Marc Bowditch

Born 1967, Johannesburg, South Africa

Lives in: Berlin, Germany

Describe your art in 3 words: Pigment on velvet

See More Work:  www.marcbowditch.com | #goodbrush1

My artwork is primarily executed in watercolour. At present, my work is dedicated to sculptural combination pieces made with watercolour on paper. These paintings are built from an assemblage of smaller works which are cut, folded and connected to make the final piece.

What themes does your work involve?
My primary interest is to see how far I can push the technique of watercolour. Watercolour suffers from limited expression as a medium for contemporary art. Its greater possibilities are still being explored and it is more than an outdoor sketching tool. Traditional uses of its transparency, delicacy, light, scale etc. often hold it back, when one could consider instead how its power could hold the space of a room. In all, through my work I aspire to “lift” this timidly used medium to a bolder and broader expression that could hold its own with other mediums.
Describe your creative process.
A composition, its shapes and forms, is quickly sketched out and then drawn carefully to scale on the computer. This becomes an accurate template to build a painting. When it comes to each painted element, other than horizontal bands of colour, there are no rules. I immerse myself for days creating colours upon colours, whatever comes to mind - colour flow is loose, spontaneous and intuitive, meandering through darks and lights, earthy, ethereal, cold and warm tones. I explore the elementary qualities unique to watercolour - texture, sediment differences, water tension, colour strength and its unique ethereal transparency resulting in an incomparable light reflection. Then I turn back to the template, with as few preconceptions as possible, to find where the two can meet.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I paint because for so many years everything I did kept me away. Now I feel fortunate to finally commit to my vocation. I have a good studio practice. I work as long and as hard as I can. It is in the doing that leads to discovery and inspiration. At present, only a small amount of the things I encounter, whether online or in galleries and museums, filter through into the work. As I progress, this will change of course.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art hits you in the gut. Whether for boldness of colour, composition, idea or beauty. There is no getting away from it and it stays with you. It can be a very personal experience, however some paintings strike broadly many different people capturing and communicating with Zeitgeist.
What is the role of the artist today?
An artist's role is to give - through their work - an indelible sense of ourselves.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Bogdan

Born 1965, Bulgaria

Lives in: Msida, Malta

Describe your art in 3 words: Sound of colours

See More Work:  http://bogdansartwork.com/

"From ancient times to this day, people have used various signs and symbols to convey ideas, communicate with each other, and express their thoughts, feelings and emotions. Emotions are the foundation of art. Artists use colours and form to create their own language and that language sometimes tells us stories but other times just makes us happy without stories and lessons."

What themes does your work involve?
Most of my artworks are abstract and they are not related to specific themes or ideas. In the past, I have worked on themes that have been interesting to me but currently, I am fully dedicated to abstract art. Abstract painting gives me unlimited freedom to create my own language of symbolic forms. I perceive myself as a jazz musician during improvisation. I let my hands and imagination compose on the top of the canvas until it reverberates with beautiful music.
Describe your creative process.
It is a kind of a stream of information that passes through me as if through a portal. When the portal is open for me, I start to create. The information flows, time is not enough, and I often paint several pictures simultaneously. I never force the moment or the nature of the process. I let the pictures happen and resonate. When I work I aim to combine colours and nuances which ''love each other'' in such a way that the painting would echo beautifully. Another feature of my creative process is the unlimited freedom that abstract painting gives me. There are various techniques and materials I use to create my own world of forms and colours without any restrictions. I like that my canvas is rich in layers and textures. I love multi-layered painting filled with texture.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I wouldn't say that an artist or a style has influenced me. I am an intuitive artist and for me, the discovery of abstract art turned out on it's own. Why do I make art? My feeling is that I was born to do that.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I believe that art is all about love and emotions. I have always been very happy the audience at my exhibitions makes associations and comments on what they see in my works. The fact that my work evokes emotions and imaginations of the audience means that my paintings are alife, influential and filled with energy.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist is to give people those emotions they need. My desire is for my audience to feel the positive energies and emotions in my paintings and to feel entertained as I was feeling when I was working on them. I know that not everyone is familiar with abstract art, so I just simply explain how my paintings ''come to life''. When I give the people an example of composing music I think they begin to understand the essence of the abstract painting better. I wish my artworks meet a wider audience. Each of my art pieces has its own life and the artist's studio is just the beginning. I have always been very happy when a work of mine finds the right person to love it and it reciprocates this love.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Todd Jones

Born 1992, United States

Lives in: Athens, Ohio, United States

Describe your art in 3 words: Mistints, sculptural, paintskins

See More Work:  https://www.taahd.com | instagram.com/taahd/

"I am creating a visual language with wasteful commodities that allows for social critique that raises provocative questions of our consumer society. I am looking at our history and practices through our use of house paint. Through my sourcing of mistints and discarded house paint, I bring attention to these paints as they are manifestations of culture and carriers of invisible memory."

