Artist talk

ART IS …

Jonna Fransson is a 28-year-old artist, living and working in Stockholm. She has a B.A. degree in Design from HDK in Gothenborg and graduated in spring 2012 with a Master degree in Graphic design & Illustration from Konstfack. I first met her at the Konstfack Spring exhibition and fell for her beautiful pencil drawings inspired by diary notes written by her grandfather on his trips to Greenland in 1936. To see more of Jonna’s work go to her website www.jonnafransson.com

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

It was a coincidence that made me become an artist. I was never a natural artist when I grew up. At one time I thought I would become a mathematician. But one thing led to another and it came to a point when I decided that this is what I will focus on, and since then I have been very ambitious and I have worked hard. I might just as well have become a veterinarian. I want to be that too, I love animals.

How would you describe your style?

I work with detailed pencil drawings. It´s hard to describe your own style, I can only say what I want to achieve and that is that there is a character and a mood in the drawing that I feel happy with. Difficult to say what it is but I often know when I’m done with an illustration. Sometimes I can be dissatisfied with something and don´t really know why.

What are your artistic goals?

Right now I’m trying to get used to the life as a freelancer and how my everyday is looking. I just got a studio and I look forward to go there in the morning, drink coffee, have colleagues (other freelancers) and sort out my pens.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

I don’t know.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

I can often be impressed and inspired by other people’s work. I´m mostly inspired by American artists. One of my favorites is Amy Cutler.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

Probably the first time I was published in a magazine. It was nice to see my illustrations for real. Then I thought, oh well this might be my job for real.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

It´s probably good to try it at some art classes first to see if you really like it, that´s what I did. And if you do, just go for it I guess, be stubborn and work hard.

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I think growing up on the countryside in the forest has affect me very much. In my colors and the mood of my drawings. And the schools I attended with Swedish teachers and mostly Swedish classmates. I know how the art/design scene works in Sweden and have most of my network here. So that is probably relevant to my career.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I guess that changes all the time and I´m not really that interested to keep up with what´s happening where.

All photographs belong to Jonna Fransson

ART IS ENERGY

Sanna Pelliccioni / Photographer: Loviisa Kangas

Sanna Pelliccioni is a 35 years old illustrator and designer from Helsinki, Finland. Born in Oulu, into a family with only very traditional professions, she never really visioned herself living by doing art. After suffering in her job as a biologist, she found her way again through art courses and graphic design and has today her own design entrepreneur company Bombo. She is participating at Habitare 2012, with her table tray and board set nominated as one of the most interesting products of the year. To learn more about Sanna and her Bombo collection go to www.bombo.fi  or www.facebook.com/Bombo.fi

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

I’ve loved drawing since I was a child. I went to high-school focused on arts but I in those times I didn’t realize that one could really live by doing art – in my family there are only very traditional professions… So I graduated in Biology knowing in the end of the studies that I had made a big mistake. I even worked a couple of years as a biologist suffering a lot… but in the end that suffering was good – I found my way to arts through art courses, naturalistic illustration, graphic design schools, children’s books, textile design and my own design entrepreneur Bombo. So no, I could not imagine working with anything else cause I love what I do now.

How would you describe your style?

I have so many different styles… I use aquarelles, collages, inks and computer for illustrating books. I enjoy not doing things only in one way but using many techniques and styles. What I really enjoy at the moment with Bombo and “My family” collection, are very simple forms, basic colors and very graphic design. I like the clarity of this style. And the stories behind the pictures.

What are your artistic goals?

I want to be able to live doing arts and all kind of creative stuff. I want to collaborate with other artists and producers to be able to design lamps, wallpapers, sheets, carpets, glasses… I want to enjoy doing my job, meet interesting people and in the meantime create some beautiful design that other people can enjoy too. I’m not a very ambitious person but very determinate when I get a clear idea of what I want to do. So I guess my artistic goal is to go on creating and enjoying designing with other people too.

 If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

For one day I would like to go inside of the head of these Finnish designers: Rut Bryk, Greta Hällfors-Sipilä, Maija Isola and Tove Jansson. They have made some incredible things. I feel so good and empowered when I look at their works: at the same moment their work is somehow very Finnish with the touch of a person who is wise and has seen a lot.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Yes, especially when I was not doing arts yet myself, and I suffered a lot. Now I would say the more beautiful and powerful things I see, the better and creative I feel.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

The most memorable thing was when I had signed my first contract for a book. I really felt at this moment that I was stepping to the world of pictures, colours and creativeness where I belong to. The most fun moment may have been the New York design week, where I was with Bombo participating“Northern Oddities”design collection from Finland, happening last May. Most warm memories I have from illustration workshops in Italy where I go every summer, where you can feel the sense of collective creativity and a determinate need to draw.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

If you believe in yourself, you can do it. If you are determinate enough you can do it. Don’t listen to people who say: hey, you can have a decent job and have artistic hobbies in the evening. Don’t ever tell yourself I’ll do it when I retire – do it right away. Don’t give up. I think it’s not only about your talent, 50% of it is being determine. You can do it.

You are from Finland. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Yes I’m sure it does. Though with book illustrations I’m usually told my style doesn’t seem Finnish. Instead of Finnish black and brown and white scenery in winters and mainly quite sterile, serious and new architecture, I want to create things that are full of light, colour and play. I love colors and clearness and mediterranean light that maybe enters a bit in my work.

I’m stunned by the Finnish artists of the Art Nouveau (Jugend) period. Relevant for the career…? I’m just not able to see or plan my work as a career. (It might be good if I learned a bit of ambitious career planning). But yes, I guess being Finnish may gain some interest in the world of design.

 What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

Depends if it’s art or design. I’m interested in many European cities, New York, Tokyo… lot’s of things are happening in many parts of the world and through internet it’s not so much any more for certain cities. I’m not following so much the art scene or even design scene. I’m more living and feeling it.

Photographs belong to Sanna Pelliccioni

ART IS WHAT ARTISTS DO

Elias Björn is born in Sweden but got his BFA, specialized in photography, from Bergen National Academy of Art in Norway. The artist works often with his own body as a medium, both as an object and in different projects; photography, performance and conversation. Soon he will expand his area of material to other people and as he self sais “a larger context”. Today Elias lives and works in Malmö (Sweden) and is at the moment, searching for male models in the age of 25+ with beard, for different projects, both photography and performance. For those of you who are interested to learn more about the artist or participate in some of his projects, check out his homepage, http://eliasbjorn.com

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

For a long time I wanted to work as an actor, theatre and film but I couldn’t realize my own projects. As an artist I’m still dependent of other people but I can still work by myself.

How would you describe your style?

I don’t aim or think I have a specific style. Style for me is more about fashion. Art is more than different categories and I believe we shouldn’t fool ourselves by thinking it’ll be easier by labeling it. That is, easier said than done.

I have been though for a while, been interested in masculinity. I’ve worked with my own body as a medium, as an object and used it in different projects; photography, performance, photography/performance, conversations – and will soon expand my area of material to other people to what you could say, a larger context.

