Bernd Reichert

"I have always been interested in surrealist art and magic realism. The figurative aspect is important there. Coming from printmaking, I started out with using existing imagery, but more and more I have been combining collages with painted elements up to the point where the painting takes full control."

La Belle Machiniste - Acrylic and collage 70 x 70 cm

“I was born behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany. I am now living on the surreal shores of Belgium. I studied printmaking in Germany (Berlin, Magdeburg) and Ireland. After many years of producing limited edition prints in all forms, I stopped for a few years my art production and traveled the world extensively. Now I have moved my area of interest to collages and paintings. I like to see myself as a kind of surrealist artist in the tradition of Leonor Fini, Eileen Agar and the likes.

My collages are a juxtaposition of elements, images, and objects incoherent to each other, thereby exercising a de-contextualizing form of violence on language and image alike. They contain a kind of strangeness, a disturbing element disquieting the spectator/reader who is confronted with a series of elements taken from one's everyday life which, being put one next to each other, provoke, suddenly, an incoherent situation, a source of obscurity and vagueness. Working with text and images, I like to encourage the viewer to oscillate between reading and looking. It is about reusing, recycling and re-contextualizing the over-abundance of images and information we can choose from Time, the various cultural influences of the placed I traveled to and a Babel-like plethora of different languages are recurring aspects of my work.

The artwork is telling stories, influenced by my travels, but also often containing autobiographical elements."

 

Select Solo Exhibitions

Gallery Kaire-Desine, Vilnius (LT), 2005

Gallery Meno, Cultural Centre Jonava (LT) , 2005

Musée de l’Art Spontané, Brussels (BE), 2008

Gallery 89, London (UK), 2010

Kunstwerkstatt, Magdeburg (GE), 2010 and 2013

Gallery ORT, Birmingham (UK), 2012

Cultural Centre, Minden (GE), 2014

L’Apparition - Acrylic and collage 70 x 70 cm
Merz N°2 - Collage 15 x 10 cm
Waiting - Acrylic 70 x 70 cm
Heize Elektrisch! - Collage 30 x 21 cm

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Brigitte Kratochwill

"When I paint I embark on a journey into my subconscious. I integrate sensory experiences into the painting process. What emerges is a confrontation with something like a reflection of my soul. I search for suitable forms, structures, colours, hues/shades, and sensitive surfaces."

Verstecktes Juwel (Hidden Jewel) - Mixed Media on paper 21 x 29 cm

Austrian Artist, Brigitte Kratochwill was a music, art, and German language teacher in Salzburg until 1999. She led art projects for various institutions and became Headmistress of the Secondary Modern School Bürmoos, Salzburg (1999-2013). Kratochwill actively exhibits since 1988 in  Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, Great Britain, Czech Republic, South Africa, Spain, Finland and China including at the Galerie Artlet in Salzburg, BOS,  Berlin Open Studio, Galerie M Beck, Saarland, Galerie der Zülow Gruppe in Linz, Galerie ARTtime in Udine, Palazzo Ca' Zenobio in Venedig (Biennale Venedig), Galleria La scala d'Oro in Rome, Royal Arcade Opera Gallery in London, European Museum of Modern Art of Barcelona, Galleria KOOKOS in Helsinki, Klebelsberg Cultural Center in Budapest, Art.Fair Köln, Luxembourg Art Week, ART Innsbruck, Luxembourg Art Fair, Art Karlsruhe.

In 2018, Kratochwill received the Audience Award "Il Premio Borgo" at Galleria La scala d'Oro Roma and the same year she was the winner of ArtConnection 2018 Münster, Germany. In 2019 she received Woman Art Award at Venezia Biennale and in 2020 the Artist of the Year title by World of Art, London.

Donauwalzer (Blue Danube) - Mixed Media on canvas 20 x 20 cm
Umarmung (Hug) - Acrylic on canvas 100 x 100 cm
Träumen (Dreaming) - Acrylic and ink on canvas 50 x 50 cm
Die Seele Sanft Berühren (Gentle Touch) - Acrylic and ink on canvas 50 x 50 cm

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Katie Wild

Born in: 1989, New London, Connecticut USA

Lives in: Newton, Massachusetts USA

Media: Painting, Illustration, Installation, Mixed media, Collage, Drawing

Describe your work in 3 words: Narrative identity politics

See More Work:  https://www.katiewild.com

Going Green - Oil and acrylic on insulation foam board App. 36 x 75 in.

