Ylva Dimetri

Mariestad, Sweden


Tell us about yourself. What does being an artist mean to you?

I have always seen myself as a painter, when I was a child I use to look up at the clouds and wanted to paint them, now I am doing that. In periods it has been hard to keep up my work because of other circumstances. Now I am very glad that I have the opportunity to paint and do it so much more.

Ylva portrait.JPG


What is your workspace or studio like?

Right now it is a bit of compact living, my studio is all around my 2-room apartment, mostly in the biggest room but also in the kitchen where the light is the best.

Ateljé 1inside the studio - tools.JPG

Please explain the method behind your creative process.

Originating from the background which I do with paintbrushes, then the strong color accents come in and is layed above, with the painting knife. I do not use so many different colors but the variations of the paintings are still very wide – surprise is always there, even for me. And when the picture is all there, I look to see what it says to me and set a title, that makes it complete to me.

Mellan borstarna.JPG

What inspires you to create? What role, if any, does identity play in your art? Please explain.

When I paint I want to bring joy, harmony, balance and strength. I love to hear what different viewers see in the paintings, and then give them new titles. It is good to see when the imaginary world does magic.

How does travelling or migrating (domestically or internationally) influence your creative process?

I would say, none at all. When I travel, I mostly travel in my mind. I do not look at other paintings more than a very little. This is my world and it is quite unique.

Is it important for your art to communicate a message? Please explain.

My message is happiness and balance. Together with calmness that is what I want to bring to the viewers.

 In your opinion, what is the best city in the world to see art?

 I cannot say that, art is everywhere if you just see it.

Light board - detail (ljusfärd) 60x60x4, 4200 SEK copy.JPG

With which artist and in what location, would you like to have lunch? What would you order?

Not sure about the artists…But I would like to go to Cuba, because there is a fabulous art of classic cars. Food? Well I will order pasta and probably from the vegetarian kitchen.       

It has been said that “art and wine go hand in hand…” Please talk about your wine of choice and the three artists with whom you would like to share it. 

Right at this moment why not champagne, with some intriguing Impressionists from the 19th century.

Are you familiar with Basquiat (1996), Pollock (2000) and Frida (2002)? In the essence of these biopic films, whom would you want cast for your role? Please explain.

Can I skip this question – I need more time to really think about that???

From The Editor's Desk: April 2017

One of my most memorable gallery experiences when I first moved to Mariestad, was with Galleri Baggen. I discovered the gallery on one of my early morning jogs and though it was closed the windows were inviting and almost encouraged art voyeurs to peek inside, so I did just that! There was one work in the window that caught my eye and several works that I could see that looked interesting As I continued to scope out the space I noticed a wall of colorful abstracts that were warm and inviting, I wondered if they were created by an artist with connections to the Caribbean – then I thought for a moment maybe Spain seemed more realistic since I now live in SwedenThese works seemed familiar because the purely abstract forms reminded me of Joan Mirò and Wassily Kandinsky but there was another element that kept me going back to view the paintings. During this time, I was researching various artists and art movements from Sweden and I saw a loose connection to the unacknowledged pioneer of abstract art Hilma af Klint. Hilma af Klint, like Mirò and Kandinsky, painted pure abstractions but she incorporated another aspect that explored spirituality. The more time I spent with these colorful abstracts, I started to see a connection with nature, so every chance I had, during that very cold spring, I would visit the gallery and absorb the warm energy from these abstract paintings 

 Finally, several months later I had the opportunity to meet this fictional expat Spanish artist now living in Sweden (at least this was the story I created in my head)! Art Crawl is one of the largest events in this small harbor town that takes place in the late fall during harvest celebrations. I walked around seeing several works and visiting so many art galleries and alternative gallery spaces hoping I would meet the artist whose work I had been admiring for several months. And finally, the last place on the map. I walked up a flight of stairs greeted by the most amazing colorful abstracts. And sitting on the sofa was a tall, lean woman with long black hair. I said hello in my beginner’s Swedish language explaining that I was not from Sweden but I had been living here for almost a year, studying the language and enjoying her group of works that were exhibited at Gallery Baggen.  It turns out that she was definitely not from the Caribbean or from Spain, she was from Sweden and spoke English! We spent almost an hour, chatting about her work and the fact that she lived in Spain for many months. She lived in Fuengirola during the late 1980s. And it was upon her return to Sweden that she started to incorporate stronger and richer colors and this is her style today. 

