Artist

Talking Sterotypes and Art with Bernadetta Tajs by CreativPaper

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Originally published in Issue No. 12 Vol 1 (Dec 2018)

We live in a world where people are increasingly defined by the labels associated with them. Straight, gay, trans, the colour of our skin, our ethnicity all pigeonhole us into predetermined stereotypes. As artists, we can work towards blurring these lines, opening dialogue and challenge the status-quo. One artist who is championing this is Stockholm based Bernadetta Tajs, originally from Poland she now resides in the Swedish capital with her family. Her work highlights the beauty of sex and sexuality, a topic that is suppressed in cultures around the world. Bernadetta talks to us in her interview about the importance of the most primal of urges, her life in Stockholm and the importance of silence.

What do you think it is about sex and sexuality that makes people uncomfortable?

I come from a very religious, patriarchal and traditional community. I understood very early that this is wrong and the world has many colours and shades, that the world is not only white and black or bad or good. When I was little, I still listened that everyone needs to suffer in life and I thought; no, absolutely not. We don’t need to suffer all own life. Different religions or someone who uses religion to achieve their own goals make people think that life on earth is a test, and only in heaven can you be happy. The same people through religions say that sex is evil, that sex is the duty of a wife, that a woman is ashamed of her body, that a man is allowed to be drunk and not a woman. Religions have a significant influence on what people think and unfortunately show a woman as guilty, like Eve in Paradise...I want to tell people that sexuality is ok and that it is natural. That homosexual love has the same rights as heterosexual, and everyone has the right to be here and now happy.

Surely the fact it is a fundamental stage in life should make it an open subject?

Yes, of course. I have noticed that if something is hidden, mysterious and forbidden, people more often want to try it. In college, when we drew or sculpted the act, naked bodies of clay, I asked boys what they feel when they see this beautiful naked girl and everyone replied that her body was fresh and exciting only on the first day. On the second day and later her body was already normal, boring, not so attractive anymore. My colleagues also responded that the body is just a body, feelings to someone are more important.

Where are you currently based in the world and why?

I live permanently in Stockholm, Sweden. Here I have found more understanding and tolerance. Here I met my husband, and we now have two wonderful sons.

Do you think that we are getting more close-minded as a culture with each passing day?

I do not think so. We live in a very commercial and busy world, and there is nothing wrong with that. I love activity and diversity. Everything is different than 20 or 30 years ago. Everyone can find what they want.

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Would you say your work allows the viewer to decode their own message?

Yes, absolutely. I want the viewer to feel something, and his imagination helped him move to another world. Everyone sees something completely different in my painting, and that's what it's about. These paintings are to stimulate memories and desires. We live in very restrictive times, rules are everywhere, and their breaking is associated with rejection by society. I do not want new rules ... I want to break them and show everyone that it's ok to be open and honest and that we all have desires.

What do you think Dionysus would make of our modern world?

Dionysos could introduce more openness, tolerance and empathy. People physically close themselves to others. People do not want to talk to each other, sit next to each other, we do not know our neighbours, we hide our feelings, we do not trust each other.

What was the best response you have had to your paintings?

I heard that my paintings show porn and then I thought two things: Yes, that's the point, the viewer's fantasy should lead him to a different place, memories or desires ... On the other hand, I thought, How? After all, these images are colourful, graphic, very simplified in form. Where is the pornography here? Another time, when a social media platform blocked the marketing of all my paintings that were there, I thought, something is wrong. We are not becoming more and more open. New rules, censorship, hurt feelings? It's some kind of return to the Middle Ages. Someone with more power wants us to think like him.

What is Bernadetta listening to on repeat at the moment?

I try to listen to silence. To sit in peace with coffee and rest. Analyse the day and reflect on the future.

Q. Wang by CreativPaper

The beauty of art is that it gives the creator the freedom to express their vision in a myriad of ways. This can take form in many ways. One artist might subscribe to a style that resonates most with their vision and aesthetic while the other might re-interpret a school of thought in their own way. Artist Q. Wang tries to carve his road through freeism, a painting style that uses free colours, shapes and strokes in his work. The result of this is an atmosphere that encourages limitless creativity. His work is an amalgamation of contemporary art and Chinese culture, which has its unique rich heritage of arts. The resulting work can often be confusing to the viewers of his work, but Q. Wang is fine with this. Just as people took their time to understand the works of greats such as Monet and Van Gogh, He is happy for his message to unfold with time.

