What is your artistic singularity?
Light and vision have been important themes running through my work for almost two decades. I push my paintings to the limits of visibility in order to get people to see something in a whole new way. For instance, I made a series of white on white paintings that would appear under ultraviolet lights. Later, I made black paintings with reflective surfaces that can only be seen as you move back and forth in front of them. Now, I am making very detailed paintings of people and landscapes then burying them in collage and thick paint strokes. You have to dig through them with your eyes to find what is beneath. All of this requires time and engagement from my viewers. These are not quick reads.
Your work is highly explorative and you use different materials, styles and techniques for it – which techniques, styles and materials would you like to work with in the future? Which challenged you the most?
I have used airbrush as one of my primary mediums for many years. It’s very smooth and blended. I can make a painting look like a photograph with it, but lately I have been exploring texture and making my work more expressive and painterly. It’s a great deal of fun smearing around a liter of texture paste on a canvas! The challenge with this comes from finding a balance between what I show and what I cover up- between abstraction and representation. Sometimes I have to sacrifice a part that I love in order to make the whole painting better. As far as new materials, I am starting to bury real gems and crystals in my paintings so there are some real hidden treasures to look for. Right now in my studio I have a variety of quartzes, amethysts, bismuth, and even a piece of a meteorite.
In your series “The Age of Exploration” you present famous explorers – can you tell us a bit more about how you came up with the idea, how selected the explorers and how you worked on the series?
The explorers are a metaphor for taking risks and stepping into the unknown. The series came about when I was doing those things in my own life, but they are also a metaphor for art in general. Being an artist is inherently risky on some level. Also as an artist I find it is important not to get stuck in one method or way of thinking just because it is comfortable. It is important to try new things and forge new ideas. Many of the paintings in this series involve some new medium or technique that I have never tried before. Also, in the act of covering up the explorers with collage and paint, I risk destroying the painting entirely.
How would you describe the development and trends of the recent artistic scene in LA? Which artists do you admire?
There are a lot of artists living in LA, even more than NY! It feels like everything is happening here all at once, but there is always a strong attention towards color, beauty, and craftsmanship. With the aerospace industry nearby inventing new plastics, the glitz of Hollywood, the open space, the golden light, easy access to nature, and the car culture, it’s no accident that The Light & Space and Fetish Finish movements started here. I think their spirit continues among the younger generations. Artists like James Turrell have definitely been a big influence on me, as have the Las Vegas School such as Jane Callister, Philip Argent, and James Gobel.
What have been the highlights of your artistic career?
I never imagined that being an artist would allow me to travel so much. I’ve gotten to do shows in Berlin, Sydney, Tokyo, London, Buenos Aires, and many other wonderful places. These places have increasingly become part of my artwork as I bring back souvenirs that often find their way into my paintings and sculptures.
Roni Feldman on Singulart: https://www.singulart.com/en/artist/roni-feldman-179
The artist’s website: http://www.ronifeldmanfineart.com/