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Underneath the Artistic Layers of Aristo Vopĕnka

Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space where creatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is...Aristo Vopĕnka.

Aristo is an expressionism (transdisciplinary) artist from the Netherlands, currently based in Brussels, Belgium. His artistic practice encompasses a diverse range of mediums, with a special focus on installations that incorporate digital elements, consistently pushing the boundaries of modern tools. Vopĕnka's artistic journey began at a young age when he discovered the power of photography as a means of creative expression. This passion was further reinforced during high school, where he produced an award-winning short film that solidified his dedication to the arts. Since then, he has explored various artistic forms and drawn inspiration from different styles and cultures, constantly seeking innovative ways to convey his unique perspective. This pursuit of self-discovery ultimately led him to pursue a master's degree in art from LUCA | school of arts, and to co-found DURVYN, a company that merges art, architecture, and lifestyle to create immersive and distinctive experiences. In his recent works, Vopĕnka delves into the intersection of photography, illustration, painting, fashion, and print. Through experimental techniques, he challenges conventional notions of art, creating new forms of expression that blur the lines between these media. Utilizing modern collage techniques and integrating data as source material, he constructs captivating visual narratives that transport viewers to new worlds. This playful interaction with perception lies at the heart of his current research, and serves as a driving force in his exploration of artistic possibilities today. Collaboration is also a vital aspect of Vopĕnka's artistic practice. By working alongside other artists, he broadens his creative horizons and discovers fresh inspiration for his own works. His portfolio website provides an enticing platform for galleries, collectors, and visitors to explore his extensive body of work and engage in direct interaction with the artist himself. Through a continuous process of boundary-pushing and exploration, Vopĕnka's artistic journey remains ever-evolving, consistently challenging the limits of his own artistic capabilities.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Hard to pinpoint to one word exactly, but an expressionist fine art composite would be a

starting point for the style. I consider myself transdisciplinary as I’m really getting excited

about the more avant-garde practice; that is to explore and push boundaries and even cross

them to find “new” things. I find that the most exciting and fun, to keep exploring new ways

of pushing my emotion outward and bring the audience along for the ride, whether that be

in photo, video, installation, or even fashion. I think and hope that when I look back on my

work, I can say to myself: “What an artistic and enjoyable (sometimes hard) journey that was.”

I would be sad if, in 10 years' time, I wouldn’t have moved into more new terrain. But I can

appreciate the phase of my current art style and its development over time.

What was the inspiration for your new project? Can you tell us

more about it?

It began with my search for missing parts of my mixed ethnic identity, lost in a way, like many,

not able to get answers and yet having a hunger for resolution. This led me to express myself

through a modern take on mind maps. These ideas evolved into the simplicity of pushing the

tool (camera). That being a forceful and playful way to discover the camera really as a pencil,

harnessing the power of the camera before relying on the skills I’ve been building up in terms

of the composite technique (Figment vs Phantom series). Forceful because, in order to really

get close to these moments that I wanted to capture, I focused on learning how to extend the

abilities of my camera. These emotions, a fuzziness, in this ever-changing landscape were

something hard to capture without this experiment. This intangible feeling of being stuck yet

in constant motion, unable to really stand still and enjoy the now, it’s this dance of awareness

that was the starting point for this new direction.

How does your current project, compare to your past work? What creative space are you in currently?

I think now I’m more interested in creating works that are speaking in a different way, not

saying they weren’t before, but it’s as if I know better what this feeling is and how to express

it. Where earlier work feels more like a search, the current work is more of documenting the

creative (and therefore mental) space. LOST, for example, is a series in which I approach my

search for parts of my missing ethical identity, embodied in works that are like mind maps.

Using my fine art compositing technique, where now, I try to be more direct in contact with

my “pencil”, the camera, pushing myself to come closer to this feeling of uncertainty.

In immotile, I focused more on this one element rather than multiple ones in, for example,

Revival (2020). I think the difference is now to make things more accessible in a way. Also

experimenting with vertical video artwork instead of horizontal, this phase is just more about

trying different methods to express.

When you decide a creative direction or style for a song do you stick to it or do you often change the original concept? What does your creative process look like?

Was it different for this project?

Audio direction is something that develops during the process of creating the visual artwork,

usually in collaboration with my close friend Marcus Brown-Adams (audio-engineer), aiding in creating another layer to the work. It’s a search, a continuous development, and something

that starts with a baseline and progresses from there. With the video "immotile," I aimed to

create a more poetic soundscape that brings the audience closer to the narrative but still

leaves room for the individual artistic experience/impression.

It is in the audio that you can convey dimensions and a story that complements the visual

experience. "Immotile" is a work centered around my personal fears and contemplations.

