Not Random Art - Page 88



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So I would say my cultural identity as being connected not to one specific place or tradition, but being one with everything, is informing my aesthetics in a way that I let my expression be guided by my inner world, not inhibited by a certain framework or rules, but rather setting up a frame for myself that reflects best what I want to share with the world.

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?

As far back as I can remember, art was all around me. Both of my parents and three of my grandparents were and are professional musicians; visual art has played a huge role in my family as well, may it be painting, drawing, illustration, or paper cutting. It was such an integral part of my daily life that as a kid I didn't even think about the decision of becoming an artist or not. It was just normal for me to mess around on different musical instruments and explore paints and pencils in all varieties. When I was eight, my Dad introduced me to playing the clarinet, which I played for about eight years. At age 10, I asked my Mom to teach me some tap dancing. From that day I was hooked. It felt like an outlet for all my thoughts and feelings, and soon became the most important thing in my life. Since there were no tap classes where I grew up – a very small town in rural North-Western Germany – my Mom and I would make frequent trips to take workshops from international master teachers. These trips were the highlights of my time in high school. Between trips, I would practice by myself, make up my own exercises, and steal from YouTube clips, which quickly made me develop my own style, and helped me come to revelations by myself, not having a teacher just telling me what to think or do.

Tap dancing made me realize what art does to me. The depth and genuineness I would miss in most of my interactions with society I would find in the tap dance world. When I was 15, I decided that I want to be a professional tap dancer. Now, visual art plays a huge role in my life as well. I never stopped drawing. Throughout school, sketching in my notebooks helped me cope with my anxiety and escape into a reality that felt realer than the current one. Working with my hands felt like an act of healing. However, only within the past two years I started getting very deep into visual art. Its meaning in my life shifted from mere fun to an active pursuit. Before, I drew mostly for myself, but then I started sharing it with the world. Now I'm at a point where – besides being a tap dance musician – I consider myself a visual artist as well. It is important for me to express myself through different creative mediums. It keeps my spirit and mind active, and helps me find new avenues within my creativity. I can't stand being put into a box, and so I really enjoy being not only a tap dance musician, and not only a visual artist, but – in addition to being a human – both. My daily goal is to maximize the amount of art in my life, and the more ways I find to create, the greater my daily art dose. I think that a pretty huge part of what I'm doing is influenced by never having a formal education in the arts. And this is a very intentional decision I've made. I've definitely asked myself several times if I should go to college or university, but my intuition has always told me that this is not the right path for me. I try to trust my intuition as often as possible, because so far it has always proven to be right. So I continued collecting my knowledge and sources of wisdom by myself. Something about it feels very natural, and I've not regretted it since. I just thew myself into being an artist. Which was, and is definitely scary at times! Finding my artistic voice, practicing all the technique, looking for jobs and opportunities, networking,...but the greater the challenge, the greater the lesson. I feel like all I do and know now I owe to my inner strength, by studying with the right people, making the right mistakes, observing, listening, and being hyper-conscious all along the way of being a lifelong student of life and art.

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?

It is hard for me to point out one specific piece because my artistic practice is influenced by so many different things. As I said earlier, eclecticism is one of the main factors that shapes my work. However – of course there are certain influences that have a huge impact on my artistry Conceptually, the Surrealists are a major influence – artists like René Magritte, Joan Miró, or M.C. Escher reveal images of different realities and dimensions, which for me is an important part of any kind of art. Expanding our consciousness beyond our current reality, realizing that there is more than just our human existence. Aesthetically, I am inspired by patterns from around the world, rooted in ancient traditions and the wisdom of different cultural contexts, such as sacred geometry or mandalas.

Architecture and interior design have a huge impact on how I perceive the visual world. The way colors work together, and how objects are arranged so that they evoke a certain feeling. I also love to look at well-illustrated childrens' books. Often the worlds illustrated in books for children resonate with me more because they are made for a wild imagination and limitless creativity. In the same vein, the show Adventure Time is really inspiring, both because of its graphics and its concept about realities, dimensions, and energy.

Another major influence is the book Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch. Its outlook on how to become a vessel for true creative expression not only as an artist, but as a human being, is fundamental, and I highly recommend reading it.

n the medium, that you have to learn, so that an artist or a painter or a designer can build through manual techniques , a painter or designer has different possibilities of interpretation.

Each technique must be studied in order to understand its meaning. Michelangelo, Picasso and Bacon are the painters that I love, they have focused their artistic expression in the study of the human figure , and especially every deep aspect of the Aristotelian view of the world, but my interest is, above all in the feelings that a human being receives from his senses.

It becomes for me the same meaning of the painting, and everything that I do on the paper or canvas, is represented by the sign, that expresses the final product of the artistic work. Meaning and significance are mixed in the representation of a very fragmented world, confused and disoriented. The computer screen or smartphone is a multiplier of images, and I sometimes wonder, if they need also my image. I answer yes, they need, because the representation, in this limited space in height and length, but not in depth, has to be investigated, in order to represent the vision we have of this fragmentation, this deafening silence of humanity overwhelmed by events and immersed in a seemingly unknown context.

For this representation, I choose different ways , I paint a natural or urban landscape, an abstract painting, or something it can remind a sort of surrealism, because using the painting as a medium, I can represent the different souls of nature around me.

Each technique expresses the representation. And the representation expresses the passage of time.

The relationship between my hand, the medium and the surface, a result obtained by means of the time, that I dedicate to the revelation of what is my summary on the colors and shapes, and through what I have seen and undertaken as, then I transfer it on canvas or sheet of paper. Time is the true protagonist, represented by the technique of the whole represented image.

My paintings and my drawings to be appreciated in all their fullness, should be observed very closely, in the same way that I concnd mystery, her sexuality, strength and heart.

Your art seems to be a quest for “balance between abstract and realism, manipulating lines and colours to create a kaleidoscopic feel while remain a meticulous sense of order using acrylic and mixed media.” What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

The very beginnings of inspiration for a new painting is to look for a pose. I will often troll through images of Avant Garde fashion photography, ballet, dance, naked portraiture and/or body-scapes to find just the right 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.