Please also visit my YouTube channel where you can find a video about the making of "Rise and shine":
I started to paint Wu Wei, the fourth painting in The Flow series, back in the spring of 2015. I interrupted my work several times, to work on other paintings, notably my new series of paper paintings. Just in line with the name of this art series, The Flow, I was listening attentively to my own inner voice, guiding me gently throughout this process, knowing exactly when to start again, when to step away and express myself in different paintings, and when to come back and continue.
Wu Wei is a term used in the Taoist religion, and its philosophy falls perfectly with the beautiful concept of flow. Since I began to create my first painting of the Flow series, "Wet Kiss", two and half years ago, I committed myself to being in the flow - this wonderful state of non-resistance, and acceptance of everything that life has to offer.
Wu Wei, "the action of non-action", is my invitation to explore, effortlessly, all the beauty and blessings that life has to offer to us if we stay open, gentle and accepting. Creating "Wu Wei" has been a labour of love, infused with a lot of positive energy.
Joy. Passion. Positivity. Deep reverence for life.
This is just a glimpse of the state and space that I am immersed into every time I create art. It’s an overwhelming land of magic, where creativity just flows, and descends on my canvas to reveal something that was previously invisible to the eye. And even though I am happy when I work alone (like most artists usually do), I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of sharing my creative energy with others.
The sharing of course happens naturally, when I splash my feelings out to the canvas, seal it with love, and show it to the world. For quite some time though, I’ve been nurturing the idea of sharing my values of art and creativity in a more engaging, active way, for example, by working together with other artists. I was ready to welcome new collaborations into my life, and they didn’t wait too long to come to existence.
I’ve already written about my encounter with Belgian philosopher Marcel Paquet, and the essay that he wrote (in French) about my art. Rather than something I would call an intentional collaboration, it was an ongoing exchange of mutual appreciation —my respect for Marcel’s philosophical and literary talent, his personal insights into the lives and professional paths of many great artists of the 20th century, and his love for my paintings — that resulted in an essay he wrote about my art (Le sensible et le visible: Introduction à l'œuvre de Foxi Von Riga)
Another recent partnership occurred just recently, through a joint exhibition with a fellow artist Ola-Dele Kuku, which will last until 28th of May in Brussels (61 rue des Bouchers, Brussels, Belgium).
Today I’m very happy to announce yet another beautiful joint project that I was part of earlier this week.
On Monday, May 4, I and Eric Ceccarini, a Belgian photographer whose work I fell in love with about two years ago at an art fair in Brussels, spent a day working together. Eric is creator of The Painters’ Project, in which he brings together talents and creative energies of several participants at once.
There’s a painter. There’s the photographer (Eric himself). And there’s a model.
Painters are faced with a medium that is very different from what they are used to working with. Forgetting their canvases, they surrender themselves to the powerful presence of a human body - moving, warm and alive. Eric chooses his models not only for the beauty and grace of their bodies, but also for the warmth of their souls. Some of the models appear in Eric’s photos over and over again, but the artists always change. By the time the project is over, Eric will have worked with 100 artists from all over the world.
Our day of working together last Monday was filmed by a Belgian TV channel RTBF, and will be shown in September 2015 as part of the C’est du Belge series. It felt as if the concept of The Painter’s project expanded even further on the day of our collaboration. There wasn’t just me, the models and Eric. There was also the TV crew who weren’t just there to film our collaboration. They became part of the creative process, making it particularly joyful, spontaneous and magical.
See more photos of the event: www.facebook.com/foxivonriga
Subscribe to my newsletter: http://is.gd/FoxiVonRigaEmailList
Check out Eric's site about The Painters' Project: http://www.thepaintersproject.com
Eric Ceccarini's solo exhibition (until 24.05.15) in Antwerp: http://www.leonhardsgallery.com
Check out previous episodes of C'est du Belge: http://www.rtbf.be/tv/emission/detail_c-est-du-belge?emissionId=56
On March 17, 2015 I had a chance to visit the TEFAF art fair with the ClubJV Privilège, which organises a series of cultural visits and events and is reserved to the subscribers to Juliette et Victor, which is a French-speaking arts and lifestyle magazine, published in Belgium.
There was an almost immediate connection and friendship established by many members of the group, once we boarded the bus. After all, we were all there united by one common interest — art. There were art collectors, art enthusiasts and artists, like myself.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the personnel of the fair and welcomed in the beautiful TEFAF lounge. Afterwards we formed small groups each with its own tour guide, and were led to explore the jewels of the beautiful art fair.
Our tour guide led us to see the installation called Night Fishing. Night Fishing presented artists previously not shown at the fair, such as the Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias and her polyester resin container with descending and ascending water, which to me evoked the tides and the eternal movement of our planet and life in general.
