Interviewed by Aleksandras Rimdžius
In this article, Aleksandras Rimdžius is interviewing the anonymous artist, who recently released his controversial book The Dualism. The book is full of nudity, dark motives and interesting, sometimes even sad and nostalgic storytelling. We hope you are going to enjoy visuals and the interview!
Aleksandras Rimdžius. In the Victorian era, there was a tradition to display people with unconventional appearance for profit. Now these folks often voluntarily show off themselves to public. Is it because of their need to be fully accepted like “all normal people”?
Dualism Artist. I don’t know which nature are you talking about? Do you mean the Looks? If so, let’s be more specific here. In the Victorian era, ONLY classless poor helpless [people were] displayed for profit, not the ones from rich Aristocratic families. Nowadays I DON’T see people with unconventional looks like before in the Victorian era due to our plastic surgery industry!!!!!
What is normal and what is abnormal? How do these categories vary according to a social context ?
Good lord, there is a LONG answer for this, therefore, I’ll make it as short as possible, otherwise, people will just not want to finish this review. Besides, you are using the wrong terms, I think. You mean what is USUAL/Customary/General/familiar and UnUSUAL/UnCommon/Unorthodox.
The Usual and Common is affected culture, religion, media and politics. Everything else is the NORMAL things which is.. people who think for themselves. Sadly, they are considered weird for not being like sheep in a flock.
Tell us about philosophy of Your work. What advantages and disadvantages does it take being anonymous?
The Dualism, based on the view/concept that the world consists of two fundamental principles that co-exist together, they compliment each other like the yin and yang in Eastern culture, or they conflict in the western one, under this comes the duality between mind and body, mind and matter, moral duality and the conflict between good and evil. Furthermore, the definition of Dualism in art, psychology, philosophy, religions and all other aspects of life takes different forms.
“Some” of the things that the art work reflects are our dilemma due our dualities, the distance between how some people imagine life to be and how life it is, our desperate humanity and frailties due our self conflict and ambivalence.
Anonymity Advantages: Invisibility is empowering, it gives more ability to observe, blend in and shape yourself to any sort of person you want to be to be able to see what other people see and feel what they feel..
Also, Imagine that you go to an English social party and pretend that you don’t speak/understand English and give that naive stupid look in your eyes, as a result, people will feel free to say whatever they want about you or others LOUDLY because think think you don’t understand! That will allow you to know more than if they knew you understood what they are saying.
Another reason: I see on the news great artists, actors, musicians, politicians get humiliated and harshly criticised because of simple silly things that every one of us does every day. Only because they are known it is a big issue. For instance, there was here a big issue in all newspapers when Britney Spears almost dropped her baby while getting into the car, the media accused her of being unfit mother, and the child will fare wanted to investigate etc etc, but How many mothers in the world drop their babies every day?!
Bill Clinton gets a fellatio and the whole world gets crazy about it. Do you remember the humiliation he has gone through, But the world forgot how many married men do that every day. They criticised him but they did not criticised Hillary for having a face that looks like the wrong end of a dog! No wonder why the man slipped.
I feel Terribly sad for those people, therefore, being anonymous give the chance to have a FREE AVERAGE life. I can experience mistakes like everyone else and learn from them without affecting my art work, my art organisation and the people who work with me.
Disadvantage: The usual mundane pedestrian mentality of asking “who is the artist” when you present the art work to them, and they could ignore it just because of the word anonymous!
Being anonymous makes it difficult for the art to spread, people programmed to see a face and a name to associate everything thing with. But I make the most of what I have and look at the half full of the glass.
How did you start? Were You influenced by Bristol artist Banksy or guerilla art?
I don’t know if you mean about the start of being anonymous or the dualism so I’ll tell you about both.
The Dualism: before it was the dualism it was called The Contradictions!! You see, Life is an endless struggle, which makes it enjoyable, peace is in the struggle to find peace and so on, the human self conflict between heart and mind etc..
But eventually I have come to realise that The Contradictions does not fully describe how I think about things.. The word dualism does not necessarily means contradiction. It also means 2 of a thing.. 2 different things, but not necessarily opposites.
Being anonymous: I was not anonymous at first, I even had my picture on the website, but then, people’s demands, nagging, moaning, stupidity drove me up the wall!!! So I took myself away from all that. I had 2 people working with me, so I assembled more people into the dualism team to be responsible of all non-art related matters on my behalf under my supervision. So that I can have peace of mind, focus on art and not get hassled by anyone else.
Remember, You are bound to make people angry, even if you are nice! Being nice makes some people angry! So when me and my team are invisible, no one can be angry at us directly!
At last BUT NOT LEAST: It is NOT about me! It is about the art itself. This is what will remain after I die. An idea/thought/concept is over reaching and lasting.
In regards the Banksy part of your question: I am very disappointed that you asked that! Shame on you! I get people comparing my work to Joel Peter Witkin (which is real complement, this man is a genius), Diane Arbus, Caravaggio. But then I get the few numbered say Bansky!! You are so lucky this interview is by email otherwise I would have given you my Scary Stare. :)
I am inspire by classical art, Greek mythology, psychology, religions, psycho sexual and social matters and studies. And philosophy, literature, music and poetry.