What are your artistic goals?

With my masculinity interest I wish to broaden the discussion of what a male is and should be.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Robert Mapplethorpe, it would be interesting to partake of his thoughts. My picture of him is that he were able to do a lot of the things he wanted.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

I’ve experienced art work that I’ve been moved by, and in some ways wanted to have been the one who made it as I’ve been impressed by the concept and/or the techniques. But I’m not that artist and I’ve not sharing the exact background or culture. I have my own work to conclude.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

That’s a secret.

“Man mot vägg (Man against wall)” — Elias Björns performance at Candyland (Stockholm) in june 2012. / Photo by Alvaro Campo

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Don’t ask for advice; ask for help to realize your creative ideas.

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Not as a specific theme for my work. But of course I’m affected by my culture, being Swedish, being white male in my early middle age. That are some of the things, in a broader sense that has shaped be as a human being and through that, my view of myself and the surrounding.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I don’t know. Kassel. Berlin. New York. Beijing. My brain.

Photographs and videos belong to Elias Björn

ART IS MOVING

Mimosa Pale is a 31-year-old artist and a shop owner. She completed her Master in fine art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2008 but she studied art in Birmingham and Paris, as well. Mimosa Pale was born on the West coast of Finland but she lives now in Neukölln, the hip and cool district in Berlin — the capital of trendiness. And speaking about coolness. Mimosa runs a hat store. While she is not busy making hats or performances; she hangs out in Pori, a small town in Finland. Mimosa will be participating in Mänttä Art Festival this month.

Why an artist? Could you imagine working with anything else?

I think I could do something else too. But in the art fields of today I can combine all my interests. I feel it enables one to function in many different ways. On the stage, in the street, with people, isolated, humorously, intellectually (that I don’t do too much) and working with good friends is possible too.

How would you describe your style?

I was shocked lately as someone said my work is so romantic. That there are always these old-fashioned aspects like singing saw, hats, cotton candy, cabaret, tap dancing, etc. I have to admit its true! But I like to describe my art also as maximalist, free style, improvised,on the border to vulgar sometimes. strong, pink. (Pink is something I try to avoid but always find it in my artwork). But to define more clearly: I do hats, that are in the border to sculpture, and wearing them people can turn into walking art pieces and are invited to perform.

What are your artistic goals?

My goals are….good you ask this, because these change with time, that people would start wearing sculptures on their heads. That it would become a trend. I’d like to set a trend.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

My friend and working partner Jukka Rusanen. I always envy him for his way of working which is so sudden but fast. I’m a slow worker myself. And I also would love to feel how it is to be Niki de Saint Phalle for a day; that must have been a woman with such strong emotions and willpower. It intrigues me what she felt for Tinguely and how they shared and discussed the artistic collaborations.

“Mont Blanc.” A 20 minutes performance in Berlin (2011). Image/Niina Braun.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Yes. Just two weeks ago I saw a Roland Perssons exhibition Loves me, Loves me Not. There were several works, for example “Mother” or “Happy End”. I thought the texture and use of material was so perfect, that I wish I could create something as sensual as that.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

I have a really bad memory. And things that one dreams of don’t feel magical any longer when one has achieved them. But I remember feeling extremely happy for months when I first opened my hatshop /atelier Himo in Berlin. It still feels nice.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Yes you can do it! Everybody is an artist in their own way!

You are from Finland. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I think my homeland probably affects my work and persona more than I’m able to realize!

What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

Hmm, I think this can only be told later when we look at the art history books and see where most interesting art came from. I live now in Berlin in an area where every second person is an artist. But I don’t think they do care about the centre of the artistic world.

A climbing tree for children in Mäki-Matin Perhepuisto, Jyväskylä Finland (2009)

Photographs belong to Mimosa Pale

ART IS ACCIDENTALLY WITHOUT MISTAKE


Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir is a 33 year old visual artist, living and working in Reykjavík (Iceland). She holds a master degree in fine arts from Glasgow School of Art and is undertaking her second master degree at the Iceland academy of arts (class 2013). Jóna Hlíf works with various mediums in her art, such as video, sculpture, book-works and photographs. In collaboration with Hlynur Hallson, Jóna Hlíf and Hlynur have an upcoming exhibition called “Kerfi/System” at Reykjavík Art Festival in May 2012.

Why an artist? Could you imagine working with anything else?

Because art makes you think critically about yourself and society. I could imagine myself working as a chef on a boat.

How would you describe your style?

My style …

maybe this will answer you!

Halldórsdóttir works with various mediums, such as video, sculpture, book-works and photographs. A large part of her body of works are textworks, many of which are daring statements, words depicting emptiness, vulgar sentences reminding of logos, words that hit you hard. Those texts might at first seem light-hearted but they start to haunt you, similarly to advertisement-logos, which occupy our subconsciousness.

Halldórsdóttir´s works are mostly based on elements from everyday life; her personal ways of processing her surroundings, often finding ways through a visual language related to street-art. The works are enigmatic and have a rough ambiance about them. Some works are made of mass-produced materials, others are made by the artist´s hands. What unites the works is the connection to matters of the body and of the soul, which is thought to reside in one of its compartments though undetected by x-rays.

Some of Halldórsdóttir´s works are performance-based videoworks or photographs, others are textworks, which refer to responses and changes of the body, and yet others invite the viewer, to walk into structures, which incorporate questions on the relations between body and soul; perhaps raising questions about what we lack, where in the body we situate this absence and which methods we use to fill up this emptiness.

Adjustment, photograph (2008)

Feed me like you like me, photograph (2010)

The Revolution Was Useless, photograph (2010)

What are your artistic goals?

To do art that influences someone and stirs a new feeling. I think I have managed to do this already.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

I would like to be Róska for one day. I have a feeling that her life was one big performance and being Róska for one day is like being the colour yellow in a painting by Picasso.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

No, but I have seen a piece of art and thought: This could be something I made. I think it is great when that happens.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

When I received an e-mail from Glasgow School of Art saying I got in. I had sent my application one month to late and thought I had messed it up.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Believe in the mistakes.

Be a thinker as well as a doer.

You are from Iceland. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I am addicted to the sea. It must be Iceland´s fault. I think that Iceland is always a part of a career in some way, even though I cannot quite explain this further.

What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

No one city stands out for me. I know that goods things are happening in the factory in Hjalteyri. If it was a city, I would pick that one out of the lot.

COLLATED, installation (2011)

Accidentally without Mistakes, textwork on paper (2012)

COLLATED, installation (2011)

Photographs belong to Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir

ART IS DECEPTION

Sanna-Lisa Gestang-Gottowt is an interdisciplinary artist, working mostly with photography, painting, sculptures and installations. Growing up in a creative and politically aware environment in a commune outside of Stockholm, her work is created in response to the environment in which she exists today. Her work can be seen in galleries but also as an unauthorized public art (a.k.a. street art). One of her latest project includes “goldifying” Stockholm — were she puts small items on random places around town, for citizens —or those aware of their surroundings— to enjoy! She is also opening up a public space gallery (Galleri Fotfolket) with the first show coming up in May 2012. So stay tuned! To look at more work from the artist or get in direct contact with her, click here

Why an artist? Could you imagine working with anything else?

