Sarah Dineen, Sonnenbrille von EYEVAN 7285 754

Die neuen Vorreiter – Artist Profile: SARAH DINEEN

Interview JUSTIN ROSS
Photography LANCE CHESHIRE

4SEE puts a spotlight on young artists from the international art scene whom we deeply admire for their explosive talent and limitless creativity. We respect them even more for their tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds of fame and success in the hypercompetitive artworld. Their incomparable ability to let us share in feelings, emotions, ideas, issues, and concepts that count make us want to take a second and third look at their work. But it is their genuine passion for their art that comes through when you speak with these heavyweights of the art world in Berlin and New York—two of the cultural capitals of the world.

SARAH DINEEN
Nationality American
Medium acrylic paint
Based in New York City

Find more at sarahdineen.com und johanssen-gallery.com

Sonnenbrille von EYEVAN 7285 754
Sonnenbrille von EYEVAN 7285 754

Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?

I did. My mother used to paint when I was little and I remember watching her very closely and eventually trying it for myself. I spent hours learning how to draw by copying photographs of people in magazines. I loved those hours of concentrated time making images from scratch. I knew the freedom of that alone time would always be an important part of my life.

Do you find the artworld cutthroat and competitive, or is it also supportive and community-minded, or something in between?

Yes, it can be cutthroat. It takes some vigilance to not get bogged down by it. But what takes the edge off for me is surrounding myself with artist friends I can have a dialog with and feel supported by. We are all in this together and the more we can support each other, the better off we are. I think kindness and generosity go a long way. That’s not to say that a bit of competition isn’t a good thing. It is. It takes endurance but it keeps me striving to make the best work I can make.

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

I have never wavered from my commitment to logging in studio time no matter what my circumstances have been. Life can easily get in the way but I have been somewhat disciplined in making the production of my work my first priority.

Does art always need to be relevant? Is there a place for aesthetic indulgence, or do politics come into play in your motivation?

This is a question I have been thinking a lot about lately. Here in the US, our government seems to be falling apart daily and its very distressing. Even though my work isn’t overtly political, the experience of this moment in time is still embedded within the material and energy the work is made with. Because things are so worrisome and there is no break from the chaos unraveling before us, I believe aesthetic indulgence is more important than ever. If we lose sight of pleasure and everything that is good, then we’re really in trouble. We all need to carve out time to take a break from the chaos to rest our spirits so we can come back to the political conversation and be engaged with real purpose again. If that means making or looking at art that is not a literal depiction of the political moment then I’m happy to be a part
of that because I strongly believe its just as important.

If not politics, then what are the key sources of inspiration for you? 

Certain Dark Things was born from Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII and its themes of secrecy, love and darkness. As the series has evolved it has become more about the experience of being in a body and the degrees to which we conceal and reveal ourselves to each other and the world. The spheres and vessel shapes have become stand-ins for the self, that darker part of ourselves we do not readily or sometimes ever reveal. I love the idea that we all have this place in us that only we have access to.

What is it like to live/work in New York City?

It’s pretty amazing. My studio is right outside of Times Square now so if I need a break from
the studio, galleries and museums are just a short train ride in any direction. My favorite thing
about being here is whenever I need a break from my own work I can take a couple hours to
go see the work of some of my favorite artists and return refreshed and inspired.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project or chance to see your work?

For the next year, eight of my paintings can be seen upon request at Direktorenhaus and its offshoot Johanssen Gallery in Berlin. Right now, I’m in full production mode doing long days in the studio and having some exciting studio visits. The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts where my studio is will be open to the public for our annual Open Studio event on the 19th, 20th and 21st of October 2017. Come visit!

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?

I see the work expanding in size. Its already quite large but I would like to see it grow to fill cavernous commercial spaces I see around the city. I would like to do more installations too. Last year I installed sixteen of the Certain Dark Things paintings in Saint Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan. That part of the series consists of paintings all the same size depicting the same form. I’m interested in the idea of multiples interacting with the repetition found in architecture. It was an amazing experience to transform an historical sacred space like that. I also see the shapes that appear in the paintings eventually being made into large-scale steel sculpture, indoor and outdoor.

