How would you explain the concept of abstraction/surrealism to someone who has never heard of it before?
Abstraction (and surrealism) in visual arts are expressions that don't claim to represent reality (an object, a subject or an actual scenery). Abstract art is non-figurative, but opens up to imaginary figures and scenes.
What inspires you to use the concept of abstraction/surrealism for your artwork?
As with all categories and labels, they can be useful to sort out and separate. But categories are never clean-cuts and shall not be used as limitations. That's why I'm a bit reluctent to classify my images with a label. Above all, I am interested in the process of transforming an actual seen object, subject or scene into something else – to a create a new meaning - and to invite the watcher finding their own meaning or interpretation. Working with, and watching, abstracted images is a way to discover details and unexpected aspects in the world around us. It is a way of learning to see. It opens up to imagination. And although abstracted images are basically non-figuarative, you can discover imaginary figures and landscapes in the abstract. *AiniTolonen
for example, is an artist who creates wonderful stories with imaginary figures and scenes hidden in the abstracted surface.
What do you want to express with your artwork? What’s your source of inspiration?
It can be an atmosphere, a feeling, a concrete idea. It varies. Sometimes it is nothing more than the pure joy of aesthetic exploration. A theme I cannot let go is the concept of memory, and the transmission or movement from an actual lived moment into a memory, and further - to a visual expression of that memory.
I have many sources of inspiration; music, science fiction, folklore, cultural theory, sociology, phenomenology - just to mention some. Other artists' work is of course a constant source of inspiration as well.
Do you think that the "quality" of an artwork depends more on technical perfection or on the message/expression?
I appreciate technical quality in artwork, and developing more technical skills is part of my ambitions. But technical quality should never be an aim in itself.
Who’s your favourite visual artist and why?
Oh! It's impossible to name only one. There are so many. Hanan Kazma *partiallyHere
and Samual Poromaa *Poromaa
are photo-based artists whose artwork, in different ways, stimulates my curiosity, captivates my aesthetic sense and often strikes a core, deep down. The norwegian painter Anders Kjær is an old time favourite artist with his beautiful abstracted landscapes/dreamscapes.
Which group on dA would you recommend to someone who’s searching for abstract/surreal photography?
Do you have any advices for absolute beginners or is there anything else that you’d like to say about abstract/surreal photography?
Explore through experiments, share your work, start the life-long process of learning to see. If the camera is your tool, shoot a lot of pictures, play with them, have fun.
Previous posts of PE Week Abstract and Surreal: