Posts tagged Movement
Glowing Auras: Interview with Marit Geraldine Bostad

By Sarah Mills

Through a series of paintings on canvas, Marit Geraldine Bostad investigates the themes that are central to her artistic research, the inner psyche, memories and human interaction. She blends her colours by pouring paint directly onto the canvas using a variety of tools, seldom using the paint brush - to create diverse, versatile effects, resulting in broad expressive strokes whose vibrant color emanates from the surface. As she moves the paint around the canvas, consistent colour blends start to form. These blended gestures become auras that grow and merge with pure colour. Marit Geraldine explores the Nordic Colour tradition in a bold new direction, blending tone to tone pastels with sparks of fluorescent and manifesting her own personal psychic state onto the canvas. She builds up and breaks down the diverse elements of her personal experience and brings them together in a new plastic dimension.

Named one of the “4 must see Artists” at The other Art Fair London in 2017 by Chief Curator of Saatchi Art, Rebecca Wilson, Bostad has exhibited in renowned galleries in Oslo, London, New York and Los Angeles, and recently completed a summer residency at ESKFF MANA Contemporary in New York.

All studio photos: byTXF

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Tell us about your painting process.

I blend my colours by pouring paint directly onto the canvas and using different tools to spread it across the surface, I rarely use a paint brush. This often results in very particular details and broad strokes which are caused by the lightness of my tools. I am always drawn to contrasts, adding layers of paint in disparity with each other to maintain a constant battle on the canvas – searching for the right kind of unbalance; both in gestures, colours and mark making. I am largely influenced by memories, people and situations, whose essence I attempt to preserve on the canvas, translating meaningful experiences into my plastic pictorial expression.

For some time now I have tried to go beyond the conveyance of external emotional reactions to reach deeper into the subconscious, in an attempt to erase the line between the conscious and the unconscious, and allow the canvas to become the tangible manifestation of my inner psyche.

Prior to this I planned my sessions in the studio, I narrowed down what I wanted to focus on, but nowadays my projects focus on complete freedom, the total lack of definition. By allowing myself to embrace the inner world of the subconscious psyche, I hope to reach a new level of interaction, a new source of inspiration, and perhaps a newly refined artistic expression, through continuous exploration of a free expressionistic approach to painting. Instead of using my personal life experiences, I seek inwards, beyond my conscious mind, and use my emotions to guide me, in order to express universal archetypes that transcend the particular conditions of my own life.

This was also the focus of my works executed at my recent residency at ESKFF / Mana Contemporary in NYC where I was so lucky to spend 5 weeks this summer. Saatchi Art blogged about my project.

What is your favourite part about working with fluid paints?

The most inspiring moments are when the paint itself find new ways, takes interesting and unexpected turns across the canvas. At those moments I need to use my intuition, to either follow or reroute. I don´t listen to music when I work, I use silence as a mentor - to enable me to hear my own voice. I am constantly in a dialogue with my material, it is all about give and take.

How did you develop your style as an artist?

I developed my style from an inner urge. I took classes with myself, slowly opening up the door from the inside to the outside. In retrospect, I like to think that I started from the inside and unlearned my way out again.

I was originally an art director, working with visual content in a commercial context, and as such there was always a barrier between me and my material. I was highly influenced by trends and customer’s expectations. I became a robot; always working within limitations. It was from these restrictions that I developed a strong urge to initiate projects for myself. When I got my first big job at a respectable art agency I escaped into painting whenever I had the chance, as a way to unwind and release. My own secret room – where I could freely express myself, away from consumer goods and customer taste.

When ten years later I decided to start as a full-time artist, it changed my life. For the first time, my work was meaningful. Being able to watch people connect to my work also strengthened my own, personal bond with my creations. I experimented constantly, spending thousands of hours in my studio, playing freely with colour, technique, and material. I think I will get old and still feel humble towards my materials. After working as an artist for some years I started to exhibit internationally, and I traveled a lot. I became inspired by so many up and coming artists, I learned that everything is possible as long as you dare to stand out and take some risks.

My style comes from years of studio practice – but also from learning from others. I was confident in my own expression when I sought a new direction and thus I was open for new inspiration. I never changed my style completely, I just added small glimpses of the new. As such I can still recognise myself in my old paintings, there is a certain core of me in it, even though my style has definitively changed over the years, coloured by my technique, rarely using the paint brush. People ask me how long a painting takes to complete. - The work is done when I feel that humble sensation, “did I create this piece?” That is the ultimate sign of a painting being ready to continue the conversation elsewhere.

What is your studio practice like?

