AN INTERVIEW WITH MARIËTTE KOTZÉ
Mariëtte Kotzé is one of those artists who creates emotions through her processes. Almost as if you can 'hear' her images, the Cape Town based artist beautifully expresses the inner self though her macro-photography-meets-fine-art practices. Look at her images and never look away again...We discussed the meaning of photography and who influences her.
"Can you tell me a bit about your work, how would you describe your artworks?"
I would describe my work as an exploration of abstraction through alternative photography, focusing on the activity of the artistic process by creating my own internal landscapes, through digitizing ink wash movements with a macro lens. My work questions photography by capturing images that can never be created again.
"Who and what are your influences?"
I draw inspiration from Wassily Kandinsky’s writings regarding the spiritual in art, which influenced the work of the Abstract expressionists, as well as Japanese Zen calligraphy, which focuses on the meditative process of art-making and the expression of the subconscious mind. The Freischwimmer series of Wolfgang Tilmans has also been a great influence on my work of late. He won the 2000 Turner Prize for his pioneering and innovative style in image making, challenging the boundaries between art and photography.
"What are the themes of your work? How do you want your audience to 'read' your artwork?"
I would say my themes are determined by the unpremeditated end result. When I started out using this technique it was mainly about the process and experimenting. Currently, looking at the works created after a 3 year period, all abstract in definition, I am able to divide them into categories, differentiating between abstract objects, landscape looking spaces, earth textures and colourful compositions that resembles a mood or song.
"In your artist statement you talk about your scanogram paintings. Could you tell us more about the technical side of this and how you achieve the intriguing results that you do?"
My scanogram paintings are created through the combination of ink and water puddling, adding solvents to extend and retard the ink’s natural tendency to bloom and creep, and also changing its colour. The results are captured using a Dual lense scanner system, acting as a macro lense and paint surface simultaneously.
"In your experience, what's the best thing about making art?"
The best thing for me is that it gives you a space to reflect, meditate and experiment. It’s the only place where I can be free to create what I feel like, not being directed by external factors. I enjoy the possibilities of combining traditional and contemporary art making methods, creating a new visual language.
"What kind of artists do you consider yourself to be? Would you describe yourself as a photographer?"
I wouldn't describe myself as photographer in the traditional sense of the word, more an image maker. I action the process that delivers the photograph, by using ink and solvents like an abstract painter.
"Do you consider 'photography' to have limits? Does your work fall into these limits or does it rather try exceed the limits of a 'medium'?"
I don't think photography has or should have any limits. I'm looking forward to push the boundaries even further.
"Name Five artists's works that inspires you."
Wolfgang Tilmans Kim Keever, Helen Frankenthaler, Gerhard Richter and Gao Xingjian.