Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Temporary Tattoo

I almost got a tat last night. I was at an event where someone was set up with stencils and spray guns, a little seat and a small crowd watching as he put the barbed wire tattoo on a fellows wrist. I noticed he had scorpion stencils available and might even have considered it if I weren't off to meet someone.

So had I followed through I would be wearing a red scorpion on my forearm today, just in time for Halloween.

Nothing more to say about that except that if you're interested in reading my novel, The Red Scorpion, or one of my volumes of short stories, here's a link to a page with descriptions of my various books of fiction. I consider the stories my crown jewels. Many are very special to me. Available on Kindle, Nook and the Apple store. If you have an iPad or tablet you can download the app. You may also skip the link and click on one of the book covers here to the right for direct link to Amazon store and read the reviews.


Monday, October 29, 2012

A Few Minutes with Wisconsin Artist Patricia Lenz

From the first I’ve been a big fan of Patrcia Lenz’s vividly intricate collages and mixed media pictures. In our first meeting I learned that she lives in Northern Wisconsin on the South Shore of Lake Superior, a wonderful setting for being an artist. To say I was impressed with her work is an understatement.

EN: What first attracted you to making art? 
PL: Prosaic: probably coloring books, making paper dolls. Also, my grandfather liked to encourage me to draw pictures using crayon and watercolor. Huge stained glass windows and art (mostly reproductions) on the walls of my rural church and in my elementary school.

EN: The detail in your work is quite impressive. How do you know when to stop? 
PL: I don’t. It’s collage. Huge challenge facing me as I add details which refer in some way to content. Everything that attracts me relates to my intention or inner story. I intend to make a strong, standing alone central image, but as the work progresses and I add more & more images I obscure that visual part. I start the work, I look at it, think about it, see if it’s what I want, and I find myself including so much that the original clear, basic, simple is gone. It becomes dense.

I have been extremely prolific, producing first ceramics, painting, prints, fibers, fabric printing and collage/appliqué, jewelry before I began to concentrate on generating flat collage, appropriated image and photo shop composition. Actually, since I am doing so many things—including time consuming work on developing Superior Council for the Arts programs, much of my work is preceded by pages of notes I take while reading—fiction, essays, weekly New Yorker, New York Times.

What I read factors into what I produce visually. In that sense, it’s narrative. I can’t always explain where ideas came from when images show up in my work. Sometimes your guess is as good as mine.

EN: What is your background? Did you study art in school? 
PL: Art school, yes. In addition to individual workshops, classes, I have undergraduate and graduate art degrees. The primary influence art school had on me was leading me to museums, galleries, art collections—I always feel energized looking at original art that is removed from me by space &/or time. Antiquities fascinate me. I don’t necessarily look for the idea behind what I see, just the images, compostion, colors—overall impact. And that changes. I do love the look of Dutch realist "vanitas" still life paintings, for instance, for the jewel-like color tones and the symbolism. Everything will pass and re-emerge... I don’t do rotting fruit, but I think about it.

EN: Who have been your biggest influences? 
PL: Besides my memories: biggest influences are things I see and store as I travel. I am an avid museum goer—ancient and modern art. I do a lot of drawing for reference, often focusing on one piece or detail. I rarely refer specifically to the drawings and studies in my sketchbooks, but it’s all in the storehouse.

EN: Can you describe your process for making pictures? 
PL: I collect images from photographs I have taken: pre-photo shop, I enlarged and copied images, recombining them with images appropriated from colored print pages. There is always a narrative running through my head as I find images that relate to my intention. I do a lot of selection and discard before I actually start the work. When I have it in my head, I work fast...the results, after combinations are put down, surprise me. Naturally, I see things emerge as the work is put down. When I do a final color print (Giclee on watercolor paper), I work back into it with pastels, paint, pencil, ink.

EN: Where can people see more of your art? 
PL: Art Dock, Blue Lake Gallery, Art In the Alley, Stone’s Throw, Bayfield. And the annual Duluth Art Institute & SCFTA annual Holiday members show and sale.


Sunday, October 28, 2012


At first I didn't get it. I understand the concept of "a perfect storm" but what's with the Frankenstorm bit. When I called my brother who lives near the South Jersey shore yesterday, he explained it to me. There are two storms colliding, with the storm coming in from the west accelerating the power of the incoming Hurricane Sandy. Add to this that it is a full moon with extra high tides and finally (ta da!) it's Halloween. I guess this last bit is where the name comes from.

