Jan Williams

Born 1958, New Zealand

Lives in: Brisbane, Australia

See More Work:  Sculptors Queensland/membership/Jan Williams

The artist at work

"My art is like a drug, I create art because I need to create art. My favourite artists are works by Mailloil, Giacometti, Brancusi and...... Paleolithic art."

What themes does your work involve?
"Most of my art is figurative and since about 2010 has focused on large body forms. A fairly large proportion of the population where I live, is overweight, so in a politically incorrect way (not derogatively) I like to use their their formal qualities, creating personalities and using them in a language portraying a variety of ideas, explained in their titles..Their titles are important, like 'Night', 'Black weather', Life at the cafe' 'Symphonic etc..."
Describe your creative process.
My initial inspiration can come from looking and working from other artists ideas, or just observing life on public transport for example. The thought process is usually quite slow, turning over in my head for a long time. Once I've begun modelling in plastercine, the process is still slow, changing, sometimes restarting and fine tuning forever. Eventually I consider it complete, and mostly it will still be based on the origional idea. The plastercine piece will be plaster waste molded. A mix of polyester-fibreglass mixed with powdered iron is then painted into the mold. When finished, it will be soaked in salty water until a rust patina is established, then dried and sealed. Earlier work is made with just a simple pigmented polyester fibreglass mix.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I became an artist naturally, because most of my family are artists or otherwise connected to the visual arts. I'm inspired by the people who live around me. Actually, I'm inspired by all sorts of things from the natural and human world, anything that can be expressed using the human body format.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
What is great art is indeed difficult to define. Great art can be intriguing, smart, inventive, dynamic or introverted...I don't know if I can define it, but I think I would recognize it without being told it is great art.
What is the role of the artist today?
I'm not really concerned with the role of the artist today, I create my art for myself only.
Life at the Cafe - Polyester, Coffee, fibreglass 50 x 50 x 120 cm
Iron lady 3 - Polyester-iron-fibreglass 40 x 15 x 15 cm
Iron lady 2 - Polyester-iron-fibreglass 40 x 15 x 15 cm

 


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


Oleg Lobykin

Born 1966, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Lives in: East Palo Alto, California, USA

Describe your art in 3 words: Abstract, bold, ambitious

See More Work:  www.lobykin.com

The Head of AI (frontal view) - 55 x 26 x 26 cm

"Observing the natural world and mystery of transformation inspires me. My work depicts an ongoing search for the origins of form and exploration of portals to other dimensions. Shifting realities is a recurring theme in this work, as are transformation and challenging perception. Ideas that are thought-provoking, impactful, and engaging take form in the visible realm."

What themes does your work involve?
The existence of one essential particle of matter can amaze us with its pure aesthetic pleasure. It represents the basic urge to create, linking the metaphysical world to the physical form or sculpture. My work is a search of origins of form to exploring other dimensions.
Describe your creative process.
Sometimes one work leads to next one and can become a series of sculptures. Sometimes an idea is looking for a shape and release. It can start as a small model and transformed to a larger scale as public art.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
The time that we live in. Everything is going fast. I want to reflect this in my work. Nature is endless source of inspiration. My art is my contribution to society.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
If art makes you feel or think it's good enough already. Great art is same just add to it "WOW"...
What is the role of the artist today?
Making art moves and exciting. Art has unique language that doesn't need translation and makes us human.
The Head of AI (profile view) - 55 x 26 x 26 cm
Meta Girl (detail) - Stainless steel 235 x 102 x 102 cm
Meta Girl (back view) - Stainless steel 235 x 102 x 102 cm
Meta Girl (3/4 view) - Stainless steel 235 x 102 x 102 cm

 


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


Weiting Wei

"Transitioning from girl to mother feels like the moment that we acquire our protective layers, our feathers, scales and armor. But our interior becomes softer, more sensitive with the love and bond we develop for our children. So in some ways, we are weaker should something pierce through our armor."

Seed - Polymer clay 5 x 12 x 5 in.

Born 1984 in China, and currently living in the USA, Weiting Wei received her MFA in visual art from Columbus College of Art & Design in 2018. She is a multimedia artist creating works out of paper, wax, clay, and soap.

In her work, Wei sculpts air-dry and resin clay to represent the struggles of a new mom; helpless but hopeful, sensitive but peaceful, exhausted but beautiful...

Other aspects of her work include the use of white porcelain to represent pregnancy, and the use of tinct rice paper to represent the muscle state around the cesarean incision. Her sculpture uses traditional elements to explore very personal, yet universal, experiences of motherhood.

Armor - Polymer clay 22 x 36 x 2 in.
My Armor - Polymer clay 24 x 6 x 1 in.
Armor - Polymer clay 12 x 12 x 3 in.
Light sleeper - Polymer clay 14 x 11 x 3.5 in.

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


 

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Scott Troxel

Born 1971, Philadelphia, USA

Lives in: Marmora, NJ, USA

Describe your art in 3 words: timeless, retro-futurist, balanced

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

King (2021)

"I draw on the aesthetics of bygone technology and the forward-looking designs of the Atomic Age and mid-century modernism to make dynamic, retro-futurist wooden sculptures that evoke nostalgia for the past as much as they look to the future. I am fascinated by the way pieces of technology, culture, and design reveal their age and aim to make work that cannot be pinned to a specific era."

What themes does your work involve?
I am inspired by design and technology throughout the twentieth century, such as mid-century modernism, the Atomic Age, and art deco. In terms of what my work is trying to say, I tend to expand upon Frank Stella’s famous quote “What you see is what you see.” While the viewer tends to bring his or her experiences to my work and “find” something familiar in it, my goal is to create art that features strong composition, balance, color, form and movement. My work relies heavily on these pillars. I then incorporate themes of aging, organic versus man-made, and new versus old in the sense of how we engage with technology, design, and aesthetics across generations.
Describe your creative process.
My process is significantly calculated and pre-determined. I start with a concept or raw idea—similar to how I would approach a product development project. I spend hours in graphic design software refining the concept and purging bad directions. I do this mostly from a modeling standpoint, as it is difficult to work with the materials I use without a clear direction. Once I have a concept dialed in, I gather my materials and begin constructing the piece in my wood shop. Usually, the piece ends up around 70 to 80 percent true to my mockup. Things change when creating in the studio, but my direction is mostly clear. At this point I bring the piece to my finishing studio to paint and mount the piece. In a nutshell, it goes from a concept on a computer screen to the wood shop to the studio.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am heavily influenced by industrial design and movements like Art Deco, Mid Century Modernism and the use of plastics in the 1970s. I am inspired by artists like Frank Stella, Franz Kline, Martin Puryear, Harvey Quaytman, and the tondos of Leon Polk Smith. But I am inspired by all great art, no matter the movement or artist-- I also love the work of Magritte, Picasso and Giorgio de Chirico.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
In my opinion, great art has the rare ability to be timeless yet dated, modern but retro, organic and grounded but still futurist and otherworldly. I find this concept fascinating, and it is the foundation of what I try to achieve in my work. I want it to feel both modern and bold but perhaps from another era—when it was cutting edge, before time passed it by and changed the definition of “new or modern.”
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of an artist depends on the actual art the artist makes. I am obsessed with modern abstract art. So I wrestle with formal issues like balance, symmetry, composition, color, and scale versus politics or other themes.
Spinnaker (2021)
Instant Crush (2018)
Terebellum (2020)
Ronin (2018)

 


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


Eduardo Blanco

Born 1974, León, Spain

Lives in: Mallorca, Spain

Describe your art in 3 words: Contemporary, fresh, spontaneous.

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

Shibari - Oil on canvas 80 x 80 cm

"I consider my artwork as Contemporary Figurative. I mixt a few different styles to get a painting according to the times we live in. My work is the result of reflection, planning, analysis and execution through different techniques, although I try to make it seem fresh and spontaneous. Inspiration comes through different channels: an image; light and shadow effects; a concept or idea; a theme..."

What themes does your work involve?
I love art and especially painting, and everything this encompasses. That’s why I don't want to limit myself to a specific theme. I use to paint what I want, be it portrait, natural or urban landscape, everyday scenes, animals…. If it can be painted, it may interest me.
Describe your creative process.
"I almost always paint in my studio and generally from photographs. The creative process is perhaps the most complicated part for me. I start from an idea, then I try to imagine the composition of the work and look for the elements I need to carry it out. After that I look after every part separately is perfectly integrated into the whole composition. Once I begin to paint, and starting from planning, I get carried away a bit by intuition, so the works generally end up being different from what I had planned. This is an aspect that I really like about painting with oil medium as I conceive it (with watercolors I work in a different way). I love knowing how a work begins but not knowing at all how it will end, and I love been surprised an excited at every step I take."
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I would say that although I identify different types or styles of art between my influences (Impressionism, Realism, Expressionism, abstract art ...), and artists, both current and past, that have marked me and that I admire, and that I cannot help naming now (Fortuny, Turner , Sorolla, Zorn, Sargent, Charles Reid, Christian Hook, Costa Dvorezky, Luis Azón, Lita Cabellut, …… among many others), surely there are many more influences of which I am totally unaware. I paint because I can't help painting. Art is beauty, it is another way of seeing things, it is surprise and emotion, and it is a path that never ends and you don’t know where it leads you. I am already on that path and I continue discovering new things every day.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
The concept of art is abstract and personal. Everyone has their own ideas and tastes in this regard. For me, good art is that which makes us feel things, excite us or captivate us. Nowadays I think that art tends to be identified with transgression, and for me transgression does not always have to be art. Personally, I value the artwork that is the result of study, technique, experience and that not everyone is capable of replicating with little effort.
What is the role of the artist today?
I think that a true artist is selfish in his work. A painter does not paint for society or for others. A true artist paints for himself, because he needs to express himself and because it is something that fulfills him. That doesn't mean that art does not contribute to society, quite the contrary, it does a lot. Art doesn't operate any differently now than it did 200 or 500 years ago. The styles change but not the motivations or functions. It can be an alternative representation of reality, a search of beauty, activism art, for preserving history or a representation of a concept; but in the end it’s all summed up in an objetive: getting excited.
Naisei - Oil on board 50 x 60 cm
Día de playa - Oil on board 60 x 80 cm
Red Leg - Oil on canvas 80 x 80 cm
Trío de ases - Oil on board 120 x 120 cm

 


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