Personal Relations Artist Interview, Jacobien de Korte (PULCHRI)

Read our interview to artist Jacobien de Korte, member of Pulchri Studio, in The Hague (NL).

Would you tell us something about your artwork and how you responded to the brief?

After reading the invitation, my first thought was that it would be nearly impossible to realise my work in such a small format.  More accurately: I wasn’t used to work in the way being proposed, the size of the work being smaller than 15 x 10 cm, including the frame.  For a while, I’ve held off the invitation, but in the meantime I started thinking on how to still do this. I realised that it forced me to think in a different way about the elaboration and this attracted me. Together with the prospect of collaborating with international artists and working at different locations, I decided I wanted to participate in this project.

What did you gain from this international collaborative project?
I attended both openings, in London as well in the Hague, and I very much enjoyed meeting new people and talking to other artists about our projects and about art and life in general. As an artist, most of the time you work alone. This project gave me the feeling of belonging to a group. I find it amazing how everybody interpreted the project in his own way and from a different cultural perspective.

What do you feel the role of the artist can be in relation to current political affairs?

I think that the independent thinking and the sensibility of an artist are very important. To act as a sounding board, to retain a critical view and to dare to express this, to put forward possible solutions through another language -namely the language of visual arts- may affect and trigger a wider vision which allows us to continue to communicate.

Miniature portraits were often given to as political gifts to kings or ambassadors …what message would you embed in such a gift?

The work I’ ve chosen  for this project, isn’t a portrait in traditional sense.  On my portrait, where the face isn’t visible, you can see the sitter photographed from the back. The work portrays introversion, the sitter is not immediately visible or even unrecognisable, but has its own presence and the right to have “a face”, an existence.

What do you think your collective brought to the other groups and what do you think they brought to your collective?

In my vision, in art collectives the artists should remain autonomous. Everybody’s contribution will therefore be different. I hope I can contribute with my work, as described above, and by my personal presence, which allowed me to interact with several people.

One of the aims was to create an opportunity for the artist to work on a unique and inspiring conceptual brief and become part of a collective work , was that successful for you?

Sure it was.  I had not previously participated in international projects like this one. As I indicated before, in the beginning I was a little bit reluctant to take part in the project.  So far I’ve been present at every opening. Finally I was initially anxious to give this interview, but now I find it very refreshing and meaningful.  For this I’m thankful.

http://www.jacobiendekorte.com

jacobien-de-korte-hotelroom-6

Jacobien de Korte, Hotelroom 6 – PULCHRI

Personal Relations Artist Interview, José Krijnen (PULCHRI)

This week we are excited to publish the interview of José Krijnen, member of Pulchri Studio in The Hague (Netherlands).

Would you tell us something about your artwork and how you responded to the brief?

I am interested in human gesture as an ambigous phenomen. It is individual yet universal, it is bound by time and context, yet timeless. I made a miniature of hands wich are holding a cup with a specific folkloristic pattern ‘boerenbont’. The cup covers the face. I always paint people whose head is either covered or outside the frame, aiming to explore gesture instead of  individuals. In history, miniature portraits where a diplomatic gift. Because I am Dutch I chose to show a typical Dutch pattern with a typical Dutch habbit. In the Netherlands it is a common habit to invite someone for a cup of coffee. You’d ask this if you want to get to know someone better, but also with your family or even for business purposes. You ask: Would you like to drink a cup of coffee with me?

What did you gained from this international collaborative project?

I enjoyed meeting colleagues of other nations. I like to contribute together with other artists to co-create this body of work. I have never painted this small size before. I wanted to make a ‘Jose Krijnen’ miniature ans still taking serious part in the project. It was a challenge to translate the concept to my work. But since then, I have been painting a lot of miniatures. I found that this small size helps me to concentrate, I like it.

What do you feel the role of the artist can be in relation to current political affairs?

Not so much. I think art shoud reach a level beyond political affairs. All people are responsible for political affairs. Of course it helps to create international bonds and artistic exchange. But I would also enjoy this project in a context of different political affairs. I – as an artist – am more interested in the artistic value of art. You will always be influenced by your time and context but does the thing/ piece of art still work/ speak over 300 years? That is  an interesting question about art…

Miniature portraits were often given to as political gifts to kings or ambassadors …what message would you embed in such a gift?

I would invite them for a cup of coffee to share ideas and experiences. Dialogue is only interesting when people are different. Differences are a source of wealth/ richness. I like diversity instead of just my own nationality…and still I will always be determined by it. But there it starts.

What do you think the project brought to your collective?