I guess I see myself as me and I happen to make art because it is what I have to do. I do have issues with calling myself an artist, I feel like that word makes people expect certain things, I have a hard time with definitions in general. There are lots of different jobs I could imagine having, but for me to be happy in the long run it would have to be something creative, or related to art somehow. I can imagine doing almost any kind of work to sustain my art making though.

How would you describe your style?

It is a difficult one, I work in so many mediums and use lots of different materials. I mostly work in the fields of painting, sculpture and photography and sometimes I mix them all. I usually mix mediums and sometimes include found objects for their symbolic value. In general I am attracted to and use a lot of texture, colour and shape. I always have a social and/or political message but it can be hard to decipher. To sum it up I guess my style is a sociopolitical discharge of colour and texture.

“Growth” (2011) by Sanna-Lisa

“Reduced” (2009) by Sanna-Lisa

“Everything changes” (2009) by Sanna-Lisa

What are your artistic goals?

To keep making art and not to be scared to try new things.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Georges Braque, so that I could punch Pablo Picasso

“Insinuation” (2008) by Sanna-Lisa

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

I can´t remember a specific artwork where I have felt that way, I guess if I would want to make it I would have. I have a lot of respect for other artists and I get inspired by seeing others art and appreciate that they made it but if I dont make my work then who will!?!

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

There are so many moments, I really enjoy when I realize a piece is done and that I like it. I lived in Portland, Oregon, for almost eight years and in 2009 I was asked to be in a group-show three weeks before the opening and the day after another gallery asked me to be in their November show too, the openings were at the same day. I hesitated to accept both offers but both galleries were important on the contemporary art scene and it didn’t seem right to miss the opportunity to be seen there. In three weeks I managed to start and finish three different projects, one photo-installation and a large sculptural piece for Worksound and a really big sculpture for GalleryHomeland. It was insane but fun and I don’t think I’ll ever forget those three weeks. There were times where I didn’t think I would get it all done and when I finally had three finished pieces in my studio it was just great. Now, when I doubt if I have time for certain things I just think of those three weeks.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Just do it and don’t get in your own way.

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Growing up in Sweden has shaped me as a person so of course it has some effect on my work and career. My upbringing in a very creative and politically aware commune has been more important in shaping my art though. My work is created in response to my reactions to the cultural and political environment I exist in but this does not follow Sweden’s borders. My work is political but there is only one project that is specific to Swedish politics, I call it Välfärd. It is a project created in response to seeing how the social welfare system is being destroyed and I use Dalahästen to make my point.

Välfärd fas 2, (2011) by Sanna-Lisa

What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

The default answer to this one these days seems to be Berlin but I am not quite sure that is correct. Berlin is sort of a hotspot for art right now and I sure like it but there are so many cities and many of them are important in different ways.

Photograph (2011) by Sanna-Lisa

Shed (2012) by Sanna-Lisa

M (2012) Sanna-Lisa

Photographs belong to Sanna-Lisa Gesang-Gottowt

ART IS FUN! (AT LEAST IT SHOULD BE)

Haidar Mahadi is a 25 year old Swede, currently living in Stockholm. He graduated from the renowned Konstfack University in 2009 and will finish his master degree from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm this spring. Haidar mostly does installations, exclusive ceramics, craft, design or any results of material interests. It was a total coincidence that Konsthopp spotted the eye-catching ceramic by this young talent one day on Facebook. We encourage you to take a look on Haidar´s exceptional work on his homepage.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

When I read the question, it sound like a “thing” that everybody can choose to be or become or not to. Maybe that’s my biggest problem as an “artist”. For me this life, or excursion so far has been fantastic and driven by pure curiosity in different materials and joy. I am constantly looking for joy. Years ago I found clay to be my biggest joy dealer, I got hooked to its capability of shaping itself my way, but still it was giving me notifications about its liveliness. The clay is so calm, so slow and patient material, it really questions my own patience too. When I was young and started my excursion I had no plans for the future, it was fun and I really got in to it. This joy brought me into Konsfack and Royal Institute of Art. The longer time I spend in art colleges, the closer I get to the end (five year master degree). And I have realized that the protective years of college is getting to its end, I must now somehow manage myself. This has forced me into thinking and see my self as a profession. I want to believe that being an Artist is not as any other profession. But again, the closer the “real world” (outside university) I get, I realize that its all about being a good entrepreneurial person, a good reader, academic writer and speaker, be able to fit in and you must be a good sellers person with a happy face, even kiss some buts here and there. All of a sudden its like three or five professions in one, something which I’m all terrible at.

The “thing” (clay or my artistic practice) I found years ago — something different that i became good at — leads the way to all the things I was bad at and that I wished I would never have to do again. It’s almost like I tricked myself or got tricked. In Swedish we have a saying for this, – “it’s like taking a shit in your own fist”. I didn’t know about all of this when becoming an artist, and I still don’t want to associate it with my artistic practice.

Therefor I get very happy when people like Konsthopp contact me. Feels like I don’t deserve the attention, all I did was having fun. But no, I cant image me doing anything else. So right now I’m trying to figure out how I should coop with it.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as curious and challenging. At least I want it to be that way. Because I feel that’s what I’m doing. Searching for unexpected themes to incorporate with ceramic, so I can push and question the conventional perspective on ceramic by fusing its traditional forms and methods with contemporary references.

Chewing Gum – Haidar Maidhi

Haidar Maidhi

What are your artistic goals?

Probably this is a standard, boring answer to this question. But I have to say my own studio. I want to be able to have my own studio with a ceramic, wood, plaster and metal workshop. The goal is to afford all of this with my super well known, highly rewarded art pieces.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Alright, since I started this interview one hundred percent honest (maybe too honest) I’m going to continue like that and tell you I don’t have any favorite artist. I know what attracts me, and catches my eye but I don’t have any names. It’s not necessarily always art I look at that inspires me, its more like a full prepared stand of dutiful nail polish in the store, lately it’s been music. I’ve learned that this is extremely nonchalant for an artist in my possession to say so. But hey, I want to become an artist, I’m supposed to don’t give a flying fuck, isn’t that right? No, I’m just an insecure soft guy a bit out of track.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

I’ve seen them but never wished I made them. When I see stuff I really like I almost always say to my self – DARN! That looks good, I must be better then that! It’s like when you have a favorite piece of clothing, you worn it for years and you think you look amazing in it. Then a friend or somebody borrows it, just for a moment. Now you can see how your favorite Jacket is so much better on that other person, DARN!

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

Hmm, for now I have to say my master graduation. It was such a relief to have it done, JESUS!! Otherwise, when I was invited to Milano/Italy to exhibit at the Design/Art week. It’s the closest I’ve ever got, feeling like a professional artist I think. Having the flight tickets booked and paid fore you, the hotel, transport for my art back and forth was taken care of. My “job” was to be in Milano and enjoy for one week, it was really sweet!

