Michael Wallner Interview
How long have you been making art?
For as long as I can remember. I have always loved creating things, even from an early age. I still have my first real painting on my wall (aged 6) – a picture of a football match, where the players’ boots are longer than their legs!
What genre best describes what you do?
I’ve been told it is mixed media art – photographs which are digitally manipulated into abstract art, and then transferred onto a variety of different surfaces, including canvas, silver paper, acrylic, aluminium, even neon.
How has your artwork evolved since you began?
It is evolving at a rapid rate at the moment, as I discover new materials to print on and new ways of expressing ideas. In the beginning I took more traditional landscape images. These days my work has a more minimalist and less photographic style, but is much more ambitious.
My latest work celebrates the beauty of London, in particular the abstract shapes and outlines that define the landmarks and character of the greatest city in the world.
Recent work includes pieces on brushed aluminium (one of which will shown at the NAF), a neon installation of Battersea Power Station, a London skyline in which the outlines of the buildings appear to change colour as you walk across the image, and a giant jigsaw of the London boroughs, with each borough laser cut from different coloured acrylic pieces. My largest piece to date is a 6ft acrylic interpretation of the Thames, with programmed l.e.d lights, giving the illusion of a moving river.
Is there a medium or technique that you have yet to try but would like to?
Oh yes. Future art work will feature sound triggered by motion sensors. Watch this space…
What would your ideal solo exhibition be like and where would it be held?
I would like it to be in a huge warehouse style building – as high up over London as possible, so visitors would be able to see all the magnificent buildings and views that have inspired the art they see on the walls.
6.What do you like the most about the art world?
It encourages us to observe life more intimately, and to see the beauty and minute details in the world around us. It encourages us to try new things, and explore new boundaries.
If you could change anything about the London art scene, what would it be?
To make it less snobbish, less serious and more open to everyone. Many people are put off art because they are made to feel that it's beyond them or they won’t understand it. The art scene should do more to break down the snobbery and show people there is something for everyone to appreciate.
Who or what inspires you to make art?
London, especially the outlines and shapes of its skylines. Also the creativity of the other artists in the Wimbledon Art Studios, where I now work. Being around them inspires me to create more original art, and improve my techniques. I hope!
Where did you sell your first painting and how did it feel?
It was many years ago and resulted from an exhibition in a local gym. I remember feeling elated, but also a bit shocked that someone I didn’t know wanted my art on their walls!
What are your plans for the New Artist Fair in March?
I’ll be showing some of my favourite London art on a several different surfaces to illustrate the variety in my work, including pieces on silver paper, canvas, aluminium and acrylic. This is my first time at the New Artist Fair – the first of many I hope. It can be hard to get your work seen in London so I’m grateful for the opportunity to show my art.
You can see examples of my new work on my ‘Michael Wallner Photography’ Facebook page:
and on my website: