Gao Muyan

"Experimenting with humble materials like pulp and exploring their potential is a slow but playful process. It involves gradually developing a personal relationship with each piece through a dialogue with the material. Starting with a typical shape and gradually transforming it into a character full of uncertainty."

Fake Vases No.18 - Paper, Glue, Color Paint 33 x 32 x 9 cm £570

Gao Muyan, a visionary Chinese artist born in 1991, has established a dynamic presence in the global art scene through a rich tapestry of solo and group exhibitions. Known for his inventive approach and meticulous craftsmanship, Gao's career spans from the bustling streets of Shanghai to prestigious galleries in London and beyond. His solo showcases, such as "Paper Islands" at Zuoyou Gallery and "Urban Confession" at Beijing Yintai Center, reveal a profound exploration of contemporary themes rendered with exquisite detail and artistic flair.

In addition to his compelling solo exhibitions, Gao Muyan has left an indelible mark in numerous international group exhibitions, including appearances at the Canton Fair Exhibition Hall in Guangzhou and the Galerie Francis Barlier in Paris. His artworks, ranging from the ethereal "Fake Vases" to the intricate "Pulpbulb" series, blend innovation with cultural resonance, inviting viewers to contemplate the intersection of tradition and modernity. With a master's degree from Chelsea College of Art and Design and a bachelor's from Glasgow School of Art, Gao merges technical prowess with a deep-seated exploration of identity and societal dynamics. His publications in prestigious magazines and books underscore his influence in shaping contemporary art discourse, making him a pivotal figure in the global art landscape. 

Fake Vases No.5 - Paper, Glue, Color Paint 41 x 34 x 8 cm £670
Fake Vases No.23 - Paper, Glue, Color Paint 43 x 52 x 7 cm £790
Fake Vases No.21 - Paper, Glue, Color Paint 29 x 52 x 9 cm £570
Fake Vases No.16 - Paper, Glue, Color Paint 49 x 22 x 10 cm £670

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


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Jason Shih

"As a professional sculptor, I like to experience the essence of life through perceptual observation of subtle moments. I also enjoy exploring the ever-changing interplay of forms in poetic imaginary spaces. For me, art creation is about sharing various moods and stories from everyday life."

Harmony - Cast Bronze 35 x 30 x 74 cm €6800

    Jason Shih was born in 1972 in Lukang Town, Taiwan, renowned for its traditional crafts. He relocated to Taipei City during his school years and attended art classes at Minzu Elementary School, Minglun Junior High School, and Zhongzheng High School. In 1991, Jason enrolled in the Fine Arts Department of National Taipei University of the Arts, studying sculpture under Professor Lee Kuang-yu and graduating in 1996. Following his military service, he pursued further education at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, USA, studying metal sculpture under Leonard A. Urso at the School for American Crafts, where he earned his MFA degree in 2001. Subsequently, he served as an assistant to renowned New York metal sculptor Albert Paley, gaining valuable experience in metal crafts and large-scale public arts.

Returning to Taiwan in 2002, Jason embarked on a prolific career in public art. Over the next two decades, he completed over 80 large-scale public art projects in Taiwan. His international engagements included residencies at the Wangsan Kaitian Festival in South Korea (2003), JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide, Australia (2004), and as the inaugural artist-in-residence at the New Taipei City Gold Museum (2008).

Alongside his creative endeavors, Jason pursued advanced studies in art theory, earning his Ph.D. from the China Academy of Art in 2015 and an MBA from National Taiwan Normal University in 2022. With a diverse cultural background spanning Taiwan, the United States, and mainland China, and extensive professional training in fine arts, crafts, public art, and management, Jason decided in 2022 to refocus on his sculpture creations. He currently resides in Taoyuan City, Taiwan, continuing to explore the diverse realms of sculpture and public art.

