Jan Williams

"A large proportion of the population where l live is overweight. In a non-derogative way, l like to use their formal qualities to create personalities and use their shapes as a language in expressing a variety of ideas from the natural and the human world, sometimes, portraying people l know."

Dark - Polyester-fibreglass 35 x 20 x 20 cm

Jan Williams is a sculptor born 1958 in New Zealand, who lives and works in Brisbane, Australia. From 1985 to 2015, Williams worked at the Queensland Museum's exhibition construction workshops as a technician/sculptor. The sculpting there included building dioramas and modelling/building zoological specimens from small frogs to lifesize Humpback whales. The workshops' ubiquitous medium of polyester-fibreglass became his own favored medium. Jan has been a member of Sculptors Queensland for much of that time, exhibiting frequently in joint and group exhibitions. Most of his sculpture has been figurative, inspired by sculptors like Maillol, Giacometti, Brancusi and in the last few years by prehistoric art as well.

Iron lady 5 - Iron, polyester-fibreglass 38 x 20 x 20 cm
Iron lady 4 - Iron, polyester-fibreglass 40 x 20 x 20 cm
Coffee table sculpture 2 - Coffee, polyester-fibreglass 42 x 18 x 18 cm
Wide poet  - Iron, polyester-fibreglass 43 x 50 x 15 cm

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


 

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Craig Robb

I use my art as a means to express my thoughts and opinions of the world as I see it."
“Dreams ever different, ever-varied, endless voyages, endless realms, ever strange, ever wonderful.”
– Joseph Cornell
The Day - Wood, acrylic, dried paint, LED lights 16 x 15 x 8 in.

"It was never my intention to become an artist. Having two brothers in the arts and watching their struggles, I logically opted out of the field and pursued other endeavors. Seeking a change in my life, I returned to University and happened upon a teacher who saw within me my potential and encouraged it. After much resistance, I succumbed.

My objective as an artist, on a base level, is to create an object of beauty that is pleasing to the eye yet has a depth to it that makes one think about what they are seeing. I use wood, steel and objects to create metaphorical vistas that contain messages within them that are relevant to my beliefs and viewpoints. Yet by using objects that are laden with content or symbolism, I have come to understand that not everybody sees things the same way I do. When I present these different objects, people come to my work with different histories and stories that are relevant to them and these items. I rely heavily on this in hopes that they create their own story or statement with each piece to make it relevant to them.

Within these sculptures, I include houses, chairs, and other objects that, with their inherent symbolism, develop metaphors about issues that are important to me. Many of my ideas stem from a fascination with how things are connected, both literally and figuratively. The combination of wood and curved steel are utilized as both compositional elements and to create spaces for these objects to reside.

I have always been interested in how objects function within a given space, how they occupy it and the relationships created with the other objects in that space. Because of the broad range of symbolism, these sculptures can speak on many different levels and to many different people."

American sculptor, Craig Robb is based in Englewood. He earned his BFA in Sculpture in 1994 at the University of Colorado, Denver.

The Curious Joy of Twilight - Wood, steel, light bulb, acrylic 18 x 12 x 6 in.
The Philosopher - Wood, steel, glass, clock part 20 x 17 x 9 in.
Pear in Time - Wood, steel, acrylic 50 x 22 x 9 in.
A Trace of What Was - Wood, steel, resin, cast iron, stone 24 x 18 x 6 in.

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Anat Perl

"It is important for me to provoke a response of any kind in the observer. It is important for me to express myself through art and it is also important for me to bring beauty and aesthetics as I see it.”

Star of David hammered and shiny Mezuzah - Stone, glass, metal 25 x 12 cm 31 x 15 cm

"I am a multidisciplinary artist and involved in every type of art that interests me. For me, art is a necessity, just like eating and drinking. Art is a way of life. For as long as I can remember I have been involved in art in all its forms. From music, to dance and fine art.  From a very young age I have been involved and experienced almost every kind of art, from music and dance to fine arts. I studied visual arts and graphic design in high school and worked as a graphic designer for several years in different places and developed my own language to create and to express myself. I am a graduate of Bar-Ilan University in the Social Sciences. I also studied musicology there. I continued my exploration of arts in Kenya, where I specialized in music, drumming, and dancing. In Cuba, I was a student of the history of Cuban music, which included drumming, percussion, and dancing. Throughout this time, I have always been involved in fine arts.

In 2014 I started the "Blessing Stones art project". The idea behind this project was to create art that is identified with Israel. The "Mezuzah" is a clear symbol of the Jewish and Israeli home so the mezuzah was chosen to be represented in the project. 

I chose to work with materials that are usually not used to seeing them together like stone and pure silver or concrete and pure gold, among other materials. I love working with contrasts and this is well reflected in my art.

I am inspired by simply anything, in most cases nature, and different landscapes, by animals and plants; even dance movements can affect certain contours I design. Music inspires my work. And of course, works by other artists are inspiring.

It is important for me to provoke a response of any kind in the observer. It is important for me to express myself through art and it is also important for me to bring beauty and aesthetics as I see it.”