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Just do it, and don’t listen to others. Not in first place anyway! Listen to yourself, and believe it’s going to be beautiful (or what ever else you’re looking for). Take advice only from whom you respect ore like as an artist. But never give up your idea, and don’t be afraid of being alone in different situations. Because it gets lonely for sure, but don’t let that bring you to the evil side were the bigger group/mass is standing and tapping themselves on their shoulders, NO!

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I think my homeland affect my work in the way that I want to do better then the clean Scandinavian design stuff. I really don’t want my work to be that boring. Really don’t have any good answer to this question, I’m sorry.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I don’t know, and I hope there is no such specific city. It should be everywhere, small town or big city, none of them should have the right to claim their city as the artistic center of the world.

Leopard – Haidar Maidhi

Photographs belong to Haidar Maidhi

ART IS EVERYDAY

Erla Silfá Þorgrímsdóttir is a 28-year-old, born in a small fishing town, Siglufjörður (famous for its herring) in Iceland. Her father was a traveling agent so she spent most of her childhood years growing up between Breiðdalsvík — an even tinier town in Iceland — and the Gran Canarian. Since then she has been living between different places, mostly in Norway and Iceland. She started her higher education in Glasgow but graduated from the Icelandic Academy of Arts in 2009. Today she is living in Stockholm where she will finish her Master degree of Fine Arts at Konstfack next spring. Silfá uses different kinds of medium in her artwork but at the moment most of her time is spent audio recording in public spaces — working as “a spy”. She will participate in an exhibition at Gävle Konstcentrum in March and at the Konstfack graduation exhibition in May. To learn more about the artist see her homepage: http://www.thorgrimsdottir.com

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

If the title ends with star.

How would you describe your style?

I often wear black because it is the conclusion of all colors.

What are your artistic goals?

To use art as a tool for observing the world and the other way around.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

No

Intimate Concert: Vampire! (2009) by Erla Silfá. Sound installation with speakers at Gallerí Crymo, Reykjavík.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

No

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

I can’t separate moments of art and life.

Facebox / Hot tub for one (2009) & A poem for Facebook (2009) by Erla Silfá. From the exhibition Ferjustaður in Hellisskógur at Selfoss.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Don’t Mourn – Organize (with neat people)!

You are from Iceland/Norway. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Yes

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I’m currently in Stockholm, so that’s my centrum.

Have Art, Will Travel! (2009) by Erla Silfá. CD’s from the sound object.

Photographs belong to Erla Silfá Kjartansdóttir

ART IS MAGIC

Monika Fryčová is a 27 year old artist, born in Czech Republic but has been living between Iceland and Portugal for the last couple of years. With the heart of a traveler — and the mind of an artist — Monica has since 2004, done individual studies with various artists in different countries around the world. She gratuated in 2006 from the Iceland Academy of the Arts and in 2010 with Master of Fine Arts from the University of Technology VUT Brno (Czech Republic). Monika Fryčová works with any sort of media and techniques and uses travels as an art form. Konsthopp first met Monica at her opening at Kling&Bang in Reykjavík and fell in love with her adventurous methods of exploring — through her art work — intercultural issues, exotic minorities and experimental languages. To learn more about Monica and her work, please check out the artist homepage.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

An artist because Art is unbounded, unlimited, it is total freedom.

If anything else then a professional surfer. To be able to catch any wave I want, in any ocean.

How would you describe your style?

Ever changing tragicomedy.

What are your artistic goals?

To unify human experience.

Dievka Plamenov / performance by Monika Fryčová, 2010 (Lisbon, Portugal)

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

The character (and artist in a way) The Good Soldier Švejk, hero in satirical/dark comedy novel by Jaroslav Hašek. He has become the Czech national personification.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

No, I am not thinking this way. But if someone makes a great artwork, and I have the opportunity to see it… It always kicks me. I respect.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

The same most memorable moment as a human being.

Open Springs no.2 /still from video by Monika Fryčová, 2011 ( Strandir, Iceland)

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Stay true to yourself and have fun while doing it!

You are from Czech Republic. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

My Czech Republic homeland influenced me a lot. I carry the roots on my back wherever I go and I go a lot and often. And on this special road I feel what is deeply grounded inside me and what is good to unlearn. Therfore I am exploring and researching all kinds of experiences and cultures. So – the home as a research lab. Basically to be able to have your atelier in every country in Planeta and feel good on your own. Like – nomádes, for example. This allows transformation in self-narrative, it opens a desire to seek out and to know.

But my heart and life is devided between 3 countries, mostly Iceland last few years.

Also all my performances, shows and work I have done in recent years were presented only internationally, outside of the Czech scene, and this fact makes me really think a lot.

So no career.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

Who knows?

Perpetuum Mobile / view into exhibition by Monika Fryčová, 2011 (Kling &Bang gallery/Reykjavik)

Perpetuum Mobile / view into exhibition by Monika Fryčová, 2011 (Kling&Bang gallery/Reykjavik)

Perpetuum Mobile / videostill from exhibition by Monika Fryčová, 2011 (Kling&Bang gallery, Reykjavík)

Photographs belong to Monika Fryčová

ART IS TO TURN THINGS UPSIDE DOWN

Kristine Tillge Lund is a 38 years old artist living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated from Royal College of Art in London, UK in 2008. Her work focuses on understanding clay and ceramics as a phenomena.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

I started working with ceramics by coincidence when I was 23 years old. I was on a 2-week vacation on a folk school in Denmark and thought it could be good to play around with clay for a bit, but soon got totally spelled by the material, and from there on clay has had my attention.

How would you describe your style?

Sculptures and installations, with a focus on the concept. The concepts regard making a critical investigation of the Material, the craftsmanship, but also the historical and social context around ceramics.

What are your artistic goals?

Never to stop exploring new angels in my ideas, and never stop daring.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

That would be Robert Smithson. I love his aesthetic and conceptual ideas.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

No, I think I am too caught up in my own head/ideas. I can admire and respect other artists work, but I feel I have an artistic plan, that only I can fulfill.

Vase, ceramics 1,70 x 0.8 m by Kristine Tillge Lund

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

Until now it has been my masters degree in London. It started an important intellectual path that I am still exploring.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

To study what else is out there and to dare.

You are from Denmark. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I think I get influenced/inspiredbywhat is going on in my homeland, but I do not regard my artwork as being particular national, ad therefore probably not that relevant for my career.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

Hmm, I think there are many. After my time in London, and I moved back to Copenhagen, I always feel I miss out on a lot of interesting exhibitions, artist talks etc., so I guess that is the center I think of!