Goldfish - Cast Bronze 30 x 30 x 45 cm €5800
Wind - Painted ABS 74 x 32 x 48 cm €6800
Chasing - Painted ABS 88 x 28 x 58 cm €6800
Glory - Cast Bronze 38 x 32 x 86 cm €7300

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Eric Cremers

"I got fascinated by the variety of housing and living forms I saw all over the world. Once rooted in reality, my work is now solely the result of my imagination. I continue to explore new approaches to the theme of Habitats, while my colorful little shacks often serve as the building blocks of the whole."

Pink Place - Mixed Media 90 x 13 x 19 cm €2,200

Dutch Artist, Eric Cremers, b. 1953, embarked on a multifaceted artistic journey following the completion of his five-year teachers' education at the Art Academy. For 28 years, he dedicated himself to nurturing young minds as a high school art teacher before transitioning to a full-time artist in 2010.

Since embracing his role as a professional artist, Cremers has immersed himself in the exploration of a singular theme: Habitats. Within his artistic realm, he constructs vivid landscapes devoid of human presence yet teeming with traces of life. Through his work, he invites viewers to embark on a journey of discovery, where every corner reveals intricate details that hint at the existence of unseen inhabitants.

Driven by the challenge of achieving harmony in color palettes, spatial arrangements, textures, and materials, such as wood, branches, palm leaves, and cardboard, Cremers strives to evoke a sense of wonder and contemplation in those who engage with his art. With each creation, he endeavors to transport observers to a world where imagination knows no bounds, offering a sanctuary for exploration and introspection.

Tree Houses - Mixed Media 80 x 30 x 25 cm €1,500
Collapsing - Mixed Media 76 x 32 x 14 cm €1,850
Shades of Blue - Mixed Media 100 x 32 x 13 cm €2,200
Swamp Village - Mixed Media 80 x 50 x 19 cm €2,200

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Alyson J Barton

Born in: England
Lives in: USA
Describe your art in three words: Sublime, Romantic, Atmospheric.
See More Work: Visit website

Illumine - Chromogenic Silver Halide, 12 x 12 in., $850

Alyson studied fine art in Greater Manchester, England, graduating with a First Class BA Hons Degree in Fine Art and a Master of Arts before studying the traditional drawing and painting techniques of the Old Masters at the Atelier of Fine Art in Scotland. Alyson’s work is exhibited internationally, with gallery representation in Manchester, England, and New York City, and has won numerous awards.

What themes does your work involve?
My most recent body of work, “Remembered Land”, is inspired by nostalgic memories of the wild and beautiful English countryside of my childhood, and our relationship with nature, land, and place. Original oil paintings and alchemic chromogenic silver halide artworks embrace the philosophy of tonalist pictorialism, exploring the numinous, sublime atmosphere of the land and the eternal lacuna between memory and myth. Elements of emotionalism and romanticism emphasise expression, mood, mystery and the sublime through the use of colour, light, shadow, soft focus, abstract form, and atmospheric perspective. My work pays homage to the mystical, ethereal beauty of nature and the land, whilst recognising its fragile vulnerability in the face of climate change.
Describe your creative process.
Studying at the ARC Atelier of Fine Art in Edinburgh, Scotland inspired my passion for relearning creative techniques lost in time, leading to my interest and involvement in historic, chemical photographic techniques, including Wet Plate Collodion, Platinum, and Chromogenic processes. These processes have a mysterious, sublime quality of light which cannot be replicated with modern technology. Experimenting with ways to incorporate these beautiful, alchemic processes within my work, I developed new techniques to create unique, atmospheric, and often interdisciplinary artworks.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am influenced and inspired in my work in many ways – however the greatest inspiration is the sublime mystery of the natural world and our relationship with it. The German expressionist artist Max Beckmann famously stated, “If you want to touch the invisible, penetrate the visible as deeply as you can.” Spending time in the natural world, and endeavouring to experience and creatively portray the metaphysical elements of land and place, which are not easily discovered in everyday life, is a privileged and cathartic experience.
Mysteria - Oil on Wood Panel, 12 x 16 in., $2,995
And Dream of Sheep - Chromogenic Silver Halide, 12 x 12 in., $850
Nocturne (Sleeping Trees) - Chromogenic Silver Halide, 12 x 12 in., $850
Remembered Land - Oil on Wood Panel, 12 x 16 in., $2,995

