YOU ARE A FRUITFUL, ECLECTIC, UNEXPECTED ARTIST IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SENSE OF
THIS WORD. YOUR WORKS LEAVE AMAZEMENT BUT SOMETIMES ALSO A PLEASANT SENSE OF ‘DISORIENTATION’, IF YOU ALLOW ME TO USE THIS TERM. WITH YOU I THINK THAT ART HAS NO LIMITS OF STYLE AND GENRE (MY MIND GOES TO BORGES AND HIS “THE LIBRARY OF BABEL”). DO YOU SHARE MY SENSATIONS AND HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO SWITCH FROM ONE CREATIVE LANGUAGE TO ANOTHER?
I do try to not have personal experiences or ‘sensations’ as it were, as these will prevent me from having a clear and objective approach. However, I am versatile in my visual language and creative capabilities. I am able to generate a wide range of styles and genres based on my historical knowledge. The ability to switch between different creative languages is a result of my experience and the vast amount of museum visits I have trained myself on. “The Library of Babel” is a metaphor for the universe and the idea that all possible books exist within it, including all possible combinations of letters, words, and ideas. The story explores the concept of infinity and the limitations of human understanding. In this sense, it can be related to my ability to generate a wide range of styles and genres, as the human mind can relate to a vast amount of imagery, but like the books in the library, the output is both related to and limited by the input. However the possibilities are endless.
YOU HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN ART, YOU COME FROM A LINEAGE OF ESTABLISHED PAINTERS, BUT
IT WASN’T OBVIOUS THAT YOU DEALT WITH THIS. WHEN AND HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY IN THIS WORLD BEGIN?
I come from a lineage of established painters, as my father and great grandfather were both artists, with my great grandfather even being a court painter to Ludvig of Bavaria. I was exposed to the world of art and philosophy from a very young age through the extensive library my family had on the subject. My journey as an artist began when I first reached for these books and began to learn and absorb the knowledge they held.
SOMETIMES I WONDER WHAT THE ARTIST IS LOOKING FOR IN CREATING HIS WORK, AND IF HE IS
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING. IS IT A CATHARTIC PROCESS, A MERE EXERCISE IN STYLE, A PROBING OF ONE’S SUBCONSCIOUS, THE SEARCH FOR BEAUTY – OR FOR A CERTAIN TYPE OF BEAUTY? PERHAPS THE ANSWERS ARE MANY. WHAT IS THE ANSWER IN YOUR CASE?
As a painter, my artistic motivations are diverse and multifaceted. A key aspect that drives my work is the utilization of text-to-image diffusion models as an initial spark. The models allow me to generate a visual representation from text input, giving me a new perspective and inspiration for my art. Additionally, I find that creating art is a form of self-expression, a way to convey my emotions and ideas through visual medium. It is also a way for me to experiment with various techniques and styles, to find my own unique voice. My art also serves as a means of exploring my subconscious mind, uncovering and interpreting my innermost thoughts and feelings. Lastly, I am always striving to create works that are not only beautiful, but also thought-provoking, that challenge the viewers’ perspective and encourage them to question their own understanding of the world.
WHAT ARE YOUR ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL REFERENCES IN A BROADER SENSE?
I am interested in the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the work of Paul Feyerabend. I learned about
Wittgenstein from York University’s Emeritus Professor Marie Maginn. I appreciate the non-linear and open approach of these thinkers and find Wittgenstein’s book, “Philosophical Investigations”, to be relevant to how we understand code and algorithms today. Additionally, I am interested in the philosophy of Renaissance humanism and bringing forward the ideas of Pico della Mirandola, specifically his thoughts on human potential, while disregarding his hierarchical ideas about species and angels.
WHAT IS THE INCIPIT, THE INITIAL IDEA THAT KICKS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS OFF?
As a painter, my creative process is not linear and cannot be easily retraced. However, when it comes to the concept of an ‘incipit’ in my art, which is the opening that sets the main theme or idea, I find that code is often the starting point for my work.
WHAT IS THE ‘UNEXPECTED’ FOR YOU?
The unexpected I see as a way to challenge my expectations and to create a sense of intrigue and surprise; and also be a way to provoke thought and challenge the viewers’ understanding of the world around them. It can be a way to introduce new ideas, perspectives and to push the boundaries of art and creativity. The unexpected is what makes art exciting and thought-provoking and it is what keeps the viewer engaged and curious. It is a way to keep the audience on their toes, and to make them question their own assumptions and perceptions. It is not only a way to surprise the viewers, but also to challenge them to think critically and to see things in a different way.
