Isabelle De Klein

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one’ – Albert Einstein  

Isabelle De Klein is a young emerging artist whose work loosely explores this notion. The cognitive distortions and psychological misinterpretations, which can shape one’s perceptions and in turn reality. Based in Melbourne Australia, she is completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She has been recognised for her artistic contributions on a national level, within her course of study and amongst the local artistic scene.


Interview With The Artist

How would you best describe your style of art?

My art is an amalgamation of many different styles and mediums, but to be short, I focus mainly on figurative based abstraction. Exploring ways in which I can alter and distort the human form to create a sense of surreality, a glitch-like misinterpretation of reality.

My artwork moves between painting and video with influences from collage, photographs, modernism and popular culture.


What is the purpose of your art? What are you trying to say and what are the main themes in your work?

I guess my work doesn’t necessarily have a purpose in the way that it isn’t politically charged, yet my work exists as a way to process my own thoughts and understandings on the psychological self, perception and memory. It is an act of expressing and meditating on ideas on humanity and being able to visually work through the unknown and unexplainable. I think creating art is highly expressive and emotional; I believe you can receive so much more through looking at an artwork, as spoken and written language can be lacking in many ways.

What I am trying to explore through my art is how the brain can misinterpret information; what is happening around the individual may not be what they have read and processed. This understanding is based in psychology, how your own biases can influence and distort what you see and believe is the truth.


What first got you interested in this purpose/theme? 

I can’t remember when I became interested in this theme; I think I have always been interested with psychology, but it was through styling that I was able to understand what I was doing more thoroughly, be able to refine my ideas and allow my artwork to mature.


Why do you think your message is an important one?

I think knowing and understanding your own psychological self and reflecting on how the imperfect nature of the brain affects your reality to varying extents is important. It’s as I mentioned before, the importance is much quieter than any large and bold statement piece, although the work is important to me.


How does painting and video/digital art help you to express what you are trying to say?

Painting and video art are only two of many mediums. I found them attractive as two very separate and distinctive ways of making work. They both have their positives and their limitations. Painting allows me to be gestural, expressive and emotive through the physical act of painting and moving your body to make marks, yet the ephemerality of video allows for greater immersion and an extra layer of depth through it being a time based medium.


Who inspires you the most artistically?

My inspiration comes for many different areas, from Modernist painters such as Picasso and abstract expressionists; Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko, to contemporary photographers such as Jean Francois Lepage and Bill Henson. It’s too hard to pin point exactly one influence, when my influences are always evolving.


What would you consider your biggest artistic achievement so far?

My biggest achievement thus far is winning the Macquarie Digital Portrait Award at The National portrait Gallery in Canberra; the award is for artists working with screen based portraiture. The whole award was such a welcome surprise and I am incredibly grateful. It allowed me to meet so many wonderful professionals from The National Portrait Gallery to The Edge, State Library of Queensland and the Gallery of Modern Art. I was able to exhibit my work in the National Portrait Gallery for eight months.


What advice would you give other young aspiring artists?

Stick to your guns and trust yourself. Be critical, but take pride in your work.

To see more of Isabelle’s work, you can visit her website here or follow her on instagram.

I am an artist. When I substitute my brush for my pen and my paint for my words, I want to write a picture of vision, knowledge and imagination upon the canvas of our minds. I am a law/commerce student, writer and visual artist who has a keen interest in the world around me.

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