Sonnenbrille von EYEVAN 7285 754
Sonnenbrille von EYEVAN 7285 754

Photography CHARLOTTE KRAUSS
Interview JUSTIN ROSS

The New Vanguard – Artist Profile: Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo

Name: Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo
Age: 30 + 5
Nationality: American Korean Italian
Medium: Installation, collage, sculpture, neon, video
Based in: Berlin

Find more at:  christajdangelo.com

Eyewear by COBLENS KOTFLÜGEL
Eyewear by COBLENS KOTFLÜGEL

Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?
I started private art classes when 6 years old and can’t imagine doing anything else since I need an outlet for my creativity and all the crazy thoughts going on in my head. Art was something I could wake up for everyday and not get sick of, so of course I can’t imagine not using my artistic methods, approaches and ideas to what I am doing and how I define myself as a person.

Do you find the artworld cutthroat and competitive, or is it also supportive and community-minded, or something in between?
The artworld is very different than the world I envisioned it to be, but it is an industry after all and with that there are no rules and no clearly defined borders. But the artworld, like any particular field, is a bubble and within that bubble there are many social circles and hierarchies. It’s a lot like being in high school, so many cliques, a lot of gossip, competition, inspiration, friends, lovers, enemies and a lot of people sleeping together for better or worse ! But there are always friends to be made and so much to discover. I do think there is a lot of support among individual communities and that is a very rewarding and important thing for anyone – being a part of something where you are free to exchange ideas, show transparency and build solid long lasting friendships.

Eyewear by MIU MIU SMU05T
Eyewear by MIU MIU SMU05T

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?
Surviving 35 years of economic turbulence and to have made work that touches people.

Does art always need to be relevant? Is there a place for aesthetic indulgence, or do politics come into play in your motivation?
My work is relevant to my life and to my experiences and that is how I think and operate as an artist. There is a very long history of men, especially white men, using women and other minorities as subjects in their work, but personally I start with what I know and what I know is my own perspective and experiences as a mid-30s, non-white, not super straight female from a working class backround and my work starts from there. Regardless, I want people from as many different creeds and backrounds as possible, to be able to relate to my art because I think art should be as far reaching as possible. My creative choices are built on what feels and seems good and appropriate for me at that time and perhaps that manifests into a political gesture or is a part of a larger social discourse. So when I make work, I make it because there is something that needs to come out and there is something screaming to be scene and heard and so it is not so much about motivation as it is about curiosity and instinct. For several years I was dealing with racial issues and questions in regards to my life in Germany, so I made a video work that dealt with racism and tried to understand where racism comes from. I did not want it to be theoretical because racism is a very real and an unfortunate reality for many people and it felt important to make a work that told a story that dealt with this reality and not about a theory. Some of my newer works are more physical and tactile such as “Heartless” which is a large sculpture of a broken heart necklace that measures up to the feeling of being broken, the feeling of being devoured by something larger than you and the weight bearing pressure of a relationship which was emblematic in the scale and symbol of this broken heart sculpture. I made this work and it seems very female, probably because a man cannot make a work like that, but at that time making that sculpture was a way for me to move forward. I am not sure if art has to always be relevant but again far reaching.

What topics have got you inspired at the moment?
Love, loss, desire, shame, power, age, femininity, transitions and failure.

Eyewear by SALT. CORDIS
Eyewear by SALT. CORDIS

What is it like to live/work in Berlin?
I think I was able to make work in Berlin that I could have never made anywhere else because Berlin has many resources and I had the support of so many which was important since I never had much money. So in that way I was able to cultivate a very solid and diverse body of work that became “me”  as I matured from an early 20s recent graduate with no where to live into a mid 30s artist with permanent residency in Germany. To work here as a young artist can be great, but everything has its limits and Berlin is still figuring out what it wants to be, so if you are young and ambitious it can be truly fulfilling. It certainly has rough edges and a brooding history that is very prevalent but it has a lot of space for contemplation and expression. Berlin is a very reluctant city that gives many chances.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project or chance to see your work?
Since January I am working on an artist book with the legendary Straight to Hell Publications. Editor Billy Miller, designer Jan Wandrag and myself have been working very diligently on this book and we are almost done so we hope to launch it by the end of summer! The book focuses on racism, eugenics, horse breeding and freelance labor. My giant installation and sculpture “Heartless” is on exhibition until November at Galerie Sprechsaal in Berlin. At the end of May I will be in a show at Halle 14 in Leipzig and will be on a podium discussion about multiculturalism in the GDR.  June I will be a show in Berlin at SOMA in conjunction with NYU’s Global Asian / Pacific Exchange Program and will do an artist talk with the current director and special projects curator Alexandra Chang. Fall will be also busy but I’m afraid I can’t say too much about that right now.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?
More growth, prosperity, warmth, intellect and creativity.  Artistically, I want to grow in such unexpected and powerful ways but for me the bigger the better.

