5 questions with Kasper Raglus
We caught up with the talented young artist ahead of his first solo Sydney exhibition at the Koskela Gallery.
At only 28-years-old Kasper Raglus has a well-developed minimalist style. Most likely because he has enjoyed making art since his early schooldays. The son of famed Mambo illustrator Jeff Raglus he grew up in a creative family, but consciously developed an artistic style that stood apart from his father.
A keen surfer and long-term resident of Victoria’s Surf Coast, the local landscape is a huge inspiration for Kasper. He explores this through colour, spending a lot of time mixing them to reflect his surroundings. Importantly however, Kasper wants his paintings to be open to interpretation, to offer some visual respite in our busy, technology filled lives.
His pared back compositions are indeed, very restful. Geometric forms with detailed line-work are depicted in generous volumes of space. We caught up with the young man himself to find out what we can expect from his upcoming SILENT SKY show.
1. What was your path to becoming the artist you are today?
It’s hard to avoid the obvious in that my father is an artist so growing up around art and going to exhibitions was just a normal thing for my family, the main initial challenge for me was separating my style from my dads.
I was doing some small graphic art jobs for people but was always slightly frustrated doing work that was someone else's idea in the end. So I started making small paintings that were influenced by a geometric style and I eventually showed those to a local gallery and got a chance to hang them on their wall. I started to take things more seriously and then eventually more shows and sales started to happen which gave me the confidence to take more risks with my work.
In school I was always drawing and getting in trouble for drawing on the tables and my books etc, I knew I had to make art because its all I had done growing up.
2. What part of your art practice brings you the most joy?
It’s hard to beat the feeling of finishing a painting I am happy with and sitting back with a glass of red wine and admiring it from the other side of the studio. Each time I finish a painting it feels like a little chapter in my life finished and then it’s time for the work to go out into the world.
I also love mixing colours (oil paints) and spending the time on getting them just right, it’s very satisfying. Sometimes coming up with the initial ideas for the work can be daunting but once I get on a roll with a series of paintings the ideas start coming easier.
3. What influences your work?
Where I live has a big influence on my work, I think mostly the space around me. The ocean and the cliffs on the beach. I want my paintings to feel like they give people space to have their own thoughts whilst looking at the individual pieces.
I am also influenced by early minimalist artist such as Ellsworth Kelly and Carmen Herrera.
Music always plays a part in the works, a song will change your mood so easily and I want the colours in my work to do that.
4. How does your minimalist style help you communicate meaning?
I always want people to be thinking of their own life when they look at my work, so painting in this way is perfect for me. An abstract painting can add to what someone is already feeling, rather than making them think of something in particular.
I love when people tell me what they think my painting is “about” because there is no real answer to this it can mean whatever the person is feeling at that time. For me all of these things add infinite possibilities to my practise.
5. What is the theme for your show at Koskela?
Whilst painting for SILENT SKY I was thinking about finding space and appreciating quiet times when you can just breathe and think about where you are right then and there, for me that is when I am surfing, for some people it’s when they go for a walk, swim or yoga perhaps.
I think my work in this show is more stripped down to only the essential shapes and colours needed to convey this. A moment of time to turn off your mind from today’s online life.