Mark Khaisman creates his Infamous Works by Applying Layers of Translucent Packing Tape onto Clear Plexiglas Panels
Ukrainian installation artist Mark Khaisman creates his infamous works by applying layers of translucent packing tape onto clear Plexiglas panels. His subjects are often borrowed from art history, old movies, 20th century propaganda art, and his own photographs. He even took a 20 year break from art ‘ only to return at an ageless 45 with a vengeance! Here are some of his awards: D&AD Awards 2009 Winner ( in Illustration ), NYF 2009 Print Bronze ( CLIO Awards 2009 Print Bronze, RED DOT DESIGN AWARD 2008 Best of the Best, EPICA Awards 2008 Press & Poster Silver ), CANNES LIONS ( 2008 Design Silver, CFEVA Fellowship 2006 ‘ 2007, International Animation Film Festival 1988 Best Art Director Prize, Paris, France, OISTT competition ”The Tour Theatre” 1986 Second Prize, Stockholm, Sweden ), UNESCO ”Rehabilitation of a Decayed Urban Environment” ( 1982 Third Prize, Poland World Architectural Biennale ”The New Urban Space” 1980 Second Prize, Bulgaria ).
Impressed? We are.
Now based in Philadelphia (where he also worked as a stained glass designer and architect), Mark Khaisman is a colourful character with a totally unique approach to creativity. Creative Mapping caught up with him to chat about inspirations and artistic processes.
“My works are always images of images. They’re about recognition: recognition of a tactile sensation of the material I use, recognition of an image, recognition of a memory. They’re very much play-it-again; it is the very essence of my work. I don’t do sketches, my works are tape sketches in a way.” Mark Khaisman
ABOUT MARK KHAISMAN
CM: Where do you live – and what did you study?
I live in Philadelphia – and studied at Moscow Architectural Institute (now State academy of Architecture).
CM: Your creative medium?
I do fine art.
CM: How did you become a professional creative, who are your clients and finally how do you market yourself?
I started to be involved with fine art from my college years. Usually my clients are art collectors or art institutions. I don’t market myself – I work with galleries.
CM: Preferred working programs/tools/materials?
Packing tape, blade, clear plexiglass, light.
CM: What is your process; from inspiration to development to the execution of your product?
My process is:
1. Finding the right image. I always have a plan. I go by motivation: I conceive an idea and live with it, and if, in a while, it still feels right to me, I start looking for images. I use movie stills, my own photographs, images from books, images from internet. My works are always images of images. They’re about recognition: recognition of a tactile sensation of the material I use, recognition of an image, recognition of a memory. They’re very much play-it-again; it is the very essence of my work. I don’t do sketches, my works are tape sketches in a way.
2. Execution in tape. I apply a stripe of brown translucent tape on a clear backlit acrylic panel, and if I don’t like it, peel it off. If I peel off less frequently than apply, a chance is that an image emerges. The whole process is reminiscent to the red room photo development in the pre-digital era in a way, as my hands do the job, and my mind is witnessing the appearance of the image, then the only concern becomes to not under – or overdevelop it.
CM: When do you know your project is finished and are you ever truly satisfied with the end product?
I work till I am satisfied, if I’m not satisfied, I destroy the work. The work is finished when I no longer want to work on it. I feel that work is completed when I no longer understand how it’s done, when it doesn’t feels that it is my work, when it feels as if it has a life of its own.
CM: What are you most proud of to-date?
I came back to fine art when I was about 45, after almost 20 years intermission for various reasons, and was still able to get somewhere. I guess it’s an achievement in today’s world.
CM: Your biggest challenges as a creative (blocks, loneliness etc…) and how you deal with it?
I deal with it by not seeing my art activity as meaningful to begin with. I do art because I like to do it, to feel good and to make a few bucks at the end. When I’m working, the biggest challenge is for me to free my mind from everything, except for what I am doing at that moment. When I’m finished working, I also like to free myself from what I’ve done.
CM: Best place to escape?
1. In a swimming pool.
2. On the couch with good wine, good dinner and good movie.
CM: What inspires you creatively the most in your city?
Philadelphia is a nice place, but I don’t find inspiration from reality. It might have something to do with my Soviet upbringing. I was growing up without expectation to see much outside of the Iron Curtain; probably this is when imaginary replaced reality. I’m after an Imaginary City.
Images © Copyright: Mark Khaisman. All rights reserved 2014.