Fast forward two years later, Ylvla Dimetri is exhibiting online for the first time with D+C Contemporary!  We are incredibly excited to feature her in the exhibition Spain on My Mind. You can see the exhibition online from Friday April 7 – Saturday May 27, 2017 and after that @dccontemporary via Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

Antonio Carreño


                        

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. - Thomas Merton

The first time I saw one of Antonio Carreño’s paintings, I was instantly drawn to it. The colours were the first to attract me, but then I became lost in the other worldliness of the painting. A duality existed upon the canvas. It was a painting, yet had sculptural elements. There were constructed dimensions, reliefs, and crevices. These grabbed my attention and then transported me into another sphere. The painting was mystical and, at the same time, completely familiar.

Since my first introduction, Carreño’s style has changed, but the essence of his work remains. It is always dynamic and engaging. Inspired by the universe, many of his early works are texturally complex. He frequently used natural and man-made materials such as sand, sawdust, and ground paper as a foundation for the paintings’ tactility.  

In a universal way, we sometimes talk about the air as separate from the universe, but for me I look at the earth as part of the universe and most of the things in the universe are related to the earth. If we want to know the answers to the universe, we can look to the earth - its right in front of us.

Holy Night  (2012), oil on canvas

Carreño has mastered the technique of creating atmosphere. He works in layers and manipulates geometric patterns and colours to construct planes of existence. One quickly becomes captivated by the paintings’ visual dialogue. His paintings take the viewer on an expedition where one discovers more the longer one views the painting. The vivacity of the paintings results in the viewer’s inter-action with the art. Unable to focus one’s eyes on a particular area, the energy, movement, progression, and harmony within the work hold the viewer’s attention. He paints without constraints or limits. As such, painting becomes a spontaneous and experimental journey yet, seemingly contradictory, it is also controlled and deeply profound.  

I mix my colours and I start to work. I have a general understanding as to how I want to structure the different density of the colours. Most of the time I try to use more heavy colours on the bottom as it grounds the painting and then as I move up I use lighter colours. It’s just a psychological way of how we are ourselves. Your thoughts are coming through your head and you are grounded by the floor. The quality of things is much lighter on the top and heavier on the ground. In most of my latest work, I might have a different spectrum, where the finalities are harmonious around the paintings themselves. I always use a touch of primary colours, red and yellow. Yellow is light to me, it’s an important colour and I use it as light. If I’m using secondary colours there would always be the appearance of the primary colours, to reflect the energy of the painting itself.

Carreño's use of colour is influenced by his cultural background.

Light ... comes very naturally. I think growing up in the Caribbean, the main thing that hits you every day is the sun. No one in the Caribbean is separated from interaction with the sun. In painting, there’s energy between the art and artists in general. The energy of a painting has the energy of the artists.
 
Carreño’s interest in humanity and the “driving forces” of our lives contribute to his body of work, Gravitation. This series continues his attention to the universe and humanity’s place within it.

Blue Ensemble (2008), oil on canvas

Scientists acknowledge that the universe is expanding, yet, they are unaware of exactly how this is occurring. The driving forces of the universe, in many respects, remain unknown as do the driving forces among individuals. It is this mystery Antonio seeks to explore.  

He states, “gravitation creates everything”. Gravitation is an unseen fundamental aspect of our daily existence in both a physical and social way. Just as our bodies are attracted to the earth through gravitation, there is also the magnetism which exists between individuals. This applies to strangers whom we physically gravitate towards for some unknown reason as well as mental gravitation, thinking of a person at a certain time and having an unexplained, yet urgent need to make contact.

Sequence of Thoughts #2 (2011), oil on canvas

Carreño’s art, like the universe, expands with no end in sight. He continuously pushes himself and his art to express the holistic nature of the universe and the universal elements that connect us all.

A lot of the information in the color is presented within the soul of a thing. Sometimes a painting as a whole will reflect feelings and emotions that can’t be captured. Colors can capture the emotion. It can be the end of the afternoon (or) the space of the ocean.

Phase Ascending (2012), oil on canvas


Nicole Collie


Bossier, Louisiana

           

Tell us about yourself. What does being an artist mean to you?

I was born and raised in the Bahamas. I cannot say exactly when I began my love affair with art. I only know that it is an affair of the heart. Being an artist is what I am. I do not know anything else but to be an artist. I remember at the age of three a green florescent school table that I kept all my coloring books and pencil crayons, crayons and water colors. I never played with dolls or other toys, it was all about coloring. I am blessed because I have such a supportive husband that allows me to focus on my art full time, so it is either my graphics or painting and I love it.