Tile project by Kristine Tillge Lund

Photographs belong to Kristine Tillge Lund

ART IS RIGHT NOW

Johnny Boy Eriksson is a 33 year old artist, living and working in Gothenburg, Sweden. He graduated from Gothenburg Art School where he mixed education in sculpture making and artistic concept development. He specializes in installations and space specific art but has done remarkable videos as well. This promising artist has attracted well-earned attention for his work in his homeland. If you want to see more of Johnny , check out his homepage here!

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

Being an artist came naturally to me. Art is an international language, an intuitive understanding between soul and mind. It’s like entering an enchanted world and once you understands the connections within there’s no return. To be able to express through art is my integration with the world.

How would you describe your style?

Monumental sculpturing — I always try to work with very simple, everyday material to create something unique. I’ve used scoth tape to create a physical environment that brings you out of the ordinary world. In my recent exhibition, Devoured, I used stereotypes to portrait different lifestyles and values in our society.

What are your artistic goals?

To always keep my mind open and free to discover the next thing!

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

It would be a mixture between Jeff Koons, Michelle Barcelo, Jackson Pollock and Carl Milles. The energy, the edge, the expression, skills and there we’re getting close to something. Because I’m not one or the other!

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Well I look forward to it!

“Devoured” in Wetterling gallery, Stockholm 2011

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

The moment I understood how to communicate through art.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Remember that once you’ve enter there’s no way back! Ha ha, its beautiful, just do it! Surround yourself with people with the same addiction. When you are in the middle of a struggle, remember that tides will turn and it will all become magic again.

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Of course. I grew up in Sweden and that has effected me as a person. But when I do art, I don’t see my self as Swedish but I instead try to look at things going on in the world and filter that through my feelings and soul in a way that people hopefully can relate to.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

Bangatan 10, Gothenburg.

“Devoured” in Wetterling gallery, Stockholm 2011

Photographs belong to Johnny Boy Eriksson

ART IS TASTY

Rodrigo Rivas Ruiz is a 30 year old Mexican photo-journalist. He was born in the buzzling city of Mexico but has recently moved to Stockholm. Rodrigo graduated in 2007 from Universidad de las Américas with a (BA) degree in Communication and photography and today he specializes in photography and video works. To see more of the photographer´s work, check out his homepage here!

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

All my life I’ve been a very visual person, a photography enthusiast. Framing images has always been a passion of mine, whether still images through photography, or moving images through video. I have also always found interesting the whole process of editing and selecting images and sounds for projects.

How would you describe your style?

I like to conceptualize ideas, document stories and capture emotions. Relating stories in an audiovisual format has always been a priority in my artistic ambitions.

What are your artistic goals?

Stretch my artistic senses by using the digital media tools available in today’s technology. And keep on learning everyday to create projects that fulfills my expectations.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Alejandro Jodorowsky. I love his aesthetic and conceptual ideas in all his projects. As a film maker, comic book writer, script writher, author, actor, etc.

“Taxixta” – Photography installation about ¨One day in the life of a taxi driver of Mexico City¨ (2007)

“Diablero” – Photography installation from the work Diablero, which is a worker that carries food around Mexico´s central food distribution center (2010)

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Not really, I rather think of pushing myself to explore my brain and soul, and try to understand what is in there and make it happen.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

It is still to come.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Now is the time to feel what we are made of.

You are from Mexico. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Coming from a warm country like Mexico, the spontaneity and colorfulness of the mexican society is a big influence in my artistic sensibility. However, I like the Swedish aesthetics and concept of image a lot, and I learn and get influence from such fine artists.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I believe that you can find very interesting art expressions all around the globe, it all depends on what you are into.

“Ferrys Wheel” – photography sequence of the Ferrys Wheel in Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles (2009)

All photographs belong to Rodrigo Rivas Ruiz

ART IS BEYOND

Harpa Rún Ólafsdóttir is a 29 year old artist, living and working in Reykjavík. Her educational background is a mix of fine arts (B.A), teaching degree and psychology. The essence of her artwork often lies within multiple meanings of symbols and emotions clustered together, which she meditates through sculptures, drawings and installations. According to herself, the outcome tends to be an odd mixture of naive happiness, eroticism and morbidity. To see more of Harpa’s work, check out her homepage here.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

I decided I wanted to be an artist when I was about eight. I drew a lion with some crayons and an adult told me I would become an artist one day. That set my path. My personal art work merely aids in paying my bills though, I also engage in creative work with teenagers and introduce them to the world of imagination and creation. For me there has to be a balance between engaging in my own art and working creatively with others. If not, I feel too immersed in myself.

How would you describe your style?

I work in details. I use fertility symbols, religious symbols, animals, bodies, bones, papier maché and bright colours. I mix these things together and try to evoke response in the viewer.

What are your artistic goals?

To constantly evolve my art so every new project stretches my artistic comfort zone and never to stop.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

I would pick Dalí. He had a very fascinating social life, he had a brilliant imagination and I would be interested in seeing what it is like to be male for one day.

Poptent (2010)

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

I have been inspired by artwork but I always would prefer to make my own.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

When I was 18 I had my first exhibition, a very small exhibition in a culture centre. I was watching the news on TV a few days later and the anchor looked right at me and said… Harpa Rún Ólafsdóttir is a young artist…I had no idea I was about to be in the news. It was a very surreal feeling.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Do it. Don’t keep it bottled up. You will explode!

Chess lady with her monkey (2011)

You are from Iceland. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I am not aware of Iceland affecting my work directly, but I think I get opportunities which I otherwise would not have because I live in a place with a tight knit artistic community that is brimming with creativity.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

Art can’t be nailed down to a city . It is everywhere.

The Empire Strikes Back (2010)

Photographs belong to Harpa Rún Ólafsdóttir

ART IS EVERYWHERE

Christian Sandell is a 41 year old artist, living and working in Stockholm. In the year of 2000, he graduated from Konstfack with MFA in ceramic and glass, and is today a member of ID:I gallery, an artist-run gallery located at Södermalm. Last spring, we spotted out Sandell at ID:I, were he was celebrating his eye-catching solo exhibition, “De gamla Greckiskorna”. Instantly, we fell for his installation and the fascinating story behind it. The artist work with several media, including; sculptures, public commisions, photos and light. You can check out Cristian Sandell´s work here.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

Maybe I could be a scientist. Do researches about planets and atoms and things like that. But I think I already am kind of a scientist, only self employed and self taught and in lack of a better word I call it art. Or I could be a musician. I play a few instruments.

How would you describe your style?

Scientific, romantic, maybe a little pathetic but in a good sense. I like to build things which I use as tools to create images and then let the tools take over and become the final pieces.

What are your artistic goals?

I’m always trying to find new ways of knowing myself and the world around me. So the goal would be to keep digging and keep showing the world what I’ve dug up. It’s a little like being an archaeologist.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Maybe Rita Mcbride, because of the way she explores materials, techniques and ideas. She’s really good. Or maybe John Bock.