"We all put on facades and are pushed to conform to ideals of the society around us. My work focuses on series of narrative figures in oil or acrylic, usually with mixed media, on various surfaces. My series, 'Color Buy Number' uses color theory and symbolism in life-sized self-portrait installations."

What themes does your work involve?
Each series is different. In 'Color Buy Number', I have envisioned myself as the heroine or victim of constrained and perplexing narratives. These color-driven alter egos directly and un-apologetically impact the viewer’s space due to the lifesize scale of their cutout installations. Mimetic oil paint renderings combined with found or constructed three-dimensional elements demand viewers to look more closely at the details of these self-portraits to decipher the truth of the artifice.
Describe your creative process.
My process is concept-driven and often begins through experimentation that occurs during an artist residency. I typically have two or three ideas floating around in my head for series that I would like to expand upon. It is during these artist residencies once a year that I have had the studio time to explore different materials and methods for executing a concept in order to settle on something that works. In order for me to fully express an idea, I work through 5-10 pieces per series.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My artwork evolves and changes according to my influences and life experiences. I look to a variety of other artists; Cindy Sherman, Kehinde Wiley, and Alexa Meade just to name a few, for inspiration. I also reflect on pressing political, economic, and environmental issues and use my artwork to represent and express some of my frustrations as a way of drawing awareness. I make art because it is an impulse, a passion, and sometimes it is the only voice I can use to share and make viewers think.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art should be appreciated by both artists and non-artists. Good art engages viewers with its originality, forces them to pause and consider it, and also speaks to some universal truths. There are many established artists whose work is worth a great deal, but in becoming a commodity, has exhausted all original thought. Famous artists are not necessarily making great art. I believe the struggling artist whose work is not so well known often has the greatest potential to make a difference.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe artists should use the power of engagement to start conversations and catalyze change. Art is necessary as an outlet and as a provocation. It is difficult and rare to be a successful artist, so most artists are also well-rounded people who use other means to make ends meet. This allows for cross-pollination with other fields and a broader global perspective. I am an artist and educator, which allows me to nurture future artists in addition to using my own artwork to inspire.


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Anson Liaw

Born in: 1965, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

Lives in: Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

Media: Digital Media, Illustration, Mixed media, Collage, Drawing

Describe your work in 3 words: Deceptive, educational, sublime

See More Work:  http://www.illoz.com/liaw

Taking Lives - App. 20 x 30 in.

"I feel I am useless as an artist when I am happy. Pain is what creates my artwork. The painful experiences that people go through as they journey through life from childhood to adulthood which is full of chaos and hardship are what motivates me to possess my objectives to make purposeful artwork."

What themes does your work involve?
My illustrations take on critical views; both light & heavy about life in the world around us and that deals with relevant social, political, cultural issues and lifestyle subject matter.
Describe your creative process.
Ideas for creative images to happen could spark and take shape anywhere at any given time while I am awake and sleeping. From what is happening on the news, something I read and understood, something someone said or did or a word or re-thinking an existing or new quote, a relevant idea for a new piece is given birth. Knowing well about the variety of art media I love to use, I combine their behavior naturally and make them function in-sync with my visual voice within my storytelling piece(s).
What influences your work? What inspires you?
Art movements and reasons behind their original purposes, mixing of art movements and all cultural influences, the idea that beauty is within everything; light and dark and good and bad, the careful observation, investigation and appreciation of the world around us and visual ideas that compel people to think and act intertwine and function together to represent and serve as my creative influences and inspiration to make my artwork.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Great art possesses the characteristics of using the principles of design well like unity, balance, emphasis, proportion, scale and rhythm to help communicate image-making ideas visually yet at the same time, pushes the boundaries with them in mind and in action in an interesting way somehow to surprise me, that violates my customary valuations of things and that offers me new and other unexpected ones.
What is the role of the artist today?
I am an artist because I believe that art and artists play a huge role in society. And artists with their art possess a unique voice for things that need to be addressed, have great creative powers in society and therefore, the artist has a great responsibility to make a positive impact and make the world to be a better place somehow with the gift to be able to share their visual ideas from a small to large scale for any age group for people in the world around us.


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Georg Douglas

"I like my paintings to be strong, whether from colour, form or something else. I want them to invoke an immediate reaction, either confronting the viewers or drawing them into the work. They do not require much analysis or philosophical consideration, but rather appeal to the emotions."

Inner Light - Oil on canvas 100 x 100 cm

Primarily self-taught, Georg Douglas has attended courses at Reykjavík College of Art and Kópavogur College of Art continually for about 15 years. He exhibits regularly since 2010 both in group and solo shows and his work has been published in international art magazines and websites. In 2017, Georg Douglas was accepted as a member of The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM). Full details on exhibitions, awards and published work can be found on his website.

"I like my paintings to be strong, whether from colour, form or something else. I want them to invoke an immediate reaction, either confronting the viewers or drawing them into the work. They do not require much analysis or philosophical consideration, but rather appeal to the emotions and create an atmosphere. The world of flowers and Irish dance has been my inspiration for some time.

​My flower inspired paintings use strong colours and form and I also extend the field of view by incorporating microscopic and molecular elements. I like to obfuscate by ignoring scale and jumbling elements which I feel comes closer to nature itself than realistic painting.

In my dance-inspired paintings, I want the viewers to experience the flashes of light on the moving dancers and their bright costumes and in their mind to hear the thundering Irish music.”


“The delicate abstract paintings of Irish artist Georg Douglas display a vibrant rhythm. Through the masterful blending of lively colors and the complex intertwining of resonant lines, each composition echoes a unique abstract melody. The paintings are very lyrical and it is no surprise that Douglas is inspired by music.

Often large in scale, the works have a celestial quality maybe reminiscent of a moment of creation with an explosion of broken down motifs coming together through a radial balance that guides the viewer's eye around the canvas and toward the center of the creative drama.

Observing the body of the artist's work it becomes quickly evident that he has built up a unique approach which is recognizable yet not repetitive. Georg Douglas' paintings can be likened to abstracted visual rhapsodies reflecting upon an idiosyncratic painting style with each piece reverberating a fresh, passionate melody.” 

- Circle Foundation for the Arts, Director

Swathes - Oil on canvas 140 x 200 cm
Joy in the Morning - Oil on canvas 100 x 140 cm
Summer Breeze - Oil on canvas 140 x 200 cm
In the Meadow - Oil on canvas 140 x 200 cm

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affi

Stephanie Holznecht

Born in: 1959, England

Lives in: Janesville, WI USA

Media: Painting

Describe your work in 3 words: Emotional, inspirational, provoking

See More Work: https://www.sholznecht.com/

Golden Dragon - Acrylic, tempera and latex paint on canvas 36 x 24 in.

"I invest in the creation of a piece of art to convey what I have inside: my thinking, my emotions, my life, my essence and my soul. The inspiration that I take from experiencing life creates a feeling that continues to inspire me. I don't think, as an artist, that is something I will never lose."

What themes does your work involve?
My artwork is an emotional journey inside my mind. Expressed as abstract art, it embodies what I am thinking and feeling.
Describe your creative process.
The process I use for creating my artwork style is by taking various sizes of squeegees and scrapers that are used to move paint splashes around the canvas, and add more paint if it is necessary. I choose my colors based on my mood at the time. I move the paint in the same way. Happy brings bright colors and loose, playful movement. Sad and angry moods bring colors reflecting those feelings, and the movement of the paint is more frantic and wild. A piece is finished when I can feel the title.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I began drawing when I was very young. I could copy a photograph of an animal exactly as it appeared by the age of eleven. From that moment on I knew I wanted to be an artist. I took this seriously by the time I reached high school. I make art for myself. Even if a person commissions a piece in particular colors and look, I still create that piece for me. I am inspired by everyone and everything and take my inspiration from the emotions and feelings I get from them.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I think a great piece of artwork tells a story. Whether it is realistic or abstract, it should take the observer on a journey. A look into the artist's thought process while creating it. Whether it be the story of a face, flower, geometric shape, loose abstract or a landscape; everything delves into the heart of the creator and helps describe the painting, photograph, sculpture, mixed media, needlepoint, quilt, etc. I believe a great piece of art is truly in the eyes of the beholder.
What is the role of the artist today?
I am an artist because that has always been my calling. I chose to dedicate myself to art because I love it so much. I originally chose the practical side of artist as a graphic designer and art director. For an artist today it is the safest position to take, if your abilities allow you this great fortune. It is also where an artist can have a loud voice. As a professional artist life is much harder to make yourself heard. Getting out there and marketing your style is a never-ending quest.