From what I'm reading this storm has nothing funny about it except the name. According to Jon Coen's A Tale of Two Storms on ESPN Action Sports Online, Hurricane Sandy "is already the second largest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic. The destruction will be widespread."

In 2008 I wrote a blog entry about monster movies which culminated in a few reminiscences about Frankenstein. The next day I bore down on the influence of Frankenstein on culture by interviewing
Susan Tyler Hitchcock, author of Frankenstein: A Cultural History. I'm certain that if the book gets reprinted, it will include a chapter on the Frankenstorm of 2012. Hopefully there won't be a Son of Frankenstorm in its wake.

To friends and family out east: "Batten down the hatches." Stay safe... and warm. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Intergalactica: Part III

After a final inspection of all her moving parts, the doctors uttered an ancient ritual incantation and the automaton was animated by the spirits of life. In the next instant lights flashed, the doctors leaped away and Aurora was hurtled into the universe to fulfill her mission.

Intergalactica is a collaborative project conceived and produced by Patty Peterson Mahnke, Kate Dupre and Ed Newman in the spring of 2012.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Schock and Awe

Collaboration by Jeremy Schock and Eric Dubnicka
Last night I attended the Duluth Art Institute opening featuring a photography exhibit called Instant Love: Polaroid Land Cameras and the Impossible Project and the collaborative work of Jeremy Schock and Eric Dubnicka, aptly named In Cahoots. The former will be on display through November 23 and the into the end of December.

In thinking about the two exhibitions, I thought I would make some suggestions here about how to enjoy an art show.

A lot of us who have been in the art scene for years, or decades, may take for granted that what we see at an art museum is the same thing others see, and frankly, this is simply not the case. A report by the National Arts Index indicates that more people are attending galleries and museums than ten years ago, but the reactions I see on some peoples' faces give me the impression that they are worlds away from enjoying some of the art that many fans of the arts get enthused about.

Here are just a few suggestions for those who are new to attending art openings or art museums.

1. If you don't "get it" that is O.K.
Sometimes the artist is exploring concepts that are elusive unless more fully explained. There may be written materials that you have not seen regarding the aims of the art. There may be a historical context that the untrained viewer is unaware of. Don't feel guilty or bad about it. You can, however, talk to the gallery staff or a friend who is knowledgeable about art history and learn more. The gallery may have printed the "artist's statement" regarding the work displayed which contains an explanation to help bridge the gulf between you and the work.

2. Meet the artists if you can.
It's kind of an unwritten rule that the artist should be there for his or her opening. This affords interested persons the opportunity to pick the artists' brain. If you have an interest in understanding a painting, its choice of themes, modes of expression, there is no better source than the creator of the work. Ask them questions about where their inspiration comes from. Ask what it is they were trying to achieve. What attracted them to explore these themes? Where are they from and why are they here? How did you do that?

3. Meet the other people who attend the show.
Just a small portion of the turnout at the DAI last night.
If you go to enough openings you'll start to get to know other people who are curious about the arts. You'll see them at events. They may even tell you about other art events. But go out of your way to meet the artists because they are usually people just like you. 

4. Drink the wine. Or the punch if you prefer.
Most art openings have finger food and something to wash it down. The show is not about the food and beverages, but they gallery offers it up like any good host, to help make your stay a more pleasant one. "You are a guest and we want you to feel welcome here."

5. If you do see something that interests you, take time to engage the work.
What's going on in the picture as you look at the details. Step back and look at it from a distance. What do you see now?

6. You do not need to be a pro to enjoy it.
Preprinted tissue on repurposed material, by J. Schock.
Poetry, theater, art... it's not created for professorial dissection. It exists to be engaged, to connect with viewers of all types. Well, that's a half truth. Some people make do what they do for critical acclaim. Others, because they have a need to create. But for the most part, music and poetry and art are for the masses.

7. We don't all like the same music, so why do we need to like the same art?
We don't. I respond to this and don't respond to that. We have different tastes. Some people like miklk chocolate and others prefer dark chocolate.

8. If you see something you really like, maybe you should own it.
I've started collecting pieces from various local artists. Here's the deal. You can enjoy it for a few minutes or you can enjoy it for life. I never tire of the pieces I've purchased. They are a form of aesthetic nourishment. Unlike food which is served but once and digested, art continues to inspire or nourish your soul over and over again. 

