Category: Q&A

Kaoruko

Artist Q&A with Kaoruko

Kaoruko’s painting process pays homage to both traditional and contemporary Japanese artistic methodologies by using water-based paint (acrylic), gold leaf, sumi-e (traditional calligraphy techniques), ukiyo-e (traditional Japanese woodblock prints) and silkscreened kimono patterns on canvas. By juxtaposing all these similar yet separate elements, Kaoruko weaves together narratives of the young and old, the bourgeoning and bygone to deliver poignant paintings that straddle cultural, sexual and geographic beliefs and stereotypes of feminine identity at a crucial time that is rewriting the narrative on what it is to be female both here and abroad.

“Teddy Bear”, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 60 x 54 in | 152 x 137 cm, 2018

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Gustav Klimt

How did you become a professional artist?

I was a Japanese pop singer when I was a teenager. Based on my experience of playing the “kawaii (pretty/cute)” character in Japan, I still keep expressing the beauty of women in the art world.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

I am currently inspired by the unique Japanese traditional crafts such as “Washi”, traditional Japanese paper, “Aizome”, Japanese indigo dye, and “Arita-yaki”, Japanese porcelain.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

I incorporate the Japanese culture, like Japanese paintings and manga with my works. I use a method of drawing in 2D with a “Mensoufude”, fine pointed brushes and using a 200-year-old kimono pattern into a silk screen to make it look like a collage.

When is a piece finished for you?

When I start drawing my work, my inspiration talks to me. Coincidence calls for the chance. Various colors and ideas are born by that voice. When the conversation stops, I finish the work.

Kaoruko, photo by Hisao Taya.

What’s different

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Josh Rowell

Artist Q&A with Josh Rowell

Josh Rowell generates his artistic vision by focusing on technological advances that shape our contemporary lives, communicating our increasingly mediated human interactions within the confines of visual art. The artist balances analogue techniques with the instantaneous nature of the digital age. This juxtaposition produces a language that explores and reshapes information, and celebrates the hand-made in a time that is increasingly being enveloped by the virtual.

“Virtually Fragile #6”, acrylic on wooden panel, 47 x 71 in |120 x 180 cm, 2018

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

This is sort of an impossible question to answer! It’s hard to choose just one because I have admired, followed and idolised so many artists; all for different reasons, at different stages of my life. But if I had to give you my favourite artist right now, I think I would say Leonardo DaVinci, his work has been at the forefront of my mind ever since seeing some of his paintings on display at the Uffizi gallery in Florence last summer. I think it is the combination of creativity, skill, mathematics, science and so on that makes him such an important artist, perhaps the most important artist to have ever lived.

How did you become a professional artist?

I grew up in a fairly creative family, I remember as a child my grandmother would teach me to paint and draw at the weekends. That, combined with some inspirational art teachers at school, I felt inspired to follow a Fine Arts education to Degree and Master’s Degree level. Upon graduating from university, I actually took up a position as a gallery assistant for a contemporary art gallery in Mayfair, London. I always say that this was perhaps the most valuable experience of my career so far, … Click here to read more

Gregory Thielker

Artist Q&A with Gregory Thielker

Movement, territory, and memory shape the work of artist Gregory Thielker. He uses drawing and painting, as well as sound and installation, to unpack perceptions and narratives of specific places. Hyperrealistic representation serves as a tool for a slow, meticulous transcription of the physical sites, as well as documentation of the artist’s contact with each place. His images reveal a critical glance, give pause for contemplation, and allow memory to affect our impressions. He has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. Gregory currently lives in Switzerland.

“Remainder”, oil on linen, 34 x 50 in | 86 x 127cm, 2019

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

If I have to pick one who has continued to inspire me it would be Gerhard Richter.

How did you become a professional artist?

I have always loved art, but for most of my days in school, I tried hard to do other things. Eventually, the feeling that I needed to be an artist won out. And now I can’t imagine not making art.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

I am inspired and challenged by what I see around me. I think this started when I began to paint en plein air, and after I pulled out a canvas, that moment of paralysis when I had to decide how and why I was painting what I saw. For better or worse, I have moved around a lot too; living in New York and different cities in the US, to India, Bulgaria, and now Switzerland. It’s not easy to arrive in a new place, but I think that painting and drawing give me the means to understand how I see things. There is a saying I believe about India: that when you first arrive, you feel like you can … Click here to read more