The artwork on this week’s cover by Belgium artist Joel Moens de Hase should be seen in person. His digital mosaic picture of a bikini is composed of tiny photographic images. While these images form an object that is clear at a distance, we do not recognize the individual pictures making up the bikini until we move closer. Also surprising are the images themselves, which create the complete mosaic: bikini-clad females. Considering possible themes, the effect is intriguing and provocative.
Where did you get the idea for this mosaic-digital-art technique?
My artwork is a result of a growing process and evolution. I started with abstract painting and was happy with it for some years. Then, slowly, I wanted something more original, contemporary and creative. So I thought of contemporary tools I could use. I decided to switch my paintbrush for my mouse and my canvas for my computers, digital camera and software. I am still working on these tools and researching the technique as well.
Can you be specific about your printing on contemporary medium?
I use plexi, Chromalux or pictures that are backlit with a full screen of LED. The rendering is boarding on the abstract.
What motivates you to select certain subjects?
From the start I’ve worked on the human body. Since the human body is praiseworthy I wanted to exalt and glorify it.
How about all the images of lingerie you use?
We are overwhelmed with pictures on the internet so I wanted to emphasize their presence. I have used 70,000 different pictures (compared with tubes of paint).
What’s the reaction from the public?
Everyone reacts to my work, 80 percent positively. That is for me a real success.
What’s your formal art training?
I had about three years artistic training so I could master the different traditional media (oil, acrylic, pencil, watercolor). My computer knowledge is self-taught. I am a firm believer that technology and science are our only hope to save the world from the major problems like pollution and climate change.
Besides technology, what are some of your aesthetic influences?
I do, of course, follow the art scene, especially digital, contemporary and conceptual art. However, I do not think that pure conceptual art that is not at all aesthetic in nature merits the attention it has today, but who am I to judge? The artist whom I have admired forever is Vasarely. He was in advance of his time with his optical art before even computers were available. Another artist who I love is Renaat Iweins for his sensual minimalist works.
Is anyone in your family an artist? What motivated you to become an artist?
My father and sister are part-time artists. What really motivated me is this recurrent need to be creative, to share and to express. I want to help others see and think out-of-the-box. Like most strong art, the suffering of artists gives life to art work. I have also put suffering in my art.
When you are not doing your art, what do you do?
I spent 20 years creating companies, especially 10 different companies in computer hardware, internet architecture, baby items and toys. For the last few years I’ve worked with architects in home construction.
Any advice for artists just getting started?
Be creative. Be yourself. Put your inner self into your work. Being an artist is not an easy choice but certainly one of the most rewarding because when someone buys your art, it is an act of love.
Works by Joel Moens de Hase can be seen in an exhibit at Monika Olka Gallery in Sag Harbor (95 Main Street) until August 1. Call 631-899-4740 or visit monikaolkogallery.com.