Marju Must

"My paintings explore the relationship between a person’s feelings and their emotional memories. The moments in my paintings are depicted in my own visual vocabulary, where self-expression of emotions is limitless. By highlighting aesthetics, I create intense personal moments taken from experience."

Remember, you're part of nature

Marju Must is an Estonian artist born in Tallinn and currently lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. She graduated from Tartu Art College, Estonia with a BA (2017) in Painting and Painting Restoration. She has been on exchange studies in Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences' restoration department in Kouvola, Finland. There, after a second semester she completed thesis with Finnish artist, Kaapo Rissala, transferring to wallpainting restoration and conservation. In 2011, Marju graduated from the Euroacademy with BA degree on Interior Architecture.

Marju's art reflects her interest in human nature and emotions. Currently, her primary focus is on juxtaposing elements of reality with surrealism. Depicting a visual incentive and an emotion revived on the canvas are equally important for her. In her earlier work, she was more focused on depicting realistic details and developing technical skills, while lately her work has transformed into expressing emotional states in a freeer form of paint, with textures and layers.

Marju’s artwork has been shown in several exhibitions in Estonia. She has been participating in group exhibitions since 2012. Her first solo show "Painted Poems" took place in Võru Town Gallery in Võru, Estonia, where she illustrated poems with paintings. Marju has illustrated and had exhibitions about the children’s book “Story Cellar” in Saare Country Central Library and Orissaare Library, Estonia. Her first participation in an exhibition abroad, was the show "Fear" which took place online in Krakow, Poland 2021.

Needle for Freedom
A Girl with a Doll
A Girl with the Birds
Gravity

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


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Nathan Miller

Born 1980, Tampa, Florida, USA

Lives in: Covington, Georgia, USA

Describe your art in three words: Harmony, Conservation, Coexistence

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Florida

See More Work:  https://nathanmiller.gallery | Instagram@nathanmillerfineart

Remembrance of a Lost Legend - Acrylic on board 24 x 36 in.

"I am an imaginative realist painter of both wildlife and people. I use acrylic paints and primarily prefer working with smooth surfaces like gesso board so that every detail is visible. My work explores elements of design, symmetry, symbolism, and concepts dealing with our relationship with other species."

What themes does your work involve?
Today I am working on a new series that explores wild animals and indigenous human cultures from around the world. And while this series considers the stories, traditions and challenges that surround wildlife, it also emphasizes the need to protect and coexist with wildlife. This series celebrates both animals in the wild and indigenous cultures. Despite the history of conflict, as human populations increase and wildlife populations decrease, there will need to be a shift toward coexistence.
Describe your creative process.
When I begin a painting, I first do a significant amount of research on a topic. I learn more about the culture or species that I am depicting in my work. I create a digital mockup with many photos until I have a layout that I like. Once the mockup is complete, I begin sketching it out on gesso board. And only then, once the layout is ready, do I begin to paint. The painting can take many hours, weeks, and sometimes even months, to complete. It's a very meticulous process. Even when the painting is complete, the process continues with varnishing the art, preparing it for print and, finally, choosing the frame.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Humanity has been disconnected from the natural world for far too long. This outer and inner disconnection from nature is causing the world around us to fall apart. While we distract ourselves with our own pursuits, and as we place ourselves above all else, ecosystems disappear. Somehow, we must find a way to reconnect with the natural world, to appreciate the value of wildlife, and see ourselves as a part of the ecosystem. I find value in all emotional life, and I enjoy depicting that life in different scenarios. In fact, I’m particularly interested in stories that pertain to both animals and people.
I hope my work can, in some small way, help others value nature, animals, and the impact of narrative realism in art.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I think art fell from grace in the 20th century. It was a period of rebellion from standards that took centuries to perfect. Wall accents were given more glory than thought provoking, masterful creations of genius and wonder. The juvenile and ridiculous were valued more than the beautiful and skillful. Today, fortunately, great art, I believe, is making a comeback. So, what is great art? I think great art is the art that requires time, practice, and energy to perfect. It's the art that is considered masterful, not because of a propped-up name due to gimmicks and fame, but because of standards of design, composition, color, light, dark, shape, and the nature of creativity, meaning, and thought-provoking emotion. Good art has elements of this. Great art has all of it.
What is the role of the artist today?
I can't say what the role of every artist is, because every artist has their own story and their own purpose. But I can say that one thing artists have in common is the desire to speak their truth through their art. Artists simply wish to create - to share what is in them or, perhaps, what comes through them. The challenge today is how much of an artist's work is genuine, and how much is a response to what's marketable. I don't fault artists for attempting to find a balance between the two. If art is a career choice, then it's important for the art to be marketable. The trick is to find a way to speak authentically through one's art in a way that resonates with a particular audience.
(Nathan Miller) Voice of Nature - Acrylic on panel 24 x 30 in.
Forest Dream - Acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 in.
The Tale of Waghoba - Acrylic on board 24 x 36 in.
Legend of the Jaguar Shaman - Acrylic on board 24 x 36 in.

