Lily Kostrzewa interviews artist Lo Ch’ing

In the summer of 2020, I was invited by the director of Whitebox Art Center in New York City to write a piece art review for an exhibition “Nocturnal Whispers of Pan” by Lo Ch’ing and Thomas Rose. It was the first time I saw Lo Ch’ing’s paintings; I was fascinated by the exhibition. The two artists open a new artistic dialogue that begins with an interpretation of an image’s meaning and a discussion of the cultural concepts surrounding the image. Using the cultural concept of Chinese calligraphy’s reimagined scenarios, Lo Ch’ing creates images of Chinese calligraphic “playful” icons with a focus on bizarre spatial arrangements with an abstract traditional format. He also created a poem for each image in both Chinese and English languages. In my childhood, my artistic foundation was trained in traditional Chinese calligraphy/painting in Taiwan, which made me wish to interview Mr. Lo one aday. The wish was granted two years later.

A Maple Tree’s Magnificent Autumn, ink and watercolor on paper, 27 × 54 in | 68 × 137 cm, 2018

Lo Ch’ing, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, was a famous poet from Taiwan; he studied comparative literature at Washington State University in Seattle and obtained a master’s degree. After returning to Taiwan, he taught at the School of Foreign Languages ​​of Fu Jen Catholic University, later serving as the director of the Chinese Language and Culture Center (Mandarin Training Center) of the National Taiwan Normal University, taught at its Fine Arts Department and many other schools as well. He has been invited to give lectures in various countries around the world and has appraised calligraphy and paintings in well-known museums, including the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Shanghai Museum, … Click here to read more

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.

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. 

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

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 it. … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Kim 25

In 2020, Kim25 began exploring the duality of the ‘boundary of undecidability’ that lies between inside and out, and sought to capture this complicated relationship. with her work “The Truth of Mystery.” In 2021 “The Truth of Mystery” series reveals its shape as the figure of the text at the point where inside and outside, inner world and outside reality, correspond. What is remarkable in her painting is that the undecidability of the boundary that belongs to both inside and outside turns into the very (textual, perhaps inter-textual) substance; the undecidability of the boundary becomes, through the artist’s kiasmatic logic, the boundary of undecidability that re-doubles the boundary and the object(s) and thus problematizes the boundariness of the boundary. Kim25’s poetic imagination that manifests itself on her canvas not only gives a new sense of aesthetics through which viewers can communicate with the newly expressed reality, but also facilitates the invitation to various interpretative participations.

“Meet of Each Other – L’éternité & Rimbaud”, oil on canvas, 32 x 46 in | 80 x 117 cm (each panel), 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

My favorite artists of all time are Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Julian Schnabel.

How did you become a professional artist?

I was always friends with art and painting. Ever since I was born and had strength in my hands, I always played with drawing utensils. Painting is a fickle friend I meet every day.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

I am influenced by words from literature. On a gloomy day, looking out the window at the scarlet red sunset, I imagine the red sea. I think of the fate of the sea and how it becomes a mirror for the sky, mixed altogether and … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Kurt Lightner

Kurt Lightner was born in Troy, Ohio. He received his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design, OH, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Lightner’s works have been included in many significant group and solo exhibitions; Greater New York, PS1 MOMA, Kurt Lightner: Five Acres, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Queens International, Queens Museum, Other Worlds, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and A View almost Picturesque and Slow Dissolve, Clementine Gallery. Lightner’s works have been critically reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, Freize, Beautiful Decay, Brooklyn Rail, New York Times, The New Yorker, Sculpture, and the Village Voice, among others.

He has been a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and The Headlands Center for the Arts Project Studio Residency in San Fransisco. Lightner’s works are included in many private and public collections both nationally and internationally.

He currently lives and works in Queens, New York. 

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Of all Time? That’s tough.

My favorites ebb and flow but here are a few that always stick in my mind. Charles Burchfield, David Milne, Early Vuillard, Lois Dodd, Alice Neel, William H. Johnson, Giorgio Morandi, Edvard Munch, Jacob Lawrence, William Hawkins, Arlene Shechet, Millet, Van Gogh, Horace Pippin, and Peter Doig. Not necessarily in that order.

“Planting Lesson”, acrylic on canvas, 98 x 70 in | 249 x 177 cm, 2021

How did you become a professional artist?

