Artist Spotlight

Artist spotlight: Shreya Gupta by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Sergio Díaz De Rojas

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After four years of working as an IT engineer, Shreya Gupta quit her job in India and moved to New York to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. A graduate of School of Visual Arts, she is now working with Google, The New York Times, Fast Company, and many other relevant companies. This is the fascinating story of an incredibly talented and hard-working artist.

Her illustrations contain patterns of lines and abstract elements that are always narrating a story – from how women in science are coming forward to confront sexual harassment to the tale of a magician fighting zombies while traveling dangerous lands. There are so many details in each picture that you can spend several minutes observing them without losing a spark of interest. Personally, I find captivating the usage of color in each of her works.

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Shreya says that her stylistic approach isn’t hugely affected by her Indian upbringing, and that is evident. I would even dare to say that her work is somehow influenced by Japanese art – Yuko Shimizu, for example.

She has created visual stories for books, magazines, newspapers, as well as for packagings, and has recently signed with a literary agent with plans to start working on her own children’s book. It is impossible to know what the future holds for this artist, but whatever it is, I am sure it will be as brilliant and beautiful as her work. 

I would love to finish this article by sharing the answer Shreya gave in an interview to Make - Nice when they asked her if there is a maxim that she lives and works by. 

If someone else can do it, so can I
— Inspiring words told to a very young me by my grandpa, that I always held on to.
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Find more of Shreya's work on her website and Instagram.

 

Artist spotlight: Esthaem by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Lore Deuninck

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Manuel Estheim – better known as Esthaem – is an Austria-based photographer, born in 1992. He holds a BA in Graphic-Design and Photography from the University of Art and Design Linz and is currently working on obtaining his MA in Visual Communications. The artist has been featured in numerous group exhibitions in cities like London, Berlin, and Vienna, and has won multiple online awards for his work.

Esthaem is said to be a quiet and thoughtful person, which often leads to complex knots of thought, that then need to be let out through photography. Aiming for mirror images of his analysis of the world, he tries to portray subject matters that are difficult to grasp, as aesthetically pleasing imagery full of fragility, sensuality, and symbolism.

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Topics such as identity, intimacy, (de-)construction of sexuality, gender and the ‘self’ connect with being drawn to nature, life itself and the human body – which is treated as a sculptural object – are held by strictly theoretical principles as well as photography seen as an artistical, expressive, personal media. What we get to see are nude subjects in serene, natural settings or in soft rooms with carefully positioned light. All of this creates fragile but strong work, often referred to as “visual poetry”.

The idea of going back to your roots is a well-incorporated concept in Esthaem’s work; for Manuel, the line between being human, animal, or even object in this world is very thin. He says that after all, no matter how smart we are, we’ll always be animals. Nature is our real root of existence, and we are all of the same kind. The subjects seem to easily lose all of their identity being put in these natural settings / sterile and soft rooms. Existing in a time and space of their own, Esthaem’s forms dare to explore the personal relation of the subject with the Self, their body and the discovery of the different, but very similar, other.

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Artist spotlight: Kamila Bassioni by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Lore Deuninck

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Kamila Bassioni is a Caïro based visual artist with a B.A. in scenography earned at the fine arts college in Egypt, born in 1985. Her last years of work have been focused on freelance illustration – such as designing book covers and illustrating children’s picture books – and personal projects next to that. She has also participated in multiple group exhibitions.

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Kamila says that commissions usually inspire her personal work. Another big source of inspiration she finds in human emotions and the feel, thought and act of suffering. With this kind of art, Bassioni wants to express and share different thoughts and concepts. To open up the eyes of the spectators is the goal, whether they are living in Egypt or abroad. She aims for people to start thinking and be critical. For her, creating visual art seems to be a way of shouting without words. Therefore expressing herself peacefully but powerfully like this, leads to the truest satisfaction possible for her.

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Bassioni mainly works with paper and cardboard; she combines the cut-out and collaging techniques to create characters big or small, with each their own thoughts and emotions. For example, for the project ‘Rags to Riches’ in Caïro, she assembled an installation of large-sized standing dolls which refer to the pain and hopelessness of the 1930’s Great Depression, but as well portray the current state of the Egyptian (or more widely seen: Arab) citizen.

Keep in touch with Kamila via Behance and Instagram.



 

 

Artist spotlight: Luca Longobardi by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Sergio Díaz De Rojas

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Earlier this year, Sonorospace (previously Ónority Music) shared the work of Italian composer Luca Longobardi, who was just beginning his 100 Days Project, which consisted of improvising a short piano piece, not longer than a minute, every day for one hundred days, and that is how I came across with Longobardi’s work. During the following months, he would release two short projects - Residue and 3 soundscapes in C - that would make me fall in love with his music.