Creating this soundscape is like a poetic puzzle with sounds, voices, and ambience to

generate depth in the auditory experience—more than just adding “music” or sounds, it’s

another chance to express the emotions I wanted to convey.

" I lose myself in the depths of my fascination with the untouchable equilibrium of not knowing – a moment captured and then swiftly vanished. Life is, at times, as mystic as it is taunting, seducing us with a lullaby of passing time, all while remaining oblivious to the abnormalities visible in that split second. A product of the nineties and a blend of Eurasian culture, my current artistic practice centers on the fragmented self, the pieces of my identity. More concretely, it delves into the opaque path to clarity, often lost again in a swift motion. I strive to harness this ambiguous curiosity to create, with an ability to express this depth. By provoking the audience to question the medium, guiding them deeper into the multilayered elements, I explore the translation of my own intersection with reality.
Through the manipulation of color, movement, and transformation, I generate works that have transitioned from an observer's perspective to an internal expression, transforming pain and loss into something positive. As I expand my array of creative (digital) tools, my field of view broadens, aiding in the liberation of my stories. Anchoring my next leap is the time I’ve invested in developing and understanding the collage technique. This proficiency empowers me to utilize more of the ideas I possess to create installations. Taking the concept of collaging into a physical environment, I bring together conflicting elements, translating my digital creations into reality through the exploration of various mediums." -

Who's currently influencing your life the most?

I think my direct family and friends, as we build together on this artistic adventure. It’s the

drive within me and the feedback from them that help and influence me the most. It’s

something that they might say, as small or as big; it’s also the push to create works with an

authentic expression that influences my decisions. Going through something personal and

that loss is currently also pushing my work in a certain direction. I think this is something

many artists utilize, and for me, it also brings ideas for changes in the way I see the creation


What's the best thing you've done, simply because you were told you couldn't?

I think as a child, I ran into the biggest skeptics; even later on, it persisted and still might

happen. In general, I would say the path I have passed already is an achievement, considering where I came from. So I guess the best thing I did is to persist and keep believing that what I create is of value (at least to me) and could touch and enlighten people’s days. The idea that the life of an artist should be partially met with resistance is unfortunate but true. It could perhaps be better if the opportunities were more widespread, but hardship also polishes the craft and mind.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Seize the moment in the now. I tend to drift off and feel that I need to plan out the future, yet

that day of today disappears. Learning to be more present in the here and now is a good

exercise. Contradictorily, do see all the little things most people miss, with a bit of eagle eyes

but with the mental dreaminess of an owl. I think it helped me to reground and put things in

perspective. The fear of this long and unknown path to being able to create more

time/freedom to work on bigger projects is sometimes hard and difficult. It helps to then stay

in the now and be thankful for the journey that has already been traveled.

What's a phrase or saying you use almost every day?

Today is another day to make a difference. I believe in being good to others as much as you

can, staying positive and open to other cultures. Express yourself and be a better version

today than yesterday.

What's the hardest change in your life you had to go through?

The most challenging change in my life has been selling all my possessions and relocating to

the USA due to unfortunate circumstances beyond my control. I found myself unable to hit

the bullseye, forcing me to accept a return to a place full of burned bridges. The culture shock

of moving back and forth, combined with a profound sense of alienation from what I once

had, compelled me to rethink things and strive for a better outcome. I think out of that, I

learned to be more aware of the rapidly changing elements around me and be positive about

what I already have.

In your opinion, whom do you consider to be a visionary?

I think someone living on the border of absurdity and reality, someone with the guts to

wander into places of unknown terrain, leading themselves to really innovative creation. In my opinion, Yves Klein and more recently, Bill Viola, both have, in their own way, paved the way for others and yet created worlds that use artistic expression in a new way.

Name your current secret obsession and why?

The immortality of art, the way to prolong one’s existence in the expression of time. I’m

obsessed by the idea that the way to prolong our existence is by creating works that are

relevant in the time they’ve been created. In other words, to immortalize a feeling/emotion, to

have something to look back on. So, more towards myself than others, in a way, eternalizing

what I felt when I created the work. I see the works I make as a time capsule to a future me, to help me remind and reflect on times of the past and hopefully touch enough people for it to

be remembered.

Artists are impactive in so many ways, how do you want to

impact the world through your artistry?

I hope to give a glimpse into a world that is different from what people are used to, a way to

start a sort of mental conversation about the experience of my generation, the retrace, the

inequality and battles that are being fought, both in reality and internally. I hope my art can

lighten the day or push people to think, give them (in video) an almost poetic and spiritual

trip to reflect.

Stay connected with Aristo Vopĕnka


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