When we first began exploring artists outside of the major metropolitan areas of the lower 48, we never expected some of our most famous pieces to come out of Milwaukee Wisconsin. Sure enough, artist Sandra Boskamp captivated our attention with her delightfully enigmatic creativity. From the intensely cerebral pieces like coalesce, to the whimsy of pieces like Lisa, Sandra is on the cutting edge of modern art in America.
Born in the Netherlands, and raised in the states, Boskamp began conquering the mini-metropolis of Milwaukee on her own as a teenager. Boskamp has enjoyed watching the local art scene develop into a relatively competitive, yet budding scene over the years.
While we certainly embrace the importance of the local art scenes here in America and across the world, it’s instances like this that make us hopeful with greater exposure, brilliant artists like Boskamp will soon be a household name across the global modern art world.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more updates on this amazing young lady right here on articentric.com. We’ll no doubt continue to spotlight her new works, and keep our readers updated on her upcoming exhibits. But now, without further adieu, we’d like to introduce you to this brilliant artist…
Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Sandra Boskamp…
Articentric: Thank you for taking the time to let us meet you Sandra. If you would, talk a little bit about how you came to realize your talent, and how you decided to make it your profession.
Sandra Boskamp: I’ve always enjoyed the process of creation, always been a sort of fidgeter, working with my hands constantly. I’d make my own origami dolls when I was younger and draw figures onto Jenga blocks. I still find myself doing this repeatedly today. I’ll go out to the bar and have a drink but will find myself tearing up my napkin into some sort of animal or odd contraption. So I guess I’ve always realized that I wanted to do something in the art field.
Articentric: Are you from the Milwaukee Area? How would you describe the Art community in Milwaukee?
Boskamp: I was born in Eindhoven in the Netherlands but moved to Wisconsin at a very young age. I moved into my own Milwaukee pad at seventeen and have been here since. The art community here used to be very minimal and I would say it’s still quite competitive, but you can say that about many places. Fortunately, over the last couple years I have seen the art community grow and I like to involve myself in that. Milwaukee isn’t that large so you get to know everyone in the city and then sooner or later everyone starts to work on projects together. The Riverwest neighborhood in particular is all about the music and arts scene. Pubs such as Artbar invite the community to partake in their shows, the Public House has drink and draw Wednesdays, and Artwalk takes place every year which is a self guided tour through the many different art studios around the neighborhood.
Articentric: Regarding your process, do you have a specific method you follow? Do you think about what you are going to paint, or do you just let the inspiration flow? Talk a bit too about how your style has developed over the years? Your piece “coalesce” is very intriguing, and one of my favorites, can you talk a bit about that piece and how it came to be?
Boskamp: I do follow a sort of process for my work. The ongoing series that I’ve been working on (which includes the piece Coalesce) deal with people and their surroundings. I get to know a person, about their past, their likes/dislikes, etc and match their face with an architectural background that I think is appropriate. Then I jump behind the computer and print out copies and copies of the same two photographs (the portrait and architectural structure). The collaging process comes next; I grab my x-acto blade and ruler and start cutting out geometric shapes and layer multiples of the same photographs to get the puzzle-like visual that I strive for. After making numerous collages I decide which image best portrays the individual and use that as my basis for painting. I’ve always been interested in portraiture and mixing hard and soft edges, blending abstract with realism. This really began to take a role in my artwork during the last few years of my attendance at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. I remember being told by an instructor that my work was all over the board, which was true. I got bored easily, also wanted to explore with different mediums and styles and hated sticking to one effect but eventually I realized that I just hadn’t found the style that I wanted to continue to repeat. Coalesce was the third piece that I did in this style: it’s draw on four panels with charcoal and the idea was to make it interchangeable so the viewer can switch each panel, interact with the work, and create their own abstract outcome.
Articentric: You have quite the roster of exibitions/shows. Talk about some experiences you’ve had with your shows, what excites you the most, what are some interesting experiences you’ve had?
Boskamp: There’s one show in particular that I always enjoy doing: the Pancakes and Booze Art Show. It’s an underground show and I find the most genuine art folk and buyers at these exhibitions. It’s shows like these where I can really get to know my viewer, interact with them, and since its yearly I get to see them again, thus building relationships. You don’t really get that in the white walled gallery scene and I think it’s really special.
Articentric: Can you recall and would you talk about your most recent burst of inspiration? Did it come at an unusual place or time? Do you ever put yourself in a particular situation/environment to try and attract ideas or inspiration?
Boskamp: Inspiration is always in a state of flux for me. I have to constantly be doing things that I feel will spark some sort of creative burst. I tend to go on a lot of walks, place myself in new surroundings. I also try to attend as many art shows and concerts as I can. My last burst of inspiration must have occurred during one of these ventures.
Articentric: What do you hope that the audience takes away from their time spent viewing your art? What made you smile at your last exhibit?
Boskamp: I hope viewers realize the time, effort, and energy that goes into my work but not just mine, others as well. It’s a difficult field to get into and obtaining an audience in the first place is hard work. In other words, I would like my audience to notice the passion that goes into a lot of fine art and continue to support. At my last exhibit, which was the Pancakes and Booze Art Show that I mentioned previously, I was delighted seeing the amount of artists that participated and how many people came out to support them.
Articentric: Is there one artist/creative talent present or past, that you would love to spend a day with in their studio? Who and Why?
Boskamp: If I had to choose one it would be Francesca Woodman. I’ve always been fascinated with her black and white photography and the intimate feeling an individual gets when viewing the work. I want to know more about her process and her intentions for her audience.
Articentric: What is the best way to follow along with your career and find out where you will be exhibiting next (Website, Facebook, etc.)