As for the work of Jeremy Schock and Eric Dubnicka that is currently on display at the Duluth Art Institute, I found many of the pieces quite enthralling. I'd encourage you to take a lunch hour and mosey on over while the exhibit is installed these next two months. Tell me what you think. I enjoyed it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Take on the Old Spice Marketing Campaign

My grandfather was an Old Spice man. I remember the white glass bottle with the odd silver dispenser on top and its red clipper ship logo. He was always clean shaven, had a winning smile and wore a splash of Old Spice.

And that was the problem Old Spice had as my generation came along. We associated Old Spice with old people. It was for grandpa, not me.

In 1990 Procter and Gamble purchased Old Spice from its original manufacturer, The Shulton Company. And now the problem of making the brand relevant to a new generation became their problem.

Years ago when I first took an interest in advertising as a potential career I saw a list of the biggest advertisers in that industry. Proctor and Gamble sat atop the list at one billion dollars a year in spending to make sure its brands remained household names. Today that has grown to ten billion dollars. Money may not always buy happiness, but it can certainly help bring attention to whatever you're selling, if you have something to sell.

One of the things that drives me nuts when I go shopping these days is how much variety there is. Shampoos come with a gazillion options... for greasy hair, for normal hair, with conditioner, without conditioner, etc. It was so much easier when you could simply go to the store and pick up a bottle of Head and Shoulders without having to read all that fine print.

So the other day I ran out of deoderant and I noticed once more that it is no longer a simple matter of replacing the Gillette Clear Gel Antiperspirant/Deoderant that I always get. No, the shelf was a quarter mile long and every brand had a full array of options, including styles of application from spray to gel to stick. And there, in the midst of all this was the Old Spice brand, all dressed up for the 21st century.

I was impressed by the names for this new generation of Old Spice products. Swagger. That's Mustafa in a nutshell. It has attitude. Like the man you want your man to smell like.

But they had other products as well. Aqua Reef. Champion. After Hours. These latter two were part of their "Red Zone" line. If you don't "get it" the Red Zone in football parlance is the last twenty yards before the goal line, where a team's objective is to score. This version of Old Spice is a whole new ball game.

Did the campaign work? Well, it achieved at least one of its aims. Old Spice is no longer associated with our grandfathers. It's now associated with a fellow named Mustafa, who must have had a hilariously good time making that original spot which has been seen by millions, and all those spin-offs. Will Mustafa have as much staying power as the Marlboro Man, though?

Let's face it, nothing has that kind of staying power in the age of instant everything when fashions are in and out faster than you can move your mouse, I mean tap your tablet And some of the ad agency folks who were probably high-fiving all over the universe when Mustafa went viral are wondering where their next paycheck is going to come from, because ideas are a dime a dozen, but the big ones that big people throw big money behind are not always so easy to come by, or to sell to upper management. 1600 were laid off in January, less than two years after Mustafa made his Super Bowl splash. The campaign caught the attention of the world, but with distribution in place and all the momentum moving the engines of brand-progress at full strength, well... momentum will carry that train pretty far along and those ad guy's salaries were starting to cut into the margins. 

I do like the red packaging. A yacht has replaced the clipper ship as its emblem. And it does make a man smell pretty good. Funny thing is, I'm the grandpa in this picture now.... trying to be young and charming, like Mustafa. Look out, world. I feel good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Few Minutes with Artist Eric Dubnicka

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up. 
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

I immediately liked the first piece I saw and knew I'd want to attend the opening of In Cahoots this week at the Duluth Art Institute. In Cahoots is a joint show featuring the collaborations of Eric Dubnicka and Jeremy Schock. The two have assembled an extensive collection of works that are totally collaborative and the DAI is giving them a space to share these works with the wider public from October 11 through December 9 in the George Morrison Gallery. This Thursday, October 25, there will be a Gallery Celebration from 5 - 7 p.m. and the public is invited. If you can't be there for the wine, cheese and friends of the arts, be sure to do a walk-through sometime in the coming month because it will be worth it. Admission is free.

EN: Who have been your biggest influences? 
Eric Dubnicka: My biggest influences in general are those that have made a commitment to art-making and a life immersed in it. Sculptors, potters, painters, crafters. Folks who, without glamor or glory, have accepted the burden that creativity is essential to their existence, and live their lives enveloped in it. It can be an artist's lifestyle and motivation, less than a particular style of art that influences me. To be more specific though, I am always researching and seeking out ways that artists have solved the problems that they've created. Artists such as Alberto Giaccometti and Egon Schiele come to mind, as well as more contemporary artists such as Scott Brooks and others that fall into what is considered Pop Surrealism.

