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About Akke Visschers & Alexander StraulinoIn their collection „United in Gold”, the artistic duo of Alexander Straulino and Akke Visschers combine painting and photography to create a truly unique series of portraits. Their subjects are captured on film before being augmented with painted details. Using various tools, from palette knives to paintbrushes, gold paint is applied directly to the portraits. The result is an experimental
BACKGROUND INFORMATIONIn their collection „United in Gold”, the artistic duo of Alexander Straulino and Akke Visschers combine painting and photography to create a truly unique series of portraits. Their subjects are captured on film before being augmented with painted details. Using various tools, from palette knives to paintbrushes, gold paint is applied directly to the portraits. The result is an experimental fusion of artistic mediums. The gold becomes an intrinsic part of the photographs, enhancing the overall effect and elevating them from traditional portrait photography to genre-defying works of art.
The technique that gives the artworks of „United in Gold” their unique character has been dubbed “overprinting” by its creators. By combining traditional and digital methods, entirely new ideas can be brought to light. Straulino shoots the portraits before Visschers enriches them with paint and color and the results are re-shot under studio lighting. The artworks blur the line between reality and fiction, challenging our preconceptions about both photography and painting. Together, they showcase the fascinating relationship between the mediums.
Though the brushstrokes appear light and spontaneous, the entire process is a highly precise feat of technical and artistic skill. The duo will spend countless hours on each artwork, finely adjusting the paintwork to create the completed piece. Only when both are totally satisfied with the combination of paint and portraiture will they photograph it.
Alexander Straulino is an internationally renowned photographer and frequent collaborator with New York’s Trunk Archive. His works question our ideas of beauty standards through his characteristically intense portraits. His highly sought-after photographs have featured on the covers of several magazines including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Akke Visschers is a visual artist and experienced material designer. As well as her artistic projects, she has founded a successful jewelry line and received awards for her design work.
Together, Straulino and Visschers founded STUDIO AKKINO. The “overprinting” technique is a trademark feature of their work, receiving recognition and acclaim from the beauty, art and fashion worlds.
INTERVIEWPicasso once said, „You don’t make art, you find it.” Where do you find art?
We find art in the interaction between portraits and other materials. We use light throughout our working process to find inspiration, specifically in how shadows interact with materials to create new compositions.
From concept to creation: How do you approach your work?
First, Alex captures a portrait of a model and prints the photo. Then, Akke embellishes the photo using analog techniques. The resulting product is photographed once again. This digital-analog journey, in combination with our use of light and shadows, builds texture and creates new effects to give the image an entirely new look. We call out work ‘overprints’.
What’s your favourite book?
There are a few books we both like, including The Café at the Edge of the World by John Strelecky and The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. In terms of art books, we have a large collection, but Fred Herzog’s Vancouver Photographs and Sugimoto’s Seascapes are especially dear to us.
Which artist would you like to have coffee with and what would you discuss?
We would love to have coffee at The Café on the Edge of the World with Erwin Blumenfeld (Alex) and Daniel Roseberry, the current Schiaparelli designer (Akke). We would discuss sources of inspiration, working methods, culture, and the meaning of life!
How did your interest in art develop?
We both consider art a calling. We feel most in our element and self-aware while creating new compositions.
Who in your life influences you the most?
Our children, family, and dog Gibson.
If you had a time machine, where would you travel?
Akke: Mexico – more specifically, Mayan civilization. Alex: Ancient Egypt. We’d love to travel both places together and create overprints on-site.
What is your greatest passion – aside from art?
Akke: Spending time in nature. Alex: Cooking for family and friends.
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re working on a new overprint project. A book about New York and unique jewelry.