WEBSITE

Jiuzaigou

Jiuzaigou

Looking

Looking

OneSun

OneSun

Andrei Epishin by CreativPaper

To the outside world, Russia is a land of many mysteries, and yet for its inhabitants, life goes on just like any other part of the world. Trying to make a difference is artist Andrei Epishin, Not only is he an acclaimed artist but throughout his professional career he has become the creator and curator of Art-Eclat Gallery, the author of the monograph album "Myth, project and result. Early Soviet painting of the second half of the 1920's and the beginning of the 1930's" (2012) and the monograph album "Transforming the world into a bloody riot...Russian painting of the revolutionary era" (2017). 
His pieces capture the essence of youth and rampancy using a bold plethora of colours. Andrei is also a member of the Moscow Branch of the Union of Artists of Russia, raising awareness and change. You can find out more about Andrei and his works via the links below.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

Windsurfing (Sutomore. 2013-16)

Windsurfing (Sutomore. 2013-16)

New Gadget (Sutomore. 2013-16)

New Gadget (Sutomore. 2013-16)

The School, Oil on Cardboard, 2018

The School, Oil on Cardboard, 2018

Peyton Rack by CreativPaper

Dreams can be full of wonder, subconscious fantasies that remain dormant during the day come alive when we slip into slumber. Same goes for nightmares. Fears repressed can crawl their way into elaborate nightmares, realistic enough to compete with any Hollywood blockbuster. Such is the power of imagination, morsels of visual information are transformed into entire worlds. 

Artist Peyton Rack has built an elaborate collection of books, magazines, clippings and paint swatches over the walls of her studio over the years. These, to her, are a collage of a dreamlike state where she gets her inspiration from. The city of Chicago was also a significant influence on her both artistically and personally, especially the Chicago Imagists, an art movement from the late 1960s which included artists such as Roger Brown,  Phil Hanson, Ed Flood and Sarah Canright to name a few. There’s a fluidity in her work that incorporates the above elements with a sense of nostalgia. A lucid place, where the viewer is drawn from one aspect to the other, each bound organically by swathes of colour. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally at galleries and art fairs including the independent art fair Supermarket held at the cultural centre (Stockholm, Sweden)in 2014,  Zhou B Art Center, and Bridgeport Art Center (Chicago).

WEBSITE / INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK

Archaeologists, 2017

Archaeologists, 2017

Origins, 2016

Origins, 2016

Year of the Supermoon, 2017

Year of the Supermoon, 2017

Fu Wenjun by CreativPaper

Digital Pictorial Photography, a photography style created by Chinese contemporary artist Fu Wenjun, represents a photographic art expression working through digital post-processing and multiple exposures, with the integration of pictorial aesthetic features. Presented with the media of photography, it is comprehensively developed by modern and contemporary art ideas, including Conceptual Art, Pop Art, Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism. Digital Pictorial Photography provides the artist with great freedom, helping him to get rid of the objective recording function of photography, which he believes is a limit for photography to develop as an art. So, he can boldly melt pictorial elements into photography, creating in a way something like Chinese traditional freehand brushwork, heartily and carrying through without stopping to express artist’s emotions, reflection and spirit. In Wenjun’s Digital Pictorial Photography works, you can find out his subjective thinking of various issues and his diverse, lasting art exploration on this innovative photography style, which provides the viewers with a very different, often surprising visual experience.

WEBSITE

Red Cloud

Red Cloud

Spring Water

Spring Water

Desert Oasis

Desert Oasis

Hanna Supetran by CreativPaper

The creation of art can be a liberating process. From picking a medium to the colours and theme, an artist is free to choose the direction it takes. Based in Manila, Philippines, artist Hanna Supetran paints with a sense of joy and freedom. Hanna approaches each canvas playfully, enjoying every moment, every stroke with a heightened excitement of the magic that will be revealed in the end. From abstraction to surrealism, Hanna’s painting impression knows no boundaries, an endless expedition in the vastness of space, fearlessly exploring the unknown, trusting and allowing each stroke to take its form and allowing each colour to speak to each other.  Each painting is a soul expedition, an expression of her intimate, inward journey.  A journey her artworks invite people to embark in. 

