Artist of the Month: Imam Azhari

 

Imam Azhari was born in Indonesia and is a Toronto based artist. As both a modern and traditional artist, Imam focus in Trompe L’oeil Art and uses oil medium with a traditional and modern technique to create deep effects in his art works. His ideas come from personal experiences combined with a historical viewpoint of symbolic objects.

 

1.       In your LaVaLab profile, you say that you work as a full time painter and at a hotel during the day. Many artists have to wear multiple hats but it’s not always easy balancing both worlds and focusing on moving your art practice forward. Can you share some tips for prioritizing your artwork while also working a day job?

I am very lucky to have grown up in a military family where I learned to be disciplined, balanced, and focused in multiple activities.  The opportunity of becoming a full-time artist while working my "day job" at the hotel requires a positive outlook that each day gets me closer to my dream of being only a full-time artist. For example: I learn how to communicate with many people while working at the hotel.  This experience helps to give me confidence in explaining the process of my art to an audience. Since I have opened my Studio as a Learning Centre, this experience enables me to pursue teaching through communication with many students from different backgrounds and different ages (from 7 years old to adults).

"Always think of the day job as an investment towards the art career in the future."

 

2.       Can you elaborate on Trompe L’oeil Art? What is it about this technique that you love?

"Trompe L'Oeil" is a French expression, literally: "to fool the eye", or "illusion."

I love the "illusion" technique because I am not only using a defined process, but also creating art that convinces the audience that they are seeing my artworks in three dimensions (3D illusion).

 

Image: Imam Azhari "Curious," Oil on steel, 16" X 20", 2015 

 

3.       It’s interesting that you consider yourself both a modern and traditional artist. What elements in your work do you consider modern and which are traditional? Why do they work well together?

The traditional elements are my skills, learned from the ancient Italian Renaissance painters. The modern elements are the media I may choose, such as metal rather than canvas, and contemporary objects. In my opinion, these two elements create a new genre of modern trompe l'oeil art.

 

4.       Who are your mentors? Has anyone in particular guided you through your process and professional art practice as a whole?

I do not have a mentor. I am chiefly self-taught and continue to develop through experience.

 

5.       What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Any single process or experience in your life can contribute to becoming an artist.  Always face the challenges because solving the challenge is an opportunity to grow as a better artist.

 

6.       How can we learn more and keep up with your latest work?

I have taken the opportunity to open up my Studio to teach, consult and advise any person eager to learn modern trompe l'oeil painting. Please refer to my website which will have information on workshops, classes and tutorials: www.myspaceartstudio.com.

 

See Imam Azhari’s LaVaLab profile at http://lavalab.ca/artist/71


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