Interview With Gustavo Francesconi – Brazilian Artist

Regardless of your belief, whether esoteric and spiritual, pragmatic, or ideas based on empiricism, the cognitive value of Gustavo Francesconi’s artwork enhances your knowledge and sensational experiences as if you have visited new worlds.

Gustavo Francesconi is a Brazilian Graphic Artist Plastic Designer. He combines practices that cross over, by exploring colors, shapes, chromatic to poetics, and instrumentals guided by practical-theoretical bases of science and interpretation of symbols.

He creates a dialogue together with sound codes and frequencies, natural elements, and geometrics studies to convey the notion that: “Control the chaos, who wins is a harmony.” His choice of materials from various interests is a representation of conflicts that resolve and work together to heal.

According to Clélia Dehon, responsible for the cultural mediation of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Gustavo’s art “is a hypnotic universe, with pop features, almost psychedelic exotic who discovers his work.”

Gustavo Francesconi

Interview:

Jupilings: Your story

GF: I was born in a small town in southern Brazil called Joinville. My curiosity and fascination with the human understanding of reality led me to where I am now; I am 34 years old, and I dedicate my days to the creative universe. I am the founder and director of  APOC, an independent graphic design studio created in 2013 as a necessity to evolve my work as a creative. At the same time, this platform allowed me to enter the artistic universe profoundly. I felt in control of my ideas and goals. I have been working as a designer for 15 years. I dedicate myself to artistic research for 7 years and feel the evolution of my thoughts every day. The transformation has taken me to an enlightened and mysterious place, in the future I will be what I lived in the past, and in the past, I will be what I felt in the present. My story doesn’t exist.

Jupilings: Are you working on a new series-

 GF: I become fully self-aware when I reflect on my production. I’m in a new phase. I recently chose to be an independent artist without gallery representation, which allowed me to have control over my entire collection. For the first time, I perceive my production as a whole, observe each technique, and where the creative synapses came from. Maybe I turned a key that I shouldn’t have, but I felt creatively predictable and it bothered me. Presently, my work is mimetic, a constant unfolding of repeated series without cadence, but that are latent to my creative space.

Artwork Gustavo Francesconi

At this time, I am working on a series of collages based on discarded prints and test runs. Material that I kept for years, and I am revisiting to reframe forgotten material, transmuting these compositions into new experiences. I am developing a painting series called Ruptura; basically, landscapes, experimenting with new textures and paints. The motif of the painting focuses on color. The research is about the paint, about density, and dilution of the chosen media. For example, at this moment, I am creating my colors with a mixture of plaster, acrylic mass, acrylic paint, screen printing paint, pigment powder, and liquid. The quantity of these variants determines color plasticity and tone depth.

I am in constant production, either creating graphic pieces or thinking about art. The artist’s job is to perceive the world around and channel this energy to transcend reality.

Jupilings: Please tell us about your interest in the relationship between poetry, music, cosmology and sensorial aspects of matter-

 GF: Everything is connected, it is synesthetic, this relationship is omnipresent in our mind, we create this reality. When I listen to poetry, I think of music, then an image comes to mind, and I can feel a sensation, for instance: a shiver! Poetry would not be poetry without feeling it, thinking it is vernacular, everything that exists can be transformed into poetry, music, image, it is a matter of sensitivity. The way that art reaches us intrigues me greatly, from the media to our sensory systems. Starting with our very limited perception of the colors that consequently shape our reality. Thinking that we see only 3 dimensions makes me believe that we are babies who have just opened their eyes to the cosmos.

Artwork by Gustavo Francesconi

Jupilings: What inner force shapes your artistic concepts-

GF: Curious this question, I started to paint a little late, I always had many questions and theories about the life and creation of the universe, and I realized that this distressed me in a way, the painting was like letting go and organizing these thoughts, it made me materialize these ideas, I have very clear images in my head of things I never saw, painting them makes them real. It is like taking that energy out of a dimensionless plane and materializing the thought. This awakens my pleasure and an urge to create, it is pure magic, ritualistic. I feel alive and powerful before my existence.

 

Gutavo Francesconi

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

 GF: I solve it as soon as possible. I get on well with them; every day, I send flowers; I know they exist, so I choose to treat them well.

Jupilings: How do you deal with criticism-

GF: I like to receive criticism, especially when it instigates me to think differently, I make the most of it through reflection. I am my most prominent critic; I am not afraid to confront my own choices.

Artwork by Gustavo Francesconi

Jupilings: What is the role of art today-

GF: Interesting this question, I could answer with the phrase “The artist is the antenna of the race” by Ezra Pound, so the role of art is to print reality. I have always seen art as Politics, since the cave paintings, humanity has always looked for ways to express itself and use this tool as a positioning.