My collective liked the fresh and all-round concept (art-history, commitment, new media) of the project and the oppertunity for international exchange.

One of the aims was to create an opportunity for the artist to work on a unique and inspiring conceptual brief and become part of a collective work , was that successful for you?

Yes, I enjoyed the people and their artistic views very much. I like collaborating with other artists and making a work together.

jose-krijnen-boerenbont

José Krijnen, Boerenbont – PULCHRI

 

Personal Relations Artist Interview, Antonella Ferrari (TINA)

Read here our second interview with Italian artist Antonella Ferrari, This Is Not Art

Would you tell us something about your artwork and how you responded to the brief?

The theme of the show is quite significant to my practice, as a lot of my work has to do with human relations and how we connect with others, both in the public and personal sphere.
The video presented for this project, is more personal and introspective and focuses on the relationship we have with ourselves. Glimpse is a black and white video, composed of two identical clips playing side by side in a loop. In each clip I am portrayed turning my head to glance at an identical mirrored image of myself, on the other side of the screen. The loop and time offset between the two clips prevents eye contact between the two figures. One lowers the head just as the other is about to raise hers and meet the other’s gaze. The intention is to play with the elusive nature of self-perception and the inability to see our selves as a whole, coherent entity.

What did you gain from this international collaborative project?

It was exciting to explore some of the ideas surrounding my work in a wider context and to collaborate with other artists with different practises to create such a powerful concept/installation. Although at first the size restriction seemed like a real challenge, it actually opened up new possibilities. I never thought of presenting my video in such small format, on a mobile phone. I think it really worked, as it added a sense of intimacy to the work, which I hadn’t thought of before.

What do you feel the role of the artist can be in relation to current political affairs?

The last year has felt particularly disheartening, due to political matters and humanitarian crises around the world. Now more than ever it is important to reflect on these issues and try to develop cross-cultural relationships. I hope that art, as well as other forms of communication, can help us bridge division and connect with other people around the world. Art has no borders.

Miniature portraits were often given as political gifts to kings or ambassadors …what message would you embed in such a gift?

My work in particular would like to be an invitation to reach out and connect, whether to others or to our very selves.

One of the aims was to create an opportunity for the artist to work on a unique and inspiring conceptual brief and become part of a collective work, was that successful for you?

Absolutely. I loved the way 150 works from artists across three European countries were brought together and displayed in such an interesting way. Although retaining their individual identity, the single works collectively merged together, to create a whole new entity conveying a very strong message.

antonella-ferrari-glimpse

Antonella Ferrari, Glimpse – TINA

Personal Relations Artist Interview, Paul Tecklenberg (LG)

We were keen to find out more about the miniature portraits and the artists behind them. Therefore we interviewed some of the  artists participating in Personal Relations.
Please find here the first interview of Paul Tecklenberg, member of The London Group.

Would you tell us something about your artwork and how you responded to the brief?

When I first read the brief, I thought you wanted a self portrait. I started to draw out some ideas and I quickly realised that I wanted to use the full allocated space of 10x15x10 cm’s. In the past, I have used glasses filled with water as lenses to enlarge images though and I was toying with this idea. The problem I had is at first, I couldn’t find the right size glass. As it happens in life, someone left a small empty whisky bottle on the wall outside my house and it was the perfect size. I made six or seven versions, enlarging my face through a  gherkin jar, honey jar, small v-shaped glasses and the bottle. Out of all of them, the bottle worked the best. I like the way the photographic paper captured the imperfections in the glass and the light refraction. I also like the vulnerability of an open bottle on a shelf.

  • What did you gained from this international collaborative project?

For me, I enjoyed being in a group show on this scale with artists from across Europe. In the London show, I liked the way the exhibition was hung all on one line, with the artists from different nationalities mixed up with equal space between each one. It felt egalitarian.

  • What do you feel the role of the artist can be in relation to current political affairs?

The role of the artist can be one of defiance, determination, solidarity, resistance, commentator or visionary.  The artist can also be irrelevant to the political discourse.

  • Miniature portraits were often given to as political gifts to kings or ambassadors …what message would you embed in such a gift?

Maybe the message embedded in my miniature portrait is “moderate your drinking or drink to oblivion’.

  • One of the aims was to create an opportunity for the artist to work on a unique and inspiring conceptual brief and become part of a collective work , was that successful for you?

I think the aims and aspirations of the show are admirable and liberating at a time when nationalism is on the rise. I enjoyed the show and it celebrates a rich diversity of approaches to miniature portraiture.

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Paul Tecklenberg, Spirit – LG