From our tour of the fair, two works of art stand out: a monumental painting by Anselm Kiefer, “Merkaba” (apparently the largest painting at Tefaf), and the captivating “Lailla”, painted in 1908 by Kees van Dongen.
When the tour was over, our group members were able to spend the afternoon discovering the fair at their own pace, breathing in the scent of fresh tulips, so characteristic of the TEFAF, and of course, admiring a fine selection of amazing works of art.
Juliette et Victor published my review (written in French) of the visit to TEFAF on its website.
Some of the encounters we have on our journey — even if they don’t last too long — can leave major impact on our lives. Call them serendipitous or magical— what makes them so distinct is probably the feeling you experience as a result. A feeling of being somehow connected to that person in a mysterious way, even before you met. A feeling of knowing that you are on the right path, and things are unfolding in beautifully unpredictable and surprising ways.
This is how I felt when I met Marcel Paquet, who was a philosopher and enthusiastic supporter of many great artists of our times. He was friends with René Magritte and Joan Miró, Bram Bogart and Alexander Calder, Corneille and Jean Dubuffet, Fernando Botero and Paul Delvaux. I feel privileged to have listened to Marcel’s stories, or “anecdotes”, how he used to call them, about his encounters with these and some other artists. Stories about the success of his Brussels-based art gallery that he used to have in the 80s, his visits to Joan Miró’s studio, and his friendship with Patrick Waldbergh, an art historian and writer about Surrealism, who, according to Marcel, played an important role in fueling his interest in art.
Today Marcel Paquet would be turning 68 years old.
For me, it’s the day when I want to honour this great friend and philosopher, and remember the short time during which I knew him.
Having first visited an art gallery that Marcel Paquet used to have in Biarritz, France, I then met him in person in May 2013, when he came to look at my paintings in my house near Brussels. During the year and a half that followed, we developed a tradition: whenever I sent him a photo of my recently finished painting, he would react with a text — managing to put into words the forces and feelings which had given birth to my art.
Today, I would like to share with you these beautiful words written by Marcel Paquet. I hope they can open up a whole new way of looking at art for you as well:
When I listened to Marcel’s stories about some of the great artists he knew personally — René Magritte, Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Calder, Andre Masson, Paul Delvaux, Fernando Botero, Sophia Vari, Bram Bogart, Corneille — I felt like I could magically access, almost touch several decades of the 20th century art.
During my farewell visit to see Marcel in Poznan in November 2014, two weeks before he passed away, I met his wife, artist Anna Wilczynska-Paquet, and had a rare privilege of asking him some questions about his encounters with some contemporary artists. What remains from my last visit is a recording of Marcel’s story about his interest in the arts, and how he met such artists as René Magritte and Joan Miró. I am planning to make this recording publicly available later this year.
Marcel also wrote an essay about my art, and several months later, another short text which relates his views on my progress as an artist. Both texts are available for publication by a French-speaking arts magazine, and I am currently looking for editors who would be interested to publish these texts.
If you are interested to learn more about Marcel Paquet and his work, please visit the links below:
Obituary by Editions de la Difference: http://www.ladifference.fr/LETTRE-DECEMBRE-2014-IN-MEMORIAM.html#lettre3467
This morning CreativeMornings Brussels, which is a local chapter of CreativeMornings, a large organization headquartered in New York City, hosted me as a speaker. The event took place at the arts center Beursschouwburg, and was attended by members of the Brussels creative community.
My speech was entitled "Color as a Metaphor for Life", and will be soon available as a video for all those who couldn't make it to the event.
Two very creative attendees of this event made visual notes of my speech. One of them is Ane San Miguel:
And here are visual notes made by illustrator Christopher Malapitan:
Thank you, Ana and Christopher!
I am happy to announce that CreativeMornings, a global breakfast lecture series for the creative community, will be hosting me on September 19 at the Beursschouwburg arts center in Brussels.
The title of my speech is Color as a Metaphor for Life. This event is part of the global lecture series about Color, taking place across 88 cities around the world in September 2014.
To learn more about the event and register, please visit the site of Creative Mornings:
The Flow is a new series of paintings by Foxi Von Riga, which symbolizes our deepest desires for freedom, spontaneity and intuition.
When we surround ourselves with structures and rules, we create an illusion of security whilst condemning ourselves to predictable outcomes in which our lust for life slowly collapses.
If, however, we tap into the natural stream of life, letting go of rigid ideas, we enter into a beautiful state of flow, which propels us from narrow rivers and stagnant ponds towards wide oceans of fulfilled dreams.