Star of David rounded lines Mezuzah - Stone, glass, metal 25 x 10 cm
Harp of David Mezuzah - Stone, glass, metal 31 x 15 cm
Illuminated spoon Mezuzah - Stone, glass, iron 70 x 35 cm
Triangle and lines Star of David Mezuzah - Concrete, glass, metal 31 x 15 cm

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Ken Macklin

"By combining and arranging materials, I build visually rich, often playful sculpture. I am inspired by nature; the trees, roots, fields, hills, forests, and land surrounding my studio in northwestern Canada. I continually strive to speak to the viewer on both an emotional and aesthetic level."

Morning Voice - Terracotta, magnesium dioxide, painted wood 18.75 x 11.5 x 9.5 in. with base

Ken Macklin is one of several constructivist sculptors who emerged in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada during the 1980s. His use of mixed media and his use of colour have charted new territory for his art. In Macklin's sculpture, materials are used as language, as writing, as personal narrative. Macklin has exhibited nationally and internationally and his sculptures can be found in public and private collections in Canada, United States, Europe and China.

 

Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction from the University of Alberta

Advanced Sculpture diploma from St. Martins School of Art, London, England

Perhaps in Paris - Terracotta, magnesium dioxide, painted wood 13 x 11.50 x 12 in. with base
Chiron - Terracotta, magnesium dioxide, painted wood 18.5 x 6.75 x 6.25 in. with base
Bird Song - Terracotta, magnesium dioxide, painted wood 13.25 x 7.75 x 6.50 in. with base
Half Site - Terracotta, magnesium dioxide, painted wood 9.75 x 6.5 x 7.75 in. with base

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Christina Ellis

"My work is the recognition that we all want to be seen for who we are; our idiosyncrasies and our humanness. The great thing about cement is that as a medium, it's messy and hard to predict... Just like human beings."

Frank - Hand-sculpted concrete 14 x 13.5 x 6.5 in.

Christina Ellis began her art career in the commercial art arena as an illustrator and art director for clients such as the University of California, Raytheon, as well as ad agencies and publishers. Wanting to focus more on fine art, she went back to study sculpture from 1989 to 1990, under Ken Gray at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where she showed her work in a number of student shows and the “No Big Heads” show.

In 2007, Ellis opened an art school in Medford, Oregon, in response to the lack of funding and opportunities for children and adults interested in exploring the arts. Through the years, she has painted in acrylics and oil, but mostly enjoys the challenge and immersive experience of sculpting in concrete. She currently lives and works in Astoria, Oregon.

Wanda - Hand-sculpted concrete 14 x 9.5 x 6.5 in.
Ben - Hand-sculpted concrete 15.5 x 12.5 x 6.5 in.
Kincaid - Hand-sculpted concrete 15 x 12.5 x 6.5 in.
Enid - Hand-sculpted concrete 15.5 x 9 x 6.5 in.

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Tricia Skoglund

"I have always considered myself a multifaceted artist. I've been very fortunate and found great joy in exploring a multitude of different art forms and different mediums. I now work exclusively with torch cut steel. I like the way that painting on metals adds a creative and unique element to my art."

Whats Sup - Acrylics, Mixed Media on torch-cut steel 24 x 30 in.

While growing up in Southern California, Tricia's youthful talent as an artist was quickly recognized by her early art teachers and by several prominent artists in the area. This early recognition made it possible for her to spend many years studying under some of the most prominent artists in and around the famous art colony of Laguna Beach, CA.

After graduating from High School with an art scholarship, Tricia accepted a position as a manager, and contributing artist, at an art gallery in Del Mar, CA. It was during this time that she took the opportunity to explore many different art forms and art mediums all while continuing her education, managing the gallery, and showing and selling her own work.

The next step in her art career took her to Salem, Oregon where she started a family and at the same time went to college to study Graphic Design. In addition, she was able to use her gallery experience to open, own and operate her very successful Arts and Design Co., which specialized in painting and designing murals in both residential and commercial properties.

Now that her family has grown, Tricia Skoglund has once again evolved and grown in a new and creative way. She is currently having fun using acrylics, pastels, torch-cut steel and all kinds of recycled metals. She loves the contrasts and energy that old metal gives to her art and how it gives each of her creations a distinctive one-of-a-kind 3-dimensional, individual look.

Discovering unrefined and rustic details in nature gives her inspiration for her work. Objects left outside to rust and corrode captivate her imagination and compel her to give new life. as a highlighted part of her work. Tricia also finds inspiration from the sea. The movement from the water, how it reflects light, and its energy are always very important parts of her work. It's that combination that helps make each of Tricia Skoglund's creations be a very unique and smoothly interwoven piece of work.

Regardless Of Where You've Been - Triptych, Acrylics, Mixed Media, on torch-cut steel 8 x 48 x 3 in.
Windows Of Fall - Acrylics, Mixed Media, on Torch-cut steel 30 x 40 in.
Foggy Day At The Beach - Acrylics, Mixed Media, on torch-cut steel 24 x 48 in.
Found Objects Below - Acrylics, Mixed Media, on torch-cut steel 30 x 40 in.

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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


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