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Artist Spot Interview | Kurt Von Behrmann

AS    When did you first start creating art?

Between semesters while I was working on my Master’s Degree at Cranbrook, I spent the break at my Grandmother’s home.  Midway through my visit, I stumbled across a box.  It was filled with assorted papers.  What differentiated this collection of papers from any other box of was that every single page was filled with scrawls. 

Pencil marks in assorted random patterns covered each piece of paper.  Curious as to the origins of this box, I queried my Grandmother.  Without hesitation, she replied, “When you were a baby you sketched on any piece of paper you could find.”  She continued by informing me that before I could walk, or talk, I was preoccupied with mark making on paper.

AS    What forms, mediums and techniques have you utilized in creating art?

The early works were exclusively drawings.  Over time, my work would find expressions on canvas. This was during my first foray into higher education at Penn State.  Once I had mastered the basics of paintings, I left figurative work for abstraction.  Something about the format demanded that I expand to new areas. My works ventured into multimedia creations. Inspiration came from sculpture. Those first works allowed me to have a new venue, and new materials. From wood to wire to three dimensional sculptural elements, it would be in various mediums that my art would find ultimately find expression.

AS    How have you been inspired or what is the driving force of your creativity?

Finding ways or inner thoughts fuels my work.  The desire to give expression to ideas through a visual means is an impetus that propels me forward.  Excavating meaning, creating deeper more profound work, it is very much about locating visual means to communicate so that others can feel and see what I have experienced.  This is as important in propelling the work forward as the desire to simply create shapes, forms, colors and negative space.  There are specific intellectual content to the work.  This is a given with any work that goes beyond the norm. However, working formally often provides meaning in and of itself.  Often just working with materials is sufficient to drive a work to completion.

AS    Which artists have directly influenced your passion or style?

For the sake of brevity, I will just list the most recent. If I did not, there would that would span the distance between New York to London.  A number of artists have left an impression.  The most lasting, and the most recent, have been those listed below.

Jun Kaneko, Alberto Giacometti, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Eva Hesse, Ruth Lampkins,  Käte Kollwitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, George Grosz, Francis Bacon, Ed Hamilton and Richard Diebenkorn. 

AS    What art is hanging up on your walls?

It is a collection that is very different from my work, but is some cases not so much. It can best be described as eclectic and very personal.  This work includes the work of Melany Terranova, Glynn Gomez, Michele Richards and several of my own paintings.  My wish is to obtain work by Ruth Lampkins and Leon Verhoven.

AS    Does music influence your process?

It is rare I do not have music playing when I create. Usually, I try to find music that fits my mood and themes for my work.  When I was in the studio a few months ago I was greatly inspired by the music of Amy Mann.  The recording that impressed me was titled, “The Forgotten Arm.”  Mann had set these incredibly melodic haunting music set to sharp, incisive and very dark imagery. The combination of powerful graceful music in contrast to deeply felt songs about addiction, loneliness and emotional disconnects left a strong impression. It was such a powerful mix, I contacted Mann’s management to see if it were possible for me to create a suite of works connected to her songs. I was not the only visually based creative inspired by Mann.  The director of the film “Magnolia,” Paul Thomas Anderson, wrote the script based on Mann’s music.

AS    What is art?

This is a question that perplexes artists, the public and pundits.  A simple answer is context and intention.  If the desire of the creator is to create fine art and the work is placed in a fine art context, such as an art gallery, studio, art publication, art web site or alternate art space, then one has to consider the work a piece of art.  Usually when someone asks if a work is art or not, the real question connects to if the work has value. The question is not about categories, but quality.  I believe it was Dorothy Parker who may have said, “The word art is not elastic.” 

AS    Who is the artist?

An artist is someone who determinedly, stubbornly and passionately pursues visions irrespective of the obstacles. 

An artist, one with even a gram of integrity, sets out to make the best possible work.  Overcoming fiscal problems, strain, stress, fear and life itself, art is both demanding, rewarding, frustrating and something that defines you as much as you define it.  An artist is someone who communicates a vision and wishes to do so without compromise. 

See Kurt's full collection here.

