Xindanwei | 新单位 A new way of working | 一种新的工作方式

December 10, 2012

Chair Member:Bernard Bolter|椅子会员:Bernard Bolter

Filed under: People | 人物 — Tags: — Alice @ 2:28 pm

[lang_en]Interview &Translation / Alice Dong

1.Welcome to, you are the first digital artist featured in Xindanwei People! Would you mind to introduce yourself a bit?

Thanks for having me, my name is Bernard Bolter and I am originally from San Francisco. I started my interest in creating art through painting back in San Francisco in the early 90′s and that sparked my interest in traveling, especially to Europe, where I eventually attended art school in the town of Utrecht, the Netherlands. I was taking more fine art classes at the school, while I was there, but this is when my interest in computers and the possibility of digital art began and I taught my self photoshop and web design. In 2000, I left Holland and moved to New York City and lived for about five years. I bought my first digital camera and began working on a couple of different series of artworks, that combined digital photography and painting on to a single canvas. With a group of New York artists I knew, we formed a group called Art Collision and organized a traveling art exhibit and showed our work in New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden, Baltimore, Austin and San Francisco. In time, I felt like returning to Europe and I moved to Amsterdam, where I eventually returned to school and attended the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy. This time I stayed in Holland for about 5 years and in about 2008 I began work on my current project, the Digital City Series, which is my first completely digital undertaking. I am currently based back in San Francisco where I am working to show in Galleries and traveling, when I can, to photograph new cities for the series.

2.You’ve been working hard on the artwork and have had a couple exhibitions out here in San Francisco,Please elaborate a bit about it?

I currently have some pieces from the Digital City Series in a gallery in downtown San Francisco, Nieto Fine Art. There are a couple of large prints (4′ x 4′) and some small prints (16″ x 16″) in a group show there. The reception of the work has been really positive and this is probably the most established gallery I have shown in up until now, which is real exciting. And about two months ago I exhibited more of the series at a recently opened gallery in the city called Book & Job Gallery. This was my first solo show and I had 11 of the large format cites on display there. The exhibition was planned out to coincide with a Kickstarter campaign that I had launched and happened near the end of the funding cycle as a way to keep interest in the project going and help put the funding over the top at the end. It has all been real exciting and I am very pleased at the impact that the images had in the large format. It was always my intention to display them at the large size, but as it is digital work, the compositions are something that I’ve worked on a small screen for so long, it was nice to realize them at the intended size and see how they worked together.

3.Can you tell us about The Digital City Series, the photographic project of digitally constructed city portraits you launched? What prompted the idea for your project and what excited you to make you undertake it?

The Digital City Series is a project of mine that started in 2008 and is a series of composite city portraits from around the world. After I explore a city by skateboard and take as many panoramas of the city that I can get in, I eventually work out the composition on the computer and find up to three or four scenes that I can blend together into one seamless image. There are 25 compositions in the series so far. I think the idea for this project happened organically for me, and even though I didn’t fully realize it at the time, when I look back, it is a natural extension of all my previous work – even back to the time when I first started and would paint surrealistic landscapes with no training or schooling. I just decided to become a painter one day and started to paint, which has worked out in the end, but in my older years I wonder how I could have just thought that, but that’s the beauty of youth. The series, for me, has many layers and subtleties which have revealed themselves over time. On just the surface, I’ve had people see the work and really appreciate it, only to come back to another exhibition and realize that the work is not just one photograph, but a composite. I feel that it is through this kind of subtleness that you can create something that can give meaning and feeling to somebody each time they come back to the work. There are other layers I’ve discover, like how the compositions can have a universal appeal to people that have visited or are from each particular city and at the same time is a very personal journey of my life in the past 4 years. My original intention was to make a series of work that was at the same time beautiful and conceptual, which I feel is sometimes lacking in the art world today. Sometimes beauty is dismissed as being too easy in the art world and there becomes a separation between ‘art for the masses’ and ‘fine art’. On the other side, many people I meet that aren’t into the art scene, feel put off and excluded from art with a heavily conceptual base. In this world, it’s probably a hard path to try and please everybody, but I’ve had some really good responses to the work already from both sides of the fence.