“Black wrap”/ Construction of two different image projectors, ID:I (2009)

“Black wrap” / ID:I (2009)

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

I don’t think so. Maybe. It sounds possible.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

The first time my mother took me to Moderna Museet. That was a real kick. It was a big Matisse exhibition. I didn’t care too much about Matisse but I was stunned by the concept of the building. This big place full to the rim with really cool art. Every kid should have an experience like that.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Trust your gut feeling. Build a good network. Be visible. Be nice to people. Never give up. After rain comes sunshine. Work hard. Send in applications in good time.

You are from Sweden/Greece. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Being half Greek half Swede means that there is a conflict going on inside your head. For me, that conflict has never been a source of inspiration until recently. As I get older I seem to gravitate towards the issue of herritage. What does it mean to be a combination of knäckebröd and zatziki? That’s what I’d like to know. If I had grown up in Greece, I would probably not be doing what I do today. It’s difficult to describe how the homeland, Sweden, affects me. Sweden is my comfort zone. I know how things work here. Maybe that makes me a bit too secure? I really would like to travel more.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I wish I knew. Beijing? Or was that last year? I don’t think it’s Stockholm though.

“Bread and fuel” at De gamla Greckiskorna/ Installation in ID: I (2011)

“De gamla Greckiskorna”/ Installation in ID: I (2011)

Photographs belong to Cristian Sandell

ART IS IMMUNOELECTROPHORETICAL

Páll Haukur Björnsson is a 30 year old artist, living and working in Reykjavik. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from the Icelandic Academy of Art in 2008 and works with various media, mostly performances and video installations. According to his previous work, the artist likes to be lightly dressed when he performs — or should we say — quite butt-naked. Unfortunately, Páll was not naked at the premier of Gallerí Klósett last month, were he deflowered the gallery with his solo exhibition, Garður. If you want to learn more about this curious, courageous artist, you should check out his homepage.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

It just kind of developed and matured alongside everything else and I don’t think I really could do anything else by now.

How would you describe your style?

For me art is more of a method of interpreting and working with semantics and social context — a tool to be applied to the world to build and break down. I tend to work side specifically!?!

What are your artistic goals?

I look at it as a more of a NOW kind of thing so the goal is something constantly unwrapping — something to discover.

The house is the mountain / the mountain is the house – A video frame from 2011

We used to make our own games – A video frame from 2011

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Wassily Kandinsky so I could go and hear how a sunset sounds like.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Yes many times — although I usually feel like licking it rather than whishing I had made it.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

Living in my studio on top of an all women’s gym for a year is definitely a close shot.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Listen to the shoes and “Just Do It”.

You are from Iceland. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Yes and yes I guess — this is the social environment that fuels my work and sustains my living so….

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

Someone just told me it was Bergen Norway! Let´s all move there!

The house is the mountain / the mountain is the house – A video installation from 2011

Untitled – An installation from 2011

Photographs belong to Páll Haukur Björnsson

ART IS FURY

Rakel McMahon is a 27 year old artist from Reykjavík, Iceland. She graduated with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from Iceland Academy of Arts in 2008 and received a diploma in Gender Studies from The University of Iceland, a year later. Rakel McMahon has remained noticeable on the Icelandic visual art scene for the last couple of years and been part of numerous group and solo exhibitions, both in Iceland and abroad. Her work is known for its strong sense of humor, unique style, unusual and sometimes hilarious metabolite. She equally works with drawings and paintings, as well as art performances. Upcoming events by the productive artist include a group exhibition, “My Friend the Foreigner” in Edinburg 22nd of September and a performance at RIFF (Reykjavik International Film Festival) the 29th of September 2011.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

Well one thing led to another and now there is no turning back.

How would you describe your style?

Basic instinct – without Sharon Stone.

What are your artistic goals?

I once had loads of unreal goals, but now my artistic goals are rational, to stay focused and true to what I do and why I am doing it. Along with hard work, passion and fruit.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

I would have to say Marcel Duchamp, he did brilliant art work which changed the art world and peoples perspectives on what art is.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

No but I get inspired by artwork that speaks to me and makes me rethink, that alone is more than enough for me.

“Breadwinner” – A Performance from 2010

“Bloody Beauty Ballet” – A Performance with Snorri Ásmundsson from 2011

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

I have had a few very surreal moments that I probably would not have had if I was not an artist.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

I´d say that having a creative thought and not get it out of your system, can create a block of your creative flow. I think it is in the creative process of making art, where the unsuspected surprises are. For me creative process should not be predictable. Over-thinking things can sterilize a very brilliant idea. That sterilization of an idea prevents an urge and a need to bring the idea to life/reality.

You are from the Iceland. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I have an Irish father and my mum is half Swedish so my upbringing does not represent a typical Icelandic upbringing. I´m not patriotic in anyway and I guess I find it very easy to see the defaults in Icelandic society. I could say this neutral nationality effects my way of thinking and the fact that it is seldom a topic in my work.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

There are many interesting things going on, I like the scene in Berlin and the vibe in Reykjavík is also good at the moment.

“Peta loves Pollock” – A Performance from 2009

“Mother drunk” – A serie of paintings/drawings from 2010

Photographs belong to Rakel McMahon


ART IS…(I´m still considering)

Sanne Rosenqvist is a 29 year old artist from Denmark. She recently gratuaded with a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from Konstfack university collage. We first spotted her work out in the glass and sculpture department at the Konstfack degree exhibition and were captivated. Sanne mostly works with installations and sculptures and currently lives in Copenhagen.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

I choose to study art (ceramics and glass) because I’ve always been fascinated by fine art. I enjoy the freedom of expressing my own thoughts exactly as I want without any specific rules controlling what is possible or not possible. I could imagine doing a lot of different things in my life but it has to be something which involves some kind of creativity or freedom of thought.

How would you describe your style?

I dont know if I have found my own style yet but when I work with ceramics my focus is on concepts and how to communicate through form. My ceramic work is quite minimalistic. I`m interested in everyday-objects and how to use them to communicate something else then what we normally link them to in our everyday-lifes. I like to keep a certain immediacy and rawness in my work and humour is very important to me.

What are your artistic goals?

My artistic goal is to integrate, doing something creative in my life and being able to live of it.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

If I could choose to be any artist I think I would choose to be Björk. She is born with a very special gift and her voice is beyond. It must be amazing to be a musician creating something with the concentration and energy of various people.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

I have looked at several works of art and wished that I had made them. Almost everything by Sarah Lucas and Tom Friedmann. It’s genius the way Tom Friedman takes something very simple and makes it into the most sophisticated artwork. I also love his humorist approach.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

My most memorable moment as an artist must be doing collaboration-projects with other artists. With several minds and hands that work together you can sometimes experience reaching levels that you could never imagine or that you could never reach working on your own.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Try it out.

You are from Denmark. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Of course the culture in which you are brought up affects your way of thinking, whether one likes to acknowledge it or not. I don`t know if coming from Denmark is relevant for my career. I guess it depends on what kind of context you choose to show your work in and where you deside to work and live.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I dont know. I guess a place like New York or Berlin never is the wrong place to be but it depends on what you want to do or accomplish.