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Mike Martens April 04, 2013 0 tags (show) Add a comment

Five Abstract Artists You Must See

Andrew Macrae graduated from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California with a degree in Studio Art. His work is highly detailed and painted with a steady hand. Chaos Gate (Seen below) was painted onto a small 13" by 19" wooden panel. Artist Spot has taken a high resolution image of the small painting to capture every detail. With the high quality image it is possible to generate an enormous 40" by 60" giclée print or canvas. Buying art online can be hard if you're looking for rare and quality art. Artist Spot is dedicated to featuring artists on a weekly basis whom exhibit a truly unique style and process. Macrae is a great example of current abstract maximal-ism. His abstracts landscapes draw your eye in and invite to explore. 

Andrew Macrae | Chaos Gate

Matthew William Robinson lives and teaches art in New York, NY. His work is inspired by a love of architecture and abstract interpretations. Some of his paintings incorporate mixed media elements as well. 

Matthew William Robinson | Number 54  

Lorette C. Luzajic is a prolific mixed media artist. Her collage based assemblages are beautiful and abstract. Luzajic lives in Toronto and exhibits her work regularly. Recently she created a twenty foot wide, ten foot high mural on a billboard in New Orleans.

Lorette C.Luzajic | Planetary Chaos

Katherine Fabrizio uses thick paints and glitter in her abstract paintings. Her paintings shimmer in the darkness, a reflection of the human spirit.

Katherine Fabrizio | Joy Rains Down

Agent X was recently featured on the cover of the new digital art magazine Unfolded. His mixed media paintings are wonderfully organized chaos. X's attitude is strong and clear. Artist Spot offers T shirts with his design Golden Girlz.

Agent X | Stardust

By Michael Martens | Artist Spot Curator

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Artist Spot Interview | Matthew William Robinson

AS    When did you first start creating art? 

I used to help my dad sand, or strip old furniture and dig through old tool boxes and bins at the local dump. I first made some paintings when I was in undergrad playing with scraps of magazine and creating landscapes. I painted in all the areas where the pictures did not connect to make the scene a whole.

AS    What forms, mediums and techniques have you utilized in creating art?

Photography, painting, historical research, woodworking, and concepts in architecture
and design.

AS    How have you been inspired or what is the driving force of your creativity? 

I am mostly inspired by architecture and old objects with layers of visual history.

AS    Which artists have directly influenced your passion or style? 

Richard Serra, Richard Diebenkorn, Michael Heizer, Gordon Matta Clark.

AS    What art is hanging up on your walls? 

My own, only because I have no room in NY, and no car to move art here.

AS    Does music influence your process? 

No. Not directly. I do think that aesthetics and sound preference are linked. I have taught sinestesia lessons to my students in the past and I think it can have an influence over your movements. I used to be into grunge as a kid, Punk as a teen, and anything with odd unexpected chord changes or lyrical content. Usually dark and or moody music, usually not bright sounding.

AS    What is art? 


AS    Who is the artist? 

The one with the ideas.

See Matthew's complete collection here.

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Mike Martens April 01, 2013 1 tags (show) Add a comment

Artist Spot Interview | Jacquelyn Van Rixel


AS    When did you first start creating art?

Art has been an incredibly powerful force my entire life.  It has always been a vital part of my identity and soul. I began creating art as soon as I could hold a crayon. I have some of my very first drawings that my mother kept and it is so intriguing to see how it all began and how it has developed in my life until this point.  I remember drawing a lot when I was a kid, sometimes for hours, in my own little world drawing whatever was in my wild imagination. My grandmother was also an artist and she always encouraged me to express myself creatively whenever I wanted. My family was always very encouraging and supportive to all of my creative tendencies which I am very grateful for. I think this led me to pursue art in a serious way,  as a life journey and "career" path, when I was fifteen. That's when I decided that I needed to devote my entire being to my passion for art.

AS    What forms, mediums and techniques have you utilized in creating art?

I consider myself to be a painter primarily. I am in love with oil paints because they allow me to mix the most vibrant and unique colors while building layers upon layers of paint to create a world through my eyes.  I also enjoy working with mixed media, collage, fabric, watercolor, oil pastels, printmaking, silkscreen, murals, ink as these mediums open gateways to different modes of expression. Pretty much anything I can get my hands on I will manipulate into some form of art!  

AS    How have you been inspired or what is the driving force of your creativity?

