Category: Mixed Media

Matthias van Arkel

Artist Q&A with Matthias van Arkel

Matthias van Arkel has become known for his unique expression of merging painting and sculpture in his works made of silicone. Over the past few decades van Arkel has consequently investigated painterly ideas, his practice has emerged out of a conceptual approach. In his three-dimensional works meaning is achieved through density, sensuality and energy. There is a performative dimension involved in the creation process, as the artist balances intuition versus control through the special technique that he has developed. The sculptural shapes move like enlarged brush strokes forming abstract landscapes. Van Arkel challenges our perception of what defines a painting and invites us to see it from a new perspective.

“Gobelin (F.A.S)”, silicone rubber, 106 x 137 in | 270 x 348 cm, 2012. Photo credit: Erik Lefvander.

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

That’s a difficult question. Probably Edvard Munch. I’m so interested in everything about him as an artist and a person–how he found ideas for his paintings. His graphic prints, especially, have a very strong impact on me. 

How did you become a professional artist?

It all started because it was natural in my family: my father was an artist. But the one who took me further with the thought of being an artist was my 9th-grade art teacher, who inspired me in all ways and stood as a model for me after school hours. She also gave me pep talks about my ability to be an artist, that I had the talent for it, and she told me to apply to art school–my dad didn’t do that. He thought it was a difficult life to be an artist; he wanted me to choose something else. But this teacher encouraged me at that young age to go for … Click here to read more

Lin Shih Pao

Artist Q&A with Lin Shih Pao

Lin Shih Pao is a New York contemporary artist born in Pingtung County, Taiwan. A child from the rural countryside of Taiwan, he has been creating with his hands since he was young. And his hand-making skill has led to this extraordinary life as a legendary artist in a social movement. Taiwan’s Times Press compiled his story into two books:” A Penny Story” and “The Legend Continues.” Taiwan’s public television also produced an episode for him: An Artist’s Story.

You may be as curious as I am, how his work resulted in a thousand-person social movement? How he demonstrates love in interpersonal relationships has brought tears to the eyes of many, both participants in his creation and viewers. And his volunteers rally to him with exuberance and passion. Let us hear his views on art creation from the following interview.

“Love Ring 1”, PVC, gold foil, 13 x 13 x 10 in | 33 x 33 x 25 cm, 2020

Who are your most admired artists?

I like Van Gogh’s wild, enthusiastic, and reckless personality. I think that’s the spirit that an artist should have, regardless of the consequences to make art, live in the moment, and do whatever you want to do at the moment for the art’s sake. I have visited the painting site of Van Gogh in the south of France, and I can feel the momentum. In addition, I also like Picasso’s willful little urchin personality, but Picasso is very good at doing art business. Unlike Van Gogh, Picasso’s life is the sum of reason and sensibility. As for American artists, I like Jackson Pollock. His action painting in Abstract Expressionism has an invisible coincidence with my painting creation. I often use a similar technique as he does to flick … Click here to read more

Engels the Artist

Artist Q&A with Engels the Artist

Engels the Artist is a painter who subverts the materials of a painting. Staples march across the picture plane. Wooden stretchers peek through raw canvas. Canvas is punctured, torn or shredded. The strict economy of line and texture, the use of everyday objects, and makeshift elegance recalls his grandmother’s home in Haiti, which against all odds had splendor.

In 2019, Engels the Artist had a solo show at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase New York. He has shown extensively in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. The National Museum of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Skoto Gallery, New York; FiveMyles Gallery, New York; Zane Bennett Gallery, Santa Fe; and others have exhibited his work. 

A monograph on Engels the Artist was published by Neuberger Museum of Art in 2019, and his work has been written about in Hyperallergic, the New York Post, and the New York Daily News

Engels the Artist works in Brooklyn, New York.

“Cotton Pearl”, oil on canvas, 60 x 40 x 8 in | 152 x 102 x 20 cm, 2017

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

I like so many artists from so many different periods. The impressionists and the artists of the Dada movement speak to me directly. The tenderness of Cezanne. Bob Thompson’s play on the classical and the raw. One of my favorite artists is Antoni Tàpies. His work is tactile. His used materials like string and marble dust. He grew up during the Spanish Civil War. He looked at destruction and made something sacred, tranquil. His work makes me feel like I am on a journey. It is transformative. 

How did you become a professional artist?

I did not get into art. Art got into me. I knew I was an artist when … Click here to read more