Hanna underwent an Intensive Visual Art Course, which included Photography, Fresco, Contemporary Art Technique & Figure Drawing at the Accademia D'Arte-Firenze, in Florence, Italy. Find out more about her work via the links below. 

INSTAGRAM / WEBSITE / FACEBOOK

Infinite Horizons

Infinite Horizons

On The Edge

On The Edge

Seasons of Love

Seasons of Love

Yoshitada Ihara by CreativPaper

Creating work that blurs the intersection between humans and nature we have Japanese artist Yoshitada Ihara. He strives to develop a harmonious relationship between nature and human-made materials. His work, acting as a bridge, creates an atmosphere which is both tension-free and relaxing. As contradictory as the two components of his work might be, a close relationship exists between these two fractions. Destruction of nature by human civilisation has made it imperative that natural and human-made materials co-exist with one another. This may eventually result in an evolutionary partnership, something we need to be more considerate about. Since July 2012 Yoshitida has been creating land art combining cultivation in Satoyama and thinning timber (Cypress & Cedar). Its organic plant-like shape will continue to evolve with time as pieces are added, and the surrounding nature plays its part

 

FACEBOOK / WEBSITE / TWITTER

 

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Cheryl Polcaro by CreativPaper

When we are younger life seems so much easier, and more straightforward. Rushing back from school every afternoon to catch up on your favourite cartoons, friends and candy are memories we can all relate to. What's interesting is that we often cannot wait to get older and escape the drudgery of homework and school only to find out that life was much more relaxed before! Artist Cheryl Polcaro enjoyed the escapism that books provided when she was younger. Fairy tales and mythology fuelled her imagination and creativity, As she grew older the darker realities of adulthood set in. Her work acts as a realm between those times. Through manipulation and fragmentation of photographic references on canvas and layers of paint, her work features isolated images of innocence amongst darker voids. However, the viewer is left with enough breathing space to project their interpretation into her work.

INSTAGRAM / WEBSITE / FACEBOOK

Marionette

Marionette

Hand Me Downs

Hand Me Downs

Joni Gruber by CreativPaper

Working out of her studio in Tuscaloosa, AL, United States, artist Joni Gruber, like many of the artists we have the joy of working with, is passionate about the world around her. A lifelong environmentalist, landscapes and elements from the natural world are prominent subject matter. Some of her work also touches upon the ravages that unbridled industrialisation, unethical and undemocratic use of technology and greed have waged upon the natural world, The consequences of which we are all becoming widely aware of. Joni earned her BFA in Drawing and Painting from The Ohio State University in 1988 with her work residing in private and public collections in the United States and Europe. Working extensively in Encaustic, her pieces have an organic, earthy atmosphere about them; metallics are combined with elemental tones exhibiting her expertise with colour as an artist. She also happens to be a big Star Trek fan!  

WEBSITE / ETSY / INSTAGRAM

Copper Hills

Copper Hills

Chanelling Earth

Chanelling Earth

Matter Stream

Matter Stream

Steve Bennett by CreativPaper

Based in Leeds, the United Kingdom, artist Steve Bennett who is a graphic designer by trade spent years honing his skills through his experience working in print, advertising and display. Eventually, he set up Jagger Studio to promote his lino prints. Unlike traditional artistic mediums where you see the results as you work on a piece, lino printing is different. Its unpredictability allows for interpretation during the cutting process, and it's not until the printing stage that you see the results. He signs his work under the name 'Jagger', an ode to his late father who's middle name was K. J. Bennett, The J standing for the name of his mum, Jagger. He draws his inspiration from popular culture, especially music. 

 

WEBSITE / INSTAGRAM / ETSY / ARTFINDER

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Willow Banks by CreativPaper

Northern California certainly has its share of beautiful landscape, from its mountain ranges to the rugged yet captivating coastline there's plenty to be inspired by. Painter and printmaker Willow Banks draws inspiration from mother nature around her, channelling its beauty through her work.

In our conversation with this California native, we touch on the landscape, her inspiration growing up and the internal struggle one faces as an artist.


What is it about the natural beauty of Northern California that makes it a unique place to live? Not just as an artist?