Artwork by Gustavo Francesconi

Jupilings: What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard-

GF: Everything has a positive side. Sometimes we forget, it’s always good to remember.

Jupilings: Do you have a favorite painting, film or any other creative media that inspires you and why-

 GF: Everything inspires me, I listen to a lot of music, I love to take a trip down my record collection. I love cinema, I think the creative complexity that involves film production is excellent. But what inspires me most is nature, when I talk about it, I want to talk about everything, life, the universe, energy, God. This movement fascinates me; as there is continuity.

Artwork by Gustavo Francesconi

 Jupilings: What are your thoughts on blockchain platforms for artists since it democratizes access to art-

GF: I believe there is room for both markets, art has several layers and interests. Nowadays, the artist can be independent; the internet plays a crucial role. As an independent artist, when you choose to leave the system of galleries and commissions, it has negative and positive points, like everything in life. It depends a lot on your goals, there is not only one right path, but there are also several.

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

 GF: Time does not stop. Being aware of your existence and choices is the great key to not getting lost in the contemporary world. We don’t even exist anymore, so relax.

Interview with Robert Vanderhorst – Surrealist Painter

Robert Vanderhorst’s creativity propels us to squint and examine the original or the rational with intention. At that point, you discover the conflict, the unacceptable, the unpleasant or the hidden desire. The imagery gushes over, the psyche is liberated, and the visual stimulus unravels the nuances of our ideas and rules.  He is adept at bringing together various mental pictures into a fusion of tenacious conventions, compromised perceptions, and wavering imaginations. His capability to point out that impressions, symbols, and patterns have unrealized possibilities, rattles the viewer. Although he deliberately composes the uncertainties, the freedom of thought, choice and the inclination of progress orbit symbolically and eminently in his artwork.

This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?
Lost – By Robert Vanderhorst – This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?

 

Fate's Passage Robert Vanderhorst
Fate’s Passage Robert Vanderhorst – The scene takes place in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. At the end of the light dappled gravel path is the Museum of Natural History. The ‘Museum’ is on this side of the doorway, not through it. The mother and her young son are going out through ’Fate’s Passage’. As she exits, she slowly becomes the space around her. The man standing at the doorway is the museum’s greeter. The astronaut has recently arrived, confused but intrigued. Near the exit, the shadow of a stooped Churchill leans heavily on his cane and the grey figure of an arrogant Napoleon standing on the balcony both suggest that they been guests of the museum for quite some time. This ‘Museum’ is a spectre of our future. Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax, ” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! ” Hotel California – The Eagles

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

RV: My talent comes through my father’s side of the family. He was an artist/graphic artist in Holland, and he continued that profession after coming to Canada post-WWII. Once I understood that art was my passion, my career path was set. Seeing Dali and Magritte’s work for the first time cemented my love for surrealism.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

RV: Exploration and mystery. Keep everyone thinking and guessing.

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

RV: Life is short. Be kind and generous, work hard and stay true to your passion, play when you can, travel and experience life as much as possible and keep your sense of humour intact.

The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst
The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What do you sell in your art-

RV: To think outside the box.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What motivates you to create, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy- 

RV: A desire to create realistic imagery that engages, asks questions and searches for answers where the answers ask more questions.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to illustrate-

RV: Time and space.

MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst
MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What does “confusion” mean to you? Also, what about “Normality”-

RV: I’m most fond of one of my image titles, ‘And You Thought You Were Normal.’ Says what I need to about confusion and what we perceive as normal.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

RV: Equality.

THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst
THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist-

RV: Develop a unique personal style and stay true to your art. Work your ass off, don’t compromise, network and promote using new and old technologies as much as possible.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

RV: Ignore it. Believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish and ignore anyone who tells you it can’t be done.

Magritte's Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst
Magritte’s Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The disruptive blockchain technology is addressing the problems of transparency and authenticity for artists; it will increase art sales, democratize art investment, and last but not least allow artists to be fairly paid.  What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of art? Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve?

RV: I am not versed in this platform and at this stage not particularly interested in another tech learning curve. Everyone should be paid fairly and on time, artists, in particular, considering they are often taken for granted and put at the bottom of the list. If this tech addresses the issues you’ve stated above effectively, then I’m all for it.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why- 

RV: I’m happy as is.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor- 

RV: I was a Zombie in a George A. Romero film, and that was perfect for me. Don’t need to be a lead.

THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

RV: Life is complicated. Keep your sense of humour and try not to be an ass.

