AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID STENBECK
CGI artist David Stenbeck was born in Lund, Sweden, 1978. Studying literary science and art theory, Stenbeck found the medium limiting and searched for something less restrictive. He found CGI and continues his practice today.
"Could you please start by telling us a bit about you and your work?"
So, I’ve spent many years writing and working with literature and emerging poets for various digital platforms. My concept has always been identifying new spaces and markets in the cultural sphere, be it by text or visual media.
With time, and being a writer and editor in the Swedish language, I guess some frustration grew towards effect and outcome from working in such a narrow field. When I started working with CGI, it was out of the very same core as any poetry I’ve written or published, and very personal. As a contrast, the visual medium reaches much further.
"That's one of the things we love about CGI, it feels totally limitless. What draws you to make CGI?"
Working with Cinema 4D I realized I could actually produce my visions in an almost realtime-ish manner. Like you have an insight, or a conceptual vision, and before you know it, it’s there in front of you. Accessible. That’s one of the many powers of CGI. And emotionally, being an artist, it was dense. In the best of ways.
"What themes does your work draw upon? What do you want people to feel when they look at your pieces?"
I work out of a classical, art historical base, questioning and remaking old structures and concepts, updating old canons to something more modern and approachable. Using the sublime ideals of the old world, I’m letting the human bodies and other shapes and forms lead the viewer to focus on the composition, while deconstructing the motif right in front of their eyes. Often the human centered pieces remind people of their own personal history, like childhood memories and first loves, there’s an emotional, artistic awakening in all this, that I believe is key to the popularity of my works, if one would reason in those terms.
"The art history references definitely shows, particularly with the gentle posting of hands and the interaction these hands have with objects. Do you consider your work to be political?"
I would say in most cases, art is political. More than anything, art is real in the human psyche. The mere ambition of participating in artistic events has an inherrent action, whether it’s joining in on asking a question or using the experience to calibre the own, contemporary mind within a given societal context. These questions often have quite simple origins, and are very humanistic in themselves. Like, "What are we here for, and where are we going, what is authority and how can someone who is free be subject to those powers. Is there anything beyond all this?".
Beauty is our collective trigger. You could speak of the abstract as the inner us, trying to understand cosmos, in regard to the outer us, administrating our bodies within the human polistics.
"The questioning of who/what are we feels to be furthered through CGI, where something can only be represented no matter how realistic the piece is, similar to paint, it will always be emblematic of the thing rather than the thing itself. Your work references the human body, do you reference other mediums of art making?"
The beauty-part of making art in these times, certainly has its references and idols collected from all kinds of media. Could be movies, music, different narratives. But they would be tools for a greater purpose.
"What is the future of art making?"
The future of art making is everything, together. I don’t see any artistic style disappearing as long as it is asking the questions, and having somewhat of a relevance of motif. Obviously AI-art will change the world pretty soon, and I’m certain it’s going to be beauiful and entertaining. Just imagine that very AI that will pick up the brush after Caravaggio, when we tell her or him that they are Caravaggio. Or Kahlo. If they really beleive they are Frida Kahlo, just about to create something new. And that’s like only halft of nothing, really, the rest will soon come.