Boris Fauser

The New Vanguard – Artist Profile: BORIS FAUSER

Interview JUSTIN ROSS

4SEE puts a spotlight on young artists from the international art scene whom we deeply admire for their explosive talent and limitless creativity. We respect them even more for their tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds of fame and success in the hypercompetitive artworld. Their incomparable ability to let us share in feelings, emotions, ideas, issues, and concepts that count make us want to take a second and third look at their work. But it is their genuine passion for their art that comes through when you speak with these heavyweights of the art world in Berlin and New York—two of the cultural capitals of the world.

Name Boris Fauser
Age 32
Nationality German
Medium Painting, Mixed media
Based in Berlin
Find more at www.borisfauser.com

German painter, mixed media artist Boris Fauser at Museum Island in Berlin, wearing ic! berlin eyewear, photographed by 4SEE
Boris Fauser at Museum Island in Berlin, wearing IC! BERLIN MAIK O. Photography by CHARLOTTE KRAUSS

Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?

No. I started with art very late, when I was 22 already—before that my interest in art was pretty superficial. I started to study Philosophy back then and engaged myself in art through Aesthetics, all of a sudden I began to paint, mostly during semester breaks, but for fun only. After I graduated I came to Berlin, got myself my first studio and started to do it seriously, at that time I was 26 already. One year later I had my first group show in a very cool non-profit space in New York, which was my first show ever.

Do you find the art world cutthroat and competitive, or is it also supportive and community-minded, or something in between?

I have the impression, that most of the artists don’t like to share their connections, that they have to collectors, curators, or dealers with other artists—there is a lot jealousy about food. Plus there are a lot of gallerists and collectors who just want to rip you off. But there are also some cool guys in the art world of course.

Boris Fauser
Boris Fauser

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

I don’t know, if this is my biggest accomplishment, but it s a cool story: There is a really important collector from Mexico. He bought four paintings of mine. I thought, well, he is gonna store them all in storage place with the other young artists he bought anyway, waiting what will happen with me in the art market or whatever. Then I met him at Art Basel again and he showed me a picture of one of my paintings hanging in his house close to a Rothko. With a wink he said: “Can you deal with it sharing the room with Mark?” Thanks to his wife, she loves that work so much obviously.

Does art always need to be relevant? Is there a place for aesthetic indulgence, or do politics come into play in your motivation?

Art doesn’t need to be relevant at all. In my case I’m influenced by abstract expressionism a lot. So my work is more about things like form, color, shape in the first place. I like to play with youth—and pop cultural aspects sometimes though.

If not politics, then what are the key sources of inspiration for you?

Instagram – haha!

Boris Fauser
Boris Fauser

What is it like to live/work in Berlin?

Living/working in Berlin is great of course, but the Summer here is too short and too cold mostly for my liking, so I am thinking about moving to LA maybe.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?

I think every artist dreams of having a big solo exhibition in one of the leading museums like MoMA or Tate Modern etc. one day. Up until then I keep on working in my studio from 10 to 10 everyday.

German painter, mixed media artist Boris Fauser at Museum Island in Berlin, wearing ic! berlin eyewear, photographed by 4SEE
Boris Fauser at Museum Island in Berlin, wearing IC! BERLIN MAIK O.
Photography by CHARLOTTE KRAUSS
Winston Chmielinski, "When You Pulled Me Down"

The New Vanguard – Artist Profile: WINSTON CHMIELINSKI

Interview JUSTIN ROSS

4SEE puts a spotlight on young artists from the international art scene whom we deeply admire for their explosive talent and limitless creativity. We respect them even more for their tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds of fame and success in the hypercompetitive artworld. Their incomparable ability to let us share in feelings, emotions, ideas, issues, and concepts that count make us want to take a second and third look at their work. But it is their genuine passion for their art that comes through when you speak with these heavyweights of the art world in Berlin and New York—two of the cultural capitals of the world.

Name Winston Chmielinski
Age 29
Nationality American
Medium mixed
Based in Berlin
Find more at www.wi-ch.com

American artist Winston Chmielinski in Berlin, wearing COBLENS eyewear, photographed by 4SEE
Winston Chmielinski in Berlin, wearing COBLENS SONNENBLENDE
Photography by CHARLOTTE KRAUSS

Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?