In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
ROBERT VANDERHORST
ROBERT VANDERHORST

 

Images: Lost & Fate Passage courtesy of Robert Vanderhorst, other images from Saatchi Art Gallery.

Interview with Beatriz Ramos, Artist and Founder of DADA.nyc

Art a positive influence, art plays a significant role in cultural tolerance, civic engagement, or political movements. It boosts communities’ local economy, connects the newcomers, develops critical thinking and problem solving, or impels corporations to support the collective through investment.

A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc
A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc

Since Web 1.0, fostering a more robust economy, cultural inclusions, and reinforcing the understanding among diverse ethnicities and identities have been transformed beyond physical or geographical borders. Fast forward to this day, removal of the global boundaries through blockchain technology has morphed into trusting the strangers by generating and validating smart contracts. A technology that is rooted in transparency and unconstrained collaboration.

Monster Afternoon - A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc
Monster Afternoon – A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc

By embracing the blockchain technology’s vast potentialDADA.nyc encourages artistic aspirations, enables the artists to sell their digital artworks, and be compensated in real-time. The underpinning inclination of this social network is to create a collaborative platform for anyone to express their ideas through art and generate financial value for the artist. DADA.nyc’s marketplace is about honoring creativity and establishing the element of scarcity to appreciate the artistic works.

CreepWeirdos.png
Dada.nyc Marketplace
Art by Beatriz Ramos on DADA
Art by Beatriz Ramos on DADA

DADA.nyc offers simple tools to push your imagination, ignite your inner passion, initiate partnerships with the artists or the audience, and create MAGIC. The application reveals the art’s provenance, and its cooperative ecosystem bypasses “gatekeepers” & champions fair financial reward for the artist.

Art by Beatriz Ramos DADA
Art by Beatriz Ramos DADA

Here is my exclusive interview with Beatriz Ramos, an artist, entrepreneur, film director, producer, illustrator & founder of DADA.nyc. I would like to thank Judy Mam, Co-founder, and CMO of DADA.nyc and Beatriz Ramos for their time and friendly cooperation for this interview.

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art:

Beatriz Ramos: I was an introverted child and spent a good part of my childhood drawing by myself. I didn’t get into art; I was an artist, and I was lucky that my parents encouraged me to be just that.

Jupilings: What is the outside force that compels you to create, leading to a novel idea?

Beatriz Ramos: It’s actually an inside force, a combination of two things: First, I get bored with trends, anything done too many times becomes derivative and uninteresting. I’m not great with conformity, either. I look for what’s unique and personal. Second, in that quest for my own personal voice, I always approach everything I do from the inside out. I try to understand and articulate my motivations, my needs, my values, my concerns, my skills, what makes me tick. What are the life experiences that inform my point of view about the world? I take the same approach, whether for a project, a team, or an organization. Those insights are the base for all the creative decisions I make.

Jupilings: Do you have a creative pattern, routines, or rituals?

Beatriz Ramos: I enjoy the process regardless of the outcome. I trust that if I had fun and loved the experience, it’ll translate into results. I get bored if I repeat myself, so I push myself out of my comfort zone. I put myself in a place where I have no control. Figuring out how to get out of it is exciting, and the new things I discover are rewarding. Melancholy is the mood where I feel more creative, so I listen to very sad music and drink coffee by the window. I love rainy and snowy days. I collect objects that I find beautiful or interesting: rocks, rusty nails, vintage toys, bones, wood printing press letters, instruments, old keys, etc. They inspire me, and I use them in my work. I embrace limitations, mistakes, imperfection, and happy accidents. Ultimately, being creative is part of who we are. I exercise creativity constantly in everything I do.

Art By Beatriz Ramos on DADA
Art By Beatriz Ramos on DADA

Jupilings: What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Beatriz Ramos: I can’t think of anything that stuck with me.

Jupilings: What is DADA about?

Beatriz Ramos: Dada.nyc is a platform where people speak to each other through drawings and create collaborative art. Anyone can join. For us, anyone can be an artist; there is no good or bad art, it’s all about self-expression and collaboration.

 

Pase Magico : A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc
Pase Magico : A visual conversation by artists on dada.nyc

Jupilings: How can an artist make money on DADA?

Beatriz Ramos: We are using blockchain technology to create an economy within our community. We are selling limited edition “Rare Digital Art” created on Dada with IP protection and ownership proof. Soon we will issue our own currency, and creators will be able to earn Dada tokens for drawing, curating, and contributing value to the community.

Jupilings: The blockchain technology provides an incentive for the artist to be in charge and gain from their artwork. What about the investors or patrons of the art? What is the motivation for them?