EN: How did you become interested in collaboration? 
ED: I can't say that there was a moment that I decided to consider it or became interested in the idea. The timing was just right. After living in the Washington Artists Cooperative for eight years, I found myself in a new home and with a new studio to break in. I was struggling to get into a groove when Jeremy visited; a fellow College of Visual Arts alum and artist I consider in high regard. I just floated the idea and after we worked for a couple hours it was pretty obvious that something clicked and here we are. If the factors are right, I definitely will be open to working collaboratively again and Jeremy and I have discussed the possibility of working together again down the line.

EN: What have you learned about yourself from your collaborative experiences? 
ED: To let my ego go. As an artist you have to have the confidence that you're making the right decisions as you're developing a work of art. In a collaboration such as this, where we're working on the same pieces(we made over 80), you have to let go of the preciousness of a singular mark and understand that its destruction by another hand can lead to a greater final result. That was a challenge at first, just letting go. Additionally, I learned that its important for me to get out a little more and work with others, whether on art or producing an exhibition, or what have you.

EN: How long were you working at the Tweed Museum and what did you learn from that experience? 
ED: I've been working at the Tweed Museum of Art for five and half years and nearly seven(!) if you include some early contract work. Working at the Tweed as the Preparator and Exhibition Designer has allowed me to work with many artists and view and handle many art forms that I would not have had the chance or privilege to do otherwise. It's been an excellent learning experience and I am certain that is has played a major role in my development as an artist. It has also opened my eyes to the fact that the most passionate and gifted artists out there are not necessarily those we know about, and in order to succeed in the art world, which to me is to eventually make a living off of my work, one has to be as passionate about marketing, grant writing and the other facets that go along with being a business, as you are creating in the studio.

I for one am looking forward to this show. Hope to see you there.

Monday, October 22, 2012

David Moreira Talks About the Art of SkatRadioh

Poster art has been part of our culture for more than a century, but in recent years it has come into its own as an art form worthy of museums. This past year the Tweed Museum at UMD hosted a traveling art exhibition of psychedelic poster art. And earlier this summer the Duluth Art Institute presented the poster art of David Moreira, better known in local Duluth circles as SkatRadioh.

EN: How did you first become interested in art? 
DM: I had grown up learning a variety of arts and crafts from my mother and seeing my father's work as an architect. Those two factors really developed my initial reasoning and understanding as a visual person.

EN: You've established quite a reputation and history in poster making. How did that come about?
DM: Printing posters has been something that I enjoy doing as part of my contribution to the music culture of Duluth for the last couple of years. The greater community of rock poster art found on GigPosters.com was very inspiring for me. It started for me with poster art for basement punk shows while I was in college. More venues and clients or bands have asked me for help in making some artwork for their cause since then. It's continuously been a way to memorialize an event and have a physically tangible artifact to supplement a greater experience for everyone. More recently, doing the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival poster was a big honor for me.

EN: What medium(s) do you work in? What is the process in making poster art?
DM: I focus on producing artwork to be screenprinted, especially my poster designs. Sometimes I'll do pencil and ink drawing, but more often than not I primarily work in a digital environment. I use a tablet to illustrate directly on the computer. I start most of my drawings with just black line art and try to incorporate hand drawn typography into them somehow. Then I'll add layers of color that I considered as I was drawing the line art. Screenprinting my own art and designs let's me play with the layers of color and how they overlap one another to make secondary colors.

EN: What other kinds of art do you explore?
DM: My main practice is printmaking and I've been thinking about a lot of concepts and means of production. Food is a really exciting thing and I enjoy detailed illustrations of food. Really disgustingly detailed. My burger art has been printed on shirts, jackets, magnets, and stickers. I'm looking to expand my menu soon. I've been interested in science fiction adventures involving dinosaurs and humans and illustrating some kind of loose graphic narrative. Otherwise, I've recently been making prints of art spaces and galleries to explore my relationship to them as an artist.

EN: Do you make your entire living doing posters and art? How do you balance work and art?
DM: Some days I feel like it, others not so much. I do have a part time job, but also maintain my own studio with some of the work I cut out for myself when I want to. Part of the reason I have a studio is that one of my biggest clients, Chaperone Records, helped me get a space in order to have an in-house print shop. So a good chunk of my work is doing print production of all their vinyl release record jackets, posters and some art and design. I'll do my own art when I have free time or want to show people something I think is awesome.

