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Aesthetic Magazine


Una Burke Interview


What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer? 

I like being able to follow my own vision, creating the things that I imagine, crazy as some of them may seem.  In making them I am allowing myself to push the boundaries.  I can use the skills of leatherworking skills in a way that it has not really been used before, it’s a lot of fun to see what I can come up with.  I also love being able to travel a lot because of my work,  I’m heading to Dubai next week and over the past 3 years  I have been to New York,  Paris,  Singapore, Rome, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Istanbul among others.  I get to meet such interesting people and have gotten to experience incredible creative explosions of energy in doing some of my collaborative projects

How would you describe your personal style?

Utilitarian rock chic with layering and draping

Where do you find the inspiration?

My leather often leads the way in the construction of my pieces and I am very much inspired by people, I love analysing human nature, researching into psychology and sociology figuring out the human mind.  I love the strength and construction and durability of military memorabilia and old craft tools and machinery get my blood pumping! I guess again these come back to the human connection and stories that these old tools and machines and military items could tell.


What is your dream project?

I’ve had an idea for a city sculpture for some time and I’ve also been thinking lately that I’d like to collaborate with an architect to create a building using some of my construction techniques. I tend to think big !

What are your plans for the future?

Hopefully the above! But also,  I plan to do lots more collaborative projects,  a few nice ones are already in progress with some big companies, watch this space, and I will probably begin working with factories to develop a diffusion line quite soon.




Could your describe your creative process? 

I begin with a carpet picnic of ideas. There are sketches, magazine cuttings, and lots of objects collected over time for their interesting surface or colour.  I sit on the floor and match up different shapes and textures that go on to inform my designs.  It’s very instinctive and hands on, the digital side comes in later when we realise the final prototypes.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m inspired by material, it’s handle, and the way it changes when you combine it with other materials. Visually, I like geometric shapes, so a lot of my designs come from maths, architecture and sci-fi films.

All our projects also take influence from each other; the jewellery collection began life as mini lighting maquettes, and the lighting originally grew out of a set of mixed media fashion fabrics.


Tell me about your own favorite project? 

Oooh where to start! I love collaborating with designers from other disciplines because I think it brings about the most exciting results.  On the fashion side, I had a lot of fun working with Liam Fahy on our shoe collaboration, and it’s always special to see my work on the runway, like my project with David Koma.

Do you ask yourself something in particular when starting a new project?

No. I clear my brain, pour a glass of wine and think about how best to have fun with my new brief.  What fantastical thing could I create?  I find the limitlessness of possibility very exciting at this stage. Refinement and the commercial aspects of meeting a brief come much further down the line, you have to begin with raw, ambitious ideas if you’re going to come up with something outstanding.


How do you stay on top of current design trends?

I love working with unconventional materials and processes but my team are forbidden from reading trend reports – we set trends.

Who are some of your designer heroes?

Foremost, my first ever commission was for Hussein Chalayan. I’ve always admired his ability to fuse technology, meticulous pattern cutting and fashion seamlessly. His moving pieces are beautiful, integral and surreal – not just a gimmick. It’s truly contemporary fashion design.

I wish I had designed Thomas Heatherwick’s Rolling Bridge and Jason Bruges Studio’s Panda Eyes installation.



How did you come up with this particular technique and what led you to it?

I fell in love with collage in April of 2012, when I first saw that
new pop style on tumblr. Then, it kind of went on from there, little
by little.
For some of the artworks, I feel like there’s some divine
intervention. For others, not so much.

Were you interested since the beginning in this specific type of art or have you started loving others forms of art before it?

I was doing filmmaking before hand. I didn’t like collage at all prior
to 2012. Before around 2011, the collage world was full of experimental, dada-style artworks, which were not very popular with anybody really. Then, this new style came around, and the collage medium exploded. I’d say the era from 2012 to 2015 is the golden age of collage. But it is going down, like everything else. Interest for this style has already been diminished in the last few months.


Which are your favorites artists, if you have any?

David Delruelle, Cur3es, Mariano Peccinetti, Sarah Eisenlohr, Magritte, Picasso.


Is there anything particular you want to communicate with your creations? What are the main themes from which you get inspiration?

It used to be political messages. Then it was societal things. These days it’s mostly spiritual things. Sometimes it’s all of them together, sometimes it’s just pure aesthetics without any deeper meaning.


LEV KHESIN Interview


How and when did you find the inspiration to be an artist?

I grew up in an artistic family: both of my parents are icon painters and my sister is an illustrator. My father’s mother and my mother’s father were artists too. Most of my parents’ friends are artists, and so on. There were tons of art books and magazines around the house. Last but not least, important was my other grandfather’s influence, who was a main engineer of the diesel plant in Penza, my city of birth in Russia. I was more into reading about tech stuff rather than Art. As a teenager I dreamed of becoming an aircraft construction engineer. When I think about it now, I see why my current creative process is a mixture of painters traditional approach and engineers technical approach.
I use a lot of materials and tools that are rather “industrial”. I cannot even remember when was the last time I bought something from an artist supply store for my work.


What is your creative process like?

The investigative trial-and-error process is also important, mixing all possible materials, pigments, tools, and surfaces without knowing in advance what the final result will look like.


Did your style changed over the years?

I’ve began to develop the technique of painting with silicone years ago. I was intrigued and fascinated by the number of different approaches and possibilities it offers. I continuously test new ideas, but from time to time I also pick up some technical or visual approaches from years ago because I think it’s something worth to be developed further. In most cases, it takes me several months or even years to complete one painting (for instance, I just finished a painting started in 2006!), and so I work on several pieces simultaneously. Therefore, it’s hard to talk about one particular strait vector along which my work is heading. It’s more kind of a spiral rather than a line.
Then there are my other projects – a series of drawings from 2006-2012 made by an electric drawing machine I constructed from toys ( and a continuing series of photographs that deals with light refraction and reflection in water. Currently, I’m developing a video installation for technically manipulated LCD screens that deals with the light and its interaction with the solid, mundane matter, much like the photo series and, of course, my transparent silicone paintings.


Which are the artists that inspired you most?

There are many artists whose work I highly appreciate, like Turner, Klein, Fischli & Weiss to name a few. Yet my inspiration doesn’t mainly come from visual artists, but rather from nature, industry and also music. Right now I’m very much into Miles Davis and his “Bitches Brew” album. Davis once described the recording process:

“What we did on Bitches Brew you couldn’t ever write down for an orchestra to play. That’s why I didn’t write it all out, not because I didn’t know what I wanted; I knew that what I wanted would come out of a process and not some prearranged shit.”

This could be a short description of my attitude, too.

What are you trying to communicate through your art? Is there a special meaning?

I’ve already mentioned my technique that includes silicone paint and a number of different industrial or self-made tools in different variations. As for the color, for me it’s a kind of an alternative language. More than that, it’s an opposition to the language as a system of definitions. It’s an opposition to the logical mind, which prefers line to color. My goal is to tell “stories” with colors, light, and shapes; something that can be read but cannot be verbalized.

Where will your next exhibitions are going to be?

The next one is a two artist show with Janina Roider called DIS:COVER at Kunstraum Van Treeck, Munich, organized by Smudajescheck Gallery. For 2016, two solo shows are planned: one in Hamburg (Evelyn Drewes | Galerie) and one in Milan (Project B Gallery).