Beatriz Ramos: Value is subjective. We are looking for new ways for people to receive value from our community beyond the price they pay for artwork. For some collectors, it may be being part of the creative process, or connect in meaningful ways with artists they like; for other people, it may be that they are supporting a community with values they share, or simply that when their drawing made them smile when they were having a bad day. We are creating a system of incentives with more to do with receiving a valuable experience than just capital.

Jupilings: How have you decided on the commercial value of the secondary market’s artwork when it is resold by the first owner?

Beatriz Ramos: We don’t. The seller and buyer decide that. In fact, we don’t think the value of the artwork is equal to the price someone pays for it. There may be an incredible piece of art that nobody wants to buy or that can’t be purchased. We did use blockchain to make sure that every time a particular artwork is sold, a percentage of that profit automatically goes to the artist. Our smart contract can track and verify every transaction and send the money to the artist in real-time, without intermediaries.

Jupilings: What role does an artist have in society?

Beatriz Ramos: Creativity is part of human nature, but societies have evolved in a way where only a few can experience the joy and marvel of creation like artists do. As a result, artists are the ones that don’t conform, we think outside of the box, we create beauty, we inspire people, we speak truth to power, we challenge the status quo. At Dada, we believe it is important for anyone to exercise creative self-expression, so our society becomes more diverse, inclusive, and just.

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

Beatriz Ramos: I think the concept of a brand name is toxic. My tip is to avoid falling on that trap at all costs. I believe artists should spend their time experimenting, honing their skills, playing, creating, and figuring out the most difficult thing to achieve as an artist: finding your own voice.

Jupilings: Who are your biggest influences?

Beatriz Ramos: So many influences and very diverse. I can still find a few in my work’s DNA are Van Gogh, the Brothers QuayAbbas Kiarostami.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

Beatriz Ramos: A reminder that we still have to reclaim the fundamental intrinsic right women have to be free and independent of this day and age.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

Beatriz Ramos: I rarely feel fear or self-doubt. Perhaps it is about the joy of living and experiencing new things, trusting that the more we do, the more we grow. Embracing failure is part of the process.

Jupilings: What is your life motto?

Beatriz Ramos: To experience life to its fullest.

 

The featured image is Abbas Kiarostami by Beatriz Ramos.
Beatriz Ramos is an artist, entrepreneur, film director, producer, and illustrator. She is the founder of Dancing Diablo Studio in New York and the inventor of Dada.nyc, a visual conversation platform where people speak to each other through drawings. Images courtesy of DADA.nyc.

Ray Caesar – The Artist Who Embraces Gender Fluidity

Ray Caesar – The Artist Who Embraces Gender Fluidity from Jupilings on Vimeo.

Innocent to sinful, unrestrained to attentive, humorous to gloomy, flirtatious to modest, Ray Caesar, the acclaimed digital artist, unlocks his state of mind and his power of imagination through playful and witty themes. He chose to undertake one of the most difficult aspects of life by laying bare his painful and unpleasant life experiences, acknowledging his fears, submerging into his desires and fantasies through art.  His compelling imagery links the dreamy yet self-discovery realities to earthly concerns. He opens up the portals of his multi-layered universe and delves deep into his subconscious and emotional states of being.

Sol - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Sol – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Ray Caesar’s self-observing depictions challenge us, shake us and impel us in unforeseen directions, perhaps to a place where we re-examine our own realities and progressively relate to our world with compassion. As he gracefully and brilliantly indicates:

” My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that ?, share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.”

Communion - Courtesy of Ray Caesar /Gallery House
Communion – Courtesy of Ray Caesar /Gallery House

Learn about what drives Ray Caesar’s creativity and his intentions, in an exclusive interview with Jupilings:

Tell us about yourself and how you got into art:

Ray Caesar: I grew up in south London in the 1960s in a very dysfunctional and abusive family. I began making pictures as a way to dissociate and cope with a difficult reality. After immigrating to Canada, I started working at a children’s hospital in Toronto in the medical art and photography department and stayed there for 17 years. I had always painted and sculpted, but during these years, I began to once again make art as a coping mechanism as the material I dealt with at work was quite overwhelming. I then worked for several years in the film industry doing 3D modeling and animation and, from there, began making art with digital tools.

Old Wounds - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Old Wounds – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Who is your protagonist?

