Art Copy is pleased to welcome Marie Vartenberg for an interview with an artist with an astonishing imagination. She discusses the alternative world that she creates, how her art operates in a world gone mad, her inner need to be creative, and more. In a recent article, Salon magazine asserted that in an era of uncertainty, art is humanity’s most powerful weapon against apathy. Marie also stirs her audiences creativity by leading them into unchartered territory within their own imaginative selfs. Please join me in welcoming an artist with a remarkable vision, style, wit, and who is never, ever, boring.
In his commentary of the artist’s work, Gery Van Tendeloo says:
She records, visualizes and critiques the global society and the world by creating highly personal beings, metaphors for humans, and a step further than humanoids, baptized ‘strontanoids.’ She creates disorder, chaos in a way, inviting the viewers to ask questions using their own imagination — like a subcutaneous injection — it really doesn’t hurt, but you feel it. In her idiosyncratic content, she avoids any morality and messages.
Marie Vartenberg lives and works in Antwerp Belgium.
Art Copy: Welcome to artcopyblog.com Marie Vartenberg. Would you like to introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Marie Vartenberg: I create from an inner need, this is the best way I can express myself. I would describe my creative process as very impulsive. Direct from my mind to hand, immediately. I never have a problem with finding subjects, my head is always full of stories, characters, etc. I like to work with. If we talk about painting the moment itself, I develop the painting to what I really like. When I’m not satisfied, I paint it over the same day, until I’m satisfied.
I work with metaphors — my ghost-animals-beings resemble contemporary society, also the behavior of humans to each other. I name my beings “strontanoids” derived from humanoids, with the addition of the shitty behavior we now see all around us. Creating a non-existent world from humanity, or society has no message at all. I don’t want to give people a message, I record what I feel around myself.
I believe that the best art doesn’t give a particular message, but that creating another world with other agents that tease the imagination in new directions. Even the transformations of icons in our Western society, In Hillary Mice, Donaldine Crump, and other of my paintings, urge the viewer to think past the icon itself.
AC: You don’t have to look far for ideas?
MV: I don’t search. These ideas come automatically to my brain every day. I think it is due to the impact of a daily life mixed with my emotions.
AC: It’s intriguing when an artist urges their audience to see in a different way, I think. In the last century, we saw the power of the imagination realized in Einstein’s inventions with him guided by creative discovery rather than artificial intelligence. I’m curious to see the results of the current advocacy of creativity suggested by observers like Salon cited above. For me, I’m curious if it will lead to a contemporary Renaissance, or if the market will be flooded with mediocre art or any number of things that are presently hard to predict. Do you feel that your art reflects your personality?
MV: Definitely. There is no other way – I create in full balance with myself, in full contact — what is in is out.
AC: What do you feel are some of the most inspiring things happening at present?
MV: We are living in a particular time, unfortunately not in a positive way with so many current wars and conflicts. I don’t believe in inspiration, but rather what is going on around us. It has a huge impact on us whether we want it or not.
AC: What’s the last art object that you purchased?
MV: Several pieces from the installation, Jesus Had A Sister Production by Canadian artist Dana Wyse.