Artist Interview: Gemma Holzer

June 25, 2020

I was born in Mill Valley, California in 1996 to a Dutch mother and an American father. I spent my early years in California, and later in the Netherlands, until I moved to London in 2015 at the age of 19 to study art. I attained a foundation diploma at the Art Academy, and a first-class bachelors degree in Fine Art from City & Guilds of London. Within my academic curriculum I specialized in painting and portrait photography. I am currently based in Hackney where I have my own studio practice.

To me art is the embodiment of expression and communication. Art is an extension of the person who creates it; it offers a glimpse into their soul and mind. You get to see how the artist views the world. Art can be joyful, melancholic, shocking, thoughtful, bizarre, and many other things. To me the most important thing is that it makes you feel something.

My work aims to reflect upon childhood and the following emergence into adult life in a post digital age. My paintings are how I make sense of the world around me. They are autobiographical, yet they simultaneously tell a universal story. With my art I wish to transport the viewer into a digital realm comprised of imaginary characters and childlike imagery. These make-believe worlds tell a story concerning interpersonal relationships, loneliness, and reality.

My current body of work comments on the digital sphere, and how we exist in and out of it.
I am specifically interested in the reality of interpersonal connection in contemporary life. Within my art I look at the human experience. I am intrigued by the concepts of loneliness and togetherness; the distance between people; both physically and emotionally.
Still we are always connected through the internet where communication is instantaneous.

My upcoming body of work will explore the universal experience of isolation that has defined the period of lockdown. The theme of separation has always been implicit within my work, but through this heightened experience it has come to the forefront. The pandemic has created a common experience of loneliness, which is what I aim to explore through my art.

My biggest influences are Charles M Schultz, Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami, Jon Rafman, Friedrich Kunath, Emily Mae Smith, and Bridget Riley.

Aside from the above artists, I would like to be compared to Super Future Kid, So Youn Lee, and Philip Gerald.

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