Monday, October 16, 2017

Interview with Dawid Paweł Lewandowski

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)Dawid Paweł Lewandowski –artist, photographer, collage maker from Poland.

q) Where do you live and work?

a)I live in Toruń. I’ve came here 5 years ago when I’ve started my studies in Polish Literature. Already I’m making Master Degree in New Media Arts at Faculty of Fine Arts (Nicolaus Copernicus University).

q) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)I’m always ready to show it on my phone. It’s “visual art”, you need to see it to feel it.

q) How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)I’ve always feel different. When other boys were playing football I was in home drawing, painting or writing. Then, when I was fifteen, it goes to the passion of photography and it stays like this in next ten years. When I start to appearing with a camera and putting pictures to the internet I realize that lots of people I knew found that “Oh, he’s not just a regular weirdo, he’s an  artist”... and I feel that they really appreciate this.

q) What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)As I said, my main medium is photography but since some years I’m making a manual collages too so I’m using a lot of things like wax, pins, paper, fire, plants or even bubblegum.  It starts when I was studying photography – in one of my project I’ve decided to go farther then just take a picture, so I used old wedding photographs to create something more like collage or objects. And my graduate project was a cycle of collages when I’ve made a deconstruction of my face.

q) What’s your main subject in art?

a)I’ve always been inspired by the people. That’s why my main object in photography was a portrait. Everyone has his/her unusual story that can inspires you. I’m focused on all aspects of the humanity – in their physical, psychological, sexual spheres. I’ve made some political works but now it’s not my theme. I think art should be more than political fights of the parties.

q) Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)Well, I’m not making art everyday. It’s a very intimate and personal thing to me. Sometimes very spontaneous, sometimes I’m thinking about one work for month or longer. For example, this work with a bubblegum... I was preparing to one simple gest for nearly two months! Sometimes a video, which I am making too, is easier to made.

q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?
a)Every young artist want to be known, sell good and makes exhibitions in best museums in the world. And it’s normal and good. There’s nothing wrong in dreaming big.

q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)I feel very attracted to works by Robert Mapplethorpe and Duane Michals – for me masters of photography. Michals was my greatest inspiration when I was studying photography.

q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)It’s always great when someone is interested in your works. I’m very attached to my artworks but  it’s easier to me, because my main medium is photography, s­­o if I’m selling or giving my works to someone it’s a numerous print. In my work it’s hard to tell what’s original – sometimes even my collages are very ephemeral. Like my last ones with the flowers or stones.

q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)Yes, it is. I can tell that I’m afraid of silence and I need some calm music even when I’m sleeping, especially when I’m alone. I’m in love with music by Patrick Wolf – he’s genius for me and a real artist! Now I fell in love with new album by Hurts titled “Desire”. Oh, and I can’t wait to new music by Charlotte Gainsbourg.

q) Books?

a)Last book I’ve read is „Foucault w Warszawie” (eng. Foucault in Warsaw). It’s a reportage by Remigiusz Ryziński about short episode in philosopher Michel Foucault’s life when he was living in Warsaw and working on his PhD.

q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?

a)I can’t wait for Homosurrealism exhibition in London this October. It’s actually my first exhibition in other country so I’m very excited. Hope it’s not the last one.

q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a) I’m checking art especially on Instagram – it’s the greatest thing to check what’s new. Everyday thousands of artists are posting some new stuff, everyday you can find something interesting and inspiring. Maybe even I’m a little addicted to this app.

q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a)Usually when I’m not creating and when I’m not at my University I love to watch movies. I’m a big fan of Aranofsky, von Trier but sometimes I need to chill with some Netflix series. Also, I’m a culture blogger on Instagram. You can find me as @panodplastyki (eng. Art teacher).

q) Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)I still consider myself as a aspiring one, so I will said “Keep doing it and don’t be afraid to show it. Sometimes you can met really great people who will like it. And it’s the best feeling.”

q) Where can we see more of your work online?

a)On my website, Facebook: Dawid Pawel Lewandowski and Instagram: dplwndwsk.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Interview with LEONARD GRECO

q)Walk us through an intimate day in your life

a)I awaken to three ornery dogs ( and a husband who isn't at all ornery ) eager to play , pee and eat . From there it's usually to the gym 
(or yoga) where I attempt some semblance of physical exertion (usually failing as I am eager to get to work ). From there the dogs and I head to the studio where I work until 9:30 or so, it's a full day , focused on making . My husband David , who is a psychoanalyst , sees patients late into the evening, this conveniently 
allows me the time to be a hermit . We end the day having a late dinner and reading a bit before calling it a night . All terribly dull and domestic but the predictability of my routine allows me to focus upon my work.

q) Where did you grow up/where do you live now and how does that contribute to your art?

a) I grew up in a dreary suburb of New Jersey . It was an unhappy home, one  of violence , poverty and abuse . When I left I strove to leave it behind,  LA where I live now, is pretty much as far as I can go without jumping into the Pacific. The instability and the violence of my childhood certainly influences my work . An aim of my practice is to seek the sacred in all things , with tenderness and empathy . The despised and the abject ( queer concerns , animal rights etc.) are compelling inspirations. 

q) What is your earliest memory that propelled you to create?

a) I mentioned how dreary my childhood home was but church was an escape . We were Roman Catholic, my father is Italian American , we went to an inner city church that was glorious. A 19th c. Gothic Revival pile . The art , the ritual , the music , were an aesthetic awakening.In my current studio practice I attempt to create a sense of immersive sacredness from those fond recollections.

q) Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

a)It's varied in its expression , it might be an oil painting, a relief print or something sewn . But all work starts from within , perhaps a passage from a poem or a familiar archetype. From there I "sketch" out the idea internally , until I can envision it fully . Only then do I put pencil to paper . Almost all of my work is fleshed out after internal imagining with rather meticulous renderings . It's a process, not a speedy one. Sometimes I bemoan not being more spontaneous, but I haven't that temperament I imagine .

q) How do you wish for your art to be perceived?

a) I'm not sure , it's all so new . I've only just started with a studio practice devoted to personal expression  about five years ago and hadn't really factored how the work would be perceived .
 What I would hope for is for the work to be viewed as sincere, for that is what it is . I've seen a lot of work seemingly ripe with irony;  irony has never been my intention even when I handle familiar archetypes unconventionally. All of my work comes from a true place , sometimes wry place but always sincere.
 q) What do your internal dialogues sound like?

a) I fear like that of a madman. 

q) Do you feel that there are limitations to what you want to create?
a) Right now physical space , I'm reaching a limit to how large I can work as my studio becomes increasingly crowded . I started the search for a new space just this afternoon, so hopefully that will be resolved promptly. A more difficult hindrance is psychological, I'm frequently riddled with self doubt and self loathing , often that's an obstacle . The making silences the ugliness from within . That and having thoughtful folks such as yourself taking the time to look at the work .

q) Do you feel art is vital to survival and if so, why?

a) Without discovering the beauty of Greek vases ( from an old art book hidden in my childhood attic ) my life would not have been worth living . I've carried the torch for art and beauty all of my life ( and I still love Greek vase paintings- who doesn't ?).

q) Describe a world without art.

a) I fear the callousness of our current political climate ( here in the States at least ) gives one a sense of the bleakness of a world without art . Art is made from a place of empathy , an attempt to capture the ineffable. For those driven by a lust for power and capital , it has little legitimacy or interest .

q) Tell us a secret, and obsession.

a) I'm not sure I have a secret  , I'm pretty candid . As per obsessions I have many but at this stage of my life it's trying to make art .

 q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?
q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

a) My online portfolio is , I also keep a studio journal at,  Instagram and Twitter at leonardgrecoart ; and there is Facebook of course .