DARK SURREALISTS UNITED

Interview with Nathalia Suellen

CERES by Nathalia Suellen

“Nathalia Suellen – Between Melancholy & Pain”

by Mia Makila

I can look at Nathalia Suellen’s pastel tinted dark surrealism over and over again, without losing that special feeling of ‘love at first sight’. You know, the feeling you get from discovering a new artist and immediately falling in love with their entire visual world. I feel so at home in the melancholic pain of her 18th century inspired digital art. So this interview is not only tinted with Nathalia Suellen’s gloomy pastel palette, but also with lots of admiration and love. ♥


SWARM by Nathalia Suellen


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In your bio on Instagram, you describe yourself as an “artist of chaos, disturbing, painful, horror […] foolishly hidden by some layers of beauty”. I think the bee stings in your powerful piece “Swarm” is an amazing depiction of pain. What is this chaos and pain in your work, hidden behind delicate beauty and alluring dreamscapes?

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[NATHALIA SUELLEN]: I aim for something beautiful and comforting when creating new arts, but something in the middle of the process ends up decaying. It’s always a failed attempt to hide my feelings behind beautiful girls, but even they can hide it! I really would like to give them true happiness and take all the disturbance out of their world, but unfortunately I can’t. Without all melancholy and pain my art would be a big lie, my work is done when I get upset in front of my work.

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I read somewhere that you prefer to be home alone; “expressing myself without talking”. I can relate to that so much. I need so much solitude and isolation, both as a person and as an artist. I also see this quiet loneliness in your work.

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“I’m fluent in silence”

~ Nathalia Suellen

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TRANSMISSION by Nathalia Suellen


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In your lovely piece “Transmission” we see a beautiful woman, hanging from wires — the composition looking like a modern version of the crucifixion. There are cables coming from the woman which are connected to several TV sets. I see this piece as the perfect metaphor for an artist ‘expressing themselves without talking’ through their art. Tell us how silence and solitude help expressing yourself.

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I feel this solitude even surrounded by people. I’m fluent in silence, I can’t even start a conversation, it’s like my blood freezes. Then I try to show “the things I do”, mostly are too sensitive or simply don’t understand. They usually prefer mindless stuff to distract their bad feelings instead of “transmit” them.

Nathalia Suellen

The world is a great ball with boring people wearing beautiful psychological masks. Unfortunately I didn’t buy any. Ironically, behind all these masks, we find very wounded souls, often very offended for seeing art saying out loud what they strongly hide.

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‘People empty me. I have to get away to refill.’ – Charles Bukowski

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GRACE by Nathalia Suellen

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Describe your technique and creative process, take us through step by step.

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As I do with my commercial collage work, I start sketching by layering multiple images in Photoshop. I never know if an idea can work, so it’s long trial and error process of combining, painting, drawing…(this step is also very useful to study lighting and find the perfect color palette before starting the real work). After having an acceptable draft, I try to recreate the things I need in 3D and all the rest is photo stock or painted.

 


URANUS by Nathalia Suellen – an early sketch and the final artwork

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You reference art history in your work (especially 18th century paintings) and at the same time use futuristic details. What is the role of the past and future in your work?

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The joining of periods is like a false memory to me. I dwell in the past and future, but not in the present. The past is memory and the future is imaginary and both are only thoughts. Sad that “now” does not inspire me. I’m attracted to the beauty of 18th century paintings, but it’s frivolous side bothers my dark side. I suspect the perfect, the 18th century hides something behind the paintings I’m trying to discover.

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EARTH by Nathalia Suellen


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Your piece “Earth” shows women, wounded with arrows (dying?) in the arms of Death himself. I can’t help think about the climate crisis and how our planet seem wounded just like the woman in the picture. Do you experience ‘climate anxiety’?

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The earth is exhausted from regenerating. God has blessed us with a planet that we humans do not deserve and worst of all, the earth is becoming a reflection of ourselves. Purity, innocence is being portrayed by this woman. We are killing her without realizing it, because that is the nature of death. Death only does what is rightfully hers. Humans are evil by nature, we are fragile, lazy, easily frightened. By trying to save this woman, we end up killing her.

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What inspires you?

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From classical art to horror games. I find inspiration all over – from childhood memories, poems to soundtracks etc.

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ASYLUM by Nathalia Suellen


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The dark surrealism in your work is a balancing act of dreams and nightmares. Do you have interesting dreams at night? Any recurring dream/nightmare?

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Yes, all dreams mean something, they are messages to me. Sometimes I dream about a future event and it happens.

Where are you going with your art — any direction you follow at the moment?

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I am trying to improve my technique, especially painting skills and 3D and I intend to explore the dark side of the 18th century a lot more. I spend a good time seeing classical arts and art books, not only appreciating, but deeply studying every detail.

–  Interview by Mia Makila


Explore Nathalia Suellen’s website
Nathalia Suellen on Instagram

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