EN: What's the biggest thing that keeps you awake at night?
DM: Life.

EN: How do you come up with ideas? Where is your reservoir for new material?
DM: I think most of my illustrations are directly representational. Otherwise I just play with things I've kind of obsessed over or want people to think about a bit more. It's all over the place and I like to be surprised with the feedback or response.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Alison Aune and 4 from the North

You’d have to live under a broken sewer main to not notice that our North Country is rich with ethnic variety. Post-Civil War there was an abundance of open land being offered here to anyone willing to work it into shape. This news traveled across the seas to the furthest corners of Europe attracting waves of Norwegian, Swede and Finnish families who were accustomed to our special brand of harsh winters. Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Icelanders, Germans, Danes and Russians came as well as Scots and Irish who desired our freedoms and their fair portion of the American dream.

Many of the heirs of these emigrants have remained connected to their homelands, cherishing their heritage and the places they hailed from. Unlike east coast settlers whose kin arrived ten generations ago, these Northland roots were planted within a lifetime or two from the original pioneering settlers. As a result, it is not uncommon for Scandinavians here to find and visit their relatives “back home.”

I mention all this only because of this week's 4 from the North art show in Norway Hall and the Nordic Gala upstairs in Norway Hall at Downtown Duluth's Sons of Norway Building. The aim of Saturday evening's Nordic Gala was the opposite of what you might think. Rather that simply being an opportunity for Norwegians to celebrate together, this Gala had as its aim the connecting of all our cultures in an attempt to transcend ethnic barriers.

We're all familiar with the image of America as a melting pot. When I think melting pot I think stew. The flavor may be tasty but all the ingredients lose their identity in the crock pot. A better metaphor, not original with me, might be the tossed salad where every ingredient retains its character while contributing to the whole.

The 4 from the North art exhibit was located just up the sidewalk from the new Prøve Gallery  likewise housed in the Sons of Norway Building. 4 from the North featured four women artists whose names also happened to begin with the letter A: Ann Klefstad, Arna Rennan, Alison Aune and Ann Jenkins. Their paintings and sculpture work draw from their love of nature as well as their mutual appreciation for their heritage.

I spoke with Alison Aune Friday evening to learn more about her paintings as well as gain insights about the other artists represented there. Aune noted that in researching the patterns that we associate with Scandinavian sweaters and designs, she discovered that the symbols have meanings beyond simply being decorative. Furthermore, she said, "Repetition imbues symbols with strength and power. Patterns had power."

She noted the eight-pointed stars and other motifs that she's incorporated into her work. Some even had divine power. Her research took her back to Sweden where she took great pains to decode the designs that many of us take for granted. The most common sweater pattern that we're familiar with is a symbol of resistance, she said.

Another painter in this group was Arna Rennan who, since 1990, has always preferred to paint on location. Her Norweigian fjord paintings were not derived from the photos of friends and family. She's determined to take it all in first hand, and transmit from there.

Ann Jenkins's work is familiar to anyone who has been a regular visitor to Lizzard's Gallery down on Superior Street. Her evocative paintings reveal her responsive impressions of light and color.

Ann Klefstad's Forest Deer contributed to the space nicely and might help make other forest visitors feel at home in this interior environment. Klefstad's participation comes on the heels of a major show in the Twin Cities that featured a wide range of her skills and imagination, and took up a lot of her time this summer.

Alison Aune's paintings have been displayed in Sweden, re-interpreting traditional patterns and symbols in a contemporary setting. Her work as also featured in 2007 at the Duluth Art Institute.

I'm confident that if you were unable to see 4 from the North, you'll have plenty more opportunities to see the work of these four women in future venues.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Intergalactica: Part II

One very cold mid-winter eve Drs. Wonderborn and Lafon christened their creation and called her Aurora. After a final inspection of all her moving parts, the doctors uttered an ancient ritual incantation and the automaton was animated by the spirits of life.

Intergalactica is a collaborative project conceived and produced by Patty Peterson Mahnke, Kate Dupre and Ed Newman in the spring of 2012.


Friday, October 19, 2012

The Striking Imagery of Unda Arte

Through social media I stumbled upon the striking images being shared by a pair of artists from Sweden, Marie Lundvall and Peder Bjoerk, who called themselves or their fine art photography Unda Arte. This past spring I reached out to Lundvall, and Estonian-Swede, and inquired as to their interest in being interviewed. She replied yes, but indicated that they were exceptionally busy at the time and that perhaps later in the year would be more suitable. It is my pleasure to introduce them here and now.