Nicole Collie

Nicole Collie

What is your workspace or studio like?

What an interesting question. My workspace is wherever I have room to paint. From my bedroom to my living room to the game room to outside, everywhere is my workspace.

Nicole's Studio

Please explain the method behind your creative process.

I have been painting all my life and it has always been… when I am inspired I paint. But that has totally changed in the last two months. I have always heard as an artist you should put paint to canvas everyday. Which had always seemed very excessive and impractical to me. However, I have changed that, I now force myself to create 3 paintings a week and it is taking me to places I have never been before. I am experimenting with different products in my paintings; I am learning more about the body and how it works, I am being “free” with how I paint. This has been a wonderful experience, which just started out with me wanting to push and challenge myself.

What inspires you to create? What role, if any, does identity play in your art? Please explain.

Identity is what my art is about. I grew up with body issues, just like many girls these days, but to top it off I had a family member tell me he was embarrassed to be seen with me and I was just too fat. From there I started painting nudes. And my end conclusion was, if I can stand in front of a mirror naked and like the person that I am I have won the battle of self worth.

Nicole's Tools

How does travelling or migrating (domestically or internationally) influence your creative process?

Moving to Bossier, Louisiana has stunted my creative process; over the last 4 years that we have been here I have been very uninspired. Since I paint nudes, it is frowned upon and looked at as pornography. This is a hard pill for me to swallow so I just stopped painting. Which is what takes us to question 3 on why I started making myself paint.

Is it important for your art to communicate a message? Please explain.

Yes it is important to communicate a message, however this usually needs to come from me talking and sharing because usually people only see a naked body. My message is learn yourself and love yourself. We as women are very hard on each other and we should spend our time lifting each other up instead of pulling each other down.

In your opinion, what is the best city in the world to see art?

Oh My!!! I love Europe because the art is so old and tells such rich stories. I loved Santa Fe. The colors and the diversity in the art. New York because how overwhelming it is and it makes me feel so small, but above all else the colors that come out for the Caribbean. I guess it is the Caribbean and that is probably because I am an Island girl myself and I just love the colors.

With which artist and in what location, would you like to have lunch? What would you order?

Frida Kahlo. She had such a tragic life after her accident but through it all she painted and she painted what she felt which was not always pretty. Lunch, no because it might distract me from what she was saying. I would want all my attention to be on her.

It has been said that “art and wine go hand in hand…” Please talk about your wine of choice and the three artists with whom you would like to share it.

Edgar Degas, Salvador Dali, and Georgia O’Keeffe. I enjoy a smooth Chardonnay and I like these artists for different reasons. Degas, I loved that he painted the female form and how delicate his work was, but even more than that, he was able to tell a story with his painting. He engaged his audience and always had them wanting to see more. Dali, because I am a huge Surrealist fan, it takes a very creative man to come up with these kind of  paintings. O’Keeffe, you found the feminine form in the flowers she painted.

Are you familiar with Basquiat (1996), Pollock (2000) and Frida (2002)? In the essence of these biopic films, whom would you want cast for your role? Please explain.

I would like Tracee Ellis Ross, she is quirky and silly and appears to be enjoying life. I am a huge believer that life is supposed to be happy and not to take it too serious. And she sooooo seems to be similar to the character she plays on Black-ish.


Joshua D Niedermeier

Santa Barbara, California        


Tell us about yourself. What does being an artist mean to you?

I was raised in a large family on a dairy farm, near Rock City, Illinois. After high school I served in the Marine Corps as a firefighter. When my active duty time was finished, I then studied fine arts in Chicago, Illinois. In recent, years I have lived in Santa Barbara County, California. No matter where I am, the need to create is strong and the process, though long, is always loved. To me, being an artist simply means, to make the choice of self-expression.

Joshua D. Niedermeier

Joshua D. Niedermeier

What is your workspace or studio like?

I have a large room at home with lots of natural light. Usually it is very nice and organized, until I begin to paint.

Joshua's Studio

Please explain the method behind your creative process. 

Lately, I sit and stare until I decide on the composition. Sometimes I have a plan and usually I don't. When I am inspired to create it doesn’t always mean I know what needs to be expressed. I just feel the need!

What inspires you to create? What role, if any, does identity play in your art? Please explain. 

To be aware of life itself is enough inspiration for me to create. Oftentimes it's the sight, and smell, and textures of trees that really get me going. It's something about the give and take relationship between plants and humans, trees especially.  