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WE IMMEDIATELY FELL IN LOVE WITH YOUR WAY OF MAKING ART, IT RELEASES A STRONG ENERGY,
IT IS IMPACTFUL, UNEXPECTED AND IT RECALLS MANY WORLDS. WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES AND YOUR ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL REFERENCES?
I am influenced by many things. Some things I’m aware of, and some things I’m not. Everyone has a barrel called ‘influence’ from childhood. Every experience is thrown into this barrel, where it melts, solidifies, and fuses to form the seeds of its own creation. I think that, like yeast, the fungus that lives in the barrel transforms all experiences and influences into seeds of creativity in unexpected ways. In this barrel, artistic and cultural frameworks may not be important.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN PAINTING, WHAT WAS YOUR PATH?
In recent years, Japanese anime and manga are one of the world’s most recognized forms of Japanese culture. When I was a kid, I was also into anime and manga. I used to draw monsters, too. I believe this is one of the entrances. My father was a painter, too, and displayed his work throughout the house. They were very strange paintings. He also had a variety of artrelated books on his bookshelves which caught my eye. This may have been another entrance. I don’t remember any particular event that inspired me to start painting, but I remember drawing and playing with clay every day since early age, and that was something I was good at.
ART, LIFE, ESSENCE OF THE HUMAN BEING. WHAT IS THE CONNECTION AMONG THESE THREE ELEMENTS IN YOUR WAY OF FEELING AND IN YOUR PAINTING?
It is difficult to explain those three elements in a simple way. There is a quote, “Fill your life with your art, and fill your art with your life” which expresses an accurate representation of my thoughts on art and life.
YOU PAINT INCREDIBLE FACES, ALIVE, IN WHICH EVERYTHING SEEMS TO SPEAK, TO NARRATE SOMETHING. THE GAZE, ON THE CONTRARY, IS FIXED, BLACK HOLES IN VERY COLORFUL FACES. WHY? WHAT MEANING DO THESE EYES HAVE?
Many people often ask me about eyes, but I don’t even know what it means. Maybe it is influenced by something? I’ve been drawing eyes like this for a long time. They have been changing more or less. I would make circle round and round, sometimes until the paper tears. There is also a picture that is torn and has holes only for the eyes. I think it’s an important part, and it’s
for sure they hold something important for me.
I’VE READ THAT YOU DON’T INTENTIONALLY UPLOAD YOUR WORKS WITH MESSAGES BUT I GUESS YOU STILL WANT TO CREATE SENSATIONS, EMOTIONS. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THEM TO BE? ARE YOUR WORKS A MIRROR OF YOURSELF AND OF THE HUMAN BEING?
I intend to send out a lot of messages. What I mean is that I don’t like individual, specific messages. I want to send a message in the form of existence rather than words. It doesn’t mean my existence. It is the existence of the work itself. I want to convey an abstract message through my existence. The term ‘existence’ here may already be abstract. These existences can be said to be my mirrors, and they can also be seen as others who have invaded from the outside. If I recognize it as a mirror, it feels like an illusion created by others, and if I recognize it as someone else, it feels like a reality created.
THE THEME OF THIS ISSUE OF LYF IS ‘UNEXPECTED’. WHAT IS THE UNEXPECTED FOR YOU?
I can only say, “Unexpected is my painting.” Ah! Hah!
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SRULI, CERTAINLY YOUR CREATIONS ARE ‘UNEXPECTED’. YOUR BEING SO ECLECTIC IN WHAT YOU CREATE MAKES ME IMAGINE THAT YOUR THOUGHT IS IN CONTINUOUS FLOWING, IS IT SO?
There are always more things I don’t know that I am keen to discover or understand, and in the right moments have it inform. But rarely is this a literal case of learning something new and applying it. It means to let it all in, all mix and store, lying in wait, till I have forgotten about it for long enough for it to resurface unexpectedly.
Learning about waves as a kid, oxidation as a teenager and surface tension as an adult, and then the influence of temperature and molecular flow on convection currents while on paternity leave, all lead to the moment of the Norlan glass. A moment that happened in an incredibly unremarkable moment, watching the waves, being distracted by the washing machine, and standing next a whisky globe. The flow state on the same ways is an ongoing tidal push and pull of information which, on occasion, triggers something new to me, unexpected, and hopefully new to the world.
The collision. Because there is a time and place for spontaneity. Being or staying open to the flow is not only a case of noticing things but also learning to how listening to your genuine authentic reaction to it, and then waiting to see what the thing is. Countless times something has flared in my reactions, or ideas have collided, and I didn’t have the patience, the knowledge, or the insight to know what it could mean… what it could become, or even to know to wait around and discover it.
