Instagram and art – Interview with australian artist ZWEE

[SLOVAK]: ZWEE je mladý austrálsky umelec, ktorý žije a tvorí v austrálskom Melbourne. Jeho tvorbu som našiel klasickým “diggovaním” cez Instagram – platformu, ktorá sa dá dokonale používať ako virtuálna svetová galéria. Jeho prvý obraz, ktorý mi vyskočil v odporúčaniach, ma okamžite zaujal a hneď som klikol na jeho profil.

Na Instagrame ZWEE nemal veľa diel, no osobne ma zaujali takmer úplne všetky (!). Jeho obrazy majú minimálne tri originálne vlastnosti, ktoré upútajú pozornosť. (1) “Primitívny”, alebo naïve art feeling, ktorý vyčnieva spomedzi ostatných diel (ktoré nachádzam na IG). (2) viac-menej koherentnú farebnú paletu, kde prevládajú odtiene fialovej a ružovej a (3) dávku čierneho humoru.

~~~’FOOL KILLA’~~~18×18″ acrylic, spray, and posca on canvas.

Príspevok, ktorý zdieľa ZWEE (@zwee___),

Čo je zaujímavé, Zwee neštudoval umenie a kresleniu a maľovaniu sa venuje zhruba len jeden rok. Napriek tomu má však nesporný talent pre súčasné umenie. To dosvedčuje aj fakt, že si predávaním obrazov dokáže takmer kompletne zarobiť na živobytie. Nemá agenta, zastupujúceho kurátora, ani galériu. Stačí mu Instagram. Preto som vybral Zwee-ho nielen pre jeho talent, ale aj ako výbornú ukážku toho, ako môže fungovať umelec v súčasnej dobe.

Tento rozhovor vznikal zhruba o druhej ráno v madridskom byte (S/O Airbnb) počas mojich štúdii v Španielsku. Keďže v Melbourne majú o 10 hodín viac, Zwee sa akurát chystal do školy. Ešte predtým sme stihli spraviť spontánny a 100% improvizovaný rozhovor cez Facebook.

[ENGLISH]: Zwee is a young australian artist, who currently lives and works in Melbourne. I found his art during my digging throught the Instagram – a platform which can be ultimately seen as a virtual world-wide gallery. His first painting, which popped up on me in my feed immediately caught my interest so I clicked on his profile. Zwee is not sharing many of his artwork on Instagram, but I was personally enchanted by all of them. His painting have at least three original virtues, which will definitely catch an attention. “Primitive”, or naive art (we can say “Cave Art”) feeling, which sticks out from the bunch of other works of art I find on Instagram. More or less coherent colour palette, where many shades of purple and pink dominate, and a dose of dark humour.

Zwee never studied art and have only been painting and drawing for a year so far. Despite that he has an obvious talent for contemporary art. This is supported by the fact that he is even able to make a living through his artworks. He doesn’t have and agent, curator or gallery. He makes it with Instagram only. That’s why I picked Zwee for you, not only for his talent, but also as an example of an artist of the year 2017.

This interview was developed at 2 AM in a Madrid flat (S/O Airbnb) during my studies in Spain. Since there is a 10 hours difference between Madrid and Melbourne, Zwee was just preparing to go to school. Before that we managed to make a very spontaneous and 100% improvised interview through the Facebook.

zwee welcome

Swine Daily: what University are you attending?

ZWEE: i’m studying history and sociology at australian catholic university

in melbourne

aha, okay, so you’re not studying art

no i have never studied art actually. its purely a hobby… hobby that turned into a job!

!!

i have only been painting for just over a year

Can you make a living from your paintings?

yes i sell enough

but i also have another job on the side

working part time in a book store

thats amazing, only over a year?

I’m also trying to paint and draw… but it’s terrible.)

haha, just gotta keep at it, and post on instagram!

instagram is very powerful

Why do you find Instagram powerful?

because it allows you to connect so easily with so many people across the world

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exactly! also it’s the best way to find a new fresh art too… 

for me, it works. I have found you for example!