 


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


Anatoly Popov

Born in:Novorossiysk
Lives in: Tbilisi, Georgia
Describe your art in three words: For fine-art connoisseurs 
See More Work: https://anatoly-popov.com/homeeng

The Venetian Story - Bronze, plastics, wood, 35 x 80 x 25 cm, $4000

"I perceive each new sculpture as a step forward in my artistic development. I keep pushing the limits of my abilities and artistic skills. Each new sculpture must be finer, more impactful and captivating than the previous one. This is an indispensable part of my artistic path."

What themes does your work involve?
Most of my works are dedicated to historical or mythological images and personalities, which is an eternal topic reinterpreted from generation to generation. They are the blueprints of a human beauty and power, and I always keep returning to the eternal images of heroism, strength and love, incorporated into ancient and mythological heroes. My soul is also touched by depth of nature and wildlife. Its wonderful relationships are often much closer to our feelings than we are used to thinking. Some of my sculptures represent animals in their touching relations, and I make them more lively with the help of dynamic composition and vivid coloring. And exactly now I am in the project of creating fine decorative reliefs dedicated to nature.
Describe your creative process.
In any work I devote much attention to its plastic component: aesthetics and dynamics of the composition, the harmony of visual rhythms. I strongly believe that the composition is the core of the whole creation, allowing to convey the feeling and mood of sculpture. This is the first and the most demanding part of my creative process. After defining a composition, I start its detalization, and keep refining it until the end of the process. I believe that the viewer must be able to find a lot of fine details, that catch the eye and invite to examine the sculpture. In some of my works, decorative elements can even reveal the whole story – for example, I sometimes show the personality of a mythological hero by using engravings on his armor.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
It is hard to define a separate source of motivation. I just feel an internal strive to convey a certain feeling or to create something beautiful. A great amount of visual inspiration – coming from films, painting, sculpture, real life in its incredibly various forms – keeps supporting my inner source of images, that transform into new ideas – and new sculpture as a result. So, I never feel a lack of ideas, I feel lack of time to realize them all. I make art since my childhood actually, and I guess, art is part of my nature and personality.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I am deeply convinced that a piece of art must give aesthetic pleasure to the viewer, inspire and let him or her experience the beauty of the world independently from the selected topic. For this reason, I mostly value realism – this is the school of art that nowadays really allows to separate the talent and hard work from unskilled inspiration. A great art shows the mastership of a composition: a viewer can feel the dynamics and striving even before concentrating on details. Composition is the spirit of a sculpture, while details are beauty. The idea and the composition reveal the talent of the artist; while fine realization is the result of education and hard work. For me, Gian Lorenzo Bernini remains an example of a great artist.
What is the role of the artist today?
Each artist defines his role on his own: some artists choose to be educational, just like Greek sculpture had the aim to show an ideal person and motivate the youth for self-development. Some artists choose to pay attention to burning social issues. Some strive to convey eternal ideas and values, that are relevant in any time. The latter approach is closer to me. The goal of an artist is to realize his chosen role. But in any case, I believe that art must remain art, no matter what topic it covers. There are laws of rhythm and harmony, and they allow art to be beautiful, to touch and evoke the feelings, even if negative ones. Opera would be a good example; as even villains sing in harmonious voices. So, conveying beauty is the role of a true artist.
First Breath - Plastics, wood, 40 x 25 x 23 cm, $2500
Velasquez - Plaster, 82 x 60 x 30 cm, $1500
An Allegory of a Hero - Plastics, 65 x 17 x 20 cm, Price upon request
Perseus and Andromeda - Plastics, 50 x 31 x 23 cm, Price upon request