Photographs belong to Sanne Rosenqvist

ART IS CHANGING

Lindalovisa Fernqvist is a 29 year old swedish illustrator, living and working in Stockholm. Her education is a mix of a fashion design, art school, art history and performance studies. She also attended Berghs SoC Advertising program (Art Director) for a while but realized it wasn’t for her. Her work visibly reflect her various background within the art field. You have probably run across Lindalovisa´s stunning hand drawn illustration at Dagens Nyheter or Sofo Magazine. If not, it´s time to check out her homepage.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

I have been drawing as long as I remember and it’s one of the things I enjoy the most in my life. I have endeavoured some other ventures that “fortunately” all went down the toilet, thereby I’m quite sure when I say that I could never stop doing what I am doing right now. It’s not easy to open up and take the step to become an artist; sometimes it can be overwhelming and take a lot of energy. But it’s so worth it! For the future the dream is to be able to combine more elements of my work together and somehow expand my working potential, maybe through theatres or filmmaking.

How would you describe your style?

My sketches are always drawn directly by hand and are very detailed. Some may see it as a slow and protracted technique but for me it is really meditative. By working thoroughly with my illustrations I strive to unite the beautiful and the detailed with some sort of melancholic undertone. My inspiration comes from music, nature and people’s behavior as well as from fashion and vintage photographs.

What are your artistic goals?

I think the idea of being able to change something for someone is praiseworthy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or a small change or if the affect lasts for long but I like to “startle” the audience in some way; maybe through an atmosphere, a feeling or some other emotions.

If I think concrete about my working goals, I want to have fun and sharp-witted clients that ask for beautiful things and trust me for having “free hands”. One day I would like to participate in some bigger projects were I could have the time to really analyze and dig deep down into special topics. Like illustrating a book-series or making prints for a complete clothe collection from a big fashion house. That would be fun!

If you could pick one artist, dead or alive, to be for one-day, who would it be and why?

Hard question. Maybe Nan Goldin.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Yes, so many times! For example when I look at James Jeans work, I think it’s just really majestic. I love the sincerity in his work and that it is simultaneously both relaxed and full of energy, creating fascinating worlds to enter.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

I don’t have anything special in mind. It is of great fun to have exhibitions and see something that you’ve been working on and engaged in for such a long time, finally finished. I also like those moments when I’m sitting and working on special projects for magazines and I just feel that I “got the flow”.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

If you really want to work with creative things, you really have to fight for it, allot. Everything depends on your own determination, to really take the decision. It is said that it takes 10 000 hours to become an expert in something, so it’s important to be persistent and goal-oriented. I believe it is important to define clear and specific goals. Not only to have something to aim for but also as something that gives you energy and you can look forward to!

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

The dark and the light from the famous “Nordic depression” are things that have had strong affects on me. The approach to my work is also affected by the forest, the nature and the “trolls” that can be found there.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

I don’t know. I do think of Helsinki, Barcelona and Tokyo, as these cities are all really inspiring to me. And NYC of course, but I really don’t have to mention that one.

Photographs belong to Lindalovisa Fernqvist

ART IS USELESS

Yi Shen (26) is a newly graduate jewelry designer from Konstfack. She was born in Bejing (China) but lives now in Stockholm. Konsthopp spotted out this young talented artist in the Jewelry+Corpus department at the Konstfack Degree Exhibition 2011. Her eye catching collection “Ourselves Beside Me” drew our attention instantly. Her items are for sale and you can see more examples from her delightful collection here.

Why an artist? Could you imagine doing anything else?

I am still in the adaptive phase to accept this heavy word and I’m still deciding if that’s something that I will be doing in the future but my life is naturally turning that way without asking me. If I wasn’t an artists I would like to run a second hand store.

How would you describe your style?

I believe my work doesn’t actually have any defined style on appearance but something stands as apparent from the first piece I made. That is something which is interactional, powerless, surrealistic and hidden.

What are your artistic goals?

Communicating with people.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

I love Helmut Smits and Ólafur Elíasson as they’ve made really smart and poetic works. But if I could be someone else for a day I would have to choose Terry Richardson, be a bitch living with bitches and loving them.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Always…I can make a really long list here. But at this moment the one that comes to my mind is a Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang and his old art firework “Clear sky Black cloud”.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

I forget… I do seem to forget.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Just go ahead and believe yourself. Listen to constructive suggestions from other people and not judgments.

You are from the China. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I believe background is something that will follow you in your whole life. You can never ignore it or throw it away. But I also believe that my background is my foundation but not surface. I‘d like to see my background naturally being relevant to my work but not purposely being highlighted. So when I am working I see myself more as a neutral human being rather than a Chinese. And I don’t want people to only get the sense of my nationality by the first sight of my work. But at the same time I am quite pleased to let them know where I come from, maybe they can then mix together the different information by themselves and get some interesting angles when looking at my work. That would be nice.

What city is the current center of the artistic world?

Probably London and L.A.

Photographs belong to Yi Shen

About Yi Shen collection “Ourselves beside me”:

This is an era of matter blooming. Whatever you see and touch are all objects. The objects maintain our lives, surround our livelihood, affect our choices, impede our emotions. They are no longer the non-life existence, but our friends, teachers, lovers or even the other ourselves.

ART IS NATURE


Karl Viktor Byhr was born 1982 in Lima, Peru but currently lives and works in Gothenburg. He mainly works with collages made from trash, picked up on the street or in the forest and mixes it with fontArt. The artist recently had a solo exhibition called “Buffé” at Galleri Korn, Hornstull. Konsthopp was at the opening and was really fond of the friendly atmosphere around the artist and his mates. This productive artist will next be showing in Gothenburg, at Galleri ArtSpace+Us and Galleri Mitt i centrum in August and September. You can see more examples of Viktor´s work at his vital blog.

Why an artist? Could you imagine working with anything else?

Being an artist gives me the freedom to create my own brand and products. I’m always open to other suggestions though. It’s inspiring and financially good to take on other work-related ventures. Most of them rarely last longer than a year though but I like to do other things as well. I’ve worked as a bouncer, ice-cream truck driver and a project manager to mention few.

How would you describe your style?

Awesome and full of trash.

What are your artistic goals?

To get my name out there. I would like to affect people around the globe and to do that I must expand and develop my own brand.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Timo Solin because his studio is amazing. I would love to work and smoke some “Cohibas” there for a day.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Yes, every day I see street art that I wished I had made.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

When my father first appreciated my work. He is a prominent art director and it was a great honour when he found what I do was worth doing. Professionally, it was when my friend, which is a designer finally let me do fontArt for his upcoming collection.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Never stop believing. And try to gain as much experience as you can.

You live in Gothenburg. Does the city affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

I use trash that I collect from the streets and during forest walks. Most of my “material” is from the Swedish wheel of consumption. I love my city and I guess knowing a lot of people there, it must be relevant for my career in a way. But there are probably many places were young and emerging artists gets more attention.

