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AI Alt explained

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…

Read the ‘Profile: VVOVVA’ interview here: 

Alt 219 Oak

Alt 0134 Oak

Alt 179 Oak

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Oliver Johnson

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’


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Profile: Celia Hadeler

Contemporary artist Celia Hadeler grew up in The Hague, the Netherlands surrounded by two creative parents — a German father and a Peruvian mother. As they are both not Dutch, she grew up just in a different way: 

‘Since I was a little child I was fascinated by how both families and people, in general, could be so contradictory. My German family was very reserved and introvert while my Peruvian side was extrovert. I have a big admiration for my father and how he became an artist. Back in the days he really had to fight for being an artist. He grew up in the middle of nowhere, without any support, in times after World War II. Despite these hard conditions, he went for it anyway and with full dedication! This story is a reminder to me that you really have to do what you like. To follow your heart and to listen to your gut feeling, even when it is not the easiest way possible.’ 

In other words, Celia’s father plays a big role in her becoming an artist. As she explains further: 

He is a very disciplined and talented lithography artist with an incredible eye for details. I guess at the time being mostly surrounded by art; art exhibitions, art students have influenced me a lot. And as an only child, I was easily pleased with a pencil and paper.’

Celia loves and loved making art, although she didn’t expect to go to art school or making a job of it. Ultimately when Celia finished High school, she decided to go to the Royal Academy in the Hague KABK.

Nevertheless, after a year of studies, she realized that something was missing: I am a very analyzing person. Back then I realized that I wanted to think and to approach art in a more conceptual way. So I decided to switch to Graphic Design at the WDKA, Rotterdam. 

In fact, It was a huge change and very challenging for me because I dropped in a kind of ‘nerdy class’. Everybody talked only about computer programs and I never used a computer in my life, except for Word program. And I just played and experimented with all those programs, which also happened of lack of patience. By using and clashing all different kinds of computer tools, interesting designs started to pop-up. But when somebody would ask ‘how I made it’, I had no clue. So I think this a bit who I am — a ‘playful’ person.’

Celia fell in love with Fine Arts when she started her studies at the art school. With every assignment, she would become very enthusiastic and excited to work with new materials and techniques. Everything seemed new and at the same time, she felt like everything was possible.

In other words, while Fine Arts gave her the feeling of working freely and thinking in no restrictions. Graphic Design forced her to think more in terms of form and function. She started to search for a way to combine the craft versus technique.

‘I was always asked the question ‘why’? I find it interesting to think about how we as human beings act in certain ways and I ask this question ‘why’. Art is so interwoven and connected with philosophy. A color or a shape, everything has an effect on us. In graphic design, I got closer to that conceptual aspect. For example, using a red dot, I had to answer; Why red, Why round?’

From both studies, Celia learned different skills. KABK was a year of freedom and happiness. Throughout that year she produced all sorts of arts and studied a broad range of techniques. Unlike at WDKA where she mostly learned how to deal with hard critics and defend her ideas.

During her studies at the art academy, she felt confused: ‘Though I studied so hard for it during the internship I directly realized I didn’t want to become a graphic designer. I am not the kind of person who can sit still the whole week behind a computer. So after I finished my studies I decided to go to Peru for 3 months, but not for a holiday. I wanted to work and to experience daily life.  

After all, I found work in a creative advertising agency where I designed. Usually, I was a window dresser, while some days I worked together with a friend who was an interior designer. She introduced me to the world of rugs and textiles! In the end, I stayed 1.5 years, it was a very intense period where a learned a lot.’

For Celia, the beginning in Peru turned out to be very rough, a lot of things went as not planned. She wanted to create a new rug or wallhanging, something that didn’t exist yet, an art piece:

‘I produced my first art rug in Peru. I’ve made a complicated design and to use shading in the textiles was not easy to do. By the end of 6 months, I finally saw my finished rug. It was absolutely not the design I had in mind! It opened my eyes because it forced me to come with a new idea. I started to look for a new way to produce my art rugs and a manufacturer close to the Netherlands.’

Celia born and raised in The Hague and is a quite high-sensitive person so she felt like overload in Lima, Peru. Too many impulses appeared: sounds, smells, lights, people, everything was ‘a lot’. At some point, she realized she needed a more neutral and natural environment, something she was used to. 

So when she came back to the Netherlands she started to appreciate the Hague so much more than ever before. In particular, her life in a safe city with nearby by the sea and forests. For her, it felt like the freedom to bike again.

