Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Artist Interview: Antonia Lazaki Laver

What is your name: Antonia Lazaki Laver

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I studied Fine Art in Athens Greece at A.K.T.O Poly technical College. I then continued my journey with the idea of pursuing a Maters in Fine Art in London England. While attending interviews in several schools in London, I met a professor who mesmerised me and introduced the idea of studying Architecture rather than continuing in Fine Art. My portfolio did not have any 3d work. This was reason for the tutor to advise me to do a Foundation in Architecture Course making it possible for me to build a portfolio with 3 dimensional work. This was partially insane as I had already completed an Art course with major in Graphic Fine Art. However, I was much fascinated by professor and felt perhaps I had cheated myself never having explored model making and sculpture. Soon I accepted the Universities offer, and sooner than I knew, I was modeling as If I always were.
This lead to large scale welded sculptures and many more pieces the school has kept. The year passed and I continued attending the Architecture course for another 5 years. I could not have successfully completed either the two courses firstly if not self taught, and secondly my commitment and ambitious character. The experiences and things I learned in University, the workshops and shows I  took part in are forever to be cherished and I have never regreted studying for a whole 9 years.

What is the style of your pieces: I am an abstract artist, I work in both 3d and 2d. I have a passion for cubism and brutal ism, however I favour the surreal. Ultimatly it depends on finances and also on how I am feeling. I am certain if I had the space I would make much larger peices. I am very happy working in the space I currently have, I am a surrealist so it looks much bigger than it is.

What is the medium in which you work: I have the ability and enjoy working in most mediums, most recently my works are comprised mainly of acrylic on paper and canvas. Throughout my studies I mainly used oils,inks,graphite, pigments and varnish. I work well in collage and am very fond of model making, casts, even up  to large scale sculpture. I have been known to use printers in ways know one thought possible and use photo copy machines with the same insight. I enjoy weaving sewing and patchwork. Most favorite mediums were discovered due to lack of funds as a student and professional. Thus allowing for the opportunity to use everyday things, and even spices to use for color. From tea bags to coffee filters. Coffee grinds, Greek Coffee, mud, beetroots,pepper grains, sand, phone books, even give away cards promoted at local malls.

What started you on your path as an artist: I started my path as an artist as a child. I had a very heightened imagination and I loved painting since the age of three. I saw objects as something more than what they were. Perhaps I was glorifying them, it. Perhaps I paid close attention to details or  sometimes of how particular object  was used. In the most part I found myself overwhelmed by the beauty in things, sunsets, rain, dew, snow, the sea or a lake of ice. The way water reflected sometimes a blurred image. The way a person sounded walking in the snow or the sight of his tracks. Memories and how to keep them, dreams and how to make them real. I suppose that sounds like a lot on how I started my path as an artist. But it is what it is.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: The most important thing Art has brought to my life is : Appreciation Of Life. Taking time to really enjoy all that there is out there and in here. It has taught me patience, and in general ones senses are heightened when they choose to have a life involved in art making. Ones own person becomes more sensitive to light, colors , objects, poetry and emotions. Somehow I feel obliged to make representations of these listed above, because I find life fascinating.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Music, Classical. The Ballet and Opera.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I have had small solo art showings in the past, both in Greece and London U.K. While studying Architecture I was part of many academic shows. I look forward to using all the experiences from my academic but artful years for  new exhibits in the near future.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: I wear clothes that I have already been anointed with splashes of paint and have since then become my work clothes. This includes most of my wardrobe.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? The most frustrating part of being an artist is lack of funds and work space.
Followed by extreme competition and indefinitely the all time all year round must for marketing and advertising- that actually has encompassed  all the arts and has art at times begging for mercy. But that is how it is. It is frustrating but also necessary. Every artist is different, but we all face the same frustration as we all strive to make it our profession.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: I make my own bread and enjoy it with olive oil, feta cheese and oregano.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: This year has brought many changes in my art work. I recently completed the Architecture Course, I recently moved to the U.S.A from Athens Greece. I met and married my partner and know find myself in a painting frenzy. I suppose the University chapter in my life has finally closed and a new chapter is beginning. I find that now I am painting more than ever, I will do my best to enjoy this phase of my life and use all my renewed energy as creatively as I possibly can.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Caravaggio is my most favorite artist, but that is a very hard question to answer, where oh where would the list end? Dali?

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person:.  The Parthenon Frieze is one of the most moving pieces of artworks I have ever seen, I marvel at the craftsmanship and detail. Having Greek routes has allowed for and influenced both my architecture and artwork. The ruins in Greece in general are full of treasures, the precision is outstanding. I once stood in Poseidon's Temple in Sounion at sunset, I saw an unimaginable sunset right in the centre of the space. This illusion was created by both an artist and an architect. It was magical. I have not captured this yet but I think I will. So long as the security guard does not catch me next time.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I do not have any pets but if I did I am certain they would make a great companion and  Muse.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: This remains to be announced. Is that not exciting?


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