Interview Designa Magazine Issue 7, Nov 2012


Joseph Klibansky is a lot in news lately. The successful "digital mixed media artist" defies the established order with its utopian artworks, that are created in his brain and the computer. An inspiring encounter between three creative minds.

The Rize Gallery in Naarden consists of several serene white spaces where nothing distracts from the art which is exhibited. The entire ground floor is decorated with the work of Joseph Klibansky. In whose world everything is possible. No barriers, no restrictions. And so, there are as easily swimming goldfish through the streets of New York in his work "Heavy Traffic"  when pink flamingos on Time Square fly in the painting 'Garden of Evolution'. The 28-year-old artist presents himself as a man of the world. Groomed, the clothes carefully chosen, careful with his words and with a remarkable philosophical outlook on life, for someone of his age (28). Klibansky took all the papers when DJ Armin van Buuren asked him to design an artwork for the cover of his latest album 'Universal Religion Chapter 6. Incidentally, the second time that the men in this way came together. We are standing in front of Klibansky's later works in which a seemingly floating, futuristic building located above the skyline of an anonymous city rises.

Bertram Terpstra: "Is that not a building by Rem Koolhaas?"

Joseph Klibansky: "Yes, that is the headquarters of CCTV in Beijing. Koolhaas makes fantastic designs. Lack of space and the extreme land prices in Asian cities have had as consequence that buildings get an ever smaller footprint and will be more and more suspended solids and spans. You can see that in this building. "

Terpstra: 'You build imaginary cities, you're creating a kind of melting pot of architecture, culture and nature. The longer you look at it, the more you discover. "

Klibansky: "You're Right. I often choose the tension between slow nature and the fast city pace. That gives a certain dynamism. With striking buildings and street scenes from the world and hundreds of different images I create a new, intriguing world, just as I have in my head. In addition, I use a mix of computer art, digital imaging, graphic arts and painting techniques. When the work is finished, it is provided with a layer of liquid glass, with a three-dimensional effect as a result. A special finishing technique I have developed.'

Terpstra: "You work in different sizes, but preferably large, apparently. Not everyone can spend that above the couch. "

Klibansky: "Large size is my preference. I think my artworks will look the best like that. Usually I prefer a small edition of seven pieces ranging in size. Then everyone can enjoy it also at home. "

Bertram Beerbaum: "For whom do you make your art, who are your buyers? Or do you not take it into account? "

Klibansky: "Who buys my work ... People are very focused when they come and have a look at my work, they are not necessarily museum visitors. Once I thought it were especially yuppies were attracter through my work, but my audience is much wider! People get a positive feeling with my work. A lot of things happens in my creations, so you almost can not walk past. I work from my own vision. My art and the way I work fit into the time in which I live and the developments that are now taking place. I also sell a lot of my art to large companies thereby show that they are hip and have a good sense of the heartbeat of time. But you are still also designers, artists? "

Beerbaum: "Designers, yes. But we do not have the freedom in our work that you have as an artist. The starting point for us is the customer, we have to identify their needs and requirements, so that we can create an environment in which they feel pleasant to live. "

Klibansky: "As an architect and designer you should always make concessions, because your work should have practical value. A building in which people live or thousands of people to work, must meet certain requirements! As an artist you have nothing to do with this. "

Beerbaum: "How do you go about a commission? With specific needs?

Klibansky: 'I want to be free to make what I have in my head. But I can adjust my work to certain requirements. I may put certain objects in the artwork, making it compatible with a corporate identity. But if I can not support it, then I will not. I cannot let go of my ideals. "

Terpstra: "You have a kind of family business. Everyone contributes to the success. "

Klibansky: "Yes, that's right. We are a strong team. I come from a very creative family, art met me at an early age. At one point I had so many ideas in my head, that I'm went experimenting with compilations on the computer. My father was a commercial photographer, he saw what I was doing and immediately thought it was fantastic. He helps me to develop my art in a good way. Meanwhile I have a recognizable style, its own signature. I create images that people have never seen. With that I go one step further every time. My father is very critical! As he says, what you're doing is crap, then a line comes through and I start again. About three years ago I started making cityscapes that immediately hit. We see growth every year. My mother helped me to get into the art world. She made sure that I met the right people and that my work hung in the right art gallery's. My sister in law expanded our national and international even further and because of this my work is now available worldwide. My brother is responsible for all the (strategic) marketing. We do everything ourselves! Together we have a long term vision developed - we're not going for the quick success and fast money. I am now over five years working as an artist and what we have achieved is carefully constructed. I'm really go to the limit to get my artwork perfect. It not important for people if you din't sleep for four nights for a work to get out - they judge you by what they see! "

Beerbaum: "What is your next step as an artist?"

Klibansky: "I've been making sculptures, but I want to do it from the computer. Tight computer images into bronze. For that we have a strong concept, it makes it very different ball game compared to how we have worked before. The point is that it is super smooth, without vesicles, without a single blemish. I have been on several foundry's before and they all want to work with me because they are charmed by my work and my ideas. It is important to work with the best. We have just purchased an SLA 3D printer, which I'm experimenting with. The idea is that print own art objects in 3D, I find this incredibly exciting and thrilling! When that device was delivered this morning, I felt like a kid at Christmas. We are at the beginning of an amazing development! "

Beerbaum: "The possibilities of 3D printing are unprecedented. It can be the next industrial revolution. "

Klibansky: "Shortly you can design your own residential units and print it so that people can start living there instant!"

Beerbaum: "We're not that far yet! But, how would you want to live? "

Klibansky: "A building for the whole family. A workshop of 1.000m2, a gallery of 400m2, 200m2 office and three penthouses. It must be a very special building, a real eye catcher. "

Terpstra: "Guys, I gotta go. I think I must make a few sketches. "