discrete ideas and views I have and I’m often engrossed in”. It may seem as though you transform your (sub)consciousness into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

Memory is a big part in my artwork but Its a combination of all what u just stated for the most part the subconscious runs the show even if im not aware of it when im drawing. I just might be in the zone and be drawing and wonder why I drew that then it clicks for me I might have been reading about,watching a video or doing something related to what I just created a few weeks ago .With my artwork I want the piece to make sense but not a a blunt and direct way although some of my pieces are but the way dreams are. Somethings are going to be abstractly put which might get to you emotionally or visually but you don’t understand it by first glance which is where I feel my artwork has the subconscious element in it thru the symbols and things I have in my work .

What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

It is important otherwise I wouldn’t have my style of drawing and it wouldn’t be recognizable .Other than having things proportional I try to let all constraints let go which is another way of my artwork being very subconscious and conceptual because somethings are going to be abstract but it still has a meaning .

my dreams inspire these paintings, I like viewers to see their own "stories" in the images. When I talk to others about my work, I love hearing all the different renditions of what they see when they look at it. Only then will I share my inspiration behind the work. I think a good painting emerges for the viewer over time, as their life experiences can create new connects and open up deeper meanings in the artwork for them.

Before leaving this conversation, we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, regarding what type of language is used in a particular context?

Until others see it, artwork is not truly finished. A dialog about a painting brings it to life for both the artist and the viewer. These conversations allow me to see more deeply into the work, to realize the subconscious elements I may have added. For instance, I painted a barren gray landscape with strange, colorful plants growing in clumps on the surface. I thought it was just a scene from a dream. But, my husband looked at it and said it reminded him of middle school. As soon as he told me, I could see it too, the image resonating so much stronger for me than a simple alien-scape. I can remember that day, at eleven years old, starting at a new school, feeling so alone and alien in a gray world, while the other kids huddled together in their social groups.

Each person who looks at "Middle School Cliques" will have a different reaction to it, a personal story or experience that describes the painting for them. I don't want to define it for them, but instead, have each of us share our ideas with the other.

ht one. Once I have the pose that strikes me (YES!) I take it from there, drawing up a rough sketch adding patterns and geometrical shapes which contrast the lines of the main silhouette.

From there I sketch my plan on to a blank canvas (always making changes and additions to the new layout). Once I am happy with that I start to add colour. My fine lines are all executed without masking; using a small brush, even hand, and steadfast concentration. Then I apply layer upon layer of colour until I achieve beautiful unyielding saturation and impeccable print-like quality.

How do you see the relationship between emotional and intellectual perception of your work? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

The emotional and intellectual relationship of my work always begin as two very seperate things. At first glance, my art may seem frivolously aesthetic .The colours are vibrant, and deliciously arresting. But then you look a little closer, even through the simplicity of the block colour and basic lines of geometry and pattern, there is always a story within… and that is when the emotional and intellectual perception of my art merge and the true beauty is discovered.

olted by the Thought of Known Places… Sweeney Astray” by Joan Jonas was one of the first performance installations that really made a huge impact on me. I was living in Paris during this time, in the early 90s, with a lot of influences from different cultures. It became the starting point of my own work. Joan Jonas practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas continues to find new layers of meanings in themes and questions of gender and identity that have fueled her art for over thirty years. She is a great inspiration still today.

It is impossible to avoid the topic of body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity that we see in your practice. What is the function of the identity appearing in your artworks – is it a canvas used to present your ideas or rather the subject of the art? What inspired you to use this as a theme in your practice?

I have been developing my visual imagery since I began studying art and film - from conceptual thinking, composition, using light and colour in different ways, through all the different techniques I've utilised over the years in my work and in my collaborations with stage artists such as dancers, musicians and actors. My approach is always developing through exploring these things. Visual imagery in essence is your way of experiencing what you see and transforming it. This is my world that I want to share and express through my art. The body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity is part of this visual imagery, the emotional essence in my practice. Always present and always developing in different themes and projects.

Marina Abramovic stated: You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of

which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.'Can you relate anyhow to these words?

de-identify myself, by losing my roots, my culture, I would be very happy. Unfortunately the human being does'nt choose the place where he is born. He grows up in a society that automatically identifies, through education, culture, family... More than ever I think it's more important to go on a way of self-knowledge with the aim to meet “the other”.. This other without which we can not exist. It's the same for the artist. It is more important for me to be focused on my practice than to try to define it according to esthetic criteria of identification. It's probably the reason i like to remember the painter Matisse who said or wrote that an artist must never be prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Could you talk a little about experiences that has influence the way you currently relate yourself to your artworks?

All my way is influenced by encounterings.

It began by the meeting with my professor of literature at school. More than giving French or Literature classes, she brought us to discover texts, movies, plays, visual artworks and to think about on what we saw or read.. Thanks to her that I met Pierre Vincke, a theatredirector who was worjink in the tradition of Grotowski ... Both of them have led me to go to theater school. In this school I had meetings. Meetings with artists but also and especially human beings that made me discover. I always need o discover rather than to master a practice. It's probably the reason my encounter with Monica Klingler and Boris Nieslony was decisive for me and led me on the path of Performance Art which is a form still difficult to define. Each performance artist has a different definition of what it is...

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race and ethnic identity in visual culture?

No I don't have a specific artwork that has influenced my artistic practise but many.

I'm influenced by some philsophers as well as poets or musicians or dancers or visual artists but also by some places or landscapes or atmospheres ... For some years, I was used for example to go to India where I was used to follow some traditionnal muscians or to learn bharatanatyam and practice vipassana meditation... Of course this experience has impacted my art work.... This brought me to think and work differently... My experience in India brought me to discover traditionnal strong art and paradoxally to the way of Performance Art. But there I see one common point: to make no separation between art and life and to be here and now, without projection on the future.

It's difficult for me to speak about race and ethnic identity. But I can say that today we miss more and more this notion of “to be here and now” which is more present in some cultures ... By practising Performance Art, it's my way to be connected to this way of thinking. And even in this field actually it's more and more difficult. The society and the art world brings us more and more to plan in advance, to define our work, more than to do. Just to do. To do what we deeply need.

And of course, my encountering with Black Market International and later the notion of Open Source or Open session via PAErsche have also a big impact on my work. When we go on that, each of us perform by sharing time and space but without trying to convince each other on some common way. This is for me a wonderfull way how we can meet each other, regardless of our origin, our race or our “identity”...

Many of your works carry an autobiographical message. Since you transform your experiences into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My memory is clearly a starting point to create. I don't have any autobiographical message. I use my personnal experience ( what I feel , what I see, what I learn, what I ear...) to work. It's a motor or a material. I'm not able to paint, so I can't do something with red or white or yellow or black colors. All I have is life, a body alive. And I need to do something with that...

My sensation about life sometimes is too intense then I need to transform this intensity in some action. Some artistic action... If people can take something from this action this is great... but I don't want to give them “a specific message” or to control the translation of my experience.