Residue contains three different versions of the same piece, a piece that didn’t end up being included on his upcoming record and that represents his creative process and his versatility when composing and arranging. 3 soundscapes in C includes three pieces that saw the light in the middle of a hot Roman summer. The Lake, the opening track, is one of the most beautiful piano pieces I have listened to lately.   

At the end of August, Luca finished his 100 Days Project, an admirable demonstration of perseverance, and announced a limited cassette edition of it, which you can get on Bandcamp. A week later, his track Autumna was released as part of Bigo & Twigetti's fourth and final album in their seasonal series which started in 2014. And, only some days ago, he announced Plume, his very first work on vinyl, alongside the title track, to be released on October 16th.

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Longobardi’s works seem to be spontaneous, based on everyday-life situations that give the impression of being very simple but that hold deep feelings and thoughts, and the more you immerse yourself in them the more familiar they become, and will fill you with nostalgia for places and people you don't know.


Keep up with Luca's work on Facebook, Spotify, Bandcamp, and SoundCloud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist spotlight: Seraphina Theresa by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Amanda Nordqvist

Over the last few years, German artist Seraphina Theresa has created numerous astonishing works of art, using several creative outlets such as photography, drawing, and, as of late, music. Currently based in Düsseldorf, Seraphina creates art focused mainly on nature and self-portraits, often simultaneously, and offers an insightful look at the world she has created for herself – a world in which she flourishes.

Seraphina’s drawings range from abstract to minimalistic but mostly display a lighter side to the artist – likewise, her dreamy collages dwell on the brighter side of the spectrum, all soft curves and gentle shapes. However, it is with her photography, either hauntingly grim or blissfully light-hearted, the intense intimacy of Seraphina’s art is made perfectly clear – she hides nothing, shies away from nothing, and appears completely un-afraid to shine a light on the darkest parts of life.

It is this contrast of dark and bright that seems to me the core theme in a lot of her work, and a big part in what makes her art so intriguing; still, her art is constantly growing and changing, made obvious by the drastic differences in her projects, Le temps, la vieillesse et la mort and Phase 3 - Wie es an uns zerrt, published only a couple of months apart, yet displaying and evoking completely separate emotions.

Instead of drawing inspiration from any particular outside source, Seraphina prefers to look inwards – to Hooligan Magazine she said, in regards to her collaboration with composer Sergio Díaz de Rojas, “[…] it is more about the ways I understand and experience life itself which make me do the things I do”, and that shows in her work. The art Seraphina creates – whether it be music, poetry, photography – is unabashedly personal, but relatable all the same, and frankly unnerving in its complete, uncensored authenticity. 

Take a look at her beautiful website and keep up with her work on Instagram, TumblrFacebook and Flickr.

 

Artist spotlight: Janice Chung by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

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In the series Please Come Back Soon, New York native Janice Chung travels to Seoul for the first time, following her mother to reconnect with their family and her roots. The intimate scenes explore the family dynamics and slight tensions that unravel as Chung’s mother begins to make up lost time with her family after 30 years worth of memories untold and 10 years of long distance phone calls.

Find more on Janice's website.

Alexis Jamet by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

Alexis Jamet is a french graphic designer and illustrator currently based in Barcelona.

His work can be simply described as colourful, textured with simple lines. Alexis’ main inspirations include Etel Adnan for the beauty of landscapes, David Hockney for the bright colors, and Henri Matisse for the balance of purity and serenity.

For more, visit his Tumblr and Instagram.

Alexis Godard by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

Alexis Godard is a 19-year-old student of animation at EMCA in France. He loves, among other things, women, flowers, and nature, subjects he uses in his work in order to create skits or simple stories.

"Animation is a good way for me to tell what I want, I have total freedom on my creations. I do not like what is too complicated or extravagant, I prefer to create simple and subtle things."

For more, visit his Tumblr

Artist spotlight: Emil Handke by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

As a child, I would often sleep with the TV on so that when I woke I wasn't startled by darkness. I could see the room, make sure I was alone. The fuzzy faces on the screen provided some strange comfort. What I experienced at night put everyone in shadow and I questioned the intent of those I encountered. A child is at the mercy of what surrounds them.

How does a child cope with a world they feel is inherently unsafe? How does it form who they become?

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Find more of his work on his website, Instagram and Tumblr

Artist spotlight: Malin Gabriella Nordin by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

If one called painting by its name, Malin Gabriella Nordin would probably have it respond with the voice of rocks: of stones that fluently speak their own language of shapes and ciphers and glow with multiple colours in the dark. Nordin gives abstract forms a unique presence that is subtly spooky, animated by the silent laughter of beings from other dimensions. 

– Jan Verwoert, 2013