I work in a very disciplined and structured way, and as much as I can, which often leads to more practical matters just being set aside. I usually work with several pieces at the same time as I love the possibility of being spontaneous, getting new impulses. I often go back to a piece inspired by something else, a new colour, a new mark. When I have good periods in the studio, I compare it with being addicted to a drug. It is hard to leave, and as soon as I walk out the door I am longing to be back. But interacting with the world outside will make me a better artist in the end. It makes me focused and love what I do even more. So when the alarm clock rings in the studio because I have to pick up my youngest from school, it always makes me smile. What feels like one hour has in fact been a whole day. It never stops overwhelming me…People ask me whether I feel lonely, being in my studio all by myself. But you don´t have to be surrounded with people to have meaningful conversations. It is a different kind of relationship that gives so much back at the end of the day without a word being said.

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You left a career in Art Direction to pursue painting full time, what was that experience like?

Scary and absolutely fantastic. A moment of truth. I have been drawing and painting since I was a child, both my parents were artists so I had creativity solidly rooted in my life. But when they were struggling to make ends meet they had to take on other jobs as well. When I was at the age of making choices at school, planning my future - their voices echoed in my head. “Go for something safe and solid, get a profession where you won´t worry about income,” I remember wondering why adult life had to be about doing the right things. I studied philosophy, psychology, marketing, but had the same empty feeling inside, year after year, I felt that I had chosen wrong. Eventually, I found a school that had some of my creative interests, so I took a Bachelor in Art Direction.

I spent almost ten years working with visual content and design in film and print and traveled the world earning a high income. My work was most often about pushing consumer products out in the world, and living up to others expectations, making something “pretty” or “cool”. During these ten years, I escaped into painting whenever I had a chance. During the weekends, at nights, on holidays. The real moment of truth came after bringing a child into this world. It gave me a new strength, a clearer connection to myself somehow. I finally quit my job, it had almost made me sick. Today I am grateful that creating something from my own inner source was stronger than my fear of failing. I think that it is this that has made my artistic expression strong and rooted, in something real and true.

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Share a piece of advice you have received that you would like to pass along to our readers.

As an artist, I meet so many people giving me feedback on my artwork. Back in 2016, I had a conversation with an art curator, Rebecca Wilson from Saatchi Art, she made me realise that I had my own unique voice. She told me that she had not seen anything like my style before, which made me very happy to hear, of course. Ever since, I have carried her words with me as motivation, a strength on a rainy day. I have worked hard and steadily, always trying to be in contact with myself and with what I really feel, setting aside expectation, perfectionism, and trends, reminding myself that if I stay true to myself I will somehow make the right decisions. Sometimes that means listening to advice from others, and other times it means holding on to something I believe in; a core essence which is about unlearning, finding your own inner voice – a voice which is well hidden amongst the louder echoes of our society.

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What has been the most exciting moment of your art career?

Ohh, that´s a tough one! I have so many great moments… Can I please make a short list: My first solo-show; almost selling out my whole booth at my first art fair in London; managing to stop my crate at the airport when I was returning from New York after a fair because a very good gallery last minute wanted my works and to represent me! My first group show in New York at Madelyn Jordon Fine Art where I was curated in the same show as Gary Komarin; being one of Rebecca Wilsons 4 must-see artists at TOAF London in 2017; getting a phone call from Tonje Buer, curator at Fineart (Norway’s biggest gallery in Oslo); being picked for 2018 EURO ESKFF residency program at MANA Contemporary in New York; getting to work with so many new galleries internationally during 2018; being invited to KHÅK Kunsthall (one of Norway’s most prestigious art associations where I will be having my biggest solo-show ever in late 2019) In addition to that – I have to mention ALL the moments in my studio (at least 5-6 crucial ones), where I have gained precious insight, all of which are an essential part of where I am today both as a person and as an artist.

Andrea Taylor

Andrea makes work in an attempt to satisfy an obsession with visceral responses to visual art. She seeks to access the power and the vulnerability of the feminine embodied experience, creating works for her own exploration and, equally, to engage in conversations with other works and with the body and mind of the viewer.

Andrea’s sculptures are, in a way, self-portraits as the artist continues to attempt the impossible – to show what it feels like to live in a body. These abstract figures have grown out of years of drawing and painting the 19th century Serpentine Dance stills from Loïe Fuller’s dance performed by an unknown dancer and filmed by the Lumière Brothers. Titles often reference the body or dance and movement. Andrea thinks of the abstract figure – a stand in for her own figure – as picking up bits and pieces from the various times she travels through. These are evidenced in the drawn marks, painted areas and sections of fabric and needle felting.