Ray Caesar: She is my alter ego and a way for me to present a side of the fluidity or ambiguity of my gender. As a child, I used to behave and dress very much like the figures in my work, but an expression of that soon became too dangerous in the volatile family I lived with in the 1960s. It was also unnerving to my father that I talked to dolls and insisted they would talk back. Years of therapy have suggested this is a form of dissociative identity disorder, but I have some ideas of this myself of a slightly more mystical nature. I am comfortable with the idea that my protagonist is a side of my subconscious identity that I had to hide in a paracosm or inner world to survive. Today my images are simply a window into that world that has been growing in my mind for over half a century…an aspect of my psyche of gentleness and femininity and also a way to manage a strange but dangerous inclination that in some way has grown up in a separate world from this one.

Sailor Boy - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Sailor Boy – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What is the fundamental principle in your creations?

Ray Caesar: To explore and heal my own fractured psychology through images by creating my story as if it was a book of pictures. To give the suppressed and partially broken aspect of who I am a physical presentation. I take memory and dissociated emotions and experiences and give them physical form not just in a 2-dimensional picture but as a 3-dimensional virtual environment with a 3-dimensional figure. My protagonist is movable physical doll covered textures of my own skin in virtual rooms and clothing and textures from a variety of memories from my own past. I am writing a story of my life in pictures that evoke feelings I can’t put in words.

You have indicated that your artworks are inspired by your childhood, life experiences and your involvement in Sick Kids Hospital which are the inner force, what about motivation, what is the outside force that compels you to create?

Ray Caesar: To personally see a reflection of who I am. To define myself in my own evolving mind image. We have no control over how others define us …we do have a choice in how we define ourselves and that plays into how we ourselves define others. I didn’t start publicly showing my work for the motivation of profit as I have other skills that could have and did satisfy that need. I certainly don’t do this for motivations of ego as I am extremely shy and uncomfortable making my work public and rarely attend openings and have to force myself to post on social media in fits of agony. For me, my work isn’t Art …it’s a presentation of who I am. A method for self-expression so I can see myself presented in a way that expresses how I feel. I make it public as I have learned that showing work in some strange way “completes it” …it makes that image part of the greater whole and by doing that ….. its meaning changes with each person that looks at it in such a way that I am forced to look at it again as if I have never seen it before …that has always been its greatest mystery and surprise to me.

When you are creating a work of art, you are forging an engagement with a situation or an emotion. Do you aspire to drive public awareness to activism, in any stage of your creation?

Ray Caesar: There is no intended dogma in my work or social commentary other than a very personal exploration of who I am and it is a very self-indulgent process that I need to do for survival. I think of it as a visual diary and personal emotional guide. My work is simply a self-portrait of my own mind and self-image. It’s about my own sense of fluid gender and my inability to comprehend who I am and where I fit in a world of polarized views. I believe we each need a mind view or image of who we are as a template to build our actions and progress and evolve in a strange world. Although my work is very self-indulgent I do think self-exploration leads into how we as a species have to define what it is to be a human being. So much of our problems with race and gender and cultural identity stem from the inability to connect as a species and define our long term goals and aspiration (this absolutely reflects my own problems with dissociation ) ….to take an active role in our own evolution by a series of smaller conscious revolutions that build the template of what a human being is and what it could be and should be. If we define ourselves individually as unique complex individuals with flaws and amazing potential and realize that there has never been another person in all human history just like us and no one has ever had our unique experience…..then that’s how we define others!  Not by our physical sex organs or skin pigmentation or where we were born, or what familial religion or organization we belong to.  We are a species of unique individuals that are attempting to define our spiritual and practical goals and that’s something every single one of us shares. My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that? Share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.

World Traveler - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
World Traveler – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What does women empowerment mean to you?

Ray Caesar: As someone who is fluid gender and who has never really felt entirely male or female and lives in a mind that could be described as ambiguous and hermaphroditic, I am fascinated by recent events in a gradual growing realization of enlightened women and men that patriarchy is fundamentally flawed. I would love to see our species grow beyond a system that is based on self-centered fear, power, and dominance. It’s time for our species to evolve and acknowledge that we all have masculine and feminine aspects to our subconscious psychology. The balance of Anima and Animus is crucial, not just in the individual, but in the very fabric of human society and the way we choose to govern ourselves and interact in a variety of social levels. In my own attempt to reflect this about myself through my work …it is not lost on me that our own personal struggles reflect the greater struggles of our species and society. The empowerment of women is really a foundation stone in the self-realization of what direction we need to travel for the species as a whole that can ultimately benefit the whole. It is an evolution in progress and from a personal point of view, it is amazing and beautiful to witness. In a hopeful way, I see our planet as a fundamentally feminine thing. Earth or Gaia is a living goddess, a tangible deity that exists and is the giver of life. This thin strip of the atmosphere is like a womb feeding and nurturing and protecting the fragile life that exists within it. Within her is a sea of conscious awareness of millions of species and She is the sum of all the consciously aware life on this small blue world. She is a tangible touchable living conscious Goddess and we are destroying her through our primitive patriarchal arrogance, our fear, and ignorance, and our need for power and dominance. This planet is alive and a living thing! …we are part of this life and not separate from it and our conscious awareness is only part of the sum of existence that lives here,  life on this planet is more than just us. We are part of a caring protective matriarchal ecosystem called Earth and dependant on her like a child is of a mother. We cannot exist without her and our species will have to evolve and learn to treasure this Eden before we are expelled from it.

