Swiss Artist Talk is a written interview series conducted by the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York (CG) featuring current Swiss artists-in-residence living in New York.
For the inaugural interview of Swiss Artist Talk we are pleased to introduce Swiss Visual Artist Filip Haag. He received a grant from City of Berne and is staying in New York from February to July, 2016 at the Red House in the East Village.
In paintings, drawings, sculpture and video, Haag's working process incorporates the mechanism of chance, using photo-chemical processes or experimenting with pigments and paint.
Filip Haag, born in 1961 in Bern, Switzerland, lives and works in his hometown.
CG: What are you working on right now?
FH: I started drawing immediately after arriving. I felt very much inspired and I worked in different techniques and did experiments. And I had to make 4 big drawings for 2 shows – in a Swiss museum and in Bushwick gallery Lorimoto, so I did them.
As well, I started sculpting wax and looking for a foundry to produce some bronze sculptures during my stay in NYC. I started to work with (recommended by the great Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen) the New York Art Foundry. After some problems at the beginning, they did a good job and I am going on with them for the next sculptures.
You can check out the video about the formation process of the bronze sculpture or read more about it on my blog.
Now, after 2 months, and as I have the chance to work in a room with enough space to develop different things, I also started to do oil painting.
CG: Can we see a picture of your current workspace?
Haag’s Studio. Redhouse, East Village
CG: What work of yours are you most proud of?
FH: I am proud of all the works which I could finish in moments of losing control - which enables the works to go their own way somehow.
CG: What inspires you the most?
FH: I love watching all these faces, spread from all the world regions and cultures in this huge city – the Capital of the world - and still being in groups and tribes, belonging together, forming villages in this big multi-ethnical shape. I like to know about people leading their individual lives in a fast and modern society and still keeping their brains for their origins, their behaviors. I like the shapes of architecture, the sometimes clear and merciless lights and the huge dimensions of the shadows which unify all individuals to one form.
CG: How is New York influencing your work?
FH: It is too early to see that effect. I feel free to do whatever interests and attracts me, this is an effect of living here without the daily routine I was (and probably shall again be) living in. So in the future I shall realize which memory will be lost again and which ones will stay.
CG: What is your favorite place in New York?
FH: My studio – and my bed, in which I often stay for hours in the morning, being inspired and writing on my blog.
And then all the streets and spots, where I walk and discover all these small and big moments and events. Sometimes I can even catch them with my camera and publish these details of mankind on my blog, accompanied by some words written in early mornings.
CG: What are you hoping to gain from your stay here in New York that you can take with you back to Switzerland?
FH: The people and friendships I have found and find in NYC.
CG: Where can people see more of your work?
FH: On my website filiphaag.ch, during visits in my East Village studio - I usually like visits and talks or in my next show “ + & - Plus & Minus” at Lorimoto Gallery, 16-32 Hancock, Ridgewood/Bushwick NYC. Opening reception will take place April 9, 6pm – 9pm and the exhibition will run through May 8, 2016.
CG: Anything else you would like to add?
FH: If you have any questions, please ask: email@example.com
We’d like to give a special thanks to Filip for taking the time to answer our questions. This is the first interview in a series of interviews with the artists in residence. Follow the hashtag #SwissArtNYC on twitter and Instagram for more Swiss art in NYC!