Monday, 21 June 2010

Artist of the Week - Andre Lichtenberg

Andre Lichtenberg is a photographer based in Hove, East Sussex whose work has been used all over the world as billboards, book covers, advertising and magazine editorials. Most recently Andre was commissioned to shoot new landscapes (full moon images) in Southern Ireland and to produce and photograph an advertising campaign for Gillette in Scandinavia. He is currently back home hungry to create more personal fine art work.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?

My initial training started with my father in Brazil who was a great artist and philosopher, he taught me to see beauty in life and how to draw. My most official training I guess has been doing a MA - Photographic Studies (University of Westminster) which taught me contemporary art theory, semiology, aesthetics, etc.. and prior to the MA I did a degree in Science - BSC in Photographic Science (University of Westminster) which taught me the scientific approach towards creating imagery. But there were so many other short courses, workshops, life experiences, challenges, travels...

When and where did you first want to do what you do?

When I first came to London in the late eighties and early nineties, I was fascinated by the amount of galleries and Museums available, a lot of them free to visit. I spent a lot of time exploring that, visiting London photographic shows and art galleries, dreaming of one day being able to show my own work and ideas in such places.

One favourite living artist? Why?
This is very tricky, as I can easily change my mind after seeing a show or someone's new body of work. Today I would say the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, because of his beautiful simple aesthetic, his use of colors and his choice of subject matter, (which changes a lot, from architecture, seascapes, portraits, objects...) but somehow always holding some sort of style signature. I've seen his work at Serpentine Gallery several years ago and was really impressed by his large scale seascapes.

One favourite historical artist? Why?

Hmmm, another difficult question. I think today I would say Pablo Picasso but it could change next week. Why? because I love his technique, the use of layers in his work and the fascinating life he had.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?

Travel is a big one (my sense of observation tends to magnify itself when I am somewhere new...), but to be honest it can come from anything and anywhere: from a dream, movies, magazines, an exhibition, a book, a conversation...

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?

In 1999 I was commissioned by a big European travel company to go to four Mediterranean countries to create some landscapes in a kind of painting like style for their re-branding. The art director and assistant in those jobs became mates and the whole thing felt like a big holiday. The images created were really well received and made into several new front covers and posters. The company was so happy that they become a regular client for the following 5 years.

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?

Mostly on my own. Sometimes I have an assistant with me to help out with lighting equipment or whatever help I might need. But I have no problem with collaborations and have done some small collaborations with other artists.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?

At the age of 18 I was into architecture drawing, studying engineering. I was fascinated by the mathematical artwork of Escher, with it's impossible perspective drawings.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?

I have done in the past but I think that was a mistake as I believe my most strong and successful work has come from my own vision.

Who would you say buys your work?

It works in two levels for me: In the commissioning side, my clients are art buyers and art directors. In the fine art limited editions, my clients are collectors and people who like to have art on their walls.

Where and what is your studio?

My studio is in Hove, (Studio 106). It is a large warehouse (used to be a factory) which I share with several other artists. We tend to open twice a year to the public, in May and in December.

Do you have a good work/life balance?

I'll try my best and I think I'm not doing too badly at moment. I make sure I exercise a couple of times a week, I'll try to cook and eat well, I spend time with the kids, I look after my garden, etc... It just gets out of balance when I am working on a large project or when I have to travel a lot... and consequently leave the family and kids behind for a short while.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?


If you could be doing anything else what would it be?

Traveling somewhere fun, friendly, exciting.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?

Hmmmmmm, hard question... so many amazing places to choose. I guess MoMA in New York.

Please list any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.

HOUSE Open exhibition - Brunswick Town House (Brighton) 2010
RED DOT Exhibition - Association Gallery (London) 2009/2010
Brighton Photo Fringe Open 2009 (Brighton) 2009
International Color Awards - (Los Angeles - CA) 2009
AOP Photographers Awards 2009 - Association Gallery (London) 2009

Andre will be exhibiting at the Brighton Art Fair in September and the Palace Art Fair in London in October.


arty said...

very interesting article

artlover said...