What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

Now it is probably Borås, since my friend from NYC, Shai Dahan moved there. He is awesome and will bring fresh air to the art scene. Last night (27th of May), he opened an exhibition in Gothenburg at Gallery ArtSpace+Us. My next show will be at the same gallery in August 2011.

Photographs by Konsthopp

ART IS A BITCH

Cecilia Bivald was born in Stockholm 1984. She studied at Grafikskolan in Stockholm and works mainly with mixed media and visual art. In her latest exhibition “Screened” at Art Concept Store, Cecilia combined painting, print and light installations to create a work of aspects.
Konsthopp spotted this young, talented artist there and you can read the blog about the vernissage here. For further information about Cecilia check http://www.cecilia.bivald.se &

Why an artist? Could you imagine working with anything else?

I have several jobs. It pays the rent. But art and I have a long standing love-hate relationship and I couldn’t give it up even if I tried. And I don’t.

How would you describe your style?

A mix. I work in mixed media for a reason. My old room was covered in rock posters that I had pull off walls as well as postcards (I couldn’t afford the posters) of the old masters.

What are your artistic goals?

To evolve as an artist and keep an open mind to new forms of inspirations. To keep my creativity going and not stagnate.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

I’d choose someone who haven’t yet been born so that I could see how art will look like a hundred years from now.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

No, I can’t imagine making someone else’s work. But I’ve looked at uncountable works of art and been absolutely stunned by them.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

When I was 15 years old and realised I was making my own art and not copying other artists.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Work on your stubbornness. It’s your best friend. Pick up a brush, a camera, a pen and don’t quit.

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

In some ways yes. The history of art in your country will undoubtedly affect your art. But less and less with Internet and social medias were you now can see artwork by emerging artists from different countries. As for one’s career the art trends in your country can affect which gallery will show your art.

What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

For emerging artists Berlin is the trendy place to be. Much like Paris was in the late 18th century. There’s room to develop as an artist in Berlin but I think New York still maintain the stronghold of modern art. But even as I write I realize I have a typical Western world view of this.

Photographs belong to Cecilia Bivald

ART IS IMPORTANT

Jannike Simonsson was born in Stockholm 1981. She studied at Capellagården (Öland) and has a Bachelor degree in art, culture and economy from Södertörn Högskola. Jannike works with collage, drawings and oil paintings. She has her studio at Art Concept Store and is a member at Young Art. www.jannikesimonsson.se

Why an artist? Could you imagine working with anything else?

I have always been interested in art and I’ve been painting and drawing since I was a child. Right now I work both as an artist, a framer and a coordinator of exhibitions, which suits me perfectly. I’m not sure I want to be a full-time artist. I am very social and need to meet new people to have some input to my work.

How would you describe your style?

Humoristic and naïve but with a deeper sense if you look closer. I play with old photos, words, colour and frame to make the art work have a history of it self.

What are your artistic goals?

To have a solo exhibition at MOMA New York. No, but seriously, my goal is to have an exhibition at one of the bigger art galleries or museums in Europe. I’m aiming high..!

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

Tough question. Maybe Damian Hirst.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Absolutely. I have a lot of favourite artists that I´m inspired by. I love Helene Schjerfbecks self portraits, Sigrid Hjerténs colourful paintings and Lenke Rothmans mixed media art work.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

I can´t think of any moment in particular, but one of my favourite exhibitions was the one I had at Södra Teatern 2009. I love that old house, you can really feel the history in the walls and when I made the pieces for that exhibitions I was inspired by it. Do you know the house is haunted..?!

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Just to do it. Get started. You don´t have to go the ordinary way- and study at the bigger art academies- I applied a couple of times but then I got tired of getting NO all the time. I just decided that if I wanted to do this I had to learn by myself and just do what I felt like. I know that I wanted to be an artist so I just started to BE one.

You are from Sweden. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

That is hard to say, since I haven´t really lived in another country. But I guess Sweden is good for artist, since it is a small country and there isn´t that many of us. I think it is harder to ”get through” if there is a lot of competition and everybody wants to get noticed. But still, it is hard to make money of it. Even in Sweden.

What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

I think Los Angeles, London and Berlin.

Photographs belong to Jannike Simonsson


ART IS TRANSFORMER

Victor Hugo Mondragon was born in Mexico 1971. He has examen in Graphic design (Mexico), Fine Arts (Paris, France) and a Master degree in Cinema and New Technology (Paris, France). Victor is a living artist in Stockholm and works with multimedia.

Why an artist? Could you imagine working with anything else?

Could be a long discussion. The most direct is to create, communicate and build projects, concepts and esthetical ideas, and exchange with people. But the economic activity is being quiet unstable for artists. Commercial galleries and private collectors follow the rules of the market and it can be difficult to find people who want to invest in experimental projects.

Sometimes I think of myself living in a big house, dressed in black suits and having a portfolio with law sentences but then I realize I can’t fit in that shoe. However, in the real world, I have to do multiple applications of art compared to normal work to generate incomes and that can be something varying between the functional and the artistic.

How would you describe your style?

Mixed media, mostly taking old techniques into new techniques, permitting it to talk together. About the visual style I can say: neo-pop contrasting different symbols: nature, industrialisation, gender, politics, and the history of the art it self.

What are your artistic goals?

Try to discover new ways to do art and to involve the spectator giving liberty to build their own mental peace and react about the art piece. Experiment and learn more about art in relation with different problematics, the way it’s presented and the way it’s received.

If you could be another artist for one day (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?

I like many artists but one of my favorite is Marcel Duchamp. He was revolting the concepts, trying to liberate the object or art from the institutions, confronting the act of creating with the object. I also liked his attitude to life and he was really funny. In the end of his life he quit doing art to play chess.

Have you ever looked at an artwork and wished that you had made it?

Every day I think, I’m still being surprise from many good artist, and I being inspirited or motivated in the good way.

What has been your most memorable moment as an artist?

When I was a child playing without conception of time and space. Then in dreams. I imagined fantastic creations, museums, projects. I also have a lots of memorable moments exchanging and collaborating with people and artists in different places of the planet, opening alternatives to ameliorate art and society.

What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his/her creativity into reality?

Get inside of production and experiment a lot. Don’t follow the masses. Create productive and creative relations, and of course economical stability.

You are from Mexico. Does your homeland affect your work? Is it relevant for your career?

Subconsciously I’m adopting lots of symbolism from my country in to the composition of art. I like to confuse cultures as our culture is already a mix of many cultures so this intrinsic becomes a way to express things and work.

What city is the current centre of the artistic world?

There are definitely many as creativity and good ideas exist everywhere. Globalisation brings everything so close and becomes almost standard. There is a lots of originality running in the Eastern and Middle-East. Africa and Latin-America are a big potential as well. On the other hand, in the official art world, Berlin can be considered a fresh platform of exchanging experiences. Good alternative places are opening there every day, lots of people from all around the world are also passing by and creating there and the conditions in the city, territory, prices and character is permitting the chance to develop an effervescent place to create.

Photographs belong to Viktor Hugo Mondragon


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