Gerhard Richter is one of the most important and influential living artists of the post-war era. For decades he searched innovative ways to make painting more relevant and often through a multifaceted dialogue with photography.
Born in Dresden in 1932, Gerhard Richter came of age after World War II. His father taught school In the villages of Reichenau and Waltersdorf before being mobilized. And his mother read Goethe, Nietzsche and the classics of German literature, listened avidly to the great 18th- and 19th-century composers. In fact, she encouraged her son’s interest in drawing and painting.
Eventually, at the age of 15-16, Richter began to make paintings. Such as watercolors, landscapes, and self-portraits. Particularly he remembers ‘doing a watercolor of a group of people dancing’:
‘Because I was so negative when I was young. We had moved to a new village, and automatically I was an outsider. I couldn’t speak the dialect and so on. I was at a club, watching the others dance, and I was jealous and bitter and annoyed. So in the watercolor, all this anger is included, at 16. It was the same with the poems I was writing-very romantic but bitter and nihilistic, like Nietzsche and Hermann Hesse.’
Nevertheless, at some point, he had to find a job: ‘that’s when I did poster painting, lettering on banners… And then I worked in theater, painting scenery, for half a year. It was a city theater, in Zitau, a small town about 100 kilometers from Dresden, where I lived in a dormitory for apprentices.’
Consequently coming out of experiences with watercolors, poems and work in theater Richter decided to go to the art academy. After all, from the age of 16, he had a feeling that it would be right for him to become an artist. Back then he only knew that he just wanted to paint and to make pictures.
Read the full interview: →
Ksenia Nunis is an extremely visually driven person. The contemporary artist primarily investigates the balance between nature and technology in her work.
From childhood, she pursued an art career in any form. It felt as it was encoded in her. In particular she inherited it from her mom, a very wise nature-driven architect. Life in her hometown Tolyatti, Russia was surrounded by a beautiful beach with a pine forest and contrastingly man-made constructions that felt ‘soulless’.
By the time Nunis moved to Moscow, Russia she decided to study Graphic Design. During this time she mostly worked with images related to Russian constructivism and suprematism movements. Moreover, assignments required experimenting with shapes and colors, but in their primitive forms. And highly valued precision with everything; from basic realistic drawing skills to gym lessons attendance. Whereas her second studies in Fashion Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands felt more ‘right’. In fact, teachers’ open-minded approaches helped her to concretize her esthetics as an artist and designer.
Throughout her studies and further professional experience, Nunis learned diverse art and design techniques and observed a broad range of creative possibilities. Most importantly she discovered that each person expresses themselves in a unique, distinctive way.
For example when she thinks in abstract terms and forms she creates a world without borders or time. This taste of freedom made her wonder if there were contemporary ways for other people to feel that too. To experience ‘creating’ that is in our being.
Since we live in a world of constant progress and new technologies, it is hard to separate oneself from all influences it causes. While Nunis finds progress intriguing, at the same time its damage to a non-much changing nature shocks her.
Initially, she searched for a sustainable solution for producing art and design pieces in general. An answer that supposedly artificial intelligence would come up with. That would simplify shipping, assembly, and customization alongside keeping its artistic qualities.
With her latest project for VVOVVA the AI Alt she challenges us to investigate our true self in a contemporary life overfilled by technologies. As well as, remind us that art and design practices are connected with the processes of understanding and changing one’s self-perception.
The mechanics of the AI Alt assembly slows down the user on purpose. The process is compared to today’s people’s urge to spend more time on self, or follow a healthy diet. Despite the fact that we ourselves created all of those distractions.
Primarily AI Alt is the universal language tool for creating art and design objects. In fact, AI Alt aims to investigate users’ inner child. To emphasize VVOVVA offers a user to embrace the playfulness that we all had as kids and beam it while assembling their AI. And it is up to the user to decide whether his/her AI will be transformed into a practical day-to-day object or an art piece.
Originally, the AI Alt collection suggests five initial variations of the sculptures and one ‘utility’ object — a fully usable table. Definitely it is assumed as a navigation gesture rather than a determinate guide. Every set includes oak separate pieces and branded steel clamps. It is important that the user combines the details as he/she wishes.
After all, VVOVVA proposes a method of using already produced (and overproduced) shapes by humans and nature in a sustainable way. So that people perceive things that surround us every day in a different way. Furthermore, to look at existing makings as tools to create art and design objects.
More is coming…
Alt 219 Oak
Alt 0134 Oak
Alt 179 Oak
The English contemporary artist Oliver Johnson currently lives and works in Valencia, Spain. From painting to light installations, his works primarily revolve around the number three. Pythagoras argued that ‘Number is knowledge itself’.
For Johnson, capturing 3D into 2D has been the most useful way of showing the changing nature of the living. Furthermore, in an actual space, his works are perceived as organic. Also, their faded multiplying effect stays in the astonished perception of the viewer.
The series three includes works on flat surfaces horizontally segmented into three parts. In fact, this division with narrow gaps opens up an infinite void. As well as these black lines become suspended areas that escape any natural glimpse.
Moreover, everything in the Untitled paintings is hyper-careful. And even in its smallest details, there is no appeal that refers to the gesture or carelessness.
In essence, Oliver Johnson’s with his singular and long-standing poetic effort seeks personal and non-transferable formula of capturing light.
His solid metal structures become the fields of light. In particular in their infinite variations that are created by using the ideal lighting and movements of the viewer. After all only after careful observation of his work, one comes to think and feel fascinating ‘energy fields’.