EN: What is Unda Arte and how did it begin?

Marie: Unda Arte is a collaboration between the two of us, an art duo. We met once upon a time in a library... By then both of us had been doing art and music on and off in private for more than 20 years. We also discovered that we shared the same ideas.

Peder: Unda Arte started when we discovered that Marie's photos – taken with a cell phone - were better than a professional photographer's ditto of the same object. I photographed intensively at the end of the 80s, before the digital era. Unda Arte was the right context to explore photography in a new way.

EN: Tell us a little about the working process. 

Peder: Many of our photographs are taken during excursions to interesting places. Sometimes we bring props, sometimes the whole art process is taking place in the computer. Most of the time both of us work with all the photos, improving each other's pictures.

Marie: We use software, such as Paint.net, Gimp, Photoscape, Picasa, only to name a few. We always use more than two programmes for the same photo...

EN: What mediums do you work in? I see photography... what else?

Peder: Painting and sculpture, sometimes mixed media. For “In the Studio” paint, sculpture and photography are combined. The software Marie mentioned also contains different painting devices that are useful!

EN: Who have been your personal biggest influences?

Urban Exploration
Marie: I tend to return to David Lynch. I also love théatre de l'absurde, especially the playwright Eugène Ionesco. Frightening absurdism is very interesting, when the balance between comedy and tragedy leans towards either side, depending on who you are... Take a look at “Fortress in water” in this article...

Peder: Our inspiration comes from art, film, literature, science, early industrial music... European film has inspired me deeply, with names like Andrei Tarkovsky and Šarūnas Bartas.

EN: How large is “The Icarus Incident”? What medium is this piece produced with?

Peder: All of our photographs are 8.3 x 5.9 in., i.e. 15 x 21 cm. That’s intentional. The audience should explore our photographs at close quarters...

It is funny - most of the time an artwork takes a few days, sometimes a week or two to create. Then there are exceptions... “The Icarus Incident” was made in Paint.net and Photoscape. It only took about an hour.

EN: What is the role of artists in our post-modern world?

In the Studio
Peder: Today it is easy to present your art electronically, but it is also easy to drown. Uniqueness is therefore more important today and the artist should scrutinize his or her intentions, aesthetics and marketing methods. Yesterday, people often talked about the role of the artist as an enfant terrible. However, we find almost nothing provocative anymore. Coming up with new hybrids, different techniques and new aesthetics is always very interesting...

Marie: Right. Unda Arte started out as a postmodern phenomenon; we wanted to contribute to bridging the gap between popular culture and high culture. It brings people and culture together. The transformation brings about new aesthetics, without automatically making the art more superficial, with the message kept intact. Besides, high culture is not always “deep”...

In the Shadow of the Future
Many artists are active in many areas in order to survive, that’s fruitful for the cultural sphere. Doing art for rock bands etc. may be important for the survival. In a European perspective, the context of an artist is occasionally more provocative than the artworks. Artists presenting themselves and making their art visible for a larger audience, using social medias in marketing their art (as commodities), is still less acceptable in Europe than in the U.S. However, this is about to change - today there are many older European artists on Facebook, marketing their art.

I've seen that art actually may help people sometimes. Inspiration and consolation – that you are not alone – are, of course, important aspects. Artists may also evoke important questions; sometimes people may confront their own ideas, perhaps also one or two prejudices. That can be developing and emancipatory. Artists may also take up issues about society, pointing at stupid or tragic situations, taking part of a larger discourse, more or less in public. However, happenings etc. - the funny side of art - is also needed. It can, of course, be intertwined with the more serious side I just mentioned. That feels natural for us.

Telling small stories, in several layers of interpretation, is another important driving force for Unda Arte.

Peder: Yes. Art is not documentary, but it can really relate to reality in a particular way... No matter what kind of artist you are, an authentic core.., genuineness, is always important.

EN: What are you working on now?

Marie: We are always doing many different things..! I've been writing a lot lately and we have been preparing for the expo.

Peder: Yes, we are collaborating with a composer, working on an expo with an important theme...

Marie: It will be multimedia art, combining visual art with non-visual elements...

TO SEE MORE of Unda Arte, visit their website at undaarte.com.