 


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


Tatyana Palchuk

"Deep and complete knowledge of my profession are proven by long years during which I was learning and improving myself as a professional. My creative work is first of all characterized by many exhibitions, publications and positive feedback from students, colleagues and art critics."

Series Rainbow Violet, 2019 - Oil on linen 65 x 75 cm

Latvian painter, Tatyana Palchuk was born and has been living all her life in Riga in a small area between the Art Academy and Elizabeth Street. Already during kindergarten, teachers predicted the little drawer had an artist's destiny. Although nobody was connected to arts in her family, Tatyana was constantly drawing in the sand with a stick.

Tatyana lost her relatives in Stalin's repressions and her father at an early age and has been growing independently as other kids from the 50s - 60s. She was the eternal engine and captain of the yard kids. Tatyana enrolled in Rozental's Art School by herself, not even telling her mother. The artist tells that becoming an artist was not as easy for her and she had drawn on to the level of the more talented school and academy members, in her opinion, only by thorough and accurate work. 

Her teachers are indisputable stars of Latvian and Europeean Art; Imants Vecozols, Pēteris Postažs, Boriss Bērziņš, Edgars Iltners and academic Ed. Kalniņš. She has been among the few who have done the postgraduate course or workshop with the academic Eduards Kalniņš. Tatyana is proud to have had the honour and uncommon confidence to visit and grow artistically at the academic's home, studio and also have him at her small studio of only 12m2 in Elizabeth Street apartment.

Light, 1996 - Oil on linen 120 x 170 cm
Portrait of a Man, 2019 - Oil on linen 72 x 58 cm
Two Captains, 2020 - Oil on linen 55 x 65 cm
Anthem of Joy (Allusions to Beethoven’s music), 2019 - Oil on linen 95 x 120 cm

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


 

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Ann James Massey

"Living in a country that cherishes past and present, my major focus has become creating that juxtaposition in my subject matter. Into that mix, I am now adding the element of tributes to influencing factors in my life. Always, we rest on the shoulders of those masters who came before us."

The Woodworker - Wax pencil 12 x 9.5 in.

"In 1970, my instructor at the El Paso Art Academy put a black wax pencil in my hand and my path in art was decided. My light touch and patience married perfectly with the medium, and the works I created were well received, winning awards starting with the first exhibition I entered. After 20 years of drawing, selling, exhibiting, and teaching private lessons, I finally discovered the traditional oil painting method I had been seeking. Given my extensive art background, I quickly picked up the methods at the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore. As with the Colored Pencil, this traditional handling of the materials inspired the same instinctive connection and subsequent recognition starting with my first painting.

