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


Michael Herbert Dorn

Born 1961, St. George's, Bermuda

Lives in: Kraainem, Belgium

Describe your art in 3 words: Post-contemporary art

See More Work:  www.michaelherbertdorn.com | Instagram@michael_herbert_dorn_artist

David's Oath of the Horatii (David's Le Serment des Horaces) - Oil on oil primed linen 140 x 110 cm

"The painting series entitled, SYLLOGY, combines "traditional European painting techniques" and intermedia elements including the use of digital mobile devices to view the exhibited paintings as "color-inverted" digital images. This new painting series appropriates "canonical" European paintings in order to create and vitalize a new context for art historical and contemporary representation."

What themes does your work involve?
One of several thematics involved in my work is a question regarding the fundamental truth value of the received historical records that are used to validate modern concepts of reality. A leading concept within my work is the singular idea that a metaphysical inversion has imprisoned all possible conceptions of reality. I use canonical representations of European history and mythology as a visual jumping-off point to set up conditions for a pictorial argument about the racialization of historical representation. But, the thematic of race is really just a primer.
Describe your creative process.
My process begins with a search for a suitable classical or canonical painting. Whenever possible, I do try to study the painting directly from life, making my own sketches and photographs during that session. However, COVID restrictions have made this nearly impossible. So, now I either purchase or locate free high-resolution images online. The images need to be high resolution. Using Photoshop, I'll make adjustments to the saturation, color temperature, and other image aspects. After this, I create the inverted image of the subject painting. I usually make one or two poster studies with the added figure. From the very begining of the process I am thinking about the placement of the additional figure. I use the "story" of the painting to help guide me.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Today, the artist's ability to actually engage their sensitivities with the events happening in the world are the primary measure of good, great, and worthless art. True art goes beyond self-expression or any financial interest.
About my current work, and what is the Post-contemporary?
I call myself a “post-contemporary” oil painter. What I mean by post-contemporary will become more apparent as I briefly describe my working processes. My current painting project takes a look back in art history. It appropriates (or expropriates—depending on one’s viewpoint) the view of a particular foundational oil painting of the early renaissance, northern renaissance, mannerism, baroque, or the neoclassical periods of art history, respectively. I use both religious and secular themed paintings. Using digital images of these paintings, I essentially recreate these “classical” works of art as color-inverted images—they appear as what used to be called a (film) “negative” in the commercial heyday of photographic films like Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford. But that’s not all. I have painted an additional figure within the negative field of these images—a so-called “racially-black” figure. I usually place this “interloper” figure within a pictorial space that appears to me to be inactive in the original paintings. This creates a new, two-way visual context.

My process begins with the search for a suitable “classical” painting. Whenever possible, I try to directly study and take high-resolution digital photographs of the actual painting. Museum visits have become nearly impossible with the manifestation of COVID-19. So, now I either purchase or locate free images online. Within Photoshop, I then make color adjustments to the image, including its color inversion. In addition to color inversion, I will sometimes alter the images overall color temperature, and in selected areas, the color saturation. After that, I will usually make one or more small freehand color “poster-studies” in oil paints to explore the color relationships and the composition. I carefully study the color relationships between the reconfigured and color-inverted oil painting and the virtual image captured on the mobile device’s screen. In these sketches, I include all aspects of the inverted “classical” painting and the added “non-color inverted” (color-positive) figure. Once I am satisfied, I will then make an underdrawing on my canvas using blue Staedtler Lumichrome drafting leads. I’ll then apply a very thin layer of semi-transparent titanium white and marble dust paint to the entire canvas. This scumble layer is referred to as a “half-paste.” This half- paste becomes what in the early Italian method is termed the campitura layer. Over the dry half-paste layer, I begin to apply my color upon the now faintly visible blue lines of the underpainting, modeling the forms as I go along. I work each section very close to the final finish, except the central background, which I’ll generally lay in during the final stages. Of course, this is a very fluid process, and it never follows—one-two-three—like I’ve just written.

Both my creative process and the ideological foundation of my project depends upon digital media. Of critical importance in this painting series is the spectator’s use of their digital mobile device to provide an active digitally color-inverted view of each of the paintings displayed within the actual exhibition space. Viewing an analog painting with the aid of a mobile digital-media device is explicitly a new way of encountering and extending a painting’s semantic potential by challenging the conventional notion of how we (traditionally) experience or view a “painting.”

This project came about as I began to explore and question the development of European and Eurocentric racial ideologies (namely, white-supremacy) that were concurrent with the development of many of the aforementioned art historical periods and many confluent Eurocentric philosophical systems. My current project also resonates with my questioning of how contemporary political, social, and cultural ideas interact with the plastic arts from the European past.

Some artists/writers might classify the post-contemporary as an aesthetic or a critical construct. But I am doubtful of the limiting framework of those terms. Other writers have called the post-contemporary a movement akin to the Baroque redux or Neoclassical redux. Not me. By post-contemporary, I do not mean the widely held consensus that post- contemporary artworks merely or mainly exhibit the traits of skillful execution, creativity, and expresses some degree of “empathy.” I would say that there are many works done by some of the most well trained and technically skilled artists in the world that are not post- contemporary. I’m afraid I also have to disagree that what is being called post-contemporary art is some newfangled way of positing traditional, global, or universal values—as opposed to contemporary art, which they claim pertain to transient (or spurious), topical, or local values.

For me, the post-contemporary artist holds a generous view upon all the myriad forms of what we call art history. By generous I mean two things. First, the totality of art history is taken as a barometer of both the global and national social, political, and cultural environment. Second, this generous view is taken as through a holographic lens. It is a view enabling a capacity towards moral imagination, that distinct quality of understanding (a work of art) within the general and specific context of its creation. Above all things, beyond this said specific context, the post-contemporary implementation proceeds as a form of inquiry into how historical (Eurocentric) visual culture has been used and is being used to inculcate, delineate, underscore, and establish the political, social, and cultural artifacts of our age. The post-contemporary artist is not at all interested in the so-called art historical tradition for the sake of hegemonic notions of tradition and the idea that “it was better back then.” The post contemporary artist understands that art history is foremost an ideological political field. For me, post-contemporary artists must make an in-depth inquiry into how the visually received narratives function within our contemporary milieux to create injustice, lies, and outright (psycho-cultural) deceptions. Within this post-contemporary sphere, my primary interest is in exploring and challenging the ideas fomented by the representation (or lack thereof) of non- white peoples in classical European art.

 


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