Kat in Laundromat - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Kat in Laundromat – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Tainted by the sea - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery of House
Tainted by the sea – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery of House

What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

Ray Caesar: Make the art you love and explore avenues that excite you and that are fundamentally about you. Realize that your own choices and values create your brand as if it is an expression of your world view. If you make what you love someone else will love it too. Network and find people that have the same passion for art or creation that you do and realize you can’t do this all alone. I work with my wife Jane and my friend and manager Belinda Chun as a kind of team or family. We like to think of all this as a collective of different skills, not unlike a fashion house or crew of a ship and we call that “Gallery House”http://galleryhouse.ca/. I make the Art, Jane keeps spreadsheets tracking every single piece and keeps me balanced and Belinda then builds a series of partnerships with galleries and dealers and organizations around the world that become a kind of extended family. It’s no longer a world of just one gallery and one artist splitting everything 50/50. We learn to trust these galleries and they learn to trust us and it all starts to work like a functioning engine that creates work, markets work and puts that work in places that visitors and collectors can view it and experience it online and in real spaces like galleries and art fairs and boardrooms and charitable events. It’s not just about me ..it’s about the different parts of the engine that function in tandem that create something of emotional value from nothing but a concept and a piece of paper and canvas. Dior wasn’t just Christian …it was a house and a company of people who believed in something beautiful and worked together to build something that was more than just a dress…they made that dress a piece of art.

Merchant of Venice - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Merchant of Venice – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

Ray Caesar: I don’t as these are valid emotions … I use fear and self-doubt in a positive and creative way ..it’s not so much the conquering of a thing ( that’s a patriarchal practice ) but understanding that my feelings can create a choice of actions and that’s what I absolutely love about emotions …they give us choice. If I am afraid of something I acknowledge it and calmly look at my choices and use the negative energy in a creative positive way that creates a positive result. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear or the control of it, but understanding you have a choice of calm contemplative action despite the fear. I think a wonderful thing to learn is that fear can actually create calm when you realize it’s a way for the subconscious to communicate to the conscious mind that makes action. I think of all emotions like unformed energy that can be modified like a lump of sculptural clay into form …it’s only when we take action and that clay is cast that we will know the result. If I doubt myself that means I need to examine why I am doubting myself and sometimes that doubt is a very useful justified thing and sometimes it is an illusion. I don’t just try and be creative with Art ..I try and be creative with life.

Helios - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Helios – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House

 What are your thoughts about blockchain technology especially in support of digital art? Would you consider using a blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in the Art Market do you want these platforms to solve?

Ray Caesar: One of the reasons Belinda Chun and I developed a different method of working with galleries is that I had so many problems being paid by previous galleries that sold my work. I have had many problems with my work on consignment not being returned. We now only partner with good trustworthy galleries that work fairly with artists and in doing so we make sure we work fairly with them. Blockchain holds a promise of improving that situation by giving greater clarity of any sale and transfer of work in any gallery in the world and letting everyone involved know when and where it happened. I am also interested in the potential for providence in terms of a digital form of a certificate of authenticity that can make providence absolute and travel from collector to collector. Blockchain is sort of like a digital Antiques Roadshow that carries the history of each item along with it and that history becomes part of the fabric of the art itself and can ultimately even increase the value or story of that particular object. As a printmaker of an unregulated commodity, each piece of an edition is very much like printing currency and in doing so one faces the problems any currency faces. Many years ago I was surprised I had absolutely no control over the price of my work …it developed a price based on demand or more accurately, someone’s guess or gamble of its demand. If I held the price down on my work, dealers bought it all and sold it for a higher price. I learned how the market creates the price and value of a limited unregulated edition whether it is a stamp, a dollar bill, or a piece of art.

What superpower you would like to have ? and why?