I am inspired by life through and through. It is magical and sacred and there is so much to draw inspiration from. I collect I lot of things I find or treasure and these provide inspiration for mixed media pieces. I also do a lot of research about whatever is interesting me at the time and I compile photos, quotes, music, etc. on my blog. This allows me to revisit my thoughts very much like a journal but I can also share it with others on the internet in a more profound way. I am definitely totally fascinated with nature, music, spirituality, ancient culture, psychedelia, the beauty that surrounds all of us but is most often disregarded and forgotten about in modern society. My driving force is love and soulful healing creativity.

AS    Which artists have directly influenced your passion or style?

I look to many, many artists for inspiration from all different time periods, genres, and techniques. Some of the most notable and influential however are Alex Grey, Martina Hoffmann, Adam Scott Miller, Pablo Amaringo, Robert Venosa, Carey Thompson, Autumn Skye Morrison, Fred Tomaselli, tattoo artists Guy Aitchison, Nick Baxter, and James Kern. This list does not even touch on all of the musicians that have impacted my work. I must also include my grandmother for shaping my early art development and my life partner who is a musician and artist as well and provides me with immeasurable influence and support.

AS    What art is hanging up on your walls?

Most of the art on my walls is actually my own as I have a lot of it and am constantly making more. I have a lot of my partner's art on the walls as well as some of my colleagues' art from art school, some awesome prints from the 60s and 70s, and some music posters. My house is VERY colorful and the walls are completely covered in amazing things to look at!

AS    Does music influence your process?

It is crucial to my process... it is my process. Music is the air around me that I breathe! I will listen to whatever type of music speaks to my inner self in that moment. Music then serves as a vehicle to help me enter a trance like state where creation flows in a much more natural and relaxed way. I also live paint at concerts which is an amazing experience all in its own.

AS    What is art?

Art is a physical manifestation of a being or group of beings that releases creativity in many forms. This could be writing, performance, dancing, painting, sculpting, filming... whatever is being produced as a means of expressing the inner self or a reflection of outside the self. The concept of "art" has been debated so much and I feel like it is not definable. Art doesn't have to be pretty pictures hanging on a wall... it is anything you want it to be. I am art, you are art, we are art and art is a sacred and necessary part of our humanity. We are creative beings by nature.

AS    Who is the artist?

I strongly believe that EVERYONE is an artist in their own way. We all have the ability to make something with some sort of tool. We have been blessed with a mind that can conceive of such artistic adventures and all of us act on it in some form.  We all need to make art in order to capture the essence of our existence and to release the experiences within and around us. 

See Jacquelyn Van Rixel's full collection here.

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Mike Martens March 25, 2013 2 tags (show) Add a comment

Artist Spot Interview | Lorette C. Luzajic

AS    When did you first start creating art?

I was born with a pen in my hand.

AS    What forms, mediums and techniques have you utilized in creating art?

My practice is, what I like to call, “mixed up media.” Just as I use everything but the kitchen sink- and sometimes the kitchen sink- in my collage paintings, I have also dabbled in every conceivable expression of creativity. From poetry to beading to cooking to clay sculpture to marshmallow snowmen to belly dancing, I’ve done it. I think collage satisfies all of this because it can be all things.

AS    How have you been inspired or what is the driving force of your creativity?

Perhaps because I am inspired by everything, I have a constant cascade of ideas and thoughts. I cannot in my lifetime even touch “the list” I have made up of ideas, and there are new ones coming constantly. It’s overwhelming, really, so I had to make peace with the fact that I can’t keep up with my own imagination.  I am inspired, probably more than anything else by interesting characters who blow me away- like Camille Paglia, like Michael Jackson, Winston Churchill, Madonna, C.S. Lewis, Erte, Cora Pearl, Esther Phillips, the Marchesa Luisa di Casati, Van Gogh. I adore the brilliant, eccentric, curious and unconventional. There’s a quote on my refrigerator, it’s from Leo Burnett, an advertising mogul. “ Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

AS    Which artists have directly influenced your passion or style?