If dying my hair with berries in kindergarten counts, then yes. I failed a lot in social settings and analytical tasks. Stereotypical qualities, but most full-time artists I know had a being-human-is-hard start too.

Do you find the artworld cutthroat and competitive, or is it also supportive and community-minded, or something in between?

I’m curious about the art world, just as I’m curious about any force larger than life that can hold so many conscious minds spellbound. But I do not look to the art world for meaning or value when it comes to art—or people. I’ve been honing my natural instincts instead.

Winston Chmielinski, "Bodies of Water"
Winston Chmielinski, “Bodies of Water”

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

I have become more optimistic with age.

Does art always need to be relevant? Is there a place for aesthetic indulgence, or do politics come into play in your motivation?

Honestly, it’s politics that feels like the biggest indulgence. Art that follows in hot pursuit does little for me, unless it’s made or exhibited within a context that’s truly risky. Then it can inspire movement. And ultimately that’s what makes art relevant, and relevant art so rare. It activates something within us that inspires change and growth. Not to be confused with a dopamine rush.

If not politics, then what are the key sources of inspiration for you?

Those moments that make me realize everything’s still a mystery.

Winston Chmielinski, "Relearning How to Grow"
Winston Chmielinski, “Relearning How to Grow”

What is it like to live/work in Berlin?

Safe to be my strangest, truest self.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project or chance to see your work?

It’s been non-stop producing since January 2016, so I’m stoked to have my first break in a year and a half, where I can recollect, reorganize, and research again. That said, there’s a second part to the piece I presented in Venice, sound-based and collaborative. I can’t wait to continue with that!

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?

A better bucket list with a lot of checks. I haven’t been able to cross off anything except for “handstand.”

The New Vanguard – Artist Profile: SADIE WEIS

Interview JUSTIN ROSS

4SEE puts a spotlight on young artists from the international art scene whom we deeply admire for their explosive talent and limitless creativity. We respect them even more for their tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds of fame and success in the hypercompetitive artworld. Their incomparable ability to let us share in feelings, emotions, ideas, issues, and concepts that count make us want to take a second and third look at their work. But it is their genuine passion for their art that comes through when you speak with these heavyweights of the art world in Berlin and New York—two of the cultural capitals of the world.

Name Sadie Weis
Nationality American
Medium Multi -Media, Installation, Painting, Sculpture. PolyMonotype Silkscreen, Video
Based in Berlin
Find more at www.sadieweis.com

American artist Sadie Weis in Berlin, wearing MICHAEL KORS eyewear, photographed by 4SEE
Sadie Weis in Berlin, wearing MICHAEL KORS 0MK1021
Jacket, Legging by Nico Sutor
Photography by ROBERT BEYER

Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?

In a sense, yes. It was apparent from childhood, as I was more interested in taking art classes for summer school instead of going to the pool. It only increased as I matured and I was also really involved in theater productions and especially designing sets and costumes and make-up. My mother kind of forbid me from pursuing art school for University, ‘You will never make a career that way, Sadie!’ So I appeased her and majored in Journalism while secretly making a second degree in Painting and Art History. When I got a big scholarship for art school, she eased up on me, a bit. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else any way. My brain just isn’t structured that way.

Do you find the artworld cutthroat and competitive, or is it also supportive and community-minded, or something in between?

I have found a really supportive community, peer -wise in the art world. A lot of my friends are involved in filmmaking and performance, and we share skills and create wonderful projects together, so I feel really nurtured in this way. But also I have seen all facets of the artworld. I have had successes and then hit complete bottom which really burned my spirit. I have also spent some time on the business side of the artworld, PR wise, and seen a lot of shallow circumstances- sometimes it really does come down to who you know, who you surround yourself with, where you went to school, etc etc, and the true essence of the work can get lost in the thick of it. But I can say that alternatively, there are plenty of precious diamonds in the rough.

Sadie Weis, "Sci-Copia" Various crystalized plants and flowers of Potassium Dichromat, Copper Sulphate, Potassium Aluminium Sulphate, Ammonium Dihydrogen Phosphate, melted plastic, holographic glitter, silicon, 2017.
Sadie Weis, “Sci-Copia”
Various crystalized plants and flowers of Potassium Dichromat, Copper Sulphate, Potassium Aluminium Sulphate, Ammonium Dihydrogen Phosphate, melted plastic, holographic glitter, silicon, 2017.

