Few weeks ago I decided to post on the blog a visual diary of some of Guy Criden’s artworks. I didn’t know much about the Israeli artist, I just knew that I felt connected to its art. His collages are very intellectual and cerebral, mixing together images that he picked up from different sources to recreate a new story. Sometimes shocking, sometimes sexy, sometimes intimate, his aesthetic is very powerful and personal. We can surely feel the influence of the cinema. There is a mise en scène in his work, and a script in his mind.
It was important for me to know more about Criden, so I was thrilled when he agreed to answer few questions for The Bubblist. Let’s meet the guy who brings collage to another level.
How would you describe your work to someone who hasn’t seen it?
I would say it’s a collage of images. A game in which I put some images together, and see what happens. And sometime it does happen.
When did this idea occur to you of borrowing images, of appropriating other material into your work?
I remember the day it happened. This magic of understanding that its o.k., I’m allowed to do this. I was sitting on the floor in a room I rented in kibbutz Nir Eliyahu, in the start of my second year in the Midrasha. Putting masking tape on little framed pictures of trees. I didn’t think about it a lot but I understood that something very right has just happened. A great leap.
Where are you looking when you do research?
My research happens all the time. I love newspapers and movies. So every time I lay down to read or to watch a film I look for special images, sounds or atmospheres. It’s not a job for me, it’s a joy. I see my potential art everywhere I look.
What came first, your interest in beauty/aesthetic or your interest in art?
I was into art since I was a little kid. I always loved heroic and beautiful things, from a man torso to a sport car and F16. I drew a lot, mostly copied from pictures, horses, torsos, cars, cowboys. But my greatest influence was the cinema. Those great openings, when you feel you’re standing before the gates of a new story. Heaven.
Tell me something about your artistic education and your influences.
I studied art in high school only because someone told me to give it a chance. Strangely, I was not aware of my arty soul at that time. I was more into parties and girls. But after I started it changed my life. It was the only thing that kept me in school. My influences from the age of 16: Margret, my teacher and mythological blond, an army coat, smoking nobles, listening to the Police and painting.
The Midrasha was the second great step. Since that day I realised that I was allowed, and I started creating like a maniac. Every day. Like a drug addict. My influences from the age of 28: Yehudit Levin, my teacher for the soul, the black beauty, posters, playboy and the second intifada.
What do you think about the contemporary art market in Israel?
I don’t know a lot about it in terms of inside information, and the important people in it. There are a lot of great artists and not a lot of places to see them. Especially the young ones that are not stars. There’s things that are happening outside of Tel Aviv but the media doesn’t cover it. It’s a tough scene where the hot and new is king, but I always believed that the good will win. Good art is something that lives forever even with no PR.
Where do you work?
I work at Kfar Blum. I have a tiny studio in one of the first buildings in the kibbutz, built in 1942. But in general, my favorite place for cut and paste is mostly my living room, by the coach and T.V.
Where can we see your artworks?
In 2011, I met Yaniv Yehuda Eiger, an independent Curator that took me under his wings. I have wide range of works in my exhibition “Sunday” from that year at “1024”, an Online Gallery on Walla that Yaniv and Eran Hadas created.
In march 2013 Yaniv opened Z I Z Gallery in south Tel Aviv with my exhibition “Lagoon”’, I was the first artist to be represented by Z I Z. Works from “Lagoon” and others are presented on the gallery site. Also, the gallery print shop will open soon and you will be able to buy prints from the artists’s gallery at good prices.
in the beginning of 2014 I will present my second exhibition in Z I Z gallery, it will include videos this time. I hope to create an event that will make me cry, like in the movies. I want to say it here- thank you Yaniv for the free spirit, the good advice and the rich and solid grounds you give me to plant my seeds in. Thank you for believing in me and my art.
An exhibition or an art space in Tel Aviv you recommend?
Every exhibition at Z I Z is an unusual event. I don’t see a lot in Tel Aviv because I’m far so I see art mainly on Facebook (90 days – Boaz Aharonovitz) “Magia Naturalis” in P8 gallery looks interesting. And Ron Amir is always good.