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5 Questions with Icelandic Artist Kristjana Williams

Posted in In the Studio by Rise Art on 08th December 2017

Kristjana Williams is consistently in our Top 5 viewed artists on Rise Art. The Icelandic artist is known for her fantastical illustrations of flora, fauna and the cityscape. Kristjana creates exotic creatures by fusing butterflies, tropical birds and exotic plants. And look closely at her cityscapes and maps - you’ll see a touch of jungle fever in those works too.

 

The artist has produced commissions for the likes of designer Paul Smith and Liberty department store, and she’s created installations for for hotels and exhibition centres in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Now she’s produced a selection of works exclusively for Rise Art, from exquisite 3D works to collectible hand-embellished prints. Find them on her profile - you’ll want to get your hands on one of these quicksticks before they sell out. Read on to learn more about the remarkable Kristjana.

 

Connaught Clearing Tree

 

How long does it take you to create one of your original 3D works?
It depends, the ones I like doing the most are the private commissions where I personalise the piece for my clients. That whole process can take up to 9 months. It is a very private journey. A lot of my clients are not sure if they have enough history, others worry about having too much history - regardless the way the piece grows through the stages is a very deep, personal and collaborative process between me and the client which is incredibly rewarding.

 

 

Looks like you love the London cityscape. What's so special about it?
Growing up in Iceland, where there are very few tall buildings, the impact the London skyline had on me was massive. I am truly inspired by this great city, and working on London themed artwork is a passion of mine.

 

 
Why is it so important that each A/P is hand embellished and different?
A hand embellished A/P is a special thing. All Artist Proofs are pre-edition samples where you test out colours and shades. So you are working on top of a print edition that is sold out, and the elements that I have added give the piece a three dimensional effect.

 

Vestur Uglu London (Detail)

 

What do you love most about making art?

I find the process of creating an artwork very therapeutic but it’s also like an adventure. With every piece you make you learn something new and discover something different. I don’t think there are any real aspects of art making which I dislike, I suppose it can be time consuming but I think it’s necessary to dedicate the time in order to be pleased with the final result.

 

 

What role does nature play in your maps and cityscapes?
Nature has always been really important to me. The Icelandic nature is really harsh and unforgiving, it is very stark with lots of blacks, whites and greys. The colourful flora and fauna in other parts of the world is a great inspiration, and I enjoy playing with colours in my work, the colours in the nature elements pring a piece to life.

 

 

Browse Kristjana's new Works here >>

Who Are the Artists of Tomorrow?

Posted in Inside Scoop by Aimee Morris on 06th December 2017

5 global regions. 16,000 artists. 26 finalists. It’s time to reveal who’s in line for the Global Artist of the Year title and the £10,000 cash prize. Our regional judges - including Sarah Martin of Turner Contemporary, the Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Touria El Glaoui, and the Deputy Editor of Financial Times How to Spend It, Beatrice Hodgkin - have applied their eye to the shortlists.

After much deliberation they’ve chosen the finalists who will go through to the global round. These artists will showcase their work at our Rise Art Prize Exhibition at House of Vans in February, where their work will be reviewed by our global panel of judges featuring renowned artists Gavin Turk, Fiona Banner, David Bailey and Harland Miller.

 

Europe

Clockwise from top left:

 

On the Patchwork Quilt by Maria Magenta

Trapeze Girl No. 2 by Kareem Rizk

Hot Staff by Stella Kapezanou

America 120 by Alban's Art Factory

 

Our finalists from Europe produce artwork across mediums. We've got exciting photographic, painted and printed work coming out of this group. Alban's pseudo-metallic pieces are in fact painted on wood, and Kareem Rizk creates his images with materials like vintage postcards, brochures and catalogues. 

 

Unicorn by Jenny Boot

 

Stella Kapezanou's bold colours and quirky approach to her subject matter have impressed the judges, as has Jenny Boot's striking photography (above). Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt artist agency, praises Jenny for "arresting us with her art".

 

Middle East & Africa

Clockwise from left:

 

Pause by Nelson Makamo

Film Stills by Mitra Tabrizian

Looking for Utopia: Refugees (4) by Heja Rahiminia

 

The works by our finalists from the Middle East and Africa are rich with social commentary. Nelson Makamo explores the innocence of childhood in rural South Africa; Heja Rahiminia and Mitra Tabrizian depict migration and social disparity; and Lebohang Kganye (below) uses the concept of the family photo album to investigate how we interpret history and construct 'truth'.

 

Re palame tereneng e fosahetseng by Lebohang Kganye

 

For Touria El Glaoui, Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Lebohang's visual language "has undeniable presence". The artist, she goes on, "distorts the linearity of time by exploring how history, memory and nostalgia can be altered, reshaped and rewritten. In a sense she is time travelling through her work."

 

Australasia

Clockwise from left:

 

Dimensional Sequence 2017-1 by Lei Sylviye

Hibiscus Break by Susan Schmidt

Meditation 02 by Lee Yuan Ching

 

 

Our finalists from Asia, Australia and New Zealand work in very different styles. Lei Sylviye's virtual reality-inspired abstracts are ethereal and ultramodern, while Lee Yuan Ching's fluid pieces foreground organic shapes and liquid forms. Susan Schmidt reminisces about the Australian beach house through retro-colour and weatherworn textures, and Michelle Loa Kum Cheung (below) creates impressionistic landscapes on wood that reflect her Chinese-Mauritian heritage.