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Newton Rocha

Born in: 1968, Brazil

Lives in: Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Pernambuco, Brazil

Media: Painting, Mixed media

Describe your work in 3 words: Genuine, Innovative, Creative

See More Work:  http://www.newtonrocha.com.br

The Black Butterfly Found The Black Flower - Mixed Media on canvas 50 x 70 cm

"During my research as an artist, my main focus was to find my own formula. That happened when I randomly glued strings on the canvas to 'interlineate' my artwork, resulting in a pure implied sense of figure. I also developed PuzzleArt & 4D, a technique that could revolutionize the visual art world."

What themes does your work involve?
I have no idea what will happen after the creation process (application of the strings). At this stage, I only care about the special composition of the canvas. However, in the end, I always perceive subjects, such as fauna, flora and people as implied sense, and some natural events.
Describe your creative process.
By gluing randomly strings to delineate I realized, the strings gave me the freedom to create implied sense figures subconsciously. After applying the strings on the canvas, I see the result of creation from all angles, so I work on them. In creating this technique, I realized, it solves the big issue known as blank canvas by themselves because each figure gets its own space in its self-creation resulting in an interesting game of interpretations by viewers. Also, I draw figures using collages.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My artwork is automatically influenced by the program in my subconscious at the moment of creation, the spontaneous movements at that moment are the inspiration itself. The result is my personal fulfillment. That's why I make art.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?

Good art is one made with responsibility, seriousness, intelligence and honesty in relation to aesthetics and ethics. The artist who is original and meets the above prerogatives, he will make an excellent artwork.

“If anything can be considered art, then art is no longer relevant.”  - Roger Scruton.

What is the role of the artist today?
For me, Art is an intelligent creative entity. The artist's role is to channel the needs that this entity wants to transmit at that moment in each artist, forming a collective conscience among artists according to the current needs. That's how trends are born. That intelligent creative entity picked me up and I loved because I feel fulfilled with each artwork done. Art is aesthetics, aesthetics is beauty and beauty is love. That's how it should function ... always.


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Eric Hubbes

Born in: 1988, London, UK

Lives in: Cologne, Germany

Media: Painting, Watercolor, Mixed media, Drawing

Describe your work in 3 words: Colourful, expressionist, surrealist

See More Work:  www.erichubbes.com - www.instagram.com/e.hubbes - www.mecenavie.com/en/artists/eric/portfolio/

The Garden - Acrylic/mixed media on canvas 143 x 155 cm

“Everything you can imagine is real.” - Pablo Picasso
"The meaning for me is that reality alone does not exist but innombrable sources of reality."

What themes does your work involve?
I see my work as a medium to get in contact with my subconscious and my spirituality. What you will very often find in my paintings are spiral forms and eyes, but all themes could be found or will be because my eyes are wide open to the world around me.
Describe your creative process.
There is no real plan. I work very spontaneously and let myself be guided by my feelings at the time and orientate myself through the evolving shapes, forms and colours that I create. I regain control of the painting to find a balance between aestheticism and the forms I created. My work is finished when it feels like home. It can also happen that I have an idea that I want to put on paper. As soon as the idea is drawn, I continue to follow the process described above.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Art is a part of me, of my well being. I love to communicate through forms and colours. As long as I can remember drawing and painting were my way to grasp with the world around me. Everything can inspire me, and painting is also a way to externalize all pains and beauties that I feel or see. I need art to stay well balanced.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art is defined by the relation between composition, colours and forms. Uniqueness and originality are also important. But the love and care involved in the artwork are paramount.
What is the role of the artist today?
Art should function as innocent, fearless, open and as a multi-sided form of communication. The artist has to show what freedom is because his mind and spirit are or should be free from all sorts of constraints like politics, religion, oppression. He plays a role of deliverance in our very complicated world and opens a world of fantasy sometimes, or a world of resistance.


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Emanuela I H Sintamarian

Born in: 1977, Bucharest, Romania

Lives in: Oakland, USA

Media: Painting, Mixed media, Drawing

Describe your work in 3 words: In a continuous flux, contradictions, playfulness

See More Work:   https://www.emahsin.com - https://www.instagram.com/emasdas/

Remorses Are Like Bones For Dogs: Not Enough To Feed You, Yet Sufficient To Perforate Your Stomach, 2019 - Mixed media on paper 122 x 183 cm

"I translate the external world, reducing it to colorful vortexes of familiar yet fictitious forms. Its main idea is based on a facet of modern physics which states that everything that seems solid is really comprised of energy and that molecules in motion are subject to human intervention."

What themes does your work involve?