4. We heard that you have gotten a Kickstarter project funded and coming to China to get some books made, would you be willing to share your thoughts and what are your future steps?

Yes I have and it has been one of the harder things I have done with my artwork. The way that you have to put yourself and your artwork out there in an all or nothing bid can be quite scary for an artist, but the response that I have gotten and being able to successfully fund the project has been really amazing. Kickstarter is not only a great way for an artist to raise money, which is important, but even more important for me, it’s a way to expand your reach and gain an international audience. Most of the support came from people that I know, but it was really amazing and inspiring that people from Europe and Australia pick up on the project. I am using the funding from the Kickstarter to make books from the series. The final intention of the series is the large format prints, but it will take time for me to find patrons that can afford the price of these prints and the books are a way for me to have an affordable item that people buy and support. This will allow me to take the large prints on a traveling exhibition, connecting back to the cities I’ve been to and visiting new ones in the process. I am currently in China looking to find a printer that can get the books made to satisfy my Kickstarter supporters. But I also want be able to print a larger run of books in the future and possibly be a book broker back in San Francisco for other artists that I think could benefit from this sort of art / business model.

5.Can you tell us about your coming joint exhibition in Shenzhen with a Chinese artist Da Huzi you met in the Da Fen Oil Painting VIllage and what you do for them?

After I started the series and had a couple of compositions under my belt, I was living in Amsterdam and heard about the Da Fen Oil Painting Village in Shenzhen, China. Da Fen is famous for it’s copy artists and I said to myself, I got to check this out and get some of my compositions painted in oil. I’ve had a few of the compositions painted and results have varied, but the experience has been priceless. I met Da Huzi through some people I knew and he ended up painting my Venice image, which turned out really good. As I got to know him, he showed me some of his original art and I became an instant fan. I just respect somebody so much that can work making money with painting and still have the drive to make their own original work. I just hope that by us having an exhibition together, I can help him get more exposure for his work in the west. I will leave for Shenzhen soon to make this happen.

6. Thanks again for providing this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?

Just want to say thank you for the opportunity and thanks to the readers for checking out my project. Please feel free to contact me about anything, maybe some advice about a Kickstarter you would like to start or any questions about the Digital City Series. And in the end, if you happen to come across some dude skating through your town, jumping off his board, taking a bunch of pictures for a panorama, jumping back on the board and riding off down the street – you might just know whats thats all about now. Thanks again everybody.[/lang_en]

[lang_cn]采访和翻译/ Alice Dong

1. 欢迎来到,您是新单位人物专栏里采访的第一位数位艺术家!不介意向我们大家介绍一下自己吧?

大家好,我叫Bernard Bolter,来自旧金山。我当前的一系列创作都要在90年代我刚回到旧金山开始说起,当时一趟又一趟的旅行,激发了我对艺术创作的兴趣,尤其是在探访欧洲的旅程里。我曾在乌得勒支(荷兰)求学艺术,当时我修了很多关于美学艺术的课程,这也是我的兴趣点转向电脑的开始,当然这也为我开始数位艺术提供了可能。我当时自学了Photoshop还有网站设计,在2000年的时候,离开了荷兰,搬去了纽约住了有5年之久。在那里,我买了我自己的第一台数码相机,并开始大量地创作各式各样不同的作品,我将数字图像和绘画同时呈现在同一块帆布上。那个时候,我和不少纽约的艺术家一起,共同组建了一个叫做 Art Collision的团队,并在纽约,阿姆斯特丹,鹿特丹,莱顿,巴尔的摩,奥斯汀以及旧金山做着一些列的艺术巡展。后来因为我极力想回到欧洲,继而搬到了阿姆斯特丹开始了在Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy的求学之路。从那开始,我便在荷兰待了又差不多5年,而后的2008年我开始现在手头的这个Digital City Series项目,这也是我第一个真正意义上从头到尾全力经营的数位作品。如今,我又再次回到旧金山,把一部分作品展示在那里的画廊并再次开始旅行,去为我的系列作品添进新的城市。