There are still open expanses of land that you can escape into I grew up here, and I have a natural affinity for these layers of hills folding into themselves, the distant tree lines and glimpses of the ocean. The coast is very rugged and raw, and the surf and beaches are often dangerous—definitely not a Coney Island experience. On cold, windswept days when the fog is in, it’s a particularly soulful place to be.
 
Who was your favourite artist growing up and why?

I loved, and will always love, Nicolas de Staël—his palate, the way he applied paint. Many years ago, I was visiting a friend in Paris and was fortunate to see a De Staël exhibit at The Centres Georges Pompidou; it was an incredible experience. What I truly love about De Staël’s work is how I feel his landscapes—the sea, sky and coastline—before I see them, they enter first through my heart, not my head. Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler were also two of my early favourites.
 
When you come across a natural feature, what elements inspire you to paint it?

I like the intersection of things, the way the hills and tree lines converge, creating distinct, almost geometrical shapes. We get a lot of fog here, and that creates another layered element, with bits of trees and escarpment seen through the whitewash…I’m inspired to capture the feel of a place, the light, rather than an exact image.
 
What is your favourite part about being an artist?

I like when I’m working, and everything is flowing and time just falls away and new things emerge that I think might be good. This, unfortunately, doesn’t happen a lot. Usually, I have to fight my way into creativity. It helps if there’s some part of the canvas that I think is working, which inspires me to continue, to keep at it. I think I read somewhere that Hemingway always began his writing day by re-reading the last page he wrote—assuming he liked what he last wrote, similar concept!

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What led you to choose your favourite media?

I like being able to layer paint, to move from thick to thin—and because I’m impatient, and because acrylic dries fast, it seems like a good fit for me. Also, less expensive than oils, which is a good thing.
 
Are there any other artists from Northern California whose work you admire?

I greatly admire and have always been inspired by Richard Diebenkorn, especially during his time in Albuquerque when his palate and paintings became informed and shaped by that south-west landscape. I like all the Bay Area figurative artists: David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown.
 
If you could summarise Willow Banks the person in 3 words what would they be?

This is a tough question; I’m afraid my answer might change from day to day…but, if I had to go with broad brushstrokes, I’d say: independent, unconventional, wistful.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

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Tyler Bohm by CreativPaper

Tyler Bohm is a mixed-media artist who spent several years working in the architectural industry, where he adopted the tools and techniques of digital and physical modelling to create digitally-based sculptural works. The resulting artistic process, which involves traditional approaches such as painting mediated through a range of design technologies, is reflective of the technological themes explored in his work. His work draws on science fiction narratives, imagining futurist scenarios that reflect our broader hopes and fears about the present.

In recent years, he has held solo exhibitions at the Ohio State University Urban Arts Space in Columbus and NEIU Fine Arts Center in Chicago, and his work has been included in group exhibitions at Trestle Galley in Brooklyn, Proto Gallery in Hoboken, Van Der Plas Gallery in New York, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Dayton Visual Arts Center, and Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh. He is a graduate of Kenyon College and lives in Columbus.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

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Gil Zablodovsky by CreativPaper

Gil Zablodovsky is a international acclaimed artist specialising in motion and interactive art. His work explores the issues of self-insecurity by using a documentary style technique twinned with Gil's signature design and art styles to capture the essence of three participants each telling their own unique story. The result was a new wave of interpretation which resulted in a new intimate cinema experience. 

Gil Zablodovsky works directly from his home based studio in Israel, he completed his M.A. in integrated design in early 2016 and is currently working towards finding new ways to present and display his creative practises.

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Ella Jazz by CreativPaper

When Ella Jazz is not soaking up the sun around the world with her partner in crime photographer Viktor Vauthier this gorgeous lady is working hard in the studio or in front of the lens. We caught up with this Madrid-born beauty to talk about her art, constant travel and her creative vision.

 

For those of us who are not familiar with your work, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

My name's Ella Jazz. I'm an artist and an actress.

 

What is the inspiration behind your work?

I like to try to get inspiration from everything really, even difficult moments. I take it as a challenge. Since I'm a little girl, I've always allowed my imagination to ride free (never stop being curious) which I keep on doing nowadays. I can spend hours imagining things... So I guess this helps me a lot to feel inspired even if I don’t feel that way all the time.