Studying art is an essential part of my practice. Just as one should read, read, read, if one wishes to be a writer, one must look at art to become a great artist. And I want very much to become a great artist. There’s no hiding the fact that my work shares an aesthetic with Warhol, Basquiat, Rauschenberg, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns - what’s surprising is that I didn't really care for any of them until  the last few years.  I suppose I resisted the idea of being the chick version and wanted to forge my own notion of modern abstract and collage. I have a definite kinship with Joseph Cornell, Miro, Kurt Schwitters, Magritte, too.   I also love photography and never tire of studying photographs or taking my own. I love Walker Evans, Brassai, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Ed Burtynsky.  I can look at contemporary artists like Kareem Rizk, Ali Rashid, or Doug Trump and my mouth will literally water and my hands will itch for brushes and scissors and paint. Each of these is a master in his field for managing absolute originality when there is really nothing new under the sun.   

But since time immemorial, I have also had “realist envy” and  feel passionately inspired by Caravaggio, Ed Hopper, Vermeer, Bruegel, da Vinci, etc. Modern and contemporary painters may be innovators, they are even at times revolutionaries, but these painters are magicians. Being able to recreate such marvelous, lifelike stories from a palette of a few colours is pure magic.

The Impressionist era is probably the era from which I derive the least edification. It took me awhile to realize that that is because there’s no story there. I love film, I love fiction, I love singers like Johnny Cash and Gordon Lightfoot and Eminem. All art is more compelling when it has a story to tell, and perhaps it is that story within eccentric heroes, within art and music, within myself, that is the key point of inspiration when I work.

AS    What art is hanging up on your walls?

This is always changing. Right now, Man Sleeping by Donnarama, cemetery photography by Ralph Martin, and a dozen or so of my own in various states of completion.

AS      Does music influence your process?

Literature and visual art meld together for me, as a writer and an artist. It’s not that they are interchangeable, not at all. It’s that both are feats of human creativity, imagination, “art.” So music merges there as well for me. I cannot play music or sing a note, but I feel music so deeply and of course that turns up in my visual (and written) work. I’m working right now on a project that involves the theme of “songs.” I do sometimes work in silence, when I am overstimulated and overwhelmed, I take everything down a notch. But mostly I work with loud music, and so the rhythms and lyrics and ideas find their way through me for sure.

On deck these days- Charley Pride, Blue October, Artie Shaw, Matisyahu,  Nicki Minaj, Skip James.

AS      What is art?

The divine spark.

AS     Who is the artist?

Sometimes people ask me how they can become a writer or an artist. I try to talk them out of it. It’s nothing to envy. Smart people are content to be enriched by art as a hobby. If that response is not satisfactory, I say, a writer is someone who writes, an artist is someone who makes art. Do that, you’ll be blazes ahead of most professionals. What they mean, of course, is how can I make easy money by churning out poems and paintings?  There is no easy way. Hard work, with no guarantee. There’s a great quote, attributed to Samuel Butler. “Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise person to be able to sell it.” 

See Luzajic's full collection here.

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Mike Martens March 18, 2013 2 tags (show) 1 comment

Live Exhibition at The Rumor Mill

Artist Spot, The Rumor Mill, art show

In January Artist Spot rang in the new year with a group show at The Rumor Mill in Culver City. All month the hip coffee shop played host to four of Artist Spot's featured artists. The small premier allowed guests to meet the artists and discuss their works. The works on display were a combination of the artist's original works and high quality reproductions from

Andrew Macrae is an abstract painter who's attention to detail is precise. Macrae's original works are typically painted on a smaller canvas, inviting the viewer to come close and look deep into his abstract web. Thanks to the power of high quality scanners and cameras, Artist Spot is able to make reproductions of Macrae's work that can truly define a space. Canvas and prints are available at an enormous 40"x60", and high quality framed prints are available up to "30x40".

TRIG is a street artist originally from Boston who has taken up residence in Los Angeles recently. He has been hard at work making his mark on the concrete playground. In his Fun With Skulls series TRIG brings another dimension to his street art style. Sometimes TRIG will create an outside installation and then return later to salvage it from the elements and preserve it on a canvas, a portable version of street art, see The Girl (Outside Installation)

Andrew Macrae, art show TRIG, art show

(Left: Andrew Macrae Abstract, Beyond the Horizon, Chaos Gate | Right: TRIG Fun with Skulls II)

Todd Ingram has an outstanding group of works featured on Artist Spot. His Native American series, based off portraits of Native American Indians, depict a chief, doctor, nurse and young mother. His paintings are big, stoic and colorful. Recently Artist Spot introduced a T Shirt line based of his collection. See the shirts here.

