Artist Feature #7 – Michael Nette

ART-IS-IN by Chriselda Barretto

I am so happy to introduce ART-IS-IN’s first young, upcoming and super talented artist “Michael Nette” – Discover more about him and his art below…

About Michael Nette

Michael Nette is an 18-year-old Photographer based in Melbourne Australia. He graduated High school last year and is now studying Photography at a tertiary level and starting his career as a photographer. He considers himself a portrait photographer primarily , but he also shoots landscapes and more recently wildlife.

Hi Michael…Could you tell our readers a little bit about who you are?

I come from a family of artists. My father is musical but it’s through my mother that I developed my love for photography. My sister is a musician and my brother is also quite musical. One of my grandfathers was a painter and sculptor and my other grandfather was a potter. One of my grandmothers was a theatre performer, and further back in my family tree I have more painters and an author. So artistry seems to be in my genes. It was in Year 10 (2016) that I began taking photography seriously. And as my secondary schooling progressed, photography was really the only thing I connected with. After leaving school, photography has become more about self-expression and creativity, discovering and enjoying colour, shape and tone – as well as the technical side of digital editing. For me it’s all about exploration and emotion, which I feel is evident in my work.

The Red Umbrella

What is your art style or process about?

Portraiture when it comes to portraits is hard to pin my work in one style as I love to express my emotions through creative angles and vivid colours. Part of my process is keeping the essence of my model inside the image so I generally try to keep posing looking natural and maintaining a connection throughout the shoot, otherwise the model can appear cold and disinterested. It is important to stay focused on the image you want while taking it and just as important to keep the model focused. Wildlife Wildlife photography is so fascinating to me because we get to see the sides of animals we would otherwise never get to in day to day life. When I shoot wildlife my aim is to show the animals personality and the individuality of each animal because most people don’t tend to think of each animal as an individual and mainly just what species it is.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

My inspiration comes from a few different sources; one being social media – I tended to gravitate more towards portrait photographers when I first started out and since then I have reached out to a few of the photographers that really inspired me and have since become friends. I also draw inspiration from other forms of media such as movies, books and a lot of time I find ideas in day to day conversations.

Have there been other artists/role-models or books that played a key role on your artistic journey?

Brandon Woelfel was the first big inspiration for me as in his portraits he creates a very magical feel in day to day places. When I saw his “before and afters” of his editing it really put into perspective how he does his work and the power of editing. Another photographer I have taken a lot of inspiration from is Drue Schnelle (@druephoto). Drue was one of the first people to respond back to me when I reached out and he answered the questions I had about portrait photography and helped me out a lot over the past 6 months. His photos are very creative, and he loves to play with angles and reflections so I could definitely relate to his style. The third biggest inspiration for me would be David Attenborough’s Earth documentaries (Planet Parth, Our Earth etc.) as the cinematography is phenomenal and it really inspires me to take wildlife photos while also teaching me a lot about what angles are good to shoot from and how to properly interact with animals to help create the image I am after. a few more inspirational Photographers: @brandontonlu – @benjammixn – @rye_whiskey – @BEACASSO – @masashi_wakui

How did you learn/acquire this technique?

I learnt a lot from Kai Wong (@kaimanwong) through youtube and A LOT of trial and error with various types of photography. I started out taking a lot of photos of flowers and nature by experimenting from different angles and environments. After I felt like I had taken enough photos of flowers I began to experiment with portraiture by going to the city with a few of my friends and getting them to model for me, which was a lot of fun as neither of us really knew what we were doing. Since that first shoot I was constantly curious to what I could do with portraiture so I was always asking my friends if we could do a photoshoot together and eventually I started to get the hang of it and in the process I learnt how to work with models and the importance of keeping them comfortable, how to bring out the emotion I want out of my model and how to think creatively about the space that we are in to really get every angle.

Has art impacted your life and how so?