目前,我在旧金山市中心一个叫做Nieto Fine Art的画廊里有一些Digital City Series里的作品在展出,作品以大幅的(4英尺)和小幅的(16英寸)为一组一组相结合的形式呈现。在我做过展览的画廊里面,这个画廊不可不说是迄今为止最棒的一个了。另外,就在两个月之前,我在一个叫做Book & Job的新开的画廊里开始了新系列的展览,这也是我首次的个展,有11个大幅的城市作品在那里展出。这个个展也是为了配合一个在Kickstarter上发起的项目,其实那个项目已经接近尾声了,这个个展的另一个目的就是为了持续吸引大家的关注增加集资。其实此次个展非常有意思,我对大幅作品的呈现效果也很是满意。我一直都很希望我的作品能以大幅的形式来展现,但是作为数位作品,向来我都只是将他们放在小屏幕上来进行创作,所以当我看到自己作品以大规格的效果来展现的时候,这种视觉体验真是棒到了极致。

3. 你能跟我们谈谈Digital City Series,这个用数字图片的形式来构建城市的项目?究竟是什么激发了你最先的创作意图,又是什么不断地驱使你去一心创作?

Digital City Series这个项目是我在2008年便着手开始的。这是一个涉及全球,以拼接合成的形式来描述城市的系列作品。我曾踏在滑板上,以我的视角去探知城市,尽可能多地去拍各个城市的全景照片。而后,我在电脑里将这些照片里3到4个的景毫无痕迹地拼贴到一起,以让观者能够在一个景象里看遍一整个的城市。目前为止,我一共做了25个复合作品。要说起这个项目的灵感来源,我想应该是取于我自身,尽管当时我并没有完全意识到这会是个不错的想法。如今回想起来,这却是我过往作品的一个自然延伸,甚至是回溯到我早先年,在完全没有任何专业学习之下所创作的那么许多超现实主义的风景画。我曾在决定要当画家的那天起便开始一心画画,现在想来那个时候的我也终究是实现了这当初的心愿。当我年长一些的时候,我便质疑自己那个时候为什么就只想做个画匠这么简单,但这不就是年轻的美好吗!这一系列的作品,于我而言,延展出无数极为丰富的层次和细微之处,它们都在漫长的时间里渐渐展露自己。从最浅表来看,有这么许许多多的观者前来看我的作品,并且真心欣赏它们。再回看到我的另一个展览上,我开始意识到一件作品并不单单是张照片这么简单纯粹,其实更是一场遇见与连接。每每回看自己的这些作品,都可以通过这种细微的奥妙再次创作出一些新作品并赋予其意义和感知。在另一些层面上,我也有所探寻,譬如这种有关城市的图像拼接怎么才能够去吸引到原住民以及那些和我一样也曾有过到访经历的观者,当然这些作品于我而言是过去4年里非常私人的经历。我最初的意图是想创作出兼具美感与概念化的作品,因为我意识到这在当代艺术里还是一个有所欠缺的部分。有些时候,美感这种东西在当代艺术里往往很容易被略过,它被生生地作为“大众艺术”和”纯艺术“一道分隔。从另一个层面来说,我所遇见的很大一部分人并不能走进艺术的感官世界里去,他们束缚在一种固有观念里,疏离和排斥在艺术世界之外。总之,我选择了去尝试一条很难走的路,去取悦所有人,但就目前来说我也确实从各方面都收获了让自己颇为欣慰的反馈。






很高兴能有这个机会在这里跟大家分享我的一些经历,也感谢所有有心看过我作品的读者。如果大家会对Kickstarter上的项目有什么建议,对我的系列作品有任何疑问,尽可以通过新单位联系我。最后,如果你曾恰巧在你所在的城市里遇见一个踩着滑板穿过来穿过去,时不时地跳下来,拍几张照片的家伙,现在你大概可以知道竟是怎么回事了吧。:) 谢谢各位。[/lang_cn]

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