Ray Caesar: The ability to become consciously aware of subconscious aspects of my own reality and move towards a greater awareness of not just my own existence but a greater awareness of our species and the multidimensional universe we live in … it’s a superpower I am currently learning to cope with and not like trying to cope with X-ray vision or with the difficulty of wearing a spandex mask and tights and high heels and a troublesome cape that tends to get caught in revolving doors.

Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:

Ray Caesar: From childhood, I always wanted to be Emma Peel in the old British Avengers TV spy series…I loved her outfits and how she finished each show drinking champagne. She laughed at fear and always took humorous control and action in any difficult situation. She was a spy and secret agent, a lover, and a sculptor and was probably one of the first strong independent female characters on television. I have modeled myself on Emma Peel since I first saw her as a child in the 1960s….it’s a bit tricky to get into a leather outfit now and zip it all up but I suppose Diana Rigg has the same problem… I also think that she was the basis for M in the recent James Bond films …in fact in She was even referred to as Emma and Bond himself almost gave it away when he said he was mistaken when he thought M was a random letter.

Silent Partner - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Silent Partner – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What is your life motto?

Ray Caesar:: Pick yourself up ..dust yourself off ..and try again….keep in mind the only way out is through and leave by the same door you came in….also Fibre is good but too much Fibre isn’t so good.

Home Coming - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Home Coming – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Bound - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Bound – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Precious - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Precious – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Blessed - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Blessed – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Natalie Shau – Digital Art

Natalie Shau is a mix media artist and a photographer from Vilnius, Lithuania. Influenced by religious imagery, fairytales illustrations and eclectic art world, she taps into the myths, dreams and steers the play of thought to where there is no rational boundary. She explores the complexities of human emotions, by suggesting vulnerability and strength of her surreal and extraordinary creatures.  Natalie renders fantasy and reality themes provocatively and elegantly.  Besides her personal artistic projects, she rigorously creates artwork for musicians, theatre, fashion magazines, writers and advertisement campaigns.

Forest Baby by Natalie Shau
Forest Baby by Natalie Shau
Powder by Natalie Shau
Powder by Natalie Shau

To learn about her and her vision, I had the opportunity to ask her few questions:

What inner force inspires you to create? 

Inspiration is usually the beauty of nature and art (any kind, literature, painting, photography, cinema).

What about motivation, what is the outside force that compels you to create?

Motivation for me is when people like what I create and support my artwork.

Secret Emotions by Natalie Shau
Secret Emotions by Natalie Shau

Do you aspire to drive public awareness on current social or political issues when you are creating a work of art?

Some social issues sometimes, but political absolutely not. Everything nowadays is extremely polarized. And you are running a risk to get into a lot of trouble if you were to express your opinion, freely. I am certain many people prefer not to talk about what they really think nowadays. Specially when you are a public person. 

Mon Plaisir by Natalie Shau
Mon Plaisir by Natalie Shau

What is your dream project? 

I would be very interested in creating a movie & a crazy photography set based on some dark fairytale. 

Justine by Natalie Shau
Justine by Natalie Shau
Snowflake by Natalie Shau
Snowflake by Natalie Shau

And, do you have a particular designer / brand / production that you would like to be involved in their’s marketing campaign? 

Well maybe Gucci? That would be nice. 

Do you have creative patterns, routines or rituals?

Yes, I usually work at night. Daytime I just can’t concentrate.

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Listen to your inner true self.

What does women empowerment mean to you?

Don’t be a victim and fight for your goals.

What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

Just a lot of work, people develop styles only by creating and working.

What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

In such circumstances, I always think that I have so much while many others don’t even have basic things. So I must not complain. 

What are you thoughts about the blockchain technology specially in support of digital art? 

Well, I have not yet looked deep at it, yet, however, I am very very happy that there will be more possibilities for artists.

Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts?

Absolutely!

What are the problems in the Art Market that you would like these platforms to solve?

Well the biggest problem nowadays for independent artists is of course how to fund themselves and have the possibility to acquire new materials for their art projects. 

What super power would you have liked to have ? and why?

Being able not to sleep. So I could create more and visit many places. 

Which movie would you have liked to be the leading actor?

La Reine Margot 

What is your life motto?

Stay true to yourself.

Fashion Photography "Snow Yak" by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography “Snow Yak” by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography "Kristina" by Natalie Shau
Fashion Photography “Kristina” by Natalie Shau
Cradle of Filth 1 - Music Art Works by Natalie Shau
Cradle of Filth 1 – Music Art Works by Natalie Shau

 

Natalie Shau has collaborated with many brands, please refer to her website: https://natalieshau.carbonmade.com/about

 

The impact of Blockchain Technology on Diamond and Jewellery Industries

Imagine the beauty & the emotional connection to your fine jewelry is supported by conflict-free, fair labor, and authenticity. Imagine that, one day, with a click on your cell-phone, you can trace from it’s inception to production, the history or the past ownerships. One of the biggest challenges of fine jewelry, specifically the diamond industry, is the convincing fakes, the swags, and the misleading claims.

