Artist Tim Biskup travels to stunning Belize on The Jaunt
Growing up, artist Tim Biskup was equally interested in Disneyland as punk-rock, a combination which set himself on his own path as one of the most prolific and recognised names in contemporary art today.
Known globally for his iconic vinyl toys, over the last few years his practice has focused predominately on painting, exhibiting his work internationally from Copenhagen to Hong Kong.
Tim Biskup is now heading on his next adventure, as the latest artist to participate in The Jaunt – a project which takes artists around the world for some much needed escapism, inspiration and downtime.
Photo credit: The Hundreds
Prior to each trip, limited-edition prints are sold by each artist – before they’ve been created – a concept that has travelled to over 20 destinations worldwide, featuring the likes of Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, Mike Perry and David Shillinglaw.
A fascinating country steeped in Mayan history, culture and the second longest barrier reef in the world, Belize has a wealth of natural beauty to absorb. Off the coast of Belize City you can find the island of Caye Caulker, where Tim’s trip will begin.
We caught up with Tim ahead of his departure next week to find out more..
Hi Tim, how’s it going? Feeling well rested after the holidays?
Yes, Feeling great. I just got engaged! Well rested, but always working in some way.
Sounds like 2015 was a pretty big year for you! We heard that you also had your first solo show in Hong Kong; ‘Space Madness’ – how was that experience for you? Can you tell us about this body of work and its significance?
I loved Hong Kong! My first show there and first trip as well. The fish markets were mind blowing!
Space Madness came out of an experiment. A big painting where I decided to do some very counter-intuitive things. I love to experiment but those things rarely work so well. The work for that show came very easily after that first painting. I was locked into a few basic rules.
Letting shapes come out of natural gestures and then watching them turn into creatures, but not getting caught up in the ways that I’m used to thinking about characters.
What are you currently working on? I understand there’s a mid-career retrospective in the works…
Yeah, that’s the big project. A big book. Getting that rolling this year. Lots of meetings. I can’t say too much.
The last time we saw you was at Pictoplasma (2014) giving an emotional talk on overcoming creative block and rediscovery – how have things changed for you personally and professionally since then?
Things got really intense in 2014. I know I was talking about some breakthroughs, but the real big ones were yet to come. Shortly after that trip I had a major back pain problem that laid me out for almost two months. It was absolutely terrifying. It forced me to look at some very deep shit. Things that were stressing me out that I wasn’t really aware of.
I feel like I keep shedding layers of bullshit from my life and it always makes my work better.
Are there any rituals you have when you make art? Can you tell us about your working process? Is there a lot of sketching or prep work before each painting?
I sketch a lot. Lately, my work is all about refining my natural gestures so it’s very important for me to warm up. I like to lay out a big pad of newsprint paper and do a lot of fast drawings. I can see the change from the first marks that are usually tentative and awkward to the 10th or 20th sheet of paper when it looks beautiful and balanced. When I’m happy with what I see I move to canvas or some nice watercolor paper.
Be honest about who you are and what you really want. Change what needs to be changed
Do you practice meditation or yoga to stay balanced?
I don’t practice meditation regularly, but my experiences with it have effected the way that I work. I’m very aware of how I breathe and move when I’m working. My state of mind is very important to me as well. Ideally, I’m in something like a meditative state when I’m working.
Yoga has given way to weight lifting and pull-ups these days.
Exciting to hear you’ll be joining The Jaunt for their next trip – it’s a project we’ve followed for some time. What’s your take on the concept of the trip and the idea of buyers purchasing artwork ‘unseen’?
I love it! I’ve always thought that one of the best things an artist can establish with their audience is trust. I want people to trust me to come up with something good even thought (particularly in my case) they have no idea what they will be getting!
Art and travel are interwoven into the lifestyles of many artists, yet we often don’t get the opportunity to fully switch off and immerse ourselves in a new culture or environment…what do you hope to take from the experience of The Jaunt?
I’m trying not to have to many preconceived ideas about this trip, but I love travel and always try to get the most out of any trip. I grew up camping a lot with my family so it’s easy for me to lose myself in a place.
Any plans whilst you’re in Belize or will you just go with the flow?
Fishing, diving, spelunking, eating, drawing… spending time with Nicki.
On reflection, what has been the most significant lesson you have learnt in your career?<
Holy shit that’s a big question. Be honest about who you are and what you really want. Change what needs to be changed. It’s very difficult.
Finally, what does a life well lived mean to you?
Getting rid of as much bullshit as possible and experiencing true happiness.
Pre-order your limited edition Tim Biskup print now for just 65EURO* – hurry whilst stocks last! *Shipping may vary.