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

Artistically speaking, I would say perhaps, when I approached sculpture, which challenged my perspective entirely.

I had the epiphany one bizarre night on a trip to Austria where I was teaching English and found myself in an eerie train station somewhere in what felt like the twilight zone in a dark end of the Czech Republic. I felt really alone and questioned where I was headed in life. Somehow this birthed the desire to build a life-size portal-like a transformational/reflection vessel – to respond to this feeling. Having never really built anything sculptural before, I had to teach myself, and it all came from experimentation. I made a drawing of the vision of the portal in my head and went from there. An artist friend of mine handed me a heat gun to try, and I started collecting treasures and stories, poems, gifts from friends, keepsakes that I had kept along my journey in life so, discarded artifacts from all over Berlin. I made constructions of these elements and started melting and piecing them together. The results turned out unexpectedly beautiful, like an allegory. From this point on I started my installation-based work.

A close second is when I self-transported an entire body of very fragile work in a huge van from Berlin to London for an exhibition there called, ironically entitled, Wanderlust, at the Lacey Contemporary Gallery. That was like a race against time, literally, through five countries and also via ferry without damaging the work (I didn’t) !

Does art always need to be relevant? Is there a place for aesthetic indulgence, or do politics come into play in your motivation?

I tend to shy away for governmental politics, work-wise, but queer and relationship politics and historical references have and do play big roles in my work. My creations are indeed very aesthetic, but in a sense that they are mirroring an internal question. How do we find a sense of self within the intangible concept and vastness that is the universe? How fleeting and insignificant is one human life in the grand scheme of it all, and how do we defy the face of this knowledge?

Sadie Weis, "Umbra" Car Air- conditioning filter crystalized with Ammonium Di-hydrogen Phosphate. Spray Paint, 2017.
Sadie Weis, “Umbra”
Car Air- conditioning filter crystalized with Ammonium Di-hydrogen Phosphate. Spray Paint, 2017.

If not politics, then what are the key sources of inspiration for you?

I approach art in a kind of spiritual and mystical sense, as I believe in the strength of one’s inner spirit to overcome obstacles and evolve as a person. My creative research is based in astronomy and astrology, space and time travel, fantasy, chemistry, alchemy, extraterrestrials, and the exploration of mystical and metaphysical realms. I can’t deny the presence of science in nature but also the sparkle in life and the power of astronomy and the stars…there are so many abstract constructs, but I appreciate how that leaves no one specific aphorism but for each to interpret for themselves.

I always find my interpretation of the universe to be a magical and enchanting one but paradoxically dystopian and futuristic. My philosophy in creating comes from the spiritual restoration of the journeys of the mind in relation to the life surrounding you – like a mental odyssey.

What is it like to live/work in Berlin?

I came to Berlin on a beautiful whim searching for a new artistic outlet. Previously I was living in New York, as much I loved the city, I found myself struggling to find a balance to support myself and have the capacity to grow.

Berlin is wonderfully vibrant, and like many metropolises. It is full of culture clashes and fascinating characters. I have network of beautiful creatures to inspire me. I find here that I am able to see the world in more colorful perspectives and possibilities.

Berlin is also historically fascinating and mythical. My studio, for example is in a former army barracks in an abandoned military airport called Johanistal. It was actually the second airport ever constructed in the world, and the odd thing is, few people, even Berliners realize it exists. There is huge abandoned airfield there full of decrepit hangers where they used to build zeppelins. I often go there to explore and think. It’s a big inspiration for me.

Besides offering a plethora of ‘space’ Berlin allows for more freedom of time. Before I came to Berlin, I was mostly working in 2-D with painting and silkscreen. I mentioned before that I had this intrensic awakening here of sorts, suddenly realized that I needed to move into sculptural installations in order to create all of the wonderworlds in my head. It was here also that I stared experimenting with chemistry and crystal growth, and now I make entire gardens of crystalized flora. The universe just seems to keep expanding here.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?

That’s hard to say, the only thing I can really strive for is evolution, artistically and personally. My work keeps growing in scale, so I will need more space! I could imagine co-existing with all of my family of friends, children, animals- in the nature on something like a community farm-like environment where we can all support each other and share space and experiences- have multiple studios to interact and intersperse our ideas, a harmonious haven kind of thing. Also with a lab for science experimentation and alchemy. My plans for the future are to continue doing what I do- creating, learning, experimenting and using art to grow spiritually.

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