Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1982, Juan spent most of his childhood with his grandparents, It was there in the kitchen that he fell in love with cooking and tango. Soon he pursued studies in culinary arts under the supervision of L’école de Cuisine Lenotre and soon started working in professional kitchens were he found cooking as an art outlet. By 2007, working at Palacio Duhau had the opportunity to collaborate with the French artist Laurent Moriceau in his ephemeral art series titled Proyecto Deguste, which involved the creation of chocolate sculptures for an exhibit at the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art. This project made a great impression on Juan and inspired him to begin integrating plastic arts into his cooking.
Juan’s culinary career has taken him around the world, cooking both in restaurants and on stage at some of the most exclusive events such as Taste of Auckland and New Zealand Chocolate Festival. He has been mentioned in the New Zealand Herald and Cuisine Magazine, and even featured on an episode of Hangi Masters on Māori Television.
Although he’s known for his achievements and accolades as a chef, Juan is also a talented saxophone player, and has performed at the popular Sundeck in Queenstown with DJs Guillem Ribera and Murry Sweetpants. Juan himself is also an acclaimed electronic music DJ, playing under the stage names Ship Shape, Chupa Trance and Electric Rush at acclaimed clubs such as Ink Bar.
In addition to the culinary and musical arts, Juan is now taking his artistic talents to canvas. His paintings were recently displayed at a private event at Studio Dinner in Auckland.
Amongst other projects, he’s currently working on a photo portrait project involving 100+ people, a commission for a mural artpiece for a new restaurant in Auckland. Juan is comfortable with abstract, mixing techniques and medias.
I studied Painting & Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art and recently graduated from my MA in Creative Entrepreneurship from UEA. Since moving to London I have been making work which explores the ideas of time and place. Walking along the Thames I have been collecting objects and finding ways to use them in my work. From the debris of the past I have been particularly drawn to the many old bones that are found along the foreshore, and I have been finding ways to incorporate them into my practice. I have also been seeking ways of making new work under lockdown by repurposing and up-cycling old work and using the resources I have to hand. Coming from a working-class background has meant that the work I create has usually come from using the scarce resources and material available to me. I have experimented a lot with natural materials in my work, recently creating a sculpture of found bones, Thames clay and scraps of old wood found on my street. Earlier on in my practice I made a curiosity cabinet of found items from the river Kelvin in Glasgow which was later used as my degree show piece. I have always been attracted to the unwanted, discarded material that I find around me, finding ways to repurpose it and bring it a new life.
A little bit about the author:
Amy-Leigh Bird graduated from the Painting & Printmaking BA Hons at The Glasgow School of Art in 2017 and in 2019 graduated from her MA in Creative Entrepreneurship at The University of East Anglia. Whilst studying Amy-Leigh lived and studied in Jerusalem, Israel at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and has taken part in several group and solo exhibitions including her first solo show at The Anise Gallery, Shad Thames, The Other Art Fair and at The West End Centre. After her graduation she was selected for Aon’s ‘Community Artist Award 2017’ and awarded the ‘Artist in Italy Residency 2018’ where she spent ten luxurious days walking about the Tuscan landscape collecting inspirational material. Since graduating the award-winning artist has exhibited alongside Christian Boltanski at the Apple and the Lust Gallery in Edinburgh, at The Edinburgh Art Fair and at An Lanntair in Stornoway after taking part in a two-week sailing residency with Sail Britain. This year she will be exhibiting at the prestigious and highly regarded No20 Arts gallery in Highbury and Islington and developing her research on the bones found on the Thames foreshore. She is currently living and working in London, developing her research on the psychology of collecting and the emotional significance of objects and place.
Jess Mezo is a thinker, writer, experimental artist, and semi-professional picture-snapper, focusing mostly on political aesthetics, structures of power, resistance, beauty, and the psychology of everyday life in her research, writing, and art. Having seized every opportunity to travel and study abroad while earning her parallel BA degrees, she finally settled down in the UK and completed her MSc in International Relations at the University of Bristol. Jess is currently working as a freelancer and preparing for further studies after a year-long travel break she spent expanding her creative and professional toolkit.
Jess has recently launched her passion project, JessThetics, across different social media platforms to host her social and political commentary, as well as her (visual) essays on aesthetics and modern philosophy. A passionate student of photography and digital art, Jess pairs her articles with pictures and other forms of mixed media shot or otherwise created by her, often solely for a particular piece of written work. She invites everyone to join her on a journey into the realm of the unconscious, experimental, and accidental, as she embarks on a quest to uncover more about the delicate balance that exists between truth in beauty and beauty in truth.
These photographs are part of a series in which I dress up as a bride. The photos were taken in my Middlesex University and also at Bethnal Green church. The piece was inspired by the drag queens such as Coco Peru and Divine. I wanted to capture a narrative, that stretches beyond the visual information of the photos.
A little bit about the artist:
Joss Munson is a UK based multimedia artist born in a small Suffolk town and grew up in East London. At the age of 14 he was diagnosed with a typical autism. He attended City and Islington College to study art and design. At 18 he developed schizoaffective disorder. Now in spite of all the challenges, he has been able to attend Middlesex University to study Fine Art. Joss’ work ranges from talking about his personal life, trauma and struggle to inside jokes and escapism. His work has taken the form of short films; ambrosia was his first major film that was exhibited at his college in 2015. It explores the roles in a relationship between man and inanimate object. Joss plays the part of someone who is in love with an inanimate mannequin. And it was shown 5 years later as part of virtual exploding cinema COVIDeo extravaganza on the 6th June 2020. He collaborated and curated 2 online shows, the EOY show (end of year) was a celebration of his and his colleagues final work, Distorted World which is a virtual reality exhibition in collaboration with Dovetail Joints Virtual Gallery. His article Virtual Online Galleries: the aftermath of Covid19 was published on art touches art blog on May 17th 2020. He has performed on stage in University, producing a one man show: the unofficial Resident Evil Pantomime, in which he dressed as ‘Jill Sandwich’ and lip synced to a few songs, and involved some audience participation.
The pandemic resulted in the vacancy of previously busy spaces. A kind of error occurred in life, the tragedy of this social situation resulted in putting globalization on hold, while carbon-dioxide emission has dropped drastically. Empty spaces are witnessing our overworked, energy-wasting lives, prompting us to finally change our way of life globally, otherwise situations like this might resurface in the future. KristofLab, has collected photos empty cities such as Madrid, which was developed into creating a first piece of the series. Subsequently, he received photos from many parts of the world from volunteers for the project. These artists helped to continue the series with their contributions. Kristóf hopes that this project symbolizes well how artistic imagination can help us thrive as human beings in difficult times and the work serves as a definition of our common values across boundaries and to once again remind us that we have never been and will never really be isolated.
Contributors: Kiszner Édua, Antal István, Marcin Idźkowski, Angela Galvan, Gasquk, Kristijonas Dirse, Peter Korcek, Erhan US, Ciro Di Fiore, Elena Kilina, Sangeeth Aiyappa, Vladimir Stepanchenko, Raki Nikahetiya, David Leshem, Haccoun Myriam
A little bit about the artist:
Kristóf Szabó was born in 1988 in Hungary. Since 2016 he has been consciously using the term KristofLab as a kind of brand referring to interdisciplinarity and his media art activities. He often works in a team or creates collaborations with other artists, often crossing boundaries between art genres. He graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts (2012). In 2011 he studied with an Erasmus scholarship in Dresden. He is a member of the Ziggurat Project focusing on various co-art collaborations, regularly working with them mainly on site-specific performances across V4 countries and Norway.
My piece is called ‘Cosmic Cat’, a fantasy illustration featuring a cat alone in her own cosmos. It was digitally created in Adobe Fresco. I created this piece in response to the isolation and solitude I have been experiencing as a result of being in the High Risk category during the pandemic and therefore spending time at home in isolation. I imagined my home as my own personal galaxy or universe, and pictured myself as the cat because while cats are solitary, often antisocial in fact, they are also strong, resilient and self-sufficient, this helped me to focus on the positives of my situation and to remind myself that I am a survivor, like the cat.
A little bit about the artist:
Esme Lee is an emerging artist and illustrator who also happens to be disabled, and the carer of two disabled children. As such her work expresses, in turn, sadness and isolation, childlike playfulness, and exuberant joy. With a distinctive style and keen eye for colour, Esme combines digital artwork with her background in traditional art, to create digital pieces with a truly authentic feel. Esme hopes in the long term to become a champion and advocate for disabled, female, and minority artists.
Isabel is a Spanish illustrator and graphic designer living in Southern Spain, her pronouns are she/her. As every other illustrator out there, she never stopped drawing, so studying arts was the right call, after specializing in printmaking she moved to illustration gradually. Most of her illustrations are really colorful and cartoonish, recently she realized that her characters always have big hairy legs and dark circles.
As an artist, I dwell for a moment of solitude, it is essential to our well-being and crucial for our soul. To be independent and still in the moment. To accept your own presence and above all, your being. To reflect and turn within. It is the foundation of exploratory, for a brief instant or a continuous period, until it gets comfortable and you get mentally stronger. The word solitude comes from the Latin word “solitudinem”, which means “loneliness”. On the contrary, ihey are two different things. Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation, while solitude is the state of being online without being lonely.
I will always crave for solitude.
A little bit about the artist:
Lebasille ° 1989, Belgium
Lebasille – a pseudonym of Isabelle – is a visual artist born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1989. She makes original collages on paper, with images from magazines, books and other imagery sources from 1920 up to the present. She has always dedicated herself to analog collage, however, she has expanded her praxis to digital works, offering endless possibilities. Within her analogue and digital work, she plays with proportions, dialectic and context. A conversation occurs between current events and ideals – a social reality with an extra dimension of meaning or a layer of surrealism. She rediscovers the past creating a vintage future. The transformation of each individual image gives the viewer and his eye the opportunity to reinterpret elements or new ready-made images. With a growing love for imagery of different worlds, eras and ideals, she started to cut out and assemble countless images. It became part of her daily routine. Since 2018, she is attending two different courses in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Many exhibitions followed, of which the most memorable was in a museum in The Netherlands about food in art in past and present. Her practice consists of creating imagery for album covers, magazine covers, book illustrations, postcard illustrations and more.
These works are all meditations on solitude in some way. Solitude has a thousand faces: it can be experienced in all kinds of states and situations. Sometimes solitude is a blessing, because it can allow for artistic self-reflection and self-representation, as my Self-Portrait suggests. But solitude can also comprise of moments where anxieties or fears jump out at us as in Study in Blue.
A little bit about the artist:
Beatriz Santos is a 23-year-old artist based in London. She has a BA English from Clare College Cambridge and a Graduate Diploma in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her practice is mainly two-dimensional and figural. Beatriz’s love of literature leads her to populate her works with characters, metaphors, and delicate visual ironies. Her visual practice is centred on the similarities and the misalignments between narrative, poetry and visual image. She is fascinated by how people use paintings (in galleries, in campaigns, at home, on social media) to tell their own stories. The importance of telling new stories is something her works actively promote, with their enigmatic yet mundane characters. Derived from song lyrics or poetic fragments, they are representations of nobody – but hopefully everyone can use them to question, to reflect or to remember.