There is a sense of time shown through artist’s hand evident in the work and the process of its creation. The artist turns the sculpture as she works on it, responding as much as a painter as a sculptor in her sense of composition and form - the embodied mark intentionally left by the trace of her hand.

Andrea holds an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She completed a Spring Intensive artist residency at Banff Centre, May 2017, and two collaborative artist residencies with Margery Theroux at Anvil Centre August 2017 and at Miranda Arts Project Space in Port Chester, NY in 2015. She had solo shows in 2016 at Malaspina Printmakers and at Back Gallery Project in Vancouver. Andrea teaches Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver.

Psychological Portals: Interview with Valentine Aprile

By Sarah Mills

Valentine Aprile is a multi-disciplinary artist.  Her eclectic arts education includes The University of the Arts (drawing/painting, modern dance, and arts in education), The Art Students League of New York, Nimble Arts (VT), The Maggie Flanigan Acting Conservatory, and The Martha Graham School of Dance. Previously she has won varied arts awards in Philadelphia, her past creative home. As a visual artist her work has been shown in galleries, museums, and alternative art spaces nationally and in the UK. She is currently based in New York involved in multiple projects, directing, painting, and occasionally leading workshops. 

Statement

I am creating psychological portals, or visual meditations, marrying abstraction and life study by utilizing both traditional techniques and intuitive improvisation.  My work is informed by observation of human behavior and sociopolitical events as well as my own life experiences. I experience the world from the perspective of a woman artist and a single parent of little means striving to move forward in a patriarchal wealth based society. Yet I see magic and potential for change and remain optimistic.

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How did you start merging abstract work and figure studies?

I started playing around with the idea a little bit in college. I've always been more interested in psychological stories and imaginative play than just trying to recreate what I see in front of me. However, learning the technical skills needed to be able to understand and create form and space etc has proven invaluable. At some point, I became more interested in performance work and the capabilities of the body and expression in that regard. I've always tried to bring my visceral understanding of that to my visual work. However, it wasn't until after I had my daughter, in 2005, that I started seriously experimenting with the idea. More so in the last few years, and I look forward to pushing that process further in coming work.

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Can you tell us a little about your figure drawing process?

LOL!! When I draw I love to start out big, or open, and loose. I always work standing up whether drawing or painting no matter the size of my page or canvas. I like to be able to move freely, I feel like it allows more of a natural energy to flow into the work. I'm very interested in movement and sensuality. The challenge comes in keeping that sense of movement as the structure is built more solidly. ..that is, if I continue a straight up drawing beyond the gesture, which I rarely do anymore. However, when I do, I think my background in dance helps me quite a bit in that endeavor.

In dance, there is always this intense push and pull, this sense of controlled opposition, of going beyond what is pedestrian, ordinary, or 'real'. It's the yummiest. However, that being said, If I'm 'drawing' with my paint within a fuller composition, whatever sense of movement or lack thereof in the figure or portrait is dictated by the direction in which that painting takes me. Ah, so it seems my drawing process is actually quite different than my painting process... When I'm drawing I'm focused on the figure and what the figure is saying and adding compositional elements to support that. When I paint.. well...

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Describe your process for your paintings. How do you plan and execute each work?

I don't often plan out my paintings before I start. I usually begin by just getting some paint on the canvas. I love color and love watching it move and change as I improvise with additive and reductive methods trying to get to something interesting that flows well. I also make stencils that I can use to help create pattern and movement. At a certain point, I decide what kind of figure or portrait would work in that space. Then there's a back and forth between that figurative element and the surrounding space as I begin to see and refine what I'm trying to say with the image. Sometimes I choose colors to start with based on a feeling or mood I'd like to experiment with. Occasionally though I'll look at a blank canvas and imagine the face or figure of someone I know.

What I know about their personalities, how I feel about them, and how I see them in the larger world all come into play. I never sketch anything on the canvas first though.

What inspires you in your day to day life?

Environmental issues, socio-political issues, inner struggles, love, passion, and all the beautiful people in my life. I am particularly inspired by those who have an understanding of what it means to fight for something.

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What has been the most exciting moment in you art carrier so far?

Every day that I get to create and make new discoveries about myself, our world, the people I know.. that's what's exciting. Every time I get to share that work with someone else and see that they feel involved can relate, are touched somehow..that's also exciting...and teaching is exciting. So I really don't have a specific 'moment'. It's all of the moments.

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What are you currently working on?

