Naomi Devil made her first debut with her photo-like monumental paintings on the international contemporary art scene at the age of 16.When she was 17 her works had already been shown in different galleries abroad and on international art fairs.
In times like this, when the whole world spins around internet, which follows by the hyper-fast transmission of information, and vanishing of the real “singulis”, I wonder in its excitingly flowing cascade to dig deep and find reality.
For my latest series nominated for Year In Review NY 2012 and Self Creative Competition NY 2012, I not only use conventional digital techniques but also as tool and inspiration a digital role playing game program called Second Life, and I focus on the question of different layers of our existence.
I have moved on to digital art, because while using Second Life and programming I can create such detailed and complex visual pictures, which I could not by hand or with using conventional / traditional techniques. I enjoy the complexity of the whole process, not less challenging than a painting. Also with placing different layers on top of each other, I can create new meanings, make the unseen visible and I can underline contrasts and dualities effectively that interest me. -such as: mortal-immortal, geometric-organic, natural-artificial, surface-inside, existing self- physically non-existing avatar, real “me” – social “me”, good - bad etc.
I’m interested in the human form, what the ego makes out of it, how people act during social interactions, what they show outwards, what are the hidden tensions or reality behind the social mask or an imaginary avatar created on the internet. What can depict a human being as a human being emotionally and formally, as an individual and as a social creature? I’m thinking all the time to understand all these things and visualize a personality in one picture. For this I created a puppet like iconic figure of my self, I took away everything that expresses personality so that I can give it back in a pure visual way, permuting, reinventing the outer human shell. Every detail, material, colour has its meaning and is in connection with the person and its history. Some of these images are self-portraits, showing different sides of my personality but they are also portraits of other people that I met and inspired me to picture the essence of their presence.
Each work has two side panels with iconic images. Originally I created them only for use in the central panels but I decided to present them separately so that they live their own life. They are imaginary geometrical forms that remind us of the beauty of nature and it´ s mortality. It also expresses the nature of human not only to change the own self but also the urge to change the evolution and the surrounding world.
I do not see these works as surrealistic. They are not about dreams or the subconscious, it is closer to the creativity technique called semantic intuition, only I` m not combining words to create new meanings but images.
The concept of my recent "cyber" paintings is not far from that of the digital works, after all the digital works were born form them. It all began as one night I recognized the puppets in store windows of shopping malls. I fell in love with the dramatic light, the contrast of the artificial light and the darkness. These idealized puppets for me stand for perfection, the ideal superhuman and through their clothes luxury. The light makes them something out of a sanctuary, the sanctuary of dreams, illusions. They stand for the unreachable and that is I find exiting about them.
The main difference is that these personalized puppet figures are put in a space, they interact with each other and I give a form to their interactions, joys, power games or their solitude, struggles and distance from each other . It is not only about the human nature but contemporary life.
Over the time I have moved to a more open ended picturing. I` m leaving more to the audience for imagination and I `m avoiding being didactic. I `m also taking care that while I `m painting of something contemporary , not just phenomena but happenings, I do not become the late newsboy. I think it is very important to give a view of a certain thing my way, not just depict it the way it is but alter it the way that it becomes a bit absurd, ironic, something that confuses and leaves the viewer wondering. I want my paintings to have a certain Bosch painting quality: , it challenges the western brain that has become too rational , we do not understand it at first sight, but as we look at it long enough it becomes clear that it is about the human nature. Bosch depicted desires, dreams, temptations in a very reduced way: a red round fruit. I do it the opposite way, our society offers all kinds of joys and dreams to reach, I enlarge them, alter them, invent new ones, create imaginary spaces for them. I fit the dreamlike space to my figures, just as artificial and darkly glamorous(chrome , glass, dramatic light). I often use the elevator in my spaces, I see them as something that takes us to a higher level where we are longing.
Looking at my whole career one can see that my interest was the same but it developed much. At the beginning my "Sells like teens spirit" series documents contemporary lifestyle and self expression though clothing and gestures. While this series stay at the surface and shine of things my self-portrait series "Deep blue se(a)lf" that was nominated for The power of Self Competition NY is the first that digs deeper and leads to my recent work.