 

You seem to do a lot of travelling with your partner Viktor Vauthier, another great creative. How does this affect your art?

Travelling is one of my favourite things, and Viktor loves it too. I believe that travelling is kind of like a school of life. You learn and experiment incredible feelings probably different to those you would have when you are inside of your comfort zone. And this has a big impact on your evolution as an artist (and as a person)

 

Are there any artists, past or present that you look up to artistically?

Of course, I admire a lot of artists but there are so many I can't name them all. But I can tell you Boris Vian is probably my number one :)

 

A pair of lips seem to be a focal point for your work which we adore, Tell us a bit about that?

I see abstract faces everyday everywhere. The reason behind is to let people play with their imagination when they see my collages.

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are working on at the moment?

Yes. There are things I am working on, and I'm very excited about it. A cool collaboration coming soon, I've just finished shooting for a feature film (I believe going to be very "moving") that will come out next year and continue working on my art, I have so many ideas, and very sexy things are coming...

 

Your Instagram feed looks like one incredible holiday. If you had to settle down which city would you pick?

Los Angeles

 

What does a typical day for Ella look like?

Ha, ha! It really depends on the day. Because of my work my days are different in general. But a good day would be to wake up to a very sunny day, eat well, meet with people who inspire me, work in my studio, dance, get close to the ocean and get high by the beach ;)

 

We would like to thank the lovely Ella Jazz for taking the time out to talk to us. You can follow her work via the links below. 

 

 

WEBSITE INSTAGRAM

Images of Ella in the studio taken by Viktor Vauthier

Hampus Olsson by CreativPaper

Since the age of 8 years old Hampus Olsson has been making websites and pixels originally from Sweden he relocated to Goa, India in January 2015 and has not looked back. We caught up with Hampus and asked him some casual brain-picking questions presented together with a small selection of his quality recent work.

 

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a Swede who loves adventures and artistic challenges. I currently live in India where I work as Partner & Design Director at the creative agency Next Big Thing. I make art, games & apps on my free time and have been doing this since I was 8 years old.

 

 

How does Hampus start a project? Are there specific forms and shapes that you are drawn to when you start a painting?

It depends on what type of project I'm working on, but I have an overall liking for geometry, simplicity in chaos and I like to work with it until perfection. When I work with web design, I usually like to try something new while still following the trends of web design nowadays. When I work with art, I feel like I can express myself completely, without setting any boundaries. Maybe that's why my art usually becomes a bit abstract :)

 

You've worked with some great clients such as One Plus and Paranoid Android, how did these Collaborations come about?

I met OnePlus founder Carl Pei in India, where we by accident discussed the possibilities of me helping out with the default wallpapers. Since then I've worked closely with OnePlus lead designer Arz Bhatia, who also works with Paranoid Android.

 

 

I think the colour palette in your work is fantastic. Do you find yourself using the same colours all The time and what objects in nature inspire you?

I'm drawn to a few colours and all my art seem to follow these closely until I realise that I probably should experiment with other colours too. For my Abstruct app, I really need a greater mix of colours, so I've recently tried to expand my use of colours :) Music inspires me the most and I found out that listening to 60-70s progressive rock magically boost my creativity to the max.

 

 

I believe you also have an extensive background in web design, Does your artistic side play a big Role in it and vice-versa?

It does, but with the current trends in web design, it's a bit hard to reach too far off. I try to add small details, clever typography and geometric forms to my web design as much as I can without disturbing simplicity. Back in 2010, I lived in NYC, working for Your Majesty and the Swedes Jens Karlsson & James Widegren who pioneered the 3D abstract art scene back in the days. I used to experiment with abstract art before meeting them, but they inspired and taught me a lot, that I'm thankful for.

 

 

What does the future hold for you, Hampus?

I continue working with Next Big Thing, but will have a lot of my own projects coming up too. For example, I'm working on my own indie game called NokoDoko which I have been working on for over two years now. I'm starting to see the finish line, but it's hard to know since I do all the programming and design myself. The Abstruct app gained a lot of attention since the OnePlus 3 release, so this will be my main focus until release. I update my Instagram account @hellohampusolsson regularly with new art for the Abstruct app for those interested.