Joshua's tools (and a detail)

How does traveling or migrating (domestically or internationally) influence your creative process?

I have been moving around my whole life. There is no doubt that the experiences found within my travels have helped my growth and development as a young man and of course as an artist.

Is it important for your art to communicate a message? Please explain. 

Each painting is different. Some have a meaning intended for the viewer and others are led by movement and feeling.

In your opinion, what is the best city in the world to see art?

The artists, vibe, culture and many others things change from place to place. From the schools, museums, galleries, and right on the street, Chicago is a hard place to beat.

With which artist and in what location, would you like to have lunch? What would you order?  

Vincent Van Gogh. And a few rounds of absinthe and some fresh warm bread.

It has been said that “art and wine go hand in hand…” Please talk about your wine of choice and the three artists with whom you would like to share it. 

I don’t drink alcohol anymore, except of course absinthe with Van Gogh. ha! However, I would find it amusing to be the DD (designated driver) for Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Francisco Goya.

Are you familiar with Basquiat (1996), Pollock (2000) and Frida (2002)? In the essence of these biopic films, whom would you want cast for your role? Please explain.


All are very interesting films. For me, I think the great Johnny Depp would be an interesting pick. He can play any part and shine. I have many layers and I would need someone whose ability is exceptionally diverse.


Anabel Jujol


There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be at time when we fail to protest.

-      Elie Wiesel

Protest Art Artivisme "Lampedusa ist here" (2014), photograph

Protest art has a long and varied history. Regardless of the medium, it provokes and inspires. While walking along the Rhine River in Düsseldorf, Germany on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, I happened upon the art piece Lampedusa. It gave me pause. Literally. With the river serving as the backdrop, stuffed black plastic bags of varying sizes representing the bodies of children and adults were ceremoniously displayed. The retrospective mood was fortified by lit candles and somber music.
 

"Trauermarsch" Lampedusa ist here. Protest Art  (2015), photograph

Inches from the symbolic body bags stood a tent bearing the name Frontex along with statistics on the thousands of migrants who have died at sea.

I had to meet the artist who conceived this work. A month later, I met Anabel Jujol, an activist, performance artist, and painter. As we sat and talked in Karo, the art gallery she shares with two other artists, her enthusiasm was palpable.

Jujol has two passions, art and activism. She once believed that these were mutually exclusive, but her involvement in the Occupy Movement changed this perception.

In 2011, like many others, she was inspired by Spain's Occupy Movement, Los Indignados. Further motivated by Stéphane Hessel's Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous!, Jujol along with five others began Occupy Düsseldorf in October 2011.

In time, the occupiers realised that their efforts were not leading to meaningful and lasting global social change. Individuals became disheartened and the Movement waned. Yet, Jujol recalls, "the smaller the movement became, the more art was made."

Düsseldorf's Occupy camp ended in August 2012. This, however, did not lessen her resolve. She continues her activism in diverse and inspired ways.

1% liebt 99% - Protestkunst auf der Kö in Düsseldorf (2015), photograph

Jujol envisions site specific performances. As with Lampedusa, the setting is key. Performances are often staged in heavily trafficked areas to encourage participation from passers-by. This leads to work that she describes as "very organic".

1% liebt 99% - Protestkunst auf der Kö in Düsseldorf (2015), photograph

In 1% loves 99%, performers donned costumes to emphasize stark differences in social class. They then strolled along Königsallee, a street known for its high-end boutiques. Performers interacted with the public, many of whom eagerly participated.

When Jujol is not staging public art performances, she paints.

INTR #1 (2010), oil in canvas

Born in Germany to a Spanish father and Dutch mother, Jujol is quite interested in the concept and malleability of identity. She explores and critiques the placement and displacement of individuals and groups in modern societies.

Talking with her and viewing her work, I was reminded of The Monkey's Mask: Identity, Memory, Narrative and Voice (2003) in which Chris Kearney refers to identity as a "knotty problem". Her paintings are visual representations of the profoundness of identity. It is deep, vast, complicated, interwined, and a journey. So are Jujol's paintings. When viewing her work, one feels as if one is casting off on a journey into another dimension and that eventually the unknown or as yet undiscovered will be found.

STRW #2 (2014), oil and mixed media on canvas

Sinuous lines resembling the density and strength of roots interact upon the canvas. There is a sense of movement, growth, and constant change.

Whether a performance or painting, Jujol questions social norms in varied and inspired ways and invites the viewer to do the same.

INTR #2 (2011),  oil on canvas