Interview With Tamara McGregor
With an innate flair for art, Netherlands based artist Tamara McGregor, is an artist that defines herself “constantly on the move”. Born in Georgia, Tamara gets in touch since an early age with different cultures and realities that shape her artistic aesthetic. Her first steps into the art world are under many forms such as paintings on canvas, sculptures and mosaics. Now, her works can be admired in private collection all around the world. While studying at Department of Monumental Painting, Tamara discovers a passion for scenography and begins to participate in a wide range of theatre performances. She challenges also her skills as poet and writes a script which wins the Debut Prize at the Foundation of American Film Artists’s Hartley-Merrill Prize competition. Tamara’s artistic path evolved and currently she is dwelling in digital composition of true innovation and imagination. Visual Atelier 8 was able to connect with Tamara McGregor in order to find out more about her artistic life.
You were born in Georgia, a place where Europe and Asia meet their different cultures in a perfect mix. How does your native country shaped your aesthetic and philosophy as an artist?
I left Georgia many years ago… My parents were very cosmopolitan individuals embracing and interested in various cultures from all over the world… I think this approach influenced me most of all… My mother was telling me a lot of things about Italy and its heritage, while my father was more captured by Japanese culture…I grew up in the surroundings of talented society like film director Sergei Parajanov and his friends. Certainly, such informative and influential childhood for me left its traces for the rest of my life and the result of this is my today’s art.
Alfred Hitchcock once said that ideas come from everywhere. What is your main source of inspiration?
Almost everything: my son, philosophy, mathematics, old movies, new things, history, music, science, people… Different things, different time.
Nowadays it is more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd and impress people. But, your unique pieces are a clear example of originality. It is necessary to think different to create something great?
I am not thinking to impress people, but thinking different is crucial for everything.
Your works are portraits of famous faces arranged in an exquisite combination of colors and design. With what criteria do you choose these faces? What kind of message does it carry for its viewers?
I am not focused on “Famous” people, it happened so, that since my childhood they have surrounded me. After all they are just PEOPLE.
Are you a storyteller who expresses himself through art or an artist who needs great stories for inspiration?
Definitely the storyteller.
Experimentation seems to be the core of your art, are your creations premeditated and planned before or improvised at the moment? How is the process like?
I love experimenting, who doesn’t experiment, can’t evolve or discover new things. Some of my creations are planned before, but mostly they are developed during the working process, to see where fantasy takes me.
Once you watched by chance a street performance of a puppet theatre. This short performance influenced your artistic destiny and confirmed your wish to go in for scenography. How this passion evolved?
Every day of my artistic life, and not only, I see it as a stage. Life is a performance, and we are players. Just trying not to be the puppets.
While talking about theatre you express an interesting concept about plurality of worlds. Would you be able to translate this concept in a painting? How would it look like?
Plurality of worlds is a fascinating subject. Same for the worlds inside the worlds. If I would transfer it to my work, it would be with a concept of "As above, so below."
What are your hobbies outside of your creative work?
Research, discovering new things.
Could you give us a hint about your next projects?
At this moment I have three open projects: "72 Demons", "Skulls", "Fashion Warriors", it is a working process. Everything can change tomorrow.
All images, courtesy of artist: Tamara McGregor