I have always appreciated art and liked going to galleries when I was younger but over the last 2 years art has really taken over my life (in the best way). Photography has taught me how to see differently and how to view art artforms from a creator point of view rather than an audience point of view, and what I mean by that is I will think about how they created it and the emotion behind the art work rather than purely the art itself. I find that once you start creating art (of any form) you begin to see other artforms differently as art is just as much about the artist than it is the art.

Tell us a bit about your last work.

My latest work was inspired by masashi wakui where I went to the city for some street photography and my theme was to have a red umbrella in each image to link them and to tell a story. The shoot was very successful and I found a new love for street photography so hopefully you can see more in the future.

What is your current WIP?

Most recently I am beginning to expand my brand and split my business into 3 sections. I will be starting an online print store where I will be selling my street ,landscape and potentially wildlife photography prints. I will be continuing to do private portrait sessions which will generally be more on the creative side (depending on client) and I will be diving into the world of product photography by doing contract advertisement work for businesses. If you want to stay updated you can follow me on Instagram or twitter @miggmedia or check out my website to which I will be updating over the next few months.

What does the future look like for you and your art?

I am very inspired to work in all kinds of photography (portrait, wildlife, landscape, product) so the future of my art will be very versatile. Hopefully at the rate I am currently learning, the future is bright for my artwork and since I am only 18 and starting my business, I feel as if I have a bit of a head start moving forward in my career. I hope I can continue to grow as a person and an artist and obtain the success that I strive for.

Any words of advice to aspiring artists?

The best advice I can give is to study your artform. Do this by following likeminded people, watch videos on youtube about the aspects you want to learn about and most importantly CREATE! The best thing you can do as an artist is to create, no matter your skill level you must gain experience and the only way to do so is to put in the time and effort to create. Go out and take photos of things that catch your eye. Go into nature and bring a canvas and paints and just paint what you see or even what your feel. You can create art in your bedroom,studio,garden or even at the top of a mountain. Stop creating excuses and start creating art.

Shadow brews

How can our readers contact you or find your art?

You can contact me via twitter or Instagram @miggmedia or send me an email: miggmedia.michael@gmail.com

Also find me at www.miggmedia.com

An Artist Feature by Chriselda Barretto

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Artist Feature # 3 – ALEXANDER RADTKE

About Alexander Radtke

Alexander Radtke is a young contemporary artist, with the main distinctive feature that he provides an unconventional approach to analyzing and interpreting art movements and directions. His story of the spiritual in painting begins with the series «Stillness Speaks» in 2016.

Radtke was born in Shadrinsk in 1989, graduated from Shadrinsky University, where he studied information technology. In 2011, after completing his studies, he moved to Yekaterinburg, where he started working, however after a while he decided to give up his career in this field and devote himself entirely to painting. Radtke began self-study drawing and painting, and was engaged in the theory of art receiving expert advice from local artists. After a while, he participated in the general exhibition of the English Museum of Everything, where he received a good response to his drawings with watercolors from curators. He traveled a lot looking for his own style of drawing and painting.

His themes are different: from portraits to landscapes, from phantasmagoria to realism, it was then that the familiarity with pastels and oil occurred. After a while oil became the main tool of the artist. By 2013, Radtke created 3 different themes for the development of his painting, but the main unifying key between them is expression. The painter considers classical painters like: Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Titian and Ingres as his teachers, but he also draws his inspiration from the works of Francis Bacon, Amedeo Modigliani and Edvard Munch. In 2014, Radtke received a proposal for a festival in Germany. Immediately agreeing, he moved to Berlin. There he got acquainted with a completely different level of painting, visited exhibitions of a huge number of artists (Picasso, Bacon, Van Gogh, Turner, etc.), he also faced enormous friendly competition and joined the community of the European Gallery group. After many festivals and exhibitions he got acquainted with Abstractionism.

Beginning of 2015 marked the transition to the Abstract. Inspired by abstract art — Kandinsky, Rothko, Pollack, Richter, etc. Radtke returned to Russia, and began to study formlessness and color, dominating the aphorism of Picasso: “Painting is a lesson for the blind. The artist does not paint what he sees, but what he feels.”

2018 marked his access to the international arena, joining the community of US artists and featuring at exhibitions in New York. He also cooperated with the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation in the presentation of Russian contemporary art at various venues worldwide.

Air and Fire (abstract landscape), oil on canvas, 70×100

Hello Alexander! Could you tell our readers a little bit about who you are in your own words?

Who am I…  A rather complicated question, not because I doubt how to answer it – on the contrary, my sincere full answer may seem confusing. I will say this: I am a space of awareness, but the line of my activity is painting and this is the main business and passion of my life. I’ll also add this: the artist has the ability to see the invisible, touch the intangible and draw something that has no appearance. And I am completely immersed in it. Speaking in more exact terms, I can say that I’m just a person with my own life attitudes and principles; I love listening to music and contemplating nature, so I travel a lot.

Olfusa 1, oil on canvas, 60×60

Tell us about your art style or process.

My style is alla prima, I make pasty brushstrokes on the canvas and from chaos I try to create a holistic story, emerging from somewhere in the background of thought in a space of shapeless emptiness.

But the process itself is very difficult to describe in words. The moment I find myself in front of the canvas, I try to completely disconnect from the world – although there is always a connecting link in the form of classical music in the background. I always paint standing, I fix the canvas on the wall and never get distracted, never leaving until I finish the painting. It’s quite a strange custom of mine, once I spent 31 hours painting non-stop.

Fly’ja the Escape (abstract landscape), oil on canvas, 60×60

You work with different themes from portraits to landscapes, and phantasmagoria to realism! Which style speaks to you the most?

Portraits and realism I still paint sometimes, mostly to revive the very rules that I break :). But in fact, I find the biggest response and satisfaction working in the style of abstract expressionism in landscapes – my newest series of paintings are in this genre. I really like to show the landscape from a point of view that people don’t notice, barely perceptible moments of colors, transitions, the intangible inner silence – especially precious in our age of technology and constant fuss. 

Tomorrow’s flame, oil on canvas, 60×80

Where does your inspiration come from?

Inspiration comes from many different things, mainly from travel, nature, ocean. Sometimes from people, often from various forms of art – music mostly, sometimes books, etc. Inspiration is always with me, and I never really lose touch with it, because the world is so huge and wonderful; we all are surrounded by translucent air, the ever-changing face of the sky. The artist after all paints not because he wants, or because he can – but because he cannot do otherwise. Painting is a whole separate world, expressing its own multiverse with its own physics, that’s why it attracts people. That universe wants to be contemplated, and the artist is the very instrument to perceive and then transmit it to the viewer.

Time, (abstract landscape), 60×80

Tell us about other artists/role-models or books that played a key role on your artistic journey

I will name the few main figures whose work greatly influenced me. First of all, Vasily Kandinsky and his books – “Point and line on the plane” and “Spirituality in art”. Then, William Turner, who is probably my favorite artist to date – I consider him the first abstract landscape painter in the world, under whose brush the abstract style first emerged on canvas; his reflections on light are also very helpful for my work. Then comes Ilya Chashnik and his paintings based on the book of Kazimir Malevich – “Shape, color and sensation”. Last and most importantly – Francis Bacon who broke and twisted the form like no other in our world. To be fair, the list is much longer, but this is the basis upon which my own style has developed.

Himalayas, oil on canvas, 60×60

Considering you had a career in IT, what made you decide to become a full time painter? How did you learn/acquire this technique?

I wouldn’t say I made a career in IT 🙂 In fact, while still studying at university I tried myself in various creative endeavors, for example, I played as an actor at drama theater – and I did well, but then decided to go farther. I pursued the production of my own plays for a while, but then my play turned into a small novel, on the basis of which I was shooting a short film. I may come back to writing sometime 🙂 I also played guitar in several bands, etc. I came to painting by chance, led by an internal state, when something is lacking in the soul. I was suffering a long depression at the time, and on one of my birthdays someone presented me with a canvas and oil paints. After a while, on January 13, I accidentally wrote a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, and this was my beginning of becoming an artist.

At first, I painted portraits of writers and musicians, and later I began to paint shadows, or states of soul as I call them. As I immersed myself in this world and became acquainted with artists, I realized that this is the passion of my life; I quickly achieved solo exhibitions, and subsequent participation in the Berlin festival.

The Distant Blue, (abstract landscape), oil on canvas, 55×60

How has art impacted your life?

Positively. For me, the canvas was like a personal free psychotherapist, initially a very natural inclination. I became very calm, learning to immerse myself in the practice, transferring my feelings to painting. I realized what great power I had. In fact, each of my paintings contains a clue in the title.

Olfusa II, oil on canvas, 60×60

Tell us a bit about your last work.

My most recent work is called Trick of the Light. In it, I emphasize the interrelation of the visual (landscape) and the spiritual, inner world (consciousness), which results in an abstract composition. A lightning strike may be blinding, but it also gives the opportunity to perceive something beyond, in its brief flash. And just like that in this painting, initially you pay attention to the lightning only, it blinds you to its surroundings – but eventually disappearing, it allows a completely different landscape to emerge. Buddhists call this “fiery vision” + there are other key symbols, such as the rainbow etc. 

I won’t give out all the secrets – the main principle of my art is to convey its message wordlessly, for the viewer to look at the canvas without interpretations, just stand and watch giving all their attention. It is at this moment that the picture will tell everything about itself and begin to come alive.

Sleeping waves, (abstract landscape), oil on canvas, 70×70

What is your current WIP?

At the moment I am starting to work on a series of paintings. To be honest, right now most of my time is spent stretching & preparing canvases. I make canvases for myself so that the stretch is individual, also finely tuning many other aspects important for me – such as priming, preserving the grain of the canvas’ texture and so on — these are the technical issues that I’m currently solving. But as soon as I finish this, I will continue to paint 🙂 !

Running to the Edge of the world, (abstract landscape), oil on canvas, 60×60

What does the future look like for you and your art?

This is a very interesting question. I can’t say exactly, but I can share my dream that I’m working very hard to achieve: a dream that the Louvre would once again break its rules and host my personal exhibition during my lifetime (this happened only once in history, with the artist Mark Chagall). But in general, I think everything is going well for me so far, I’m moving forward at a good pace – soon an exhibition in New York, hopefully before and after that more offers of personal exhibitions all over the world will follow. I also have an ambition to exhibit at Tate someday 🙂 !

Talking of my artistic output, I’d say I’m very productive; for example, during a year I write about 100-150 paintings.

Any words of advice to aspiring artists?

If you already started, then win. Do not stop. Break the walls of space.

Tell us about your concept/journey based on a book named «The Power of the Now» by the German philosopher, writer, and spiritual speaker Eckhart Tolle?

The concept itself is difficult to convey without quoting the whole book, especially since I’m not a spiritual speaker or Eckhart Tolle himself. I will say that his teachings and practices that he offers in the book “The Power of the Now” are very close to me and my worldview. In my artist’s statement, I quote some of Tolle’s words about silence, form and essence of a person. This is a philosophy of seeing the world happen now, in the present moment, with a clear unclouded look, without egoism, without concrete thought, as Eckhart writes – with the “inner consciousness”.

Here is my favorite line from the book – “Is stillness just the absence of noise and content? No, it is intelligence itself — the underlying consciousness out of which every form is born”.

Eyjafjallajökull, oil on canvas, 60×60

Would you like to share any more information with our readers?

Bring to the world only kindness and happiness as far as possible.

How can our readers contact you or find your art?

I can be found on Instagram (@alexander_radtke) – all the contacts are in my bio. I also have a website (art-radtke.com) with all the series of paintings and links to all social networks where you can ask any of your questions.

Alexander Radtke
Video – Making “A trick of light”

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