 

Island by Michelle Loa Kum Cheung

 

Vicky Xu, CEO of the independent consultancy Areteos Family Office in Hong Kong, is an advocate of Michelle's work. "The whimsical colours, with the use of a mix of interesting materials such as liquid graphite and gold leaf," says Vicky, "create a wonderful contrast to the stark pyrography, resulting in dreamlike imagery."

 

Americas

Clockwise from top left:

 

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, God is Dead by Peter Horvath

First Person Shooter Game by Amir Fallah

Folding Paper by Hiroshi Sato

The end of the beginning by Elizabeth Waggett

 

It's all about figures when it comes our finalists from the Americas. Peter Horvath's collage figures have mid-20th Century tones, with a surrealist touch. Hiroshi Sato takes a more impressionistic approach to his figures, which tend to be placed in interior settings. Gustavo Amaral (below) partially abstracts his figures and plays with their position in the geometry of his compositions. Nicole Gordon, Founder of Art Is My Oxygen blog, says Gustavo's collages draw her in. "I find them to have great depth, wonderfully detailed subject matter and emotional fervor... I have seen artists create similar works, yet Gustavo takes it to another level."

 

Velvet by Gustavo Amaral

 

Amir Fallah's figures are more representative, illustrating a crossover between Western and Iranian visual cultures. Elizabeth Waggett prefers animal figures and portraits of objects like skulls. By applying gold leaf and precious metal to her figurative works, Elizabeth draws attention to themes of greed and value.

 

UK

From left:

 

Ice bucket (ice bucket over young lad!) by Keith More

Stuffed Box by Tom Waugh

 

The competition for the UK Artist of the Year title is tough. All of our UK finalists have WOW factor. Tom Waugh's hyperrealistic sculptures are mindblowing, as are Keith More's hyperrealistic portrait illustrations (above).

 

From top left:

 

The Twins & the Green Car by Vikram Kushwah

Opo by Asiko

Manoir du Chocolat by Gina Soden

 

Our photographers, Vikram Kushwah, Asiko and Gina Soden, are at the top of their game (above). Vikram's stages funky, surreal scenes, while Gina photographs ruin and decay in abandoned buildings and desolate sites across Europe. Asiko captures Nigerian women in traditional garments. 

 

Clockwise from top left:

 

Dreams of Rooftop Pools at Sonar by Emily Moore

Veils Down, O Flowers by Philip Maltman

Crooked Ditch, Conington Fen by Fred Ingrams

 

When it comes to painting, Fed Ingrams's colourful landscapes, Philip Maltman's dynamic abstracts and Emily Moore's varnished panels (above) couldn't be more different. But each has a charm that's won the regional judges over. Acclaimed UK artist Stephen Beddoe finds Emily's work "unapologetically bold". "These amalgamated images," he says of her paintings, "use modernist architecture motifs alongside alpine landscapes to provide arresting works reminiscent of Ed Ruscha and Robert Rauschenberg."

Who will come out on top? We'll have to wait until February to find out.

 

Browse the Finalist Collection >>

 

 

Gallery Walls: the Lowdown with Steven Miller

Posted by Rise Art on 28th November 2017

Gallery Walls are the ‘in thing’ in the world of interiors and design. Rather than spotlighting a single artwork, a gallery wall showcases a selection of pieces that have been hung together. Steven Miller is a fan. The young US based designer runs his own interiors company, Sub Folk Collective, and hosts #gallerywallhashtag on Instagram. Let's find out why Steven loves gallery walls and what he considers to be the role of art in the home.

 

Photo credit: Photographer Heath Herring

 

What is it about gallery walls that you like so much?

Gallery walls are amazing, obviously. Some pieces stand well by themselves, but grouping pieces together that complement each other is so exciting to me. It allows you to experience the work in a dialogue with eachother. To be done well, it has to be done with intent and there needs to be real thought put into it.

 

 

There's a story that I remember reading about John Cage curating an exhibit using a gallery wall technique along the lines of his "music of chance" - so a little haphazard - and in a way, it makes the work more accessible to free it from the formality of isolating pieces. Beyond that, people have small spaces and large collections, so it's a great way for people to display as much as possible.

 
 

Does art play an important role in the home?

Art is essential to a home. The art that you display not only conveys your personality, but it also brings you joy when you experience it. Design is all about elevating your quality of life through mindfulness as well as expressing your point of view through the things that you choose to display in your home, so art is always a priority for me when working with clients - and for my own home, especially.

 

 

What inspired you to start Sub Folk Collective and what makes it different from other interior design companies?

Sub Folk Collective was an idea that I had for a firm that could be a platform for artists working in multiple disciplines and mediums; I feel that good design is a collaborative process and that as a designer, my job is to bring together all of these different elements in a cohesive way. Instead of simply using various retailers as resources, I like to work directly with other creatives to create something special and unique.

 
If you were to choose 5 Rise Art pieces to create a gallery wall, which would they be?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Browse more of Steven's Favourite Rise Art pieces >>

 
 
 
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5 Women Igniting Contemporary African Art
Leila Fanner's African Dream(scape)
Five Questions with Neo Maditla
5 Global Artists to Watch
Five Questions with Nicole Gordon