Resolving these issues requires the integration of innovative solutions into the trade such as Blockchain Technology. The transparency and the verification systems provided by this technology corroborate trust and significantly reduce fraud in the insurance realm or counterfeits. By creating immutable records to track and protect the valuable goods through Blockchain Technology, manufacturers and brands set the seal on the authenticity & ethical trade. Ultimately creating a progressive world where everyone is a winner.

The disruptive technology promotes socially fair transactionsprevents compromising reputation, and establishes personal connections between the customer and the brand. The industry is warming up, leveraging Blockchain Technology to generate value for its customers and reduce costs. One of the technology companies offering solutions underpinned with Blockchain Technology for the diamond industry is Everledger. A global start-up creating thumbprints across the supply chain pipeline to protect the ownership, authenticity, reputations, and challenges that bear a high cost for the owners, insurers, and all parties involved.

Industry leaders such as Debeers are also investing in new platforms supported by Blockchain Technology to create a highly secure database to record the activities throughout the supply chain while ensuring that the sensitive data will remain between parties involved in the transaction. Thanks to Blockchain Technology, the ownership joy of DeBeers refined collections is vastly expanded.

 

DeBeers - ADONIS ROSE CLUSTER RING
DeBeers – ADONIS ROSE CLUSTER RING
DeBeers - SWAN PAVÉ BAND
DeBeers – SWAN PAVÉ BAND
DeBeers - INFINITY BAND 5MM
INFINITY BAND 5MM

 

DE BEERS AURA HEART CUT PENDANT
DE BEERS AURA HEART CUT PENDANT

 

TALISMAN YELLOW GOLD LUCKY COIN BRACELET
TALISMAN YELLOW GOLD LUCKY COIN BRACELET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign Sapphire Corp., is another custom and branded jewelry company, that is incorporating Blockchain Technology to authenticate sapphires as a conflict-free and accepts Bitcoin as payment via Bitpay on reignsapphires.com.  They offer Australian sapphires, designed in Beverly Hills with chic and modern aesthetics appealing to millennials.

Reign Sapphires
Baguette Double Ring in Yellow Gold

 

Flexible Stiletto Earrings
Flexible Stiletto Earrings

 

 

 

Amor Ring
Armor Ring

Digital Artist & Blockchain Technology

Art and culture are credited for our communities’ wellbeing, education, and enlightening our emotional world. Various political statements, beliefs, or social values have been produced and communicated through Art, Music, or Literature by struggling artists and independent content creators of all kinds. Although the digital revolution has reshaped the Art and Media industries by introducing different production methods, distribution, and enabling reasonably priced promotional campaigns, the technology still has its flaws. For many artists and content creators working with brick-and-mortar institutions, streaming or other social web-based platforms is a grueling route. Why? Simply, the unfair treatment by the powerful intermediaries offers nominal royalty fees, commissions, or payments.

Ipso-facto, keeping the torch of artistry lit requires transparency and incentive. So enter blockchain technology. Progression from the age of information to the age of value, the blockchain technology serves the two essential elements for supporting and creating art. How? The simple idea behind the technology is that information or anything of value such as music, art, money, IP, deeds,… can be securely stored and relocated on an expansive global distributed ledger or database, run on numerous machines. The principle behind blockchain is to fulfill everyday needs by establishing trust through mass collaboration and smart code.

The transparency factor is about the provenance and the authenticity of the art of all kinds. A well-documented provenance confirms that the piece is authentic, not stolen, and has ownership history.

The application of blockchain technology for verification and ownership of physical art has been employed by several companies such as Verisart in Los Angeles, Tagsmart in London, and Ascribe in Berlin. They provide certificates of authenticity and provenance records.

The concept of ownership and provenance can be used for digital art. Once the art has a story together with the element of scarcity, it becomes collectible and eventually adds financial value. Beatriz Ramos, a Venezuelan artist, and CEO of DADA.nyc , has created a decentralized digital art marketplace on the blockchain offering the transparency factor and a social network where artists speak to each other through drawings.

The incentive factor allows ethical and fair payment to the artist. The common good practiced at the very best as art lovers reach their “high” from the ownership and have fulfilled their moral imperative by supporting the artist fairly and directly. Simultaneously, the stimulus is significant for the artists to be in charge of their creative work and gain from their magic.