 


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


Georg Douglas

Born in: 1945, N. Ireland
Lives in: Mosfellsbær, Iceland
Describe your art in three words: Joyful, colourful, complex
Education: BSc, PhD in Earth Science
See More Work: artgeorg.com

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

What themes does your work involve?
For several years my themes have been the plant and floral world and Irish dance. Although disparate themes I emphasize movement in both and often get comments on how similar the work is.
Describe your creative process.
The majority of my paintings originate as random ideas which come to me when outside in nature, lying in bed, at the theatre or elsewhere. Some have been turning over in my head for a long time, others not. I start with a very simple basic drawing which I try to keep throughout. Otherwise I let the painting evolve very much on its own.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My inspiration is the beauty of nature. I was born and raised in the country and have always had a close connection to nature both in work and play. I have never had doubts about its beauty. My art is probably to some extent an attempt to express this in its many aspects and convey it to others.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I think good art needs to be original or even unique in some way, whether subject, style colour or whatever. Even so, great art may be great only for the viewer, for I think the input in all visual art is 50% from the artist and 50% from the viewer.
What is the role of the artist today?
Do what he or she must do and let us see it. Art was always close even when I was working in a completely different field and it never went away completely. I later years I slowly realised that this is what I should probably have been doing all along. Art is such a huge field that it´s hard to define its function in modern society. However I think that exposure is the key element. It needs to be everywhere and varied. With the Internet I think that this has already happened to a large extent. Circle Foundation For the Arts is an excellent example of an organisation making this possible.

 


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


Nicolas Castell

Born in: 1998, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Lives in: Granada, Spain
Describe your art in three words: vivid, graphic, dreamy
Education: MFA in Drawing from the University of Granada (Spain)
See More Work:  https://www.nicolascastell.com/ | Instagram 

"I have been working as an artist with more than twenty exhibitions in recent years, as a freelance illustrator for advertising, children's books, comics, cinema, music, and more. Some of my clients have included The Times, The Washington Post, Dupuis, SM, Adobe, Mercedes-Benz, Paradores, and Santillana. In my illustrations, I strive to create narrative scenes that blend elements of history and fantasy, weaving together compelling visual stories that captivate and engage viewers."

What themes does your work involve?
Dreams, fantasy, history, biographies, Japan and science fiction.
Describe your creative process.
I read the briefing few times while I try to make the perfect scene in my mind. Then I play with it doing my sketches with pencil. After the composition y settled I ink it and then I play with the colors!
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Life in general, a ride with the bicycle can be inspiring, a trip to a different culture as well. When I can't travel I enjoy books and movies. An interesting dream or meditation can inspire me too. I make art because I love it, and I need it too. It's something beyond my will, if I not do it I'm not feeling myself.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art happens when the artist is able to portray his emotions and ideas in the piece. Sometimes you can have a good idea, but if you didn't master the craft enough, that idea can be lost during the process of that piece of art. Maybe because the artist is not skillful, or maybe because the artist is confused.
What is the role of the artist today?
To connect with the people, to make this living experience less horrible inviting the people to dream, to travel with the imagination and to know there are more like us, that people of other countries they love, work and suffer too, we're not that different, art is the best way to connect first with oneself, and second with the world.

 


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


Alison Barrows-Young

"The natural qualities that animate nature have filled my life and my imagery since youth. I am taken by wild beauty. The wilderness is alive with idyllic disposition and dramatic personae that invoke an animist sensibility and compels a strong sense of belonging to the earth."

 Giant - Oil on canvas 72 x 36 in.

"The natural qualities that animate the Pacific Northwest have filled my life and my imagery since finding a home in Northern Idaho. I have been taken by its wild beauty. The wilderness to the west of the Rockies is alive with idyllic disposition and dramatis personae that invokes an animist sensibility and compels a strong sense of belonging to the earth.