Despite the tight realism, many of my pieces are not actual reproductions of anything I’ve seen, but rather a composite of various images I’ve taken over the years, augmented with sketches and imagination. Often, I deliberately flatten and slightly distort perspective, as did the old masters, to create a composition more pleasing to the eye. Everything is created freehand with no mechanical or reproductive means. Among the honors my work has received are numerous national and international awards including 18 in New York and London group exhibitions. In 2004, The Art Renewal Center chose me among their initial 34 artists selected for The Living Masters Gallery in their online museum dedicated to traditional and realist art. I and/or my work have been published in 24 magazines and 37 books”

Ann James Massey (b.1951, USA) is, among others, a member of The Society of Women Artists UK, American Artists Professional League (Fellow Maxima Cum Laude), Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Colored Pencil Society of America (Charter and Signature Member); United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society (Charter and Silver Member, President/Honorary President 2004 to 2010) and Mensa. Massey owned and operated The Montwood Gallery in El Paso, TX from 1974 to 1978 and Massey Fine Arts in Santa Teresa, NM from 1992 to 1994. Her studio is currently based in Paris, France.

The Blessing of the Animals - Oil on Mahogany board 17 x 23 in.
The Marionette Shop - Oil on Mahogany board 20 x 16 in.
The Connoisseur - Oil on Mahogany board 16 x 20 in.
La Maison de Poupées - Oil on Mahogany board 20 x 16 in.

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


 

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Diane Liguori

"I am compelled to capture the “downright marvelous real,” flaws and all. I am especially drawn to the play of light and color, the strength in vulnerability and the haunting lure of transitions. I believe that living things have an inherent beauty, exactly as created, and it is up to us to find it."

Park Avenue Canna Lilly - Oil on panel 10 x 10 in.

American painter, Diane Liguori was born in North Carolina, raised in upstate New York, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area straight out of college. She is a former advertising executive and a public biotech Chief of Staff who gifted herself with a hard-earned new creative career as both artist and writer. Diane has an MFA from San Francisco-based Academy of Art University and a studio located in the heart of the Alexander Valley in Geyserville, California. Her work has been shown and sold in private galleries as well as juried regional, national and international exhibitions. Diane is a member of American Women Artists, California Art Club, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Shadow Self - Oil on panel 8 x 10 in.
Secret Garden - Oil on canvas 30 x 30 in.
Princess Parade - Oil on canvas 15 x 30 in.
September Moon - Oil on panel 16 x 16 in.

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


 

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Jerry Steingraeber

“I try to create stories without words, hopefully with positive vibes and happy endings. When figures are included my aim is to arouse feelings and emotions. My paintings typically have a strong light source with depth and perspective. The end result is a "wish-you-were-here" feeling."

Beach Time - Oil 18 x 24 in.

Jerry Steingraeber was born, raised and educated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He began his professional career as a graphic artist for The Milwaukee Journal. Jerry remained at the newspaper for 38 years.

Upon retirement, Jerry pursued a fine art career doing paintings in oil and acrylic mediums. Subject matter has evolved from his love of nature to include landscapes, portraits and florals often with the inclusion of multiple figures. The idea of having a visual impact along with human interest is Jerry’s goal.

Cheers - Oil 16 x 20 in.
After the Rain - Acrylic 24 x 36 in.
Carmel State Beach - Acrylic 16 x 20 in.
Brooklyn Ablaze - Acrylic 20 x 24 in.

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


 

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Abdelfettah Karmane

Born 1969, Sidi Slimane, Morocco

Lives in: Rabat, Morocco

Describe your art in three words: expression, création et maîtrise (expression, creation and mastery)

See More Work:  Google: Abdelfettah Karmane

Nature morte avec instruments de musique - Watercolor on paper 81 x 113 cm

"Je suis lauréat de l'école des arts plastiques de Rabat, mon parcours s'étend plus de 36 ans d'expérience artistique dans laquelle j'ai organisé plusieurs expositions individuelles et collectives au niveau national et international, j'ai aussi plusieurs interview ,reportages et articles de presse dont le dernier était une très belle rencontre avec le magazine des aquarellistes l' art de l 'aquarelle."

"I am a laureate of the School of Plastic Arts in Rabat, my career spans more than 36 years of artistic experience in which I have organized several individual and collective exhibitions at the national and international level I also have several interviews, reports and press articles, the last of which was a very nice encounter with the watercolorists' magazine l'art de l'aquarelle."

What themes does your work involve?
Mes peinture est basée techniquement sur l'aquarelle et la peinture à l'huile qui appartient à l'école de superrealiste avec des thèmes inspirés de la vie quotidien et la vie des petites gens ,la Medina, les vieillards ,aussi des Nature morte avec des objets de l'artisanat, je travaille généralement sur la mémoire culturel traditionnel populaire marocain ,qui donnent à mes oeuvres d'arts une relèvent de l'âme du social et de l'humanitaire sans oublier l'identité et l'originalité qui se manifeste au patrimoine marocain andalous avec ses aspects culturels traditionnels, entre l'ambre et la lumière le clair et l'obscure le plein et le vide, à travers lesquels j'essaye d'apports mon support pour les souffrances artistiques sensibles avec des sentiments profonds et un goût particulier...

My painting is technically based on watercolor and oil painting which belongs to the superrealist school with themes inspired by daily life and the life of small people, the Medina, the old people, also Still life with handicrafts, I generally work on the traditional popular Moroccan cultural memory, which gives my works of art a touch of the soul of the social and the humanitarian without forgetting the identity and the originality which is manifest to the Andalusian Moroccan heritage with its traditional cultural aspects, between amber and light, clear and dark, full and empty, through which I try to bring my support for sensitive artistic suffering with deep feelings and a particular taste...
Describe your creative process.
Avant commencer à réaliser une toile j'y penser premièrement et satisfait d'un thème comme projet artistique, ensuite je fais des recherches avec une série d'exercices comme esquisses et croquis a partir d'une études d'observation et documentaires au niveau de composition plastique en Termes de forme et de couleurs harmonie rythme et équilibre et avec un beau dessin au crayon sur toile, sans brûler les étapes, tout ce la me donne une superbe travaille finale bien réussite .après j'arrive à savoir que ma peinture terminée, lorsque je me sens bien satisfait que j'ai eu une bonne lumière et un contraste parfait et une variations de couleurs magiques ensuite et en fin je cherche le bon endroit pour ma signature.

Before starting to make a canvas I think about it first and satisfied with a theme as an artistic project, then I do research with a series of exercises like sketches and sketches from observation and documentary studies at the level of plastic composition in terms of shape and colors harmony rhythm and balance and with a beautiful pencil drawing on canvas, without skipping steps, all this gives me a superb final work very successful. after i get to know that my painting is finished , when I feel very satisfied that I had good light and perfect contrast and magical color variations then and in the end I look for the right place for my signature.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Quand j'étais petit à l'âge de six ans ,loin de nos maisons avec mes amis voisins ont pu s'introduire dans un immense bâtiment abandonné ,pourtant toujours gardé, la surprise C'est quand j'ai découvert que tout les murs de nombreuses chambres s'étaient ornés de milliers de dessin de corps humains, d'avions terrifiants, Portrait, animaux. A partir de cet instant la fascination et la passion pour l,'art sont nées chez chez-moi et depuis ces moments là mes souhaits d'avenir ont toujours être artiste peintre, mes sources d'inspirations viennent de la nature les paysages les voyages l'entourage le patrimoine et l'être humain, je fait de l'art tout simplement parceque je l'adore depuis mon enfance, je fait de l'art parceque c'est un moyen de vivre et partage vos émotions avec les autres.

When I was little at the age of six, far from our homes with my neighbor friends, they were able to break into a huge abandoned building, yet still guarded, the surprise was when I discovered that all the walls many rooms were adorned with thousands of drawings of human bodies, terrifying planes, portraits, animals. From that moment the fascination and passion for art were born in my home and since those moments my wishes for the future have always been to be a painter, my sources of inspiration come from nature, landscapes, travel the entourage the heritage and the human being, I make art quite simply because I adore it since my childhood, I make art because it is a way of living and sharing your emotions with others.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Quand en respectant et en faisant un bon travail avec amour et sensation reflètent des émotions humaines profondes sans sortie et Sans dépasser les éléments plastiques principaux concernant la composition das l'espace d'une œuvre d'art qui se manifeste dans la création l'expression et la maîtrise, avec ces éléments fondamentaux de l'art en peux avoir une œuvre d'art géniale.

When respecting and doing a good job with love and feeling reflect deep human emotions without exit and Without exceeding the main plastic elements concerning the composition das space of a work of art which manifests in the creation the expression and the mastery, with these fundamental elements of art, can have an awesome work of art.
What is the role of the artist today?
Je choisis l'art parceque c'est un dont depuis mon enfance qui se développer avec le temps et deviennent métier et travail professionnel c'est avec l'art je vie et je respire à travers l'art aussi j'adresse des messages nobles émotionnels ,avec laquelle je partage des moment de passé de présent et d'espoir plein de joie et de bonheur. en trouve l'at par tout ,dans la vie humaine et quotidien dans la science la technologie l'architecture la décoration intérieure et extérieure en trouve l'art dans le design l'ameublement l'immobilier les voitures ect....tout ça c'est a cause de l'art qui joue un rôle essentiel dans la mise au niveau de goût sensoriel et visuel pour les sociétés humaines.

I chose art because it is something that develops from childhood over time and becomes a profession and professional work it is with art I live and I breathe through art also I send messages emotional nobles, with which I share moments of the past, present and hope full of joy and happiness. finds it in everything, in human and daily life in science, technology, architecture, interior and exterior decoration, finds art in design, furniture, real estate, cars, etc. it is because of art which plays a vital role in upgrading sensory and visual taste for human societies.
Fleurs et tapis de paix - Watercolor on paper 65 x 91 cm
Nature morte aux tapis et pêches - Watercolor on paper 71 x 110 cm
Nature morte avec objets traditionnels - Watercolor on paper 56 x 76 cm
Nature morte avec tapis et citrons - Watercolor on paper 56 x 76 cm

 


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


Arjun Kamath

Born 1987, India

Lives in: Bengaluru, India

Describe your art in 3 words: Vivid, aesthetically-rich, thought-provoking

See More Work:  https://kamatharjun.com | Instagram@arjunkamath87

My mind, a shining guillotine

"At large, my photographic works revolves around fascinating faces and characters. To put it simply, I love photographing people. My projects range from documentaries to fashion portraiture and advertising campaigns to tasteful weddings. But at the core, I enjoy telling stories and portraying the unique flavor each person brings to the world. At times, these stories are simple and endearing, taken during my travels, on fashion assignments while I collaborate with artists of the Indian film industry, or during wedding projects. At other times, they are complex and drive a social message. My photo stories called ‘Avani’, ‘Color of Our Skin’, and ‘The Anxiety Series’ are a testament, exploring grim realities of gender discrimination, racism, and mental illnesses through pictures and prose."

What themes does your work involve?
At large, my photographic works revolves around fascinating faces and characters. To put it simply, I love photographing people. My projects range from documentaries to fashion portraiture and advertising campaigns to tasteful weddings. But at the core, I enjoy telling stories and portraying the unique vibrance each person brings to the world. At times, these stories are simple and endearing, taken during my travels, on fashion assignments while I collaborate with artists of the Indian film industry, or during wedding projects. At other times, they are complex and drive a social message. My photo stories called ‘Avani’, ‘Color of Our Skin’, and ‘The Anxiety Series’ are a testament, exploring grim realities of women subjugation, racism, and mental illnesses through pictures and prose.
Describe your creative process.
It begins as a vivid thought which I translate into a final photograph. I start by listing ideas on paper, after which I research and read to ensure my approach is genuine. I also take the time to understand what about that story is important to me. Then comes the pre-production stage. I etch out the theme and story, which are accompanied by the mood board and storyboard. Then, it is all about blending all elements to craft a picturesque mis-en-scene. For fashion portraiture, it’s the make-up, wardrobe, and the overall setting and colours in my images. For photo stories, I have to build intricate worlds through characters, colours, sets, and props. Finally, after multiple inspections and revisits, when I still find my work aesthetically appealing, that’s when I know it is finished..
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
As an artist, this beautiful world that we live in, full of vibrant colours and stories, is my greatest inspiration. My work is also profoundly influenced by my roots and my connection with them. I like telling stories close to home because relating to them gives me the biggest playground to create. A third factor that plays a part in impacting my work is any kind of imbalance in society. Because then, I wish to talk about it in a way that touches people and passes on a message of hope, love, and empathy. To know that I have created something, that will hopefully become a part of history and be remembered is a humbling and elating thought, and it helps me to keep going at the end of the day.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I honestly don’t think art can be so simply defined or segmented. Any genuine artist creates from the bottom of their heart and soul, so putting it into any bracket is not ideal for me. As long as artists are creating with their heart and soul, and staying true to the form, it is likely that the art they make will transcend all barriers, and somewhere in the process, become timeless. Even if the work of art ends up impacting a small bunch of consumers, it has done the magic it was made for. And for me, that is the bottom line– if your work inspires, moves, or changes even just a single person in a small way, it is a great piece of art.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe that the artist’s role today is to recognise that people are consuming more art now than ever before, thanks to the power of the internet. More importantly, as responsible citizens, artists need to be mindful of what they are putting out into the world. Your art should be a relevant and breathing piece, born out of awareness. And when I talk about art in itself, I think every artwork should be a building block, thereby strengthening the world of art in its unique way. There is no stringent rule about what function it should have, but I encourage that your art evokes emotion. Even if you’re making art about something that’s dark and dreary, in the end, it should be a conversation starter or something that is able to stimulate feelings and help awaken one’s emotions from slumber.
The little boy from Hampi
The societal gambit: marriage over happiness
Holding on...
Congruence

 


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


Nyle Major

Born 1983, New Zealand

Lives in: Auckland, New Zealand

Describe your art in 3 words: Traditional. Time. Timeless.

See More Work:  https://major-art.com/

Repulse - Oil on canvas 50 x 100 cm

"Realism is charming when it borrows a gleam of poetry from the imagination." - Sigfried Nettement quoting William Bouguereau, 1906

What themes does your work involve?
Classical realism is a driving force behind this painting. Coupled with a contemporary framework, the work is drawn from traditional inspiration & methods to replicate and expand on the 19th century French art movements, while using a theme familiar to traditional art.
Describe your creative process.
As with any new work, it spawns as an idea or concept, sometimes you can visualize an end product, sometimes you can't. A developmental process follows where composition and colour palette are worked out which goes a long way to illustrate what is expected in the final art work.These are usually conceived and created as a series of works, as I think it is important that they read well together and bounce off each other when being exhibited together. Therefore, there are usually elements present in these paintings which flow with other paintings in the same series. The paintings go through an underpainting process followed by a second pass. This is usually where a painting is complete, though extra work often goes into finishing it off to a high standard.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Art is always something that has made sense to me. It just helps that a little technical aptitude has been learned to make it a strength. I'm inspired by the greats who came before us and the desire to replicate the harmony their paintings have. Artists such as William Bouguereau, Alma Tadema, and Gotfried Lindeaur. Being able to make art is a huge joy that has come from years of perseverance, and my art practice is now reaching a point where the work I have completed inspires the next one on its own merits.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Asking what good art is can be a touchy subject, as it is ultimately subjective.. The definition of art has morphed and changed so much in the last one hundred years. I have always believed that art requires time and skill in order be called 'art'. The end result needs to be able to provoke a reaction in the viewer- for better or worse, and whatever the idea is in the artwork that the artist is trying to convey- needs to be seen and understood by as many viewers as possible.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist hasn't changed in essence. It is to communicate an idea through (in this case), a visual means. How art is seen by others is where contemporary society has changed what an artist creates. As mentioned, I believe art requires a level of talent that sets them apart from everyone else, but the modern definition of art is a lot broader now than in the past. Therefore while art is to still communicate ideas & provoke reactions, contemporary art has diluted the intensity of those ideas, therefore making the art of the past more revered and inspiring.

 


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