One of the first photos by Dualism Artist
Don’t You think that while our life becomes comfort and safe we tend to consume the dark side more easily: ugliness, diabolical stuff, violence and so on?
Not necessarily, because: being poor, treated unfairly, oppressed COULD breed the same results exactly of being diabolical consumed with violence and all that. A point in the middle is good, I said earlier, peace is in the struggle to find peace.
At last, in regards this question: Two things should NEVER be given/taken to/from a human being at once.. Time and Money!
Damn, I should congratulate You with great news that Dualism Photography Book is available to purchase in Tate gallery. Do You feel that Your art is finally appreciated by professionals?
Thank You. the answer is NO!!! You see, I am grateful for that of course, but it is like a credit you put on your CV or a letter of recommendation. If my book did not go into the Tate, that does not mean my work is not appreciated. And trust me, those so-called professionals don’t know what they are talking about.
Let me tell you a fun sorry, when the book was published, I sent my junior assistant with the book to the Tate. After 3 weeks, they said they don’t want it and they did not like it!! Which is fine by me.. after one year.. they contacted me!!! One of those professionals at the Tate is FRENCH, and he has been a fan for long and he demanded that book to be displayed at the Tate.
You see, one of the difficulties I faced with the book is that I found, that English are conservative comparing to other European countries, such as Germany and France. The book was rejected at first because, and I quote, It was One of the kind, it did not fall under any category! Which works for and against us.
Some would say that dualism is about sacred and evil, beauty and ugliness. What would you answer to person, telling that he does not see any beauty aesthetics in Your photos?
Tut tut tut.. You should have seen the whole book before you ask that question. The book has aesthetic beautiful photos with a twist of sinister hidden agendas. See photos attached. And those beautiful shots contrast with the other type of photos. You see, not all the photos of the book are heavy emotionally, intellectually and visually, otherwise it would have been hard to go though the book and you’d vomit before the last page and/or slit your wrist. The photos varies and take you in circles up and down.
Besides, Aesthetic beauty is different from culture to culture and personal taste.
Tell us a bit about Your long censorship struggle with Facebook?
Oh dear, don’t go there. To make this short I would say, somehow it is not all Facebook fault, politics are involved. For instance, on Iphone dating application you cannot post semi-nude photo. It is an APPLE Policy.
But then.. when Beyonce or Lady Gaga realise very sexual suggestive video, it is okay… Politics = Hypocrisy.
Anyway, we will send them a KIND letter with a copy of the book to discuss few issue with them and let’s see, at least, what their reply will be.
How did You meet poet Steven Pottle? How did You both come up with a brilliant idea to agonize masturbation?
Me and my team came in contact with all the artists online. My team does the first communication to see if they are suitable or not, then they send them over to me.
How did we reach the “Underneath it all” video? When I met Steven the first time to interview him, I asked him a lot of questions about himself to start to build an idea of how the shoot will be. The look was decided from the first day in my head, but to reach that shoot we did many other shoots until he became completely free with me and the camera.
The shoot was the last shoot to do with him and as the make up artist putting the effects on him, the rest of the idea came to me and it was brilliant.
Art creates itself, we artists are just a transmitters.
I am fascinated by your communication with fans. They can send You pictures, suggest names for photos. Your models can also choose how they want to be photographed, is that right?
I owe it to the fans to have come this far. Me and the team enjoy interacting daily with the. it is really inspiring and get us out of the art bubble and we learn so much from them. The Dualism is nothing without the fans and we truly LOVE THEM.
The models CANNOT choose how they want to be photographed, otherwise they can do it themselves. We have modelling guidelines and terms, and if they agree with it then they are welcome to take part in the shoots. If the models are photographed the way they want, then the art work does not carry my personal touch and mentality at all.
I always invite everyone to model only if they agree with that guidelines which are: full nudity is included, no restrictions, confidence, ready to push the limits and think outside the box, co-operating, daring and passionate about arts and not afraid to try new things.
Filipino Sunny together with his friends look through his copy of Dualism photography
Are there any limits, have You ever refused to take a shoot for someone? Have You ever thought — man, it is just sick?
No… Nothing is sick really anymore… Even the queen defecates twice a day and wipes her own bottom!
What if somebody of our readers would like to have a personal shooting?
I used to do personal shoot many years ago, but NOT anymore. I haven’t done personal shoot for years. I hold the camera only when I am creating my own world. I instructed my team to never REJECT those inquiries, you know, people don’t like rejection and [being] told NO, so, my team give them an outrages humongous number/fee so they take their request back, but then it fired back and few people agreed, but then I instruct my team to tell them that I had to travel abroad to give few lectures abroad which is something I do a lot, teaching and giving consultations and lectures that is.
Finally, what is next? What is your future plans?
I am preparing for the dualism book Vol.II which will be much more profound than the first and really more complicated and the rest will create itself.
Thanks for your great answers!
Artistis webpage here.