yeah exactly, great way to discover, thats right haha 😉

Can you describe your creative process?  is painting intuitive for you?

or you think of every aspect, every detail of the artwork..?

my paintings usually start off with an idea, perhaps a rough drawing/doodle in a sketchbook

then i try and roughly apply that idea on canvas

and the rest comes down to what feels right at the time, with regards to color

I see

are you making some sketches outside, as well?

while youre sitting at the bench/coffee/etc

or in your house only?

usually in class when i’m bored!

haha

i know this feeling

haha

okay this aspect of colours is very interesting for me

I can understand the figural elements

but i find colours the most interesting

where do you think, you found inspiration, for your colour palette?

that’s probably he hardest question to answer, i think my palette was developed at a young age. i always have been fond of bold colours, pinks and light blues for example

but i can’t really say what inspired the palette

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For sure, understand that, hm

Are you inspired by other artists as well?

yeah i’m a big fan of danny fox, and torey thornton, basquiat too

david hockney and matisse have also provided me with a less immediate/direct form of inspiration

especially with regards to color

jordy kerwick is another artist, also from melbourne

who inspires me

Oh yes for sure. I was thinking about basquiat, matisse and thornton too.

I think, I can see the reference, but you still remind me more

more primitive, like almost “in the cave” art… but in the good way!

yeah that’s what i’m going for!

i love that term! haha

cool, so I can use it ok? Haha

yeah please do! I think i will use it from now on too haha

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Other element despite the colours, there is this strange black guy, figure…

is it you? 

in the paintings

why is it black?

well it’s not a physical representation of me, i am white haha. but he is mainly black due to aesthetic reasons purely

it provides a bolder visual focal point

but you could say most of the paintings are depictions of me, yes. just a different kind of me

Cool! I see! Are you trying to develope more, in some aspect of your technique?

yeah i’m trying to develop every day! trying to better understand the mediums im working with, and develop my visual creativity and repertoire

For sure, you’ve got to have a lot of talent. Do you have someone in your family, who is/was an artist? Visual/musical/etc?

thank you!

my dad is musician and somewhat visual artist, and a good drawer

but didn’t really get the time to draw

a good musician though

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Thats cool.

Is music important for you?

are you listening to music, a lot?

sorry for my shitty English! (im half year in Spain, and only speak spanish!)

no your english is great!

yeah i love music

when i paint, i usually put something easy on, and usually without lyrics, so i can concentrate more

mf doom special herbs, lately i have been trying some classical

nooo, maaaaan

rachmaninov etc

its like my favourite

mf doom!

haha he’s the king!!

I love his beat tapes

one of the finest best makers of all time!

Hah, Madlib too…  J Dilla, for sure

Shades Of Blue!!

!! I have this album in heavy rotation, these days… pff :)

It’s the good stuff.

What about Melourne and art scene

are you in touch with a lot of visual artists there?

i am quite detached from the art scene to be honest

i have been making a few contacts recently, but the art scene in melbourne is quite limited

limited?

there are for example a lot of galleries, univesities of art and so on?

there is not that much happening, but that is ok for me because i prefer to just do my own thing, and use social media and the internet as a virtual gallery and means of connection

melbourne has a decent art scene for local artists, but for international standards, it is quite small

Okay

didnt know this

what are your current plans?

are you in touch

with some curators?

i am focusing on putting together some shows over the next few months myself. i will be looking to make some connections with curators in the future. but i have no time to focus on this side of art, as i have uni

and when i am not at uni, i travel

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where do u travel, if you can say pls?

i try and go somewhere different each year and try to get to as many places as possible

asia, europe, america etc

wow amazing

okay bro

I think its all for today! (tonight) thank you again, it was a pleasure

my pleasure, thank you!

Words: Krištof Budke

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