Since I was a child, I was always using my hands creating, making, growing something. I grew up in a small town in a farming community out in the country pretty isolated until I could drive. This environment allowed for a lot of time to find ways to entertain myself. I would draw and go on made up “archeological … Click here to read more

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

Artist Q&A with William Bradley

William Bradley graduated with a Masters degree from Wimbledon College of the University of the Arts London in 2008, selling out his end of year show. He has since been selected for FutureMap 08 and the Catlin Art prize 2009 and 2011 and Baker’s Dozen at Torrance Art Museum in 2020. His work is included in several major collections. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

“Wild, Wild Wood”, acrylic on canvas on board, 52.5 x 48 x 3.5 in | 133 x 122 x 9 cm, 2022

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

I’ll give you a different answer every time. There are however a few touchstones: John Hoyland, Hans Hofman, Howard Hogkin, and Sandra Blow. There was an incredible show of Eduardo Chillida at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park when I was a teenager–it’s stayed with me ever since. Then there is Matisse.

How did you become a professional artist?

When you’re consumed by something it can be difficult to resist; so it was always the plan. It’s my mum’s fault–she gave me the bug. Then throw in a couple of influential tutors and you’re pretty much screwed. I worked practically full time during my BA to save the money to move to London and continue my studies. My time in London working towards my MA in Painting was pivotal. It was challenging in so many ways and taught me that I was going to question what the fuck I’m doing everyday–several times a day, but like I said, difficult to resist. I was incredibly fortunate to sell out my degree show and meet a couple of key people who set me on the path, including me in UAL’s Future Map and then the Catlin Art Prize–Cheers Medeia and Justin!

What are the influences and inspirations

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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

Artist Q&A with Lawrence Charles Miller

The human figure is the given in Lawrence Charles Miller’s visual equations. He creates pictures that imply their own fiction, making pictures within and about pictures. He is known for his sense of humor, which is often evident in his art. He has exhibited extensively across the United States, including exhibitions in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, as well as exhibition abroad in Wales, Tijuana, and San Paulo. His work is in the permanent collection of MOMA in New York City; MOMA in Wales, UK; MuBE, Sao Paulo; LACMA, Los Angeles; and Fluxus Museum in Texas. 

“Oxendrawn #9”, graphite and electronic digital media on paper, 10 x 12 in | 25 x 30 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Leonardo DaVinci. On each viewing his drawings seem to draw themselves anew. This sensation of movement ends in a mighty stillness in his paintings. Here I sense a timelessness that gives them a contemporary attitude. To me it’s oddly American. I think of Warhol’s electric chairs. Hopper’s rooms. Pollack’s thickets of time.   

How did you become a professional artist?

Well, I come from a working-class family in a gritty city. My mother’s family were Italian immigrants, and my father was Pennsylvania Dutch. It was either the steel mill or something else. 

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

My parents bought a set of encyclopedias. There was a section about painting in the P volume. My drawing habit switched from copying comics to copying the old masters. Later, libraries were crucial. My inspiration became modern art and poetry. 

Lawrence Charles Miller, portrait by Peter Isaac Miller 

How is your work different than everything else out there?

Recently, my work has become something else. It is different relative to … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Luminita Gliga

Luminita Gliga (b. 1975) is an internationally recognized visual artist who is living and working in Bucharest, Romania. She studied painting at the National University of Arts in Bucharest. With a PhD in visual arts at the same university and with over 15 years of art experience, Gliga expresses through the colors and shapes, creating new worlds where the viewer is expected and invited to explore. Her compositions are created with abstract and elements from the known and seen world.  The painted image is a form of communicating with people.

Gliga’s paintings have been presented in many places in her country and across the globe in art museums, galleries, festivals, and art fairs including the Romanian Artists’ Union, the Romanian Parliament; Galerie Icosahedron and the New Arts Center in New York; the IRCCU Venice; and the the Thuilliers Gallery in Paris. She was awarded by La Société académique Arts-Sciences-Lettres with Medaille de Vermeil in 2006. Her artworks are present in various public and private collections.

“Memories of a Tropical World II”, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 51 in | 100 x 130cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

My tastes are changing all the time because it can be the situation to like just one artist or the complete opera. I love Abstract Expressionism, particularly Willem de Kooning, but my favorite artist of all time is Picasso. I am fascinated by his way of breaking the practices of the past and finding new shapes to express. Also his devotion to artistic production contributed significantly to the whole development of modern art. I also find his collages very interesting. He remains an influential painter and sculptor, print maker, and ceramist. He wanted to develop a new way of seeing, namely in that of reflecting the … Click here to read more