At home, still fascinated by the trip to Peru she didn’t stop thinking about rugs. She discovered beautiful old ancient Inca textiles and a lot of colors in general that South America offers: 

‘I think previous years I needed more color in life. When I arrived in Peru I wore a lot of black colors. I don’t know why but suddenly I felt almost like a gothic person, although nothing wrong with that. I simply started adding more colors to my life and in particular to my artworks.’

When Celia came back to the Netherlands she had no money or house — she started from scratch. Surrounded by a lot of contrasts she grew up with a simple life thus never felt like missing something: 

‘In life, you always need contrasts. For example, whenever my father sold a painting (lithography) the whole family always celebrated it! I think it’s good to not get too much attached to the material things in life. Everything becomes extra if you can appreciate it. I grew up with different cultures and traveled as a kid, which exposed me to new people and situations. It is good to feel humble. I try to translate my personal character and experiences into my work, everything is connected.

Celia went through a path with its ups and downs to become a professional artist.

This being said, for her the best experience became life itself: ‘Life is a paradox; it’s beautiful and at the same time challenging. Life consists of contrasts. For example, suffering from heavy migraine seizures. Since the age of 13 it forced me to deal with contrasting extremities. As a coping mechanism, looking for ways to give me peace and quiet, I started making collages, searching and cutting folds and structures in the fashion magazines. Which led to the project Folds.’

From the beginning and as an initial idea, Celia thought to develop and create an art piece, an art rug or wallhanging. 

For a long time, Celia searched for a technique that could translate shading into textiles. In particular, she uses dark and white contrasts in all of her art pieces, which our eyes deceive as almost 3D. Trompe-l’oile (French for ‘deceive the eye’) a modern art technique that emphasizes her designs in the right way. In other words, it is a method that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion of depicted objects existing in 3D.

Production of the series Folds starts with a search of an ideal and interesting shape, a fold or a drapery. Sometimes this process takes weeks or months. Celia uses a lot of different kinds of fabrics to find an ideal appearance; the right softness or shininess. 

When she finds the right texture she takes a lot of pictures. During a photoshoot, lighting plays an important role as it influences the appearance dramatically. Then she edits the images and prepares the production file. In the end, when everything is ready she sends her design to a producer in Belgium. Who afterward ships it to another company in Holland which specializes in the finishings of a rug. Every art rug must be cut out by hand as Celia Hadeler uses irregular shapes.

She works in an intuitive way with color. Every art rug is different and depends on the choice in folds and colors: 

‘Using a specific fabric; more velvet or silky kind adds a certain feeling. For example, the artwork ‘Old Pink’ has very minimal folds and the soft pink color. When ‘Orange Orange’ has very ‘out there’ colors and the bold voluptuous drapery that beams totally different energy.’

Hadeler’s fearless choice of scale and color immediately attract all attention to the art piece, no matter the space size it is presented in. More than that, it transforms the space completely and involves viewers in a game. It makes them wonder if, in fact, the surface is flat. 

When in real life, the artworks also may serve as day-to-day floor rugs thankfully to its dense soft pile structure made from polyamide or wool.

To summarize, Celia finds a feeling of peace and calmness in a single piece of a fold, in its abstract and figurative way. The series Folds resulted from her contrasts in life. She creates a new world when shifts the focus of a fold: zoom in and out or play with lighting, color, or texture. With Folds, she translates her perspective on the simple beauty of a fold. 

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Vikenti Komitski

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Vikenti Komitski is currently based in Berlin. He graduated Sculpture in NAA in Sofia and Master’s program Art In Context in Universität der Künste, Berlin.

With his last series of works, he displays the multi-layered surface that forms an image that is often covered over by the flatness of the picture. Komitski makes his large-scale ‘collages’ out of the found objects and budget shop items. Also, he deliberately creates works that are multi-dimensional and impure which go against the modernist credo of flatness and purity. 

In general, the practice of collecting things seems like a primary gesture that shapes Komitski’s works. However, this mere gatherings of trivia and their formal assemblage allow appearing the illusion of the visual unconscious. In particular, the illusion that haunts the post-internet era and that casts a deep crack in its seeming surface. 

Vikenti Komitski makes works from different layered segments that in the end adds up to a kind of visual rebus. He deliberately plays with our perception. Equally, he plays with the interpretation of image and object, visuality and spatiality, trash and art, obvious and secret, the natural and artificial. 

In short, when today’s digital times are fully altered by humans and their technologies, Komitski reminds us of the analog (origin). Moreover of a non-human, animal and nature in general. At the same time, these images of birds, trees, and etc. altered and deformed by the constructions that hold them. Since all innocence is long gone.