What themes does your work involve?
My work involves themes of consumption, preservation, and the passage of time.
Describe your creative process.
Process plays a central role in my work by paint being salvaged and molded into newfound forms while holding residue of its previous life. I produce series of paintings and sculptural forms that allude to the process of sedimentation and excavation. Through material transformations, I reformulate the paints into a visual record of their history by pouring layers to create strata-like forms. Each layer of paint is poured and given time to dry in preparation for the next layer. Through the repetitive actions of layering and carving, I am building and exposing the layers through excavation and examining the layers and their histories. This process of unearthing functions to uncover buried intentions and show the passing of time.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am influenced by mistint house paint representing consumer culture and reflects our lifestyles, advertising, and consumerism. Mistint house paints are found orphaned in hardware stores, unused or returned by customers not satisfied with the finished product. These paints are left behind and sold at a lower price. For me, these mistints and leftover paints represent a consumer's hopes and dreams. One buys house paint to decorate quarters in their home to add desirability, enhance a home's sophistication, or create comfort in one's limited space. I make art because I have a love for making and having more extensive discussions about contemporary culture. I create a visual language that challenges the viewer's association and perception of these materials.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art can start a conversation and contribute to the dialog of society. I am personally drawn to material explorations and art that push the boundaries of one medium into another.
What is the role of the artist today?
An artist's role to be true to themselves and to influence society for the better. Art plays an essential role in shaping the culture of a society. Art in contemporary culture is a dynamic blend of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenge the traditional boundaries of art-making. Contemporary art reflects the modern culture and provides the resources to discuss current ideas and issues. The audience plays a crucial role in the artwork by contributing their personal experiences, opinions, and interpretations.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Arinze Stephen Ekwuide

Born 1992, Nigeria

Lives in: Lagos, Nigeria

Media: Drawing

Describe your art in 3 words: Sadness, revoltive and healing

See More Work:  www.instagram.com/edeziunoart

"Using graphite and charcoal pencil, I let my feelings and emotion come alive on paper or Linen. Inspired by the fast-changing world and to revolt against most Nigerian traditions that neglects the importance of women in the society, youths and child abuses, sexism, nepotism, narcissism and dictatorship using my Art as the medium and tells the world my story.."

What themes does your work involve?
Growing up in a society where as a child, you’re denied the privilege to decide your future profession, where women are greatly neglected, where men in uniforms abuse their positions all time, My art rises as a medium to counteract archaic political practices, child abuses and sexism.
Describe your creative process.
I believe that energy and emotion flows in all things pertaining to life. Feeling and emotion is the key to figuring what I wishes to create. The next stage is to get a muse suitable for the work, hire professional photographer(when am still learning photography) try to convene my feelings and emotion into my muse to get the perfect shot., then I move on to transferring the reference into the paper using pencils of different kind while making a lot of changes, the final result of my works always have some differences from the reference but I retain the realism. I never know or can I say am done, just like Da Vinci said, “art is never finished, it’s just abandoned."
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Am inspired by the beauty in art, I started create art because it’s beautiful. As time goes on, I learn that I can live as an activist, a revolutionary using art as the medium. I have great connect with my works and most time I shed tears while letting a piece go because of how much peace and beauty I get while simply looking at them in real life.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Art itself I believe is the beginning of all life in the universe, the universe survive by connect with most of its elements. Art needs to has connections, emotions, provokes deep questions and reveal mysteries or be mysterious, some taste good,some looks good.
What is the role of the artist today?
I choose to be an artist, it was easy choice for me as a child but the journey to achieving it as an adult is completely different. I choose art because i want to connect with people around me and the world and believe me art has done more than connecting me with the world. My Art gives me peace of mind, it healed my broken soul, led me to Nigeria art families. Art gave me an idea on how to tell the world my story in one picture, how to make changes and have a satisfying life. The world is changing so is how art connects people and leads artist. I believe that no matter how the world changes art will always lead the souls of artist to the right part to uplift the society.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Boris Garanger

Born 1985, France

Lives in: Louvigné, France

Media: Painting

Describe your art in 3 words: Intense, ambience, virulence

See More Work:  https://www.borisgaranger.fr/

"The vigor of this creation stems from the association of figuration and abstraction which combine with an expressive force of exceptional intensity. These works speak of humanity, struggles and hope in the power of the gesture, its virulence. strongly constructed works, as if in relief, very contemporary are the witnesses of everyday life, of the harsh world that is ours."

What themes does your work involve?
Each individual has their own expressivity, unique to oneself, that makes its unicity, an expressivity conveyed through the body. Movement defines the individual in space. The subject is a presence through the body, an action through its movement, an appearance through his clothing, its style. After working on a series in which the human being had a strong presence; I felt the need to create a quieter, painting where the human presence would only be suggested by its absence. A more intimate, more introverted gaze engages us in contemplation. The process that matters to me is that of the spectator's sensory experience. A test of discovery, of owning the place. Human yes, but where? And how? A two-way questioning on my pictorial practice, namely on presence and absence, on content and form.
Describe your creative process.
Situated in a figurative vein, the form is thought out before attacking the canvas. The idea, the message will determine the form. I build an image by collage or digital collage. It allows me to work on composition. When I attack the canvas, I use a big brushstroke that is fairly large with the paint diluted in turpentine. The moment is crucial because it will be the energy, the light, the madness of the end result. Then I work more specifically on the colors and their relationships. Working on solids, touches, gradients according to the desired rendering.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Inspiration comes naturally when the mind gets used to seeing everything with a singular vision. Questioning things, a different point of view, philosophy allows us to break away from stereotypes. Understanding, observation, openness to the nature of things, and its principles dictate the method. If today I make art it is because it is necessary. My sanity is at stake. Art is a wonderful way to see the world. It is my holy grail. Art is everywhere, I can't escape it, it contaminated me in a very nice way.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
A major work of art is created when the form and idea are compelling. The idea must be essential, the form is technical, precise. The form serves the idea. When these two fit together they find their balance. Then the magic happens. A major work of art is timeless. It is self-sufficient. It's obvious, like a feeling of deja-vu. When I see a masterpiece I often tell myself that I would have liked to have had the idea and put it into shape.
What is the role of the artist today?
The artist must concentrate at the strongest on his creation, immerse himself fully with great discipline. The artist has a duty towards art and its creation, outside the commercial principle, not towards society. When he is close enough to the "real" then his "message" can serve others. His music will lift souls and can awaken consciences. In contemporary creation, the artist must be transgressive and subversive. The permanent questioning of its creation is essential. The artist is engaged.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist