Sunday, April 26, 2009

Interview: Kareem Rizk

Name: Kareem Rizk
Occupation: Artist
Location: Melbourne, Australia

1. What kind of art do you make?

I make collage art - both handmade and digital. The majority however is handmade. My digital work started out as an experimentation in trying to mimic the tactile qualities of handmade work (scratches, creases, stains etc.).

Collage is my sole technique but I use a variety of mixed mediums including acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, letter press, acrylic transfers and solvent transfers. I work mostly on paper and canvas. I ’ve also applied my technique to working on sneakers.

Links to my work:

2. What do you enjoy most about working in this medium?

The medium of collage is very versatile. The technique can be applied to many different surfaces and the sources for imagery and graphic elements are almost endless. Everything that I need to make a composition already exists in the form of press images and printed material. All I need to do is find the right elements to construct the desired composition.

As a basis for a composition starts to develop, there is still often a great sense of mystery in not knowing how a work in progress will look in the end. I enjoy the fact that often the final composition cannot be foreseen and so the work evolves as it is put together bit by bit.

I also enjoy the openness to viewer interpretation that the technique of collage can create. As my work comes from a surrealist motivation, the work can be read in many different ways. In the majority of my work there is often no clear-cut message or distinct concept. And so the work is often very open to varied interpretation. - the viewer more often has the privilege of creating their own story from the work. 

3. What challenges have you found in your work?

As my main medium is collage, I source a lot of imagery from old magazines, books and brochures. It can sometimes be a bit challenging when I can’t find the right image or element to fit a certain piece of work e.g. when I’m working on an illustration job or making new gallery work. But it’s a rare occurrence as I have a fairly extensive collection of vintage publications and ephemera.

4. Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in the work of many other collage artists. But I also draw inspiration from the world around me and often from memories. Also I have somewhat of an obsession with retro nostalgia and so I often get inspiration from simple things like dynamic black and white images in vintage magazines, 60 & 70’s graphic elements and typography and also the fashion, cars and culture of these eras.

5. What are your favorite artists, designer or blogs.

Kurt Schwitters
Max Ernst
Hannah Hock
Richard Hamilton
Mario Wagner
Eduardo Recife
Brandon McLean
Robert Mars
Charles Wilkin

Biography of Kareem Rizk

Kareem Rizk is a Melbourne based Australian collage artist who graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor in Graphic Design. This course encouraged a rich influence of mixed media techniques within the field of graphic design, which has always been evident in his work.

Rizk’s initial ambition was to forge a career as a Graphic Designer. However, it was a short time after the completion of the university course that a more prominent interest in fine art became the focus of his endeavours.

Previous work includes a position as a Graphic Designer for Melbourne‘s No.1 selling newspaper, The Herald Sun, as well as freelance graphic design for various large and small clients.

Working mediums include collage, acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, solvent transfers and acrylic transfers. The work is highly textured and often multi-layered with a nostalgic and weathered quality. Rizk's works can often be vibrant with colour, while others display a very refined or minimal palette.

Rizk's working methods also extend to digital collage with a very gritty and realistic display of texture and layering. The digital work is very much an experimentation in blurring the line between handmade work and digital work.

Rizk's work has been published in numerous magazines and books including Art Review, Empty magazine, Trip magazine, Advanced Photoshop, Rojo magazine, Semi-Permanent Book 2007 & 2009, Computer Arts, Don’t Panic magazine and Desktop magazine.



Art Whino Gallery: ‘Trapped In Paradise’ - Solo Exhibition
National Harbor, Maryland, USA (May 1st - 31st)

Gallery KG5: ‘Cut & Paste’ - Group show
Stockholm, Sweden (September 17th - October 10th)



ROJO Artspace: ‘OCHO’ - International Group Exhibitions
Barcelona, Spain & Milan, Italy

Gallery 696: 2nd Birthday Group Show
Melbourne, Australia

Adidas Anniversary - Group show
In association with the Art Whino Gallery
Arlington, USA 


Art Whino Gallery: ‘Inked Souls’ - Group show
National Harbor, Maryland, USA

The Artery: Grand Opening - Group show
Sydney, Australia

The Shoplift Gallery: ‘What We Are’ - Group show
In association with The MacBeth Gallery
London, UK

Phone Booth Gallery: ‘Pulp Fiction’ - Solo exhibition
Los Angeles, USA

Gallery 696: ‘1st Birthday’ - Group show
Melbourne, Australia

Sydney Airport: ‘Wellbeing’ - Group show
In association with Australian Unity
Sydney, Australia

1 comment:

Eric McGrew said...

I like how these paintings are really minimal in their nature.