What Are Your Artistic Influences?
I am often asked this question when I meet journalists, potential clients, or collectors. I used to be scared of this question because it was a matter that I had never really considered when venturing into my art career. For me the art is what emerged from ‘preparing the ground’: As a young adult I committed myself to live a life that is essentially focused on being vibrant, healthy, honest, present, kind and heart centered (well, I tried my best at it!). I believe that when anyone works on developing these qualities it gives space for their innate unique talent to emerge in a natural intelligent movement. For me, my art is what emerged.
So with this as a foundation for my art you can see that exploring my artistic influences was not something I gave a lot of thought or found to be important for my art process. At first when I was getting this question I felt inadequate, uneducated and ignorant.
But it isn’t that tragic! I grew up in Paris, France, and visiting art museums was a big part of my upbringing . So when I started to give this common question some thought I realised that my art did have artistic influences. How could it not? Every ‘new’ is built upon what already exists, whether it is in science, biology, human development, or art. There is never such a thing as ‘totally new and unique’.
My artistic influences are first of all ancient and sacred forms of art. I am fascinated by petroglyphs and archetypal designs from earlier cultures. I love many traditional art expressions like the simple and colourful silhouettes of Egyptians frescos, the strong profiles and symbolic art of the Aztecs, the depth of the gaze found in Etruscan paintings and sculptures, the complex detailed imagery of the Tibetans, and the elegance of Japanese lithography and calligraphy. I am in awe with the radiant beauty of early Christian art forms where symmetry is not yet mastered, and the depth and luminosity of Russian icons. I also particularly admire anything geometric and intricate like Arabic mosaics, Celtic designs, Italian Renaissance floral motifs and patterns, and the mysterious magnificence of crop circles!
When it comes to more recent art history I love the intricate intelligent drawings of M.C. Escher, the bold colours of Van Gogh, the delicate feminine lines of Gustav Klimt. I relate strongly to the spiritual expressions of Kandinsky, Chagall and Klee, the mystical romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich and the deep explorations of William Blake and Salvador Dali.
I shared the art that informed and influenced my work, but how about we talk about the art that needs to inform and influence our world today? Where is the art that represents the edge of our culture? We are living in ultra fast, challenging, critical times, and the avant-garde is with no doubt found within the leaders of change, the visionaries that are creating solutions… Where are the artists that are telling the story of our changing times today?
For the world of today and tomorrow we need artists that live an integrated, healthy life, and whose art and mission is to be a catalyst for positive change. Our humanity and planet is in such a dire, urgent need for any of that!
Without knowing it consciously I clearly have been influenced by artists from the past. I find it fascinating to think that it is inevitable that my art too is here too to inspire others, the world at large, and even future generations!