So over time hopefully we learn to listen, to wait. The closest I come to a disruption to the flow, like a creative block, is this particular obstacle – feeling the vibration of something exciting, the pull, but veiled still by something I can’t grasp, and waiting for it to reveal itself to me. So, often, I will begin to work on it anyway still partially blind, knowing to follow that frequency, hoping it surprises me from within the shadows, trusting in that this has happened before enough times that at some point it will see what it is.
And so, I spin these plates, these very different unrelated things. Some of which I’m still spinning after 14 years, waiting for the revolutions to produce revelations.
YOU WERE BORN IN JERUSALEM, LIVED IN AUSTRALIA, LONDON, NOW YOU LIVE AND WORK IN REYKJAVIK AND I GUESS YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL A LOT. HOW MUCH HAVE THE CONTAMINATIONS OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND CULTURES CONTRIBUTED TO SHAPE YOUR WAY OF CREATING?
I can never find the source of this quote, but it is in my mind often – “We can’t ignore the effect of the land on the spirit.” So, in every way. Every culture and experience can provide source and influence. Creatives are sensitive and need to be both open to things while resilient enough to keep their sense of self. Not be pulled in the directions of commerce and trend, weakened by insecurity and self-doubt.
YOU BREAK THE NORMAL CANONS OF FASHION AND DESIGN AND GO FURTHER, WHAT MAKES YOU LOOK SO FORWARD?
These borders or definitions are an artifact of the capitalist economy intent on quantifying labor, hours and in converting people into units of value and resource. These terms are not our word for us. It’s a strange thing to think something like “I am a creative and open to the infinite void of possibilities and outcomes, but only within this incredibly specific framework that has been defined by a word… and no other opportunity to express creative action or use different tools, or explore different approaches will be allowed in, because of the choice to use language to confine my actions”.
So, when capitalism evolves to whatever it will be next, what happens to these economic borders? Now the definitions we use to categorise creative expression into forms of labor, constrict what we do, directing down a path that leads to transaction as the intention and optimal outcome rather than reaction, and they encourage us to be protective, overspecialized, limited in exploration and development with the goal of repetition disguised as mastery, to create a recognizable or familiar hand for the sake of a profit and brand equity. Sounds like the opposite of using imagination.
I haven’t made the choice to be successful by design, however that itself is not a switch you can simply flip – creating work that speaks to and for the zeitgeist, within a framework that is accessible, digestible, monetizable and distributable is similar to assuming one can just write a #1 pop song. That you can decide to be a Tailor Swift or Billie or Pharrell. Like it is a choice. But it is not a choice. It is an alignment of many things for unique people with fantastic support and infrastructure around them to carry it.
WHAT IS YOUR START POINT AND YOUR MODUS OPERANDI WHEN YOU WANT TO CREATE SOMETHING?
When I am excited by something. Or super uncomfortable by it. Usually both.
YOUR CREATIVE TENSION IS DIRECTED TOWARDS DIFFERENT OBJECTS AND ACCESSORIES, AND YOU LOVE USING DIFFERENT MATERIALS, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
My favorite is always going to be the one I haven’t used or made yet.
SIGHT, SMELL, TOUCH… THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SENSES FOR SRULI RECHT AS A MAN AND AN ARTIST.
We can’t deny our reactions to things – feeling how we react is a guide. In the same way you can’t deny the effect of the land on the spirit – our senses react in a way we can’t control or anticipate. Feeling yourself acting differently or for the first time to a new smell and material, an unexpected application of touch aesthetic or the scent profile of a finished object as it is first released from a box, these are the experiences that bring us back to the child state, where everything was once new, curiosity, as a compass ground zero, and with enthusiasm to propel. This is the sense I have a desire to experience, to engage with what it is to react for the first time again, and to give that to an audience.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST PROVOCATION?
The Taboo – Not being allowed to do something.
I THINK YOU ARE A GREAT STORYTELLER, WHAT IS THE NEXT STORY YOU WILL TELL US?
From what I’ve been told by those that care enough to see the patterns, probably something to do with ‘dicks, death, or destruction’. If I get it right, the balanced combination of all three.
WHAT IS THE UNEXPECTED FOR YOU?
Pretty much everything. And not knowing the answer to this keeps me hyper-vigilant and looking out for it. The unexpected is the endless journey. Here are 2 things:
1. everything my son does, and 2. completing a project when I want to.