In the run-up to Art Trade, we introduce the participating artists by asking them some questions. Today: Painter Kyra Sacks, who volunteers in an AZC in between residencies and other art projects.
What does an artist do throughout the day?
As an artist I seldom have days that are similar to each other. I am out and about in the city and throughout the country for commissions and projects. To be able to work in my studio I really need to roster days in and keep them free. I like to begin early because I know that the first few hours I need to warm up. Watching clips, reading articles, organising my mess, moving paintings around and of course, staring out the big windows of the beautiful old nunnery where I work. And mostly at the end of the afternoon I am suddenly in my flow and this lasts till quite late in the evening. Sometimes I work very long on a particular work, but more often I am working on a few canvasses at the same time. I make little scale models, sketches and pictures, with the ultimate goal of coming up with the final painting or drawing.
Which artwork (well-known or unknown) do you wish you had made yourself?
There are so many art works from which I sit in wonder over certain aspects. The darkness in the collages of Jesse Draxler, the wiped out figures of Benjamin Björklund light through the leaves in the work from Hans Vandekerckhove or the huge canvases with not quite abstract blocks of color from Paul Kremer, that you can really lose yourself in. Last week I was flipping through a book of David Hockney’s work and there was one work with a huge voluptuous tree in the middle of the canvas with white blossoms. I wish I had made that.
What would you have become, if you weren’t an artist?
I come out of a family of artists so I actually never thought of that!
Why do you think Art Trade is a good idea?
Because it allows you to think about what the value is of what you have made, for yourself and for other people. It seems special to me to see what other people would give for my work and whether that would be enough for me. We are so used to using money to get what we want, so it’s definitely a challenge to see what other alternatives could be used instead. I wonder if I will go home with something that’s equivalent to what my work would be worth in money, or something with another kind of value that will mean something to me.
What other projects are you working on?
I have my own company called ‘de Beeldvormers’. I draw together with artist Machteld Aardse, on location throughout the country for companies and organisations. During work sessions, team building and training we draw what we see at the moment it’s happening. Just as much what is on the surface as what is underneath. Visible and invisible.
The drawings shine a light on the process that they are in and are used to reflect and to get to the heart of the situation. For me as an artist it’s special to see so many different work environments, from egg carton factories to the ivory towers of financial industry.
I have also poured myself into Art Partner. They give companies and organisations the chance to work with artists who offer a fresh and creative eye to their issues. These are quite often larger projects where I have the chance to work with other artists to mediate an artistic intervention.
Besides this I give workshops and other guest lessons in art and I am active as a volunteer for the AZC Wenckebachweg in the old Bijlmer Jail. We have started an art studio for kids who stay there where we provide a safe and quiet place for the exploration of art. I also work for Favela Painting, a project by Haas&Hahn, where we are commissioned to paint huge murals, working together with young people who are waiting for their residency applications to go through.
In between I always try to do residencies, such as one I have recently done in the Peruvian jungle. That gives me time to focus on my paintings and to be emerged in new influences. To conclude I am starting a master of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the VU in september.