Darren Pearson lives in Eagle Rock, CA. He is a prominent member of the growing light painting community. He employs long exposure photography and then draws shapes and figures with an LED light pen. Easier said than done, Pearson paints a picture that he cannot see. He must keep the image in his mind and carefully place each beam of light.

Todd Ingram, art show Darren Pearson, art show

(Left: Todd Ingram Young Mother, The Doctor, The Nurse | Right: Darren Pearson Velociraptor)

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Mike Martens March 14, 2013 2 tags (show) Add a comment

Artist Spot Interview | Dominic Laporte

AS     When did you first start creating art?

I recall drawing and painting when I was probably 5 or 6 years old, but my parents have lots of photos of me drawing even before that. It’s very natural for any child to make art; it’s when we get older that a lot of us lose it.

AS     What forms, mediums and techniques have you utilized in creating art?

Over the years I've experimented with countless materials; acrylic to watercolor, sculpture, aerosol, scratch-board  various paper’s and organic materials. I really enjoy the process of layering materials, creating transparencies and dimension. I can admit many techniques I've discovered accidentally but work hard to master and control those techniques.  I’m currently working on a series of paintings on oak panels which I’m excited about.

AS     How have you been inspired or what is the driving force of your creativity?

I've been inspired by everything in my life. Most notably the music I listen to and the people who surround me, my mood and just life experience alone inspires me to create and to do it as much as possible. I’m a competitive person so I enjoy discovering amazing artists that I can learn from and work to improve my own art so that’s a huge incentive in my pursuit of art as a career and way of life. I don’t think I’d like it very much if I were the only artist out there, no one to feed off!

AS     Which artists have directly influenced your passion or style?

I have to mention my mother and brother first. They were my primary influences as a child and adolescent. My brother taught me to how to work on my own and develop my work without the constant need for approval and gratification, which really fuels my passion and productivity now. As for other artists there’s an endless list but the most prominent in my mind are Jose Parla, Augustine Kofie, Doze Green, James Jean, Brian Lorimer, Joram Roukes, Logan Hicks, and every graffiti artist I've met over the years. 

AS     What art is hanging up on your walls?

I don’t have much from other artists other than a print by Stephen Frue, who’s a local artist from Ottawa and a Justine Bua Poster. Other than that I have a few of my own paintings and sketches hung up as well as some album covers. 

AS     Does music influence your process?

Music has been a huge part of creating art; the two go hand in hand. I think I’m the most content when I’m painting something I’m really feeling while in complete unison with the music I have on, doesn't get much better than that. 

AS     What is art?

Ah the age old question. I can’t really say what art is to the world, but to me it’s solely human expression through visual communication. Pictures and images are so much more universally understood than words and language.  I respect artists who have profound ideas combined with the technical ability to express them. I’m not a big fan of highly conceptual art; although concept is very important, but on its own it feels very unfinished and simply boring in my opinion. 

AS    Who is the artist?

An artist is anyone with a passion to create and make a mark in whatever way they feel. I always encourage others to start painting, drawing, anything to keep a creative outlet in their life. I think there is a pleasure and joy that comes with creative practices that really provide a better quality of life, and I don’t know where I’d be without art – it’s shaped who I am today.

See Laporte's full collection here.

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Mike Martens March 12, 2013 0 tags (show) Add a comment

The Abstract Master Chef

Andrew Macrae is a master of abstract form and precise detail. I find myself lost in his works, every time I look into a painting I find something new. I am reminded of the Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky. Macrae never ceases to surprise and encourage your imagination to dive into his colorful world. Recently we added a few new works, among them is The Gathering of the Winds. The original work is made with gouache paint, watercolors and ink. Here we can examine the depth and detail of Macrae's painstaking attention to detail.

Macrae uses animals throughout his works.

Here is the complete work.

See Andrew Macrae's full collection here.

-Michael Martens - Artist Spot Curator

High Quality Reproductions, Framed Prints, Stretched Canvas and T Shirts | Designs By Emerging Artists. 

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Mike Martens March 07, 2013 1 tags (show) Add a comment