After receiving a BFA, I secured a 6-month apprenticeship with the artist George Woodman before continuing my education to receive an MFA which qualified me to teach in art schools and Universities. I received an NEA Fellowship through the state of New Jersey. Throughout my life, I have divided my career between teaching and creating. I apprenticed for eight years in Don Miguel Ruiz’s inner circle and have been an active practitioner of his Lineage of Toltec Wisdom since 1994.”

View over Selle Valley - Oil on canvas 24 x 22 in.
Crazy Clouds and Beautiful Koans - Oil on canvas 18 x 24 in.
Waiting For Raven - Oil on canvas 40 x 30 in.
 Last Light, Idaho - Oil on canvas 18 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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Toti Cuesta

“Art arises from my spiritual need to create, to go beyond the senses. It is an expression of the soul and a magical experience. The use of symbols and color characterize my paintings. Symbols allow me to express and transmit the message of art. The color radiates the light of each human being.”

Release Proserpine - Watercolor 76 x 56 cm

“I am a watercolor artist based in Madrid. I studied Law and Languages, and for many years I worked in the international field, but art has always been my great passion and the engine of my life. I am also trained as an Art Therapist because of the healing power that I feel art has.

Since I was a child, there was a creativity in me that grew more and more. This was understood and valued in my environment as a hobby, but I knew it was much more than that. I began an inner search that allowed me to discover who I was and what I had come here to do. It helped me free myself from everything that others had chosen, thinking that it was what was best for me, but that had nothing to do with my essence.

I define myself as a watercolorist, although I have done numerous works with other techniques such as oil and pastel. Watercolor is the most luminous and transparent technique, the one that can best represent the vibration of other dimensions and capture it in colors that transmit joy and light.”

School of angels - Watercolor 76 x 56 cm
Music - Watercolor 76 x 56 cm
Let´s go back home - Watercolor 56 x 76 cm
Erato absent - Watercolor 76 x 56 cm

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


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Maria Stella Polce

“There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." - P. Picasso
"I transform a fractal (computer generated), into a horse or a nude or a landscape or an abstract."

Omaggio floreale - Digital art, Frattalismo 50 x 50 cm

Italian artist, Maria Stella Polce is a Professor at the M.P.I. (Ministry of Education). Originally from Abruzzo, she traveled throughout Italy before moving permanently to Francavilla al Mare, where she currently resides. 

A versatile artist, from an early age, Maria Stella showed a passion for art by painting mainly landscapes and animals with a realistic approach. From the age of 20 onwards, she began to paint with oil colors on canvas (self-taught), had her first solo shows as well as participations in collective exhibitions, obtaining acclaim and prizes. 

After a long period of research and artistic experimentation with various techniques and materials (including oil pastels, acrylic colors, watercolors, tempera, glass painting, mixed techniques, etc.), Polce discovered fractals. From 2000 onwards, her way of making art radically changed, to "Fractalism." 

Polce draws fractals with her virtual brush, guided by the mouse, bringing out various themes including horses, female figures, landscapes and more, with a unique technique of painting the interior and producing an original, surprising effect. 

Later, Polce also experimented with new types of modifications to fractals, occasionally moving away from the figurative. All her digital works are born from fractals and their transformations (including fragmentation, overlapping, etc.). 

With this new genre of digital art, she has received notable awards and feature in various art catalogs, including, Mondadori and L'Elite 2019, Artisti 20, Atlante dell'Arte Contemporanea De Agostini 2021. Since 2015, Maria Stella Polce has continued to actively exhibit her work in Italy and abroad. 

Impatto - Digital art, Frattalismo 50 x 60 cm
Adolescente - Digital art, Frattalismo 50 x 60 cm
Chiaro di luna - Digital art, Frattalismo 50 x 60 cm
Fiamme nel bosco - Digital art, Frattalismo 50 x 50 cm

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


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