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april 2009:

Seth Apter of The Altered Page >>

Kerin and Charlie of Remnants Of Olde
The Altered Page: Blog
| The Altered Page on Etsy | Email Seth
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Seth Apter is a mixed media artist and photographer from New York City with a love of paper, bookmaking and bookbinding, textures, layers, text, altered images, artistic collaborations, visual journaling, abstract art, outsider art, ephemera, and so much more. His blog, The Altered Page, is a visual journal of his own artwork
and photography as well as a showcase for artists he admires and his own creative experiences in New York
City. His work and words can be seen in print, in such publications as Artful Blogging, Pasticcio Quartz, and Varietist Muse. His artwork is available for purchase in his Etsy shop.

I have adored Seth's work since the moment I laid eyes upon it and instantly wanted to feature him as one of
my "loves" on the Altered Bits site. His mixed media art and altered books are beyond gorgeous -- I love the intricacy and layers of texture, incorporation of words, images and numbers.

Click on the image below to see several additional pieces of his fabulous art:

art works by seth apter of the altered page

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to interview Seth. Below you can read the answers to his questions and view additional pieces of his amazing mixed media art:

How did you become interested in mixed media art? How long have you been creating?

I have been involved in some form of visual arts for about 10 years. Having tried my hand at a number of different techniques, I always find myself drawn back to mixed media art above all. This is true for both the art I make as well as the art that I admire. For me, there is a sense of freedom and exploration that mixed media provides. Choosing to use any and all materials in my artwork – whether traditional or less so – has
given me the chance to express what is inside me in such a flexible, varied, and creative way. For me, it just works!

fragments, by selth apter

From What, Whom or Where do you draw your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from everywhere. I live in New York City which is such a vibrant and exciting place.
There literally is inspiration everywhere you turn. In the museums and galleries of course, but maybe more so
in the people and in the streets. On the other hand, I often take my vacation in places that are quite the opposite... nature-filled and serene. This feeds my soul and expands my creativity just as much. I can also
find inspiration in a word heard, a color seen, or a texture felt. Anywhere really because inspiration is
always just waiting to be found. Finally, I also derive a lot of inspiration from the passion and energy of other artists and bloggers.

new york city street scene, mountains and ocean

Who are some of your personal favorite artists?

I usually avoid choosing favorites because it tends to be too hard for me to narrow down any favorites to just
a few. There are so many artists that I like! How about by category? Antoni Tapies is probably my current favorite "famous" artist. I am drawn to his textured abstracts, the rich natural blacks, browns, reds, and sepias he usually uses, and the letters, crosses, and symbols that he includes. The surfaces of his artwork
are mesmerizing to me. Three favorites come to mind based on single museum shows that blew me away... Kara Walker and her paper cuts that so powerfully “tear the roof off” of issues of racism and sexism, Rudolf Stingel and his mix of incredibly creative and beautiful conceptual art with his amazing photorealistic portraits, and James Castle and his outsider art made from soot, spit, and bits of cast off objects. I have many favorite blogging artists but one that stands out to me is Judy Wilkenfeld. Every piece that she creates speaks to me artistically and her work is always, and I mean always, so meaningful, emotional, powerful, and real!

Do you have a favorite piece or pieces of art that you've made?

Often after I complete a piece, it temporarily becomes my new favorite. But only temporarily until I am on to the next. But there are 2 pieces of mine that really speak to me. They are quite different from each other
but both are examples of two different mixed media styles that I feel are most representative of my artistic expression. The first, Fragile, is made primarily with acrylics highlighted by layers of text, letters, symbols, numbers, and the like. The second, Contexture, uses highly textural pieces, such as found objects, thread, metal, book spine, etc. Contexture is actually the cover of a handmade book I made for a collaboration. Both
of these pieces really reflect my creative voice.

Click images to enlarge:

fragile, mixed media art by seth apter contexture, mixed media art by seth apter

Do you do any collaborative work with other artists?

I am involved with quite a large number of collaborative projects right now, some of which I post about on my blog and several that haven’t been shared. I really enjoy the process and challenge of working with other artists. I especially like the fact that collaborations allow me to see the work of so many artists up close and personal. No matter how great a piece looks on the internet it is usually a thousand times better in person. The fact that I am working on somebody else's piece subtly changes the way I work and this stretches me as an artist. Many times the themes of the particular project may not be ones that I would choose on my own and that challenge usually invigorates (and truthfully sometimes frustrates) me. Finally, the relationships that develop among the collaborating artists can be quite special.

Click image to enlarge:

collaborative altered book by seth apter and other mixed media artists

What inspired you to start your Disintegration project? Can you tell us a bit about it, for those who are not
familiar with it?

The Disintegration project is a current, online collaboration that involves over 115 artists. Links to all
the participants can be found on the sidebar of my blog. The idea initially came from my feeling that nothing surpasses the beauty of nature. And what a great collaborator nature would therefore make! For quite a long
time I have wanted to place some artistic "bundle" outside in the elements to see the impact of nature and the passage of time. It is really quite a simple concept. Create a bundle of any material. Hang, bury, submerge,
or just place the bundle in nature. Watch and wait. On May 1, all the participating artists will post an "after" picture on their blogs. There will also be a part 2 to this project…but even the participants don’t know what that is yet!

the altered page's disintegration project: paper and string in snow

How do you see your artwork evolving?

My artwork has changed significantly over time. I think using my blog to post a record of my work has contributed to this. When I compare my older artwork to more current pieces, the major change I notice is that my art is much more complex, more layered and textured, and more a direct yet still abstract representation of who I am and what I what to say and need to express. I now take more risks with my process, happily embrace my "mistakes", and put more of my self into each piece.

texture detail of mixed media art piece by seth apter

Where can your art be found (galleries, books, magazines, web sites, etc.)?

I have been published in Artful Blogging (Autumn 2008) and in several zines (The Book Artist, Pasticcio, and Varietist Muse). You will also be able to see my artwork in a number of other books and zines, coming soon! My work has been spotlighted on a number of online blogs and websites as well. You can find my writing online at Lisa Hoffman's Gypsy Bonfire. Finally I am happy to say that a just completed piece will be exhibited in April in a group show in New York City.

Archive of Guest Artistsfeatured artists, altered art, assemblage, found object art, jewelry, atcs, collage
January 2010 :: Donna Watson >>
September 2009
:: Simon Loach and Joanne Archer >>
July 2009
:: Patricia Chapman >>
April 2009
:: Seth Apter, The Altered Page >>
February 2009 :: Charley and Kerin, Remnants of Olde >>
January 2009 :: Finnian, four year old artist >>

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