A few things. I've actually started painting on an older canvas which used to be titled Pile-up. The new title is Onata. I'm adding a figure and it's giving the piece a whole new vibe. My daughter Onata is my model. It's technically challenging because the figure is small in comparison to the way I usually work. I'm really enjoying it though, it's been quite a while since I painted a full-ish figure of any size. In the studio photos at my work table, which I rarely use, I was working on attached work sample file number 3.

Also, a work in progress and the only one done on paper. That one is a watercolor and graphite. It's my second ever experimentation with watercolor and also uncharacteristically small as far as the figure is concerned but that movement in the figure and the passion embodied, I just really love working with that. I'm also working on finishing up an indie TV pilot as the executive producer. It's called VAL and it's about being a struggling single parent in New York trying to reach creative goals and still be a good mother and provide. From my point of view, it's not just about providing for her but also teaching her about tenacity, morals, ethics, love, strength etc...and how to be a genuinely happy well-rounded person who isn't afraid of feelings. All the juicy bits of life. Part of all that is leading by example. I will never give up on what I want for myself because I wouldn't want her to do that.

Additionally, I have a performance installation piece called Running Through the Woods that I'd love to bring to Philly. It's dark but the message is positive and runs along the same lines of never giving up. The artwork for the installation was done quite a while ago as a collaboration with James McElhinney. I've attached some of those as well. I set the poses and did the posing and he did the straight figure drawings. Then I manipulated them by adding, subtracting, or altering.

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What is your favorite thing about working with fluid paints?

The layers. The movement. The allowances for the delicacy that I can mix with texture or heavier marks should I choose. Really beautiful things are allowed to happen by chance and I get to decide whether I want to keep them or not. Sometimes those beautiful accidents can shape a whole painting, like Bed of Roses.

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Taylor Cox

Taylor Cox is an artist living and working in Atlanta, Ga. She received her B.F.A in Drawing and Painting from Kennesaw State University in 2013, where she gained experience and insight as a painter of nudes, exhibition coordinator, and full-time critique attendee. Her work has been exhibited across the country, abroad, and at Swan Coach House Gallery, Kibbee Gallery and MOCA-GA in Atlanta, Ga. 

Painting for me involves an incredible amount of building and piecing together. It is an intuitive, spontaneous process, beginning with blazingly bright and optimistic color. Each layer is comprised of visual cues to places in my memories. Thick paint and varying strokes are laid down across the surface, subtracted, and then boldly added again. I am interested in how color and texture can be used to create depth of space and movement, and how I can translate it to the canvas. Combining these elements creates a framework to which I build upon.

Rianne White

Rianne White, 26, Scottish Film Director and Choreographer. With a background in dance, movement informs her work with a showcase of music videos that incorporate the organic elements of human behaviour and the way in which the body operates and responds in space. 

Current; *Rianne is currently in development of her first feature film, "Light After Nine", set across an isolated landscape inspired by the Icelandic winter. 

"A is Yellow" by Anchovy and Julija Goyd

Via Artconnect

A is Yellow is an ongoing collaboration between Anchovy (http://www.fromanchovy.com) and Julija Goyd. Born out of a simple curiosity of what language might look like, the collection of silk scarves suggests a literal way to speak through your appearance. Design of each of the pieces is defined by an algorithm that distorts letterforms, creating an abstract flow of color. The language thus becomes a tactile artifact bound by physical ties with the human body.

www.julijagoyd.com

Allen Bentley

Allen Bentley is making his mark with images of swimming couples and bustling dancers made of quick, energetic touches. His exploration of figures in motion runs throughout his career. Even his still-lifes in college seemed to shift in place. Bentley uses motion to discuss the dynamic nature of our quest for connection in our lives. 

He received his Master’s of Fine Art from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 and his Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Western Carolina University in 1996. Bentley was represented by the Bridgette Mayer Gallery from 2001 to 2013 and is currently showing with F.A.N. Gallery, both in Philadelphia. He has exhibited across the country, with solo exhibitions in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and San Diego. He has shown in the Philadelphia International Airport and in Artworks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 2009, Bentley had his first solo museum show at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. Bentley lives inClarksburg, MD with his wife and children.

Statement

The pursuit of real interaction drives so much of our relationships. In my Pillow Fight series, Water and Dance series, my work explores human intimacy and connection through motion. The relationship of the couple is the focus as the figures turn through space. The painting holds them in the flutter of the moment. 

I start by capturing that relationship in photo shoots. From directing the action of the models to choosing the wardrobe, my paintings start with these moments. A quick gesture on canvas builds the connections between the figures. That initial good drawing runs through the painting process, building the figures through a flurry of marks. Energy and passion, rhythm and play guide my figures through moments of reaching, spinning, holding. 

www.allenbentleystudio.com