Dodo Newman is an artist. But one-of-a-kind. Growing up in a diplomatic family, the young Dodo travelled and lived all around the world seeing the contrasts of Communism, Dictatorship, India, Islam, Materialism, Poverty, Spirituality, Tolerance. She gained life experiences from one extreme to the other, which helped her later artistic expressions.
Dodo was born as Dorottya Novak in Hungary. She was two years old when the family moved to India where Dodo started her studies. Later, her family moved to Iran, where she went to the Italian School of Tehran, Iran (Scuola italiana “Pietro Della Valle”). Following this, Dodo finished her studies at the school of Polimoda in Firenze Italy, then at the American University of Rome in Rome, Italy and finally at the Reading University in Reading in UK.
Dodo Newman started to paint when she was very young. Since 2003, she is a professional artist living in Berlin.
In 2006, she developed her own signature technique inspired by the dripping action painting of Jackson Pollock and by abstract expressionism of Paul Jenkins and Noriyoshi Ishigooka.Two years later, Dodo became the pupil of the Hungarian painter Jozsef Burkus for six months. The mother-of-one is the inventor of the liquid resin paint, which is a new artistic way to use existing materials. She also used her invention in various design territories. Dodo is a person, who thinks and acts out of the box. Dodo is a person who is moved by visions that have never been seen before. Her collections, creations are all about owning something, which is unique, rare, representing one-of-a-kind creations.
CP: Pablo Picasso once said “the chief enemy of creativity is good taste.” Would you agree with that?
I would have loved to discuss this with Picasso. I believe that the main source of creativity and inspiration is in variety, freedom. Originality and uniqueness comes hand in hand with the freedom to be different and the courage to break away from the average, which can be also defined as things labelled as having “good taste”. Nevertheless every creator has a natural instinct for that which pleases the senses, the feeling of completeness.
CP: When was your break-through as an artist?
My personal break-through was when I decided and took the big step to be truly an artist. It was when I moved out to Berlin, Germany in 2008 to find my own way and to follow my path and my dreams. However the path is never a straight line ahead, it is full of turns and ups and downs. It is the journey that counts, the moments no matter if they are sometimes dark or full of light. So I consider every moment of finding my light in the dark a break-through.
CP: Your materials used are very unique, why did you go down this route?
I love experimenting and seeking new colours, materials and ways of using these different elements. There is no limit when it is about creativity, there are no rules to what can be used or not. I am a big believer of beauty, the one that is inbuilt and natural within each of us Human Beings. It is the same feeling as when someone sees a photo of some natural phenomenon, which uplifts and leaves a sense of wonder and mystery behind. This is what I aim to give back to people with the effects that the colours and mix of unique materials provide through my artistic expression.
CP: How do you go about preparing for a painting?
I already have feelings of the next series of paintings way before I actually start them, it is a process of building it through images, visions and then materials: layers by layers. However it is not really about preparing for an artwork since it is continuous. I start all my creations instantaneously, choosing the colours, the materials, the tools. It is like breathtaking: important and yet spontaneous.
CP: Days before an important exhibition, how do you sleep?
My last event involved embassies and nations of almost 12 countries. The preparations are usually tiring, however I try to keep the day before the event free to be with myself and to regain my positive energies. This is important for me especially because I try to communicate with as much people as possible at any event. It is not only about the artworks displayed but also about channeling the thoughts and feelings to others who participate at the event. I love sharing and listening to what people have to say about their feelings and thoughts of their own impressions. Perhaps this is also the reason why I love to hold speeches also to people about opening up their minds to creativity, to inspirations and to their dreams.
CP: How are your friendships connected with your professional life?
This is a very good question (smiling)…Art is Life itself, the two cannot be separated. So everything and every connection in my Life takes part in my artistic path. Every friendship and relationship is part of this journey, which materialises in an artwork, a creation. Every person in my life, had some role to play in my artistic path. They all added directly or indirectly to who I am today.
CP: What kind of choices do you regret?
None. The past is gone and the future can only be imagined. What counts is the present day moments and gifts of every days. The gifts are all around us in different forms: like a smile to which we can offer back another smile.
CP: Your studio is piled with CDs and Records, what music inspires you most?
It is always different, just as the moods, the emotions, the visions, the colours…Every music has its own vibe and it is always an instinct feeling as to which one fits most to a specific moment. Music means also connection between sounds and visual elements, this is why it can enhance the process of creation. Sometimes however silence is the most vibrant source of all. It happens often that I find my strongest energy within the silence inside and outside of me, and my strongest creations have been realised within this space of silence. This is why I find lots of inspiration in nature, in front of a beautiful tree, the green grass or the blue sea.
CP: What is the purpose of art for you?
The greatest blessing of all is that I follow my true path, and that I can form the distractions and obstacles during my life into challenges to grow and develop, and to eventually give back to other people from all that I have learned through the talent that I was given. Art is my tool to make people go within themselves and to feel for the very essence of their Human Being, being part of the Universe as a whole. This is what moves me and throughme my art as well.
CP: Do you have your apartment decorated with your own art of by other artists?
My walls are full of my own artworks. I could not imagine it without them. And as I sell or display my artworks elsewhere, my walls also change continuously. I once took all my artworks from my walls to an exhibition and my apartment looked extremely bare. I would not mind the emptiness of less furniture but I cannot imagine my walls without my colours.
CP: What is daunting on you and how do you turn your fears? What do you turn your fears into?
Fears are part of our lives. Like many people, I have various fears from my own past, from traumatic experiences as well as painful ones. Whenever my fears appear I try to accept them as part of my “dark side” and when I am able to look at them and see through them I understand them more and then I am able to let them go. I try to learn from my fears rather than being scared of them, because when I loo them in the eyes, I accept myself fully and can change things in my life. I love to go in deep within and to allow myself the understanding of me as a Human Being, to be compassionate about myself without judging my experiences.
Facing our own fears is a process and I wish to make others face their own through my artistic expressions. Part of it is acceptance and understanding, which then can be transformed into the livelihood and magic of Life. We then stop running away from our fears and allow them to be a forming element. My aim is to make people live in the light rather than the darkness and to experience light, beauty and love through my artworks and through all other forms that I communicate.
CP: Last question: You, in three words”
Warm, Open, Inspiring.
Thank you Dodo, you are an inspiration to everyone!
Interview and Text: Jasmin Wörz
Photographs: ©Dodo Newman
Dodo recently updated her website and especially the section Artistic Expression is worth a read!
This post is also available in: Deutsch