CHASED) Art and People Berlin

People: Artist Sadie Weis

24 Nov

Artist Sadie Weis is for me the true meaning of an artist, she sparkles with creativity, love and a sense of wonderment for the world. Sometimes you meet people and you feel like you have met and old friend, well this is what it is like to spend time with Sadie. I met her at her flat in Neukölln where we spent the afternoon drinking tea, drawing and exploring her enchanting wardrobe!  

When I first saw Sadie’s work it was like she had cast some magical spell and had transformed herself into art! A metamorphosis had taken place and in front of me was a cave of melting, glowing, sparkling, shining, beautiful nuclear waste which breathed the life of Sadie Weis through it.

To get some idea of this ingenious artists work you have to take a look at her website , or for those of you who are lucky enough to be in London in January 2015 Sadie will be showing new paintings and polymonotypes at lacey contemporary gallery in an exhibition called ‘Wanderlust’. Most fantastically Sadie will also be creating a site-specific installation with a crystalized garden and a crystal pond inspired by a recent journey she took through the Black Forest, where she recently discovered her ancestors come from. It all sounds DIVINE!


Interview with Sadie Weis


Chased: How do you choose your materials?

S.W.: As a multi-media artist, I can reference several mediums of expression. Naturally, (for me) drawing is a core source for every piece that I create. My first love and understanding with materials as an artist is as a painter and later as a monotypic printmaker. So in this case I started with traditional materials such as oil and acrylic and experimented with different painting mediums, etc…I felt the increasing need to add a multi-dimensional element to my work so I delved into cold wax mediums to build up the canvases. I also experimented with silkscreen as a means to create depth with flatness. Now I work in painting, sculpture installation, silkscreen, and video. Although I originally was a student of painting, for me it is about fulfilling a vision.- and I seek each medium specifically suitable for what I find the need to create. As a painter, I use a combination of mediums; oil, acrylic, wax, ink and spray paint. The graffiti influence that I have in my work comes from a time when I was living in NY making street art- also it came out of a necessity as I found myself very poor and desperate here in Berlin without money to purchase art materials, and I stumbled across a cache of hardly used spray cans at Teuffelsberg (the abandoned spy station in Berlin), so I went crazy with this medium at this time in my life. But this quickly gravitated towards new means as my visions progressed and had to expand to new ideas outside the confines of a canvas or 2- dimensional surface. The sculpture and installation work I do just came about in the last 2 years. I had the epiphany one bizarre night on a trip to Austria where I was teaching English and found myself in an eerie train station somewhere in the dark ends of the Czech Republic. I felt the desire to build a portal- as an allegory for my need to be somewhere else in my life. Having never built anything sculptural before, I had to teach myself, and it all came from experimentation. I made a drawing of the vision of the portal in my head and went from there. An old artist friend of mine handed me a heat gun for experimentation, and I started collecting old and discarded artifacts from the woods around my old studio (there is an old stretch of the Berlin wall still intact there and it serves as a neighborhood dumping ground). I made constructions of these things and started melting them together and melting plastic bags around them to create dimension. The results turned out unexpectedly beautiful. In the last year I have also been incorporating scientific elements into my work- primarily with crystal growth. This started with an idea to create a neon wedding ring- where I wanted to actually grow crystals on the neon light. It took 6 failures to get it right, but it worked, and then this opened up a whole new world for me. Additionally, my sculptural work in turn influences my paintings and it all comes full circle. In sculptures- I use everything imaginable, especially if it sparkles and shines- neon lights, styrofoam, silikon, metal locks, glitter, plastic diamonds, crystals, sequins, various machine parts, sparklers, poetry, keys,….I have also started to document the crystal growth by making time-lapse videos of the crystals growing.

Chased: What are your visions for the future?

S.W.: My dream is to live on a big co-op farm with all of my family of friends, children, animals- where we can all support each other and cultivate our own food, share, share space, share experiences- have many studios to interact and intersperse our ideas- with a massive studio for creating sculpture, a place to paint, a harmonious haven for writing and meditation, and of course, a science lab for crystal growing and experimentation… My plans for the future are to continue doing what I do- creating. Learning, experimenting and using art to grow spiritually.

Chased: What do you hope to communicate with your work?

S.W.: My philosophy and inspiration in art production is mainly focused on the spiritual and sculptural restoration of the mind- through the re-appropriation of found relics and visions from memories and dreams combined also with organic and scientific processes and also science fiction. As contemporary perceptions often nourish the inclination to discard elements that no longer fit easily into the cultural framework of societal constructs, it is important as creators to re-analyze, recycle, and investigate materials to discover their true and multiple essences and symbolic transformations.

Chased: How do you feel when you are making your work?

S.W.: Mostly chaotic and restless, to be honest, rarely at peace.- which is something I still strive to attain one day.

Chased: What is your favorite place to buy clothes in Berlin?!

S.W.: I think my all time favorite shop for clothes in Berlin is Rag and Bone Man. They really have an eye for mixing good vintage and second hand and find stuff I never come across anywehere else in Berlin. It reminds me of all the good Vintage boutiques in the East Village in NY. Also it’s surprisingly affordable! There’s usually an entire rack of sparkly shiny things, which I beeline to of course. I always seem to go there when I really need some special things, like if I want something rare for an exhibition. Another favorite place is called Urban Decay in Kreuzberg right before Oberbaumbrücke – they have the best tights! (and i am obsessed with shiney spandex tights).


sadie weis illustration Fin 2014


Interview and Illustration: Benjamin Martin



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