I am interested in 1) the mechanics of motion, its visual translation and the dichotomies intrinsic to it (transfer vs. change; action vs. reaction); 2) how memory relates to perception, and 3) the fluidity and tension of contradictions (organized chaos and uncontrolled order). I am interested in pushing the limits of abstraction and suggesting emotional / physical motion in an immediate, visceral manner rather than generating self -referential and/or didactic works.

Describe your creative process.

My multi-axial curiosity overcomes the fear of failing; my artistic life is guided by "just do it", and "what if?" and its the eureka moments mixed failed experiments. When I work, I don't think about art: why spoil a perfectly fine moment with prefabricated desires of "what" and "how" it should look like. Yet I believe in being spontaneous but thinking beforehand. This allows me to both respond to what I'm working on, but also think of the next work(-s): thus, the work makes the works.

What influences your work? What inspires you?

Making art is what defines me as a person. As an artist, I am interested in choices: what remains to be seen, what is absent and how decisions are made. I evaluate the possibilities for changes from one drawing to the next without visual redundancy or content disruption. I incorporate in my visual lexicon elements which vary from my immediate surrounding to Eastern European folklore, the aesthetic of automatisms, absurd theatre, mathematics, poetry, music, contemporary and traditional art.

What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?

This question makes me think of, and possibly find an answer to it in Wallace Stevens’ Metaphors of a Magnifico: “Twenty men crossing a bridge,/ Into a village,/ Are twenty men crossing twenty bridges,/Into twenty villages,/ Or one man? Crossing a single bridge into a village”.

I favor works that break away from the linear order of (a) narrative, thus challenge/ question my own experience of seeing/being and become vehicle for extended "travels" into the word of new wonders.

What is the role of the artist today?
I grew up in Romania, an oppressive Communist country, where art was considered subversive. The only way to survive the prison-like quotidian was by reinventing the Wonderland. For me, art was/is a door to revealing personal and/or collective poetic vulnerability. Paradoxically, it's also a way to bring joy, inspiration, and interaction to communities; to record, translate and open dialogues on societal issues. Either way, it requires not only skills and content but mostly sincerity in intent.


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


Anne Harkness

Born in: Charlotte, NC, USA

Lives in: Mooresville, NC, USA

Media: Painting

Describe your work in 3 words: We Gotta Dance

See More Work:   www.anneharkness.comProvidence Gallery, Charlotte, NC  - Vision Gallery, Morehead City, NC

Real Easy - Oil on canvas 50 x 50 in.

As a contemporary artist, Anne Harkness looks for a unique point of view and often finds some unexpected beauty in what many would consider an ordinary or unattractive subject. Her focus on design has impacted her style as a painter with a graphic aspect which can usually be seen in her paintings.

What themes does your work involve?

With a background in design, Harkness gravitates towards subjects with a strong graphic image. Town scenes, chairs and telephone poles are among her favorites. The elements Anne uses are line, shape and color to support her design focus. The principles that interest her are balance, rhythm and movement. 'Cause, "we gotta’ dance!" Her hope is that you will never tire of your travels through her paintings.

Describe your creative process.
Harkness photographs a scene that captures her attention. From various photos, she does line drawings to improve the images' design. Next color studies are done. If Anne feels she still has passion for the piece after this prep work, she will paint it larger. The goal is to have passion fuel the painting to the finish. She works in series based on the subject, sometimes varying the canvas sizes, sometimes not.
What influences your work? What inspires you?

If it's got a strong graphic image and shows a unique point of view, chances are Harkness may like it. She loves the buttery texture of oil paint. Showing the process and those many layers that lie underneath are part of what Harkness treasures. She says painting is like life, with its many layers peaking through to the finish. The artists that have influenced her are Staprans, Diebenkorn, Degas, Japanese prints, Toulouse Lautrec, Klimpt, Peri Schwartz and Brian Rutenburg.

What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?

Great art captures something unexpected. It's beauty strikes at our very core. The artist gives something of themselves to the artwork and that is what calls to people. Great art is more than just technical skill; it's got to draw the viewer in, tell a story, or emote a feeling we want to keep experiencing.

What is the role of the artist today?
Art has many roles. It documents the world in which we live. Since the artist often is struggling with something (as do most people), their artwork contains some of that struggle and sometimes the viewer understands it a fresh. In times of grief, we seek beauty to hold onto, as if it contains a little bit of the Divine. We want to hold on to the eternal, even if we don't believe, we want to hold on to hope. Something in us grasps for that beauty as if it is life itself.


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